CTC and Allianz Digital Accelerator will award €5000 to winner of cycle safety tech competition

CTC has partnered with with Allianz UK to launched a competition to help improve cycling safety in the UK. The competition invites people to submit ideas on the topic of “safe cycling and how the challenges faced on modern roads can be overcome using technology.”

From apps to wearable devices, all technology-based ideas will be considered by a panel who will then award the winning idea €5,000 and the chance to turn the idea into reality with development support from the Allianz Digital Accelerator.

David Murray, CTC’s Head of Communications and Campaigns, said: “While cycling is not a risky form of travel, there are still too many near-misses between cyclists and motorists on our roads. By teaming up with a technology hub like the Allianz Digital Accelerator, we hope to encourage budding tech entrepreneurs and the wider cycling public to share their ideas on how we can make cycling even safer.”

Allianz UK CSR Manager Richard Fullerton said: “Allianz is committed to improving road safety and is currently involved in a variety of initiatives across the globe. The idea behind this competition is that we want to hear from the people who experience issues on the road and have thoughts about how they can be tackled through technology.”

The competition closes on Monday 14th December. Entries are submitted online via www.cycleideas.com

Gift shop’s Christmas window uses a magical flying Dutch-bike to signify the freedom and joy of cycling

An upscale gift-and-grocery shop in the north east of England has unveiled its Christmas window: it features a Dutch-bike decorated with multi-coloured wings. Bodahome of Whitley Bay does not sell bicycles.

The decorated Dutch-bike, piled with Christmas presents, appears to be floating above some brightly-coloured clouds.

Bodahome co-owner Jade Skeels asked her friend Emma Handley to design the window display.

Handley, a freelance window dresser, chose a bicycle because she said it’s a potent symbol of freedom and joy:

“With the end of this year approaching (my 40th, actually), I began the usual process of reflection and mental list-building. Youthful misadventures with bikes kept coming into my head. Though my experience with cycling as an adult is limited I envy people who cycle everywhere.”

She added: “A bike is not a complex machine but it does wonderful things – all you have to do is get on and pedal to be transported, physically, mentally and emotionally to a different place.”

She’s now ready to start riding.

“I intend to integrate the freedom, spontaneity, physicality and joy of bike riding into my life,” promised Handley. “A magical flying bike for the Bodahome Christmas window seemed an inspiring place to start.”

Disclosure: Jade Skeels is the second cousin of BikeHub editor Carlton Reid. “However, it wasn’t this family connection which alerted me to this window display,” said Reid. “I saw a photo of the window in the twitter feed for Karlonsea.”

Cycling academics and advocates to compare notes in Newcastle

A one-day conference bringing together researchers and riders is to be staged at Northumbria University in Newcastle on Saturday 14th November. Academia & Advocacy is part of the national ESRC Festival of Social Science and has been organised by Dr Seraphim Alvanides, with support from local advocacy group, Newcycling.

Transport journalist Christian Wolmar, a former member of Cycling England and who recently campaigned to become Labour’s candidate for London mayor, will be speaking at the conference. He said: “We must move on the transport debate, nationally and locally, and with urgency too.”

He added: “Campaigners are independent advisors and informants and are often at the dark and dusty coalface and in the frontline of public debate. Academia can give support through their research, evidence collection and by working with media. Campaigning for the inclusion of cycling in urban design is a matter close to my heart. Ultimately, building-in space for cycling will make our society better, fairer, healthier and happier.”

The conference keynote will be delivered by Rachel Aldred of the University of Westminster. Dr. Aldred is currently working on a follow-up to the Near-Miss Project.


Morning session: Developing the message on inclusive cycling

11:30 Welcome: Seraphim Alvanides

11:40 Keynote: Rachel Aldred
12:00 Geoff Vigar Panellist 1 (academic) “Where are we at in academia with cycling. What do we know?”
12:20 Kevin Hickman Panellist 2 (advocacy) “What does designing for inclusive cycling mean?”

12:40 Panel discussion with audience chaired by Christian Wolmar

13:15 LUNCH (provided) and screening Beauty and the Bike (short version)

Afternoon session: A voice for cycling

14:00 Summary of panel discussion (incl actions, needs, future planning) Christian Wolmar

14:15 Sally Hinchcliffe Speaker 1 (advocacy) “How cycle bloggers shifted mountains”
14:30 Rachel Aldred Speaker 2 (academic) “Gaps in research and evidence – what don’t we know?”
14:45 Claire Prospert Speaker 3 (advocacy) “newcycling – a focussed campaign”

15:00 Breakout on gathering reactions, views and opinions, informed by speakers and panellists
16:00 Summary of workshops – how can academia and advocacy work together for a common goal? TBC
16:30 Conclusion of event, outline of possible next steps Katja Leyendecker

16:45 END

Academia & Advocacy is a free event and registration is now open.

Chancellor urged to spend money on cycling by major businesses and bicycle organisations

Chancellor George Osborne has been told that investing in cycling would save the nation £47 billion. That’s the message from #choosecycling, an initiative from British Cycling, and supported by CTC, Sustrans, the Bicycle Association and the London Cycling Campaign. Significantly, many large businesses – such as the AA, Sky, Virgin Trains and the National Grid – have also added their corporate clout to an open letter urging Osborne to release funds for cycling.

British Cycling’s #ChooseCycling Network is a collection of British businesses representing over 250,000 employees. The open letter sent on behalf of businesses calls on Osborne to put meaningful investment into cycling in order to boost productivity by creating a healthier workforce.

The letter asks Osborne to:

Ensure cycling and walking funding continues after Local Sustainable Transport Fund is withdrawn at the end of April 2016

Leave room in the current Spending Review to invest at least £10-20 per person per year – the target set by the Prime Minister in April – to increase take up of cycling.

Together with the Transport Secretary and before the 2016 Budget publish a comprehensive, fully-funded plan – a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy – with national guidelines to make our roads and junctions safer for cycling, with more segregated lanes and places to park securely.

British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman said: “It is no coincidence that some of the biggest businesses in the country are members of the #ChooseCycling Network. The appalling level of physical inactivity in this country is hurting us all; businesses face falling productivity as absences rise.

“Businesses want their staff and customers to live in towns and cities that are more pleasant, more liveable, less congested, less polluted, healthier, happier and more prosperous. This is only possible if more people are able to travel more easily by bicycle.

“Examples of sustained investment in cycling infrastructure paying rich dividends can be seen across Europe, and we recently invited members of the government to come with us to view one of the finest infrastructure models – Copenhagen.

“It was encouraging that Robert Goodwill, the Minister for Cycling, took us up on this, but extremely disappointing that the Treasury declined to even respond to our invitation.

“It is vital that those people making important decisions on our behalf are fully aware of what can be achieved – we can only hope that the Treasury choose to listen to the demand for crucial investment in cycling before it’s too late for this and future generations.”

Edmund King, president of The AA, said: “An increase in cycling can be good for the economy in many ways as it can help reduce congestion and pressure on parking spaces and over-crowded public transport. Often the interests of cyclists and drivers are the same, hence we also call upon the Chancellor to help business by boosting investment in cycling.”

Entries open soon for tenth anniversary Cyclone weekend in NE England

Entries for the 2016 Cyclone Festival of Cycling open on October 31st. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event.

The weekend will feature the Tyne Six Bridges family rides on the evening of Friday 17th June, followed by the Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge Rides on the Saturday. Sunday sees top mens’ and womens’ road racing in the Beaumont Trophy and Curlew Cup races.

Organiser Peter Harrison said:

“The Cyclone Festival of Cycling has grown so much in ten years, and so has cycling.”

Harrison is encouraging riders of all abilities to sign up for the 2016 Virgin Money Cyclone Challenge Rides. The traditional three rides of 34, 64 and 106 miles are joined for the first time by a 90 mile option.

The first Beaumont Trophy race was held in 1952 with previous winners including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Newton, Russell and Dean Downing, Malcolm Elliott and Don Sanderson.