Silently and majestically the most magnificent display of bicycles contrasted against the bright white walls. Cargo bikes, record-winning bikes, wooden bikes, small wheeled and big wheeled bikes had us all in a slightly stunned silence. Number of bikes already owned plus room for another one we questioned. Could we? Should we?
In a conference room, still with the excitement generated from the designs we had just seen, we sat to listen to a group of cycling representatives talking about – cycling! At the helm, Jools Walker – blogger and PR & Social Media Executive for Vulpine introduced the panel of the four participating in the evening entitled “Is there a Cycle Revolution?”
The evolution of pedal power has become so much more than a mode of transport. Oozing from every pore, the whole room filled with an enthusiasm for cycling from absolutely everyone.
Views from Bromptons very own CEO Will Butler Adams, Map Technical designer John Marshall, Hackney Central Ward Councillor Vincent Stops and Donnachadh McCarthy from the Stop Killing Cyclists campaign were expressed and discussed.
The evening attracted an array of cyclists including fellow members from London Brompton Club and Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth who not only rides a Brompton but has also agreed to join the Women and Equalities Select Committee. Despite her schedule, Ruth clearly has the kind of attitude that would be good to see in all our MPs as rather than make a fuss, she joined the rest of us in the audience and only made her presence known during the Q&A to talk about cycling infrastructure and the positive merits of cycle training for adults and children which directly affect how people cycle on the road.
Another of the many issues discussed was the question of why relatively so few women take up cycling. This, to me, was answered by the mere existence of Stop Killing Cyclists as such vocabulary is never going to actively encourage people to ride bicycles.
Whether there is currently a cycling revolution or not – there are a lot of people who are extremely passionate about cycling.
24hrs later design ruled the air again at The London Bike Show which brings cyclists together even before you reach the door by providing attended bike parking (but bring a good lock).
The Velorution stand was packed with so many beautiful bicycles – Schindelhauer, Nevi, Van Nicholas and their new range of Cooper bicycles. Ironic that the inventor of the Mini suspension system went on to create the Moulton and now the Mini Cooper, albeit under Licence, now has a range of bicycles of its own including an electric version soon to be produced. What goes around, comes around!
Velorutions range of small-wheeled bicycles included Brompton, Moulton and Ori. Such art made me wonder whether some of these bicycles should be in the Tate, yet all I really wanted to do was to ride them.
Amongst the many brands participating in the show Enigma, Mango, Hoy, Cubes, and Cannondale – bicycles that looked as though they were lighter than air were all in attendance, shiny bright and sparkling. The increase in the amount of electric bikes was also evident.
The number of cycling accessories with built-in lights was in abundance. Torch helmets have built in lights at the back and the front with adjustable ranges of light power. No light can replace the power of eye contact and correct road positioning but the idea of having lights that distract drivers from their Starship-type dashboards impressed me.
Equally, Stand Out also caught my attention. An illuminated image of a bicycle on the back and front of a bicycle. At the Innovation Bar, an antitheft device that is hidden in the bicycle which sends you a text when the bike is moved was interesting.
The Metropolitan Police brought three vehicles including a tipper truck and invite you to sit in the drivers seat to gain the HGV drivers perspective. It is a real eye opener and definitely worth doing. The results from those who took part in this Exchanging Places opportunity 2014 show how it affected cyclists behaviour around lorries and large vehicles.
Over the next three days, Tahnée Seagrave, Chris Boardman, Alex Dowsett, Sir Chris Hoy MBE, Steve Abraham and Martyn Ashton are all taking the stage in the Cycling Performance Theatre. I am gutted to miss hearing these extraordinary achieving cyclists speak.
Talks, demonstrations, the opportunity to test bicycles and compete on a mini velodrome it is a show that is full of surprises.
Cycling home from Tower Bridge the moon sat serenely in the sky and I realised how lucky I am to have discovered the power of the pedal.
The rest of the pics are here: