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Cyclists, give yourself a pat on the back! Weekly round-up #32!

Cycling Blog

Cyclists, give yourself a pat on the back! Weekly round-up #32!

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November 30th, 2015

This week’s round-up features some feel-good justifications for cycling, shocking footage from an airport, the Minhocão (you’ll have to keep reading to find out what that means!), and more.

The top image comes from a great campaign being run by the council in Manchester which hopes to convince people to continue cycling during the winter. Far from being reckless suggestion they are offering comprehensive advice on cycling safely in cold weather, in the form of a slick interactive webpage.

Cycling in winter gif

The Big Worm

We’ve written before about cities going car-free, but usually this is only for one day a year. São Paulo are taking it to the next level according to an article in the Guardian:

three and a half kilometres in length, [the Minhocão, literally “the big worm”], cuts through the city centre joining eastern and western communities. But at weekends it is closed to traffic, turning into a playground for runners, skaters, street artists and strolling couples.

Instead of once a year, the government have decided to shut it on weekday evenings, Saturday afternoons and all day on Sundays. Truly remarkable effort! One of the comments on the article is this amazing video making a beautiful case for the Big Worm as a public space:


The European Cyclists Federation have put together an incredibly comprehensive report which explores “the potential for dramatically increasing bicycle and E-bike use in cities around the world”, along with estimates for energy, CO2 and cost implications.

You can read the full report (entitled A Global High Shift Cycling Scenariohere, although be warned that it’s very long! Thankfully the ECF do not presume that the average reader’s attention span will stretch to the full report, and have prepared some slick graphics presenting the report’s findings in attention-grabbing, tweet-sized summaries:

WeAreTransport distances

WeAreTransport dollarsWeAreTransport deliveries

With the COP21 climate conference kicking off in Paris today, and the globe holding its breath and hoping that world leaders will reach a legally binding climate agreement, these figures are especially pertinent!

Baggage mis-handler

Shocking footage of a baggage handler at Montreal airport giving a bike a good kicking has surfaced:

According to Reddit user Necksnapper who uploaded the video, this wasn’t the whole of it:

What is not shown on this video is what also happened to my bagged tandem bike. The (say, 6 feet high) baggage handler lifter the (say, 7 feet long) bike over his head then smashed it on the loading ramp.
Both bikes look like they crashed at high speed on pavement. Wheels are also very untrue from the handlers tugging on the bikes to get them out of the carts.
What’s worse? The tandem bike never showed up to Havana (they took it out of the plane for some reason after loading it in the plane), so we didn’t even get to go bike touring. All that time and money gone to waste, and no vacation till next year.

The footage and accompanying account will bolster many people’s fears about what happens to their bike when it’s out of sight after check-in. While it’s highly unlikely that this sort of behaviour is frequent, it does definitely happen! As well as protecting from accidental bumps and bashes, this is another reason we advocate packing your bike in a hard box when flying.

See our comprehensive guide to flying with a bike if you missed it!

Our story of the week

It’s not really a story. We’re sorry we lied to you.

It is, however, a fantastic image showing over a hundred years of engineering developments in a few seconds:

Evolution of the bike

It might not seem like much at quick glance but when you consider the steps involved in bringing us the modern bicycle, it becomes a lot more incredible. Every single component on your beloved steed, from the saddle to the gears to the handlebar tape, is the result of constant tinkering, optimisation and improvement.

Some of the shapes we’ve seen along the way may seem slightly absurd in retrospect, but you’ve got to respect the creativity and innovation!

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