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RIP Sadiq Kahn’s Inbox! Weekly Round-up #58!

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RIP Sadiq Kahn’s Inbox! Weekly Round-up #58!

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June 19th, 2016

This week’s round-up features a gadget based cycle safety campaign, a great course breaking down the barriers between HGV drivers and cyclists, a wildly reckless Mancunian, an incredible Japanese cycling event, Lizzie Armistead’s recent big win, and an inspiring story about a paralysed MTB rider who defied expectations.

The top image refers to story number 3!

1: RIP Sadiq Kahn’s inbox!

In a novel attempt to increase the safety of cyclists in London, tech company Hövding (who bought us the inflatable cycle helmet) have launched the ‘Give a Beep’ campaign.

Participants are given a special gadget for their handlebar that they can ‘flick’ when they feel ‘scared or frustrated’ while cycling in the city. This will the send an email to the mayor (!), “because he needs to start Giving a Beep too”.

It’s an interesting idea but we wonder whether the sheer scale of emails he’ll most likely receive will end up being counter-productive. What do you think? We’ll be watching this with interest.

2: HGV Drivers Given Safety Training

In a move that deserves special congratulations, a scheme in Cambridge has given over 600 HGV drivers training on how to interact safely with cyclists on roads.

An article about the scheme in Cambridge News explains that it started as a TfL (Transport for London) initiative, but has since progressed to standalone status after receiving funding from organisations in Cambridge.

The Safe Urban Driving course often sees sessions begin with drivers venting about cyclists, but then moves towards more receptive and understanding – a response that is necessary from both drivers and cyclists. Let’s hope this keeps gaining momentum and moves to other cities!

3: Skitchin’!

Back in 1993 a Sega Mega Drive game was released called Skitchin’! (see the top image for a screenshot) which saw players complete in roller-blade races, and gave them the option to hold onto cars to increase their speed. Understandably the game carried a bunch of warnings advising players not to repeat any of the actions in the game.

Apparently one cyclist in Manchester played the game but didn’t heed the warnings:

His riding has been rightfully condemned by Manchester transport officials – don’t try this at home kids (or anyone)!

4: More High Speed Hijinks

A fantastic 5 minute documentary by Jonathan de Villiers explores the intriguing world of Japan’s Keiring cyclists, who compete on fixed-gear bikes for position on an inclined track. The article introducing the video explains that the sport attracts “tens of billions of dollars in gambling revenue each year”, and that the speed “all but encourages spectacular crashes”.

Keirin gif

5: Lizzie Armistead Wins the Women’s Tour

In sporty cycling news, Lizzie Armistead has today claimed her first win of the iconic race.

This is a triumphant accolade for her, and the attention given to the event is a step in the right direction for the coverage of women’s cycling: in the past there have been controversies that women’s events are not given the same amount of coverage as men’s.

Lizzie expressed her gratitude via Twitter:

Armistead tweet

Well done!

Our Story of the Week

Martyn Ashton, a mountain biker who became paralysed after a horrible accident in a 2013 Moto GP event, has defied expectations by completing the world’s hardest downhill course on a customised mountain bike.

He says of his injury “I never really thought, ‘I’m never going to ride my bike again.’ I was just thinking: how am I going to ride my bike again? I don’t like to think about what I can’t do, but what I can do.”

Modifications to the bike include an adapted ski chair on the seat post rather than a saddle, and an electric motor to compensate where pedal strokes would have usually been required.

Truly inspiring stuff.

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