Not much bicycle riding in the last few days as I had to stay home with a sick child and the only cycling in the saddle activity I managed to squeeze in was a round trip to the Bicycle Film Festival Greatest Hits on Friday evening. Upon arrival at Arkitektur- och designcentrum I was greeted by an american man smoking a cigarette just outside the building. “Hi, what’s your name?” – “I’m Pierre.” – “Where are you from?” – “I’m from France.” – “Where in France?” – “I was born in Roubaix but…” – “Really? I’m working on a film about Paris-Roubaix. My name is Brendt Barbur by the way. Founder of the Bicycle Film Festival”.
We talked for a while and when Brendt asked me, the amateur cyclist born in Roubaix, whether I had watched a Sunday in Hell or not, I did not really know how to answer and after something like “euhhh…. yes… maybe… no” I had to admit to being a bad student coming to the festival rather unprepared.
I had seen some of the movies of the greatest hits already but some were new to me and the two hour program felt way shorter than it was. The evening ended with Lucas Brunelle’s Off The Grid but even though I know he’s a regular contributor to the Bicycle Film Festival (I respect that) and his movies quiet exciting to watch I still don’t see the point of glorifying reckless riding and, furthermore, still don’t understand the whole meditation and metaphysical bullshit the guy can come up with for a full 20 minutes.
I rode home through hipstermalm and somehow managed to stay on the bike despite all the drunks and taxis using the bike lane for everything but cycling and suddenly it’s Monday. I have the whole day for myself and decide it’s time to work on the fundamentals. I have to watch a Sunday in Hell or I can’t keep blogging about cycling and tell people I’m from Roubaix each time the Queen of the Classics pops up in a discussion. And so I did just that. I just enjoyed a Monday in Hell.
Thanks to – “because of” would grammatically be more correct but completely wrong expect for some spandex retards out there – the massive amount of people who choose to walk or ride during summer commuting by bike in Stockholm is quite an enjoyable hassle at the moment.
This is especially true on shared paths that are ridiculously narrow in some parts of the city and that only fuels the annual summer war between pedestrians and cyclists. But it does not have to be that way! Let’s look at how the smart brains of Järvsö solved the problem: with only a couple of wood boards and the help of gravity they created a nice segregated cycle facility leaving enough space for pedestrians on the left of the bicycle lane.
me trying out the bicycle lanes in Järvsö last Saturday
Thumbs up to Järvsö for solving the shared path problem so well! I can’t wait to see Stockholm urban planners follow these guys ideas on streets design: imagine a double wall ride (first to the right, second to the left) to connect Götgatan to Skeppsbron. Wouldn’t it be sweet? Or am I just day-dreaming again?
When I saw the drawing this afternoon I was pretty sure it was depicting the every day situation on Skeppsbron where cyclists have to ride between the road, tourists buses, tourists wandering and standing in the middle of the bike lane for a better view at the Royal castle, taxi drivers dropping customers wherever they feel like it’s OK, … (the list could go on for pages)
But no. Bekka Wright (the bike commuter & artist behind BikeyFace) lives and bikes in Boston, MA, United States. Looks like the life of bike commuters is pretty much the same on the other side of the Atlantic.
Since it seems to be nearly impossible to teach cab drivers how to drive and behave the Department of Transportation in New York City initiated a campaign to prevent (or at least reduce) doorings. 26,000 stickers are to be placed on the windows and doors of the city’s cabs to remind people to check for cyclists before they exit the vehicle.
I’ve stopped counting the number of times I had to ride on the road because of a taxi parked on the bike path unloading passengers: this happens pretty much each and every day (Skeppsbron would be the worst of all on my route). I sometimes stop by and try to talk to the drivers but, as if they knew they’re being stupids, they often just pretend not to see me or, even better, act like they know better and raise their voices.
Those “Look! For cyclists.” stickers (I read about then on londoncyclist.co.uk) might not solve the real problem but if they can just make people think twice before opening the door I think it’s worth the rather cheap investment. Do you think they should be put on Stockholm’s cabs? Or on all cars even?