在倫敦, 許多人都是自行車通勤的擁護者, 其中包含了現任的倫敦市長– 波理斯.強森及著名的時裝設計師薇薇安.衛思伍德, 什錦甘草糖曾經在街上與風馳電掣的這兩位擦身而過。倫敦市中心為避免交通擁擠, 每天從早上7點到傍晚6點, 所有開進城的車都會被徵收交通高峰費（congestion charge）, 比較受歡迎的地方, 即使願意付費停車, 也不一定有停車位; 搭乘火車、地鐵或公車的費用很高, 而且幾乎每年的1月2日都會漲價。節能省碳、省錢、機動性高又可健身的自行車逐漸成為倫敦市民喜愛的交通工具~ 現任市長有名的政績之一, 就是推動可以在市中心區隨處取車, 隨處還車的『博客來腳踏車』, 方便市民及遊客行程較短的交通需求。
In London, many people support cycling. Amongst them, London’s present mayor, Boris Johnson and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood are two famous figures. I have seen both of them cycling on the street. In order to avoid serious traffic jams,the London authority applies “congestion charge” to cars driving into central London area from 7am to 6pm during the week days.Parking is not easy at popular areas and the already expensive public transport raises prices every year. Suffering from the above factors, bicycles gradually become Londoners favourite transport tools! It’s more mobile, eco-friendly, money-saving and healthy~ One of London’s new landscape is people riding the Blue Barclays bikes here and there.
許多倫敦民眾也許是博客來腳踏車的會員, 也許有自己的汽車, 也許會用大眾運輸工具, 但其中許多人同時擁有自己的自行車。走在倫敦的街上, 隨處可以可以看到自行車鎖在燈桿或欄杆上; 忙碌的路上, 也常有成群的自行車族穿梭在公車及汽車之間; 社區中, 不但有越來越多的腳踏車店, 甚至有的店還附設咖啡店以提供通勤族中途休息, 或自行車愛好者資訊交流的空間; 近來, 地方區政府的道路改善問卷中, 通常也都會把自行車存放空間納入考量, 可見自行車在這城市受歡迎的程度！
People might be joining Barclays Cycle Hire, owning their own car or taking public transport, but they also like having their own bikes at the same time. Walking in London, one can find bicycles chained everywhere, groups of cyclists flying between buses and cars,and growing numbers of bike shop(some with cafe)appearing in the communities. Bike storage spaces has also become one popular options on local governments’ urban planning questionnaire!
自行車族的組成年齡從幼稚園小孩到銀髮族都有。有些父母會在車前或車後加上額外的裝置或坐墊, 以方便載小孩出門, 當小朋友大到可以自己騎車時, 就幫他們買自己的腳踏車, 週末的公園、市場或遊樂區, 偶爾還可以看到『全家福車隊』！在英國, 許多民眾都是著名的『環法自行車大賽』的粉絲。 路程超過80公里, 有名的『倫敦到布萊頓』自行車慈善賽, 年年吸引成千上萬的民眾參加, 我也曾經參加過一次, 大部分的人需要騎一天（約8小時）, 越過陡坡不久, 接近終點時特別有成就感！
London’s cyclists are from all ages. Some parents attach extra parts on the bike to enable them carrying young kids when they are on the wheels. When the children are big enough to handle bikes themselves, many of them learn to ride. Occasionally,you can see a big family of 5 or 6 members cycling on the country road, in the park or walking with their bikes in the markets!In Britain, many people are fans of “Tour de France”. One of London’s own famous cycling events is the charitable “London to Brighton” bike ride which takes most of participants a whole day to complete. I did it once and enjoyed it a lot!
因為自行車的機動性, 在倫敦的希斯洛機場, 設有自行車緊急救護服務; 小型的商家或機構也會添購三輪車以載運工具或貨物。如果仔細觀察, 常可以發現不少賞心悅目或風格獨特的倫敦自行車騎士。在慶祝煙火節的晚會中, 我遇到了一位非常迷人的法國女士–蘇菲, 她也是位到哪裡都騎自行車的兩輪族, 我們認識的當晚, 她當然也是騎著自行車活動, 儘管如此, 蘇菲還是穿著鮮艷的鵝黃色大衣, 踩著有跟的鞋子, 戴著簡單的一兩件首飾。這位女孩非常喜歡開玩笑, 和她聊天時間過得特別快, 當你仔細點觀察她, 她姿態優雅的長耳環有一部分竟是娃娃的手, 而手提包上立體的造型, 竟是三個洋娃娃的臉！
Bicycles are so mobile that even Heathrow airport uses them to offer ambulance service! Some small local business or organisations now also like to use tricycles to move tools or goods around. Watching carefully, you can find many cyclists with unique styles in London city. I recently have just met one in the bonfire party- a very charming French lady, Sophie~ Sophie cycles everywhere and it was no exception on the night we met. Despite on the wheels, Sophie dressed herself in an elegant bright yellow coat,wearing shoes with heels and a couple of jeweleries which goes very well with her coat. She loves making jokes and this makes time passing quickly when you chat with her.If you look at her closely, you might be astonished to find out that on her graceful looking earrings hang two pieces of doll’s hands and on her sculptural feeling hand bag sticks out 3 doll faces!
蘇菲是一位有創意的設計師及表演者, 她對於生活中隨手可得的事物充滿着想象力, 不太受既定觀念的束縛, 因此喜歡把不同的媒材重新組合, 或把他人丟棄的物件回收再利用, 這也是她『人體系列』飾品誕生的理念。因為喜歡明亮的色彩, 加上學戲劇的背景, 蘇菲擅長運用各種顏色的樂高積木方塊, 做成別具特色的衣服或飾品, 這個系列的作品, 格外地有節慶的快樂氣氛！如果你也想看看蘇菲小姐獨特有趣的創作, 或甚至購買它們, 請參考她的網站。對了！她的網站就叫做：踩著高跟騎自行車（CYCLE IN HEELS)～
Sophie is a creative designer and performer who is full of imagination towards daily objects and sets no limitation on her works. She likes to recycle things found in the charity shops or on the street and to combine different materials together. I think this explains the background of her “human body” series accessaries. Influenced by her theatre study and passion for colours, she is very good at applying lego bricks in making costumes too. This series brings you very festive atmosphere! If you are interested in seeing or buying Miss Sophie’s creations, please check the following links. Oh! The name of her website happens to be called “Cycle in Heels”~
倫敦到布萊頓 – http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/bike-rides/london-to-brighton/london-to-brighton.aspx
博客來腳踏車 – http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx