London cyclists in monkey attacks

London’s cyclists have plenty to contend with whether it’s deadly lorries and trucks, bendy-buses, white van man or suicidal pedestrians stepping out without looking. But now there is a violent cyclist-hating rollerskating monkey impersonator on the loose on our city streets. MovingTarget has the full story and the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed Forum has more, and it looks serious (well, serious and faintly amusing, if that’s possible).

Chandra, a London bicycle messenger, was assaulted earlier this week in Holborn. She recounts:

I saw him get close to a cyclist up front but couldn’t see what happened, then he headed straight for me. He threw a punch but it didn’t land straight, grazed my side more. I didn’t come off my bike or anything. Then I got really really angry and without quite thinking turned straight round and followed him onto Theobalds. I grabbed his shoulder from behind and then he swung round and hit me on the elbow…

Buffalo Bill, editor of Moving Target has taken up the matter with urbanMONKEYS (a group that represents London’s monkeys) and received this response:

[This is] the first i’ve heard of it. This is crazy. I’ve never heard anything like this before. Most monkeys I know, and I know most of them, are decent monkeys who work as or know couriers themselves. Whoever this lunatic is, I can promise you that he’ll get a serious hiding from the other monkeys if he’s caught. I seriously hope the people involved don’t hold this monkey’s actions against the rest of us and that no one is hurt further by his reckless behaviour.

Speaking for London’s bike messengers (and other cyclists), Bill offers some reassurance, “I seriously doubt that any London messenger (or any other cyclist) would hold the rest of the monkey community for this idiot’s behaviour.”

Well that’s good then. For now, dear listeners, my advice is steer clear of the monkey.

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23 February 2009: Bicycle Polo and No Bike Week

Picture credit: Roxy EricksonBicycle polo. It’s the latest sensation that’s sweeping the nation. After an account of bicycle polo played with Hungarian counts in 1934 from Patrick Leigh Fermour’s classic Between the Woods and the Water, we travel to De Beauvoir Town to find out how the game is being played in 2009. The European Hard Court Bicycle Polo Championships will be held in London this August. For more on where to play, there are lots of listings here.

No Bike Week – what happens to a cyclist when he or she can’t ride for a week? Let’s find out. More details soon. It’s likely that No Bike Week will take place at some point between now and Easter 2009. Expresssions of interest to bikeshow@resonancefm.com

Picture credit: Roxy Erickson.

Play on links below. Other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) over here.

16 February 2009: Cycling and the recession

CC Flickr - seaworthy With the UK mired deep in recession, unemployment on the rise, the value of the pound going down and consumer confidence at an all time low, we ask what effect this is having on the cycling business. We hear from the owners of two of London’s new breed of bicycle boutiques (Tour de Ville and Bobbin Bicycles), from bike messenger Nhatt Attack, who has swapped her bike for a Christiania tricycle and is delivering flowers, from Carlton Reid, cycling journalist and Executive Editor of bike industry magazine BikeBiz.com and from BikeSnobNYC who adds his two pennies from New York.

Play on links below, other file formats (eg. Ogg Vorbis) over here.

London cycle hire scheme – the lowdown

An accident of geography means that, official speaking, I’m a Lambeth Cyclist but I’m a Southwark Cyclist at heart, not least because of the dynamic Barry Mason, the quirky Rob Ainsley, the luminous Rebecca Lack and the feisty Ann Warren. I can even see the Southwark-Lambeth ‘county line’ from my doorstep. So I was delighted to be invited to attend their monthly meeting last night at which Transport for London’s project manager for London’s ‘Velib style’ cycle hire scheme gave a talk and answered questions. Continue reading

9 February 2009: How British Cycling conquered the Olympics

This week’s show features Dave Brailsford, Performance Director of British Cycling, explaining how his team achieved a record medal haul at the Beijing Olympics. We also discover that Shanaze Reade (pictured left, racing in the team sprint with Victoria Pendleton) has never heard of fixed gear freestyling despite being a world champion cyclist in both BMX and track racing. Someone who is all too familiar with the fixed wheel phenomenon is BikeSnob NYC, who regularly wins gold medals for “systematically and mercilessly disassembling, flushing, greasing, and re-packing the cycling culture”. Over a few ales, the BikeSnob offers his reflections on 2008 and his hopes and fears for the coming year. We talk penny farthings, the Opinionated Cyclist and how to survive the New York winter on two wheels.

Photo credit: knackeredhack

Play on links below (MP3). Other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) over here.

Today’s show snowed out

Flickr: Creative Commons license

Photo by curiouslypersistent, Creative Commons license

Listeners to The Bike Show in Canada, Minnesota and Norway will no doubt be amused to hear that half a foot of snow is enough to bring London and the south east of England to a standstill. An overnight cycle tour in Kent and Sussex has turned into something more like a vacation as I’ve been stuck high up on the Weald, roads icy and impassable for bicycles (at least, my bicycle) and all trains canceled until further notice. This has kept me from my usual Monday evening appointment with the radio studio.

As a result the interview with Bike Snob NYC that I had store for this week’s show will be broadcast next Monday. FM radio listeners were treated to a repeat of the second half of Alastair Humphrey’s epic round-the-world ride, featuring a detailed account of fixing punctures in the Siberian winter, at temperatures of minus 40 Celsius that is enough to make even the hardiest Mid-West winter cyclist shiver. Online listeners can refresh their memories over here.