Sign up for the 1930s-era cycleways project

Between 1934 and 1940 Britain’s Ministry of Transport paid local authorities to install cycle tracks. As seen and heard on the BBC, ninety or so schemes were built, resulting in perhaps as many as 500 miles of cycle tracks, some of them protected with curbs. The great majority were built – 9-ft wide and both sides of the roads – next …

Bike Boom is now available

Bike Boom was published in June 2017 by Island Press of Washington, DC. The 800+ footnotes for the book are free to read online. Buy the print book from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes&Noble, or indie book sellers. Digital versions of the book are available on Amazon and Apple’s Book Store. The iPad version of the book (with additional illustrations and videos and audio …

PRESS RELEASE: Historian uses Google Streetview to find Britain’s “lost” 1930s-era cycleways

Monday, 8th May 2017 PRESS RELEASE For immediate publication. A historian has used the spin-off from an American military mapping project to discover nearly 300 miles of “lost” British cycleways. These cycleways were installed beside British roads between 1934 and 1940, but were abandoned after the Second World War. Many were surfaced with red concrete, protected cyclists with kerbs and …

Blurbs

The front cover of Bike Boom can be seen above, but here’s the back cover, too. It contains the all-important blurbs. Text too small to read? Click for a larger version or read the full text is below. The book majors on the bike booms of the 1930s in the UK and the 1970s in the USA. Between 1934 and …

In 1935, cyclists accounted for 80 percent of the traffic in some English towns and cities

In May 1935, a Divisional Road Engineer in the Ministry of Transport wrote to the Chief Engineer in London giving the latest traffic counts: “The cycle traffic on the Wolverton Road [near Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire] represents in numbers 54 percent of the traffic on the road throughout the day. At rush hours it reaches 80 percent of the total …

#AlternativeFact: “Cyclists cause air pollution”

“Cyclists cause air pollution” is becoming one of the regular tropes to attack cycling, wheeled out by shock-jocks, NIMBYs and even black-cab drivers (possibly tweeting such views from their diesel-powered vehicles, idling at taxi stands). It’s insidious. Have a look at this A-level physics exam paper from Edexcel: I was alerted to the questions by my 17-year-old daughter. The exam …