Bike sales are up, cycling is suddenly all over our newspapers and magazines. We in Britain are in the middle of a bonafide bike boom. So says veteran cycling journalist Carlton Reid, who’s writing a book about the bike boom, that’s called, imaginatively, “Bike Boom“. But fellow long-in-the-tooth cycling journalist John Stevenson of Road.CC disagrees. Cycling in Britain is far from booming, it’s flat-lining. The pair lock horns on air, joining host Jack Thurston to debate the bike boom.
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.
Record your own near miss audio stories here
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?
In what may well be the biggest electoral campaign ever mounted by a cycle campaign group in Britain, Space for Cycling makes a very clear series of demands on candidates for local councils. To talk about Space for Cyclingand about the changing landscape of cycle campaigning is Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign.
Take part in the Big Ride on Saturday 17 May. Full details including feeder rides led by local LCC borough groups.
Use the LCC’s web-based tool to contact candidates in your area.
Find out more about the Space for Cycling national campaign.
Cycling in the countryside can be an unparalleled joy. But too often fast, hostile roads and make it worse than cycling in Britain’s urban streets. What’s gone wrong? And more importantly, what can be done about it? Ralph Smyth, transport campaigner at the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, explains what the problems are and what his organisation is doing to improve conditions for cycling in the countryside.
In the middle of possibly the worst week for cycling fatalities in London Mike Cavenett of the London Cycling Campaign talks about what his organisation is doing to change things in the city and how an effective cycling campaign requires a single, simple message clearly and imaginatively presented, mass mobilisation and relentless pressure on political decision-makers.
Image credit: zefrog
London Mayor Boris Johnson’s new Vision for Cycling has won widespread praise for its ambition of making London streets more inviting for people on bikes, following the successes of cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Jack Thurston is joined by three cycling activists for a look at the details and to share their views on what really needs to be done to make London a safer and more pleasant place to ride a bike. Featuring Trevor Parsons, coordinator of Hackney Cyclists, blogger Mark Treasure and bike poloist, blogger and former bike messenger Buffalo Bill Chidley