City cycling clinic

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  • Why bike cops need to get busy

    Police on mountain bikes seem to pop up everywhere. The ethos behind hot-wheeling fuzz is sound: it benefits the environment more than a car or motorbike patrol and, by mingling with the people, this modern-day Dixon of Dock Green pushes the friendly face of policing. But police on pushbikes will always seem comical. So much of what defines the police as a force to be reckoned with is down to their uniform, of which vehicle, weapon and thousand-yard stare are all part. Denuded of the armoury of a car they seem punier and more vulnerable, less the hard men and women of the mean streets. Dressed in cycling helmets, police livery and yellow jackets, they look more like overgrown prefects in gym kit. The fact that they are most visible pedalling slowly around areas like Brick Lane telling other cyclists to dismount in the one-way zone doesn’t help. Conversely, in pursuit of their quarry, their image is instantly more dynamic. Heading along Kingsland Road to Ridley Road market and down Dalston Lane towards the Pembury Estate on Pembury Road, patrol cars stall and grind to a halt but mountain bike cops can take the lead dodging speed bumps, using pavements, flying the wrong way down roads (police prerogative, I assume) and following thieves and drug dealers into estates with ease. If you haven’t seen this yet, live in hope. Could it be that ‘Pedal Power, The Action Movie’ is just around the corner?

    Route rating

    Route 0.5 miles (Kingsland Road to Pembury Road)Calories burned 150 (if you’re part of a chase)Street cred 0

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