Cycling Embassy of Great Britain

As many of you may remember, Cycling England is to be axed in the bonfire of the Quangos. Cycling England was not particularly effective at what it was supposed to do (obviously), but its closure means that the existing meagre cycling funding will be reduced further by being made into a “Sustainable Travel” fund whose use is allocated by local authorities. I expect that much of this money will be used for things like road widening and pot-hole filling justified by some ridiculous environmental spin.

Some expect that the CTC will move in to fill the void left by Cycling England. This comes with problems too, the CTC is committed to vehicular cycling and promotion of a sport-centric view of cycling which is destructive to mass cycling. Thankfully, Jim from the Lo Fidelity Bicycle Club is championing a new organisation:

“An Embassy, free from the burden of history, legacy and ties, created to work in partnership with fellow organisations and charities in Great Britain, mainland Europe and around the World trading ideas and experiences in how to promote cycling and make cycling infrastructure work in urban and rural contexts.”

Unlike the existing cycling organisations, The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain is not committed to vehicular cycling, sport-cycling and the status quo but aims to represent the interests of everyday citizen cyclists like many of you who read this blog, including Dutch-style infrastructure. The site is currently very new but I urge all of you to sign up and spread the word.

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Wheel Friendly

A friend of a friend is currently in the process of expanding a company operating cycling holidays, so I have decided to shamelessly plug it here.  The company is called Wheel Friendly and they are currently conducting a survey to find out about what people may be interested in for a cycling holiday.  One minor gripe is question number 2, “What kind of cycling do you do?”  Sadly, transportation is not one of the options listed, but at least there is an, “Other,” option available.

I’ve never been on a cycling holiday (although I have cycled a few times during a holiday), but it is something which has real appeal to me.  I’ve often considered the camping possibilities opened up by the Yuba and its huge carrying capacity.  Have any of you been on a cycling holiday?  Feel free to share your experiences (and links) in the comments section below.

Fair Transport

As I promoted in my previous post, on Saturday I was at the Finders Keepers craft and vintage fair in Didsbury, providing human powered transport for Tallulah Taboo’s stall.  It had been a while since I had last ridden the Yuba (August has been quite bike-light) and I really enjoyed being able to use it for something useful.  The fair was quite enjoyable, although the vast majority of the things on offer seemed to be aimed at the more female end of the market.  Seeing as the fair was craft and vintage, maybe in the future I could get together enough vintage bike stuff to set up a stall of my own, providing a money-spinning refuge for the many distressed-looking husbands and boyfriends you tend to see at this kind of event.

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I didn’t get a shot of the bike on the way there due to a sudden downpour which made me less enthusiastic about taking pictures.  This is the stall as it was set up when the doors were opened.

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A selection of the pretty, shiny things on offer.

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A complementary Tallulah Taboo fridge magnet on its new home, the Yuba top-tube (some bending required).

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The remaining stock and display materials packed up and ready to be taken home.

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The elusive me being caught on camera whilst setting off.

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Riding off into the sunset.   

The exercise also helped to alleviate some of the wisdom tooth pain (I find cycling is a good distraction from things like toothaches and other pain in areas of the body not used to drive the bike).  On the way back i bumped into a group ride which included a tandem.  Quite a few of them seemed interested in the Yuba, reinforcing my feeling that lots of people would own cargo bikes if only they were more aware of their existence.  All in all a good day, I look forward to boosting Tallulah Taboo’s green credentials again in the future.

Tallulah Taboo at the Finders Keepers Fair

I have been waiting for a valid excuse to plug my friend’s home-business, Tallulah Taboo for a while now, and the opportunity has finally come.  Tallulah Taboo is a “One (Wo)man show, creating individual pieces of art jewellery, or just plain pretty things to dangle from yourself or a friend.” On Sunday she will be running a stall at the Finders Keepers craft and vintage fair in Didsbury.  My valid reason finally came when I offered up the Yuba for use in transporting the goods to the fair.  I will be around at the show during the day.  I’ll do a proper write up after the event.  Doing favours is another great reason for owning the Yuba.