My trip to Amsterdam

I’ve been working with Amy and Cyclodelic for the past 5 weeks.  Traveling to London for the summer has been a wonderful experience, and interning with Amy has been great.  But, in order to gain a grasp on just how influential and powerful a force the biking community is in Europe compared to the States, I needed to step out of London.

Not to be misunderstood, the bicycle community in London is fantastic; especially with the new TFL bicycles for rent this coming month.  But Amsterdam takes the cake as the city of bicycles.  The entire city seems built upon the idea that there are alternate forms of transport.  Rather than driving or riding the tube and bus, this city seems to thrive upon using our bodies as a primary motor.  Most people ride bikes to their destination, which is made easy with the many bike rental companies and large bike-only lanes everywhere.  The walking paths were almost always less than half the size of the bike lanes.  IF you must get somewhere far, you can take a canal boat ride or use the tram.  Rarely did I see cars and when I did, they were never given the right of way over bikes or pedestrians.  It seems that sort of common courtesy could go far in a place like London; where the cabbies TRY to run pedestrians over.

The people in Amsterdam love riding bikes, it is that simple.  They also share some of the lowest obesity rates and cleanest air in all the world.  Coincidence?  Maybe, but probably not.  Traveling by bike is not just their way of transport, it is their way of life.

66% of Americans are overweight or obese. 46% in the UK, and 50% in Australia.  11% in Amsterdam.

Ruth Nicol’s Journey Update

Ruth Nicol is doing a wonderful job riding for great fundraising causes.  Here is an email she recently sent, to keep us updated on her journey.

Just to let you know that I finished the mammoth cycle ride on Saturday and cycled all 1052 miles – I’m proud to say that I didn’t walk up any of the hills, though did stop several times on a couple of the monster ones….In fact, on the way up to Dent station, I spotted 20 yards ahead of me, an old lady with a walking stick, and aimed to overtake her – and failed – I was too slow even for that!

I will be putting together a retrospective journal of the trip over the next few weeks. I wasn’t able to do it at the time because I had no spare time nor energy. As soon as I finished each day, I had to put up my tent, sort out my stuff, shower, etc, eat then head to bed. Also, I had to leave my camera behind after a few days, just to save on weight. So I’ll be using my shots from the first few days together with photos taken my the other people taking part.
The journey itself was HARD, and we also had a headwind of varying ferocity on all days except one, which added to the difficulty. My enormous Brompton bag seemed to act like a giant anchor, too.

I would really recommend the trip, though – it was an amazing experience.
Your (Cyclodelic) clothing got a lot of compliments, like I said in the postcard. I really loved the lightweight t-shirt and will be ordering another one myself.  I was really impressed with how cool it remained, even in very hot weather, and I really liked the fit. The jacket travelled in my front bag or on my person for all 1052 miles, and was absolutely brilliant. I rode the whole way without the use of lycra, cycling shorts, padding of any kind or any special shoes (just my ordinary shorts and shoes) – and no problem/soreness/aches at all.
I know that several blokes have done the LEJOG on a Brompton, but can’t find any evidence of any women – so, who knows, maybe I’m the first – hurrah!
The donations are still coming in – and thanks very much for the links on your page – I’m now at £1,556.55, with more promised – the Barnardo’s fund has exceeded its target, which is absolutely brilliant.  I’ve been really inspired with how generous and supportive people have been – incredibly so, and I really valued your super-generous donation of such lovely clothing.
Like I say, I will put together the journal and photos over the next few weeks, and will send them on to you just as soon as it’s done.  Look out for Ruth’s journal and photos coming soon on our blog, keep up the amazing work Ruth!

Ruth Nicol’s Fundraising for Sustrans

Ruth Nicol’s Fundraising for Barnados

Laura Tenison MBE Confirmed for Cycle Show

Laura Tenison MBE has also been confirmed to speak at this year’s Earl’s Court Cycle Show on the Family & Leisure day, Sunday October 11th.

As the founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison has grown the company organically from start-up to its current £19M gross turnover, without the need for VC or private equity. Now the UK’s foremost niche market specialist in the pregnancy and baby market, JoJo offers fashionable maternity wear, a Breton inspired children’s collection and original nursery products, gifts and toys. In short, JoJo Maman Bébé offers a quirky and imaginative collection of everything you need from pregnancy to pre-school. Continue reading

Helen Pidd confirmed for Cycle Show

Helen Pidd will be speaking at the Cycle Show on Trade day, Thursday 8th of October.

Helen Pidd rides to work every day at the Guardian newspaper, where she is a news reporter. She is the author of Bicycle, a modern guide to cycling, which will be published by Penguin in May 2010. Bicycle is a book for ordinary, non-Lycra wearing people who happen to cycle or want to start, and provides answers to all manner of niggling questions, from how to foil a bike thief to whether it is really necessary to wear helmets or fluorescent fabrics to stay safe while riding.

Bicycle book jacket