Tag Archives: cycling

Rides A Bike

31 Dec

Thanks to Casper ter Kuile for alerting me to this amazing tumblr – Rides A Bike – featuring old Hollywood stars and their steeds. I am just dying to make like Grace Kelly and ride a bike side saddle. How ridiculously impractical and yet SUPER COOL.

Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Audrey Hepburn

And speaking of bikes, applications for the 2011 Otesha Project cycle tours are now open! Sign up for the most fun (and most challenging) 6 weeks of your life!

hanna ♥

Get Yourself Seen

4 Nov

I received my first twitter death threat yesterday. Perhaps it is a sign I am going up in the world? Anyway, this was in response to me tweeting about the Bike Train in Brighton, which is a super cool way for me to get to uni in the mornings. Safe cycling with a group of people on a very busy road, with jazz being played on the speakers! Very civilized. So I was kind of bummed to think someone was so incensed by this sensible approach to safety that they would want to run me over and potentially shoot me. I reported it to twitter and the police though because I am completely overreacting to teach him a lesson. So there.

ANYWAY, in the spirit of safe cycling, here is an AMAZING retro video abut hi-vis vests I found over on the Otesha blog. As the nights draw in, get yourself seen!

hanna ♥

Girl Swoon #8

6 Oct

Dawn is my first blog friend! We haven’t met yet, but we have a mutual appreciation of each other’s blogs. Please go and check out her blog, 101 wankers, which catalogues all the wankers she encounters when riding her bike (and believe me, there are many). It will have you in stitches.

Name: Dawn Foster

Age: 24

Website: I blog about idiot anti-cyclists at http://101wankers.com but I also write political things at http://fforphistine.wordpress.com, collaborate on http://waronthemotorist.wordpress.com and tweet (and swear) a LOT at http://twitter.com/dawnhfoster

1) What do you do and why?

I get revenge on people and motorists who think they’ve got a right to shout or abuse me when I cycle, by documenting and making fun of them on my blog. When I first started cycling I used to get furious whenever it happened, and my philosophy in life is, if something makes you angry, make a cup of tea and turn it into something positive, whether it’s a campaign, a comic strip or a blog post. I’m interested in how we relate to our environments too, so using maps appealed to me, and appeared to capture a lot of people’s imaginations. It’s become hugely popular, I think in part because a lot of cyclists (especially women) can relate to it, and there’s a certain localism to it. Part of the “why” is also because I am bolshy, and if I ever think people have slighted me in part because I am a woman I won’t let it drop until they are either embarrassed or angry at me for exposing them. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, and if a few people might think twice before being uneccessarily rude to women in future.

2) Does being a woman affect your work in any way?

Definitely. My politics are based on a belief that equality and ecology are two of the most important things to be protected and as a woman, this is particularly true. And being a woman is the core of why I started 101 Wankers, to basically say that I wouldn’t just accept the abuse that people shouted at me because I dared to be a woman on the road on a bike. The sense of camaraderie I’ve had from the women who’ve contacted me has been fantastic as well, though I feel terrible that I haven’t physically had time to respond to the hundreds of emails I’ve received since starting the project.

3) Are you a feminist?

Most definitely. I first came across the concept when I went to university, and it was a real “Eureka!” moment for me. I felt a lot less alienated, and it really gave me a lot of confidence, to be able to challenge a lot of the behaviour that was directed at me, and the inequality and unfairness I saw day to day.

4) What are your future plans?

I really want to expand the website to include articles on cycling for women of all abilities, as well as interviews with women cyclists on why they cycle. I worry that the site might put some newbies off, when I want everyone to love being on two wheels as much as I do! I also want to work more on writing more on local and environmental issues: I think community’s hugely important and I’m nostalgic for the days of housing cooperatives and genuine neighbourliness. I’ve been reading recently about the eviction of the residents of the Clays Lane Estate Cooperative to make way for the London Olympics, and it made me furious. As someone who’s recently moved to London, I’d like to start getting involved in my local community, through campaigning and writing.

5) Tell us one cool thing we don’t know already:

I tend to think of myself as a misanthropist but can’t help but lapse into grand philosophical moments of loving the world, my friends, fellow campaigners, this city and thinking that sometimes everything can get a little bit better.

Thoughts and love to Otesha Canada

17 Sep

We got some awful news at Otesha UK yesterday – a cycle tour member on an Otesha Canada tour (our kind of “parent” organisation) was killed in a collision with a lorry and two others are in hospital with what we believe are minor injuries. It is so, so sad and I can’t even imagine what the team over there are going through, so my thoughts and love go out to them and to the friends and family involved.

The person killed was a 23 year old man from Brooklyn, NY, called Andrew Wolf. I had never met Andrew or heard of him until yesterday, but I do know some things about him, as each person who signs up to an Otesha tour has these things in common: An incredible spirit. A thirst for adventure. A belief that the world can change for the better. A belief in themselves. Strong thighs, strong heart. A deep sense of morality. A smile. An inherent optimism and appreciation for people, beauty, nature, life. The ability to meet a stranger and soon enough, call them “family”. An open mind. A need to prioritise what’s important in life – people, experiences, contentment, our earth – over prestige or money.  A good sense of humour. An ability to laugh at themselves. Playfulness. A desire to connect with young people and pass on what they’ve learnt. A desire to stand up and be counted.

The world has lost another who was trying to change it for the better. Please, please, let’s do all we can to make cycling safer for ourselves and our loved ones.