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Banning all of the cars: weekly round-up #7

Cycling Blog

Banning all of the cars: weekly round-up #7

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Eileen Gray

May 24th, 2015

This week’s round-up looks at some novel experiments in reducing dependence on cars, everyone’s favourite combination of bikes, beer and barbecues, and a touching tribute to Eileen Grey.

Two years ago, an average neighborhood in the South Korean city of Suwon embarked on a radical experiment: For one month, the neighborhood suddenly got rid of every car.

Thus begins a fantastic article in Coexist, wherein Adele Peters recounts the successes of the innovative scheme.

The scheme began (after months of negotiation) with the removal of 1,500 cars from city bounds, and the issuing of 400 bikes and electric scooters. People who didn’t know how to ride were taught. Cafés offered more seating, and people felt safer walking the streets. Afterwards the speed limit was cut to 18mph, reducing the appeal of the area as a shortcut for through-traffic.

In short, the effects were obvious and inspiring.

Branson on banning

It seems everybody’s favourite entrepreneur has been thinking similar thoughts, too:

He expounds on this tweet over at his website, whose URL itself is noteworthy:

“I love getting on my bike”, he says, explaining how a gift of a battery-powered bike has inspired him: “as they spread, these bicycles could be used more in urban settings, cutting commute times and hopefully encouraging more people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. I really believe that whole streets through cities should be closed to all vehicles except bikes”.

So, what do you think of that idea?

Bikes, beer and a BBQ

We’re pretty sure that the formula for a perfect weekend has been discovered!

It’s also the concise summary of Spin Up in a Brewery, an event taking place today. An optional group bike ride from Brighton to the Darkstar Brewery in Partridge Green is followed by beers, BBQs and competitive cycle spinning events.

Spin Up In A Brewery from Morvélo Bicycle Apparel on Vimeo.

We wonder if anyone will beat Matt Brammeier’s effort and encounter their own body weight in beer?

Specs appeal

Sometimes it’s good to salivate over a particularly slick piece of bicycle engineering, and a new ultralight bike revealed by Audi last week presents the best opportunity we’ve seen in a while:

what a machine!Linked to source

An article in the Japan REALTIME blog (part of the Wall Street Journal) outlines the impressive specifications of the bike:

  • Price: $19,650. That’s £12,685 at today’s rates.
  • Frame weight: 790g. Just let that sink in.
  • Total weight: 5.8kg. Absolutely incredible.

Good thing there’s only a limited run of these available, otherwise the story we’ve mentioned previously about MAMILs going into debt to buy bikes might have had another round of coverage!

Try before you buy?

A perfect segue into an interesting article on the Guardian this week, in which (the not so aptly named) Peter Walker explored whether the reduced cost of buying a bike online is worth the trade-off of not being able to test ride them before purchasing.

He researched three bikes and ordered them to see whether the materials and information available online was enough to make a decision, reaching the consensus that “overall, it worked pretty well”.

What do you think? Have you had a particularly positive or negative experience buying a bike online?

Eileen Grey, RIP

On Wednesday, one of the pioneers of British cycling sadly passed away aged 95.

Eileen was president of the National Cycling Federation between 1976 and 1986 and had a huge impact on the sport, remembered fondly for pushing for the inclusion of women as founder of the Women’s Cycling Racing Association.

She had an illustrious career: among other things she was involved in the addition of the women’s road race as an event in the 1984 (and subsequent) Olympics, inducted into the Cycling Hall of Fame in 2010, and invited to be one of the torchbearer in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics.

She leaves behind a proud legacy.

And finally,

It brings us pleasure to report that Mark Beaumont has successfully broken the record for the quickest pedal-powered journey from Cairo to Cape Town, setting a new record of 41 days.

Well done Mark!

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