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A rethink may be necessary: weekly round-up #25!

Cycling Blog

A rethink may be necessary: weekly round-up #25!

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A rethink may be necessary

October 12th, 2015

This week’s round-up features stolen carrier bags, bamboo car-jackets for bikes, bike lanes, a look at longevity of Dutch cyclists, a cool piece of cycling tech, and a great piece about arguments regularly deployed against cyclists.

The top image is a great letter in a newspaper discussing the unforeseen implications for cyclists of the new charge for carrier bags in the UK. Apparently people desperate for transporting their groceries free-of-charge have been swiping cyclists’ makeshift seat covers – we’re unsure exactly how much truth is in the article but either way it’s a wonderful observation and a good catch from Madison Clothing’s twitter channel.

Saddle sore discussion

Discussion includes tips on alternatives, and guerilla advertising techniques

The everlasting tussle between bikes and cars

A popular method of trying to convince drivers to cycle and local authorities to give more attention to cyclists is to show how much space each person takes up when they’re in a car compared to on a bike. The famous image of buses vs cars vs bikes illustrates this perfectly, as does a recent demonstration in Latvia:

Latvia bamboo bikes

Image linked to source at This is Colossal

Some members of Latvian cycle advocacy group Let’s Bike It built bamboo frames for their bike (slightly different to the ones we wrote about last month!) to show how much less space is taken up per cyclist than per driver. We think it’s a great visually striking way to raise awareness, although we imagine it rubbed some drivers up the wrong way!

A less invasive but equally effective method of shifting the dialogue in favour of cyclists is being tested in Salt Lake City: street-side parking was removed from a row of shops, and the finding that sales went up as a result is being used to strengthen the argument for cycle lanes.

An article in People for Bikes states that “protected bike lanes require space on the street, and removing curbside auto parking is one of several ways to find it. But whenever cities propose parking removal, retailers understandably worry”, so it’s good to see positive implications for stores in the area:

“Salt Lake City found that when parking removal was done as part of a wide-ranging investment in the streetscape — including street planters, better crosswalks, public art and colored pavement — it converted parking spaces to high-quality bike lanes and boosted business at the same time.”

Tales of two cities

We’ve sung praises about the Netherlands’ attitude to cycling many times, as has anyone who advocates for more and better cycling around the world. An article on the BBC this week adds another smug feather to the Dutch cap, with the news that cyclists in the country live longer than non-cyclists: regular pedallers can expect an extra 6 months on their lifespan than their non-saddled compatriots.

A feather for our cap, though, was reported in the Telegraph: London cyclists are now the most active in the world, according to data released by Strava. The data found that 7,052,729 bike journeys were completed in the last 12 months, which is almost triple the next entrant, Amsterdam, who clocked up 2.7 million.

Give the gift of a GIF

Balight,  a contraction of “Beyond Awesome Light”, is a cool new project that is currently raising funds on Indiegogo. The product clips onto your back wheel and allows an image to be generated on your back wheel as you cycle – obviously a necessity for all cyclists!


A Balight in action, linked to source

The project has already smashed its fundraising target on Indiegogo, but if you fancy supporting them you can here.

Our story of the week

This week’s story is long overdue – a comprehensive analysis and rebuttal of 5 anti-bike arguments that continuously rear their heads. The arguments are summarised below, but we highly recommend reading the full piece at City Lab – it’s a cracking piece of writing by Eric Jaffe.

Here they are, in their tired glory:

  1. Cyclists break the rules
  2. Roads are meant for cars
  3. Cyclists don’t pay for roads
  4. Bike lanes are bad for business
  5. Bike lanes slow down traffic.

Which of these arguments has been used against you? Which infuriates you most? And what others do you think need rebutting?


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