I am arguing on my latest blog post that, now Cadel's victory dancing in our eyes, we are in a good place to re-imagine our whole  bike culture.

 

We know, as vividly as we ever will, what the best of sports cycling looks like. But what about the poor cousin, utility cycling,  so much less glamorous and exciting, how does that  look?

 

As they swung around the Champs Elysees again and again,  I  thought how strange it is that certain other two wheelers, bikes which are  just as important in the scheme of things one could argue, don't rate  a mention , even as museums and public gardens get the nod from the savvy commentators

 

I'm talking about the  Velibs, the 250,000 public bikes  on the streets of that same city,  never thought of as a cutaway as round and round we go.  This  made me realize that utility riding is totally under the shadow of sports cycling and that  for the health of both  but especially the latter, they need to be peeled apart.

 

That is my blog topic. See if you agree.

http://www.situp-cycle.com/2011/07/26/peeling-them-apart/

 

Sorry,  I can't credit the charming velib photo

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We'd probably not he having this discussion if we had bike share because the uptake around the world  of such bikes by new riders proves that these Velibs, Bixis, etc.  are very seductive and quickly implant a new perception of the bike.

So, if I could make policy, the first thing I'd do would be to bring a helmet  exemption for bike share, knowing this would enable such schemes,  which in turn  would  change the over all bike culture,  not by in any way interfering with sports cycling,  but by adding another element.

It would be important to  have enough share bikes to have an impact. I'd think about 3000 for Sydney for starters

It's easy to make bike share sound unworkable here. But is is thriving in 140 cities around the world and not just in Europe. I know Montreal well where there are 5000 bikes.
Like the Boris bikes in London, it;'s usually for city centre situations. They have 500 bikes too. Dublin has the same no as Melb, around 500 but with ten times the usage, and in a city with no bikeways at all.
Bikeshare seem to work as a change agent, a  a show piece,  an enticer. And it's not necessarily for tourists. Visitors cant use the 5000 Bicings in Barcelona for example

Bike share  gets non riders riding, it redefines the bike as a practical transport vehicle, and it proves riding in traffic is not as dangerous as imagined, (Bike share every where has a much better safety record than we have ) all great outcomes.

 

And please stop talking about hate. It's an easy and unjustified smear.

It's just one person's opinion about one race. He's probably still narked about Rasmussen getting ditched :-)

I don't think people who are wondering about taking up cycling are going to log on to Copehagenize, see those posts and think "no way".

If they can find that blog anyways I just had a flick around Copenhagenize and all I found were pictures of people in urban environments riding bikes. Looked pretty good to me. 

If you think that stuff is nasty about "Our Cadel" you should read BikeSnob.

 

I think Cadel was exciting this time around - he fell behind the Schlecks because of a bike problem - and had to chase them all up and down hills - and caught them on the flat before a big climb. That was amazing riding. Also the time he had another bike problem and then the team took him to the front before the hill climb and he won the stage. All pretty amazing. There were previous years when he did try to join break aways when he was far behind the leader and I think it was Cancellara talked to him - telling him GC riders like him can't join breakaways. Its pretty hard so - GC riders do end up boring because of this. But on climbs when it is the best of the best testing each other out - there is nothing better.

"Susan - Perhaps Colin only watched the last stage."

I didn't watch any of it - I think you may have confused me with Mike.

I admit to not watching a single piece  of the Tour News through the Australian Media, with apologies to SBS live at ungodly hours of the day. Instead I downloaded torrents from  live Versus (US)  live EurosportHD and highlights from ITV4 for each and every stage,  avioded the news the following day and watched it later, in the footage from these three sources (US and UKx2) and there were Bikes everywhere,  in the fields, adverts, bike shops, city reviews (copenhagen, London, portland, Amsterdam),  even a small 10 minute citylovebikes doco on Europsport I think ? on how cycling has fostered a much more community spirit in amsterdam, no cars = safety for kids and a healthy start.

simple stuff, but it is hard to watch and depressing to realise that bike culture in this country is decades behind because what we are actually seeing is Corporate Australia try to position itself into the culture of cycling, and it (corporate australia that is) does not think that sit-ups are the money makers that carbon 7kg zippers and BMC team kits sold to a 1st timer in clarence street for 15K are.

 

Even last september I had dinner with a senior UCI figure who was here for the worlds, and he did not think Sydney was a bike friendly city.

 

Pity,   don't care what you ride, just ride

 

 

Pete, that is fascinating. I watched only SBS, not the whole thing, I admit. But is it possible I wonder, that SBS inadvertently or even systematically dropped the stuff you saw. I'd love to explore this further. Mike

yeah,   free to air  non murdoch and uploaded globally by bike fans (have to say mostly roadies but hey a fix is a fix) pun intended.

 

SBS have to cost and pay for airtime in a market that they alone covered and supported for years whilst the commercial channels ignored it (thank god) , so SBS are not to blame for this, they covered the tour and that's the product they were selling albeit with ITV coverage,  nothing wrong with the SBS coverage, I had the option to watch 2-3 different sources so I took that.

 

It is interesting to see how the adverts/culture and commentary  in different countries are delivered (eg Versus in the US)

all the stages in HD are available in multuiple languages and multiple coverages from cyclingtorrents.nl

 

Pete, do you have to tell us this the week AFTER the Tour is over???

Ah well there's still the Vuelta. And that doesn't get much coverage on SBS.

you do have to avoid the press the following day , which was (prior to Cadel) pretty easy.

 

I have young kids and drinking beer at 3:00am on a school nught watching an exciting break away on the col du Galibier or the Tourmalet does no good for my health nor career.

Vuelta will be on the dutch site.

 

As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a line of separation.  I'm a commuter, a sports cyclist (not a racer...), a utility cyclist, and I even put on my cutoffs and go ride in alleycats with the fixxie hipsterz.

 

Maybe I'm missing the point of your blog, but it seems like there's already too much separation between the two.  If we could make the weekend warrior realise that they could ride their bike to work, that would be a huge thing.  I know a few riding-for-fitness types who don't even think about using their bike for anything apart from bunch rides.  Imagine if all of the corporate cyclists started commuting to work: cycling would sure get noticed and talked about a lot more.

 

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