All 12 entries tagged Cycling

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October 26, 2006

Reasons to love YouTube #24

The greatest song ever written soundtracking a video featuring the greatest invention of all time. For this alone, You Tube I love you:

I came across this video using the impressive I Love Music Video


June 07, 2006

Revolution! Britain embraces the bicycle

Writing about web page http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/transport/article656400.ece

I had started to wonder in recent months whether there were more cyclists on the roads compared to a year or so ago, but according to today's quite incredible Independent front page, we are in the middle of a Revolution:

Independent front Page

Britain is in the grip of a cycling revolution as clogged roads, concern at global warming caused by air pollution and the quest for improved fitness persuade millions to opt for pedal power. After a decade of stagnation in the number of bicycle journeys, new figures show there has been a dramatic leap in commuters and leisure cyclists focused on Britain's cities and the burgeoning network of cycle routes. In London, trips by bike have increased by 50 per cent in five years to 450,000 per day while figures obtained by The Independent show use of the National Cycle Network, covering 10,000 miles of urban and rural pathways, rose last year by 15 per cent to 232 million journeys.

It is argued in the piece that this growth has happened in spite of forms of institutional or government support. I wonder where the University figures as a supporter of cycle commuting to our car clogged location? We're in the middle of a 20 million development of the Business School at present and, as far as I can tell, not one single penny of that is to be devoted to the provision of basic facilities to support cycling to the building.

Indeed, a quick glance through the material about this on the university website for staff indicates that, when we undertake new developments, "the local planning authorities require the University to develop a transport framework which includes a variety of serious measures to reduce car use and promote alternative forms of transport." Given the absence of any plan for even basic cycle parking facilities around this our newest building, it appears that we can willfully ignore such 'requirements'.


May 12, 2006

Cycling debated in the House of Commons

Follow-up to Road Rights from Off message

Via the ever reliable Velorution, I learned that the campaign to alter proposed changes to the Highway Code which would reduce cyclists' status as road users has reached the floor of the House of Commons, where it has been taken up, and cycling has been debated more widely, very impressively by Mark Lazarowicz, Labour MP for Edinburgh, North and Leith. Here's the Hansard record of the debate.

May 10, 2006

Cycling, sterility and emasculation

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1771302,00.html

Matt Seaton, The Guardian's cycling columnist and author of The Escape Artist (which I've recently finished reading) writes a striking and unexpected column today.

While most of his columns deal with the more prosaic matters of cycling and cycle maintenance and topics such as David Cameron's aversion to panniers, today's piece discusses the issue of cycling and male infertility and ends with a sudden leap into cultural analysis. Seaton suggests that the claim that cycling induces sterility is an "unsavoury confection of fantasies and anxieties" about the New Man:

Is it possible that – under the guise of fearing for his sexual wellbeing – what is actually feared is the New Man? Is the metrosexual man on his bike so disturbing a social figure that what is wished for is his emasculation?

May 08, 2006

Bicycle is king of the road as gas costs rise

Writing about web page http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/05/business/wbbike.php

Via Velorution, I read this interesting piece from the International Herald Tribune. My sense of the changes in London is that bombs on the tube have been as much of a contributor to the sharp uptake of cycling as the congestion charge.

London may be the greatest success story in the new wave. When Mayor Ken Livingstone introduced a congestion charge in 2003 on vehicles entering the city center, a surprising side effect was a 28 percent surge in cycling in the first year. The city says overall cycling mileage has doubled in the last five years and it aims to achieve another doubling. In some cases, merchants who were initially nervous actually saw sales rising as the population of more fluid bus and cycle lanes fed them more customers. What has also been discovered worldwide is that accident rates have dropped wherever cycling has gained momentum, as cars are forced to slow down and as they become more accustomed to sharing the road. "We're seeing a lot of people willing to try this and now it's getting safer as we get critical mass," said Silka Kennedy–Todd, an official in London's transport office. "The number of accidents has roughly fallen in half as the number of cyclists has doubled.

May 03, 2006

Good humour and competence in the saddle

Writing about web page http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp?Filename=touring.10604.1170.eml

From the Bike Touring List, Eric S. Sande provides an eloquent articulation of what I've been thinking and feeling about cycling myself recently. I've almost surprised myself about how I've become less aggressive about the poor behaviour and performance of drivers and others on the roads. Prompting cyclists to "learn to abandon value judgements based on incomplete evidence", he writes:

The successful bicycle commuter, and by extension the bicycle tourist, can and should develop qualities of forgiveness and acceptance, but these cannot be allowed to outweigh strength, technical skill, and preparedness. Only the total package of good humor and competence can serve to make these experiences enlightening, in my opinion.

It all gets a bit Zen and the Art towards the end but a provocative little read nonetheless.


May 02, 2006

Con Yer Bike Cameron

Writing about web page http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17004435&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=exclusive--con-yer-bike-cameron-name_page.html

David Cameron's 'green credentials' take a panning from the Daily Mirror with the inspired headline above.

DAVID Cameron flaunts his green credentials by cycling to work – but there's a flunky following behind in a gas–guzzling motor carrying his shoes and briefcase.

Smart blogging London–based bike shop and courier company Velorution write to Cameron offering to deliver his briefcase and shirt carbon-free.

Or maybe he should just get some panniers or a rucksack? Or maybe the flunky should get a bike and some bags, so that young David can continue to look good for the cameras? Or a tandem, so that the flunky can carry the bags carbon–free?


April 11, 2006

We can plan our way out of this

Writing about web page http://www.vejpark.kk.dk/byenstrafik/cyklernesby/uk/index.htm

Via an excellent post on Cycler's Life, I learned of the impressive work that has taken place in Copenhagen to change its transport culture and free up the city so that cyclists have a stake in public space and public policy. And the news is that it's not only good for cyclists; it's good for business too. The video really is worth watching.

April 04, 2006

Make your own SUV ad

Writing about web page http://todd.cleverchimp.com/blog/?p=102

Via John Dale's blog and Cleverchimp, I learned of Chevrolet's super flashy online competition, in which they invite visitors to their website to create their own ad for their new Tahoe SUV, editing the whole thing within the browser. So far they do not appear to be moderating any of the submissions, which has prompted an array of subversive and witty submissions, many about environmental damage and the geopolitical consequences of oil dependency. A list of the best of these submissions is emerging in the comments thread here: link

March 30, 2006

Road Rights

Writing about web page http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4303

The Driving Standards Agency is currently revising the Highway Code. This includes a proposal to urge cyclists to 'use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities … where they are provided (Rule 58)'.

In a recent email newsletter, the fabulous Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op commented on this proposal as follows:

This sounds like common sense until you consider the implications. What if you were hit by a car on a road near a cycle path and the lawyer or insurance company defending the motorist used the alibi that the accident wouldn't have occured if you had stuck to the cycle path? What if you consider your local off-road cycle path less safe after dark than a lit road? How many cycle paths have a sign at every access point to alert potential users of their existence? The problem with the Driving Standards Agency's proposal is that it ignores the decisions every one of us takes whenever we travel. One day we'll choose the safest route. Next day, the quickest and most convenient. On Sunday, when time is not a consideration, you might take the prettiest. All these factors come into play whether we cycle, walk or drive. The problem with this proposal is that, for the first time, it questions the cyclist's equal right to use the public road (bar motorways / dual carriageways). And it ignores the fact that whenever you choose to cycle rather than take the car you are part of the solution to the ever-growing problems of road congestion, danger, pollution and global warming. Cyclists are not the problem yet, once again, we are being singled out by the bureaucrats.

The Cyclists' Touring Club are running a campaign against this proposed erosion of cyclists' status as road users. They have even penned a suggested email, automatically addressed to your MP which you can access at

http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4303

Using the above service, I have written to my MP who, impressively and swiftly, passed this and similar other correspondence he received to Stephen Ladywood MP, Minister at the Department of Transport, who in turn passed the correspondence to the Driving Standards Agency.

In forwarding Stephen Ladywood's response to me, I learned that direct comment on the consultation can be carried out via the following web page:

http://www.dsa.gov.uk/content.asp?id=13014

Cyclists, park up and get involved. We have a chance until May 10th to influence this consultation. Let's do it.


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