As another cyclist is killed by a lorry in central London, Jack Thurston asks whether it’s time to take a harder line to make the city’s streets safer. Featuring Cynthia Barlow of RoadPeace, former bike messenger Bill Chidley and Mike Cavenett of the London Cycling Campaign, which has recently proposed a new design for lorries working in London.
Find out what – if anything – your borough is doing to make roads safer for cyclists.
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.
To mark International Women’s Day, a discussion of women in cycling, from bygone days of the Rational Dress Society of the late Victorian era to Britain’s twenty-first century successes in competition on the track and on the road. With all the progress that’s been made, we ask why women are still three times less likely to ride bikes than men. Jen Kerrison and Jack Thurston are joined by Ann Kenrick, a trustee of the London Cycling Campaign and Natalie Justice of the Breeze Network at British Cycling.
As governments around the world seek to improve conditions for cyclists, we take a look at France, a country synonymous with cycle sport but that has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to everyday cycling. From Paris, Kieron Yates reports about cycling in the French capital and the new measures the national government is introducing to improve conditions for people on bicycles. And Gregory Bossuyt tells of leaving Paris behind him and taking to his bicycle in search of a new life in a new town.
For more information on the Big Ride on 28 April, head over to the London Cycling Campaign. And if you fancy joining other friends of The Bike Show for the Oyster Run on 14 April, there are more details over here.
Andrew Sykes tells of his six week summer journey from his home in Reading in Berkshire to Puglia, on the southern tip of Italy, along the Eurovelo 5 long-distance cycle route. He reads from Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie, the book he’s written about the trip. Andrew will be appearing at Blue Door Bicycles this Wednesday 15 February at 8pm for a book reading and discussion.
Jen and Jack talk about the terror of the Waterloo bridge roundabout and the Mayor’s plans to remake it (again). Finally, a tribute to Henry Warwick, a veteran London bicycle messenger who was killed in a crash with a coach while working earlier this month.
In the studio with Stephen Taylor and Katherine Hibbert of Londoners On Bikes: a new group of London cyclists who want to put cycling front and centre in the London Mayoral elections this May.
We hear from Allister Carey, father of Ellie Carey, the 22 year old woman who was the 16th person to be killed while riding a bike on the streets of London last year. Allister talks about his family’s loss.
Jen Kerrison reports from the latest Bikes Alive protest – spiky or fluffy?
For more on how you can help make the Elephant & Castle a better place for cyclists, check this out. Please send your letter as soon as possible.
In the late 19th century, people looked with alarm at the new ‘horseless carriages’ that were appearing on the public highways. Governments on both sides of the Atlantic responded by passing ‘red flag laws’ to regulate this new and potentially dangerous form of transport.
In the UK, the Locomotive Act of 1865 required motor vehicles (mostly steam engines at that time) to be led by a pedestrian, waving a red flag or carrying a lantern, to warn bystanders of the vehicle’s approach.
According to Wikipedia Quaker legislators in Pennsylvania unanimously passed a bill through both houses of the state legislature, which would require drivers of “horseless carriages”, upon chance encounters with cattle or livestock to
(1) immediately stop the vehicle,
(2) “immediately and as rapidly as possible… disassemble the automobile,” and
(3) “conceal the various components out of sight, behind nearby bushes” until equestrian or livestock is sufficiently pacified.
The bill was vetoed by Pennsylvania’s governor.
With the coming of the internal combustion engine, steam gave way to petrol-power and a new breed of ‘automobiles’ took to the roads. The UK Parliament repealed the red flag law in 1896 and raised the speed limit from 4 mph on country roads (2 mph in towns) to 14 mph. Motorists celebrated with an ’emancipation run’ from London to Brighton, an event that is still commemorated in by a vintage car rally.
More than a century later and in the town of Kirkland, Washington, it is pedestrians who are encouraged to carry yellow warning flags when crossing the road.
Sergeant Mike Murray of the Kirkland Police Department is in no mistake about who’s to blame when a car runs down a pedestrian in his town:
“we had 62 car-pedestrian collisions in the city and of those 62, none of them were carrying a flag”
But don’t be downhearted. The fightback is underway. And it’s deliciously subversive: