Quote of the Day: the friendliest city in the world for a day

This is iBikeLondon on the 2010 Tweed Run:

“On Saturday London felt like the most friendly city in the world; tourists gawked and took photos as we passed, people cheered and applauded, children watched wide-eyed as the spectacle rolled on; even London’s famous drivers were [largely] hospitable.”

Friendliest city in the world. For a day.

How can we make this more long-term?

2010 Tweed Run, London. Photo: ibikelondon

Enforced car-free day

22nd September is Seoul’s 4th car-free day

Cars will be banned along two major streets, a 2.8-kilometer stretch of Jongno [Bell Street] in the heart of the city, and on a 2.4 kilometer stretch of Teheran Street in the business district south of the river.

Quite a success it’s been too:

Last year, 22 percent of Seoulites left their cars at home on car-free day and air pollution decreased by 20 percent for the day.
via Korea Times  

The question of course remains: why can’t we have safer, less polluted, more pleasant streets every day?

What’s your town doing?

More bikes on the street – immediately

Invite a friend out for a short ride round town. Even better, make it a trip to somewhere. Instead of cycling aimlessly like a leisure cyclist, cycle to the shops, or show them an easy bike route to work.

Don’t just tell them about it. Let them enjoy the experience for themselves and discover local routes they can use.

Exhaust-free in NYC

As snapped and effusively narrated by New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. This is the third of NYC’s 3 car-free days this August.


New Cycling Demonstration Towns

Today the Transport Secretary anounced more ‘cycling demonstration towns’ and the country’s first ‘cycling demonstration city’ (Bristol). These places will receive varying sums of money to try to encourage people onto their bikes.

Bristol has pledged to double the number of people cycling in the city in 3 years. “The city will receive £11.4m, rising to £23m after three years, to create the UK’s first on-street bike rental network, modelled on the successful Paris scheme.” – The Guardian

Government spending money for the now 18 Cycling Towns totals £100 million over 3 years. (To put that in perspective, widening 50 miles of a motorway can cost thirty times that total – £3 billion.)

The 11 new ‘cycling demonstration towns':

  • York,
  • Cambridge,
  • Stoke,
  • Blackpool,
  • Chester,
  • Colchester,
  • Leighton Buzzard,
  • Southend,
  • Shrewsbury,
  • Southport,
  • Woking.

The current 6:

  • Aylesbury,
  • Brighton,
  • Darlington,
  • Derby,
  • Exeter,
  • Lancaster.

No mention of actively discouraging car use though.

All the money in the world won’t help unless people can be persuaded about the benefits of change, says my guide Andrew Whitehead, cycling officer at Bristol City Council. And with rising fuel prices and growing congestion, he believes the time is ripe to make the case. – BBC

“Hey, this isn’t so bad after all!”

A one-off piece by New Zealand-based getmorepeoplecycling.com points out the importance of not just promoting cycling, but ensuring new cyclists have a good experience.

The ultimate aim of cycling promotion is to change people’s behaviour so that they choose to cycle more in future. …

The best way to change people’s attitudes and beliefs towards biking is to simply get them on a bike. I think this is the fastest way to breakdown people’s past negative beliefs about cycling, and create new positive beliefs and attitudes towards it.

Once people experience what cycling is actually like (as opposed to what they ‘perceive’ or imagine cycling is like) they find themselves saying, “Hey, this isn’t so bad after all. It’s actually quite easy to ride a bike, and it’s fun! I could do this more often in future”.

If your aim is to encourage more people to cycle then a great first step is to get as many people as you can who don’t usually bike to hop on a bike and give it a go for 10 minutes. For most people it is not a big ask to get on a bike and have some fun.

Photo: part of 2020 Photography‘s beautiful work for Sustrans.


Sunday 11th May saw 50,000 kids in 240 towns and cities across Italy take to the streets on two wheels. This was the 9th annual Bimbimbici Day. Bimbimbici (approximate translation: ‘Kidz on Bikes’) is an annual event in Italy promoted by the Italian Friends of the Bicycle Association (FIAB) and aimed at kids under the age of 11.

For children the bicycle is more than just being a fun plaything. It represents an important aspect of a child’s autonomous development and civic formation. … FIAB has decided to promote Bimbimbici in order to press home the theme of the safety of the smallest on their daily routes, in particular on the school run. Only if streets are safe for everyone can children get around town safely under their own steam.

More information on bimbimbici.it [in Italian].