Comments on: Different Worlds Re-making the world, one revolution at a time Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:58:24 +0000 hourly 1 By: 7 years, 4 months and 18 days | At War With The Motorist Fri, 11 Jul 2014 07:00:54 +0000 […] it I try to tie together a few disparate┬ástrands that I had been thinking about, using as a theme the imagined “different worlds” that Dave Horton talked about and the real different worlds that have come about, in surprisingly short time, in the Netherlands […]

By: Dave Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:48:34 +0000 I’ve been thinking about this

and whilst I broadly agree. I don’t think it’s as easy as just building it the Dutch way, because building it the Dutch way is politically very difficult in the UK.




which takes me back to

but we’re not in oil shock 1970’s Holland…

post Bradley Wiggins the political climate in the UK is the most positive it has ever been… even the Times is on side… but there’s still plenty of potential for us to frack it up and return to business as usual / roads to prosperity.

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:28:25 +0000 Splendid stuff Sam – keep it up!

By: samsaundersbristol Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:12:39 +0000 Lacking a trumpet, perhaps I can rasp my own kazoo a bit here. Using Twitter and Flickr I have found that a positive-looking photograph or two might add a grain to the general culture of how good cycling can be: some sort of antidote to the YouTube Horrors that hog webusers’ attention. I have been collecting “Positive Images Of Cycling” from my own snapshots and putting them on Flickr, It’s all here: and can be viewed as individual images, a slideshow, a panel or whatever Flickr is up to at present,. By declaring them all to be copyright free, I have found that from time to time someone adopts one for some other project.

Maybe YouTube as well? I put this up a while ago without telling anyone:

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:07:40 +0000 Thanks Jonathan, and I look forward to catching up again face-to-face sometime soon, now the cycling season’s here again! It’s felt like far too long …

Thanks for the link to that article. Yes, I think the bicycle is being enrolled into a powerful, vibrant new discourse of ‘liveable cities’ much more in the US than here in Britain.

I’ve rather lost the blogging bug these last few months, to be honest. Partly that’s conscious, as I wonder where I’m going next and start trying to get there; partly it’s unconscious – based I think on my itch for figuring out how we get people cycling having (temporarily?) abated.

My current plan is to do only a few blogposts this year, whilst I re-direct my energies to other things.

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:50:00 +0000 Exactly Tim, exactly!

However, I admit that your ideas are better than my own as to how we go about broadening the terms and scope of debate. But I think there are at least 3 closely inter-connected and worthwhile tasks:

1. Work that continues the positive changes we’re sometimes now beginning to see (‘business-as-usual’ for advocates);
2. New work to popularise the idea of post-car, people-friendly cities;
3. New work that puts bicycles and cycling at the heart of these future urban visions.

One task is to encourage (rather than simply wait for) people and organisations in all walks of life to mainstream cycling within their own practices. I know some such work has been going on a long time, but in a sort of vision-free way (which makes such work less effective).

I think the arts & culture (broadly defined) have a big role to play in filling out (making more real) the visionary-vacuum. In other words, we need to tell stories (visual as well as verbal) about mass cycling to help make it ‘real’, and help make it happen.

One reason the idea of mass cycling hasn’t taken popular hold is because it’s being spoken about – as you say – in a very small world of (mainly) advocates and academics. We need others to jump on board to make it more compelling and more likely.

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:18:57 +0000 Thanks Derek, there’s a lot of very seductive imagery in there, and barely a helmet in sight! I blogged about Vienna earlier this year, after I took part in Velo-city there; it’s an interesting example of a car-centric city getting quite serious about boosting cycling.

On a slightly critical note, I’d point out the exclusivity of this pro-cycling imagery; I think everyone in that PowerPoint presentation is white; almost all are slim and look pretty affluent. Maybe such representations sell cycling to some, but do they do so at the expense of others? Certainly in 21st Century Britain, I’d hope more people – irrespective of ethnicity, ‘ability’, size etc – could see themselves in positive images of cycling.

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:31:52 +0000 Thanks Sam.

It sometimes feels like we need somebody/something to do for British city cycling what Dave Brailsford/Sky did for British sports cycling, eh? Ever since I was a kid, British pro cyclists have had the potential to be up there among the world’s best (and occasionally against all the odds someone made it). But it took a big step change in ambition, resources, belief and strategy – with Sky – to turn the potential into major and solid-looking (i.e. sustainable) success – to move from the occasional success to systematic success.

These days wanting to see more British city cycling is much like being a fan of British cycle sport through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s – always scouring around for positive signs of ‘something about to happen’, and getting tremendously excited by the odd success (indeed, isn’t success so much sweeter when it’s less expected? I think I got more excited, back then, by for example Malcolm Elliott winning a stage of La Vuelta, or Chris Boardman winning a Tour prologue, than I do these days when success has become more reliable!).

So we await a Sky-like total systems approach to city cycling. Maybe Bristol will get there first, then everybody else will want to copy?!

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:14:39 +0000 Belated thanks Skippy (I’ve gone off the blogging boil of late). I’ve just been checking out your adventures with interest – that’s a very nice blog, and good on you for raising issues around the behaviours of road users (and especially the widespread contempt shown towards cyclists). We’ve a way to go, but social attitudes are always changing and I’m confident they’ll gradually turn in cycling’s favour.

Feel free to take whatever you want from here, and good & safe cycling!

By: Dave Horton Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:49:59 +0000 Yes, but the bicycle is also the vehicle of/for a revolutionary politics. Every ride runs a crack through the car system, and the car system is a key component of the unequal, uncivil, unhealthy societies we’ve created. So cycling is resistance AND prefiguration. Objects are important to ‘fundamental political upheavals’ and I go for ‘bikes not bombs’ ‘-)