Bike Week means Cyclist Breakfasts. Today's two were at Narrow St (near Limehouse Basin, a bit east of Tower Bridge, and near where Boris nearly came to grief last year) and Colebrook Row, Islington (next to the gentrified shared-ped-n-cycle sign).
Colebrook Row's (above right), provided by the Islington Cycle Action Group, had the advantage of a site on a bike cut-through by traffic signals, enabling them to hand out apple-cake incentives to waiting riders.
There was a wheelbarrow-fronted bike containing a charming toddler for that Islington touch, and busy Dr Bikes doing complex repairs beyond the scope of some commuters, such as adjusting barrel adjusters and, er, pumping up tyres.
Narrow Street's breakfast, courtesy of the vibrant Tower Hamlets Wheelers, was a grand affair: ham, cheese, real coffee, tea, fruit juice, croissants, muffins, bagels, jams, and that swirly hazelnut / Nutella stuff whose calorie count looks like they've put the helpline number by mistake.
It was right on the CS3, the Superficial Cycleway that runs from Barking to Tower Gateway. (Curiously, the markings for the 'continuous' cycleway are in isolated squares here, not a continuous line. Perhaps you're meant to bunny-hop from one to the other.)
This is a very busy commuter-cycle corridor, with whizzing cyclists far outnumbering cars or taxis.
Owen of THW has been doing a census each breakfast day for the last four years. After a mushrooming in 2009, the figures for west-east (towards Canary Wharf) were up 17% on 2009, with the east-west figures (towards the City) down 9%.
Qualitatively, the rider profile seems to have nudged upmarket, with more expensive road bikes and more gear on display.
Here are those figures in full, courtesy of Owen. You might be able to make a bar chart or Venn Diagram or something out of these. I tried in Excel but just kept getting Canary Wharf in multicoloured Lego.
Cyclists passing the Grapes pub, Narrow St, on Bike Week Breakfast morning 2007–2010
All of which conclusively proves that the cycling boom we keep hearing about is true. Or maybe false. Or not as simple as it's made out, or something. But whatever it proves, it proves I was right all along.