Several members of the Metropolitan Police traffic team kindly popped along for a whole morning to provide advice and free safety equipment. Firstly, they registered and labelled bikes to enable reunification with owners should they go astray, as is the case for around 20,000 bikes every year in London according to the Metropolitan Police’s website.
Everyone who took part was also rewarded by a visit to the police HGV cab which was awaiting us outside the office. Cyclists (and pedestrians), myself included, were invited to get behind the steering wheel of a several-tonne-lorry to fully appreciate navigating London’s mean streets from a truck driver’s perspective. A police officer on a bike demonstrated that cyclists are pretty much invisible to drivers from almost anywhere within a several metre radius of a truck or bus, giving a very useful and potentially life-saving lesson that left me less than keen to cycle home.
Thankfully, my nerves were settled by the provision of free high visibility cycling equipment. I was able to trundle home resembling a vibrant lime; it was only after I was half way to home that I stopped being dazzled by the luminosity of my clothing but at least I was safe and seen.