The Racing Year with Lionel Birnie

team-sky

In an off-season podcast-only extended episode, Lionel Birnie of Cycling Weekly joins me to talk about the year ahead in professional road racing. We talk about the season-openers in the Gulf, the Monuments and Cobbled Classics and of course the Grand Tours, where Britain’s Team Sky is hoping to make a big impact in its debut season. We round off the discussion with a look at the explosion of amateur cyclo-sportives. Many of the big sportives are already sold out but there are plenty of others to choose from. Cycling Weekly maintains a very comprehensive sportive calendar.

Photo credit: Team Sky

We’re all Aristoteleans now

Nigel Warburton, whose Philosophy Bites is among the brightest stars in the podcasting firmament, appeared on The Bike Show late last year, with materials scientist Mark Miodownik in a discussion about the talking about the physics and ethics of running red lights.

In the current issue of Prospect Magazine, he takes a deeper look at whether breaking the law can ever be morally justified. In a passage on ‘the red light question’ Nigel writes:

Jack Thurston, of Resonance FM’s Bike Show, argues that cyclists are different from other road users: “I see a bicyclist as a kind of hybrid pedestrian that should be granted the freedom to keep rolling as long as it’s safe to do so. Those who say cyclists should follow precisely the same laws as drivers of motor vehicles are making a basic category mistake.” This is more promising ground, suggesting an Aristotelean approach in which we clear up what the “essence” of a cyclist is understood to be, and also what the telos—or goal—of traffic signalling really is. If the aim is to create a safe flow of traffic without unduly hindering progress of the various users (including pedestrians) then perhaps cyclists should be deemed a special class of road user, and given their own appropriate laws. People like Thurston think that cyclists are not quasi-car drivers, but a species of quasi-pedestrians. Running a red light, on this logic, should be treated more like jay-walking.

You can read the article in full over here.

Cycling Questions and Answers from the Mayor of London: January 2010

With thanks to the Greater London Authority, here are the cycling-related questions put to the Mayor of London, and his answers, for the month of January 2010. Continue reading