Last Sunday saw 2017's Christmas festivities start in style with London's KidicalXmass ride around some of the Capital's protected cycleways.
Despite the drizzle, over 30 parents, children and friends met up at Trinity Square Gardens for a 3 mile ride which took us to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and a lunch stop at Tea House Theatre (thanks guys). We rode along CS3, across Blackfriars Bridge on CS6 which were as wonderful as ever. After braving a section of Lambeth (which could so easily be upgraded with cycleways), we headed through the back streets of Vauxhall along the old LCN3.
As usual, everyone left for home to their own timetable and a smaller group of us stuck together with a return trip along some of the excellent CS5 which took us over Vauxhall Bridge, then the paint'n'signs CS8 on Millbank (which could so easily be upgraded to provide cycleways) and on towards Parliament Square (the approach to which is shockingly awful to ride with kids, let alone as an adult).
We were then embraced by the protection of CS3 once more until we were back in The City of London. By the end, there were just 5 of us left - 2 adults and 3 children - and we had to navigate Bank. There is currently an experimental scheme to cut traffic through the area, but it doesn't operate at the weekend and so it was stressful getting through.
The protected cycleways are now a huge part of the London Kidical Mass rides and that is testament to their quality. However, away from them, it's business as usual where cycling with our children is difficult and stressful which makes it all too bittersweet.