I had a lazy Sunday morning, sitting in bed with a big mug of coffee and yesterday’s Guardian (By the way – check out the Guardian’s Two Wheels column on a Thursday – now written by CTC’s Richard George).
As I read the paper, Radio 4 was playing the Archers omnibus in the background. I’m no big Archers fan – but if it happens to be on, I’ll listen to the latest goings-on in Ambridge. I half-listened as a couple of characters were speaking about the idea of ‘Transition Towns‘ and about the possibility of getting more villagers to cycle. My ears pricked up.
The full transcript of the conversation is on the Transition Culture blog:
CATHY You can see why if you’re trying to get people out of their cars, better public transport.
PAT Yes but..
CATHY That’s the trouble though… if you give up your car, there’s no other option
PAT Well you can cycle…
CATHY Like Nigel?
PAT I think in Stroud they are setting up a shared bike scheme… bike shelters and community bikes all painted yellow or something, you just grab one to get where you’re going.
CATHY …and then if you can cadge a lift back…
PAT Definitely. You’re not committed to the bike… And they do bike maintenance classes for people who’ve got their own.
CATHY Well, it sounds amazing!
PAT Tony thinks it’s a good idea.
CATHY I think you might have a job selling it to the whole village…
PAT Well, I’m going to carry on with it anyway, see how far I can get.
I wonder how far they will get? Maybe they’ll go further if they get a Cycling Champions Development Officer. There are 13 of us dotted around the country. Some are in cities, but some, like me, and like Martin in Yorkshire, are focussed on rural areas. Countryside locations face very different issues when it comes to the challenge of encouraging cycling.