Comments on: New cycling stories Re-making the world, one revolution at a time Mon, 21 Dec 2015 03:10:27 +0000 hourly 1 By: Julia Raskin Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:31:58 +0000 4th World Bicycle Forum “Ciudades para Todos – Cities for all”

The World Bicycle Forum is the biggest citizen lead global event to promote bicycle in cities. The 4th edition will take place in Medellín, Colombia from 26 February to 1 March 2015.

The theme for the 2015 edition of the World Bike Forum is “Cities for All”, relating to ideas geared for humans and living spaces. The forum will discuss how cities can be organized to the benefit of all it’s citizens. After all, it is not just an event for cyclists, but for the entire population.

While societies in the entire world are urbanizing they face environmental as well as social challenges. At the same time the bicycle is gaining momentum as a serious transportation option and catalyst for creating better living spaces for all humans. In this process, cycling advocacy and citizen engagement play a crucial role in employing the bicycle as a vehicle for social change and urban equity. It is time for the bicycle to take a leading role in shaping an equitable and sustainable city for all!

The forum will be celebrating and furthering the work of various stakeholders (individuals, groups, NGOs, businesses, or government agencies) working together to bring about positive change on all levels: individual, local, regional, national and global. Collectively, we will discuss, think and plan solutions so that bicycles, pedestrians and motorists can coexist in harmony. And the more thinking heads, the better – and merrier!

More Information:

Call for Proposals – 4th World Bicycle Forum “Cities for All”

We invite bike enthusiasts of the world to submit their contributions to the discussion on how the bicycle is becoming a catalyst for shaping equitable and sustainable cities for all.
Join the conversation at the 4th World Bicycle Forum and help form part of the program. Share your ideas, work, research or vision with the global cycling community. Choose a conference format, create an engaging activity and share your knowledge!
Once all proposals have been compiled, the Program Committee will create the conference program aiming at a productive, diverse and hands-on World Bicycle Forum in Medellín.

The core topical tracks of the World Bicycle Forum (#FMB4) are:
Cycling Advocacy
Bike Organizing
The Politics of Cycling
Cycling Art and Culture
Cycling Societies
Bicycle Urbanism
Communicating Cycling
Cycling and Public Health

Please submit your proposals here:

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the 4th World Bicycle Forum in Medellín, Colombia!

26 February – 1 March. Medellín, Colombia

Deadline for abstracts, proposals:
30 November 2014

Contact person:
Florian Lorenz


Event Address:
Plaza Mayor
Calle 41 # 55-80, Medellín, Antioquia

Program Team – World Bicycle Forum – Foro Mundial de la Bicicleta
¡The next forum will be in Medellín, Colombia. 2015.02.26. – 2015.03.01. !
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By: Dave Horton Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:12:59 +0000 Thanks so much Kevin; it’s great to get your (always wonderful) thoughts and experiences.

I agree with Brigitte on the ‘movement’ over ‘campaign’ thing, and actually – for me – thinking like that is liberating; it gives a sense of the long-run, reduces my sense of frustration and impatience, and takes some of the pressure away from feeling the need to make quick gains. It reminds me that social change takes place at the level of culture and the everyday. It involves life and love and land, and it involves language, ideas, and how we see the world …

To me, now, this feels where ‘the real work’ must be. So I’m trying to teach myself to write, and to contribute to the shaping of thought through language.
I’m surprised, but pleased, people are still stumbling across my blog despite my recent neglect of it!

By: Kevin Hickman Wed, 04 Jun 2014 22:11:40 +0000 Looking back, it took a long time.

I was a roady at the turn of the century – long club runs, audax, fast commute, usual MO – and then a couple of physical problems had me down to about 5 to 10 miles a day for the best part of a year. The plus side was my wife and daughter would come out with me, to wait at the top of the hills.

I bought a Brompton around about that time. Can’t quite remember why, but not being able to llift a bike onto a roof rack anymore may have been a factor. Anyway, I took it Copenhagen on a business trip; what an eye opener that was.

I ended up having two operations in succession in 2004, one planned, one not, and I signed up to do a charity LEJOG in 2005 as a means to get me back where I’d been in terms of cycling fitness. That year my work also took me to Germany and because taking my car would create extra expense at home and hiring an adapted one there wasn’t an option, I took the Brompton. I used it for training, and for everything else as well.

I did LEJOG but couldn’t do the big miles, >100k, comfortably anymore and went back to Germany carrying on pretty much as before but without the training. Except I also got to grips with riding with my prosthesis.

In 2006 I was back in the UK living in a halfway house between lycra-clad roady and civvy-street bike user. Until the floods in 2007 when my car was written off and the hassle of replacing it made me stop and think about my new mobility preference. I was more mobile with a folding bike than I was with a car, plus I’d trialled that lifestyle already in Germany. When I realised I qualified for a bus pass and a disabled railcard that sealed it – I hung up the lycra and became a carfree crip with a bike as a mobility aid.

Of course, it’s a lot less bike freindly here than where I was in Germany, and that’s the point at which I became a cycle campaigner. But that’s by the by, the I’m mentioning all this is to demonstrate how long it took until I began to ‘get it’, and the serendipitous choices that led to it. It’s quite difficult to fit all that into a meeting agenda in a roomful of mindsets that if you’re lucky have some recollection of actually riding a bike!

And the language. That’s changed for me too. In fact sometimes it can feel… uncomfortable/disloyal/confrontatoinal, being a bike enthusiast, which I obviously am, and being a bike user who no longer gets changed to ride or uses any special equipment. I know the languages of the cycling evangelist and the bike user but I’m not sure I always pick the right words for a given situation, and if I do I’m not sure they necessarily mean the same message to the listener.

To ‘get it’ isn’t enough. Telling people the answer isn’t a solution. I think you need to tell a story in small installments over a longer time than you might like, and offer opportunities to experience what we’ve experienced, until there’s a common understanding of the words that make up the language.

Kinda like what you’re doing :o)

Oh, and you mentioned a movement. When I was talking to Brigitte about positive campaigning she said why not call it a movement rather than a campaign? It conveys a sense of moving forward to something better.

By: Bob Shanteau Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:53:05 +0000 Do you think of bicycles as vehicles and bicyclists as drivers, with the same rights to use traffic lanes as other drivers? After all, every lane is wide enough for a bicycle. If bicyclists used lanes like other drivers, then bicyclists would pass left turning cars on the left (UK), or wait behind, thus avoiding the dreaded left hook crash, which is often fatal.

Or do you think of traffic lanes as “car lanes” and bicyclists as interlopers? Do you think that bicyclists should be able to pass left turning cars on the left and that left turning motorists must have the burden of avoiding colliding with undertaking bicyclists?

I think the fundamental difference between those two views is critical to the future of bicycling. Basically, it comes down to whether we want bicyclists to integrate into the current road system as cooperative road users or to be segregated from the current road system with motorists having the duty to avoid collisions.

Personally, I think it is better to integrate with cars, as I simply don’t trust think we should put our trust in people who cannot see us when they are turning left or otherwise crossing paths with me. Besides, wouldn’t it be better for the environment to use the current road system rather than having to build a complete segregated network for bicyclists?

By: ddansky Sun, 06 Apr 2014 09:05:03 +0000 Dave, you say that you “think equally important work has to be done to build these ‘new cycling stories’ “. And there are many positive new cycling stories that are a result of new improved urban space stories, as you know.

Some advocates tend to ignore such positive stories and explain away such phenomena (like the mass increase in cycling in parts of London, for example) as aberrations or as a result of a certain demographic or topography. Rather than recognising the real positive engagement of advocates with an authority. Some insist on continued dangerising cycling through their campaigning messages.

Of course vastly improving infrastructure and making driving much harder is crucial to get mass cycling but we also need to keep actively promoting cycling as a low risk benign activity that ordinary people are doing and can do now in the prevailing conditions.

By: ddansky Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:47:21 +0000 Hi Dave,
Not sure if you follow twitter.
Have you picked up the #replacebikewithcar hashtag (

It has been picked up by many advocates of all persuasions
It is clearly ironic but really highlights the different and perverse double standard between society’s attitude to motoring and cycling and communicates a lot of your themes about cycling marginalisation and struggles in 149 characters.

Here are a couple of examples:

Beer and catch up soon perhaps?


By: Dave Horton Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:10:16 +0000 Splendid stuff Psychobikeology.

It feels like what you’re saying (and what Richard Ballantine seems to be saying, and what I think I almost always think, even if I don’t always say) is in our imaginations and in our practice the bicycle – certainly when used as an ordinary means of moving around – symbolises an alternative to the dominant conception of societal progress, which remains for now (if ever more anachronistically) still symbolised by the car. And I think we need to become more ‘out’, overt and ‘proud’ about this (yes, I’m deliberately adopting the language of other struggles). I don’t want to become churlish about increases in cycling wherever there are increases in cycling, but I’d quite like the stories (personal and political, individual and collective) around these ‘wins’ to at least have the chance of being inserted into alternative narratives and visions to those shaped by neo-liberal discourse, because then they and cycling have hope of meaning something more.

By: Dave Horton Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:55:37 +0000 Thanks Kevin. I don’t disagree with you, or David Dansky (and I’m sure Rod King would agree with you both, and argue that this is precisely how 20’s Plenty is achieving its notable successes across Britain), but I think we need to be careful not to disappear cycling out of that ‘liveable city’ mix, perhaps out of that misplaced sense of shame that I’ve argued is a reason for cycling’s continuing repression.

But regardless, if we are getting more politically savvy, getting better at ‘smuggling cycling in’ as part of broader efforts to civilise the city, I still think equally important work has to be done to build these ‘new cycling stories’ – cycling has to become part of the collective cultural consciousness, the popular imaginary, in ways that haven’t happened so far, *partly because* cycling retains these ‘cranks’ and ‘mavericks’ connotations. So we need fundamentally to re-shape popular understandings of cycling, and that won’t happen by sneaking it in, and/or pretending it doesn’t exist.

By: Dave Horton Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:44:47 +0000 Hi Kevin – I don’t know: a childish naivete that never went away? A *faith* – unquestioned and that I feel in my bones – that cycling is the answer (even though I often don’t know the questions). More psychologically and/or sociologically, a need always to be on the outside, and an inability (also lack of desire) to move inside (and so stop ‘getting it’ for the pragmatic reasons other people probably who once ‘got it’ gradually stop ‘getting it’). But also .. Critical Mass, sociology (especially interest in the architectures of everyday life), the Netherlands, anarchism, utopianism, and simple love for the bike. Also, more recently, awareness there are others who think similarly (people in Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, obviously), and so a sense of hope, solidarity – which is why what we’re doing, really, and need to keep doing, is building a movement. You?

By: Promises « Psychobikeology Sun, 30 Mar 2014 10:58:46 +0000 […] the meantime, here is part of a comment I just left in response to Dave Horton’s latest […]