Statistics tell us that for the same distance travelled we’re more likely to come to physical harm riding a bike in Britain than using most other modes of transport. But even so, crashes are quite rare. Much more common yet much less studied and understood, are the almost crashes, the near misses, that are so much a part of the experience of cycling in Britain. The Near Miss Project is an academic-led study that seeks to find out more about the experience of near misses.
Joining host Jack Thurston to look more deeply at near misses and perceptions of road safety among cyclists are Dr Rachel Aldred, of the University of Westminster, Dr Kat Jungnickel of Goldsmiths College and John Dales, a leading UK traffic engineer and transport planner and director of Urban Movement consultancy.
Jack Thurston is joined by a galaxy of stars from the world of cycling literature to pick over the cream of this year’s crop of bike books. Nominating their cycling book of the year are Feargal McKay, Ned Boulting, Herbie Sykes, Daniel Friebe, Tom Southam, Richard Moore, Max Leonard and Emma O’Reilly. Guy Andrews, founding editor of Rouleur magazine, is on hand with his crystal ball to look at what cycling books we might expect in 2015 and years to come.
Electric bikes are a rapidly growing area of the bicycle industry, offering the promise of effortless two-wheeled travel. Professor Mark Miodownik of University College London tests a Smart E-bike (pictured, above) as part of an in-depth look at e-bike technologies, for both utility and recreational riding.
Plus Dr Rachel Aldred explains the Near Miss Project. As part of the project that’s a partnership with The Bike Show, we want your audio stories of near misses. You can record your audio account of a near miss using the free recording widget below – just click record and speak into your computer – or, using a smartphone with the free Audioboom phone app (remember to use the tag ‘nearmiss’). Those three questions again:
1. What happened?
2. How did it make you feel?
3. Were there any lasting consequences?
Jack rides with singer-songwriter and cycle-tourist Jet McDonald (pictured, above), setting out from Bristol on a summer evening, riding along the banks of the River Avon, through the industrial landscape of Avonmouth to the banks of the River Severn and beyond. Along the way they talk about Jet’s ride from Bristol to India, a journey that inspired an album, Soft Soft Soft the Sparrow Sings.
The Bike Show and the cycle clothing company Rapha share a birthday, and while The Bike Show keeps on keeping on, Rapha has grown into a global brand and is toasting its success on the Champs-Élysées as suppliers of clothing to the Sky Pro Cycling Team. Jack checks in with Laura Bower and James Fairbank at Rapha to talk about Chris Froome’s fishnets and what the company is doing to encourage more women to ride bikes. Summer is festival time and Jack chews over the Rapha Tempest and the Eroica Britannia with Howard Smith, author of The Jersey Pocket cycling blog.
Klaus Bondam, Director of the Danish Cyclists Federation and former deputy mayor in charge of cycling in Copenhagen rides with ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley to the Hackney Cycling Conference. En route they try to find out how London’s roads compare with cycling cities like Copenhagen. Then Bill joins Kieron Yates and Jack Thurston to discuss what happened at the conference, and where things are with the Mayor of London’s much heralded cycling revolution.
Enjoying nature has always been one of the pleasures of cycling. This week we hear from two organisations working to protect and improve Britain’s natural places. Andy Byfield of the charity Plantlife explains his charity’s new campaign about road verges while Garfield Kennedy of the Woodland Trust, which manages hundreds of woods and forests across the country, explains why mountain-bikers and other cyclists are welcome in their woods.