20 October 2008: Inventing the perfect folding bicycle

The latest on moves by the London Assembly to reduce the dangers posed by lorries to cyclists. Plus an extended talk by Andrew Ritchey, inventor of the Brompton, the folding miracle that is the toast of London’s bicycle-train commuters. The talk was given over the summer at the iFest 08 in Barcelona. It tells the story of how an idea became a commercial success, largely through the vision and determination of one man. This is the last in the current season. The Bike Show will return in early 2009.

Play on links below. Other file formats (Ogg Vorbis, 64kb MP3 over here).

13 October 2008: Emergency – Lorries Killing Cyclists

After a summer of fun on two wheels, we turn to more serious matters. The entire show this week is devoted to the problem of lorries killing cyclists in London. With Barry Mason of Southwark Cyclists and Cynthia Barlow, chairwoman of RoadPeace, the national campaign against deaths on Britain’s roads. We also hear from London Assembly Member Val Shawcross who is tabling a motion this week urging more action to make the roads safer for London’s cyclists.

To write to your elected representatives about this issue, visit WriteToThem.com. It takes a matter of minutes and works. You’ll find excellent coverage of the lorry/cyclist issue over at Moving Target, including some very good sample letters for inspiration. Barry Mason’s full notes of last week’s inquest into the killing of Nga Diep are available here.

Play on links below. Other file formats (Ogg Vorbis, 64kb MP3) over here.

City of London Police: Road Safety Forum

This morning I attended the Road Safety Forum organised by the City of London police, at their Snow Hill police station, near Smithfield Market. It was a good meeting, well attended by a range of officers, including at a senior level, plus those responsible for implementation on the streets. There were also representation from Corporation of London and Transport for London. Among the most interesting things I learned was that during a single day of random spot checks of lorries (HGVs) by City of London Police on 30 September this year, every lorry stopped was found to be breaking at least one road safety law. Continue reading

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Nice to see the police setting an example. Today at 2.20pm on Webber Street, corner of Blackfriars Road, SE1.

For those who don’t know, this is an Advance Stop Line, a ‘safe place’ for cyclists to wait at junctions. If it wasn’t filled with two tonnes of Plod, that is.

The license number of the van is LX54 JBE.

‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ roughly translates as ‘Who watches the watchmen?’

Superb BBC Radio 4 documentary about bike messengers in London

Over the summer BBC Radio 4 aired a half-hour programme about life as a bicycle messenger here in London. First of all, what the programme does really well is convey the magic of daily cycling in London – the vistas, the skies, the sun, the wind and the rain, the secret places. This is something that any everyday London cyclist can appreciate, whether or not they work as a messenger. The documentary avoids the usual traps of romanticising the job, focussing obsessively on risk and danger, the bikes, the machismo, the fashions and so on. It’s telling that there is not a single mention of ‘fixed wheel’. The contributions from working messengers and former messengers are honest and thoughtful.

This half-hour radio documentary is way better than any film, television or radio feature about bicycle messengers that I have ever seen and, thanks to the marvelous Bicycle Film Festival, I have seen enough for a lifetime! In short, if you like The Bike Show, you will love this.

It should come as no surprise that the documetary features friends of The Bike Show like Buffalo Bill & Nhatt Attack, the latter I hope will be making her Bike Show debut on the next season of the show. Of course, where The Bike Show leads, the BBC follows. For the two part rolling interview with Buffalo Bill that aired on Resonance FM back in May 2005 click here (part one) and here (part two).

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 documentary over here, courtesy of Messenger of Doom rjs.

6 October 2008: The Moulton Story (part two)

The concluding episode of a two-part feature on the story of Dr Alex Moulton and the reinvention of the bicycle. We pick up the story with the launch of the Moulton space frame design (pictured left) in the early eighties. Featuring interviews with eaturing interviews with Dr Alex Moulton, Shaun Moulton, Tony Hadland, Michael Woolf, Paul Villiers, George Coulouris, Jean Dollimore, Chris Mahon, Patrick Doocey and Mog from Brixton Cycles.

Play on links below. Other file formats (Ogg Vorbis, 64kb MP3) over here.

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