The Bike Show crosses the North Atlantic

In an exciting development, the Bike Show has been syndicated by CKDU in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will be broadcast in glorious FM across the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

Currently scheduled in the sought-after ‘graveyard’ slot of Tuesdays at 4.30am, sandwiched between ‘Radio Goethe’ and ‘The Lost Discs Radio Show’, the Bike Show is bound to find equal appeal among the late night toilers at Dalhousie University, the early morning go-getters of Halifax and the impressive population of wood turtles, muskrat, mink, and beaver native to the floodplains of the Musquodoboit River.

Explaining the thinking behind her inspired move, CKDU Program Manager, Melissa Buote, told the Bike Show, “We’re really happy to include your voice, ideas and creativity on our station. [It will] give our late night programming a diverse and different feel from the programming we offer from our live, local programmers.”

Chapeaux! (as they probably say in French-speaking Canada)

Critical Mass: For London, it’s time to move on

Like many hundreds of London cyclists I went along to critical mass last Friday night. I’d heard about the possible crackdown by the Metropolitan Police under the Government’s new public order legislation and I wanted to express my right to ride. I’ve been riding in Critical Mass rides in London, Oxford and San Francisco for more than a decade and I’ve usually enjoyed the fun and friendship and the amazing feeling of riding along the city streets in large numbers, safely, showing how a bicycle can solve the problems of congestion.

Last Friday’s ride attracted more than 1000 people. It was an impressive show of solidarity, and to give them their due, the Police acted in an overwhelmingly friendly and cooperative way. But by the time the ride had reached Parliament Square and a group of people decided to brandish their bikes aloft and bring the ride to a complete standstill, I had decided enough was enough.

I’m glad I didn’t stay with the ride as it went back towards the West End but I’ve heard from others that people blocked Oxford Street for almost an hour, held up buses and generally caused disruption to everyone. Spare a though for all those shopworkers on minimum wage trying to get home on a dark Friday night. What kind of a message does that send out to people about cycling and cyclists?

Friday’s ride marked a turning point for me. London’s Critical Mass has always quietly tolerated those people who tried to hijack it for their own causes, whether they’re against Shell, McDonalds or the Iraq War. But now it seems that Critical Mass has inverted its own founding creed of being a bike ride not a protest. It is abundantly clear that it is now a protest, not a bike ride. And in doing so, it has become a convenient vehicle for the angry mob who like to be anti-everything.

Over the years Critical Mass has undoubtedly raised the profile of cycling and contributed in its own way to the massive growth of cycling in the capital. Riding a bike is now a perfectly ordinary way of getting around town, and Governments are broadly supportive, although it is always possible for them to do better. I ride my bike in London and see so many other riders around me that it feels like a Critical Mass every day.

A conversation I overheard on Friday sums it up perfectly. It was a bike messenger complaining, in very good humour, that he rode 100 miles a day, every day, and hadn’t had a mechanical failure for months. But he’d come on Critical Mass for the first time in years and been rear-ended by another rider, buckling his back wheel.

Cycling in London has moved on and Critical Mass now does more harm than good. But this doesn’t mean giving up on group riding, far from it. Any day of the month is a good day to get together with bunch of friends or join up with a local group like Southwark Cyclists for one of their regular Thursday night rides. 6.30pm on the South Side of London Bridge. I’ll see you there.

Podcasting resumes….

Bonjour, mes tres bons rouleurs,

I am in the process of migrating the BIke Show podcast files to a new home in Sunny San Francisco, courtesy of the nice people at Radio 4 All. This may take some time, so please be patient.

In the meantime, point your podcasting software at the following feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheBikeShow

Eventually all the shows will be available here.

The podcast is accessible from iTunes 4.9 (menu: Advanced: Subscribe to Podcast), but for some reason the Bike Show does not appear in the iTunes podcast directory. Anyone who can advise me of how I can fix this, please do!

Jack

** Podcasting suspended **

Unexpectedly high demand for the Podcast syndication of the Bike Show has caused me to massively overshoot the bandwidth limits on my web server.

As a result I have had to suspend the Podcast syndication facility. However, I will be looking for a way around this. In the meantime, I will continue to provide the Bike Show in streaming Real Audio from the following site (and linked to from the blog):

www.unstablesound.net/bike.html

I will endeavour to put the MP3 files up for manual downloading as well.

Sorry about this, my strong suspicion is that the surge in demand was as a result of the latest version of iTunes being Podcast-compatible.

If anyone has any tips on where I can inexpensively host the Podcast MP3 files and not overrun bandwidth limits, please let me know!

Thanks for your consideration and support.

Jack

13 June – Bike Week Special!!

There was an special, extended 90 minute Bike Show broadcast on Resonance FM on Monday 13th June from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

The show features footage from Sunday’s Bike Fest in Trafalgar Square, preview of other Bike Week events and a look back at the past 6 months of the Bike Show.

Guest in the studio is Barry Mason of Southwark Cyclists.

The show is now available online as a Real Audio feed. I have split the MP3 version into three parts, and there are links to these in subsequent posts (one post per file, to work better for the podcasting community).

Chapeau!!