CycleClips 8 February 2013

Variations on a cycling theme; Planning to fail; A wave of campaigning; Wheels of steel; Hitting the right notes; A fantastic feast of velocipedes; About all those books; Join the CTC party.




Media reports suggest the Wiggins effect could be responsible for an increase in cycle casualties. However, CTC believes that if cycling has increased by more than 8%, it would suggest that cycling has actually become safer.
Variations on a theme
Edward Elgar, as well as being one of this country’s foremost composers, was an enthusiastic cyclist. But how did he combine his twin passions? Pump and Circumstance on BBC Radio 3 explored how Elgar’s love for cycling directly influenced his musical compositions. Did you know, for instance, that he included references to his cycling companions in the score of the ‘Enigma Variations’? Or that he composed music in his head while riding around the Malvern area? Meanwhile, poet and comedian Pam Ayres also used cycling as inspiration, albeit rather more prosaically than Elgar. In ‘On Yer Bike’, broadcast on Radio 4, she read poems about French cycling holidays, the upside to riding a tandem, and getting fit on gym bikes. She also discussed what it was like growing up in a family of six cyclists, with the ‘paraphernalia of cycling a constant topic of conversation’.


Failing to plan, planning to fail?
This week saw the third session of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, which turned its attention to planning and design for cycling. Giving evidence, CTC's Roger Geffen urged that the quality of cycle facilities is all important. He said: "What we don't want to see is cyclists excluded from the road and forced to share space with pedestrians. Dedicated space for cyclists - preferably segregated - must be made from reallocating road space." The enquiry heard about several major road schemes in which provision for cyclists has been neglected due to a perceived lack of demand. CTC local campaigners have been fighting battles over these schemes. But as blogger Carlton Reid explains, Roads Were Not Built for Cars.


Waves of campaigners
Away from Westminster, CTC member and cycle campaigner Dr Dave Brennan has been telling the Scottish government that more investment and better provision must be made for cycling in the country. In an interview with BBC Scotland, he discussed a recent trip to Amsterdam where cycling is “as easy as riding a bike”. He is optimistic such ‘Cycletopia’ will exist one day in Scotland. Dave said: "I know we're going to have cycling facilities like these at home. It's just a matter of when." Campaigners in Mexico’s second city of Guadalajara presumably share his optimism. Ina delightful short film ‘Over the Wheel (Mexico)’ they share their vision of the freedom cycling can bring to a place where 350 more cars a day hit the roads.


Wheels of steel
Who says the Brits don't do style? Sheffield Cycle Chic is a newly-launched pictorial homage to the cyclists of Steel City. Several of the featured riders are volunteers and clients of CTC’s all-ability project in the area, including Marjory who comes along every week for some exercise. Meanwhile, Ken Robinson is cycling back to health after a stroke.


Hitting the right notes
It’s hardly Elgar but bike repairman Cee-Roo uses his machine to create music by hitting its various parts with tools in a mechanical remix of ‘I Can’ by Nas. If you enjoy quirky videos like this but can’t wait for CycleClips every week, use Devour to search for more. From the Pyromaniac on Wheels to an Insane Mountain Bike Ride, you will find plenty of ways to waste yet more cycling time online!


'A fantastic feast of velocipedes'
The route was announced yesterday for August’s Prudential Ride London event, part of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy. Gold medallist Laura Trott joined Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the launch of ‘what is expected to be the largest mass participation cycling festival ever held in the UK’. The two-day fiesta will have activities for all kinds of cyclists, from an 8-mile loop of central London to a 100-mile circuit to Surrey and back.


About all those books...
Wondering what to do with all those Lance Armstrong books now he has been discredited? Instead of putting them on the bonfire, you could send them to Newcastle’s bike shop-cum-cafĂ© The Cycle Hub to be turned into an art installation with an anti-doping theme. An exhibition will take place from 17-18 May using the unwanted tomes as part of the work.


Join the CTC party
This year’s CTC Birthday Rides will take place from 18-24 August at Yarnfield Park, near Stone in Staffordshire. The prospectus and booking form are now available for the event which celebrates CTC’s founding in Harrogate in 1878. There will be a varied programme of rides and events discovering the picturesque lanes and villages of the Potteries, as well as excursions to the nearby Peak District.



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