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.

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.

27 September 2008: Bicycle Film Festival comes to town

The Bicycle Film Festival comes to London from 1-5 October. Laura Fletcher is the BFF’s London ambassador and she previews a handful of highlights from the seven screenings at the Barbican Cinema plus all the parties, art shows, polo matches and roller-racing that make the Festival a veritable jamboree of bicycle culture. Plus a very special message from the Founding Director, Brendt Barbur. Buy tickets online here.

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

15 September 2008: Are cargo bikes the future of urban transport?

Do the rising oil price, the growing concern about man-made climate change and breakthroughs in cycle design mean we’re on the verge of a pedal-powered cargo revolution? Discussing the past, present and future of cargo bikes and pedicabs is Leslie Wacker, a Chicago native who placed second in the cargo bike race at this year’s World Cycle Messenger Championships, Buffalo Bill author of Moving Target Zine and controller at Creative Couriers. We also hear from Mark, controller at from Zero Couriers, London’s first and only dedicated cargo bike courier company about the challenges his company has faced convincing potential commercial clients to choose pedal-powered cargo delivery. 8Freight photo thanks to BikeFix.

To donate to Resonance FM, follow this link.

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

11 August 2008: Around the world the hard way (part one)

Alastair Humphreys has cycled round the world ‘the hard way’: four years, sixty countries and forty-six thousand miles. In the first of a two part special he tells the story of his epic adventure from Yorkshire to South Africa and Chile to Colombia. Thunder and Sunshine, the second volume of his travelogue is out now, published by Eye Books.

The studio at Resonance FM is closed on 18th and 25th August so there will be no show on those dates. The second part of this two-show special will be broadcast on 1 September.

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

7 July 2008: 50 Quirky Bike Rides

A ride along the splendid London end of the Grand Union Canal with Rob Ainsley, London cyclist and author of 50 Quirky Bike Rides, a new book about weird and wonderful places to go on bicycles in England and Wales. We visit a canal that passes over a motorway and take advantage of a little known rule that allows bicycles on certain parts of the London tube network.

This week’s show was broadcast from the excellent Southwark Lido (pictured below – more pics here). Get there while it’s still open.

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