guest post from Grote Gracht 86

many streets in Maastricht are being remade at the moment by skilled tradesmen from Portugal.

you might notice on the far side a broken white line?

that's part of the bike lane...     :  )

you can get a sense of the sounds of hard work by listening to the recording here: 

many thanks to the photographers and sound recorders at number 86.


bicycles and radios - the film

I won't pretend that I know too much about this film... but there is some stylish cinematography, romance, and great bicycling distractions to be enjoyed...


bicycle sounds safe

lately, as I've been riding around Maastricht, the bell on one of my bikes has been jingling along with every bump and cobblestone I ride over... while i like the gentle ringing sounds, it reminded me of how convenient it is, as a pedestrian, to hear bikes coming from behind you before deciding to cross the street.

no doubt you're less likely to blindly step out without looking if you can hear a noisy rattling thing approaching at speed.

and that is something to be thankful for - most of the bikes are old and noisy.

just don't assume that their brakes will work efficiently...

you can hear my jingling bell here:

to stimulate your eyes here's a little film of riding around Maastricht.

I didn't make the film and wouldn't have chosen the music that has been used...  but it does give you an additional sense of what it is like to ride around Maastricht.


 you could even watch it on mute and play this longer version of my bike sounds.

lastly, I wonder if there have been any unintended effects of making smoother (i.e. quieter) bike lanes?


just bicycle sounds

from films of bicycle sounds, I thought I'd go to sound recordings of bicycle sounds...

no great visuals, just humble bicycle sounds available from Freesounds.


Bicycle sounds

I only just discovered this great short film by Stephen Meirerding.

It's a great way to show sounds on film...

It was the winner of the Bike Short Film Festival, 2012 in New York.

Great work Stephen!


bike radios and sound systems

my wife recently told me of the 1955 huffy bike with radio...

it got me reminiscing and is the inspiration for some of the forthcoming posts.

anyway, you can see it and, best of all, hear the 1955 version in the video below.

for something rather different, and for the young child in all of us, something a little more retro...

different times, styles and advertisements, but regardless the bike radio still appeals to or affects the state of mind of the rider in the same way.

rock on ride on!


bike enables footballer to misbehave

today appeared a story in some newspapers about a professional footballer getting intoxicated and doing something stupid.

that is nothing particularly surprising you might think.

you also might wonder what that has to do with this blog about bicycles...

fair enough question.

well.... the article was describing the events and then stated:

"Bendtner was apparently accompanied by three friends, one of whom had a bicycle."

My first thought that this was an irrelevant detail, but that it somehow made the story more salacious because there was someone with a bicycle in the group. Obviously those with bikes are troublemakers eh?!

Anyway, it turns out the bike actually had a significant role in the events that followed. Essentially, Bendtner et al used the the time it took for the he taxi driver to mount and dismount the bike from the rack to misbehave. 

Without the bike, they might just have all got in the taxi and got a lift home.

And that would definitely not have been a newsworthy story... though perhaps it would have been a nice change...

Overall, a shameful moment in the bicycle's history of being a significant non-human actor in social networks.... 

(With apologies to Callon, Latour and others... for a little bit about Actor Network Theory see the wikepedia entry, or, for a lot more on it you can go here or to Latour's homepage. For more on taxis with bike racks in Copenhagen see these images and read a post at Copenhagenize.)


M5 recumbents

last weekend I had the pleasure of some fine cycling around Zeeland.

much fine weather

but many strong winds.

from similar or worse conditions, M5 - a Dutch liggenfietsen company was born...

sadly for me they were closed when i passed by... so in through the glass i peered...

while obviously very different from Bromptons, there is something strangely likeable
 and similar in their aesthetics


fiets een rondje met een pontje

zeeland cycling joy...

catching a ferry enabling a circuitous route.

now, if only something could be done about the wind...


dutch bike meets australian cyclist

back in 2010 I wrote a little piece about what a lot of people in Australia think manly men and womanly women should ride.  (you can read that post here if you want)

today, I cam across a great little video made by a Dutchman who introduces the Dutch bike to some Australian cyclists... the results are interesting and illustrate nicely what I wrote about...



exhibition alert

as a visitor to this site you quickly see that it's all about photography and bicycles.

if you happen to be going to Paris between now and the 9th June, you can also combine the two at an Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Pompidou Centre.

for comment and some images of photos from the exhibition you can read about it in the guardian.

no prizes for guessing which one is my favourite...


10 point plan for cycling

British Cycling is launching their 10 point plan today to attempt to increase the number of trips made by bike... Based on modelling by Dr James Woodcock it indicates that it wouldn't take much for there to be massive benefits to the British economy. This is a document aimed at the policy makers and so highlights the health and financial benefits.

If people and governments were rational and logical this line of reasoning would be a winner - guaranteed to lead to change...

But... There's already plenty of evidence of the benefits of cycling, and still the government hasn't done anything seriously yet.

What will it actually take?

I suspect some additional dimension that affects the government's motivation is needed...