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To taste the real sweets of the cyclists’ existence: weekly round-up #10

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To taste the real sweets of the cyclists’ existence: weekly round-up #10

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June 14th, 2015

This week’s round-up features our esteemed monarch, a man who is attempting to bring cycling to the elderly, cycling habits of the Victorians, and unicycles. What a treat!

Yesterday, the queen celebrated her official birthday (her actual birthday is April 21st, and she turned 89 this year). As is tradition, part of her celebrations saw her honouring certain high-achieving citizens. Among this year’s honoured were Roger Geffen and Malcolm Shepherd, policy director at the National Cycling Charity (CTC) and Sustrans’ chief executive respectively.

Both accepted the honours modestly: in an interview with Cycling Weekly, Roger stated his intent to keep campaigning, saying “I would rather have the investment than three letters after my name”. Malcolm said his driving force remains “a desire to safeguard our future and foster the health and well-being of the generations to come”.

Congratulations, chaps!

The right to wind in your hair

Speaking of 89th birthdays, we came across a wonderful project this week that aims to open up cycling to elderly people who are no longer able to ride bikes.

Cycling Without Age is a project (currently raising funds on IndieGogo!) that aims to help nursing home residents get back into society by taking them for rides on Copenhagen rickshaws.

The organisation have shortlisted a number of cities around the world and, depending how much funding they receive, will be helping to get the scheme set up in those places. There are five in the UK currently.

Don’t fancy riding on London’s new superhighways? Fine

ITV reported this week on discussion between Boris Johnson and Transport for London (TFL) officials, around London’s new cycle superhighways. There is speculation that use of the new routes, representing over £60m in investment, will be made mandatory and cyclists breaching the rules will be subject to fines.

Boris is quoted as saying “Cyclists would be absolutely crazy not to use safe cycle superhighways” – suggesting some degree of confidence in the appeal of the project he’s overseen as mayor.

Cycling in 1890

William Manners, blogger at The Victorian Cyclist, wrote a piece in The Guardian about his research into cycling habits of the Victorians.

He picks out some fine quotes from contemporary sources, and mentions how they are still relevant today:

“To find oneself miles from anywhere, with the mossiest of banks inviting a loll, a smoke and a quiet chat with congenial clubmates – to experience these things is to taste the real sweets of the cyclists’ existence.”

Looking beyond the development of the bicycle as a machine (the iconic Penny Farthing gave way to the Safety Bicycle as preferred design in this era), William explores themes such as genetics (access to an increased amount of potential marriage partners), empowerment of women (“conservative opinion which stated the ‘unbecomingness’ of a woman being sat astride a machine which she propelled with her legs began to be overridden”), and much more.

It’s a fascinating read.

When two wheels is too many

We came across a great story on Reddit this week.

User Yst made a post outlining his need to add new challenges to his cycle touring, which he was beginning to find dull. The outcome was one of the most efficient cycling set-ups we’ve ever seen:

Linked to thread

We’d love to have a go!

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