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Archive for the 'Bike to Work Book' Category


Oct 01, 2008

Testing, testing, one, two, three



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Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve been trialling some cover designs for the Bike to Work Book. There have been some excellent suggestions and all the comments are taken on board. The cover has gone through a number of revisions, as seen here.

I’ve now had in a third-party submission from Daryl Edgecombe of printer-cum-design-agency Colourbox. I like it, but mainly as a graphic to be used in the book and maybe the back cover. However, what do you think?

biketowork1

On his blog, Daryl writes:

Carlton Reid has offered his book cover up for some feedback. This is a great idea which I admire, and a great way to gather some opinions before print (there’s not an awful lot you can do afterwards!). You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and I don’t envy Carlton’s job of sifting through the various comments! Bit worried he’ll end up with Frankenstein’s monster but from his replies so far, I think he has a fantastic attitude towards the task in hand.

Daryl is right, it’s a tough job sifting through the comments, and working out which I agree with and which I don’t. Right now, the cover is a work-in-progress and I’m still waiting for some commissioned photographs to come in. If they fit the space and the brief, they could be cover material.

So, please bear with us (the book is co-published by myself and Tim Grahl) while we agonise over the perfect cover. Would you prefer people on the cover or simple graphic images? It’s interesting that Paul Dorn of the US is going with a very simple graphic (and very similar strapline text) for his book, The Bike to Work Guide.



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Sep 19, 2008

Photographers, game for a challenge?



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BiketoWorkCoverV4

This is the last cover before Interbike. It’s still not quite right. As so many people have had conflicting views on the covers they like and dislike, we could allow buyers of the e-book to choose their fave cover! I thought I was kidding when I originally Twittered that comment, but thinking about it, it’s possible.

When he saw this cover image, Teejayeff said: “I still don’t like it, it’s aggressive. I like the Joseph of the US one, simple with normal people.”

Good point. I, too, want normal people but perhaps those pictured are a bit grumpy? Now, if anyone has the perfect image, let me know. The pic must be hi-res and must shout ‘cycling to work’ with the following features:

Non-threatening; non-Lycra; happy but not too happy; could do with being man and woman, maybe one wearing helmet, the other not; sunny, but not tropical; people pictured must be reasonably attractive but not pro models (that shouts fake).

Not too much to ask, then.

There will be cash in it for the photographer, rates subject to negotiation.



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Sep 18, 2008

Feedback taken on board, so how does this cover tweak grab you?



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Thanks to all those who commented on the Bike to Work Book cover design. There were some excellent home truths contained in some of the comments.

I’ve gone back to the cover, removed one of the offending statements (”join the revolution”) and enlarged some of the other text and the base pix.

How do you like this version?

BiketoWorkCoverArtBLUE2

There’s still plenty of time to improve the cover before we set the presses in motion so tell us what you think. Don’t hold back, yesterday’s commenters certainly didn’t…

A number of people said they weren’t keen on the distressed font so I’ve changed it. Like this one? Click to see it bigger - the book will be 18cms wide.

BiketoWorkCoverV4

If the covers above don’t tickle your fancy, how about this one by Joseph of the US?

biketowork1-1

And this here is the first cover. Maybe you like this one best?

1BikeToWorkBookFullCover

It’s critical we get this right. You can always tell a book from its cover, and all that jazz. Here are two examples of how a designer can get it wrong. Both are for the same book, the traffic book I raved about here.

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traffic2

The yellow sign version is for the US edition of Tom Vanderbilt’s book. The dog version is the one for the UK market. The former is excellent, the latter may be an attention grabber but it’s also mystifying. Dogs driving cars? I understand the metaphor, but I think it’s a poorly executed cover. Maybe the publisher should have done what I’ve done here and sought some wider feedback?

Mind you, the book is a far, far better read than you’d think from the subject matter and I reckon any cover would have struggled to get across what the book is about.



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Sep 17, 2008

What do you think of this redesigned cover?



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BiketoWorkCoverArtBLUE

This is a fresh version of the cover for the Bike to Work Book. The main image is by Mikael Colville-Anderson of Copenhagenize.com.

Mikael has also written a cracking piece for the book and this will be in the first PDF extract, due to be published in the next few days. Sign up - it’s free - for a download notification on BikeToWorkBook.com.

This extract should have been ready by the end of August but time flies when you have to prep for Interbike. Sorry about the delay.

BikeToWorkNewBlueCover



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Sep 10, 2008

Digi-map your ride



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bristolstreets2
At the end of August, Mary Spence, president of the British Cartographic Society, laid into online mapping, claiming that Google Maps and Multimap were “demolishing thousands of years of history [and] geography” because they, and other online mapping services, failed to always include the same amount of detail as Ordnance Survey maps.

She said online mapping was good for driving directions but left out the sort of crucial data people need to understand a landscape, such as churches, ancient woodlands and stately homes.

During a talk delivered at the conference of the Institute of British Geographers in London, she said:

“We’re in real danger of losing what makes maps so unique, giving us a feel for a place even if we’ve never been there.”

Google, Microsoft, and satnav specialists, such as Garmin, were guilty of “corporate blankwash,” said Ms Spence.

She didn’t diss everything digital: she championed projects such as Open Street Map, a wiki map that users can update with plots of anything they fancy: from bike shops to bus stops, and from pubs to post boxes.

This personalisation of maps is powerful: but it’s not just a wiki thing, Google Maps does it, too. Third-party developers produce so-called ‘mash-ups’ of Google Maps, And far from killing maps, mash-ups are allowing individuals and special interest groups to create hard-working maps that clearly have an enormous role to play in the future of wayfinding.

There’s an ever growing list of such way-finders on Bikeforall.net.

bristolstreets

BRISTOL STREETS
One of the newest additions to the Bikeforall list is Bristolstreets.co.uk, a map-based site covering all of Bristol - natch – but also parts of South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Bristolstreets.co.uk is a map-based site chocka with transport information, including bike lanes, off road routes, bus routes (with live bus info), train times, and car club locations. The site is interactive, too. Users can mark the map and post a request for cycle parking, or suggest the addition of a cycle lane, or flag up a hazard such as a pothole. There’s no guarantee any particular request will be acted upon, but the council will use the data collectively to determine where improvement will be most effective.

Although the site looks like the work of a massively funded quango - Bristol, after all, is England’s first ‘cycling city’ and is home to the UK’s chief ’shared space’ transport guru - it’s actually the work of a one-man company.

Toby Lewis of Logogriph of Bristol is a web designer. His site is Google Transit on steroids.

He created it in November 2007 and it has been evolving - and improving - ever since. It was started because travel information about Bristol appears all over the place

“There are already many sources of information about public transport. People are faced with a needle in a haystack and often multiple haystacks as different transport modes have different web sites or different organisations providing information. There is little consistency in the presentation of the information from different sources,” said Lewis.

“There are lots of web sites these days with maps in them, but there are few where the map is the site. When location is an important aspect of the information it makes sense to present this first on a map and then show further details when the visitor has identified the items of interest.”

The site will pay for itself with paid-for markers, said Lewis. He’s planning to add a property section. Estate agents could load house-for-sale markers. Bike shops could pay to be listed. He’s also making money for hosting survey research. Bristol City Council is currently seeking information on cycle commuting take-up in Bristol and has a survey on Bristolstreets.co.uk

Lewis isn’t worried that Google Transit could steal his thunder: “Google Transit is fantastic but it doesn’t get under the skin of a city. When you live in the city you’re producing a map for, you have on-the-ground knowledge. This is critical when you’re navigating people around an area.”

Bristolstreets.co.uk also has a Facebook presence.



GOOGLE TRANSIT
In the US, Google Transit has made big strides since it was launched.

“Plan a transit trip in several cities across the US and Canada with Google Maps. Get step-by-step directions and travel times for your entire route, all in one place online.”

The first map was for the San Francisco Bay area.

Other cities have since come on stream. There’s still little info on UK cities. In fact, the only UK location for Google Transit is South East of England, but it’s populated with data only from ?Traveline South East.

In theory, Google Transit offers A to B walking routes as well as bus and car route information. What is doesn’t yet provide is bike route info. Such an omission rankles with some cyclists. Earlier this year GoogleMapsBikeThere.org was set up to pester and petition Google to add bicycle routing to Google Transit.

However, this isn’t something Google could provide easily. Cyclists may pick out short-cuts side streets sometimes, but this can often be a slow way to cycle across a city. And bike paths very often snake their way around town, when roads usually take the most direct route. Any cycling directions on Google Transit would therefore have to be produced by cyclists. But one cyclist’s ‘dangerous highway, choked with cars’ is another cyclist’s ‘fast route into town, with cars as pacers’.

Google need not do all the legwork themselves. As other Google mash-ups have shown - for instance, byCycle.org, which provides bike mapping for Portland, Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin - people are willing to share their knowledge for the greater good.

ridethecity
RIDE THE CITY
Mash-up site RideTheCity of New York has taken a different approach. Instead of seeking rider feedback, it has meshed Google Maps with city crash stats, creating recommendations for safer routes. It can also recommend faster routes for those who don’t mind mixing with cars.

“Every time you search Ride the City, we look through more than 125,000 records in a database. Most of that data comes from the City’s LION GIS data. The City’s LION file does not contain bicycle facility data, so we made a Freedom of Information Act request to the NYC Department of Transportation and NYC Department of City Planning. That got us a little closer, but we still had to put in dozens of hours of data cleanup to get everything working more-or-less correctly.”

“Sometimes the most daunting thing about riding a bike in New York is figuring out the best route to take. How do you get to the bridge entrances? What’s the best way to Central Park from the Hudson River greenway? We created this website to help beginning bicyclists answer those questions,” founder Jordan Anderson told TechCrunch.com. He runs the site with fellow cyclists Vaidila Kungys and Josh Steinbauer.

According to the trio, Ride the City was built almost exclusively from open source software and tools.

londoncyclenetwork
LONDON MAPS
TfL’s Journey Planner is complex but you can soon drill down to the transport options you want, including cycling. After typing in start and end points, the system gives an esitmated average journey time and a map.

The London Cycle Network map (requires registration) uses A-Z mapping and you can click to choose overlays, such as National Cycle Network routes or London Cycle Network bike routes.

TRANSPORT DIRECT
Shockingly, the Department for Transport funded UK Transport Direct journey planner does not contain bike route info despite this proud boast: “Transport Direct is a world first. We are the first ever web site to provide national coverage for information about all types of transport.”

However, Martin Whitfield of print map making company CycleCity Guides said his company is to “to add a cycling layer into Transport Direct’s existing multi-modal journey planner.”

bbbike1

BBBIKE
Taking your bike to Berlin? This is a great route finder, and it has an English language option, too. It’s open source - PERL, in fact - and has a myriad of options, making it one of the best featured of all online bike route maps.

Like all other route finders you enter starting position and destination as well as any ‘via’ points. But you can also choose your likely average speed, whether you want to mix with traffic or take side streets, whether you want to include bike paths, and there’s also data on current weather so you can upgrade or downgrade your probable speed given the likely road conditions.

BBBike can also be downloaded to laptops for offline route-finding.

routecraft
ROUTECRAFT
Naturally, as one of the most bike friendly places on the planet, Amsterdam has an online routefinder that knocks the socks off most others. In fact, Routecraft is for cars, too. But hit the bike symbol and you select the cycle planner. Type your start point or drop the bike on to the map. Type your end point or drop on the chequered flag. Hit ‘find route’ and you’re done, with a resulting map route and turn by turn directions. Routecraft calculates the distance but, neatly, also tells you how many trees you’ve saved by not driving. It’s what’s motorists would no doubt consider to be a smug-o-meter.

routemobile_large
Routecraft also has live roadworks info and a traffic blackspot option.

Best of all, though, Routecraft Bikeplanner is also available to use on a mobile phone. You need one with an internet connection and which can run Abobe Flash Lite.

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DIY PRINTED MAPS
On 6th September, Richmond, Indiana, became a bike-friendlier place. It now has its own bike route map. It wasn’t funded by the locality, it was pushed through by cyclist Mark Strosberg. His inspirational website details how we went about the task, from creating the routes through to raising the funds.

“I hope that by sharing may experience in this project it may guide other motivated citizens who would like official bike routes in their towns, but don’t want to wait until their cities have both the time and the money to produce them on their own,” said Strosberg.

“Anyone is welcome to design and print a map, and it is experienced cyclists, not city bureaucrats, who are most qualified to determine what recommended bike routes should be.”

——————————————————————————————————————-
Like this article? It’s an extract from the Bike to Work Book, available in November from Amazon.com. Get the free podcast for the book. A larger extract of the book will be available as a PDF soon.

——————————————————————————————————————-



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Sep 02, 2008

Real life ambassador becomes Oz bike-to-work ambassador



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NRTWD_rondel_Low_res

“Mrs Ambassador, with these bicycles, you are really spoiling us!”

Susanne Shine, Denmark’s ambassador to Australia, has become a National Ride to Work Day Ambassador. The Danish Embassy and Consulate will take part in Australia’s National Ride to Work Day on Wednesday 15 October.

Denmark has a strong bicycle culture: every day one in three in Copenhagen gets on their bikes to go to work. This adds up to 1.2 million kilometres on bikes each day, or one kilometre by bike per citizen each year.

Bicycle Victoria’s National Ride to Work day was recently launched by Peter Garrett, former lead singer of Oz indie band Midnight Oil, and now the Federal Minister for the Environment

rsl

The ‘Oils’ were renowned for their fierce independent stance and active support of a range of contemporary concerns including the plight of homeless youth, indigenous people’s rights and protection of the environment.

The band’s protest and benefit shows, notably the anti-Exxon performance on a truck-top in the streets of New York and, of course, the ’sorry suits’ performance at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games closing ceremony were hallmarks of a thirteen-album career culminating in the ARIA lifetime achievement award in 2006.

NB
A PDF primer for the Bike to Work Book will be released shortly, containing nuggets of information for cycle commuter newbies and inspiration from Denmark.



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Aug 18, 2008

This book could save your life



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On Friday I was cycling along Gosforth High Street when I saw a canvas-coloured VW nudging out of a side road. This is normal rudeness and I wasn’t too fussed, even though I had to swing over a few inches to safely clear the nudger. As I passed I could see the woman driver was on a cellphone. She was inching out into the road. She might not have seen me. Instead of simply riding on, as I would do usually, I braked hard, hopped backwards and asked the driver to - please - get off the phone.

What happened next surprised me.

She said sorry. In fact, she was apology central.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” she said, and looked it. Her phone conversation hadn’t been suspended pending a rant to the idiot asking her to obey the law, she had immediately hung up the call. Amazing.

I explained how, next time, she might inch out and kill somebody. She agreed, and promised not to do it again.

This compliance threw me. This isn’t how it’s meant to work. We’re meant to shout at each other.

Surprised, albeit still a wee bit shaken by my brazenness, I started to ride off. A car pulled to the side of the first car. The woman inside said ‘What’s up? She was wasn’t on the phone was she?”

Upon my nod, she tutted and shook her head at the VW woman.

Apparently, this sort of real-person peer pressure has a big impact on drivers. In Bogata, Colombia, mime artists were once paid to mock bad drivers and jaywalkers. Behaviour improved.

Next time I see a motorist on a mobile phone I won’t be silent, I’ll ask, politely, for more concentration, less yakking. I don’t expect I’ll get the same sort of profuse apology as above but perhaps if lots of people shamed wrong-doers, such behaviour could be curtailed?

I was inspired to take direct action because of the book I’ve just read. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) is published by Alfred A. Knopf in the US, and Penguin in the UK. It’s written by tech journalist Tom Vanderbilt.

Pleasingly, Traffic is racing up the best-seller lists. This is good because the readers of the book will be mostly mainstream motorists, not just road radicals, pedestrianisers, transport behaviourialists and bicycle advocates.

The message in Traffic is that motorists can kill and that a society designed to placate the car is not a healthy society. Controversially, Vanderbilt ends his book with the belief that cars will eventually have to be GPS and computer controlled, packing more of the motorists that want to drive on to the increasingly congested roads of the world.

Traffic is a detailed, funny and endlessly surprising book. Vanderbilt explains why traffic problems around the world are really people problems. Vanderbilt delves into the psychology of driving, walking, and cycling. He visits Dr Ian Walker, the cycling academic who strapped a camera on his bike and filmed motorists passing him. Walker found that drivers often drive further away from those cyclists without helmets because they appear less anonymous, and when Walker donned a long blonde wig motorists gave him/her even more room because women are perceived to be wobblers.

Some of the research won’t be new to many cyclists. For instance, it’s reasonably well known that Hans Monderman’s idea of removing street signs improves road safety. When 95 percent of the signs on Kensington High Street in London were removed, pedestrian KSIs (‘killed or seriously injured’) dropped by 60 percent.

However, the book is rich in data that doesn’t normally make it out of academia, and Vanderbilt turns even the dullest of studies into interesting examples of how driving can make sinners out of angels.

Though we all may think we are better than average drivers, Vanderbilt examines why we all behave differently when we get behind the steering wheel. He examines what causes road rage – he prefers the term ‘traffic tantrums’ - and why we think that being inside a metal box absolves us from any obligation to anyone else. He compares the driving of men and women, young and old, and has travelled around the world to study traffic jams near and far. Why is it that some countries drive on the left and others on the right? (It’s to do with horses and swords). Why do New Yorkers jaywalk more than people living in Copenhagen? (No, it’s not just cultural, design plays the biggest factor).

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But don’t think bad driving and traffic congestion is a modern phenonomen. Traffic starts with a eye-popping section on the history of vehicular congestion, from the cart ruts in Pompeii which show use of detours and one-way streets, through to the terrible congestion in 19th century London and New York. At least our congestion isn’t accompanied by mountains of horse dung.

Vanderbilt comes at the controversial topic of risk compensation from many angles. “Most crashes,” he writes, “happen on dry roads, on clear, sunny days, to sober drivers.”

Wide, clear, smooth roads are statistically more ‘dangerous’ than narrow, singletrack roads with hairpins and steep drop-aways. Drivers are lulled into a false sense of security on the first, but fret for their skin on the second, taking more care.

He will make you think again about mundane street furniture. Traffic lights, for instance. They are bad. Roundabouts, which require care and attention, are good.

It’s Vanderbilt’s book which alerted me to this fantastic 1950 Goofy cartoon about pedestrian/driver split personalities:



NO MORE DISTRACTIONS
There’s some related good news to report in the UK. From today there are some new, tougher penalties for motorists who kill because they were “avoidably distracted.”

The new offences will, for the first time, allow courts to imprison drivers who cause deaths by not paying due care to the road, or to other road users.

The new offences will carry custodial sentences of up to five years.

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: “Drivers who kill through carelessness will no longer be able to walk away from court with just a fine. Driving requires full concentration at all times. A moment’s distraction can make the difference between life and death.”

What sort of distractions? Driving while talking on a phone or texting. Driving while drinking or eating, adjusting a GPS or car stereo, applying make-up or reading a map.

*******************************************************************

EXTRACTS FROM ‘TRAFFIC’ BY TOM VANDERBILT

The road, more than simply a system of regulations and designs, is a place where many millions of us, with only loose parameters for how to behave, are thrown together daily in a kind of massive petri dish in which all kinds of uncharted, little-understood dynamics are at work. There is no other place where so many people from different walks of life — different ages, races, classes, religions, genders, political preferences, lifestyle choices, levels of psychological stability — mingle so freely.

The more you think about it — or, rather, the more time you spend in traffic with time to think about it — the more…puzzling questions swim to the surface. Why can one sit in traffic jams that seem to have no source? Why does a ten-minute “incident” create one hundred minutes of gridlock? Do people really take longer to vacate a parking spot when someone else is waiting, or does it just seem so? Do the carpool lanes on highways help fight congestion or cause more of it? Just how dangerous are large trucks? How does what we drive, where we drive, and with whom we drive affect the way we drive? Why do so many New Yorkers jaywalk, while hardly anyone in Copenhagen does? Is New Delhi’s traffic as chaotic as it seems, or does a beautiful order lurk beneath the frenzied surface?

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Just when it seemed as if things could not get more complicated on the road, along came a novel and controversial machine, the first new form of personal transportation since the days of Caesar’s Rome, a new-fangled contrivance that upset the fragile balance of traffic. I am talking, of course, about the bicycle.
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When I walk, I view cars as loud polluting annoyances…When I drive, I find that pedestrians are suddenly the menance, whacked-out iPod drones blithely meandering across the street without looking. When I ride a bike, I get the worst of both worlds, buffeted by speeding cars whose drivers resent my superior health and fuel economy, and hounded by oblivious pedestrians who seem to think it’s safe to cross against the light of ‘only a bike’ is coming but are then startled and indignant as I whisk past at twenty-five miles per hour.

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When bicyclists violate a traffic law, research has showed it is because, in the eyes of drivers, they are reckless anarchists; drivers, meanwhile, are more likely to view the violation of a traffic law by another driver as somehow being required by the circumstances.

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Max Hall, a physics teacher in Massachusetts: “The poetic and beautiful result is that four-wheelers behave like fixed objects, by moving very little relative to each other, even at significant speeds, while two-wheeler traffic moves ‘through’ the relatively static field of larger vehicles.”

—————————————————————–

Perhaps….we will turn the highways into blissfully cooperative, ultraefficient streams of movement with no merging or tailgating or finger flipping. Long before that happens, however, a sooner future seems likely: cars driving themselves, at smoothly synchronized speeds to ensure maximum traffic flow and safe following distances, equipped with merging algorithms set for highest throughput, all overseen by network routers that guide cars down the most efficient paths on these information superhighways.

*******************************************************************

It’s this last point that fascinates me. It makes total sense. Congestion is set to increase, a huge cost to the economy. The only way to get vehicular traffic moving is to allow computers to take over.
What’s the most dangerous component on a car? The nut behind the wheel. Take away the nut and the streets will be safer.

Motorists face a future of restricted movement (think of the current Beijing experience, with half of the city’s cars forced off the road, every other day). Cyclists, on the other hand, will be able to reclaim city streets, free to go as they please, when they please, protected from cars and trucks because vehicles will be forced to carry on-board speed restrictors, acceleration monitors, and vulnerable road user avoidance devices.

Such freedom to move will create even more cyclists, something that’s already happening. Catering for cyclists - like catering for pedestrians - is the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to civilise a city. And now that message - thanks to Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic - is going mainstream. Thanks, Tom.

Buy the book and bookmark his How We Drive blog.



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Jul 29, 2008

Have you signed up yet? It’s free and tasty



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1BikeToWorkBookFullCover

Sign up for the free newsletter for the Bike to Work Book, and click through to listen to the podcast, too. Or peruse a PDF for the book from here (the PDF is viewable online, no need to download it).

The Bike to Work Book is to be co-published in November by myself here at Quickrelease.tv Towers and Tim Grahl’s CommuteByBike.com of the US. We met through membership of the Spokesmen bike industry roundtable podcast (which has a new serious/funny episode online right now).

1BikeToWorkCover

The Bike to Work Book is a print title but it will also leverage the internet to reach a larger audience than possible through traditional book publishing. The print version will be available on Amazon.com and other booksellers from mid-November but the book will also be available as a paid-for rich-media e-book and there will be a free, cut-down version of the book available as a PDF, sent via iTunes. The e-formats will be available earlier than the printed book.

The health and economic benefits of cycling are flagged on the book’s back cover.

Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett said: “This book could save you $3500 a year. And you’ll be lighter and stronger into the bargain.”

Transport psychologist Dr Ian Walker of the University of Bath said: “Cycling is an important life expectancy predictor. Because it becomes part of your daily routine, cycling to work helps you live longer. This book could be the most important you ever read.”

Dr Walker was the guest on the second BikeToWorkBook.com podcast. Click below to listen to it right here right now or get a regular dose via iTunes. A new episode will be recorded and published later this week.



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Jul 21, 2008

Cars give blondes more road space (revisited)



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BorisJohnsonSkySportsLondonFreewheel08

Women who cycle get given more leeway by motorists than men who cycle. This was the famous conclusion of a camera-on-a-bike study carried out two years ago by Dr. Ian Walker of the University of Bath. It got a load of media attention at the time, especially as the bearded Dr Walker donned his blonde wig for the paparazzi.

Nobody would dare skim too close to London’s blonde bicycling bombshell, Boris Johnson. The Mayor is an instantly recognisable figure on the roads of London. And this was Dr Walker’s point: drivers don’t lump all cyclists into one group, they perceive different cyclists in different ways, giving some more room than others.

Dr Walker talked about his findings, and other aspects of his job, on the second BiketoWorkBook.com podcast, recorded earlier today. He has provided a quote for the back cover of the book, and it’s all about how the risks of cycling are always far outweighed by the benefits, especially health benefits. The podcast starts on these life-enhancing benefits and then meanders into blonde wig territory.

My co-host, Tim Grahl, also wanted to find out whether Dr Walker knew of bike-skimming research from other countries. The podcast can be found on iTunes here or as a direct download here. I’ve also loaded an MP3 to the Quickrelease.tv podcast on iTunes.

Sign up for the BiketoWorkBook.com podcast to get all future episodes, and make sure you sign up for the Bike to Work Book newsletter, too.



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Jul 14, 2008

A new podcast, mailing list and book



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1BikeToWorkBookFullCover

Sign up for the free newsletter for the Bike to Work Book, and click through to listen to the podcast, too. Or peruse a PDF for the book from here (the PDF is viewable online, no need to download it).

The Bike to Work Book is to be co-published in November by myself here at Quickrelease.tv Towers and Tim Grahl’s CommuteByBike.com of the US. We met through membership of the Spokesmen bike industry roundtable podcast.

1BikeToWorkCover

The Bike to Work Book is a print title but it will also leverage the internet to reach a larger audience than possible through traditional book publishing. The print version will be available on Amazon.com and other booksellers from mid-November but the book will also be available as a paid-for rich-media e-book and there will be a free, cut-down version of the book available as a PDF, sent via iTunes. The e-formats will be available earlier than the printed book.

The health and economic benefits of cycling are flagged on the book’s back cover.

Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett said: “This book could save you $3500 a year. And you’ll be lighter and stronger into the bargain.”

Transport psychologist Dr Ian Walker of the University of Bath said: “Cycling is an important life expectancy predictor. Because it becomes part of your daily routine, cycling to work helps you live longer. This book could be the most important you ever read.”

The 200-page, full-colour book will be available in the world’s biggest book shop.

“The book available on Amazon is kinda fixed, but the electronic formats will be made country-specific so readers downloading the US version will get a book produced just for the US,” said Tim Grahl.

This flexibility allows for country-specific spellings and riding advice, too.

The print book is set in stone and will be mostly US in tone and spelling,. But the downloadable formats will be regionalised. Where Americans say ‘gas’, Brits say ‘petrol’. And the UK version will say ‘colour’, not ‘color’. The localisation of the e-book and PDFs also allows us to modify comments about riding on the left or the right of the road.

Check out the new podcast. The first show was recorded on Thursday and featured me and Tim talking with two of Europe’s top bike bloggers. Mikael Colville-Anderson produces the Copenhagen Cycle Chic blog (”bicycle advocacy in high heels”); Marc van Woudenberg produces Amsterdamize.com.

Colville-Anderson and Woudenberg are to write a chapter in the Bike to Work Book: ‘The Future is Already Here’, a description of what US and UK cities can look forward to when they embrace bicycling.

PS

For those who like plain vanilla MP3 files instead of .m4a’s here’s a link you’ll prefer.



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