Here’s Andy Salkeld, Leicester’s fantastic man of cycling, urging us all on in the business of building cycling cultures, at The Phoenix in Leicester. Although it was a team effort, and many other people on the ground in Leicester helped pull the whole thing together so successfully (especially Janet Hudson of British Cycling, and John Coster of Citizens’ Eye), Andy must take much of the credit.
There were around 120 adults and 30 young people crowded into The Phoenix on Sunday, for a hectic and inspiring afternoon of talks, discussions and workshops.
After a great buffet lunch (I hope others feel the event, at £10 including food and drinks, was as much of a bargain as I do), formal business began with a series of presentations. Andy kicked things off, and was followed by Leicester City Council’s Deputy Mayor Rory Palmer, myself, Rachel Aldred of the University of East London, Roger Geffen of CTC, and Jon Orcutt of New York City Department of Transportation. Here are Jon, Rachel and I, waiting our turns to speak.
Jon talked about recent changes to cycling in New York; as Policy Director he has been centrally involved. It was a really great presentation, with Jon’s hard-earned wisdom and insightful details accompanied by splendid photos. I was particularly taken with this slide, introducing a typology that could have come straight out of our own Understanding Walking and Cycling research.
Jon explained how the recent boost in New York’s cycling levels has been achieved through increasing dedicated and segregated space for cycling along some big and busy roads; again, an intervention our research concludes is needed in the UK if we’re to move beyond the ‘strong and fearless’ and even the ‘enthused and confident’, and start tapping into the ‘interested but concerned’.
Workshop sessions followed these presentations. There were also great stalls to check out, and far too many inspiring people to try to find time to talk to. And the afternoon closed with us all getting back together to knock around ideas on how to keep building cycling cultures, and make cycling bigger.
Thanks to Griet Scheldeman for the photos, and to all who came, in whatever capacity, and contributed to such a rich and rewarding event. I’m already looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as some new ones back at The Phoenix next year (because mad fools that we are, we’re planning to do it all again, but hopefully even bigger and better next time!).