What mass cycling looks like...

It feels like I've been in back-to-back policy meetings recently, squeezed in around the day job, about cycling in various parts of London.  For anyone unfamiliar with the processes involved in cycle advocacy, essentially anything you want done or propose usually has to have a study done about it, be referred to committee, get rubber-stamped by a sub committee and then put out to public consultation before anyone has even opened a tin of cycle lane paint.  The processes are there for good reason, of course, but that's not to say they aren't wholly uninspiring or indeed a real disincentive to a wider group of people getting involved with the whole cycle advocacy movement.

Sometimes, to remind myself of what I want to achieve I look to the works of video blogger Mark Wagenbuur who uses YouTube to show us what can be achieved, if we really start to think big.  I came across Mark's work via David Hembrow's excellent blog about Dutch cycling infrastructure "A View from the Cycle Path"


It's good to dream a little sometimes, right?

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a dream, we are a long way off from this in the UK but we can still fight for it

Relaxedcyclist

sergiok said...

Have you seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY1sY8UDwjs

Mass Assault to cyclists at Critical Mass in Brazil!
Please spread this video

ibikelondon said...

Hi @sergiok I have seen that video and have just been discussing it over on my Twitter feed (@markbikeslondon)

A word of caution, the link above leads to a video of a horrific incident whereby a car is driven through a group of cyclists on a Critical Mass ride in Brazil.

There is further coverage here;

http://www.theurbancountry.com/2011/02/critical-mass-carnage.html

And here;

http://road.cc/content/news/31464-driver-ploughs-brazilian-critical-mass-ride-video-warning-disturbing-content

My thoughts and best wishes are with those who were hurt (latest reports say that all have been discharged from hospital, which is a miracle in itself) and I hope that they see Justice.

Anne said...

I LOVE that video! I smiled all the way through it.

One thing it illustrates very clearly--and I harp on this point a lot: when we in lesser cycling cities finally get our dream of mass cycling, it will be slower. It will be crowded and busy and there will be cycling traffic.

I think one of the main reasons avid cyclists back away from full advocacy of serious cycling infrastructure in our cities is that they really don't want to have to slow down and ride with kids and seniors and insouciant young girls riding side-by-side and chatting.

To me it looks like utopia. But I think it's important to acknowledge that there is real resistance to it among people who consider themselves "real cyclists". I'm not sure how we overcome that, frankly.

christhebull said...

@Anne - I think it is possible to emphasise speed as well to some extent, with, say, a "green wave" for cyclists on arterial routes, cycle bypasses for certain traffic lights, left turn on red, shorter routes with contraflow cycling, etc. And good cycle infrastructure has room for overtaking anyway.

Mark Wagenbuur said...

Thanks Mark for showing my video. It is still strange for us Dutch that what is everyday reality here that we take for granted could be other people's utopia.

@Anne regarding speed. Did you see in the video that cyclists arrive at their destinations 5 to over 10% FASTER than CARS! It doesn't help to race from red light to red light. Maybe the Dutch 'stroll' on their bikes, but you are still a lot faster when your route is more direct and there is a green wave for you.

ibikelondon said...

Hi Mark, thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment, and a big thank you for your continuing good work with your videos - they're really inspiring! Keep it up!

Mark