1 May 2007: Podcast special: ‘Stannerd’ comes out for cycling

The Bike Show is officially off air at the moment, but I couldn’t resist a podcast-only edition to discuss the Evening Standard’s Damscene conversion to the way of the bicycle. For years, London’s leading daily newspaper has been in thrall to unreconstructed petrolheads, but this week the paper has come out for cycling with a big front page splash on Monday and a series of double-page features during the rest of the week.

‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley, a former London bicycle messenger who runs Moving Target Zine, tells it like it is, from trouble with heavy goods vehicles to running red lights. He is as bewildered as I am about the Standard’s volte face, and joins me for a look at the paper’s 12 point ‘charter’ for safer cycling in the capital. We a chat and spin a few 45s in the sunshine of my back garden.

(Normal Bike Show service will resume later in the month)

  • Pingback: velorution » Buy freedom, sell fixed

  • Dave Holladay

    Ta for the (wrong) name check – and that when you were criticising others for getting things wrong!

    Add to Bill’s comments on HGV run-downs I was riding along London Wall when Cynthia’s daughter was killed – I got there as the truck was being reversed back along the course it had taken – turning left into a narrow lane to keep the supply going for a continuous concrete pour. London Wall is 1-way at that point and the truck had taken a lazy and probably fast turn from the right hand side of the road reinforcing Bill’s detail that he had overtaken the cyclist 3 times before running her down. The other detail which comes out from closer examination of the report – the result of the City of London Police calling a summit on the rising toll of cyclists dying of being seriously maimed under the wheels of HGV’s, and most notably just 2 types of HGV operating in the City – skip trucks and concrete mixer trucks. It gets worse though – the truck which killed in 2000 on London Wall killed another young woman nad put one other in a wheelchair, on two occasions with the same driver, one of the many small sub contractors who supply in-livery vehicles to major companies.

    My own experiences with buses pulling in on me 2-3 serious ‘events per year, where you may end up thumping the windows and make the passengers jump or stick the bars into the side and score a big mark along the side panel, suggests that for the most part it is not cyclists being dumb but buses and trucks giving bikes the squeeze.

    I loathe the ‘victim blame’ signs being put up on buses and some trucks too, and commend one I saw on Suckling’s Tankers (contracted to Shell & Conoco) which highlighted possibly the best road safety advice to cyclists when dealing with HGV’s and buses – make that eye contact with the driver so that you both see each other as real (and soft) human beings, and can communicate even by subtle expressions (or mouthing keep your distance) basically summed up as UCI -ICU (wonder if we can get a sponsor for that – like cycle sport governing body)

    Meantime for the technically inquisitive yes I ride a single speed – coaster braked Brompton as the next best thing to riding it fixed – no cables to rear (no cables to front either – its hydraulic) and capacity to lock up both wheels. Geared about 80 inches -(62-13) Freecoaster hub (no pawls fully disengaged freewheeling). I weigh 100-105Kg but want to get back to 95 as ideal weight, and wrote off a car once – when it hit me on the bike. Lost my favourite bike in 1985 in Edinburgh (124″ top gear and maxi-car hubs) and riding fixed around 100″ on 27″/29″ frames when I put one on the road.

    PS are you following the developments in trying to persuade Southeastern Railway that they don’t need to totally close off their services to cycle using passengers from 6 to 8th July whenle Tour visits London.

    Also worth trying out the hire bikes at University of E London (OYBike) and other developments in hire bike field (Velo Yello), Dial a Bike, with Velorution and Action Bikes folder hire.

  • Jack

    Thanks, Dave, for that! And my sincere apologies for getting your surname wrong. I could blame the sunshine or the wine, or both, but it was probably just me being absent minded.

  • http://www.sorryidonthaveone.com Mark Farrington

    Interesting show, and nice to have you back, albeit temporarily!
    2 comments:
    First, I wonder if the equation of so many bikes per car parking plot is something to do with the additional space needed for the access ramps and lanes to get cars in to and out of parking spaces, especially in multistories?
    Secondly, I really glad you hate Will Self. What a pompous & lugubrious twat he is: I can’t believe he’s a cyclist.
    Keep up the good work, guys,
    Mark

  • Jack

    Hi Mark, thanks for your comments.
    I don’t know how the 40 bikes per parking space is calculated, but maybe you’re right about ramps etc. Though I was thinking about parking spaces on roads, not multistories.

    Well I wouldn’t go as far as to say I hated Will Self, but I think he’s a bit of a self absorbed show off. And strangely enough, a few hours after we recorded this show, I passed Will Self coming the other way across Hyde Park Corner, looking decidedly sheepish on a what looked like a brand spanking new LeMond fixed gear.

  • http://www.movingtargetzine.com Bill

    Actually, according to my correspondents, it’s a Surly.

  • Jack

    Well I saw a Le Mond. Definitely. But I’m sure he has enough ca$h money for both.

  • http://www.onionbagblog.com onionbagblogger

    Plus…

    Mr Self is a sometimes contributor to Time Out.

    A Fakenger and a bike fascist?

  • Jack

    Yo, Dave! I think you ought to come down to London to race in the Smithfield Nocturne ‘Brompton-only Le Mans start race. I’d love to see you turning that big gear, Ullrich style on the cobbles. Allez!!

  • http://www.atomicecho.com/cycling Alex

    Jack, looks like I may be turning over the legs in the Folding Bike Race now, under my current work guise. I’ll be suited, booted, and camera-laden on a Dahon Helios. And yes, I am racing to win.