Cycling Buddies

This is just a loose and still-evolving idea that started on the BikeRadar forum when a newcomer to commuting was psyching himself up for taking the plunge and had posted asking for route advice into town.  A few of us who knew the local routes got to thinking about acting as guides to help people over the first ride hurdle. Cyclopsbiker posted up a thread entitled Guides and I set up a Google docs spreadsheet

At heart, the idea is to link up experienced riders with new and returning riders about to take the commuting plunge.

So if you are an experienced commuter (anywhere) and are happy to give newcomers a few route ideas, lots of sensible encouragement and accompany them towards their destinations have a look at the spreadsheet, enter your name, the wheres and whens of your journey plus simple contact details. (Because this kicked off in SE London there are more names from around here than from anywhere else.  But we're happy to become outnumbered...)

And from the other end of the equation, if you are thinking about taking the plunge but are still apprehensive about the journey and route, have a look to see whether there is anybody in your area who has put their name down.  

At the moment, the list is open for public editing - you can go in and immediately update or alter it.  So please take care not to disturb other people's details.  And while the list is still reasonably short, I'll contact people after 3 months or so to check whether their details are still correct  - and if I get no reply, I'll take the name off the active list and move it to the second ''unconfirmed'' list.

Please note that this is a purely voluntary affair - buddies might be fully competent and very experienced but they are not qualified as cycling instructors and, consequently, they don't have public liability insurance.  If you feel you need cycling tuition, contact your local council who may be able to provide free lessons with professional instructors, or search for your nearest cycling group on CTC.