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The self-described biggest bike-lane sceptic in government: weekly round-up #19

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The self-described biggest bike-lane sceptic in government: weekly round-up #19

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August 31st, 2015

This week’s round-up features an exciting piece of Ride25 news, some confusing signals for cyclists in Australia, and attempts to increase cyclist numbers in the UK and India.

Firstly, if you somehow missed us shouting from the rooftops, Ride25 had the pleasure to pitch on Dragons’ Den yesterday evening. John Readman has written a great follow-up piece for in which he outlines the experience, describes the terror of being face-to-face with the Dragons, and the frisson of choosing to do the whole thing in lycra.

You can watch the show on iPlayer until September 29th, or check out the preview clip below.

Ambiguous signals

There’s some good and bad news from Australia this week. While Canberra have released an interactive heat-map showing accident hotspots, cyclists just 175 miles away in Sydney are worried about a crusade against their bike infrastructure.

The map, released by the ACT Government, shows areas where there is highest incidence of collisions involving cyclists. The idea is to allow riders to be aware of the risks and plan their routes to avoid risky intersections.

Cyclists heat-map

Avoid the hotspots!

Shane Rattenbury, the Territory and Municipal Services Minister, is part of a campaign to increase cycling safety in the capital. Of the data he said “[this] will allow the Government to identify roads and paths that may need improvements, to make riding in Canberra safer”: sentiments that are almost exactly the opposite of those being espoused by a man called Duncan Gay in Sydney.

Duncan Gay headline

The Guardian headline

Mr Gay, who self identifies as “the biggest bike-lane sceptic in government”, is an understandably controversial figure. The government’s plans to remove a section of cycle track in Sydney have been described as “a shocking breach of trust” by Sydney’s Lord Mayor, and “backwards” by Sue Abbot, a respected cycling advocate (“not just a couple of years – a couple of decades backwards.”)

Let’s hope the first story is more representative of Australia’s attitudes to cycling!

Innovations in bike-sharing

Thankfully elsewhere in the world actions are continuing to make cycling easier and more accessible in urban settings. One great example of this is Spinlister, a service being offered in the US and Canada that aims to change the way we hire bikes. They actually launched in 2012 but a news piece about the business in The Spec bought it to our attention this week.

Described as “the AirBNB of cycling”, Spinlister lets people offer or find a bike for rental in a specific area. Rentals are arranged via smartphone, accessories can be offered as part of the package, and payment is done securely online – it seems like a great idea!

I Ride With India

A fantastic event is being held on September 6th in 100 cities across India, where cyclists will be invited to ride in unison to promote cycling in the country. The event is being organised by Cycling India and looks like a huge undertaking!

India cycling

That doesn’t look like 100 pins but we’ll take their word for it!

Our story of the week

A charming story reported by The Chronicle takes the top spot this week, detailing a new scheme on offer by the National Trust that promises to give a free tea or coffee to visitors arriving by bicycle. Many of their properties are located in beautiful settings, so getting their via pedal-power is definitely an inviting prospect! Check out some of their suggested rides below:

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