Summer’s here! Get on your bike and ride

Velonotte Rome - picture by Alan Vouba/Moskultprog

With the start of British Summer Time we look ahead to two upcoming mass rides: Velonotte London and the Edinburgh Pedal on Parliament.

On the night of Saturday 23rd June, Sergey Nikitin‘s Velonotte (pictured in Rome, above) will come to London as part of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture. A night ride starting at St Paul’s cathedral, traversing the East End to the Olympic Park and finishing with a live orchestra welcoming the dawn at the London Pleasure Gardens. The ride will feature a simultaneous broadcast on Resonance FM of soundscapes and Velonotte’s expert guides including Peter Ackroyd, Ricky Burdett, David Adjaye, Sergey Romanyuk and Peter Murray.

Meanwhile, on 28 April, Scottish cyclists will take to the streets of Edinburgh to call for the Scottish government to put more investment in cycling infrastructure and cycle safety. Sally Hinchcliffe is one of the organisers of the Pedal on Parliament.

And if you’re taking part in either of these rides, there’s no more stylish and practical bike to ride than the Paper Bicycle. Its designer Nick Lobnitz explains the thinking behind a bicycle that could join the F-frame Moulton and the Brompton folding bicycle as a British design classic, pictured below.

Paper Bicycle Lausanne

Paper Bicycle in Lausanne

Compare and contrast

Here’s the Mayor and Transport for London’s plan for the new northern end junction of Blackfriars Bridge:

TfL's existing plan

And here’s the new plan from the London Cycling Campaign:

London Cycling Campaign's new plan

Which do you prefer?

If you think the LCC’s design is so much better, then get on your bike and join hundreds of London cyclists and walkers for a flashride at Blackfriars Bridge, tomorrow, Wednesday 12 October at 5.45pm. Simple as that.

Bike Blogging with Mark Ames of ibikelondon / Jan Gehl / Eric Pickles MP

mark-ames-photo

Mark Ames writes ibikelondon, one of the best of London’s blossoming bike blogs. We discuss the city planning ideas of Jan Gehl, the intellectual godfather of Copenhagenization. We hear what British Cabinet minister Eric Pickles MP has to say about cycling and Mark (pictured, above, with two devoted readers) gives his top tips for aspiring bike bloggers.

For more London bike blogging try 101 Wankers, Crap Cycling and Walking in Waltham Forest, Cyclists in the City, I am not a cyclist, Kennington People on Bikes, Lo Fidelity Bicycle Club, Velo Loves the City and War on the Motorist.

From further afield try A View from the Cycle Path, Lazy Bicycle Blog and Copenhagenize.

Audio clips of the Creating Tomorrow’s Liveable Cities conference thanks to The Economist.

Inside the 2012 Olympic Velodrome

velodrome

On the day before the completion of the construction phase of London’s new 6,000-seat velodrome on the 2012 Olympic site, we are treated to a sneak peek. Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects presents the design vision and explains how he hopes it will not only be fast but environmentally sustainable and a great place to go and watch elite track racing. Mike argues that the threatened outdoor track at Herne Hill (which hosted the Olympics in 1948) is a vital ‘feeder track’ for the new Olympic facility.

Many London cyclists will know that the 2012 Velopark (velodrome, BMX track and road circuit) is being built on the site of the much-loved Eastway cycle circuit. A short film captures the final Tuesday night Ten Mile Time Trial before the circuit was demolished to make way for the 2012 Olympics.

Flickr set Velodrome pics (Creative Commons license!) here.

Un Tour de France de Londres with Stephen Bayley

DSC_0560As part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture, Stephen Bayley leads a ride around the best of French architecture, art and design to be found on the streets of London. Stephen Bayley is the Observer’s architecture and design critic, the founding director of the Design Museum and in 1989 was a made a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s top artistic honour.

If you’re interested in my drinking guide for this year’s Tour De France, it’s here.

Photo credit: Rebecca Stephens