Scrub away, scrub away, scrub away

More than a few people have raised objections to the way the Mayor of London has, for the relatively modest sum of £5 million a year for 5 years, given Barclays bank the right to paint large swathes of London’s public highway in its corporate shade of blue, have its name emblazoned on street signs and plastered over the 6,000 new hire bicycles that will be hitting the streets tomorrow.

If you sign up for the bike hire scheme (for £45 a year) you’ll get a special key (costing £3) that you will use to release the bikes from their docking stations. Like the streets, the signs and the bikes, the key comes with some Barclays corporate branding. Fortunately, it is rather easy to remove – with just a scouring pad and a little elbow grease. At least you can prevent the corporate takeover of the London’s streetscape from extending into your own pocket.

Before:

London Cycle Hire key

After:

Bye Bye Barclays

Photo: Richard Pope (Creative Commons – Attribution | Share Alike)

Looking back at Le Tour and ahead to ‘Bicycle Thieves’

tour-de-frahce-alberto-contador1

Lionel Birnie of Cycling Weekly shares his best moments of this year’s sensational Tour De France. Plus we look ahead to Bicycle Thieves, which combines theatre and BMXing on the streets of London, as part of the InTransit festival. Book tickets for just £4 here or by calling 0845 230 9769.

Velocio’s 7 Commandments for the Wise Cyclist

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Paul de Vivie (1853-1930), who wrote as ‘Velocio’, was an early advocate of the bicycle, supposed inventor of the derailleur and the father of French cycle touring. Here are his seven commandments for the wise cyclist:

1. Keep your stops short and few.

2. Eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty.

3. Never get too tired to eat or sleep.

4. Add a layer before you’re cold, take one off before you’re hot.

5. Lay off wine, meat and tobacco on tour.

6. Ride within yourself, especially in the first hour.

7. Never show off.

Talking Le Tour with Paul Fournel

paul_fournelAn extended, hour long edition of the show featuring French writer, poet, cyclist and cultural ambassador Paul Fournel (pictured). We stroll from the French House in Soho to the Rapha Cycle Club in Clerkenwell, to visit an exhibition of a hundred years of racing bicycles. The exhibition runs for two more weeks and is well worth a visit. Paul Fournel’s book Besoin de Vélo is one of the loveliest pieces of writing about cycling and is available in English translation as Need for the Bike. If you buy it after clicking through on the link, Resonance FM gets a few pennies. Rob Ainsley of the Real Cycling blog reports on the launch of London’s two new cycle superhighways.

London Assembly Member Jenny Jones rides the Cycle Superhighway

Jenny Jones asks all the right questions. Good, campaigning stuff from the Green Party Assembly member.

Road Test: London’s new cycle hire bikes

On 30 July, 6,000 bicycles will be available for hire on the streets of London. Registration costs £1 a day, £5 a week or £45 a year and the bicycles are free for the first 30 minutes, then a rising scale of £1 for the first hour, £4 for the first 90 minutes, £15 up to three hours. The bicycles will be distributed across 400 docking stations. So what are the bikes like? Continue reading

Gavin Turk’s ‘Les Bikes du Bois Rond’

artbike2_lgTim Dawson joins artist Gavin Turk on the first of two rides in the East Anglian countryside. Plus a detailed look at the Mayor of London’s new cycle hire bikes, with Transport for London’s Gary McGowan, technical adviser to the special projects team.

To join the second of Gavin Turk’s rides, starting in Ipswich, on 17 July, book through Commissions East.

Photo courtesy of Gavin Turk