by V Readhead
The rise of fascism in the 1930s was supported by the avantgarde movement called Futurism. It emphasised speed, technology, youth, and violence, and objects such as the car, the aeroplane, and the industrial city. The autonomous pedestrian and cyclist quickly became an irritation in the march towards futuristic progress.
It was Benito Mussolini who first favoured the elimination of autonomy in favour of corporatism. The advent of fascism welcomed and incorporated mass production of cars. Social Darwinism meant abandoning democracy, weeding out the ‘weak’ and promoting the interests of ‘successful’ businessmen, like the automobile moguls. For the fascists the superior individual drove a car and at speed, dominating public space. Mussolini was often warned, even by those in his own party, about his reckless speeding in his Alfa Romeo. “
Trial finds reduced lung function and heart changes in young people who exercised near Schiphol
Gary Fuller Fri 1 Jan 2021
Extinction Rebellion activists protesting against climate pollution at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.
For seven months in 2018, a lorry trailer was parked near a runway at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. It housed exercise bikes and air pollution measurement equipment. Twenty-one healthy young people took turns to visit the trailer for pedalling sessions. Air was funnelled from the outside as the young people exercised, and researchers monitored their heart and lung functions.
29 December 2020, 13:10
A law coming into force in France on 1 January will make it compulsory for all new bicycles to be security marked with a unique number that links them with their rightful owners, in a bid to halt bike theft.
Bikes being sold second-hand, including through online marketplaces such as Bon Coin, will also need to have a number engraved on the frame from 1 July next year so that details of the new owner can be lodged, reports France 3(link is external).
Details of the type, make, model and colour of the bicycle, as well as the name of the owner and their telephone number and email address, will be held on a central database, enabling the Gendarmerie to trace ownership of stolen bikes.
29 December 2020
If you’re on social media, you don’t even need to follow certain media outlets, or their columnists or presenters, to know that “cyclists” – that catch-all group spanning kids riding to school to the likes of AA president Edmund King – are blamed for all kinds of ills.
And with cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods apparently becoming the latest front line in the so-called culture wars, it’s hardly a surprise that a certain breed of ‘shock jock’ might target people who choose to undertake certain journeys by bike.
Step forward and take a bow, Talk Radio’s Cristos Foufas, who tweeted this seasonal message over Christmas:
“Listen up. It’s been stressful for a while. Labour versus Tory, Remain versus Leave, deal versus no deal, even lockdown versus everything open.
Now we’re approaching 2021, can’t we all just unite and do all we can against the one common enemy we can all agree on? Cyclists.”
He was quickly called out on the tweet on social media, with one user flagging it up to Edmund King and asking if the AA was happy advertising on Talk Radio.
Carlton Reid 01/01/2021
A freedom of information (FoI) request has revealed behind-the-scenes coordination between a borough council and a business group over the December 2020 dismantling of a pop-up cycleway on London’s Kensington High Street.
The head of news at Kensington and Chelsea council (RBKC) edited what was supposed to be an independent press statement from the chair of Kensington Business Forum (KBF), reveals the FoI request by Steve Pettitt, a scientist at London’s Institute of Cancer Research.
Names on the FoI documents have been redacted, but according to Linkedin, RBKC’s head of news is Lyndsey Hannam, and KBF’s chair is Tom Frost, a director of London real estate firm Bricks & Mortar Consulting.
Covid may have made 2020 a year to forget, but amid the gloom there were plenty of positive moments
Cities seized the chance to make more space for people and bikes
The pandemic acted as a catalyst for urban transformation, with authorities in many cities around the world seizing on spring lockdowns to reclaim the streets for pedestrians and cyclists. The Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said it was “out of the question” to return to pre-Covid traffic and pollution levels, opening about 20 miles of new bike lanes, announcing plans for another 30, and sealing off a major east-west artery, the Rue de Rivoli, to private cars.
Kate Yoderon Dec 30, 2020
Who needs the arrow of time, anyway? Roman Krznaric, an author and philosopher, is in search of unconventional ways of thinking about time, ones that aren’t tied directly to the clocks ticking all around us. In one exercise, he imagines his young daughter as a 90-year-old, cradling her first great-granddaughter in her arms.
“I look at her face, her old face, and I walk over to the window and look at the world outside, and see what kind of world that is,” he said. “I think of my daughter, or her great-grandchild, living well into the 22nd century — a time which is not science fiction, but an intimate family fact.”
Analysis shows average car journey times have also increased after Kensington and Chelsea council took out lane
Peter Walker 01/01/2021
A much-used cycle lane in London that was removed because the local council said it was impeding the flow of motor vehicles has since been blocked by parked cars up to 80% of the time, a study by a campaign group has found.
Computer analysis of traffic cameras on Kensington High Street have also shown that average car journey times appear to have increased since officials took out the bike lane just seven weeks after it was installed.
We’d like to see a park free of cars, please help us by filling in the Survey here: https://sustrans.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/… And if you’d like to join London Cycling Campaign here (link includes discount code – I don’t benefit from this but you get money off!): https://membership.lcc.org.uk/civicrm…
A bike shop has come up with a scheme to help cyclists charge their e-bike batteries en route.