Transport for London; promoting cycling positevely

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the National Travel Survey and what we really need to do to achieve mass cycling here in the UK.  I know that achieving those aims are going to take many years and a lot of political persuasion.  Until that day it is important that we continue to encourage and grow cycling numbers - no matter how the road conditions might be; if there isn't a groundswell in cycling numbers to start with there will be no appetite for bigger projects.  To that end we need to convince people who don't currently ride a bike to actually consider cycling.  We can help those people with free cycle training, getting them hooked on two wheels again with things like the Barclay's Cycle Hire Scheme, or even through projects like the cycle superhighways which, no matter how poorly implemented, may at least provoke non-cyclists into thinking about the clear route they provide to work.  These are all schemes implemented by Transport for London, but they're not stopping there.  They've produced the following set of videos to encourage people to consider cycling in London, showing some of the tools available to do it, and to demonstrate some of the benefits.  That they do it with everyday and ordinary cyclists (and a smatter of celebrities) is no bad thing.  Fun though performance cycling and all the gear and get up that go with it as I've said on this blog before no one who doesn't already cycle isn't going to take it up if they feel they have to make themselves in any way 'other' in order to do so.  Carlton Reid over at his brilliant blog 'Quickrelease TV' put it so eloquently in his post "Sell cycling with positives, not safety."  Only 2 of the 5 cyclists featured in the new videos are wearing helmets and there's nairly a scrap of high-vis in sight.  Someone at TfL must be listening.... I hope you enjoy the vids, I did, and as a cyclist it helped to remind me how riding a bike makes me feel sometimes. 

Which is your favourite?


Anonymous said...

I like the last one the best, his story is really heart-warming and encouraging. Good to see your transport people 'get it'. Jen x

Pete said...

They are all good, but the last 2 are the most enouraging to get people in to cycling

Philip Sidaway said...

All fine pieces. Beautiful slo-mo photography. Perhaps a little utopian, but aspiring to an ideal is a good way to bring about positive change.

Chrissy said...

I actually love these films - they made me sad I am not one the bike today, its funny how the ride can alter my mood.
Agree that the last film is the best in terms of information - i also like the Edith one too, but then I do love giraffes!

ibikelondon said...

I really like these films too Chrissy! I think they strike just the right tone. The one with Mohammad is my fave. I also like Dermot O'Leary's film just 'cos I think his cheekyness is quite infectious and you can see he likes riding round his area. For someone to turn down star cars to carry them around in favour of a bike gets my vote!

Jim said...

I find it very funny to read this post after reading the other on the National Travel Survey.

Here you applaud a good job done by TfL of marketing cycling positively.

In the other post you criticise the cycling organisations for... trying to promote cycling by creating a positive story.

You even say: " is important that we continue to encourage and grow cycling numbers [sic] - no matter how the road conditions might be [sic]; if there isn't a groundswell in cycling numbers to start with there will be no appetite for bigger projects."

Surely this is the same line being adopted by national cycling organisations?

Oh and, please, please if you can't spell (I don't care if it is because you are dyslexic or simply lazy) use a spellchecker. It is this sort of half-literate crap which gives blogging a bad name.

ibikelondon said...

Hello Jim, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

If you look at this post in relation to my post on the National Travel Survey you will see it is quite clear exactly what I mean; there is no harm in making this kind of film (which I believe TfL have done a very good job on), or having pothole campaigns or whatever else - we do need to continue to grow cycling numbers - but about the national campaign's lack of 'coming out', if you like, in favour of segregated infrastructure at all. The two shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

As for spelling, well, you see Jim the thing is I write this blog (of which there is a lot) in between working London hours in my private job, running a home, being involved with my local cycle organisation, a sports club, having a social life etc etc so at times perhaps I might make the occasional spelling error. Luckily for me I'm a 21st Century kind of guy and know that spelling isn't really such a big deal these days so long as the important part of the message comes through, and I'd like to think that is my positive contribution to the internet - the important part of the message - as oppose to say just going around other people's blogs bitching and sniping and leaving snarky remarks about tiny inconsequences. If you are truly worried about the quality of sub-editing and publishing these days I suggest you start with some of our national newspapers before you start on small bloggers trying to do what they can to help in their spare time.

Cheers, and happy riding!


ibikelondon said...

Oh, one other thing before I go.

It's "spell checker", not "spellchecker" you know.