Hosted by David Bernstein & Carlton Reid since 2006 Posts

November 26, 2020 / / Blog

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Thursday 26th November 2020

The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 261: Faster, smaller, cleaner: data analysis shows why delivering by cargobike makes sense

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: Ben Knowles and Nicolas Collignon of Pedal Me, London

LINKS:

Spokesmen interview with Pedal Me’s Ben Knowles in 2018.

Nico’s blogpost

TRANSCRIPT:

Carlton Reid 0:12
Welcome to Episode 261 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was recorded on Thursday 26th November 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast for shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now here are the spokesmen.

Carlton Reid 1:09
Hi there. I’m Carlton Reid and today’s episode is about the significant logistical benefits of last mile delivery by E-cargobike. Joining me from London is Pedal Me boss Ben Knowles and calling in from Copenhagen is Nicolas Collignon who is a Pedal Me rider during the day and the firm’s data scientist at night. Nico knows his stuff. His PhD was in computational cognitive science. And over the next 20 minutes or so, we discuss Nico’s fantastic new blog post that demonstrates with data why dense urban areas are best served with deliveries by wwift, nimble, planet-friendly cargo bikes, cargo bikes that can be loaded up with pretty big payloads. Okay, so this morning or today I have with me two people. Ben Knowles, who’s in where are you saying you’re you’re in London as a market there, Ben, wherever you are?

Ben Knowles 2:15
I’m sitting in Exmouth market, which is one of the very pleasant, low car spaces in London that’s well utilised for commerce. And so you might hear some bikes coming past you might hear some shoppers on their way to COVID-secure buying. So apologies for any of the background noise.

Carlton Reid 2:39
Well, you might hear dogs or a dog in the background of my one as my dog wanders in and out. And also in Copenhagen, which is a fantastic place to be is Nico so it’s Nicolas, I’m gonna murder your name here. Sorry. Is it Nicolas

Unknown Speaker 2:57
Collignon?

Carlton Reid 3:00
Oh, I got it. Right. Actually, I got it. Right. Fantastic. So just to set this up. You’re Nico. You’re a data scientist for Pedal Me? Yes. And you also ride for Pedal Me?

Nico Collignon 3:15
Yeah, that’s correct.

Carlton Reid 3:16
And Pedal Me. Let’s go. Ben, you will last on the show on the spokesmen podcast back in 2018. When you are going for your first round of funding. So just bring us up to speed on where you are and how many riders you have now. That kind of stuff.

Ben Knowles 3:33
Yeah, so I think we were around about 15 staff members then. Today, we’re about 55. Staff members, a lot more advanced in terms of tech and operations. We, we’ve moved to our own system, other than kind of like an A white labelled external system. That’s much better suited for for what we do. We’re doing a lot more large scale logistics. And we’ve done some amazing bits of work, including there’s one project that Nico has written an article about, as well, where we delivered 10,000 packages across Lamberth covering something like 20,000 kilometres I believe it was. So we’ve grown a lot since we last spoke, Carlton.

Carlton Reid 4:26
So you had two funding rounds. Is that right?

Ben Knowles 4:29
Yes, we’ve done to two equity based crowdfunding rounds. And yeah, we’ve put that money into growing our fleet. So we have 56 bikes today improving our tech, which is an incredible amount more advanced today than it was and then the latest features, we have an API, so Companies can plug in directly to our tech system for fulfilment of orders. Also, next next week, we’re starting to move into our first warehouse. So we also do some sort of third party logistics stuff where we hold people stock for them, and then do their deliveries on their behalf as well. Or by bike. Apologies for the beeping in the background. The inconvenience, right because I

Carlton Reid 5:36
yeah, that’s good. That’s my bicycles. Your bicycles don’t have beeping when they when the reverse No,

Ben Knowles 5:42
no, but maybe they should do for the trailers.

Carlton Reid 5:47
Nico is this a wild stab in the dark thinking you might be in Copenhagen because of the bikes you ride with?

Nico Collignon 5:56
knows that my my I grew up in Copenhagen. So I’m visiting my family for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, so

Carlton Reid 6:06
Okay, but you’re French?

Nico Collignon 6:07
Yeah, I’m

Nico Collignon 6:07
French, but grew up in Copenhagen.

Carlton Reid 6:10
Interesting, Nico, how come you’re working for Benjamin there? How come you’re working for Pedal Me?

Nico Collignon 6:18
So I finished my PhD in February. from Edinburgh. I did my PhD in computational cognitive science. And I wanted to take a bit of a break from academia and use my skills on a project with impact. And I believe that cargo bicycles have this potential to change things for the better in cities. So I wrote to Ben and then he replied very quickly, and then I jumped on the bike a couple of days later,

Carlton Reid 6:51
So, Nico, you are riding as well as being the data scientist, is that right? So you’re like, you could be on call. You could be going out like everybody else in the team.

Nico Collignon 7:00
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Carlton Reid 7:03
So Ben, I don’t know how much of this will be talking to you. Because obviously, Nico is the data scientist, and he’s the one who’s put some of this data up. But obviously, pitch in whenever you think you need to, but let’s go to Nico because this this, this blog posting and Twitter thread that was put up has gone viral. It’s fascinating because well, you can tell me why. But basically, it’s showing the incredible efficiency of, of cargo bikes, and we’re gonna say this is like London, is this London during the pandemic is that all the data has been captured in that period.

Nico Collignon 7:44
So the data we’re looking at here was just for the month of September. So that was outside of any lockdowns. And I think that the traffic was actually quite, quite high in September.

Carlton Reid 7:58
So first of all, tell me the speeds. So that’s that’s how fast as a normal van or car motor vehicle go in London, and how fast do you guys go?

Nico Collignon 8:09
Sure. So the so one of the problems with this study, so I wanted to do a van versus cargo bike comparison is that I don’t we don’t actually have access to van data. But to the best numbers I could find were from a report from Transport for London, from 2018. That said, the traffic speed in central London was 11.4 kilometres per hour. And in inner London, so a bit outside of Central that was 18.7 kilometres per hour. And that’s between seven in the morning to seven in the evening.

Carlton Reid 8:48
And what are you guys doing? What are the what are the cargo bikes doing?

Nico Collignon 8:51
Sure, so he speeds that I found looking at 19,000 kilometres from 37 of our bikes were 15 kilometres per hour in central London. So that’s 3.6 kilometres per hour faster than the vans and then in inner London, it’s 16.4. So that’s a bit slower, but it’s like it’s averages for two quite big zones. So I think what it really shows is that the more dense area we’re in the faster the faster the bikes and then yeah, I think that if you’re within three or five miles of the centre of London, then the cargo bikes have a definite advantage. And then

Carlton Reid 9:34
you’ve got to factor in for a van driver, you’ve got to factor in somewhere to park Yeah, to then make your delivery whereas you can well what do you do? How do you avoid parking spots?

Nico Collignon 9:46
Well, it’s not that we’re avoiding the parking spots we also have to park but like the bikes are, I don’t know if five times smaller than a than a van. We can also like move a lot more freely. So is just something that’s not not a concern when I’m out and about on the bike doing deliveries.

Carlton Reid 10:07
So this this data that you’ve captured at Ben and Nico, this is all with the new IT system that you have. So this is all logged on riders phones, where’s where’s the data log?

Ben Knowles 10:22
So we’ve got a couple of sources of data. So yes, we have tracking through the riders phones, actually, through a couple of systems that we use. One for the one for our radios, and another for running the running jobs directly through an app. But we also have ways of track we have trackers on the bikes. And I believe that that’s where Nico pulled this data from.

Nico Collignon 10:54
Yeah, that’s correct.

Carlton Reid 10:56
Okay, so you’re using, you’re putting this data through into open street mapping, to show that the bike base trips are actually shorter than the equivalent for a van, is that right?

Nico Collignon 11:08
So yeah, so for this, I looked at the data for more jobs suggest the pickup locations and the drop off locations. And then I looked at the routes that openstreetmaps would give us for bike routes, and then for comparative to car routes. And any and what I what I found is that the bike trips are consistently significantly shorter.

Carlton Reid 11:37
is the reason for that shorter distance that bikes can use bike paths and shortcuts. What’s what what do you put it down to?

Nico Collignon 11:45
I mean, yeah, maybe you can you can? Um, well, yeah, one of the reasons is that, yeah, we have shortcuts with bike paths. But there’s also like, there’s bus lanes, and then cars are sometimes allowed on single way. Roads, too. There’s a Yeah, there’s a bunch of reasons.

Carlton Reid 12:09
And then they’re just that the amount you can carry on a on a bike. I mean, that’s, that’s obviously something that you you push on social media. Yeah. That, but you can’t carry what a truck can carry. So where are the advantages for a client to using you if they’ve got tonnes of stuff to cart around?

Nico Collignon 12:30
Sure was one of the main goals for writing this piece was that it’s, it’s clear that there are misconceptions about cargo bikes, and one of them is how much cargo bikes can carry. So our bikes can carry up to hundred 50 kilos. And if you add the trailer, it’s 150 kilos more. And, yeah, that’s quite a lot. And the thing is that we can ride these bikes at at full speeds. So which is significantly faster than vans in central London. But then the second thing that is maybe not so intuitive, is that the fact that we can’t carry as much means that we can be more efficient in terms of logistics, because the loads are spread between more vehicles. And that can lead to more efficient routes.

Carlton Reid 13:22
So that I’m looking at the the data science here on the pedal me with this the blog, basically, or the article that was written. So this is using, like routing, you know, analysts analysis of like nodes and and different routes that you’ve, you’ve used, and you’re basically showing that cargo bikes are just incredibly more efficient than vans. Is that is that what you’re showing here with all of these different graphics? Which fabulous.

Nico Collignon 13:58
Yeah, so yeah, basically, is trying to give an intuition to what the last mile delivery looks like, which is a lot of drops quite densely distributed in the city. And the Yeah, the point is that, because they’re quite spread out around the city, if you were just to have all your drugs in one van and trying to link them all up, your route might be longer than if you were instead dividing it by let’s say, three vehicles, and then sending a vehicle to each of the patches. Does that make sense? Hmm. So it’s really trying to give an intuition using data and from clients that we work with for what last mile delivery looks like the last mile logistics.

Carlton Reid 14:46
So on here, it’s talking about a pedal a cargo bike can carry up to 36 packages, that’s like or 70 drops in a day. Yeah. So is that also just much more than ever van would normally do?

Nico Collignon 15:02
So I think you’re the point again is to Well, I mean, the bikes can’t really carry more than the navan. But the point is that in for last mile delivery, you’re limited by the time of the driver, you’re probably not going to be driving more than eight or nine hours in a day. And that limits the numbers of drops that you can do. And that means that most of the time your your van will be running or driving itself capacity because you like you don’t have enough time to fill up the van with deliveries, if that makes sense. And I was reading this study that was done in, in Delft in the Netherlands, where they analysed or they looked at the content of all vans coming in and out of the city in a day. And they they found that only 10% or less of vans would have been needed for the trip because like they’re just rarely used it for capacity.

Ben Knowles 16:03
And then, and that backs up some slightly older deep data from London that TfL had, which indicated that something like 67% of all fan trips were the vam is running at 25% capacity or less. So we’ve we’ve used that two thirds figure as an estimate of what logistics we can feasibly do within London. So we think that you know, like two thirds of the logistics that’s going on now would be more efficiently done by cargo bike.

Carlton Reid 16:48
Now an awful lot of cities will be looking at making their their fleets that they use into electric, in which case, you know that the pollution that you’re you’re not creating. But But yes, standard internal combustion engine vans and cars are using, you know, that’s an advantage now, but in say two years, three years whenever when all cargo fleets are electric, you lose that that advantage. So is your advantage, mainly going forward going to be efficiency? Is that? Is that where you’re pitching this? Because in the future, you can’t really pitch pollution as something that is going to be in your favour.

Nico Collignon 17:37
Yeah. So I mean, I’m talking here from Copenhagen work and see bikes from my window. And I think that one of the things that is not so obvious for people that live in a city like London, is the is the damages of car culture or motorised vehicle culture. And I think, yeah, it goes beyond just the pollution. So I tried to put together all the all the facts, but yeah, the one of the points was about the the sheer amount of space that that vehicles take the and then the dangers of having vans on the roads. And these are things that are not going to go away just because you have electric vehicles instead of combustion engines.

Carlton Reid 18:24
And that question for sorry, Ben, for you. You’re still London. And everybody always asked, I’ve certainly asked, and they’re just saying, Look, when are you coming to a city near me? So what’s what’s your expansion plans with this incredible efficiency, it can be done in other cities. So when could you expand?

Ben Knowles 18:46
Well, I guess that’s a question for me. Real realistically, we need to get to a scale where we’ve got the tech operating really efficiently. And we have we start to grow this network of quite sizable business partners that operate in multiple cities, that will make it very easy for us to go and tackle other cities. I guess, for me if things went well. And we got the right funding, and we start to come out of this pandemic period, which has been really quite disruptive because the type of work has been changing all the time, and we’ve had to be have a lot of organisational capacity on coping with those changes. If we can come out of this period, then something and then like the next year to 18 months, we can be coming to other cities. But to be honest, there’s also there’s so much work for us here in London. I don’t want to lose sight of that, because we think that there’s a billion pounds worth of work every year for us here in London. And we’re doing, you know, at the minute, we’re doing about a million pounds of work a year. So we were lucky left less than a 10th at like a 10th of a percent of the capacity of the market here, as well. So I don’t want to lose sight of the potential for expansion right here in London either,

Carlton Reid 20:34
Yeah. Good point. So this this blog posting by by Nico, this this fantastic information on how efficient these bicycles these cargo bikes are, that is going elsewhere than just on social media. This is something to be sent fleet managers, what are you doing with this information? How are you? How are you going to tell people about this?

Nico Collignon 21:01
Hmm. So we’ve we’ve been in touch with people in academia last week to see how we could push that forward. There. But yeah, otherwise? I think we’re people have been reaching out, but it’s Yeah, we don’t have a set plan. Apart from that, I think.

Ben Knowles 21:22
Yeah, I mean, I think, in general, as a company, what we try and do is, you know, we’re thinking beyond, just like the commerce, we’re not just thinking about our place in society as a business, but also where we can add value. So yeah, the company wasn’t just set up to be a money making machine, but it was also set up to deliver a public goods. And this information being in the public domain, even if we don’t directly profit from it, although I suspect they will bring interesting leads our way and interesting opportunities. That will still be, it will still deliver value in a wider sense. If that makes sense to you.

Carlton Reid 22:10
Yes. I mean, I’m just looking at the the, the tweet that I read originally did this so that I mean, it’s at 735 likes it said, 304 retweets. I know a lot of the people who I follow on Twitter, have been retweeting it and and bigging it up, because it is something that’s really, really important to get a certain class of motorcar and van off the road and for bicycle to take over.

Ben Knowles 22:39
Sure, I mean, I just in in general, I feel that the use of motor vehicles in cities is just so screamingly stupid. It’s such a waste of everyone’s time, that anything that helps people understand that and understand why that is, will help push, push the conversation and allowed more dramatic changes to our cities that will help make those more viable and more practical alternatives, easier. cycle tracks, local ship, low traffic neighbourhoods, more road user charging for, for those that do use motor vehicles in the city. And we, as a company were set up to help push that conversation along and help those changes to happen.

Carlton Reid 23:33
Let’s talk about low traffic neighbourhoods. You mentioned it there. So one of the things that people say is, Oh, I can’t get my deliveries. You know, the van can’t get through. You’re having no problems. I’m as human with low traffic neighbourhoods you can get through.

Ben Knowles 23:49
Yeah, so we did have a problem yesterday, when we were carrying a two seater sofa on the front of one of our bikes. And that did make getting through some of the the filters a bit challenging. But in, in general, yeah, the low traffic neighbourhoods, I mean, we can get straight through even with the trailers. And it it’s one of those things that it also makes working a lot more pleasant. Because you’re extricated from being stuck in traffic. You know, motor vehicles are the main thing that slows down. And so allowing us to move on routes that are parallel to the motor vehicles, and to enjoy pollution free spaces while we’re at work. It makes working a lot more pleasant and a lot more fun. As and, and also it saves us time because we’re not, we’re not entangled with the motors, when when they’re sitting there taking up all their space not going anywhere. We’re just extricated from all those problems, right.

Carlton Reid 25:00
Well, thank you to you both for for talking me today. And let me know. I mean, I will put in the show notes. I’ll put the link to the to the blog posting but Ben just just tell me where that website is and tell me any social media connected and I’ll ask the same question from Nico.

Ben Knowles 25:19
Cool. Sorry, what would you want from us in

Carlton Reid 25:22
Your website. So just Just give me a website and and and your Twitter handle that kind of stuff.

Ben Knowles 25:27
Okay, great. Yeah. So people can find us at peddleme.co.uk. And on Twitter or Instagram, on at pedal me at PDLME ATP.

Carlton Reid 25:44
Okay, and Nico, do you have somewhere where people can get hold of you on social media?

Nico Collignon 25:49
Yeah, sure. I’m on Twitter as well. I’m @nccollignon. But also through the Pedal Me Twitter.

Carlton Reid 25:56
And I haven’t been on there. That’s right. I do not follow you. But I’ll go check on you in a minute. And do you talk about cycle stuff on there? Or is this what do you do on your Twitter?

Nico Collignon 26:06
Yeah, quite a lot about cycling, then. Yeah. Then Oh, yeah.

Carlton Reid 26:13
It makes sense. I’ll definitely go and follow you then if you if you talk about cycling. Cool. And well, thank you so much, guys, for for talking to me today. And you’re very, very different locations. Thank you to Ben Knowles of Pedal Me and to Nicolas Collignon, also of Pedal Me and, and his fantastic PhD from Edinburgh University there. And let me just go across to my colleague, David before I wrap up the show.

David Bernstein 26:41
Hey, Carlton, thanks so much. And it’s it’s always my pleasure to talk about our advertiser. This is a long time loyal advertiser, you all know who I’m talking about? It’s JensonUSA at Jenson usa.com/thespokesmen. I’ve been telling you for years now years, that Jenson is the place where you can get a great selection of every kind of product that you need for your cycling lifestyle at amazing prices and what really sets them apart? Because of course, there’s lots of online retailers out there. But what really sets them apart is their unbelievable support. When you call them you’ve got a question about something, you’ll end up talking to one of their gear advisors and these are cyclists. I’ve been there I’ve seen it. These are folks who who ride their bikes to and from work. These are folks who ride at lunch who go out on group rides after work because they just enjoy cycling so much. And and so you know that when you call, you’ll be talking to somebody who has knowledge of the products that you’re calling about. If you’re looking for a new bike, whether it’s a mountain bike, a road bike, a gravel bike, a fat bike, what are you looking for? Go ahead and check them out. JensonUSA, they are the place where you will find everything you need for your cycling lifestyle. It’s Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. We thank them so much for their support. And we thank you for supporting JensonUSA. All right, Carlton, let’s get back to the show.

Carlton Reid 28:07
Thanks, David. And thanks, of course to you for listening to Episode 261 of the spokesmen podcast, show notes and more, including links to Pedal Me’s website and Nico’s Twitter account and it can be found at the-spokesmen.com. Our website also has all of the subscribe details you could ever eat and details on the previous 260 shows. But meanwhile, get out there and ride …

November 16, 2020 / / Blog

Your podcast catcher not showing in links above (black circle with three dots)? Loads more on PodLink. Show is also on Spotify. and Google Podcasts.

Monday 16th November 2020

The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 260: Say It With Flowers — My Guardian article’s LTN interviews

“When you see a bike like mine, filled with flowers, even the most steely, cantankerous Grinch will smile, because it’s a business that spreads joy.”

Four interviews rescued from the cutting-room floor

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: Newbie cyclist Sarah Berry, bottle shop owner Liam Plowman, cargobike florist Victoria Clasen and cycle campaigner Giles Gibson.

LINKS:

Guardian article: ‘I got it wrong. Since the changes it’s become more vibrant’: life in an LTN

TRANSCRIPT:

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 260 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was engineered on Monday 16th of November 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast for shownotes links and all sorts of other information, please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen.

Carlton Reid 1:08
Hi there, I’m Carlton Reid. and on today’s show, I’m letting you see behind the curtain. I’ve got three interviews that weren’t done for this podcast. They were done for The Guardian. I have a story well, actually three stories in today’s newspaper, all about low traffic neighbourhoods or LTNs. Now I talked with retailers and cycle campaigners to get their on the ground points of view. And with their permission, I’m including here some of those conversations. I recorded them to do transcripts. So recording them to just basically take notes and not to put on a podcast so the audio is a little less polished then then usual as recorded on an iPhone. Basically, we’ll hear from newbie cyclist Sarah Berry, bottle shop owner, Liam Plowman, and cargobike florist, Victoria Clausen and cycle campaigner Giles Gibson. That’s four isn’t it? So that’s three people, I said three before. Okay, so it’s four people who are recorded and I got their their permission to put their their audio that they didn’t know they’re being recorded for this podcast. But they gave me permission afterwards to to let you hear it. I have edited it in in parts of course. For instance, we didn’t talk about Chateau Musar. Why didn’t I not the Chateau Musar bit on Liam Plowman’s bit coz you don’t need to know about Lebanese wines. Do you? Okay, Chateau Musar is fantastic. Liam doesn’t stock it but he does have a different Lebanese wine. Okay, so first up, here’s Sarah Berry. And if you’ve seen the amended road closed sign that features pictograms of other road users, such as a cyclist, a pedestrian, a wheelchair user. Is there a skateboarder on this? I think it’s a skateboard on as well, with the text saying road open to those folks, but not motorists. Well, that’s Sarah’s work. And they are appearing all over the UK at the moment. And they’re great signs, but the roads aren’t closed to everybody they’re closed to motorists. And that’s a very, very good point to get across. And in pictogram version, or pictorial way of doing it, Sarah did that brilliantly. So here she is. But tell me, bear in mind, I do not live in London. So I will not know any of these places, but where do you live in comparison to Railton Road?

Sarah Berry 3:45
So I’ve actually moved since the LTN came in. So where I used to live, I was on a street that sort of came off Railton Road, they operate as sort of like a ladder. And so I was in one of the lattice streets off of that. I’ve now moved into a main road that borders the Tulse Hill LTN. So just on the other side of the park to where Railton Road is now.

Carlton Reid 4:11
And when you were living there, how did it transform your life?

Sarah Berry 4:19
Pretty remarkably, to be honest. So I had I’d heard about low traffic neighbourhoods as a as a thing before before it had come in. And it kind of felt like, you know, the ideal, the ideal thing that you would want as someone who wasn’t a car user in in the area, and I was a pedestrian predominantly using buses and trains before before sort of locked down here. But the day we got the letter about the LTN and Railton Road I went out and bought a bike. I only learned to sort of ride a bike doing the cycle confident TfL coursea year earlier, but sort of hadn’t had hadn’t worked up the confidence to test it out in, in London streets because it was just, you know, too busy and sort of too scary. And it didn’t feel like there was any way even local that I could cycle to that didn’t feel overwhelming. But when the LTN came in, when we told you that was happening, I was sort of like, right, I’m out of excuses. So went and bought a bike. And you know, that fundamentally, I think, during lockdown has been a real transformation, because, you know, I still haven’t gotten on a bus or a train or the tube or anything since since March. And I think if I had been confined to only the areas I could walk to, over the past six months, I’d be feeling a lot more sort of isolated and depleted than I am now I’ve been able to, you know, go and visit my new nephew who’s been born in Kingston, because I could cycle out there in able to go and visit friends who live all over London by meeting them in Central, I’ve been able to sort of head into my office on Sundays when I needed to do some work from there. And that’s sort of, you know, functionally and practically been really transformative, but also, in terms of like, my own self confidence. seeing myself now I never thought I would be the kind of person who would ride a bike, it just, you know, I’ve got terrible balance, you know, I’m you know, just not I’m not, I’m not super sporty, I’m none of those things. And I always thought it would be beyond me and to be given the conditions that enabled me to build up my confidence that the LTN bought in has sort of made me feel like, even though it’s a it’s sort of a really nothing to say, but it sort of made me feel like I could do anything, because it felt it was definitely in one of those categories of like something that other people do, that I won’t ever be able to achieve. And now that it’s moved out of that category, when I’ve got the right support and the right infrastructure around me, it’s sort of it sort of reveals, you know, how, how much your space and context has to do with with that, rather than, you know, who you are as a person and what you can actually achieve. And then beyond that I just met so many local people, I just know so many more neighbours, so many more people in the neighbourhood in general, from you know, advocating for lt ends and, and, you know, being supportive of them. But also, you know, I’ve been looking out for opportunities where we can celebrate the community and promote the neighbourhood and sort of get together. And that means that you know, you get in touch with people who are organising little festivals, or who were doing, you know, podcasts on design or different things on history. And it just, you know, now when I walk around the area, it always sort of have to allow double the journey time because I end up stopping and running into people and having a conversation and it’s just, it’s just the kind of life that I didn’t think was possible in London. That has come about as as a result of the changes.

Carlton Reid 7:52
And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a photograph of your bicycle. We’re not gonna get very nerdy here and go into what bicycle do you ride? And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen what a photograph of you riding your bicycle, but I refresh my memory. What kind of bike have you got?

Sarah Berry 8:07
Yes, I have got a Chesterton from it’s called a company called the Light Blue. And it’s, uh, not interested in sorry, I’m forgetting the brand name, I’ll send it to you. But it’s a sort of like a baby pink, baby pink upright Dutch style bicycle from a company that started in Cambridge. And they were used to build like racing bicycles in Cambridge back in the day and then and then stopped for a period and then started up again. So we don’t want to be oldest

Carlton Reid 8:41
1890s. Sorry. 1890s it yeah, it’s Lloyd. I know the guy who owns it. His great, great grandfather was who set it up in a very, very Victorian for sure, like Light Blue. So yes, it’s a nice brand old,

Sarah Berry 8:57
proper old bikes. Would you get that for me knew when I bought when I bought it? All right. I I picked this one out specifically because a friend of mine works in a bike shop. And I’d you know been talking to him about about the fact that you know, I was such a nervous cyclist and I’d full off all the time and all that sort of stuff. And I wanted something that was like, That felt sturdy and stable. And when that came in, he sort of said, you know, like, by sort of message saying, I want to get this bike I want to get it as close to today as I can. And he said well, we just had this coming yesterday. I’ll set it up for you and come in and test it out. And it immediately immediately felt wonderful. I’ve only I’ve only ever written like the Boris bikes in London before so this felt a lot more comfortable. And a lot more me it wasn’t it was amazing the like difference that having my bike made to that level of confidence. Hmm.

Carlton Reid 9:57
Now I can go to your profile and and work got what I should say who you are. But what would you like me to say who you are in job terms and in even in campaign terms? How should I describe you?

Sarah Berry 10:11
So car dependency campaigner would probably be the best the best way to go about it. I’m the co chair of Lambeth Living Streets as well. But if you could mention that as a volunteer role that would be great because Living Streets keep getting hassled asking if I’m on the payroll and it doesn’t matter how many times that we confirm that I’m not they keep getting asked.

Carlton Reid 10:34
Thanks to Sarah Barry there. And if you’ve read the Guardian piece, you’ll realise that Sarah only got like a sentence or two in in that piece yet she spoke there for like, what, seven minutes. And that’s what happens of course with with newspaper pieces, or magazines or any any form of journalism really, I only had 400 words to get across quite a few points of view in the Guardian, so I’m afraid not all of an interview will ever make it into the final piece. And poor Giles got even less space in the Guardian than Sarah. But by by putting this interview out on this podcast, I can actually put more of jobs and more of Sarah and more of Liam and, and and more of all the interviews. So here we go with with Giles Gibson, and Giles is a business consultant and a cycle campaigner. Hi Giles is Carlton here.

Giles Gibson 11:33
How are you doing?

Carlton Reid 11:34
I’m doing good. Thank you. Are you free to talk now?

Giles Gibson 11:37
Yep, yep, no problem. Sorry. Yes to? Yeah, yeah, no problem. Sorry, happy? How can I help?

Carlton Reid 11:44
Well, first off, um, this is gonna be in The Guardian. Did you want your name to be on this or not?

Giles Gibson 11:53
And probably best to keep it anonymous. Just say, keep it local resident. There’s been a few problems with those who aren’t so keen on LTNs. And having a bit of a go that those who are I mean, they the locals know who’s been doing the surveys anyway. And they know where I live, because I’m pretty prominent in the area anyway.

Carlton Reid 12:19
No, no, I kind of I kind of assumed that might be the case. But I just want to check that. So I can say you are a campaigner for the Railton LTN camp, how should I describe you?

Giles Gibson 12:36
And I would just say a local resident who’s been in the area for 25 years. I don’t mind the name being used actually. Cuz thinking about it, all we’ve done is stand there and count traffic. That’s it. It’s that simple. There were three of us last time. And our methodology is to have one person en route and roads and that’s kind of technically within the ltn. And at the same time, we have people in Dulwich road, who are counting the traffic there and analysing it in the same way. So we both do it at the same time, same day. No, Ready, steady, go and count the traffic and analyse it. lambdas have put tapes down in the road anyway, so they’ll be getting the numbers through quite soon. And I’d certainly be measuring the traffic in Railton road, and Dulwich road, which is technically just outside the LTN. And it’s one of the roads that people say it’s going to get worse traffic as a result.

Carlton Reid 13:53
So why why did they do Railton road? Why is Railton road a key corridor to do a treatment like this?

Giles Gibson 14:03
Well, over the last 20 odd years, I’ve been involved with the local community and every single public meeting virtually when we get on to what’s the vision for the area and what’s the big issues. The number one is traffic. Number two is normally traffic and number three is traffic. It’s been that monotonous over the years, and route and road was identified as being increasing in traffic quite a bit over the last seven or eight years. And the local streets being getting fed more and more fed up with rat run activities. And we want to get better cycle routes from Brixton through to Herne Hill and beyond as part of a network of cycle reads. For Lambeth, we’re looking at A cycle dedicated protected cycle lane all the way down railroad anyway, we’re consulting on the whole thing. Because it was a key link. The number of cyclists who are starting to use route and road was starting to increase prior to the LTN. Anyway, there was a byproduct because I managed to get the Station Square development done about 10 years ago now where we diverted the road outside Herne hill station and created the semi predicts pedestrianised area that has provided a safe way for the cyclists to get across the Herne Hill junction because there is a phase of light dedicated, ironically to HGVss over 10 tonnes to get out of Station Square. That’s why TfL insisted on putting a traffic light phase in and very rarely any lorries use it. So the cyclists started realising they get their own dedicated cross. So as a result of that they’ve been using road as a route from Brixton to then get south to Dulwich and Crystal Palace and everywhere else. And so it was obvious that rail road was a contender, so it’s something quite dramatic, alone along with Shakespeare road, which was suffering from high running activity. So that’s some of the background. Can I

Carlton Reid 16:41
kind of just, I’ve got up on maps here now. So it’s where the the, the LTN the close has been put in to motorists at the station. Station.

Giles Gibson 16:54
It’s actually near Hearn place and Hurst Street, Google has it marked about right.

Carlton Reid 17:02
Okay. And then it goes as far north as Coldharbour Lane?

Giles Gibson 17:07
Well, there’s a filter and just in Shakespeare road, where it leaves a nail right across his nail road, it goes underneath the railway. So there’s a filter there. And they had to put the filter there because of the waste transfer station. That is just on the other side on the north side of the railway. They have very big lorries 40-tonners taking the waste from the skip lorries down to their depot in Greenwich. Big lorries can’t get under the bridge. So they had to allow them to continue to go north, up Shakespeare road through Loughborough junction, and eventually, down to Greenwich. So that’s why the filter was put on the south side. So there’s been a lot of objections from people in Shakespeare Road thinking that they’ve been cut off from the world.

Carlton Reid 18:06
So just to confirm if I can’t see on the map here exactly

Giles Gibson 18:11
what it is. It’s complicated. But yeah,

Carlton Reid 18:14
is there anybody and I’ve always had this, come back to me, as I know, is that anybody who has a car in any of these streets, can no longer use their car, or it’s all down to it takes a wee bit longer?

Giles Gibson 18:30
Correct.

Giles Gibson 18:34
Access to every single front door has remained as is. In whatever they call you want to come in be a 40 tonne truck, or a bicycle or your car or what have you. There’s been no change. You know, there’s they haven’t touched the parking, they haven’t touched the roads in any way at all.

Carlton Reid 19:00
So it’s literally just filters on certain roads. It just makes maybe, I mean, the typical thing is you know that your my five minute journey is taking 20 minutes now Well, of course you think well why are you doing a five minute journey? But that’s what he’s doing is it basically people taking longer to do car journeys if they won’t do car just

Giles Gibson 19:20
some car journeys depending in the direction he wants to go in. And it’s only some it’s not all will take longer.

Carlton Reid 19:34
Right. So now going to your or the traffic survey. So this this it that says on there, when would you tell me again, when was it? When do you start and when do you end the survey?

Giles Gibson 19:49
Right we we just want people were starting to think you know what, there’s a lot more bike cyclists around I wonder if it’s true. So we said okay, well that’s nice. It’s just a traffic survey. So we started roughly 815 in the morning, on a weekday, and we count initially, we just counted until there were 400 vehicles of some sort that have passed. But the last count, we actually did nearly an hour. And we analyse the, whether it’s a car, how many people are in it, whether it’s single occupancy, or more, if we can see whether it’s a lorry whether it’s just categories. So we do yeah, lorries, cars, number of occupants in the cars, whether it’s a delivery vehicle, because people are saying, Oh, we can’t get deliveries anymore in a Tesco stop delivering what we were monitoring that, whether it’s an E scooter or some description. And then on the cyclists, whether it was a male cyclist, what we call male lycra. In other words, they were probably a commuter. Or they had to change their outfit when they got to the destination, probably. So we’re trying to differentiate between casual and just popping around the corner, I can just go in anything I’m wearing to the kind of hardcore, call it what you like, like, and whether there were female and female like her. And then whether there were any kind of kids attached in some way or a cargo trailer or sitting on the panniers or something like that. And we just stood there counting. That was it every single one. So 400 was a reasonable number to extrapolate from. And we and we measured the number of minutes it took to get to 400 and and then converted that to an hour. So everything was that same base rate, if you see what I mean.

Carlton Reid 21:59
400 what, sorry?

Giles Gibson 22:02
But we counted in two, we’d got 400 vehicles, right, right. And we timed how long it took to get to 400. So it might be 46 minutes or something like that. And then so that we had the same comparisons each month, we then divided by the number of minutes and multiply by 60. Hmm. That way, it’s the same measuring units, so to speak,

Carlton Reid 22:37
and you haven’t got up before. So you’ve got 75% of traffic on Railton Road with cyclists, you don’t know what it was like, before.

Giles Gibson 22:45
We only started in August. But to be honest, you know, a lot of the LTN kind of started towards the end of July, but they haven’t even started issuing fines yet. Hmm. You know, so to begin with it everyone was laughing at it is that wasn’t still is the usual vandalism on the signs and stuff like that. And so, it has to be said that down at the Brixton end the number of vehicles going through it’s still quite high. Mm hmm.

Carlton Reid 23:20
And then what are you doing with apart from this this nice infographic you put on the website on the twitter feed? What are you doing with this information is feeding into the council? what’s what’s it been used for?

Giles Gibson 23:30
We send it to the council as well. And it’s just for our own interest to see. You know, we’re wondering how the behaviour is changing, you know what trends are coming on here. And we’re certainly noticing that there’s more females out and about casual cyclists prefer railroad to Dutch road. And the you know, little things that we’re finding out that single occupancy cars going from Herne Hill to Brixton us to lower percentage than single occupancy cars going from Brixton toward Fern Hill. And this might imply we don’t know for sure, but the school run goes in Brixton turn Hill direction, which will probably be correct given the type of spills over in the Dulwich Hill area. And so little things like that. The council traffic counts will only do numbers, they won’t do the type of it can’t tell whether it’s a male or a female cyclists Hmm. And so I’m very interested in if we are starting to get people you know, first timers out and their bicycle, the casual one, you know, just want to do a few miles and feel confident enough, within ltn to make the journey by bike. We know we’re always going to get the white, male lycra clad loonies and nothing will stop them. But it’s the vulnerable groups or the more timid, read user, whether that’s changing, and we’re noticing it is,

Carlton Reid 25:13
and is this LTN. Now, for want one of a better expression, set in stone, so it’s gonna last?

Giles Gibson 25:21
I wouldn’t want to be a gambling man on it. The other thing that we’re noticing, and sadly we haven’t counted is pedestrians. And road is being transformed with the number of people walking now. And Sunday was a nice pleasant day in terms of the weather. And I had difficulty having a distant conversation with somebody on the pavement, because the sheer number of people who kept on wanting to walk down the pavement and we kept on having to break the conversation stand aside at someone else. It really was quite remarkable the conduit that is there now between Brixton and Herne Hill, of people getting up by foot. And the atmosphere has changed. And this is the front line heaven sake in 1981. Place was a no-go area for the police is quite remarkable change. And the and the atmosphere, people just coming out more this barrier of traffic on roads. And when you get high density traffic is a real barrier and segregation for a community and just feel the communities like it’s had a mile the grain for X number of years and suddenly it started to lift. People go, Ah, actually I think that’s what lockdown did for people. But the LTNs is continued that positive aspect.

Carlton Reid 27:04
So just a bit this was you this was the in using emergency powers. Yeah. So that’s 18 months that this potentially could last for? Are there any strident campaigns that you that you think would get the ear of the council to get it taken out before then?

Giles Gibson 27:26
Well, there’s the legal issues that are going on whether they’re saying that it was illegally instigated so there is a legal campaign but I won’t land this one once was the group of people who are very anted there’s still quite a vociferous, smallish group who are campaigning against locally. There’s always a question mark about traders, and whether traders benefit or suffer. And it’s something I had, when we did the Herne Hill junction regeneration, we had huge opposition for quite a few traders against getting rid of the traffic in front of the station. Because the shops passionately believe that all their business came from cars, not in cars. And to be fair, after all the passing cars went some of the traders did have a wobble for a good few months. And then they that business deep change or and people change their shopping habits. But then a different type of shopper added to the ones that were there before. And those shops that some quite a few voids, they can see the rundown ones changed. And it’s now the most desirable space in handheld to get. So there’s a wait there’s a waiting list. We turned it from having into shops to having a waiting list people to get it. Mm

Carlton Reid 29:04
hmm. Now I’m gonna bee talking to a wine retailer, I believe.

Giles Gibson 29:12
Yeah, and you’re talking to Wild + Lees, right? And that they I think they understand where their trade comes from. And, you know, we surveyed traders in Herne Hill literally about 10 years ago. And we commissioned living streets to do a street survey. And they interviewed all the traders and on average the traders thought car, their customers around 50 to 60% came by car, and then when you interview people on the street, asking them how they got there, and it was about 13% got there by car. So that the perception of traders some sometimes doesn’t match the reality. Mm hmm. And I think there’s something about in Waltham Forest whether those on the cycle lane or this dedicated cycle lane where now you have to pay a slight premium to get a shot because it has transformed the area so much. And now it’s a desirable area. But it takes a few years before that change happens.

Carlton Reid 30:29
Mm hmm. So what is the council here which?

Unknown Speaker 30:33
Lambeth. It’s Lambeth, only got three green one tory, the rest of labour. Hmm. Some of the designs of LTNs are not great. I’m a great believer in doing it as a trial so that you can tweak and make changes when they pour concrete and that’s it is stuck with it is that’s a problem. So I think that the light touch trial is actually a good urban realm design approach.

Carlton Reid 31:08
Mm hmm. Tactical urbanism. Giles, thank you very much for that . Er, can I just go backwards and because I’d have to look exactly what exactly what you said to nail this on, but may as well just get you to say this now. Did you say you were okay with me to use your name at the end? Yeah, I

Giles Gibson 31:28
don’t mind. That’s fine.

Carlton Reid 31:31
Thanks to the no-longer-incognito Giles Gibson there. Now before I play the audio from Liam Plowman and Victoria Clausen here’s my co-host, David, with a commercial interlude.

David Bernstein 31:46
Hey, Carlton, thanks so much. And it’s always my pleasure to talk about our advertiser. This is a long time loyal advertiser, you all know who I’m talking about? It’s Jenson USA at Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. I’ve been telling you for years now years, that Jenson is the place where you can get a great selection of every kind of product that you need for your cycling lifestyle at amazing prices, and what really sets them apart. Because of course, there’s lots of online retailers out there. But what really sets them apart is their unbelievable support. When you call and you’ve got a question about something, you’ll end up talking to one of their gear advisors and these are cyclists. I’ve been there I’ve seen it. These are folks who who ride their bikes to and from work. These are folks who ride at lunch who go out on group rides after work because they just enjoy cycling so much. And and so you know that when you call, you’ll be talking to somebody who has knowledge of the products that you’re calling about. If you’re looking for a new bike, whether it’s a mountain bike, a road bike, a gravel bike, a fat bike, what are you looking for? Go ahead and check them out. Jenson USA, they are the place where you will find everything you need for your cycling lifestyle. It’s Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. We thank them so much for their support. And we thank you for supporting Jenson USA. All right, Carlton, let’s get back to the show.

Carlton Reid 33:12
Thanks, David. And we are back with the 260th episode of the spokesmen cycling podcast with me Carlton Reid. And here are two more of my notes for the podcast interviews done for The Guardian. First up here’s Liam Plowman of Herne hill’s Wild + Lees bottleshop. That’s a posh name for an off-licence. Anyway, that’s that’s just your trick question for today. Because if you know your Lebanese wines, then you’re going to be very, very specialist. So that’s what you do. You’re basically a boutique wine beer, posh off licence?

Liam Plowman 33:56
Yeah, yeah, exactly that. I mean, so the the sort of phrase du jour is bottle shop. So, which is a bit more kind of gets bit more inclusive. So, I mean, we are primarily a wine shop, we’ve got probably about 250 different wines, but then we’ve also got 400 beers. And yeah, it’s all about you know, small batch provenance craft, you know, getting to know their producers, that sort of thing. But But also, you know, trying not to, not to be too highfalutin, and to you know, supply stuff that normal people can enjoy. So we’ve got, you know, we, we try to stock a lot of wines that are less than 10 quid, so they’re not, you know, we’re not scary. We try not to be scary.

Carlton Reid 34:42
And how long have you been operating there, Liam?

Liam Plowman 34:45
Since November 2016. So pushing for years what actually Oh, yes.

Carlton Reid 34:50
Okay. And I’m looking at the map here now where you are so you’re the other side of Herne Hill station. You’re just outside the Railton Road LTN? But you do deliver? Are you? Are you a national delivery? Or do you local deliveries?

Liam Plowman 35:08
We do. Yeah, we do local delivery. So I do, I do pretty much all the deliveries myself. And, and we, and it’s a combination of methods of transport. So it depends how much I’ve got to deliver. So I trying to with a bike and trailer where I can, but obviously wine bottles bottles heavy, and, and often, you know, delivering, you know, 20 cases at once. So, in that case, we’ve got a camper van. So I just take take that. So yeah, there were there were there were actually a few lt ends on our on our sort of delivery routes as it were. So we’ve got customers who live in the Railon Road LTN, which includes Mail Road and parts of Shakespeare road. And then we’ve got we’ve got customers live in the Dulwich village one. And customers live in the in the Tulse Hill LTN as well. So, yeah, well, well, I don’t live in one or, or, you know, businesses and then one we do interact with them. Mm hmm.

Carlton Reid 36:13
And have you found it? Does it take longer?

Liam Plowman 36:17
Yeah, yeah. So it does take longer. I mean, I suppose the first thing to say is I I’m, I’m really in favour of LTNs. I think it’s unfortunate that they they’ve been are they you know, they’ve had to be introduced at a time where people are being actively discouraged from using public transport. So the inevitable consequences that the streets aren’t in the LTN absolutely rammed all the time. So it’s horrible pollution is worse and congestion is worse. But I said, I think that principle is that great. Reducing, yeah, pollution. Like neighbours more like neighbours, and that’s why, you know, through roads,

Carlton Reid 36:55
and then when you get to your customers, and you knock on the door, and you you, you’re there handing them over your lovely wine, do they then without even prompting, say, oh, bloody ltn or are they going fantastic. ltn. How do you find it on the doorstep?

Liam Plowman 37:13
There’s there’s a real mix. So, yeah, there’s a real mix. So that by the person I did this yesterday, I mean, I started the conversation, but but the LTN, I’ve got, you know, I was panting pathing. And I set up to carry the village because I forgot to bring my trolley and she wasn’t really complaining. But she was saying she had to completely mentally reconfigure her map of the area as a result of the LTN because he couldn’t take the usual route to get anywhere by car. So it was a slightly negative comment, I suppose. But then others actually, a lot of people who live in the well, some road ltn have been very positive about it about one or two people who express negative feelings about it. I think I think most of the people who come in here, because they’re accustomed to the shock, post a talk, you know, speak for them, but most people like discussions with our probe are aware that, you know, there were teething issues, and it’s early days

Carlton Reid 38:24
and using your knowledge of the area. Yeah. Are there any streets houses that are genuinely gridlock? They cannot get out of bed, driveway or whatever? Or literally, is it every car every motorist can get out and go wherever they want in the area, but they can’t any longer take the very shortest route?

Liam Plowman 38:51
Oh, do you mean people who live within the LTNs? Yeah, I think I think that it’s not really a question of gridlock. I mean, the streets in the LTNs are basically, you know, pretty much empty of traffic. I think like so one guy, a book is a regular customer. He lives in in a part of Shakespeare road, that is part of the LTN and he now can’t drive towards Herne Hill, he has to go up to Loughborough junction and take quite a long route to get to where he needs to be so so. So for people like that and for people who will not so yes, village village. You just have to go a lot further to make the same journey because you’re yours. You know, you you might live within 200 feet of where the LTN starts. But you might have to drive half a mile in the other direction to get around.

Carlton Reid 39:46
But I’m sure you’ll have seen on social media and no doubt in local newspapers, people saying they’re trapped in their houses. They no longer can get out in their cars. That’s not true. It’s just they’ve got a drive a bit longer than than then they’ve been used to.

Liam Plowman 39:58
Yeah, yes. well, exactly, I mean that, you know, that, that those, they’ve all been designed so that, you know, obviously residents get in and out. But they have to take a different route and it might be that they have to you know, go very convoluted route to to get to a place that’s down the street from them. But I guess you know, controlling the sliders while you drive to a place of banditry from you. I guess some people have to because of visibility or issues. Hmm. So it’s complex. But yeah, I mean, I don’t think there’s any case in which a visitor is literally trapped and can’t drive out of the street. I mean, that just obviously wouldn’t work. And even in the LTN, like we can, like the wells road out here and you can drive in and out of wells and road from certain side streets. You just can’t go through either end like that. The goal of it is the thought route road being being a thru run from Herne Hill to Brixton. So you can’t enter Belton road at one end to come out the other end, but you can drive out on the parallel roads, drive into Belton road, deliver some stuff for park outside your house, you know, it’s not completely blocked off.

Carlton Reid 41:11
Mm hmm.

Carlton Reid 41:15
Yes, no, I understand. It’s just it that isn’t always the impression that that detractors give, you know, initially.

Liam Plowman 41:24
Yeah, I mean, unfortunately, that’s that, you know, people do get very emotional about their cars and their absolute right to drive wherever they want to kind of thing.

Carlton Reid 41:36
Thanks to Liam Plowman there. And if that made you thirsty, Liam is the co owner with his wife Claire, as the Guardian article says, of Wild + Lee’s bottleshop in Herne Hill, London. And last but not least, here’s my iPhone interview with Victoria Clausen of Brixton’s Pop Florist and you may hear me doing a few weird things in the background because I’m trying to placate our puppy as well. So might be squeezing weird toys and waving treats around just to keep here quiet. I think I achieved that goal. Mostly.

Carlton Reid 42:16
Yeah.

Carlton Reid 42:19
Okay, so I’ll try and do this without interacting with her too much. So I mean, your your business sounds fascinating. I’ve looked at your website for your touring and stuff. So the Urban Arrow which you toured with, that’s also what you deliver with now. The bicycle electric bike, the urban arrow?

Victoria Clausen 42:42
Yeah, yeah, I use it every day. I use it to transport my kids to school and I use it for my business.

Carlton Reid 42:48
And how close are you to the various LTNs that are around?

Victoria Clausen 42:54
Very close indeed. I am in Brixton, near the Railton Road LTN in Brixton.

Carlton Reid 43:03
Okay. And clearly you deliver because it says on your website, you for long distances, you use Ubers and stuff, but you are sometimes delivering locally, and how has that been with the LTN?

Victoria Clausen 43:18
Pretty much exclusively from my bike, to be quite honest. I would say like 95% and then the odd percent like I have done a favour to on the tube now and then. But I would say it’s made a massive difference. It’s safer, I would say as a parents to get my kids to school and for the first time my eight year old is able to cycle to school because Brixton is so congested that it did not feel safe before. I know that there is a highly politicised issue. I’d like to add that both my husband and I are campaigners for Mums for Lungs, which has some very good strong data points as you might have might have already researched yourself on air pollution in London. So we are a family of cyclists. We found that the LTNs have helped us get our kids to school more safely. We noticed a better air quality during lockdown like everyone did. Mm hmm. But I’m also mindful that there are arguments to be made that the pollution has simply, you know, been diverted to main roads. And there is a huge amount of vitriol on the internet over LTNs.

Carlton Reid 44:31
And how about your customers so when you when you turn up on your your electric cargo bike, and maybe they didn’t know that you were coming up on electric cargo bike? Do any of them say to you, oh, you’re one of their side because I hate these LTNs or is it the complete opposite?

Victoria Clausen 44:46
It’s the complete opposite. First of all, if you see a bike like mine filled with flowers, even the most steely, cantankerous Grinch will smile because it’s a business that spreads joy. And mostly, you know, especially through lockdown where people weren’t able to get, you know, weren’t able to get out and about in the normal way they would. My sales definitely increased and my deliveries been busier than ever, because I’m the captive audience. But I would say no one has, no one has given me a hard time, you know, and said, Oh, you’re one of those LTN supporters. You know, you’re a smug, woke, millennial sort of person. No one said that instead, I think they support the business partially, and arguably, mostly because they see it as ‘slow flowers’ and a more sustainable way of doing business and the way that we need to start thinking about doing business all of us.

Carlton Reid 45:52
Mm hmm. And when, when some of the anti’s talk about lt ends, that they often say, you know, I’m trapped in my house, I can’t go out. And then everybody I’ve talked to about this. I say, well, are anybody is anybody genuinely trapped? And people say, Well, no, you can get everywhere in a car. But it just might take a bit longer. Is that your?

Victoria Clausen 46:17
I mean, personally, I couldn’t agree more. It seems that seems to be the evidence. That seems to completely Yeah, it’d be exactly the right way of looking at it. But then there’s a there’s a slightly more sinister argument, which is that I’ve heard people put out which is that, you know, the ambulance and the emergency vehicles cannot get to, you know, two people in time, and I’ve actually heard a GP say that they strongly believe that not to be the case, because there is less traffic. And once you get through the barrier, you actually have a quicker reaction time to get to that patient.

Carlton Reid 46:54
Mm hmm.

Victoria Clausen 46:54
Along LTNs. So I don’t know what evidence I you know, I I’m not ready to stand behind that evidence. But I’ve heard that which is interesting, huh? Look at that. I don’t know

Carlton Reid 47:03
most of the the side roads to Railton Road, are they planters, are they cameras? What are they? What’s stopping people getting through?

Victoria Clausen 47:13
They put planters down? I mean, definitely, people are still I mean, I don’t know how, how much what percentage of that traffic is actually local. And how much of it is people thinking? Oh, what a nice quiet road now like we can use it. And I certainly haven’t seen any enforcement whatsoever around LTNs and cameras and so on and so forth. Have you?

Carlton Reid 47:39
I haven’t no, have you seen I mean, the other lt ends and other parts of London have had bad planters vandalised damaged and knocked over. Has there been any anything like that?

Victoria Clausen 47:51
I haven’t seen that. However, I will point out that there is an LTN on our back route to school, which I can give you the name, I can text you the name today. And there’s a whole lot of signs of local saying stop the LTN sign this petition and my husband actually put up some months for long signs in that area to provide a counterbalance to that prevailing view. And also I in our own school community. A number of parents have gone viral on WhatsApp saying you know that the LTNs our socio economic, you know, scheme to keep the poor poor and all of this like Bs, which I don’t buy any of it, like, you actually need more money to have a car and to pay for a car permit, then to have a bicycle. Now my bicycle is, you know, a very expensive bicycle. So not everyone can afford that. But almost everyone can afford an analogue bike,

Carlton Reid 48:54
Mm hmm.

Victoria Clausen 48:56
Carlton, I really appreciate you doing this article. I think it’s a really important issue. And if we don’t seize this opportunity now, it will be lost. We must have good momentum on air pollution in London. That is, I mean, there’s no better time than now. Because otherwise, it’s just not gonna happen is it?

Carlton Reid 49:16
Thanks to Victoria Clausen there of Brixton’s Pop Florist, and thank you, of course to all four of my unwitting guests on today’s show, and I hope you enjoyed that slight reveal behind the curtain and see what basically gets left on the cutting room floor which unfortunately, it’s most of those comments which is why I’ve I do a podcast to to get everybody’s longer point of view. And rather than just one sentence that ended up in the newspaper, and eagle-eyed listeners/ viewers will will understand that this has only been the London segment, so I had three segments in today’s Guardian. I had a Edinburgh segment and I had a Newcastle segment which is my home, my hometown, the hardware shop in my hometown, a business that basically doubled in size when when Steve Robson eventually benefited from having a low traffic Street. And then the final segment was the London Railton road segment and I haven’t included the Scottish segment I’ll have included the Newcastle segment, because I wanted to keep it into a into a one theme show. So it was a London themed show. And if you enjoyed today’s show, it’d be really helpful for us if you could like, subscribe, and comment on the Spokesmen cycling podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you are listening to today’s episode. Show notes transcript and a link of course to The Guardian article can be found at the-spokesmen.com. And this is Carlton Reid signing off and suggesting, whether you’ve got an LTN or not, get out there and ride …

October 26, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 259: Cyclist Detection Tech With Tome Software CEO Jake Sigal And History of Road Equity With Historian Peter Norton

Monday 26th October 2020

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: Jake Sigal of Tome Software and historian Peter Norton, author of “Fighting Traffic: the Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City.”

Cartoon by Richard Hedman, 1970.

TRANSCRIPT

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 259 of the Spokesmen Cycling Podcast. This show was engineered on Monday 26th of October 2020.

David Bernstein 0:23
The Spokemen Cycling Roundtable Podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.theFredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast for shownotes links and all sorts of other information, please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen.

Carlton Reid 1:08
Hi there I’m Carlton Reid and on today’s show I’m discussing the detection of cyclists by the driverless cars of the future and the partially autonomous cars of today. My two guests are coming at this from two very different angles. First I talked with Jake Sigal, CEO of Detroit’s Tome Software and in the second half of the show I chat with historian Peter Norton.

Carlton Reid 1:35
Jake is a serial entrepreneur and, as he explains on the show, he sold an earlier tech company to automotive giant Ford enabling him to create Tome Software. Tome works with the auto and bicycle industries to create cyclist detection technologies for an increasingly digitally connected world. When every lampost, every road junction, every bit of street furniture, broadcasts its presence — and many already do — won’t cyclists be safer if they ping robot drivers and human ones too letting them know that they’re around the next corner? Jake and I discuss the upsides but also the potential equity and technology downsides to such an automobile-centred near-future, and for all my earlier worries about bicycle beaconisation — that cyclists need to be detected not connected — Jake reveals that Tome is also working on technologies that won’t need Bluetooth bursts or other kinds of proximity pulses. Jake is a passionate cyclist, off-road and for commuting, and he tells me that he wants what we all want: safer roads. In the second half of the show I discuss similar equity and technology issues with historian Peter Norton. Peter’s been on the show a couple of times before and many of you will already know that he’s the go-to guy for the social history of how automobile interests—what he calls motordom—successfuly turned roads meant for people into roads exclusively for motorists. His classic book — “Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City” — is a key tome, you could say, about the creation of jaywalking as a concept and soon thereafter a crime in many states, a creation that deliberately and cynically favoured one road user over another. In this episode of the Spokesmen cycling podcast Peter uses history to evaluate whether using technology to detect cyclists and pedestrians is the fairest and most effective way to keep them safe. As I said, it’s a long show, so strap in and let’s get straight across to Tome Software CEO Jake Sigal

Carlton Reid 4:03
Tome software, I mean, I know you because of the the kind of the work you’ve been doing on bicycles, and bicycle detection and cyclist detection, I should say rather, let’s use the agency here rather than the the form of transport. But what does Tome Software actually do away from cycling?

Jake Sigal 4:26
Well, we are a software services company based in Detroit, Michigan. And historically, we’ve worked with our clients on mobility projects helping with delivering packages or software that would help vehicles communicate with connected objects or people outside of the vehicle. So that’s been our basic model. And one year we were working we also had a client in the bicycle industry. We built some some connected cycling software products for for bike companies, and where they kind of married up as one could imagine. We’re at a bike conference and one of the folks from Trek Bicycles that based in Madison, Wisconsin, approached me and heard I was in Detroit and knew about our background with autos and asked about, you know, if we had the ability to work on getting with car companies to make safety products between bicycles and cars. And that’s kind of how it started. So outside of bikes, where we still do a lot of software for the automotive industry, we have some non automotive clients as well. And we are always interested in helping our clients understand how to create either cost savings or quality improvement. Sometimes it’s from new revenue for digital transformation, or formerly Internet of Things, IoT products. But a lot of our focus now is within connected vehicles and writing software applications for automotive and bringing it into a consumer electronics, which includes bicycles and environment.

Carlton Reid 5:51
So Jake, how long have you been going with Tome? What were you doing before Tome? So where did Tome come from?

Jake Sigal 5:58
Great question. So previously, my business partner and I, as well as our Director of Engineering, were a part of a company that was acquired by Ford in 2013. And that company helped connect apps and cars, this is now part of the Ford SYNC programme. After we did that, after after the sale, we around at Ford for a while, and then we’re thinking about what we wanted to do next, it just seemed very logical to take our experience and passion around connected car and bring it into things connected outside of the car. So the the old company was about connecting apps in your phone to the car, the new company at home is about a vehicle and connected to everything else around the world and anything else in the area. And that’s really how it started. So Tome is the company name, it’s an old English word for a book of knowledge. And we have this all-knowing owl buddy, which is our mascot, and it’s really fun. I’d say we’ve been at it since 2014. So great team. It’s it’s a it’s really awesome, we we have a strong focus on having people pursue to be the best version of themselves both both in work and in life. And it’s, it’s a great, great team atmosphere. I mean, even during the pandemic, as hard as it’s been for everybody, we did not lose any of our projects and maintain happy customers and just still able to keep a great culture. So we tell them, it’s a business that we started with a mission of making the world a better place around the automotive ecosystem. But I it’s not VC backed, like our previous company was was VC backed this one we own and we’ve got a few investors, but it’s, it’s, it’s really a company we built for the long haul. And we’re really excited to work with some of the best companies in the world. I mean, having Ford and Canon, the camera company’s one of our clients. We’ve done some project with NASA, I mean, there’s like so many cool projects with cool companies and just great engineering teams on the client side that we get the opportunity to work with. And that’s that’s basically Tome.

Carlton Reid 7:59
And how many people are in that great team of yours in in Detroit or spread around Detroit now, I guess on Zoom and stuff, but how many people have you got in the team?

Jake Sigal 8:07
So there’s 15 of

Jake Sigal 8:08
us full time. And then we’ve got a set of contractors as well that that work on various projects. So it’s a mix of that full time a contract, so a small company, and typically, we’re working side by side with engineering groups within our client side. So it’s a great business and, and you know, we’re able to be really nimble and fast with our size. So I don’t have to deal deal with a lot of overhead and clients. I think, like the fact that I’m involved on many of the projects or my business partners involved in the ones are not so we are able to really get hands on and solve problems for our customers in the industry.

Carlton Reid 8:43
And how did you get into that particular sphere into connected apps in thebeginning. Where’s your actual background from?

Jake Sigal 8:51
So I have a engineering degree, a systems engineering degree, and I worked in the consumer electronics industry and professional audio equipment and then consumer electronic audio, which led to a job at in Detroit, where I was product manager for cellular radio at the time, there was XM and Sirius in the US, two separate and then they merged. So a lot of background in audio. And we started the first company Livio, we were making desktop radios for Pandora and other automotive app companies and then and then started writing software. So eventually when the smartphone came out, like in 2008, when the iPhone one came out, it wasn’t a device, there was like the iPod functionality of the phone. But it wasn’t really it was not at that time a streaming media device. It wasn’t until about 2009 when, 2010 really, when people started really streaming audio from the phone, internet radio sort of started to take off. So one thing led to another and then we realised that the consumers didn’t need the hardware and that’s when we started getting into software. So it was very natural progression and all that transpired at the Consumer Electronics Show and was 2010 and we’re situated between the iPhone accessory group people section and then the automotive section. I mean, we’re literally physically between the two sections. And it was kind of like a lightbulb moment. And we’ve we’re still very focused on software that touches hardware. And that’s one of the things that makes us unique is we’re not just making apps. It’s apps that get get involved with hardware and Bluetooth and things like that. But yeah, just kind of solving the same problems, just different technology available to us to use our disposal.

Carlton Reid 10:31
And did you personally move to Detroit because Detroit obviously is, you know, the global automotive capital, or are you from Detroit?

Jake Sigal 10:43
I’m from Ohio, just just a state south of Michigan. And I was living with my now my wife or girlfriend back at the time, we were living in Rhode Island. So yeah, we moved back to the Midwest. And it’s not far away from where I grew up. And same type culture for any listeners that are familiar with the Midwest and United States. So a very natural fit. And I we when we moved to Detroit was right when the great recession started. So it like we were here at pretty much the downswing and now it’s become quite a vibrant community really fell in love with the area, just the amount of cycling and the culture of the parks. Other than December, January and February. It’s an amazing place to be in fact, I always joke with my friends that I don’t I don’t go and I don’t travel even for business between Memorial Day, Labour Day. So unlike the late spring, summer and early fall, this is where the only place I want to be. But when it comes wintertime we we jettison, so it’s when it’s five degrees outside, it’s not ideal, but for nine months out of the year, it’s fantastic.

Carlton Reid 11:45
So describe to me Intelligent Transport. So that kind of connected of things. So lampposts, traffic signs, traffic signals, they’re all now or many of them, no beaming out stuff. And cars, passing bicycles can now potentially be recognised as well. So it described that, that ecosystem of things that we don’t really think about these things, beaming information, but there’s things out there street furniture, beaming stuff, right?

Jake Sigal 12:18
Yeah. So I think that for the listeners, what’s important is to have technology that provides an increase in safety, but it’s still transparent to the user, it’s not something that you have to turn on or press a button. And the original technology to cross the crosswalk would be you have to press the button and then wait or be on a time system and hope that it would, the light will change. And with vehicles there, there used to be technology still in some lights where they have these sensors that would be embedded in the road to detect a vehicle. But those sensors were not able to detect a pedestrian or bicyclist or some other scooterists in the roadways. So a lot of that technology is already been installed. And you wouldn’t know that because you don’t have to download an app or do anything for it to use. So what we’re looking at and is ways for increasing safety while still maintaining the ability to not require users to have to press a button. And if for example, there’s been some technology out that was released I think it’s called Project Greenlight, not our company, but it would allow a traffic light to wirelessly recognise that a biker scooter is approaching an intersection to trigger to the traffic light to turn green when you know that you’re there. And as a cyclist, I can tell you that I can tell you the routes I ride and where that where you have to ride to the sidewalk, get off your bike and press the button otherwise, you’ll never get a green light or you’re you’re given that choice of trying to play Frogger across the road. So a lot of these technologies that we’re interested in involves something called signal phase and timing or SPAT and then separately there’s wireless technology which is coming with cellular V2X also known as C-V2X or CV2X which can communicate from sign to sign or car to sign or sign to car. So once that is set up and enables messages to be transmitted between the devices, so are companies really thinking about the applications so so what is like the so what factor like why would somebody care that these signs are connected? Well, if it’s a streetlight, it would want to know when it turned on at night so so it can be you know, not under the daylight or, or be able to fluctuate when there’s there’s people that would need to have access to that light and not create, you know, any sort of light pollution or other issues. But for safety features, we’re thinking about how to leverage these types of connected infrastructure for sending just very simple messages so that safety systems on vehicles can do a little bit better job or have a little better confidence for things that they can’t see in front of them.

Carlton Reid 14:55
And how much if this kind of Intelligent Transport Systems, that’s what it’s ITS? Yep. How much of this is absolutely 100% necessary for these famous — and we haven’t got them yet and they’re always touted — driverless cars? And how much is the the cars that are going to be like coming along in the next three, four years? Or perhaps even now? So how much is of this infrastructure necessary for the driverless cars? And how much is it just as necessary for the piloted cars today?

Jake Sigal 15:30
It’s it’s really a balanced approach with the technologies and the value of the technologies. So there are driverless vehicle systems that do not rely on any wireless messages from signs. So one could argue that none of it is necessary. But I think that there, I think that everybody would agree with more information is better. Now what you do with that information? Do you trust that information? Is the information accurate? And is it timely? Those are the key questions that we’re getting into. But just to be clear that driverless cars are level five autonomous vehicles like no steering wheel. Right now, there’s a lot of cars that have safety systems called ADAS systems that are level two or level three autonomous vehicles that do have a driver and have a steering wheel. So things like emergency braking, or the adaptive cruise control or lane departure warnings, those are really relevant, because it’s now looking forward in the future about what you have to have on vehicles, it is going to be a function of the driving speeds and the location. So for trucking that are on an interstate going from state to state, it’s going to be a different set of requirements than manoeuvring a dense urban environment. And I think that those teams are still evaluating how to continue improving safety, I would say that I always have people asking us a lot is your how would you feel if there was an autonomous vehicle behind you? And what I tell people is that at this point in time, and they actually have about a year and a half ago, I feel safer having a robot behind the wheel, when I’m running, when I’m personally riding a bike, then the average driver because I don’t know if the average driver is distracted. And if you’re riding a bike around rush hour, there’s also an issue where you have a lot of obstructed vision. So a autonomous vehicle or a tonne of safety system in a vehicle that with a human driver, I think will be another set of eyes, another set of resources to see me while I’m out riding. And that wasn’t the case five years ago, but now I would say that the safety systems are great. And there’s always going to be edge cases and use cases. But I think we’re at a point now where it’s it’s clearly increasing safety. And yeah, you’re going to see the reports of, of tragic incidents that happen. But I’ve met with a lot of engineers working on these systems, and they’re doing it because they’re on a mission to make make the world a safer place and reducing injury and death. And that’s, I think we’re at a point now in the technology where it’s better now than the average human driver. Again, just my opinion, but I’ve seen this from the inside and outside. I know what sort of technologies are there and you know, the just even the the reaction time to recognise it’s a cyclist versus just some object up ahead. I mean, those are things that, that with the right technology can really help a human out that’s behind the wheel.

Carlton Reid 18:27
At the humans who are not behind the wheel, there’s some jargon here. So this is not it’s not your jargon. This is just the jargon and the industry. But it’s kind of you understand this. So VRUs so vulnerable road user is the jargon for a pedestrian, somebody on a scooter, somebody on a bicycle. Now, in the future in your technology, or just this the general connectivity, technology that’s coming are VRUs, are vulnerable road users, are they going to have to use a smartphone is that smartphone going to have to be turned on? What’s the technology that a VRU is going to have to have?

Jake Sigal 19:10
No. So we are very, we’ve been very clear, our 20 companies on our advisory board, have been very clear that that we need to support vulnerable road users, pedestrian, bicycle, scooter riders that do not have do not want to have or their battery is dead and their electronics that we have, we have two very distinct groups, which we call an unequipped VRU or someone that doesn’t have any electronics, or they’re choosing not to broadcast electronics, even for privacy reasons. And then if you have the electronics, whether it’s built into a shared bike that you get on and ride so as a user, you just ride the bike, you don’t have to do anything it’s built in or all the way to an app on your phone that can provide some level of identification – or device classification in other words- letting a car know that you are a pedestrian versus a like a… For example, let’s say you have a bike on a bike rack on a bus. Well, if you accidentally left your your ebike on and the motors on, it’s not spinning but it’s on the bus, we wouldn’t want a vehicle to think it was about to run over a cyclist when the bikes on the front of the bus and you’re riding the bus going down the street. So we really think that there are two paths, there’s the unequip VRUs as someone that doesn’t have the electronics and whether for a number of reasons, including equity reasons, they may not be able to afford the technology that we need to make sure they’re protected both from vehicle systems as well as protected from the ITS, the signs and infrastructure. Now, if there is an opportunity to have a low cost, wireless transmitter that can transmit anonymous information, things like ‘I am a bicycle, I’m travelling north, I’m going 15 miles per hour or 20 kilometres per hour’. That is useful information that helps because GPS does not work very well for tracking a bicycle or scooter. So I imagine many of the listeners, you had an experience in a city where you had the little blue dot on your map and it kind of bounces around a little bit or you’re driving using the Waze app or Google on your car and you’re like on the freeway, and then it thinks you’re on a side street and it jumps back to a freeway. That’s in GPS, this happens where it gets a little bit out of sync, because it’s pulling information off the satellites. So getting direct information off a bicycle or scooter like electronic compass, a speed from a wheel spinning, just some basic information even saying I am a scooter and I am moving that that is some really useful information on a low cost sensor that the having that information. While it’s not enough for a car to slam on the brakes, it is enough for a car safety system to include that information provided it’s trusted, so that the car safety system can do a slightly better job or be more confident in the decision that it’s going to make to help help avoid an incident or alert a driver. So that’s kind of how we look at it is that, that there are some opportunities there. The the opposite of this would be let’s put a $200 doodad on every bike and scooter. And that’s just not gonna happen. So it’s just not gonna happen. I mean, in vehicles, there are basic safety protections and those increase over time, so seat belts became mandatory. And there were lap belts. And then you have the cross strap seat belt then airbags were optional feature. And now they’re mandatory than others. Now you can get vehicles that have 20 airbags and increased safety systems. So like Lane Departure warnings, backup cameras, I mean, all these things are optional, they come in standard features. So I do think that there’s a really good precedent set that if you’re a cyclist and you want to increase your safety, you can buy a helmet, you can buy a bike light, you can buy a reflector reflective armband, or straps. So you look more like a human being and not just flashing light out there. So there are a lot of options on this and start to be a little long winded with this. But I want to make it very clear that that we want to provide options for people, but not leave anybody behind. So there will be more benefit if you’re having electronics. But at the same time it’s we can’t just say okay, now everyone on a bike has to have this electronic device. That’s just not not feasible. And we look at this as finding solutions for all riders regardless of their ability level, their age, their economic status, whether it’s their own bike or share bike, or a scooter or E powered bike or a regular powered bike. For us the Vulnerable Road User includes everybody, we got to make sure that everybody is included in our work.

Carlton Reid 23:29
Everybody’s included, Jake, but is it not the very fact that this could be two tiers of road user, vulnerable road user, in that you’re going to be equipped or not equipped? And this is purely hypothetical. I’m sure you’ve come across this before I’m sure all your workshops with with bicycle companies this has been broached. But in for instance, in a future litigation, where a cyclist and this happens with helmets, this happens with high vis this happens with lights already in in a court case where a motorist hits a cyclist. A lawyer at some point will say, ah, but that cyclists wasn’t equipped with this latest Bluetooth beacon. That’s why the crash happened. And what then happens is that the whole blame isn’t apportined to the cyclist, but a certain part of blame is apportioned. So then it becomes absolutely two tier road system. So how can that be? How can that be kind of like stopped before it’s even started?

Jake Sigal 24:38
Yeah, I understand the point. I don’t fully agree with the point about the two tiered system. And let me let me talk a little about that. So in our opinion, these cyclist does not want to get hit by a car any more than a driver wants to hit a cyclist. So it’s not just about responsibility. It’s it comes down to accountability. So, for example, if a cyclist is riding the wrong way on the road, in a vehicle lane and is breaking the law, he or she’s responsible for taking that action, just like if a driver of a vehicle is driving in the bicycle lane, which we’ve seen that happen, that that driver is then responsible, and especially for commercial vehicles that we double parked and other types of situations. So I definitely understand and see that point that comes up quite a bit. But from our work and experience, we’re really focusing on the use cases where everybody’s doing the right thing. So if everybody’s doing the right thing, there shouldn’t be incidents happening anyways, except for some really limited circumstances where the driver has obstructed view, like coming up in over a hill, or you’re driving West at sunset and you’re, as a driver looking straight into the sun and you’ve got the visor down, it’s really hard to see those types of limited use cases or areas where we think the technology can really help. So if a cyclist doesn’t have this technology, and there’s a litigation around, should the cyclist have had this? I think it’s going to come down to what every governing body whether it’s a state by state, or municipal level, in the US, we’ve got federal, state and local regulations and requirements on this is just going to be me based on the vru style. So it’s very possible that for example, if you have a moped like an actual motorised vehicle, like a motorcycle, you are regulated and having certain things like having lights having a licence plate, I don’t think a pedestrian should or whatever have any of this, I personally don’t think that a bicyclist, whether it’s powered or not powered, should have any of this or any scooter should. But ultimately, it’s up to each group to decide what should be there and what the use cases are. So what I wanted to just kind of put a little colour on this is that this two tier road system, we don’t see it that way, it certainly is possible. But what we see is dense urban environments having a three tier system where one is vehicle only. So in New York City, you’ve got the West Side Highway, or Second Avenue, and it’s I think it’s Seven Av that’s car only. And then you’ve got bike and VRU, Bike Share plus Car Share areas. And then separately, you’ve got bicycle and VRU-only areas and in Europe, that’s pretty common, as well as having these bikeways that are that are developed. And then there’s rules and regulations for the bikeways. So being a proper user of a trail or road. That’s not a new thing. I think that’s going to continue. But trying to say that because technology to make you safer exists means you have to wear it. I mean, that’s not something that we engage on. I mean, our mission is to increase safety and make sure that we can increase safety for both equipped and unequipped. The argument of should helmets be mandatory. I mean, that’s that’s not that’s not our fight to fight. I mean, I’ve got my personal opinion as a rider. But I mean, ultimately, that’s that’s, that’s up to local state and federal jurisdiction on that. So I see your point there, but we kind of see this a little bit differently. And I hope that hope you understand that from our standpoint, we’re just trying to increase safety and make sure no one’s left behind. And there will be some questions asked on this. But ultimately, if we’re increasing and saving lives, I think that it’s it’s worth having these harder conversations about these types of issues if we’re ultimately reducing the serious injury and death count with the technology we’re working on.

Carlton Reid 28:41
So what do you say the technology then is it like an equivalent to you know, all day running lights or wearing a helmet or the hi-vis, in fact these are all optional things. You don’t have to have these things. Many cyclists don’t have these things, but it just increases how visible you are to motorists. So if you’ve got the you know the standard, you know, Bontrager type, you know, always on, yeah, daytime running lights, you’re going to be that much more visible to motorists. You don’t have to have them. But you know, it’s your own. If you want to save your skin, then then it makes sense to have them.

Jake Sigal 29:21
Yeah, so personally, I always ride with high visibility, reflective and daytime running lights and a helmet. I wanted one day during the pandemic, I went to pick up some food and I didn’t put a helmet on I’m just going a few blocks down the street and I felt naked like I was like, I literally forgot something my helmet on and that’s just that’s me, that’s me is personal. That’s That’s me as a cyclist, but it’s not my decision to make for how other people look at this. And some people, rightfully so I would say that as a cyclist. They should need to do this in order not to get run over by a car they just shouldn’t be getting run over. And how I respond to that is that I understand and your rights as a cyclists in your country in your city in your state. I mean, that’s, that’s, again, what we talked about earlier. But if I can make this safer Is that a problem. And I think that where we draw the line is that if we make technology that’s mandated and somebody is left out of it because of cost reasons or some other factor, that that’s not a good thing. Because then in a way, we’re creating a false sense of security for some riders while we’re leaving other people behind. So I agree personally, when it comes to the choices that I make, and why I make them, but I also respect that other people may not agree with that position and might feel differently. So as long as we’re providing options for people I that’s why our team is on mission and doing this and I believe that bike companies are aligned with this is providing options and making sure we’re covering both equipped and unequipped vulnerable road users out there.

Carlton Reid 30:50
Because you know Bontrager daytime running light $80, $90 You know, a lot of people are riding around on bikes that are worth $60. And they’re the ones not going to be you know, protected. They’re kind of like the kind of like, called, they’re invisible cyclists in that, you know, huge mass of people are out there on bikes, but they’re crummy bikes, they’re not very good bikes. But there’s lots of people out there, and they don’t tend to have any safety equipment. At the moment.

Jake Sigal 31:18
You know, I tell you that in Detroit, I see a lot of people that are riding and I’m you know, since they’re not wearing Lycra like like I’m sometimes I’m assuming the ride to work or home from work. And they do have a safety vests on and they have reflectivity, and they’ve made that decision. So I think that there are a lot of different ways to be more visible. And with the type of work that we’re getting into it just I think education for the cyclists is really important. And we’ve worked very closely with Ford Driving Skills for life, which is funded by the Ford Foundation for driver education about how to look for cyclists and how to properly approach slow down and pass a cyclist in Michigan, we have a three foot passing rule. And it’s almost like you could take one of those, the swimming pool noodles off the side of your bike. And that’s how far away that the driver supposed to pass and create some awareness, there’s been more signage about owning like taking a full lane as a cyclist when it gets a little sketchy on a bike. So a lot of these things are happening at a advocacy level and education level, which we fully support with our company, we are really involved on the tech. So understanding the behaviour of cyclists, how cyclists ride, and we’ve also started to take a look at the type of cyclists so road bike child on a children’s bike, looking at share bikes, what sort of acceleration and deceleration how fast they go, how fast are they stopping, and looking for these types of trends so that we can make the vehicle system a little smarter. But like I said earlier, that from our standpoint, we’re trying to find ways to make cycling safer, and we don’t want anybody left behind from like, what should cyclists be wearing? I mean, I’d encourage all cyclists to put a helmet on have some form of lighting or reflectivity, neon lights during the day it the stats show, it’s going to make you safer and everyone knows me, I’m like Mr. Neon going around during the day. But you know, some people think that looks so cool. But you know, it’s it’s a obviously a personal choice and if we can make technology to help help think cars See you when even when you’re beyond line of sight and that’s a good opportunity.

Carlton Reid 33:26
And what do you see the technology? How do you envisage eventually getting out to the market so things like you know, the Garmin radar product which they’ve got your that could be like beefed up with more tech like See Sense. I know See Sense is on your your website? Yeah, as you know, Northern Ireland company that makes some great technology. Yeah, you know, their lights, they’ve got some clever electronics in there. So are you thinking in the future, then how long in the future but there’ll be like, augmented products out there? So it’s not gonna be like a like a transponder that you fit to your bike? standalone, it’s going to be integrated in other electronic devices. Is that is that the way you think it’s gonna go?

Jake Sigal 34:09
Oh, absolutely. And like I said earlier, the technology needs to be transparent to the user. So it’s not some black box that you turn on when you’re riding it’s it’s built in. So we’ve talked to a number of companies about putting it into ebike drive systems so electronic bike it’s got a big battery already has wireless connectivity makes a tonne of sense. We’ve talked to car companies about being able to connect a sign so that if a sign sees any cyclist without any electronics that that message can be received and determining what the safety messages we have a white paper on our website for engineers on topic. We’ve talked to university researchers about this and we held a our first annual conference last year we had a postponed due to the pandemic of course this year but on same topic is like what are the dynamics what how are these things moving? How are the devices moving people on scooters scooters by ebikes different types of other VR use wheelchairs, that sort of thing. A lot of different options that go into this. So I think for us, it’s, it’s really about making the technology as seamless and transparent to the cyclist and the driver. And our companies are really looking towards that I don’t envision there being any black box that’s that’s put on your seatpost. That doesn’t mean it would be incorporated into something that is already on the bike or something you need. Now, of course, you’re going to retrofit so if it’s an a helmet, if it’s on the handlebar, if it’s in a bike light, these are all areas that we’re very interested in. And I can speak for my experience working with the bike companies is that this is not something that they look at as competitive technology, they look at this as creating global standards for how to communicate their presence and and let in such a way that that protects consumer privacy keeps the cost down, and can be really driven into mass volume for, for adoption across all cyclists. So that that’s kind of the area that we’re looking at is different products as this can fit into. But while maintaining that there is a trust level from the auto company that when they get a message from one of these devices, that it’s a proper message and see sense of I want to give them a plug has been absolutely fantastic to work with, as with our other core groups and our prototyping Working Group. But it’s just been really good talking to companies about ways to see where the technology can go, and then find ways to really keep the cost down to get into more more more saddles and more more riders in the world

Carlton Reid 36:37
Is going to be cheap, basically? So people that adopt it?

Jake Sigal 36:41
I would say that if we do this, right, it would be built in to products that you’re already buying. So it’s a very cheap, affordable incremental upgrade for them for some basic protection. So where it gets really expensive is if this turns into a vehicle to vehicle trusted message. So I mentioned earlier, if a bicycle is transmitting some basic information, that’s pretty affordable to generate deliver, if we had to generate the same messages that a vehicle generates, it becomes very expensive, very quick. So I would be very surprised if that’s the direction this goes because it would put sensor requirements on a on a bicycle or on a wheelchair or something that are well beyond what the cost of the bicycle or wheelchair would be for the average rider. So we’re really looking at ways that not only are technically feasible, but also feasible for the market. And that’s not our call to make at Tome that’s why we brought on board the best bike companies in the business. And I want to point out that in addition to having Specialized and Trek and Giant as part of our group, we also have the Excel group and other companies that are working on like Dorel Sports that work on bicycles that are found in department stores and other entry level bicycle programmes. So it’s not limited just to the high end bicycle market, which really helps us make sure that what we’re working on is feasible. And then on the auto side, same thing, making sure that the technology we’re working on would be feasible to bring into a car. So we come up with something that’s super cheap and does something but the auto guys wouldn’t trust it for a good reason, then that’s not going to work either. So that’s a balance between the two industries is something that we have a lot of experience with working at Livio, or previous company with ABS and cars. And, you know, we’re doing that same playbook going in to tell them with with this, and it’s not a Tome technology. By the way, this is technology that will be industry standard. It’s based on SAE automotive industry standards, and working on the same playbook that the auto companies have been doing for the last 20 years. So for us, we’re really facilitating and organising the effort, but it is a industry is a cross industry, open standards effort where it’s not proprietary tech, you’re not gonna see at home our logo on your bike any day, this is really about making the world a safer place and agreeing on global standards. So any startup any large company, any auto company could could access this.

Carlton Reid 38:58
So you mentioned the kind of the packages of information that gets sent out there. And I noticed from our email conversation we had to begin with, there was something called BSM, so that’s basic safety message, and then there’s PSM personal safety message. Are they the two different expensive and or cheap versus expensive? What are the what are they? What are those two things?

Jake Sigal 39:20
Well, messages. So they’re two separate messages. They’re very similar. And the basic safety message is what’s been adopted by automotive companies. The personal safety message has been submitted as part of the SAE [Society of Auto Engineers] standards, but it hasn’t been fully adopted and fully adopted, there’s a bit of an asterix there. And you might be what was that mean? Or what what that means is that we just need to do some more research and really determine what’s in the message. messages are free, by the way, like it doesn’t cost anything to send a message. It’s like typing an email that’s free, but generating the information that’s in that message and then having a wireless system to send that message that that’s where the cost comes in. So they are related. So what’s in the message If I say, here’s my location, but I’m using a GPS receiver, it can be challenging because if you’re in a city, that location may be wrong. So can you trust that location, or if you’re pulling it off a mobile phone, and your phone’s in your pocket, what sort of signal coverage you’re going to get in your pocket your backpack versus having your phone mounted on your handlebar? So the real interesting part for us at Tome is defining the message requirements. So like, what are the like, How fast are we sending this message? What’s the accuracy level, and then the performance requirements of the sensors that are generating the information. Now the sensors could be on sign, could be on a vehicle, or it could be on the bike, or scooter or other VRU itself. So for an unequipped VRU, someone that doesn’t have a phone or doesn’t want to use it, it’s one of the minimum requirements, you have to put on a sign or a vehicle to then send other signs and vehicles that there’s a bike out there, and that bike is heading north and the bike is going at the speed. So that’s really where the challenges so between the the basic safety message and the personal safety message, we’re all working together on like, what is what vehicles need. And we might find out that we need to create a different message and take a light version of the basic safety message or reduce version specifically for vulnerable road users. We’ve had tremendous support from SAE, we’ve had great support from the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership, which is a group that GM and Ford created 20 years or so years ago. And there’s got to be 15 automotive companies participating in that. And they’re also partnered with the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway. So we have some really great [adversaries] talking about just the work that needs to be done for a long road user and a playbook to pull from. So I think when it gets down to BSMs, and PSMs and the message formats, I wouldn’t get too hung up on that, at this point, what’s important is understanding and balancing feasibility cost, and what’s the minimum set of information that a car needs to know in order for it to do something different that it can trust, and it’s got the right accuracy level within the message?

Carlton Reid 42:02
And how much of this is North American lead? Because you can imagine, you know that that scenario you said before where you know there’s a light is the sunlight is is low? There’s a cyclist over the brow of a hill. And then there’s one cyclist, you kind of you can you get that information, the driver gets the alert, and you’re golden, because you’ve spotted the cyclist. If you’re in Copenhagen, if you’re in Amsterdam, you’ve got 20,000 BSMs or whatever. Yeah, coming at you like crazy. Yeah, so how much of this technology is like a North American mindset versus like a continental Europe where cycling is you know, like, you know, vacuuming your carpet and brushing your teeth. It’s so normal. Yeah, it’s, you know, you Dutch person would say you want me to do what? You know, with my with my, my phone or I need to have what equipment in my bicycle? What, are you crazy? So how much is North American compared to European.

Jake Sigal 43:07
So we are coordinating with COLIBI, which is the European cycling organisation. We’ve talked to a number of companies out of the Asia Pacific region in Japan and Korea, and there are different use cases. So congestion of cyclists, fortunately, makes cycling safer. Now the more people that ride bikes, if you take a percentage, the more the more number of incidents you’re going to get. But from a percentage standpoint, it’s safer numbers. So what we’re finding and talking with different groups, and even if you look at downtown, like looking at New York City versus a rural area, in the Midwest, with dirt roads, you have these different use cases. So from our perspective, we’re really interested in finding the areas where there’s a high likelihood of a serious injury or death and defining that vulnerability. So we don’t define the vulnerability there’s research out there that defines the vulnerability or in layman’s terms like a danger that you’re at any given time. So not only do you have to feel safe riding a bike, you have to be safe riding a bike, and the vulnerability indices that have we looked at as a six different sources. We’ve modelled this with the US Department of Transportation’s model for vulnerability, that’s those are the areas we got to watch out for. So in a massive area, we’re not saying let’s have 100 bikes in Copenhagen send out 100 messages and that situation we look to a science say let’s let the sign detect that there are a lot of bicycles in the area, and then adjust the signal appropriately when the bicycles are crossing a major road, which is a lot different than in a suburban or rural area by letting a bus know that hey, there’s a cyclist up ahead. And if it’s after sunset, then that may be a different indication to the driver than than if there is like five bikes around and it was in a bike lane. So the situation that the cyclist is in It’s not so much about the part of the world they’re in, it’s really around the density and congestion of the VR use. And also want to point out that we are not looking at alerts for drivers. If you got an alert, every time you saw a bicycle, even in Detroit, you would turn off that notification in five seconds, because they would ding you every every three seconds, it just be, it’d be super annoying. But what’s really useful is looking at those really tricky areas where there’s high vulnerability, and also having the right amount of information for a safety system. Same thing with autonomous vehicles. I mean, we, I think, many of us if you’re around the space, you’ve seen this, where if you’re driving in New York City as a human driver, and this comes up with autonomous vehicles is that pedestrians will stand right at the edge of the curb, and you have to slowly move out and go through on the green light, pedestrians will do what they’re supposed to do. And it’s kind of how it works in New York City. When I was in Asia, same thing. I mean, it’s, you’ve got just people and VRUs, and it’s everywhere. So like the use cases, there’s going to be areas where our technology does not make a lot of sense, because it’s an extremely dense area. But then there’s other areas where it also might be so rule that you need a data connection in order for it to transmit messages. And that doesn’t make sense either. So we’re still looking at finding the sweet spot of where this goes. But for anyone that’s riding in mass numbers, I’d say that this is not like you get an alert or for that you made the comment like the person in Europe says I’m supposed to do what well, the basic idea here is that you’re not supposed to do anything, you’re supposed to ride your bike and vehicle drivers and the vehicle safety systems, we’ll get some awareness where you’re at. That’s the we’re not asking anybody to do anything at this time. It’s really just finding ways for for infrastructure and existing bike products to help help keep people safe.

Carlton Reid 46:51
So before we talked about a hypothetical court case, where it was the lawyer was, was going at the cyclist for not having the right equipment, could we maybe flip that and say in the future, potentially, if this technology becomes ubiquitous for both bicyclists motorists, pedestrians, and motorists, it then becomes incumbent on the motorist that they have been given all this information. And the lawyer could then say, forget, there’s sunlight blinding you that will no longer you can’t use that excuse anymore. You were given that information, there was a cyclist over the brow of the hill, you chose to ignore that information. So it could potentially this technology actually flip that kind of court case where cyclists tend to be squished. And the driver, you know, just comes up with some lame excuse. And then you know, with with a jury of murdering peers, they get off with it. So in the future, could they no longer they won’t get off with it.

Jake Sigal 48:01
I couldn’t comment, I’m not an attorney. And obviously, it varies by area, I just go back to, from our perspective is people want to do the right thing. And if we provide information for a computer system, and there’s no notification of the driver, it certainly eliminates that type of a situation. But for a lot of pedestrian identification systems are out there now they’ll have an LED that pops up and and then kind of creates that awareness that there are pedestrians in the area. I know that that one auto company even does a simulation to show you pedestrians and bicyclists that are around you while you’re driving. So this already is existing and production. And these types of questions always come up. But I try not to engage too much in hypotheticals because in some in some respects, I look at this and say, well are what what are we supposed to do are supposed to just stop making the world safer? No, we have to come up with making the world safer. And we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it on some of the other issues. And maybe there’s some use cases that need to be taken out because of liability issues or confidence issues. More importantly, that, that we think something’s there, but we’re not sure. And that’s not new, that’s what the industry does today. And if we can find a way to save one life with our product, it makes it worth it. So that’s how we approach this and apologise to be a little bit evasive at the base of the question. But I mean, from our standpoint, it just really comes down to look we’re making, we’re making it safer. And we hope that by doing what we’re doing, even if there was a court case that came out of this, we would be saving lives and in my mind that makes it worth it.

Carlton Reid 49:41
Yeah, and I apologise to you as well, because it was a hypothetical. And it basically has to be case law. So at some point in the future, I’m sure case law will will grapple with these issues. These things will come up because it’s no longer there’ll be some excuses, you won’t be able to use anymore both both, probably both, all road users will no longer be able to say, you know, they couldn’t see you. Because it’s like, well, the electronics were there, of course, you could see then you chose to ignore that. So that’s case law. That’s hypothetical. So final question, Jake. And then I’ll let you get away, because I’ve taken up a lot of your time. Thank you. And that is when maybe this is another impossible question for you to answer. But when might we see this technology? When can we go into a shop? Do you think and and get, you know, a light a helmet, or whatever, with this equipment with this, with this technology in.

Jake Sigal 50:39
So our vision is, in the next three to five years, this technology will be saving, will be increasing the safety on VRUs on the roadways in the next three to five years, there are some things that need to happen for that to go. So and also with the pandemic, it’s it’s hard to say with some of the timelines, but with our relationships with the auto companies, our understanding of the technical readiness levels needed for the sensors in the broadcast system, this is three to five years out, which in auto terms is fast, by the way, but this is not next year. But we’re not talking about Jetsons flying cars, we’re not waiting for autonomous vehicles. This is much sooner than that. And again, I want to just stress that this is not going to be only for new bicycles, or only for new cars, I mean, this will be something that would be able to be rolled out not to all vehicles. So if you have a car today, it probably won’t be included on the vehicle you’re driving today. But at some point, these will able to be software updates. And we’re really excited about just the opportunity. So in auto terms, I’d say it’s we’re following the right steps in next three to five years, we’ll have really clear safety methods for in vehicle. And for infrastructure. It’s already started, I mean, infrastructure already is working on and including bicycle protection in some areas in the United States. There are pilot studies going and they’re doing connected corridors, and it’s already begun. So I hope that a cyclist would never look at this as a as a green light to blow through traffic lights or stop signs that That’s not at all what this is not what it’s there to do. It’s there to keep people that are trying to do the right thing a little bit safer while they’re doing it. And for both drivers and cyclists, because at the end of the day, we’re all there together. And we just want to have a safe, safe journey and enjoy the ride.

Carlton Reid 52:26
Yeah, hallelujah to that. Jake, thank you ever so much for for talking with us today. Give us a shout out for your for your website. Where can where can people find more information on this technology?

Jake Sigal 52:36
Yeah, great. So you can check us out at Tomesoftware.com and we have a bicycle vehicle page. I’d also would encourage you to like or follow our Tome Software account on LinkedIn. If you’re in the industry, and you look for information, we’ll talk to you but we have some white papers published. And there’s also an email list to stay updated on on some of our upcoming news announcements and things. So really excited to talk about this. And you know, this is personal for me around bike safety, and we’re very proud of the team has been just fantastic to work with on our side, as well as all the cycling car companies, scooter companies, it’s it’s just great seeing everybody come together. So check us out online and really appreciate you putting this together.

Carlton Reid 53:20
Thanks to Jake Sigal of Tome Software but before we transfer across to Peter Norton here’s my co-host David Bernstein with a commercial interlude.

David Bernstein 53:31
Hey, Carlton, thanks so much. And it’s it’s always my pleasure to talk about our advertiser. This is a long time loyal advertiser, you all know who I’m talking about? It’s Jenson USA at Jenson usa.com/thespokesmen. I’ve been telling you for years now years, that Jenson is the place where you can get a great selection of every kind of product that you need for your cycling lifestyle at amazing prices and what really sets them apart. Because of course, there’s lots of online retailers out there. But what really sets them apart is their unbelievable support. When you call and you’ve got a question about something, you’ll end up talking to one of their gear advisors and these are cyclists. I’ve been there I’ve seen it. These are folks who who ride their bikes to and from work. These are folks who ride at lunch who go out on group rides after work because they just enjoy cycling so much. And and so you know that when you call, you’ll be talking to somebody who has knowledge of the products that you’re calling about. If you’re looking for a new bike, whether it’s a mountain bike, a road bike, a gravel bike, a fat bike, what are you looking for? Go ahead and check them out. Jenson USA, they are the place where you will find everything you need for your cycling lifestyle. It’s Jensenusa.com/thespokesmen. We thank them so much for their support. And we thank you for supporting Jenson USA. All right, Carlton, let’s get back to the show.

Carlton Reid 54:57
Thanks David and we’re back with episode 259 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. Earlier in the episode we had the technology half of the show, now here’s the history half with Peter Norton, the associate professor of history in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia, USA.

Carlton Reid 55:20
Peter, autonomous vehicles, they get rid of the driver, that’s fantastic. And by all sorts of 360 degree vision tech and sensors, they can see around corners, so isn’t that surely better than being on the roads with drivers who we know, often distracted, often on, on high and all sorts of things, and aren’t really paying attention. Computers pay attention, Peter.

Peter Norton 55:50
Computers are amazing, they never lose attention. They don’t mean, apart from any sort of processing delay, they may have. They can pay attention, 360 degrees around them, they don’t get tired, they don’t get distracted. They don’t, they’re not emotional. So they have enormous advantages. And a lot of the tech people are very quick to point all of those out to you and conclude right away, well, this makes them better than a human driver. But on the other hand, they have a lot of disadvantages compared to human drivers that the tech sales force tends to ignore. In other words, they add up all the benefits, and then don’t subtract all the disadvantages. And the disadvantages are major. In particular, the sensors and the processing systems that the data go through, generally are very poor at telling what they’re looking at, they’re very good at identifying the likely predictable things like the car in front of you, the car beside you, the limits of the road. But they’re very poor at detecting unusual objects. This is what people are good at. They have a very hard time figuring out what they’re looking at when there’s a bicycle right in front of them. And while they’re trying to figure out what they’re looking at, they have to decide do we do we brake automatically? Do we steer automatically, but if if their confidence on that is low, then you in the in the in the vehicle are going to have a bad experience with this car braking and turning unnecessarily constantly.

Carlton Reid 57:40
So that’s the level five, the fully autonomous system. So that’s that’s, you know, as we know, it’s always five years away. Whenever tech talks about it, it’s two years away. But generally, no matter where we have been in history, it’s always five years away. But there is an awful lot of tech on cars at the moment. So this this tech is out there. This is not in the future. This is this is now. So isn’t it good that human drivers are? As you said, sometimes not as as fantastic as you like, isn’t that good to give them supplementary information supplementary guidance.

Peter Norton 58:22
There’s no question that it can be useful to have some supplementary information when you’re the driver. There’s a couple of important questions that that raises up though. One is, are you going to get the supplementary information you need for example, if it’s a bicyclist and the vehicle has a hard time detecting that it’s a bicyclist Are you going to find out in time that this is a bicyclist. And even I think more important consideration is anytime you supplement automated attention with to human attention, you don’t get the sum of those two, you know, one unit of human attention plus one unit of automated attention does not equal two units of attention. And the reason is human beings are cognitive misers. They want to limit unnecessary effort. And the tech is telling them that they can the tech is saying you may be a little sleepy, but that’s okay. The tech is here watching out. So you don’t have to pull over and take a rest. This is an old phenomenon that goes back long before digital automation where anything the engineers do to make the road safer the benefit is offset, to some extent at least, by human beings; turning that safety benefit into a convenience benefit. And the tech really can ramp up that effect drastically. In fact, you can, as people will listening to this may know, you can go to YouTube and watch videos of people driving their Tesla’s with autopilot, sleeping playing games sitting in the back seat in these are extreme cases that are indicative of a much bigger problem that affects to some degree all drivers.

Carlton Reid 1:00:27
If bikes are going to be equipped with beacons so so whatever kind of beacons they are, whether it’s the phone that you’ve got on you, whether it’s you know, a little tag that you’ve put on, or whether it’s, you know, tech that goes in helmets, tech that goes in bike lights, or is even embedded on the bike, however, the tech is is done, or if autonomous or semi autonomous systems are going to recognise cyclist in some other way. How reliable would all of this have to be, for it to prove to be at least as safe as today’s humans only system?

Peter Norton 1:01:12
This is a very good question. So I mean, there’s a lot of possibilities here. If we have bikes equipped with devices, some kind of transponder that the vehicles around them can pick up. And these vehicles have some kind of odd automated driving systems in them, then the vehicles can, you know, to be much more reliable at detecting them and and taking appropriate action. However, the minute you introduce this possibility, you kind of have to either have an all or nothing situation. In other words, if you don’t have 99%, something like that of the bicyclist equipped, then those that are unequipped are actually at greater risk. And the ones that are at greater risk could I mean, besides the fact that we care about them as individuals, this will also diminish the the overall safety benefit. So then the tricky question becomes do you require cyclists to have this equipment and if so does this start off with say, all new bicycles must be equipped, then of course, you’re leaving out a really decades worth of bikes. My own bike is over a decade old, that are going to be unequipped for years ahead, as soon as drivers have some confidence that cyclists are equipped, their behaviour will change this to the extent that the change depends on the driver, their awareness of the tech and their own safety calculations. So we know already that when a driver sees a cyclist with a helmet on, they’ll pass them by a smaller margin. If a driver sees a cyclist with a child seat on the bike, they’ll pass it by a greater margin. These are behavioural effects. They’re generally entirely unconscious or almost entirely unconscious. And once drivers think that cyclists are equipped with beacons or transponders that their cars are automatically adapting for, we will see the same kind of behavioural consequences. In other words, drivers on average, will give cyclists a smaller margin. And if we have a situation in which actually, not all cyclists have these this equipment, whether it’s 50% or 90%, then you’re going to have some cyclists at least who are exposed to a greater risk thanks to this tech than they would otherwise face.

Carlton Reid 1:03:55
I’ve been speaking to Tome Software and they’ve said yes, it chances are it won’t be beacons, it won’t be transponder tech, it will be, you know, cyclists and pedestrians. The phraseology, as you know, is VRUs, vulnerable road users. They’ll be spotted without any form of technology. So how likely is that and, well, doesn’t that then answer your issues?

Peter Norton 1:04:18
Well, I have a hard time picturing how we get automated driving systems, forgetting about levels of autonomy, just basic automated driving systems that reliably detect bicycles that are not equipped with anything. Just because we know from the research that detecting cyclists is one of the hardest things that autonomous vehicle developers and automated driving systems developers have had to face. So I don’t see how these systems protect bicyclists. And I think they may indeed increase the risk for cyclists because if they give drivers the message that the car is watching out for the cyclists for them, but the car is actually not doing that particularly well then we actually make the situation for cyclists more dangerous, not less dangerous.

Carlton Reid 1:05:15
But if you’re Trek, and their micro brand Bontrager, if you’re Cannondale, if you’re all of these, you know, high end brands, or you’re Garmin, and you’re going to equip, because they’ve got the Garmin, they’ve got like radar cameras in some of them right now. So if you’re going to equip the cyclists, the rich, in effect, the rich cyclist of the future with this kind of tech, well, they’re going to they’re going to do that. Why wouldn’t Cannondale and Trek, you know, produce this tech because they produce and they’re already advocate for, for instance, you know, daylight running LED lights, they all really advocated that advocate made that advocate for helmets. So come bike companies want to sell more things, they will sell more things, if cyclists survive into old age, because they’ll be able to sell them bikes for forever. So bike companies are going to be doing this aren’t they?

Peter Norton 1:06:18
I assume they will. I mean, this depends in part on what the tech really proves it can do and whether cyclists are convinced that it does deliver these promised benefits. But let’s assume that the tech does work fairly well, then certainly there are going to be some cyclists who want it. If it’s fairly expensive, as I think probably will have to be, then not all cyclists will have it. Already we have a situation. And I think it’s it’s what we would naturally expect, where cyclists have different risk calculations and different budgets and arrive at different conclusions about how much protection they want. Do they want a helmet? If so, what kind do they want hive is? Do they want lights? You know, a lot of times the calculation is a convenience calculation. My bike is not, does not have lights right now, but it’s dark, but it’s a short ride, I’ll take the chance, I’ll just be careful. These are normal human risk calculations. And I think the tech will become a part of that normal risk calculation. Now it gets complicated, of course, when systems get designed around assumptions, such as whether a cyclist has certain equipment or not, whether cars have certain capabilities or not. And if we have cyclists who are equipped, and we have road design decisions, and driver decisions that respond to the assumption that we have cyclists who are equipped, then we’re changing really what begins as an individual choice by an individual cyclist to get the high end bike with the high end safety tech. And we’re now involving the other cyclists who have an older bike who have a budget. And their safety exposure has changed through no action of their own. Because road networks, traffic cycling are all components of complex systems. And no individual action within a complex system is taken in perfect isolation.

Carlton Reid 1:08:38
But Peter, I’m safe. Who cares about everybody else? I’m, I am on a $5,000 Super Deluxe, fantastic roadmachine. I’ve also paid $1,000 for the latest in bicyclist detection. I’m saved, who cares about anybody else? What is the problem with that?

Peter Norton 1:09:02
Well, I don’t think I have any objection to an individual cyclist who wants to put out the money for this this high tech safety equipment, that’s fine at an as an individual choice. What concerns me is the systemic effects. And I’m not making the individual cyclist here responsible for those because now we’re talking about policy. We’re talking about law. We’re talking about engineering standards. Could you know things like lane widths, how you separate bike lanes, if at all from traffic. And it’s at that level that that kind of tech has some serious implications, implications that the individual cyclist who has a big budget, I know may not be their concern. And I don’t have a quarrel with that. But it is a concern of the society that we live in and the people who make the decisions about that society. So for example, if the tech turns out to actually make cyclist cycling safer for those who have it, but more dangerous for those who don’t, does that become grounds in policy for requiring all cyclists to have the necessary equipment for cars to detect them? If that does, then we now have problems about access to cycling among those with budgets, or deterring cycling in a society where we need more, not less for lots of reasons, including sustainability and public health. So these are where these these developments become problematic. We are not protecting these unequipped cyclist when we have equipped cyclists, and we are in to some degree making their situation more serious as drivers come to expect cyclists to be equipped. And eventually even road designers. Road authorities start to assume that cyclists should be equipped, perhaps even the law may begin to expect this such that, you know, an injured party in a courtroom may have a weaker case, legally, if they didn’t have this tech that, you know, nobody had just a few years earlier. This is not speculation. We’ve seen this with bicycle helmets where once the bicycle helmets are out there, some authorities have decided that all cyclists must have them. And there have been court cases where the cyclist who was one who did not have a helmet was at a disadvantage after an injury because of not having a helmet that could take on a new life with the safety tech that we’re talking about.

Carlton Reid 1:12:02
You’re talking from a like a dystopian point of view, basically, historian, and you’ve seen this happen, though your your dystopia is based on what actually has happened in history?

Peter Norton 1:12:17
Oh, yes. Yeah, you know, experience is your best teacher in history is just a sort of systemic study of human experience and the lessons that come from it. I mean, the most elementary lesson about road safety from history is that safety is not some linear measure that is neutral in its relationship with people. Safety is always: safety for whom? Safety is always a question of priority. Safety is always a question of recognition. So there’s there’s a sort of official favour that safety confers but also sort of unofficial recognition. If a say a pedestrian is in a roadway, in conflict with the travel path of a motor vehicle it appears obvious from our early 21st century point of view that the pedestrian has it as a task, and that is to get out of the way. That’s a point of view that did not exist a century ago, when when the prevailing notion was exactly the opposite. And so this means we can’t talk about safety without talking about power without talking about priority without talking about the inequality really between categories of road users. I heard you use the term vulnerable road user a few minutes ago. And the term connotes a road user who is in some way less than optimal as a road user. But we could have a different vocabulary where we have road users, like pedestrians, like cyclists, and then we have dangerous road users or DRUs. Why is it that we have VRUs but not DRUs? These are all questions that history can help us be alert to and it’s really worth being alert to them because, you know, for a lot of reasons, number one being climate change. We are overdue for a rethink about how we’ve chosen these priorities and who we should favour in these conflicts.

Carlton Reid 1:14:44
So, priority and prioritising. I do hate using the term, absolutely, it’s an ugly term VRUs prioritising pedestrians and cyclists with that actually, if that has And say we live in a perfect world. And that happened. The oldest tech actually prioritised cyclists and pedestrians. That’s that’s that’s the beautiful thing where we’re holding out for Peter. If that happened, would that then make it incredibly hard to sell cars to people? Because we’re going to be prioritising these people who have never been prioritised before?

Peter Norton 1:15:21
The answer is definitely yes. And I can say definitely, because we had that dilemma before. We had that dilemma when the question of who do we prioritise between motor vehicles and pedestrians first arose over a century ago? And the answer was, if you prioritise pedestrians, as was universal over a century ago, then drivers’ driving experience is diminished, you can’t go fast, you have to yield frequently. And certainly the driver’s experience is worse. Now, their experience as human beings may not be worse, because in such a world, they may find that actually, they don’t have to drive as much. So a driver is not existentially a driver who can be nothing else. Every driver is a potential pedestrian or transit user or cyclist. And so maybe not everywhere, maybe only in some places, maybe only in cities or relatively dense areas. And maybe not even on all streets in such areas. We can reimagine what streets are for I think it’s worth doing because we have to find some way to have a sustainable future. That’s going to require less driving. And I think that, while that may sound scary in a car dependent world can look attractive in a less car dependent world. I mean, frankly, it’s a lot like how not smoking sounds scary when you’re addicted. But it feels liberating once you’ve stopped smoking for a while. So Ah, yes, the answer to your question is yes, it could be a bad experience for drivers if we prioritise pedestrians and cyclists in some areas. Another reason why we don’t have to speculate about that, by the way is that there are places where drivers can drive but are not prioritised. Where streets are shared shared spaces, or streets in the Netherlands, where cars are, are admitted as guests according to the terminology there. And in such shared spaces, people can and do drive. It’s a different experience. It’s not necessarily much worse, depending on you know, how much of a hurry that driver is in. And such techniques don’t have to be used everywhere, but they can be used somewhere. And some places they they can be a beautiful

Peter Norton 1:18:15
possibility that we haven’t seriously considered enough.

Carlton Reid 1:18:19
What would be your advice to bike companies who are looking at this technology? Do you think it’s it’s something they ought to clear off? Or do you think they’re also tech companies and bicycles are tech? Do you think they they are absolutely going to go with this anyway, no matter what somebody like you says, so let’s let’s what what should they be doing?

Peter Norton 1:18:42
Well, I think that’s gonna depend a lot on on the particular markets, there probably are markets these are the markets where the cyclist is still not something drivers expect to see. This is, of course, practically ubiquitous in the USA, but many other countries as well. In such environments, there’s certainly going to be interest in this tech among cyclists, and perhaps even eventually, among road authorities of various kinds. I think cyclists as consumers need to be careful about what they’re being sold. They should be sceptical if they’re, if they’re if the messages that this tech is sort of automatically protecting them. I mean, after all, the overwhelming majority of cars on the road have no means of picking up the tech that may be in the bikes, so they can’t expect drivers to be automatically adjusting through some sort of technological, some sort of signal between the two vehicles. It’s frankly not clear to me what the tech in the bike will do for the cyclist, until the vast majority of cars have the tech on board to adjust accordingly to the cyclists. That’s a piece I don’t really get, I don’t see how we get from the where we are now, where the vast majority of cars would have no means to detect anything in the bike to a world where the cyclists can expect that any car passing them, or approaching them, is detecting the bike automatically. So I don’t know how we get to that point, it may be that I’m even misunderstanding something about how this tech is supposed to work. I’ve been confused by it, in part, because the messages I’ve been getting from the tech companies has been conflicting on this point. But to return your question, should should bike companies do it? Well, yeah, I mean, if, if they’ve got a market that’s interested in paying for this stuff, and the cyclists knows what they’re getting, and is not misled into imagining they’re getting more protection, than it’s worth. Sure, I just have a hard time seeing that the technology can deliver the safety benefit that would be necessary to justify the expense in the bike right now.

Carlton Reid 1:21:28
You’re almost saying that if it was just a transponder that was talking to a driverless car or an equipped human driver car, that’s one thing, but then what’s actually going to cyclists gonna have, and they’re going to have, like, you know, a heads up display to tell him that there’s a threat coming for the variety of ways that this tech can be sold to the cyclist, if it’s going to be just something that keeps cars away from you. Well, that’s one thing. But if it’s all gonna say out, but you can actually see when there’s a car about to run you over, you can jump off the road. That’s also something that’s you know, you need more things on a bike. To do that, you’d have to have a display, you’d have to have haptics telling you look, you know, in 15 seconds is this motorist is going to hit, you’re going to have all this kind of stuff. So it’s you’re making cycling into, you know, Judge Dredd.

Peter Norton 1:22:23
It’s very hard for me to imagine any cyclist — and I’m speaking as one who would have any use for information coming in from some kind of sensor system — that could possibly be anything but a detriment to the sensor system that every cyclist already has, namely, their vision and their hearing. So a cyclist in a busy environment, your vision and your hearing are on high alert. And any sensor system that tries to crowd that high alert, personal sensor system with more data, it’s going to be an annoyance. It can’t tell you much that your senses can’t already more reliably tell you. I mean, you might have some kind of threat map on your handlebar, that tells you what’s up ahead. But the attention you’d have to give to that screen would be a distraction in itself. And the reliability of what it was showing you would have to be very poor, because this would be real time data coming in from perhaps actively transmitting vehicles as well as whatever the sensor system on the bike is picking up. I can’t imagine a voice or haptic system or audio signals or visual signals that would be reliable enough and relevant enough to a cyclist in a busy environment to be anything but a nuisance.

Carlton Reid 1:24:04
I’m wondering how much of this technology is North American in in it just almost everything about it is because you know, a you put you’re going to prioritise the motorist and not the cyclists and pedestrians but I was speaking to Tome Software and one of the scenarios that they gave, which is which sounds sensible is, you know, if you’re a motorist, and you’re coming and you’re like on a rural American road, and you’re coming up the crest of a hill, you can’t see maybe there’s other reasons why you can’t see and it might be foggy and you get this extra information that there’s actually a cyclist the other side of that hill, then that’s got to be a good thing. But then I put to Jake of Tome Software, who’s the CEO, I said we get Isn’t that like a North American way of looking at that. It is in that if you are in In the Netherlands, you’ve got 1000 cyclists over the brow of the hill, and you will just naturally be going slower anyway. So how much of this all of this this beaconization tech? How much of it do you think, comes from an North American worldview?

Peter Norton 1:25:18
Well, certainly, yeah, this this tech is sort of based on the assumption that you as a cyclist are the anomaly and almost everywhere in North America that is, that is a fair assumption. So you know, of course, it’s perfectly fine if a company wants to cater to a North American market. And of course, there’s plenty of other places in the world where, where this is the the norm as well, you know, Australia is a good example. So sure, the tech could be of particular use in environments where cyclists are anomalies and rare and still be worthy. I have to say, I still wonder, do I really want a bike that’s trying to alert me to another cyclist coming? Or do I really, if I’m, if I’m a driver? If will I start depending on my vehicle to respond to a cyclist automatically, such that I am paying less attention as a driver. I have a hard time picturing this tech actually delivering a benefit either to the driver or to the cyclist. Except in such, you know, idiosyncratic situations as as to be too rare to justify the the tech.

Carlton Reid 1:26:46
You’re a historian. You’ve seen how this has played out before. The tech companies do you think they could do with attending one of your courses? And and actually getting a background in the history of

Carlton Reid 1:27:05
technological misuses? Or the history of privatisation on roads? Do you think that that potential if that’s what they’re missing, they’re missing? They’re missing quite an important indicator of how their technology, however benign they think it might be now, and oh, it’s going to save cyclists isn’t that great thing,’ but how that technology might be used in a non benign way by actors who don’t have cyclists’ interests at heart?

Peter Norton 1:27:35
Certainly. So, you know, every tech innovation is a disruption and a balance of power, you know, balances of power. It’s a familiar term in international relations in military standoffs. But they’re ubiquitous in everyday life. And innovation, shifts the balance, you know, the cell phone, suddenly your boss can call you on weekend, you know, or email or whatever they can, they can. Your weekends are no longer sacred, right? That’s a shift in the balance of power. So every innovation and safety also shifts, priorities, shifts, balances of power, sometimes in dramatic ways. And I’m actually somewhat sceptical about the tech companies that profess that they are merely interested in improving safety. I’m not sure that the deficiency there is that they don’t know that tech shifts balances of power, or they just rather not get into that, because it’s inconvenient. In the history of road transport, I mean, it’s it’s packed with these effects. So if you think about what makes roads and streets safe, you could have roads and streets safe if vehicles were equipped with speed governors that made it impossible to drive faster than 25 miles an hour. Well, that was the preferred ideal safety technology of a century ago. When thousands of people in every large American city were on the record favouring speed governors for vehicles. I mean, I’m using a case from Cincinnati where we have the data. But Cincinnati being a fairly typical American city, we can extrapolate that to other cities as well. There was a sense that the way you make a road safe is to limit the maximum speed of the fast vehicles. Well, of course, it’s also quite possible to make the road safe in the sense that you have fewer casualties. If you banish pedestrians, and in effect in most of urban and suburban America, pedestrians are banished from the vast majority of street space, the vast majority of time at the time. And while this is far from perfect, in fact, the pedestrian fatality rate in the US is is pretty disastrous. To the extent to which we keep pedestrians off the roads, we actually do successfully prevent pedestrian casualties. But we do it by creating a class of road users who are practically like illegal aliens in their own environments. And it’s an important question to ask is that the right way to do it? Now, beacons and bicycles are analogous in the sense that they implicitly suggest that the cyclist is the anomaly the cyclist is that around which the system has to adapt so that it continued to prioritise those that it prioritises. And there’s nothing wrong with prioritising in the abstract, but we need to think about who we prioritise prioritising is inevitable, it’s necessary. There’s no way you can have an absolutely level playing field. This means that we have to think carefully about who we favour and under what circumstances. Right now, to use the North American example we favour the motorist in making this number up, but something like 99.9% of the time.

Peter Norton 1:31:26
And we should be asking is that the way to get safety to return to the tech people. If they’re talking about introducing safety technology, to systems that already prioritised drivers everywhere, then their safety technology becomes another reinforcing component of that system. Another thing that makes that system continue to prioritise and perpetuate the priority of the dominant road users. But tech can subvert these prioritizations as well. So tech can shifts balances of power in surprising ways. Tech can enable the people who have been subordinated we to use the North American example again, we know that video that the web, that handheld cameras, phones with video capacities, really brought attention to a problem, you know, that’s been around for over a century, namely, the violence that has accompanied the arrest by police of people of colour in the USA. Well, technology, to a degree, at least has helped to shift that balance of power by exposing what’s going on. I’d love to see the tech people that you’re talking to find ways to use technology such that it doesn’t merely help the cyclist or the pedestrian survive in a car dominated system, but may help the cyclist or the pedestrian turn the tables to some degree on on the motorists. I’d love to see the tech people working on that problem. I think they would have a big market for it.

Carlton Reid 1:33:28
Well, there is that kind of tech out there. And I think Tome has actually been working with the Give Me Green people which is a system involves equipping, stoplights traffic lights with with this technology. And I guess it’s similar to what happens in Copenhagen with the you know, the green wave technology in that if you’ve got a bicycle equipped with this transponder that basically turns the lights green for the cyclist. Of course that would lead to merry hell from motorists say well hang on, we’re stopped, you know, every traffic light by the cyclist. But that basically is what you’re saying. That’s technology that puts the power to a different user. You can turn lightly.

Peter Norton 1:34:20
This is this is a great example. And I I’d love to see more attention in that direction. The predominant attention I’m hearing about is automated detection of cyclists by motor vehicles so that drivers can continue to assume safely that they have no cyclists in their path. Now, they already do that to a great degree. This technology would enable them to continue to do that. But I agree and I’m I’m encouraged that we’re talking about tech that may prioritise cyclists under some conditions. This, of course, immediately raises as, as you’ve already suggested, political questions about whether this would be feasible in any jurisdiction, given the powerful influence of motorists voices in this kind of arena.

Peter Norton 1:35:20
But it’s a great start, and I applaud it.

Carlton Reid 1:35:24
But a pandemic has shown that many cities I mean, Paris is a fantastic example. Many cities and many, many leaders of the cities on that actively trying to get rid of cars in cities. Now some one of the ways of getting rid of cars in cities, of course, is just prioritising cyclists by giving them closing off roads to the vehicles, opening them, allowing them to stay open for questions. And so that’s one way. Another way would just be to always make sure that cyclists get green. So motorists always on red. And then motorists may go hang on, what’s the point of me driving through the city, I’ll just get a bike.

Peter Norton 1:36:05
Yes, that’s that’s the ideal. And yes, the pandemic has really helped us see what’s possible as sidewalks have been widened into roadways, as people who were driving or people who are riding in buses are turning to bicycles to avoid the crowding. And in the in the bus. This opens up a lot of possibilities, and makes possible alternatives that didn’t look practical. Just a year ago. Paris is a wonderful example in that regard.

Carlton Reid 1:36:43
Peter, that’s been absolutely fascinating, as always. You’ve been on the show before, you have also been on the War on Cars podcast recently, you’re getting around. Now I’d like to finish by going back to a question I put to you before, which I don’t think I’ve got a full answer on and this is not your fault. But I didn’t get a full answer on this because you could have plugged your book here. So I asked you whether those tech companies is tech people who are doing all of this work on on transponders, not transponders, whatever they could actually gen up on on what’s happened previously in history. So one way is yes, they could listen to the 45 minutes of you talking today, they could listen to when you’ve done the show before, you could go to the War on Cars podcast, or and here’s where you plug your book, Peter, or they go for, they’re not gonna go for a full on course, they go for a book, which tells them all this, and what book might that be?

Peter Norton 1:37:43
“Fighting traffic, the dawn of the motor age in the American city.”

Peter Norton 1:37:48
I am happy to plug it. But I also, you know, I rejoice at being one voice in a beautiful chorus of voices that are saying essentially the same thing: namely, that the car dependent places many of us live in, including nearly all of us in the USA, are not inevitable, they are not the product of mass demand. They’re not the product of a free market working according to the laws of supply and demand. They’re not the product of a cultural preference for individual vehicular mobility. These are versions of history that have been packaged and sold to us by people who have a stake in this history. So I mean, besides studying the history of, let’s say car dependency in the USA, I’ve also studied the history of this history. In other words, who’s been telling us this history. And this has analogues worldwide, but I’m, by far best informed about the US case. And in the US case, the first people to tell us the history of the automobile in the USA, were the people who sold the automobile in the USA. They told us a version of history, whereby the car dependency that we now have is the product of a car culture of an American’s love affair with the automobile, of a mass preference for individual mobility in vehicles. And one of the reasons why this version of history has been so successful in its propagation is that it’s by no means false. it’s it’s a it’s a half truth, and half truths are much easier to pass off then, you know, flagrant falsehoods so the half truth is cars are nice to have. They are convenience in many circumstances, and driving for many people is or can be a pleasure. But, you know, the car domination we have now has a lot less to do with people’s preferences than with the circumstances in which people have to make their choices. Now, circumstances were quite possibly your employer set up a new suburban campus out of town away from bus routes with vast free parking lots, such that if you want to get there and you don’t want to make it into a daily burden, you’re going to drive there and the the entire system that gets you from your home to that destination has been redesigned around the assumption that you will drive there and redesigned around the assumption that there’s no other way to get there. And inevitably, people will start to conform to that. And you end up with a system that people find it very hard to escape, or to question. History reveals that people were questioning this en masse, relentlessly from the early days in the 1920s, right through the era that we tend to call the automobile age here, namely the 1950s and the 1960s, when, particularly the one car family was still the norm, and typically the husband monopolised the car, and the women were left stranded at home. And they continued to protest car domination in ways that have been really completely ignored by the people who tell us the history of the car. They protested by illegally blocking streets to slow vehicles down to demand lower speed limits to demand stop signs and traffic lights, such that they end the children they were minding could safely use the street still, as what we now call vulnerable road users.

Peter Norton 1:42:16
The bicycle companies interested in marketing their bicycles today might have something to learn from that history. Because they would be huge beneficiaries. If we have a future that returns to a less carbon dominated model, a future where cycling isn’t something that you engage in only if you have high risk tolerance, the market of people who would ride a bike if they just felt safe, riding a bike is enormous. And I don’t think you’re going to reach that market optimally with tech on the bike that is supposed to protect you. I think you reach that market optimally by creating environments where you don’t need that tech. And the the incentive for the cycle manufacturers is that they can now sell this bike to people who would not want to ride even with the tech close to fast cars, but would take real joy in riding in a safe environment. So there’s a lot of possibilities for our future. I’m disappointed that a lot of the tech that we’re imagining is predicated on the assumption that that automobile domination is a given. I recognise and celebrate the fact that some of the tech does implicitly question this. I’d like to see a lot more of that.

Carlton Reid 1:43:52
Thanks to author and historian Peter Norton there. And thanks also to Jake Sigal for giving the technologist’s point of view. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it’d be really helpful for us if you could like subscribe and comment on this Spokesmen Cycling Podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you are listening to today’s episode. Shownotes transcripts and more can be found at the-spokesmen.com. This is Carlton Reid signing off and suggesting you get out there and ride …

October 1, 2020 / / Blog

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Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham today cycled to work alongside his walking and cycling commissioner Chris Boardman.

The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 258: “This is a transport revolution” In conversation with Chris Boardman

Thursday 1st October 2020

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUEST: Chris Boardman. Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling commissioner

Below the transcript there’s the full press release from today’s announcement of :

Cycling and walking building boom: 55 miles of new routes and 140 new crossings to be createdacross Greater Manchester by December 2021

_____________________________________________

TRANSCRIPT

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 258 of the spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was engineered Thursday, 1st of October 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast. For shownotes links and all sorts of other information, please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen. there.

Carlton Reid 1:08
Hi I’m Carlton Reid. And on today’s show, I’m talking with Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling Commissioner. Now, socially distance by about 175 miles, we discussed a spades-in-the-ground announcement of 55 miles of protected routes for cyclists in Greater Manchester, and 140 new crossings for cyclists and pedestrians. And Chris also talks about his long term plans for national change of culture, getting Brits out of cars. What’s being announced tomorrow? And why is it so special? Because it has not all been, you know, announced before?

Chris Boardman 1:52
Good point. Yes, it has. And I think what’s happened over the last two years has been a huge amount of work to mobilise which isn’t very newsworthy, and people don’t really want to know how you get it done. But we just said, we said in the end of 2017, actually, right, we’re going to do this, and we’re going to do it region wide. And we spend, as you know, about six months putting together a plan in record time, really, the whole re for the whole region that’s added up to over 1800 miles. And and then we’ve had to employ the people get the engineers start to do consultation. So there’s an awful lot involved in in getting ready to deliver. And we’re at last there, and it’s been painful. And but now we know that by the end of next year, we’ll have the first 50 miles in. So it’s the start of delivery. And for me, you know, I it’s my intention that it’s the start of a revolution in the way we travel in Greater Manchester. And in the last six months, we prove just how necessary that is and for how many different reasons it’s necessary. So it’s just to celebrate, and to reconnect people with this project and remind them just how bloody brilliant it’s going to be.

Carlton Reid 3:12
And have you had buy in equally from all the different councils or have some been a bit, you know, more amenable to it and others less. So.

Chris Boardman 3:22
Now we’ve got champions we’ve got I mean, Salford is a prime example of one of the districts that was already on this mission. And they’re going to start delivering early. But we’re seeing reasonable ambition from every every one of them. But I think from the start, I said that one, we’re not going to allocate money equally, we’re going to allocate it to those with the ambition. And if you don’t want to, if you want to do something good, then we’ll fund it. But if you don’t, that’s your choice. And I think it needs to be that way. Really, I think we need to actually prove the point. And I because you want to get to a point where you have a low traffic neighbourhood, and the people next door are complaining because they haven’t got one, and then you’re really off. So leading by example is important. And I think we’ve we’ve got a huge amount of projects to create that healthy competitiveness, I think.

Carlton Reid 4:15
And then you mentioned before about the community involvement, and that is part about that what was Brian Deegan and his crew, and he and his crew go in? And they ask people, you know, where your bottlenecks were, where do you feel you know, that it’s dangerous for you? And then it’s post it notes. And like I said, so how important of an element is that to this going forward?

Chris Boardman 4:37
I think it’s, it’s critical, really, because how people understand what you’re doing and keeping control of what this is about and stopping people hijacking the message is essential. I think as we as we both know, it shouldn’t be but communication is more important than the product because if you allow this to be I painted as this is going to be terrible, it’s going to ruin business, they’re ripping out disabled parking spaces. If you allow that to become the messaging, then people won’t support. But if you say, this is making space, so your kids can ride and walk to school, these crossings are going to actually enable your kids to go out and play with their mates without you. If you actually keep on message and make sure that people understand what it’s for, then you’ll get support. And the best way to do that is not to do it retrospectively. It’s from the start. So you mentioned Brian Deegan, who is part engineer, part activist, he’s got quite a few different hats. But we when we went to councils, the first thing that Brian wanted to do, which, and it was totally his idea I just adopted it immediately was he gave them the pen, figuratively and literally, and said, Tell me where you can’t go with pram? Or you will you wouldn’t want to walk with your kids? And you said you wouldn’t let them ride a bike? Tell me why not? That’s a really busy road, where would you want to get across it and they draw on the map. And so we we let them tell us what they wanted to be able to change the way they travel. And so it is their network. And then we put it out as a draft for everybody in Greater Manchester online and got 4000 comments in a month saying, and then our biggest complaint was Where’s ours? And I think, if anything has come from the project I’ve been involved with for the last three years that it’s Give, give the pen to the people who live there and let them decide. And that includes the right to do nothing. Because they have to choose what it is that they want. But I’m amazed by people how positive people are, once you give them control, not not phone control of Oh, no, we want to have your opinion. But genuinely, if you don’t want to do this, we don’t do it. People respect that, and then take it seriously. And then it becomes theirs, not yours. And that’s essential.

Carlton Reid 6:59
And how much in cash terms and how much in actual things going in on the ground, are walking, and how much I psyched and kind of had you many times before talking about? Because clearly people recognise you from your previous career and your current career, in fact, and they see you clearly as a cyclist. But then you’ve said and you’ve been gone on record say well, actually, it’s the walking elements that are potentially more transformative, potentially, what are more like to do? So is that something that you absolutely stand by? And how much so the elements how much is walking and how much is cycling?

Chris Boardman 7:38
Well, first of all, we try not to separate them, because they should be happy bedfellows these are activities that require space. And and they should coexist, we get just to clarify, though, we don’t we we very, very rarely found anything that shared space. Because once you get a speed difference, it doesn’t work, then the person on a bike becomes the hostile elements. So we respect the hierarchy, that walking is going to be the most convenient and easy solution for most people. So it’s the most important so of the 55 miles that will be in by next year 100. And we’re going to put hundred and 40 new crossings in and we’re looking at the 20,000 cross side road crossings across the region. As you’ll know, we’re spending half a million pounds doing a study to prove that crossings as used around the rest of the world, outside roads on the desire lines help. And they will reinforce a right that people walking have forgotten that they have because to assert that right they have to walk out in front of the car. So understandably, people don’t do it. So no walking is it’s hard to make it visible. It’s hidden in plain sight every day. But it is more important than riding bikes. Having said that, the thing that’s going to get people out of cars is going to be bikes because that replaces your three to five mile journeys, which is two thirds of all the journeys that are made in the country nevermind Greater Manchester.

Carlton Reid 9:10
So Greater Manchester has excellent public transport. So trains, trams, buses. So how much of the work that you’ve done on the Bee network will take, as you’ve said, talked about there really will take passengers away from them from public transport rather than attract motorists get motorists out of cars?

Chris Boardman 9:29
Well, I think you’ll get some of that. And that’s not a bad thing. In general for Greater Manchester view. If you’re getting people to ride and walk rather than be sedentary, then that then you’ve still got a winner. It’s not as big winners, you’re getting people out of a car. But ultimately if you get people travelling actively, you’ve got a net gain. But I suspect that a lot of the journeys will be part journey. So I’m going to ride into Manchester tomorrow with Andy Burnham on his route and it’s an hour and a half journey for him. And that’s not sustainable. On a daily basis, you just can’t do that. But what he might do is right down to the station, jump on the train, pick up the higher bike at the other end, and leave the last mile or so to the office. So that’s how we see it working. That’s the vision that Andy has. It’s, it’s actually this is part of our network. And, and the intention is in a few years time to have an integrated ticketing system for bike hire, for trams, for trains that’s kept. And so you can use any mode, you can mix and match depending on the day, the weather where you going, and it will be kept for the day. And that’s what’s in train at the moment. And this is a part of it. So the point is to give people a choice, an easy choice not to have to drive. And I think we we kind of have to really, there’s no option to keep driving, it just doesn’t work.

Carlton Reid 10:52
So how far you down the line with with the cycle hire scheme? And even agencies appointed?

Chris Boardman 10:57
first phase will be on the ground next early next year. In the spring. It’s been really hard

Carlton Reid 11:03
who’s doing it? Some of you have you announced who’s doing it, who’s there.

Chris Boardman 11:08
Now down to the last three firms. So we’re doing some work in parallel. So we’re out to tender now. And we have contracts have gone out to firms to to actively bid. So we’ve narrowed it right down to a very small number. And and in the meantime, we know where the parking needs to be we know where all the pickup and drop off points. So all the things about the tedious stuff about planning permission and making sure that the space there. All of that’s happening in tandem, so we can speed up delivery. And we’ll do it we’ll do it in a phased approach, because to do a whole city region is obviously Well, it’s massive, it will be geographically bigger than London. So we’re starting with phase one is in the regional centre, so Salford and Manchester. So to get it going there, and then work outwards.

Carlton Reid 11:58
And where does e-scooters fit into this ecosystem?

Chris Boardman 12:03
E-scooters is something I’m very interested in. But I’m keeping it at arm’s length, to be honest, because the studies that I’ve seen show that they get people off bikes, they don’t get them out of cars, and the potential for conflict. If you didn’t, if you haven’t got if we had lots of cycle lanes now, then that’s where they go. But right now the potential for conflict with pedestrians is high. What I do like about them is they’re a travel disrupter. And they’re another client if you like for bike lanes. So that’s a good thing. But I don’t want to get confused because these scooters, they don’t make you fitter. And they’re not necessarily getting somebody out of a car. So they’re not the highest on my list. What I recognise is that good fun, people are really interested in them, that there may be a client to give for bike lanes that gives more emphasis and more reason to build more bike lanes. So I think it’s quite a good thing, but it’s not directly within my remit. It’s a potential future client.

Carlton Reid 13:09
Okay, and do you know the average car ownership or use stats Greater Manchester?

Chris Boardman 13:16
It is for Greater Manchester. It is a third of households don’t have access to cars in Greater Manchester. And that’s considerably higher. I think it’s over half in Manchester itself.

Carlton Reid 13:28
And what are you doing? So you’re doing some good stuff here, encouraging people to get onto bikes to walk more, what are you doing to discourage motoring physically discouraged motoring?

Chris Boardman 13:41
I think most first and foremost is we have to give people an option to an alternative because once you build this is where I’m a pragmatist on that once you build a car centric society, and you let people build their lives around using cars, you can’t just say, Oh, you can’t do that now until you provide an alternative. So cycling and walking is a solution a viable genuine solution, as you know, for about two thirds of all journeys. And then for the rest, trains and trams need to be integrated and become really regular, particularly in the case of trains, the train service has been dire serving Greater Manchester, the lines of the service is bad, and it needs upgrading. So all of those things need to happen. So by making pavements for people, so tackling anti social parking, on pavements, things that you you couldn’t get a double Boogie Down. So you know, you can’t allow that to happen. So we need to reclaim the pavements and by filtering neighbourhoods, so you’re not stopping people driving, but you you can’t run through a neighbourhood. All of these things make other modes of transport more attractive and more competitive. So I wouldn’t say I’m trying to reduce car use directly. It’s might be semantics. I’m trying to make other options much more viable. Much more competitive and making logical and attractive.

Carlton Reid 15:04
And more. Yeah. What’s being announced? Tomorrow? How much of that has been stymied by COVID? And how much has actually been boosted by COVID?

Chris Boardman 15:17
Well, it’s a good point, I mean, 25 miles of the stuff that we intended to put in is pop up routes that are from low low traffic neighbourhoods through to semi permanent. So you know, using bollards and and what they called condemning ones in orcas. So we’re going to accelerate some stuff. And it’s also, I think, given some confidence that we show the people want to do it. You know, people when you I don’t know if you saw any of the features I did for the BBC or ITV over the last month, but we we effectively turned off traffic globally, and inadvertently started at consultation. And so for whatever reason, be it on board, I’ve got bored kids need to get to work and the buses aren’t running at my shift time, all of those reasons, people showed that if you give them safe space, they’ll ride bikes. And I think that should give everybody a huge amount of confidence that this isn’t all they won’t do it in the UK. Well, they did. And there are lots of different reasons they did. And so if you make this space, people have shown you that they will use it. And that confidence, I think counsellors can take it and are taking to accelerate schemes. Manchester itself is, is doing quite a good job now of accelerating schemes that they had on the books, because they also know that this measures are likely to be in place for several months to come yet. And they don’t want to be locked down completely. So they don’t want people cramming together on buses and drains.

Carlton Reid 16:50
So an awful lot of the funding, not all of the funding, in fact, for pop ups nationally has come from the national Tory government. And yet on the ground, it seems that Tory councils aren’t that keen at implementing Tory policies. And it tends to be labour councils that actually want to implement whatever better word and Tory policies, politics, politics play into all of this?

Chris Boardman 17:21
Well, people are scared to change. And I think for me, I have to put myself in somebody else’s shoes and understand where they’re coming from. I don’t have to agree with them. But I know that if a local counsellor might be a locksmith, or work in a shop, and they’re doing this part time, and somebody is having their life changed, so I’m going to take some parking from outside of your shop. And that person is screaming down my ear saying this is a random, you’re going to ruin my business, I’m already scared to death around COVID. And that counsellor has to see this person where they go and buy their bread day in day out. So I understand that I get it that people don’t necessarily. They don’t get into the details and the facts and why it’s good for the bigger picture. They’ve got to deal with people on the ground. And so not everybody will support everything. But the majority do. And as we found from recent surveys for every person that objects, the six that support, and we need to remember that we need to give that silent majority of voice. And I hope the majority of councils will stand up for the majority.

Carlton Reid 18:27
They do seem to a wavering though that there was this this was tested and a lot of it is faded away and they took schemes and in Manchester, even doing some schemes that look quite ambitious. And then we take

Chris Boardman 18:42
Yeah, the A56 was was scaled back. Actually, it was scaled back. It’s still the longest in the country. But it was scaled back at a point where there was a problem. But most of the problems were actually caused by roadworks that were going on slightly further down. So they amended them. And they took seconds out. But of course it hit the presses. It’s all being ripped out. Well, it wasn’t actually it was just amended. But yeah, and it’s not everybody’s going to support it. Because it’s changed. And it’s scary. And that’s where you need political will. And this is really where we need government to actually step back in and remind people that they are committed to this task, because they’ve gone very quiet since May. So they made some groundbreaking statements and said, we have to do this for our country’s health to protect our public transport to stop having the second lockdown to help people who don’t have cars, which we seem to forget about in the short term. And in the longer term, give us all a chance to try something different that we don’t have to commit to. And then if we like it in six months, we can keep it there’s all of these good reasons, but we need government to support it and to keep showing that ongoing support. Because that really helps counsellors when they have to do something that’s disruptive to the status quo, then that’s pretty scary when it looks like government’s gone silent and hang on a minute. I’m going to be left holding the can hear you’re not going to support me to see it all the way through. So some noise from government right now would be very welcome. Hmm.

Carlton Reid 20:09
Because [Andrew] Gilligan has never really put his head above the parapet, but he was clearly behind a lot of the DFT letters. They had the language of Gilligan, through and through.

Chris Boardman 20:21
Yeah. Again, I think it’s very clear that Andrew Gilligan is a trusted adviser to the Prime Minister. And his writing is very clear, in a lot of the communication with councils, the top the directives that have come out on the forcefulness and clarity of it. Absolutely, his writing is clear. But ultimately, he is an advisor. It’s the ministers that need to stand up for this. And it’d be really good to hear the Health Minister standing up for it as well, to actually get all of the people that will benefit from changes. You really want to protect the NHS, then start clapping for bike lanes, not just the NHS staff themselves, because we can take the strain off it just by changing the way we travel.

Carlton Reid 21:05
You were quoted in the press release the other day for the active travel transport. Active travel agency, what the the Laura Laker thing

Chris Boardman 21:21
press guidelines.

Carlton Reid 21:21
press guidelines. Thank you. So you quoted that in that press release. And then the Daily Mail has, I don’t know if they’ve even looked at the press release, but then or even looked at the guidelines. But they’ve come out with a story, which is basically they assuming that this is a war against the motorists, and that the guidelines want to remove things like like rollouts, I’ve got to be banned, and that kind of stuff, which aren’t actually in the gut. So when do you think that part of the media, which represents, you know, a fair chunk of the public? When will they be on board with walking and cycling changes, but I guess, especially cycling changes?

Chris Boardman 22:04
Well, I can’t speak for people I can understand. I think ultimately we need to make sure as just to double back to something I said earlier that the the six people for everyone that support this, we need to make sure that they’re well represented. And we don’t let other people own and twist a message when what Lori Lightfoot and Martin Porter are asking for is guidelines that say how things should be reported, which is federal is just tell fact, right? Just Just give the facts and use language that portrays that reality? Not your personal view. And I don’t think the newspaper that you’ve just mentioned, has ever been constrained by facts. And is any newspaper that cause High Court judges the enemy of the people, you’ve already made a choice by by reading it, so I can’t really talk to it.

Carlton Reid 23:01
And then last question, Chris, and this is almost an impossible one to answer, I think, or maybe you’ve got very strong views on this. But how long is this project going to take? Does this project ever end? What what’s what’s, what’s the timescale?

Chris Boardman 23:16
That’s quite a good question. Actually, the timescale when I started, it was 10 years. And we said, right, we want to put in a network across Greater Manchester in 10 years, and you need a timeframe, because you need a yardstick that says, How are we doing? And right now, it’s 5055 miles is a great number. It’s meaningful, and it’s large. But it’s quite a small part of 1800 miles. But now we can look at that and say, Can we go faster? How do we go faster? Because we’ve got a destination, eight years time, we have something we want to achieve in a years? How How, how much closer to that can we get? I think if you don’t state a time frame, and I don’t like this, kick it down the road by 2050. Because anybody who’s made those decisions will be accountable. By that point. I want meaningful, relatively short term objectives to meet. I think it’s very healthy to do that. I think it’s going to be very challenging. Now to get it done in eight years. There has been some setbacks with COVID. But mostly because it’s taken us a lot longer to get mobilised than we wanted. But now we’re off. And we have to celebrate that as well. So that’s,

Carlton Reid 24:25
Sorry, I’ve got a supplementary question. So that’s, that’s Manchester Greater Manchester. Hopefully, you would then be a catalyst. And London is also a catalyst here for other parts of the UK. So how long will that project take?

Chris Boardman 24:42
Well, that’s up to a government. You know, this is genuinely anything that’s culture change for a nation, then it has to be government led, or what’s the point of government? You might as well just happy little fiefdoms and you all get together for a conference. This is National change. And so government was lead it and they can choose And the announcements they made in May, if they stick by them, if they reinforce them if they back them up with resources. And also with legislation. I mean, it’s been said that if you, if you don’t do this, then this will count against you for all of your transport funding. I mean, that’s proper, strong language. If they continue with that they can make it happen very quickly. The point of me coming to Greater Manchester was to try and create an example on such a scale it was on ignorable nationally. And that’s still the mission, because that’s what we work well with in the UK examples. We want. We want the fear of missing out to be not having a bike lane and an active neighbourhood rather than not having a motorway. And I think we can make that change. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be wasting my time with it. But it’s not going to be easy. And it will depend very much on government. I think the beauty of some of the things that have been done by this government is whatever denomination is in next, no one’s going to want one pick what they do. So and that’s a good thing.

Carlton Reid 26:06
Thanks to Chris Boardman there. And thanks to you for tuning in for today’s episode via whatever podcasting client you use. The next episode will be uploaded to that client for you real soon. But meanwhile, get out there and ride

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PRESS RELEASE

Cycling and walking building boom: 55 miles of new routes and 140 new crossings to be created across Greater Manchester by December 2021

55 miles of protected routes and 140 new crossings for people on foot and bikes will be created next year


The projects that councils across Greater Manchester plan to deliver total around £85 million, creating world class infrastructure and kick-starting the city-region’s plans for the UK’s largest cycling and walking network – The Bee Network


25 miles of pop-up routes and two low-traffic neighbourhoods will also be delivered
Plans heralded as a “huge step” by Mayor and “the start of a transport revolution” by Commissioner Chris Boardman

Greater Manchester will see a major building boom in cycling and walking routes delivered by next Christmas with 55 miles of new routes and 140 new crossings being created, Mayor Andy Burnham and Commissioner Chris Boardman announced today.

Funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fund, all of Greater Manchester’s 10 districts will begin to benefit from new routes, also known as beeways, with the first Bee Network signage expected to be installed in Summer 2021.

The Mayor and Chris Boardman marked the news with a 90 minute bike ride into Manchester, taking in Wigan’s Muddy Mile, the first Bee Network route, completed in Summer 2019.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said: “It’s been years in the making, but GM’s cycling and walking revolution is finally starting. To build the capability and scheme pipeline to deliver a new way of travel for a whole city region has taken us two years, but we are now ready to begin delivery. By next summer we will begin to see the fruits of our labour and the region’s residents will finally have the chance to travel to shops and schools easily and safely without using a car. Today heralds the real start of our cycling and walking story, coincidently aligning with bike to school week.

“Next year is going to be incredibly exciting with spades going in the ground. This is a huge step towards making Greater Manchester a true cycling and walking city-region. Projects like the Chorlton beeway and Bolton’s new junctions are world-class and they are going to open up cycling and walking as a new option for hundreds of thousands of people. Greater Manchester residents have told us that they want safe space to travel on foot and by bike, so this is exactly what we are delivering.”

Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “We started this mission nearly two years ago and I’m so pleased with the significant work GM’s local authorities have been doing behind the scenes to get this monumental mission underway.

“The Bee Network was a vision, now having completed the planning, paperwork and many consultations, we are ready to start making it a reality. It will create better places to live and work, give those with a car the option to leave it at home and for those who don’t, it will provide them with a reliable, safe and pleasant network to walk or ride to shops, schools and workplaces. This is the beginning of Greater Manchester’s twenty first century transport revolution.”

Around 25 miles of pop-up cycling and walking routes will also be delivered by next Spring, as well as two low-traffic neighbourhoods in Salford and Tameside, using government funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Tameside’s pop up active neighbourhood is being launched today.
The news coincides with the publication of an update and forward look report on cycling and walking activities in Greater Manchester which will be officially presented to the Greater Manchester Transport Committee on 9 October.

Completed cycling and walking projects in the last two years include the CYCLOPs junction at Royce Road, the first of its kind in the country, designed by Greater Manchester engineers, as well as Talbot Road in Trafford, Saddle junction in Wigan and Wigan’s Muddy Mile.

The 32 projects that will be delivered across Greater Manchester up to December 2021 are:

GM wide projects
Bee Network crossings – £2.2 million – a series of new and upgraded crossings at locations across Greater Manchester, initial crossings due to be completed during Winter 2020.
GM safety camera digitalisation – £6.1 million
GM Bike Hire – £7.1 million, due to launch in Spring 2021
Bolton
SBNI Manchester Road Gateway – £7m, due to be completed by Winter 2021 – Full junction upgrades to create protected cycle tracks and crossings outside Bolton station on Trinity Street and Bradford Street, and a contra-flow cycle lane on Newport Street.
Bury
Crossing point and junction improvements – £2.2 million – a selection of new and upgraded junctions to improve connectivity and safety for people travelling by foot and bike, expected to be completed by Winter 2021.
Elton beeway – £1.8 million – this scheme will complete a pleasant, direct route from Bury to Radcliffe via the canal towpath and is expected to be completed by Winter 2021.
Manchester
Mancunian Way / Princess Road junction – £3.25 million, due to be completed in Winter 2020 – a full junction upgrade where Mancunian Way meets Princess Road. The existing subways will be removed and protected cycle tracks will be created, as well as pedestrian paths and a signalised crossing.
Manchester to Chorlton beeway (area 2) – £2.2 million – The Upper Chorlton Road section of the Chorlton Cycleway which will create a protected cycle route from Chorlton Park to Manchester city centre. This section completes the cycle link between the Brooks Bar junction and Seymour Grove. The route is due to be completed in Spring 2021.
Manchester to Chorlton beeway (area 3) – £2.2 million, completion date TBC following consultation The Manchester Road to Barlow Moor Road section of the Chorlton Cycleway which will create a protected cycle route from Chorlton Park to Manchester city centre. This section completes the cycle link from Seymour Grove into and through Chorlton district centre with its many bars, shops and cafes.
Manchester to Chorlton beeway (area 4) – £1.8 million – The Barlow Moor Road/Manchester Road section is the most southern part of the Chorlton Cycleway. It connects the Chorlton district centre to the National Cyel Route numbers 6 and 60, the Manchester Cycleway (Fallowfield Loop) and number 62 the Transpenine Trail. The route is due to be completed in Spring 2021.
Beswick active neighbourhood (phase 1) – due to be completed in Summer 2021 – A ‘filtered neighbourhood’ to make roads in the area safer and more pleasant.
Beswick active neighbourhood (phase 2) – £2 million – A ‘filtered neighbourhood’ to make roads in the area safer and more pleasant, subject to consultation.
Route 86: Northern Quarter – Piccadilly to Victoria beeway – £10.5 million – Walking and cycling route through Manchester’s Northern Quarter, connecting Piccadilly and Victoria stations.
Rochdale Canal bridge – £1.3 million, due to be completed in Autumn 2021 – upgrades to the Rochdale canal corridor linking existing and developing communities. This includes improvements to the canal towpaths, improved access under a low bridge at Butler Street and improved accessibility to four sets of steps.
Oldham
Union Street West bridge improvements – £228K due to be completed in early 2021 – The bridge has already been the subject of a partial refurbishment. This project will see the refurbishment completed, providing a replacement bridge deck surface to ensure the best possible level of service for users.
King Street bridge improvements, £452K, due to be completed in early 2021 – Complete refurbishment of an existing pedestrian and cycle bridge, providing a key link into Oldham town centre from a number of residential areas to the south.
Chadderton improvements – £612,000, due to be completed in Autumn 2021 – Updated crossings and walking and cycling routes in Chadderton.
Royton town centre connections – £706,000, due to be completed in Autumn 2021 – Improvements to cycling and walking facilities in and around Royton town centre.
Salford
Swinton Greenway – £4.6 million – This project will deliver a traffic-free, off-road walking and cycling corridor connecting Swinton to Monton, plus lots of other links, connecting communities into the route.
RHS Links – £2.6 million – This scheme will significantly improve the on foot and by bike experience in the area, improving access to the new RHS Bridgewater Garden, Parr Fold Park, Worsley College and Walkden Train Station.
Gore Street connection – £1.1 million, due to be completed in Autumn 2021.
Stockport
Gilbent road crossing – £500K, due to be completed Winter 2020, this scheme provides an enhanced crossing for people travelling by bike and on foot in Cheadle Hulme. It will better connect residential areas, including access to Thorn Grove Primary School.
Offerton to Stockport beeway – £700,000, due to be completed in Autumn 2021 – A continuous cycling and walking route from Offerton to Stockport town centre.
Hazel Grove upgrades – £1.1 million, due to be completed in Autumn 2021 – A number of off-road routes to link communities and encourage walking and cycling.
Ladybrook Valley -£800K, due to be completed Spring 2021 – Scheme to complete a ‘missing link’ of the continuous walking and cycling route through the Ladybrook Valley, connecting previous sections which were delivered by CCAG. The section is around 1.1km long connecting between Ladybridge Road and Bramhall Park Road, with an additional spur to Blenheim Road. The works will provide a surfaced route suitable for cycling, along a route which is currently a grassy footpath.
Heaton Cycle Links – £5 million, due to be completed in 2021 – A package of measures to create a series of quiet routes for pedestrians and cyclists between the Manchester Cycleway (Fallowfield Loop) and the Trans-Pennine Trail at Heaton Mersey.
Cheadle Hulme Crossings Package – £1.2 million, due to be completed in 2021 – The scheme includes three new signal crossings on busy roads in Cheadle Hulme. This will provide access to the wider walking and cycling network and better access to local facilities.
Tameside
Tameside active neighbourhood (phase 1) – Phase one, which is due to be completed in Summer 2021, includes a package of improvements such as creating filtered neighbourhoods where people are prioritised over cars. Upgrades will also be made to traffic free routes and segregated facilities will be provided for bikes on more major roads.
Tameside active neighbourhood (phase 2) – £1.7 million – A package of improvements which will include the creation of more attractive, safer and accessible routes for cyclists.
Trafford
Urmston active neighbourhood – Phase one due to be completed in Autumn 2021, this major active neighbourhood scheme will significantly improve the walking and cycling environment in the Urmston area. Interventions will be community and stakeholder driven and it is expected that they will include segregated cycle routes, new and upgraded crossings, improved signage, parklets, school street treatments and collision reduction measures.
Five junctions on Talbot Road, including the junction with Seymour Grove, due to be completed in Autumn 2021. This project involves upgrading stretches of Talbot Road, enabling a consistent level of service for people travelling by bike or on foot.
Wigan
Standish mineral line – £700,000 – The project will deliver a 1.6 mile long traffic-free path for people travelling on foot or by bike serving new housing developments and providing new connections to link existing cycle schemes to future major segregated routes.
Victoria Street / Warrington Road junction – £1.7 million, due to be completed in Autumn2021 – This scheme extends the innovative Saddle Junction cycle facility, which is under construction, to the southwest with further high quality cycling and walking infrastructure connecting with Alexandra Park.
Leigh town centre to Pennington Park – £800k – the project includes a new bridge across the Bridgewater Canal to connect Leigh town centre at the Loom to new housing development to the south of the canal. There will be a new safe and accessible route to connect from the new bridge to the education, leisure and retail facilities at Leigh Sports Village and beyond to Pennington Flash.

September 13, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 257: What’s the Plural of Moose: Moose, Meese, or Mooses?

Sunday 13th September 2020

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: David Bernstein and Jim Moss

LINKS:

NBC Gold Tour de France

Sturgis rally super-spreader event

Prudhomme positive

Sunday’s Tour de France stage

New doping product?

Anthony McCrossan

Boa fit system

Cycliq

CatEye

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FROM GRAMMARLY: The only correct plural of moose is moose. … Moose derives from Algonquian, a Native American language. It kept the same plural ending it had in its original language instead of adopting the normal S ending of most English plurals.

TRANSCRIPT:

Carlton Reid 0:14
Welcome to Episode 257 of the Spokesmen Cycling Podcast. This show was recorded on Sunday 13th September 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast. For shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now here are the spokesman.

Carlton Reid 1:09
Weird, isn’t it — the cyclocross season has just started yet we’re only 2/3rds of the way through the Tour de France. And the Slovenian takeover of the Tour de France is one of the topics for the first half of our show today, recorded seconds after the end of Sunday’s stage from Lyon to Grand Colombier and yet another Slovenian one-two. I’m Carlton Reid and joining me are show regulars David Bernstein and Jim Moss. After chewing through some of the Tour highlights – and low lights – of the first two weeks we talk products which, really, is just David’s way of bringing tips to the show. It is Episode 257 of the spokesmen cycling round table podcast and we’ve got a microphone access for Jim we’ve we’ve improved his sound no end we’ve just been tweaking everything we’ve been tweaking you, Jim. You’re coming across loud and clear. There’s no more edginess to your voice in that was a few pops and squeaks and whistles the last time but now you’re good. So that means Jim, how are you doing?

Jim Moss 2:25
I’m doing great. After wasting 20 minutes your time getting this set up.

Carlton Reid 2:31
But and you’re still refusing you’re refusing to do what we’ve advised you to do. And that’s well, you know, and boy, you

Jim Moss 2:39
Yeah, spend $3,000 and buy a Mac look better than $3,000 in buying another bike. Although, take it into the garage somehow.

Carlton Reid 2:50
Yeah, good answer and the little giggling you heard that is is David David Bernstein. Hi, David. How you doing?

David Bernstein 2:58
I’m good, Carlton. It’s a happy July. I’m enjoying the heat of July. As we enjoy watching the guys go across the roads and mountains of France. Oh wait, it’s September, shoot. I’m just glad there’s a race.

Jim Moss 3:15
Hey, David, did you get the snowfall last week?

David Bernstein 3:18
Yeah. Sorry. Everybody has to get the weather report. Yeah, snowed here. And I know it snowed where you are and it life is good because it’s you know that gonna be back up in the 80s Fahrenheit today. And I’m already I’m already in my Fred cast kit ready to go out for a ride when we’re done.

Carlton Reid 3:35
Sweet, because we are having a mini heatwave here in the UK as well. So it’s kind of weird.

David Bernstein 3:40
You’re probably not getting the smoke that we have though, because we’ve got the smoke from the fires in California, Oregon and Washington. But it’ll get there eventually.

Carlton Reid 3:49
I yeah, I mean, they look dystopian Blade Runner type. Are you getting the Blade Runner effect or is that only in San Francisco and stuff?

David Bernstein 3:58
Yeah, no, I mean like the sunsets here. There’s just this this orange orb in the sky but it’s nothing like what you see in the pictures of San Francisco or my parents. You know, we’re in in Los Angeles, and you just can’t see two or three blocks down the road. It’s it’s dystopian is a good Well, I think dystopian is the word for 2020. So

Carlton Reid 4:17
and dystopian and the golden orb in the sky. I’m going to bring those two together, David because he wants to talk about NBC gold.

David Bernstein 4:25
Yeah, well, okay, so we got we talked about this last time. How I was going to bite the bullet and pay for NBC Sports Gold is 55 bucks or something like that for the year. And that gives you according to NBC commercial free coverage. And I think that NBC I wanted to use the word deceptive my wife told me to say no, just say that they oversold it. The expectation my expectation wise, oh, well, it would be you know, Phil Liggett and Bob Roll, doing their commentary. Fascinating, you know, Phil’s at home in England and Bob’s at home and you know, in New England, and they’re they’re not even in France, but I would expect it was it was gonna be Bob and Phil. And when they would go to a break, that it would just be silent and it would be commercial free and we’d still be able to see Well, that’s not what we’re getting. What we’re getting is Anthony McCrossan and Simon Guerin’s doing, basically doing commentary. I believe they are in France. And they’re doing it over the French television feed. I’m not much of a fan of Anthony’s style of commentating. So it gets by by two weeks in it’s getting a little bit grating, but it’s

Carlton Reid 5:50
Anti-English here?

David Bernstein 5:52
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, not at all. I’m just not a fan of his style period. Full stop. I just it’s just not my Am I right? Was he doing the English commentary at the Giro? When we were there Who was that?

Carlton Reid 6:06
Yeah, no would it be yeah In fact he was because in the in the in the breaks between when he could wander away that I was trying to him so yes he yeah he does these are frequently he’s he’s very often the English commentator lots of races. Yeah, I think I’m gonna take it as in you know, to the crowd who are physically there.

David Bernstein 6:26
Right We don and I, my wife Donna, not the spokesperson Donna, we were comment commenting about you know, an Eliot Viviani would win a sprint in the Giro and he would take Viviani it just, it’s stuck in our mind anyway, we’re no it’s nice to have commercial free it’s nice to be able to turn on the Apple TV or turn on the Roku and boom, you know, it’s just on and it’s it’s constant. So I do appreciate that. And that’s worth some some it’s definitely worth the money because I’m not chasing after my VPN and, and finding different feeds you know, from Australia. Or Belgium or wherever. I just think that NBC what they what they sold they oversold it so I just wanted to mention that I’m curious to hear what our what our listeners what is ad free?

Carlton Reid 7:13
They haven’t mis-sold it.

David Bernstein 7:17
it is correct. It is as it is. It’s exactly what they sold. It’s ad free. You know in that, Jim. are you watching the NBC coverage?

Jim Moss 7:27
No, I’m watching Comcast. Well, yes. NBC coverage on Comcast.

David Bernstein 7:31
Yeah. Watch it because when they when they complete a stage, you know, then they go to the studio and it’s Yeah, oh, shoot. I can’t remember his name. But there’s Christian Vandevelde and Chris Horner.

Jim Moss 7:45
Right. And,

David Bernstein 7:48
yeah, and they’re, of course not in France, either as they normally would be, I believe. Yeah, anyway, it’s I I there’s pluses and minuses to both I just think like I said, NBC oversold it. I got what they promised I got commercial free coverage. I just think that they they oversold it anyway. I’m curious to hear what our what our listeners think so that’s my my comment on NBC Sports gold, but, man, am I happy that the tour is on and that we’ve made it through two weeks and I hope that we continue to have negative COVID tests tomorrow from the peloton.

Jim Moss 8:23
Yeah, I was I would I have been totally caught off guard by how well it is run. And the fact that the vast majority of the spectators are wearing masks. The mean obviously the team the writers, as soon as they can breathe again or or, you know, two minutes after they’ve arrived across the finish line, someone’s putting a mask on them. And and I mean, I just did not expect the tour to even get this far. I figured that the virus would get there be all over and I’m amazed. totally amazed.

Carlton Reid 9:00
What a week one a kind of like a a one week, three week stage race is what I thought it’s going to be. So yeah, that’s pretty important. So David, you’re right, tomorrow is the rest day tomorrow is the day when they will then get tested again. So what do you think about the wiping the slate clean rule change so that was very convenient in that, you know, those four teams with a one strike and you’re out or to strike and you’re out lock against their name, they now haven’t got that they’re back to having nothing and they could stay in it as long as they stay clear. But do you think that that rule change was a bit shifty

David Bernstein 9:45
I don’t know about shifty. I think two things I mean, like with anything, you know, the fact that the that American football has restarted or you know that that American baseball restarted or that soccer restarted or cycling restarted I think with all of these things, there’s there’s several things going on here. One, I think every day that goes by we learn more and more. If we were having this conversation in April, we would, we would say, one thing that would be different from what we might say today. So I think that I think that with this virus and with this situation, we’re learning new things every single day. So, a rule change may or may not be shifted or it just may be the the, the adaptation to new learnings. On the other hand, and this is why I mentioned all those other sports. People need to make a living and people need to get back to work. And so Money Talks. And so when we talk about big money enterprises, like all of the sports I mentioned, including cycling, those, those the governing bodies of those sports and those who put on events are constantly trying to figure out more and more ways to ensure the success of their events and that they they will continue. So, football sorry except for NFL.

Jim Moss 11:13
No college. Oh, well, you know,

Jim Moss 11:19
I was spinning through channels last night and saw the Georgia LSU game with nobody wearing a mask and the stadium full. We’re going to be calling that the new Sturgis rally.

David Bernstein 11:36
And for those who don’t know, Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, that became a super spreading event. Recently

Jim Moss 11:44
people in eight states with the disease now So

David Bernstein 11:47
yeah, I so so I don’t think it i don’t know i I’m normally cynical in this case. I think that they’re just making adjustments that are necessary for you know, adapt to new learnings and also trying to keep the race on the road, I’m sure I was shocked that none of the riders were positive less last week. I will be shocked if none of the riders were positive this week because especially earlier I think it was this week or maybe it was the end of last week when they were on the climbs and and the spectators were doing what they normally do, which is literally yell right in the faces of the riders as they go up these climbs. And so and there, I’ve seen enough people not in masks that I’m I’m I mean, I’m hopeful that nobody will be positive, but I will not. I will be very surprised if there are no rider positives.

Jim Moss 12:40
Of course, the classic that I saw the first week was a group of people not wearing masks together and one of them had on a USA t shirt. So I thought well, there we go. That’s representing you, idiots.

Carlton Reid 12:54
I mean, we could still get if two strikes happen to Team Tomorrow, they’re still out. Yeah. So it’s just just a few move that you know that. If they had one tomorrow, then they’re out so it could still the we could still see teams go home tomorrow, in effect.

David Bernstein 13:12
I wonder I wonder if after today Ineos is kind of hoping they would love to be sent home?

Carlton Reid 13:19
Yeah, I’ve got I’ve got a question about that late, okay. Okay, coming up for sure. So, um, Prudhomme, of course, famously, was positive. I mean, how ironic is that the actual organiser and he deeply ironic his policies, he had the prime minister in the car with him at the same time, who hasn’t, as far as I know, hasn’t come down with with a positive test so far, but pretty unusual circumstances.

David Bernstein 13:52
I think there was a certain amount of irony to prove I’m having a positive and thankfully asymptomatic you They were they said he was asymptomatic. I well, but I think that it, I think that it, it shows that the times that we’re in. And it was and there was a certain amount of, as I said, irony associated and then, as you said, Carlton, you’re right, you know, the day before he tests positive. He spends the entire day in the lead car with the Prime Minister of France. Now, every every picture that I saw every clip that I saw, they were both wearing masks. So, you know, hopefully the Prime Minister France didn’t didn’t catch whatever prodrome had, but yeah, it was. I think it was surprising that he was the one who had the positive and none of the riders. Mm hmm.

Carlton Reid 14:49
So let’s get into the actual racing itself. And you’ve already mentioned, the woeful what you’ve intimated that have the woeful tour. so far. Any ideas? Do you think? I mean, there’s two parts to this question. So do you think they kind of almost pre planned kit because they thought they knew that you move visma will be the strongest team. So they focus maybe more on prepping for the gyro. But should they have nevertheless still brought Froome and grant Thomas because they’ve been riding in the race to Reto adriatica and Thomas came third in that lap finish today, didn’t it? So they might not have been GC contenders in the tour. Those two but they could have at least helped last year’s winner on the climbs who was absolutely pasted today, but with with better support might not have been.

David Bernstein 15:50
First of all, I want to I want to now Now I have to say something that Anthony McCrossan said and I have to walk back at my previous comments. Yeah today in McCrossan-speak, Bernal was pedaling squares. He just and the look on his face he did not look but then again Quintana didn’t look that great either. It was funny before today funny. Before today I was planning on coming on and saying, Wow, isn’t it amazing that there are four or five Colombians in the top 10 and then a couple of slow I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy. It’s here’s all these new cycling powerhouses in our sport. And you don’t see the Europeans top and you know, or pardon me, you don’t see that the French and the Italians and the and the Americans and the Brits. It’s it’s really it’s a new day. But then today was also a new day because clearly barnaul did not have the legs to keep up with jumbo visma but who does? And and I say this in gym. I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on this because everybody knows that. at the gym, and I feel slightly differently when it comes to doping in cycling. But when I when I was watching, I’m not making an accusation, okay. It’s just the way my brain works and the way I’ve been conditioned, I watched the guys on the front from jumbo visma did and I thought to myself, Hmm, what are they taking?

Jim Moss 17:16
Yeah, I actually I sort of feel the same way, as long as we have professional, whatever, or high level amateur whatever we’re going to have doping. And so yeah, it’s it’s, what are they taking? But, but I also think there’s another difference in this year’s race. And I see it as coaching. And I know that sounds a little different. But you see so many teams that they set up their, their, their plan for today’s race, you know, and a few of me see the plans are like, well, we think this is going to happen, and this is going to happen with these other teams. And I think that what we’re seeing is is a little bit different in that coaches are more likely to change their plans mid race and reacting to what’s going on and who’s not going on. I mean, and when you I don’t know, it may be team strength or I think a lot of its team strength I don’t see yumbo Yes, but you know there’s no dominant team in the race but I just see things happening that seems to change mid race that make it very different race make it very chin.

Carlton Reid 18:31
Yeah. Jim on that point that that clearly is because the the team managers set on the cars are watching the TV so they can see what’s happening, listen to raise radio, as well of course, and then relaying all of that to their their team, which then says, well, radios, these earpieces are having a massive effect. I mean, it probably You’re right, this tour is probably more noticeable than in previous years, that res radios are having this massive effect. On tactics. So is that a good thing or a bad thing that we have raised radios? I know we’re kind of it’s a given we now have these things. But do you? Would you still prefer to see it? You know, old school?

Jim Moss 19:17
I am. I’m thinking, I’m Yes. Sorry. I’ll audio pause. Um, no. I mean, we make a lot more changes, maybe. But we still would have had a writer whose sole job was to talk to the car, race up and tell all the team riders. You know what the car just said, and drift, you know, and take water bottles. And so the information is probably changing more times, and it’s probably reacting faster, but we always got information to the people in the front who needed the information. We just did it fewer times and less dynamic, I think, and we burnt one guy out. Yeah.

Carlton Reid 20:02
Say, David, are you also in that frame of mind? You’re kind of not doing radios now.

David Bernstein 20:08
Know what my feeling. I mean, what would you ask what we would prefer what I would prefer is old school with no radios having, because I think that that that it’s no different than another sport. Well see okay in American football now quarterbacks have radio so that they can get the plays from the sidelines. But if you think of any other sport, the best you’re going to get is that is the coach yelling from the sidelines and maybe you can hear the coach or when you’re subbed out of the game, you come in the coach talks to you or when there’s a timeout, the coach talks to you. To me, that’s old school and we can do that in cycling as Jim said, you know, the car can pull up and, and maybe give a Domestique a message to give to the leader. And that’s really More like some of those other sports, whether it’s it’s soccer or football or hockey or what have you. So I would prefer that because you get more of the brains and the tactics of each individual in the team as compared to somebody in their ear telling them what to do so I think that it makes for a more well rounded cyclist and a more in some ways, exciting race. That said, I think most people know how I feel about technology, which is if I can solve a problem with tech, even if it costs more to do it. So the technology’s there that the horses have already left the barn. I don’t think we will ever pull back from radios so if I What would I prefer old school do I think we’ll go back to that never and that’s fine with me too.

Jim Moss 21:50
You know, yeah, I

Jim Moss 21:54
hear again, I’m thinking too hard and pausing sorry. I you know, if we don’t advance we Don’t move forward. I mean, in all honesty, if it wasn’t for technology, we’d still be using single speed bikes where you flip the wheel around to get a different speed. So yeah, we if we’re not going forward, we’re not going anywhere. I don’t care what that combination of good, bad or indifferent, it is the, you know, is the race more exciting nowadays? I think it is. I think it’s much more exciting. And I also think that there’s really shoe with T. I think that now, a few more people might understand the whole team concept and cycling. I mean, that’s the that’s the one thing that the non cycling community does and a lot of the cycling community doesn’t understand is why is it called a team sport? You know, in fact that today, one of the announcers said you know, it’s a team sport with one winner. Well, that just doesn’t make sense. Yeah, we have a winner, but you’d never see the team winner in anything except pure cycling magazines. But you’ll see the winner of some years The front page of The Wall Street Journal The New York Times or something. It’s a but it is a team sport and with race radios, I think we get more team out of it.

Carlton Reid 23:12
Are you getting team managers coming on to NBC? Or Comcast wherever you’re watching it, are you? Because I’m on ITV where I’m watching it the other day they went to a team car and they had a very long conversation in fact it was with sargans team so it didn’t actually didn’t make much difference yesterday anyway and that the tactics didn’t didn’t work radio, I know radio, but are you getting you hearing team car tactics?

Jim Moss 23:42
Yes. Now they’re also mean you know, the team cars have sort of, you know, they’re not shooting the straight, they’re, you know, fumbling around. Same thing like a coach does when he’s running into the locker room at halftime. You know, we need to try this a little bit harder. We’re gonna do this but what’s really going on? I don’t think you’re getting but yeah, we’re getting that.

Carlton Reid 24:05
Yeah, I like it when they interview the the managers afterwards and they said, you know, our plan worked perfectly. But probably every single team in there has got it pretty much the same plan. It’s just that that’s the one that’s worked because that’s the one who, who won. But yeah,

Jim Moss 24:20
the right group of writers that were able to pull it off at the right time.

David Bernstein 24:24
The question that bugs me every day you know, before the races they always say, oh, what what are your plans for today? And it’s like, yeah, like we’re going to tell you and then every day you know, we want to win so I hate that but my favourite is when they show the inside of the team car. of the racer of the of the team whose racer won the stage that day that’s my favourite because they’re just going back you know what crazy in their, in their, in their car and I just love that.

Jim Moss 24:57
With the motorcycle comes by and they’re able to shoot in in the backseat, and you see the mechanic sort of crammed through, jump out immediately and solve a problem crap, it takes five minutes to undo, you know, whatever. He’s got wheels and water bottles and sandwiches and whatever else in there along with the toolkit to be able to lead out the window or to jump out and do whatever. worst job in the world. Okay, john, you win today. You’re in the back of the team car.

Jim Moss 25:29
Please.

David Bernstein 25:32
Speaking of that, what, what are your thoughts today? Sorry, Carlton, I have a question today about Sergio Higuita’s crash. And then, you know, essentially, because of the crash being taken out of the race, Carlton, I don’t know if I mean, I’m sure you saw that. What did you think about that?

Carlton Reid 25:53
I thought nothing of that too, because I hadn’t watched it. Now. You’ve told me.

David Bernstein 25:57
Oh, I’m sorry.

Carlton Reid 25:58
No, I watched the last few minutes on the TV every night I watch on highlights. So so

David Bernstein 26:04
so it was it was fairly early in the in the race Bob Jungels goes like essentially pulled out of the front of the, of the group he was with. And he he sort of moved all the way across the road. And when he did that, his rear wheel took out his Higuita’s’ front wheel. Higuita went down, got back somehow on the bike, saw the race doctor, but then he had a problem using he basically had hurt his hand he couldn’t use his brakes. And he ended up having to to abandon the race. But Jim, did you see that because they were showing it on the highlights, you know, during the race today and I thought to myself, I wonder if this is something that young girls would be fined for?

Jim Moss 26:48
Well, I think Bob roll said it best and I really hate quoting Bob Roll that’s a little scary. young young has to go to the team bus and apologise People I’m sure you will. And you know, I think the only thing that showed was who’s who weighs more, because the heavier rider stays up and the lighter rider goes down.

Jim Moss 27:11
I mean, I never get knocked down by anybody.

Jim Moss 27:16
But I mean, you look over your right shoulder when you’re when you’re getting out of the way. Well, sure we do. Because, you know, well, you guys ride with people. But you can also look at as somebody was in the wrong plot space, maybe I don’t. I don’t think it’s a fireable offence because there was no intention. You know, it was it was purely an accident. And I think that, especially here in the US, we have really lost sight of what’s real and what’s an accident and what really deserves to be punished or fined.

David Bernstein 27:53
Oh, that’s a great lead in Carlton, take it.

Carlton Reid 27:56
Well, I’m still thinking about Jim in a bunch sprint. Sagan trying to, to kind of crash into and knock it off and it just bounces off that’s that’s in my mind. So

Carlton Reid 28:14
now what I would like to go to is they just the Slovenia. Slovenia is bossing this race to I mean, 2 million people Slovenia has 2 million people. It’s a city. It’s a big it’s a big city but it’s a city and they have two amazing right and then about anything could happen tomorrow Of course and the whole team could be thrown out. You could be out all sorts of things. However it does. Look at the moment you cannot see any way of of the current leader no longer being the leader in in Paris, please get there. But it’s just amazing that these young riders have come up from a population of only 2 million, so Slovenia is my question. My question is Slovenia question mark. But Jim, I’ll come to you first and when you see Slovenian riders winning a you, are you happy with that?

Jim Moss 29:13
I’m happy with whoever wins is just as you said earlier, what are they on? I know some Slovenia’s from the mountaineering world they’re the toughest climbers you can find you know they learn how to become a mountain near because and they did it the hard way they they had to round up the money and they had to get there and then they just don’t quit. I mean, in all honesty, if you want to get to the summit, follow Sylvania, but you got to be able to reach deeper than anybody in the world at the same time. Cycling has a lot of that into it, but it also just takes some pure skill and ability and I don’t know my, my, my younger, smarter, better looking brother found a new job. issue that he sent me about some new type of haemoglobin oxygen booster. H 7379 or hammy or globin, human, whatever, you know. And and he thinks someone’s doping. And it could be I don’t know, but I know there are tough people when it comes to mountaineering. All of a sudden out of nowhere it could pop up in cycling. They’ve been mountaineering for 70, 80, 100 years. I’ve never seen a Slovenian another cycle race.

David Bernstein 30:41
Well, I don’t think it’s fair to say that pretty much Rogic came out of nowhere. He’s, he’s, you know, this is this is a guy who’s a multi sport athlete who has really come up through whether whether it was ski jumping on or cycling and, and he’s he’s got some pomares. So I don’t think it’s fair to say that he came out of nowhere, Pope Paul gotcha. I don’t know if that’s a new name for me honestly. But when it comes to roglic he’s got the most dominant team in the sport, or at least in this race. And so it’s no surprise to me to see him doing as well as he’s doing. You know, it’s like the Colombians. I mean, if you want to talk about mountains, and you want to talk about being able to climb those mountains, the Colombians have it. And so, you know, yesterday, like I said before, yesterday, I wasn’t really surprised to see rugelach where he was, and I really wasn’t that surprised to see all the Colombians in the in the top 10 of the GCC. I think It’s great. And I think that seeing people from different countries that maybe we hadn’t thought of before as being, you know, some of the best pro cyclist I think it’s awesome.

Unknown Speaker 32:13
And I yeah, but at the same time, the American Sepp Kuss, lives in Durango and if you live in Durango and you want to go ride, you go up for down river and then you climb. And then you know, coming home zz getting out of Durango is tough. mountain biking, road biking, whatever it is. you’re climbing out of Durango. It’s in a river valley surrounded by mountains, some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. But Sepp’s mom, of many people know this is a kick-ass mountain biker who wins all the local races. So there’s more than just living in the mountains. There’s a little bit of genetics or maybe a A lot of genetics, there’s a mountain and road bike community in Durango that’s more active and as big as any other cities that may be the Denver Metro area. I mean, everybody in Durango has a mountain bike and a road bike and they ride. So there’s there’s, I mean, I’ve never seen a group. I’ve never seen a picture of Slovenians you know, writing. I, and I don’t want to I don’t want to denigrate anybody without facts, and I guess I am and more power to ’em, and I hope it works, but

Jim Moss 33:37
it’s still something we’ve got to talk about because it’s

David Bernstein 33:40
okay. But but but but Jim, Sepp is writing in support of Roglic, right?

Jim Moss 33:44
Right. I agree. Yeah. So,

David Bernstein 33:45
so so he’s using his, well, I don’t even know what the right word is DurangIonian bloodline to to be able to Help this guy win the race. So I, and he was up there today and he was taking his pose along with Dimoulin. So

Jim Moss 34:06
yeah, ever, like I said, on the flats, I mean,

David Bernstein 34:12
I just think it’s a really dominant team. And I think that it’s that it’s and and hey, so is Pogacar team so i i think it’s been I think it’s been a it’s been an interesting race and it’s been

Jim Moss 34:26
one of the best races we’ve had in a little while.

David Bernstein 34:28
Yeah, yeah. It’s almost reminds me of a Giro.

Unknown Speaker 34:31
Yeah, look what Sunweb have pulled off. Yeah, no kidding. You know, I mean, their attacking programme the other day was just unreal. They just some rider, after rider,

David Bernstein 34:43
a rider off

Jim Moss 34:44
the front and tore the, you know, the leaders up it was great and

Carlton Reid 34:49
technically very good. Now Slovenia, from Slovenia to Slovakia. Mm hmm. So I know that that absolutely. We can get this mixed up. But we Definitely no. We have a good rider from Slovakia and he’s been around for a good few years now. What do we think as the saint or sinner on that sprint the other day where he got demoted to last place? And is he going to get the green? Is he going to win a couple of stages this in effect sprint into into the lead it’s going to seems quite hard to do now but what do you think?

David Bernstein 35:28
I’m happy to go first. Go for it. And I was glad to see that you put that in our show notes centre centre from my perspective centre. And I will I’ll tell you why. I don’t buy the excuse about whether it was a selfie stick or or a spectator leaning in. What I saw was somebody doing the wrong thing. And if you say if if the The excuse is Oh, there was a spectator there. Here’s a guy who has been a professional for many, many years. A guy who has a lot of experience and knows what he can expect to happen when he gets close to the boards. And he needs to take the consequences for that and not interfere with another writer. And that was and and assuming that that’s the the truth that there was a spectator that was in his way. That’s not what I what I saw what I saw was somebody cheating.

David Bernstein 36:35
I

David Bernstein 36:37
have had a bad feeling about Peter Sagan for many, many years. Yeah, I everybody loves him and thinks he’s great. I remember when he groped to the podium girl. And I and I, I my my opinion about him hasn’t changed since. I think he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That’s my personal opinion. It does. doesn’t reflect the management of this station. I don’t like the guy. And so I hope he doesn’t win green.

Jim Moss 37:06
Have you talked to him? Have you met him? No. I mean, he Yeah. And your wolf in sheep’s clothing idea might be 100% Right on, but I’ve talked to him several times when he’s over here racing. And he’s a very nice, easy going, guys just in the last couple years. He’s even said, Yeah, I can ride. I mean, for then he, he was shy, you had to ask him to be able to take his photograph and he would try and smile. And I think that’s a little bit more than just an

David Bernstein 37:38
act. Well, I admit that I could be completely wrong and if so, Peter, I apologise.

Carlton Reid 37:44
Do you think if he just apologised, you know he did had but he did show the charge? Yeah. That the normal thing to do in that case, would it be inside look, I did this I was wrong. I’m sorry. And like, nobody would have faulted him for that. But you Yeah, just didn’t apologise. Yeah, it was kind of odd. Yeah, that that feeds into your wolf in sheep’s clothing. If that’s what you want to think of him, then that’s gonna feed into that.

David Bernstein 38:10
Well, I noticed I had, I was writing one someplace where he was training and his. And he went by, and he there was not the usual cycling etiquette and I’m just going to leave it at that. Well, and so that that fed into that, that just bolstered my opinion of him. And so I don’t know, again, I could be completely wrong. That’s just my opinion. And my that’s my impression.

Jim Moss 38:41
We have to as also remember that a lot of how he’s responding was based on him getting thrown out of the tour a couple years ago for something he did

David Bernstein 38:49
not do. Yeah, he deserved that too.

Jim Moss 38:52
Holy mackerel,

David Bernstein 38:54
No, really. I think we talked about it then. And I and and yeah, he deserved that too.

Unknown Speaker 39:01
But he everyone admitted and that and even the commissar is the method that he didn’t do anything wrong that that crap who’s the guy that’s had his own autobiography three times and he’s always, you know, actually was not pushed by and did not get hit, tried something stupid and crashed who Cavendish yeah Cavendish Hmm. You know, to Peter Sagan got thrown out of the tour for something that he didn’t do wrong and Cavendish admitted that wasn’t Sagan’s fault. And yet they throw him out of the tour anyway. So I think if I’ve been thrown out of the tour one time, and I would be quiet Also, I’m not so sure I would try and defend myself because he defended himself pretty ferociously back then and bail.

David Bernstein 39:51
Let me ask you this. Do you think that he’s that that has he shown in this tour that he He has the legs to, to to keep to get and keep that green jersey because from what I’ve seen in the Sprint’s he’s not been there as much as he used to be. You can see guy like Caleb Ewan, or a guy like Van Aout I think that an N and crap helped me out Carlton, the Irishman in the green jersey,

Carlton Reid 40:31
Bennett. Sam Bennett.

David Bernstein 40:32
Yes. Thank you. I think I think that they they’re younger riders who are up and coming and I think that Peter is not up to them, at least in this race. I don’t think he’s shown that he’s up to the same level of fitness.

Carlton Reid 40:48
He normally doesn’t have to be because he’s not going for stages as such. He’s going for seconds and thirds.

David Bernstein 40:52
no No, no, no, of course.

Jim Moss 40:54
but he also has had the lead out men. I mean, how many times is up there again? Now, granted, that’s true. In the past, he has been, he is one stages of that lead out, man. I mean, he figures out who to follow. And yeah, as has done that, but I can’t think of a single stage I could be wrong where he’s actually had a lead out me. And sure, being said, by stage five, he had finally written more stages without the green jersey than he’d ever written with the green jersey. I think they announced that he’d only written five stages in the Tour de France wearing without wearing the green jersey. So pretty neat. Hey, Richie Porte made the podium. He’s up on third now.

Carlton Reid 41:46
Richie Porte is 35! Does that not that holds out hope for Froome that holds out hope for us even more 35 is good going for inefficiency. Come back. It’s Yeah, but it’s good to see what to put back. But it’s 35 beats. For nowadays that’s old. You know, if you look at the civilians, you know who are still in nappies. A 35 year old is, is getting on a bit.

David Bernstein 42:15
Well, there’s talk about Valverbe alright?. Who’s 40? I mean, he’s ancient, but he’s keeping up with the young guys.

Jim Moss 42:27
That’s the sixth.

David Bernstein 42:29
Huh? Wow.

Carlton Reid 42:32
So how are we liking the start of the late start? For Le Tour and because it’s now cyclocross season officially, the first cyclocross race was was today in Germany. So, are we liking the fact that it’s so late in the year?

Jim Moss 42:48
No, my schedule does. I have not seen as many races I’ve recorded all the races for the first time ever because I haven’t been able to catch them off my schedule. At this time of year does not allow Be to, you know, take the mornings off. And to you could see at the end of today’s race that the sun had been saying that a lot of places on the race that it was a lot darker than normal. And the commentators made some comments about it, that it you know, it was obvious that it was getting darker earlier because of the time of the year. Now it’s a little bit prettier in some cases, because you can see some trees have already started to change, you know, the fall colours. But I don’t know I sort of semi expects one of these finishes to be in snow. Hmm.

David Bernstein 43:43
I there’s a couple things one, it’s weird. I mean, everything’s weird right now, right? I mean, we’ve got cyclocross. We’ve got the Tour de France. We’ve got Toronto adriatico. We’ve got NFL football, baseball, hockey, basketball, it’s all going on at one so everything is too bizarre. I think for the riders, it’s probably better this time of year. It gets really hot in the Alps in July. And a lot of France in July So, so so moving it to September, probably is better for the riders. Now, with some of them. I think that it’s been hard for them to figure out how to get their fitness just right. You know, there’s some writers who train all year just for the tour. And now that it’s two months later, and there was no racing, you know, for a lot of time leading up to it. I think that it’s probably messed up songwriter. So I think that there’s pluses and minuses,

Jim Moss 44:40
but at the same time, there are a lot of riders that came into the tour and a lot better shape, though. And yeah, you know, now they might not have been as good as shape because they weren’t racing, but at least they weren’t injured. Yeah, you know, we didn’t we didn’t see any no shows based on injury, other than fro basically

David Bernstein 44:59
Carlton may be onto something you know, he may be it may have been, oh, we’re going to use this as an excuse, you know the injury with with from, but maybe they were feeling like well they didn’t quite have what they needed to to to deliver another victory for any of us granted yours and so maybe we’ll move Froome and Thomas over here where maybe we can do a little bit better.

Jim Moss 45:24
At the same time. It was also a little I can’t believe was leave our team we gave you wins there five yellow jerseys hanging on your wall. And now you’re leaving. Yeah, well, you’re not going to get another one with our jersey. I don’t

Carlton Reid 45:42
I don’t think Brailsford thinks like that. Brailsford is just he’s hardwired to win stuff, he will do what he couldn’t care personally. And that’s why he drops Brits and also he doesn’t care. He just wants a winner. So I don’t personally I didn’t think he would be that first about him leaving cuz that is also powerful. and parcel of professional sports, you know, cycle sport.

David Bernstein 46:04
And you got to give it to Sylvan Adams. You know, he is building what is going to be one of the highest profile teams next year. And he’s

Carlton Reid 46:14
got the money to do it. Let’s face Yeah, for sure. He could have the best team if you want it if he wants tomorrow, he got the best team.

Jim Moss 46:21
So So yeah. So here we are. Professional Football, professional basketball, professional baseball, it’s all based on money. And now most people are understanding had professional Cycling is based on money, perhaps even amateur Cycling is based on money. If you get to the right team, you don’t have to worry about your bike being ready, you know, versus you get up an extra hour earlier to check your bike before you get on a race. And it’s all based on who can sell sponsorships all the way up and down the line. Is that the way to race is that showing us who the best cyclists is the best team. We got more money therefore we can buy the right team.

Carlton Reid 47:06
You still got to have the permutations though, isn’t it me cycling isn’t just a money thing. You know, otherwise any of us would would be the best team this year. Probably the best funded team. So it is the mix. And that’s the fascinating thing about Cycling is just the mix of riders and certainly when you’ve got a huge crew that you could pick from, and then getting it right for each individual race and you have got to have, you know, your second tier riders are still doing some major races as we can see with the racer also went on to do today to run it. So that makes it not just money. It’s also savvy.

Jim Moss 47:46
savvy.

David Bernstein 47:48
And, and, and and yeah, Jim, I think it is still you know who’s the best cyclist I think that so many of the younger guys coming up, I’m talking about men cycling now, so many of the younger guys coming up in the sport are getting paid nothing. Literally nothing. Not enough to make a living and and they’re working their butts off to get to the pinnacle of the sport. And that’s how you tell you end up with some of the the people that we’ve seen. Look at the last couple of days with some of these guys who have been winning stages. It’s been really cool to see all these different guys winning and making some really great moves. And it’s because they’ve been coming up in the sport and they’ve been earning their their pomares and they’ve been been been doing the work and now they’re getting rewarded for it. I mean, that’s the way that it is in anything. So of course everything’s about money, don’t I mean?

Jim Moss 48:51
I think we should go look at all the winners in the last 20 years, and how much money their teams had the last 20 years. I bet you more than 70% of the winners were with the most well financed team. Well, of course.

Carlton Reid 49:09
David, talk about money. You can spend money

David Bernstein 49:14
or save money.

Carlton Reid 49:16
Yes. How can cyclists do you think? How could they spend money? And yes and save it at the same time? Do you have any ideas how how listeners to this podcast could go and spend their cash?

David Bernstein 49:29
It’s an excellent question. Imagine if you could spend money and save money and know that what you’re spending your money on was the right thing. That would be that would be cool, wouldn’t it chip?

Jim Moss 49:40
Oh, hey, I went to the website the other day looking for stuff. You did. I did it. The problem is that I’ve been I’ve been not paying attention to the podcast. I could type in the right website address. I was

David Bernstein 49:53
gonna say that to you in that email, you see because Jim wanted to go to JensonUSA, which is the right thing to do. And I told him Jim, you got to go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. And if you go to Jensenusa.com/the spokesmen, first of all, you’re going to be supporting us and we appreciate that. But more importantly, you’re going to be, as Carlton said, saving money and finding a great selection of products. And if there’s something you’re not quite sure whether it’s going to work for you, they have a really, really experienced team of what they call gear advisors, and they’re going to tell you, because they know because they’re cyclists themselves just like you and they, they want to make sure that you get the right thing at the right price and give them a call but be really, really helpful. So Jenson USA is the place where you can get and I’ve said this a long time, pretty much everything that you need for your cycling lifestyle. So you need a new bike, complete bike and it can be a gravel bike, road bike, a mountain bike a kid’s you can find them all at Jenson USA. Plus, you can get components and apparel and as I said virtually everything the You need for your cycling lifestyle. And the selection is is really great from name brands that you know people like Specialized and yes Colnago and just a whole wide variety of all of the best brand names that you already know. So go check them out. It’s a Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. And we hope that you’ll use that URL because when you do, what it tells them is that you heard about Jenson USA on our show. And what’s really cool when you go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen they pick out products on that page that they think that spokesmen listeners might be interested in. So check that out first, and then whatever else it is that you’re looking for, whether it’s a pair of shoes, or jersey or bib shorts, or perhaps I don’t know maybe you just need a new stem or a new headset or tires or whatever it is. They’re going to have it at Jenson USA, so go check them out. Jensonusa.com/Thespokesmen, we really sincerely thank them for their very long term loyal support of this show, the spokesmen, recycling roundtable podcast. And of course, we thank you for your support of Jenson USA. So there you go, Carlton, there’s the answer to your question. You can save money. And you can get the right thing. Oh, and by the way, one last thing, free shipping on all orders over $60. Okay, back to you, Carlton.

Carlton Reid 52:24
Thank you, David. See, I knew you don’t know the answer to that question. Now, you mentioned shoes there, huh? I did. Fantastic segue. Thank you very much for a holdover from the last show. So we should have asked this the last show we didn’t get around to talking about it, even though we had it in the show notes. And I know Jim wanted to talk about it. So I’m guessing he’s a fan of this particular system because it is a system it’s it’s how you fasten your shoes. So I’m going to come to Jim first and cuz he can I mentioned this I mean, you must want to talk about this Jim. So you’re you’re a Velcro. You can even laces Of course or Boa, Boa. Boa. Why why Jim, why are you Boa?

Jim Moss 53:13
Because it’s the ultimate laziness.

David Bernstein 53:20
Jim, I guess

Carlton Reid 53:21
that’s what the guy’s telling things. I

David Bernstein 53:23
guess, Jim any old age home, but he’s like, Oh, I need my shoes to have Bella.

Unknown Speaker 53:28
Right? Hey, I know a few more things. Boa is actually based here in Denver at Outdoor Retailer trade shows you could bring any pair of shoes in and they would have a system on the shoes. And I was thinking, you know, I’d hadn’t done a couple of set of my tennis shoes or whatever else and there was one fun, whatever. But I kept thinking, you know, I should get a set of wingtips with Boas.

Carlton Reid 53:57
They charge you this or the show or it’s just like shows fashion II

Unknown Speaker 54:01
but they quit donate kid yeah they quit going it was it was wonderful but let me tell you why I love Boa. The newest models I got the I have a new set of Lake cycling shoes which I think are wonderful because I have a wide foot I can walk on water and not know where the rocks are. And and you just spin them and they you can tighten them down. You can loosen them mid ride easily tighten them back up again whatever you need to do. And with velcro after about the 15th time you’re aware that it’s you Yang in the It’s same spot. So I’ve done a lot of my mountain bike shoes all at the top and I can’t get them any tighter I can get them looser, but I can’t get them any tighter. You know as the leather stretches or whatever because they stuck in this one Velcro spot. with Boa. You can just so fine tune so easily. Even while you’re on the ride and have the newest models, you reach down and you pull a little bit pop in there loosen those shoes are off. It’s just a wonderful system designed by a guy who used to take these kids out and who would take a half hour to get everyone’s shoes tied.

Carlton Reid 55:18
Oh Hmm. And David, what are you are you a proponent of one or other systems or you your last a fair you you you know, care?

David Bernstein 55:28
Oh, no, no, you know, but I always have an opinion. Um, so I’m not a Boa person. I I am funny. I’m looking at the website of the cycling shoe company that I prefer. And when my shoes wear out, I’m gonna be screwed because I can only get Polo. Now I have been wearing for years and years and years and years northwave shoes for road that I have. I cannot find a pair of cycling shoes. That that fits me just right Feels good other than Northwave. I’ve tried them all. We tried to and I, you know, sorry. Try leg. I will do that. Yeah, no, I definitely try it. So no, I’ve been using Northway forever. They’ve got a buckle, sort of a ratcheting buckle at the top. And then two Velcro straps. I would still be wearing the ones I bought, probably 15 or 18 years ago had a puppy not eating them. And that’s how my family knew that that that dog, that dog could get away with anything because I didn’t get upset. And then I bought another pair of northwave shoes. And I think I’ve had those now for about 12 or 13 years, and I just keep wearing them. They haven’t worn out. I still like them. I look at So Jim, I gotta ask you, and now everybody’s gonna know that I’m just the ultimate Fred. I look at the Boa system and I say that doesn’t look comfortable. It looks like it’s kind of break Tell me why I’m wrong.

Jim Moss 57:02
Well first of all, I’ve never wasted I did have one break after like four years but not on a cycling shoes. It was just on a pair of tennis shoes. So it was and it wasn’t the actual the cables sort of some I can’t believe Niall, it’s got to be steel. It’s so tough, but it it. it compresses over a very wide area. So on my site like cycling shoes, I’ve two up to Boa, one that covers about two inches and one that covers about an inch and a half. So it spreads that tension evenly over that area. I still have a set of Victorias that have the ratchet and the ratchet is wonderful because you can get right to the tightness. But you can’t reach down and loosen it up while you’re riding easily.

Jim Moss 57:52
And as or as easily as I think apologies.

Jim Moss 57:56
And so I think that that it’s great because it was the best For you, it pulls that one three quarter of an inch section and that’s it. Yeah, well it’s very wide. It’s two inches that you know so you and you can you know some days I’ll get a ride out just tighten up the top one and keep the bottom one loose. Although here again now I found some good shoes like you did a Northwave used to have white shoes too. I remember.

David Bernstein 58:22
Yeah. And I think that that’s that’s why I wear them Carlton, what do you prefer?

Carlton Reid 58:27
I as you can imagine, because I get lots and lots of freebies, with my kind of position. And I’ve got all sorts in my cupboard so I can and do use every system and I would say Boa is my favourite on Sony on road shoes. And I do agree with date with Jim on for a mountain bike shoes also because when you’re going into lots and lots of mud, in UK, if you if you’re not going through mud, then you’re You’re just not gonna go out on your mountain bike, then the Velcro does stop working. Where is the Boa? Doesn’t? Three so Boa for me? Yes for their laziness, yes for the width of it tightening down Yes, for the on the fly, on off tightening etc. And yes, for the for the longevity, it is of course more expensive. So if you look at the shoes in most companies ranges, then their bows are going to be more expensive then if you’ve got just one bow, and then some Velcro that’s like a mid level. So clearly the Boa is pitched at premium and is premium. So you’ve got to bear that in mind in that, you know, some price levels, you’re not gonna have a choice anyway, you’ve got to spend good money if you’re gonna be getting Boa, you don’t get cheap Boa in effect. So it is a premium product. So of course it’s going to be better in many respects because it is pitched Priced at that level.

Jim Moss 1:00:02
Remember though, when Velcro was a premium product?

David Bernstein 1:00:07
Well, I’ll give it a try when these were out because apparently I’m not gonna have much of a choice as I’m googling around as we’re all talking, but I’ll give it a try. I’ll see if I like it. But see, that’s, that’s how I I’m guessing that people ride by me and they look down at my shoes and they’re like, yep, he’s afraid.

Carlton Reid 1:00:28
What lights what lights do Freds tend to use then? Because David you’ve had an issue just recently, I believe.

David Bernstein 1:00:36
Jim, what do you use? Do you put your you have you have Fly6. Cycliq on your bike?

Jim Moss 1:00:41
I have a Fly6 in the back. I I opted not to spend the money for the 12 in the front. Well, way overpriced.

David Bernstein 1:00:51
How’s it working for you?

Jim Moss 1:00:53
Well, I’ve never had to use it.

Jim Moss 1:00:57
I mean, no, you know, thankfully.

Jim Moss 1:00:59
Yeah, I did. I did put a little sticker on it says video and clothes because you know I didn’t think that most law enforcement personnel would understand what that was. But it’s a great rear light I’ve yet to have it run out during any my rides. And I like it I also have two of them you know, because I think it’s a great idea but for the front it’s a lot easier just to mount a GoPro and a good light. And so if i if i riding the roads and I think that’s gonna be an issue that day, I just put a GoPro GoPro on the front of the bike.

David Bernstein 1:01:36
Hmm. What would like to have in the front

Jim Moss 1:01:40
depends on the ride. I have it I have all sorts of weather. My favourite light is a helmet light if I’m actually going out in the dark or mountain biking that I got from surface. I mean it blinds people, but it it lights up half mile. Um, I’ve got a couple cat eyes I can’t even tell you which one I like right now about rechargeable Cateye that just does a great job. So starting here another couple of weeks I’ll put it on and keep a charge just in case something goes wrong and I have to ride home in the dark. And why I like it though is is because it’s strong enough to get me home. But it’s easy enough if I have to take it off and use it to fix the tire because it’s so dark. You know I can I can hold it my mouth and shoot it the right angle to find the hole or fix the flat or whatever the problem is.

David Bernstein 1:02:34
Yeah, I am I’ve been using because we’ve we’ve, I think when we were doing tips. I think several of us have probably picked the Fly6 or the Fly12 as our as our picks and I’ve been using a Fly6 for a while and my wife’s got one on her bike and my daughter recently I think I said mentioned that she just bought a road bike and so she’s been riding so I was looking at getting a Fly6 for her, there was about that time that the battery on mine started to not hold up for more than about 45 minutes. And Donna was starting to have problems with hers where it would think that she crashed when she was just riding along, straight and level. And so I went to the to the cyclic website, and I saw that they had a new generation, a third generation, I thought, Oh, that’s great. They probably fixed all these problems that I’ve been having with so it said that they were going to ship in August. And so I placed my order to be in August and August came in when they didn’t ship. And I started emailing them and asking them about it. And I was getting no response. I mean, like for a week or 10 days, and I googled online and people are having this issue and I’m a little bit worried, and I don’t know what other people’s experience has been. So I basically wrote to them and I said, Oh, and then they changed it. They’re gonna ship in October, by which time I would get it in November because they said like middle of October I’d get in November cycling season’s over, it’s not even worth it. So I said just cancel my order. And I understand that they probably had a delay because they’re made in China and we all know you know, it’s been a crazy year when it comes to manufacturing. But I went out and I bought some Bontrager lights, and normally I don’t buy house brand stuff. For people who don’t know Bontrager, it’s Trek’s house brand, but I bought the Bontrager Ion flare. They’re these tiny little lights. And you know, I have one on the front, one on the back. And one of the first of all, they’re, they’re really bright. But one of the things I really love about them is first of all their prices significantly lower than the Cycliq Fly6. One of the things I love is it connects over ANT+ to my Garmin computer so that when I started riding, I press that start button on my my computer, the lights turn on, and when I press stop on my computer, the lights turn off. That’s the coolest thing in the world. Never I mean how many times have you been driving down the road with your car your bike on top of your car? And it’s blinking because you forgot to turn it off?

Carlton Reid 1:05:07
See, I see the ads for these things. I mean, who needs these features? It’s like Fred, David. Okay. Yeah. David has that feature okay.

Jim Moss 1:05:18
I don’t take your shoes

Carlton Reid 1:05:19
Connected to what?

Jim Moss 1:05:23
not that your friend but having your bike on top of your car with the light blinking. I think that’s a guarantee your

David Bernstein 1:05:30
I have done it.

Jim Moss 1:05:36
Interesting.

David Bernstein 1:05:37
Anyway, so I’m curious to see what happens with Cycliq like I I don’t understand, you know, and people on Um, I don’t know if I should be worried about the company or what’s I mean, the fact that it takes 10 days to get an answer to an email. seems strange to me. And a lot of people go out

Carlton Reid 1:05:55
but you went you went buying this and using this light for its light capabilities you’re using it for its video.

David Bernstein 1:06:01
Right. Okay, so that’s a great point and and, and, and I’m, this will be the first time this is the first time that I haven’t a video in the back of my bike in many many years I would love it if for instance Garmin makes a product called the Varia. Very expensive. Yeah very expensive. It’s it’s a but it’s but not as expensive as the sicherlich not as expensive as a fly six. Because in the back of your bike, it’s a it’s a taillight, blink a Blinky light like we all have, but it’s got radar. And so it tells you again on your your Garmin computer, whether or not there’s cars coming up behind you. I would love it. If Garmin and or sicherlich. Like added both of all three of those features in one if I can have a radar, a light and a camera recording on my taillight Here’s my credit card.

Jim Moss 1:07:00
Huh? What’s your what’s that number?

Jim Moss 1:07:06
I remember we found a guy at

Jim Moss 1:07:10
Uh huh. He had created a camera. And you get and I got one of those to looking at the screen and then running into things. Yeah. Which was quite interesting. Um, I’m not sure. I have either new Garmin 1030 I really do like it. And for the first time in in several years, Garmin has screwed up their own software. Although they did big time the other day, no matter wondering who how much money they paid ransomware to get their consistent back $10 million, isn’t it? Yeah. And seriously, Garmin is well known for doing a software upgrade that just crashes your your computer. But this one has a little thing on it that if you crash it sends out Notice to the people that are in there. Um, what I found lately is when I stopped at the end of my ride, it’s sending out a notice that Jim Moss has crashed. Oops.

Carlton Reid 1:08:11
Yeah, it was my Apple Watch does that really? My Apple Watch doesn’t like my bike so

Jim Moss 1:08:19
notice in my garage yesterday, but I did crash I was building a new bike and, and realise that I build everything except breaks in hit my garage.

Carlton Reid 1:08:31
It’s a little sad you the feature has worked on the lights of you if you tested it, it kind of like he crashed and it it texts. Oh,

Jim Moss 1:08:39
no. Yeah, I’ve gotten a phone call from my brother. You know, are you okay? Oh, yeah. Why? Well, I got to notice your Yeah. And I get home and I look at my emails and the three people you know, jail goes, yeah. You said you crashed. I saw you were still rushing. She tracks me on Google Maps. So she says I saw you I’m still moving. So I figured it out. was

David Bernstein 1:09:02
just what your note, Carlton, that we’ve now stealthily put tips into the podcast?

Carlton Reid 1:09:07
Yes, I’ve noticed that my tip was going to be then I would say Yeah. Okay, that feature on your Apple watch because it does work on Yeah, watch. And I mean, I’ve had this one for a good while, I’d forgotten that I’d turn this feature on and I crashed my bike. And lo and behold, it said no, if you don’t turn this off, we’re gonna bring the you know, the emergency services and so I turned it off. But it’s like, yeah, I mean, I have never had any false calls on this. This is just the one time I’ve crashed is the one time I’ve had this this go off so I don’t know what it’s like on I’ve got a set of lights that it does not difficult to use Iuc sense. And it does do that. I’ve never tried it on them. But on the watch it does that work. So my tip would absolutely if you’ve got this tack turn these features on Because Yeah, you will not get false positives. They are incredibly good. Guys we have we have not been going I do think we have to wind up here now we’ve been going for an hour and 1010 minutes. So we’re going to have to do that part of the show where we gladly we do not have tips even though we do have tip. But that’s part of the show where we talk about how people can can find us So Jim first how do we get in touch with Jim?

Jim Moss 1:10:28
recreationlaw on Twitter, recreation-law.com on the web, or recreation.law@gmail.com or if you just Google recreation law, you should find me

Carlton Reid 1:10:43
and if people are interested, finding mooses or what’s the plural for Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Whatever in gardens, David, where can where can people follow you?

David Bernstein 1:10:54
That was a cool picture though, wasn’t it?

Carlton Reid 1:10:57
I love all your pictures. You have wildlife in your garden.

David Bernstein 1:11:01
Thank you. So yes, um, what was the question?

Carlton Reid 1:11:06
The question is that is the plural of mooses.

David Bernstein 1:11:09
is always at me. Yeah, here we say me, so I’m sure it’s mooses. But you know me sounds better. Um, yeah, best place to find sort of what I’m up to is on Instagram where my handle is Fred cast. If you want to rant and or rave about my controversial thoughts today about Peter Sagan or perhaps the Cycliq fly6, where there was something else I mentioned. Oh, yes. Anthony McCrossan. Feel free to send me an email at the Fred cast@gmail.com and Carlton, thank you for re energising and and getting getting Jim and I back on the show so that we can actually do roundtables again. I it’s fun. I enjoy this and I know that I can tell from from Jim’s voice he does too and I know that You do so thank you for that, Carlton. It’s appreciated.

Carlton Reid 1:12:03
Yeah. Well, thank you. Well, I’m just so glad that we’ve got Jim’s microphone. It’s taken a while, whenever.

David Bernstein 1:12:15
And where can we find you Carlton?

Carlton Reid 1:12:18
Well, I might be doing a Boa story on forbes.com shortly. And I have I’ve got lots and lots of things to go through in a Boa profile is one of the things I’ve got to go through. And I get on forbes.com sometime soon. So you can actually follow me on Forbes on all three. So I’m on all authory.com where you get my Guardian articles, my Forbes articles, all sorts on Twitter, so Carlton Reid, on Twitter. So this has been Episode 257 of the spokesmen Roundtable, as David said, roundtable podcast and thanks for listening for people out there. Listen to today’s show. And thanks also for subscribing and telling your cycling friends and family. I know you do this, about the cycling podcast here from the Spokesmen and the show notes and more can be found on the-spokesmen.com. And this is actually been the third show this this month. I do think it’s the final show this month, however, but we will have people hopefully roundtable back. You know, because of the Tour de France it being in normally in July, I was going to almost say August that as the following month. It’s just throwing everything out of kilter, hasn’t it? But no, it’s next month is actually October. How freaky is that? So but before then, and now, make sure to get out there and ride …

September 4, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast


EPISODE 256: In Conversation with Two Ians


Saturday 5th September 2020


SPONSOR: Jenson USA


HOST: Carlton Reid


GUEST: Environmental psychologist and ultra-endurance cyclist Ian Walker.

LINKS:

Ian Walker’s webpage, drianwalker.com

Strava article on the Transcontinental, which inspired Ian to enter the event.

Holly Seear cycling coach

Ian Walker’s article on parking

TRANSCRIPT

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 256 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was engineered on Saturday 5th September 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by JensonUSA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast. For shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now here are the spokesmen.

Ian Walker 1:09
Today’s show is a conversation with two blokes called Ian. I’m Carlton Reid and I’ve been talking with record-breaking ultra-endurance cyclist Ian Walker. I’ve also been talking with environmental psychologist Dr. Ian Walker. As you’ll hear they sound awfully similar — the first part of the show delves into close overtakes of cyclists and why motorists park on the infrastructure meant for pedestrians. The second part is a dissection of Ian Walker’s brilliant new book, Endless Perfect Circles. There’s a little bit of psychology in this but it’s mostly and gloriously an account of his surprise discovery that he’s actually quite good at sport, specifically riding very long distances, fast, over multiple days and without support. Ian was a high placed finisher in the Transcontinental Race, won the North Cape 4000 and then, last year, set a new Guiness world record for riding across Europe, north to south. For relaxtion he rides 650 miles around the whole of Wales — in a long weekend. I read Ian’s book and loved it — not only is he a great rider, he’s a great writer, too. The book includes a neat Jedi mind trick that anybody who turns up at hotels with a bike will use for ever more, and we discuss why it works, so here’s my chat with the first of the two Ians. So I have absolutely really really really – as have many people – enjoyed your book.

Ian Walker 2:58
Oh thank you.

Ian Walker 3:00
I absolutely do what I do want to discuss it I do want to I want to I’m actually going to quote loads of things back. Okay? Because it was very funny. I’m going to quote lines back to you and you can even read it out in your own voice so we can hear the lines from you which were quite good but I because of who you are, yes okay so everybody now knows you of course not as your your super intellectual self but your physical self your your long distance endurance amazing feats Ian – we will get on to that, of course, but I want to start with your the intellectual in the brain Ian and how would you tell us what you do for a living when you’re not in that cottage? When you’re at university? What do you actually do?

Ian Walker 3:43
I do research on a whole variety of environmental psychology issues. So there’s, there’s a strand of this that’s probably not very interesting to your listeners, which is, I do work on energy consumption and water consumption and that kind of thing and how we can help people use it [YAWN from Carlton] as predicted. But probably more interesting to you and your listeners is I also do work on travel and transport. I try to encourage healthy, active travel modes. And I do work on traffic safety, especially for vulnerable road user groups like cyclists,

Ian Walker 4:25
So to lots of people and I know you’ve had about 10,000 citations on this. You can tell us how many citations and in fact, I’m sure you know this, but you came to probably my attention to everybody’s attention a long time ago, and you can tell us when that was, but you were wearing a dark wig. You weren’t wearing a blonde wig. So that’s the mistake a lot of people make it was a dark wig. But what were you wearing a dark wig for, Ian?

Ian Walker 4:50
Well, that was part of a series of experiments, trying to get an idea of whether anything you did on a bicycle made a difference. To the people overtaking you in the street. So the thing I was particularly setting out to look at was the riding position. So did it matter how far to the left or to the right, I was riding in terms of how much space I would be left by passing drivers. But as I was doing that, various people suggested other things that I could look at. And so I incorporated all of those into the study. So for example, I incorporated notoriously whether wearing a helmet made any difference to how much space people left and also the really last minute, I think about three people just said, Do you know it’d be really interesting to see if men and women are treated differently, and So sure enough, I went to a local novelty shop and bought this long dark wig and rode around either with or without the wig. Basically, I’d ride to the end of the street. Reach into my pannier, whip this wig out, stick it on, go up and down the street again, hide the wig and I Did this over and over for several days. And sure enough, I’ve got quite a bit more space on average from passing drivers when I had the wig on.

Carlton Reid 6:08
And you put that down to …?

Ian Walker 6:10
Probably something about people’s stereotypes about riders. So, you know, it’s hard to pin down at an absolute hundred percent definitive answer, but it’s probably something to do with people holding, you know, very unfair stereotypes that women riding need more consideration than men

Ian Walker 6:32
And wobbly riders, that kind of thing? So if somebody sees somebody wobbling up ahead, they’ll give them more space?

Ian Walker 6:38
Do you know we’ve never tested wobbly writers specifically, although an interesting development is we’ve got a paper hopefully coming out literally any day now. Which was done with a series of Belgian researchers who got in touch with me. And what we did there was we tested something that a lot of people have anecdotally taught About, we tested child seats, and thankfully, the results went the right way that riding with the child seat led to more consideration from passing drivers, which is the way round I think we all hoped it would be.

Ian Walker 7:15
Yes, so even if you’ve got a rucksack in your your child seat, you haven’t got the child at that moment. So this is this is a safety tactic you could use even without a child and this is just something just put a child seat on your motorcycle pass your wider

Ian Walker 7:31
it certainly appears that way. I mean, maybe sticking a dummy in there might be the best approach of all to really make sure people pay attention.

Ian Walker 7:39
So I’m now imagining “Airplane” with like the inflatable child in the in the back seat all the way back me. So people have replicated your study.

Ian Walker 7:50
Yeah, a lot of people have done similar studies. So one of the things so I’ve done two sort of big studies of overtaking distance and joining The second one of the things that I was able to do was develop a really quite simple, low cost, easy to produce device that you can stick on a bike and measure how much space drivers leave. And that’s all open source that’s just on the web. If you want to make one you can make one, it would cost less than 100 euros. And so that’s been kind of exciting. And what’s been really nice is to see people run with that. So I’ve seen several groups over the last two or three years who’ve taken that and gone further with it. They’ve added extra sensors or ways of gathering additional data points. And so the whole thing has become really quite democratised. It’s very easy for anybody to go out and collect data on how much space they get left.

Ian Walker 8:47
And as that research gone away from the small field of cycling, and then got into transport research in general. So this could actually you know, make real world differences because You know, designed things have been put in place because it’s it got into outside of cycling.

Ian Walker 9:05
Well, it’s interesting you say that. So one of the things that I’ve really come to conclude from quite a lot of years of looking at this issue of how drivers interact with cyclists on the road, is there is nothing that a cyclist can do to guarantee that they will be safe. And that’s a couple of reasons. In particular, it seems there’s always going to be a really difficult minority of drivers who just will not behave safely. So I’ve really come to realise that if there’s only one way to guarantee safety, which is segregation, get the cars off somewhere safe, where they can’t hurt anybody, and let cyclists travel safely without having to mix. Now obviously, there are all sorts of issues with that, like, there will still be places where mixing is necessary. We’re not going to get ad networks have cycleways that go to every single address in the country. So we still need to solve some of these problems of mixing. But ultimately, given that you can never trust motorists to entirely do the right thing all the time, some level of segregation and good quality infrastructure really seems to be necessary. And so that’s why it’s been so exciting. And I’m sure you’ve been part of this as well. It’s been so exciting seeing the UK Government recently issuing quite strong guidance on what Cyber Infrastructure should look like. And I think all of us over here who work in promoting cycling have been quite excited to see central government for the first time saying infrastructure needs to be high quality, it needs to work for everybody. It can’t just start and stop. You can’t just slap a bit of paint on the road and call it infrastructure. And it’s been really exciting to see these developments happening.

Ian Walker 10:58
Well, you mentioned those developments and that’s that’s an immediately made me then think of grant Shapps, which is not something I do all the time I do hasten to add, but he yesterday or a couple of days beforehand, when when we were recording, he announced that the government is now looking at perhaps more closely and I find this very exciting, looking more closely at the issue of sidewalk parking, pavement, parking. And that then brings me on to the next thought trip that I had was, Well, you did this very, very interesting and fascinating blog posting. God knows how long ago a long time ago but I know I always refer to whenever I refer to this issue, I always refer to your excellent excellent blog posting. And that’s where you put a big book you tell us what you did you put a crate on the on the road and why do people do that with cars? So explain that blog

Ian Walker 11:56
posting? Yeah, well, that was actually I think 12 years ago, which is really depressing back when I had dark hair and, and enthusiasm. And yeah, so that was kind of a thought experiment at the time it was, I realised, you know, I was struck by one of the many double standards that we seem to have about motoring, which is, if I had any other item whatsoever, and I had nowhere to store it, I would not be allowed just to dump it in the road and expect it still to be there the next day. And so I use the example of a crate that was you know, sort of two metres by three metres or something like that, but the same dimensions as a car. So if I had a big box or oceti sofa if I had a caravan, you’d have anything at all that I needed to store and I didn’t have space on my own land, and nobody would tolerate me just leaving it in the road blocking traffic, but the moment it is the car, we offer That’s completely acceptable. And so my point there was to try and illustrate that slightly crazy double standard. And the other thing I mentioned it as a little addendum to that essay was, I was struck by another really good example from the world of transport. So quite a few years ago, I lived for a while on a boat on the English canal river system. And what’s interesting there is that they operate a completely opposite system, on the canals, you are not allowed just to just to leave your boat there. You’re only allowed a licence to have a boat, if you solemnly swear to keep moving, and never stay anywhere for any length of time. And, you know, just freeloading by saying, well, I’ve got a boat and I’m just going to store it here in people’s way. is not is specifically not allowed. And yet we do it on the roads. Hmm. So that’s, that’s separate

Ian Walker 13:56
to the pavement parking issue, but it is just this entitlement issue. have Yeah, I’m going to park my my private property where the hell I like and then I when when it comes on to the pavement is you It’s like I’m going to leave it on the place where people are trying to get past with double buggies and guide dogs which we if you might hear in this that later in the show when my guide dog puppy comes back in the house and pedestrians it so motorists just have this many motorists, not all but we must stress that have this entitlement complex that which is a psychological condition in

Ian Walker 14:33
Well, I don’t know because my experience with the motoring side of things is more as an observer. So I you know, asking motorists what they’re thinking is actually really difficult because when you do that, you often find that the answers you’re given are not the right answers. So in it partly because people don’t know why they do what they do. So a big part This is that, and I think any of us who are interested in traffic will appreciate this. What we see in the motoring context is people just unconsciously imitate one another. So, you know, it starts with one person just bumping a couple of wheels up onto the pavement onto the sidewalk, because they’re worried about slowing the flow of traffic. And then, you know, within six months, other people start noticing this and thinking, Oh, yeah, I’ll do that as well. And then, you know, another six months, everyone’s doing it because they imitate one another. And then another six months later, the cars are completely across the pavement. And there is this very strong tendency to just unconsciously imitate one another as social beings. And that’s a big part of what goes on in traffic. But people are not aware of just how much they unconsciously imitate each other. And so what the problem is, as soon as you ask somebody, why have you just done this particular thing? The answer you get is going to be one that’s Often just constructed on the spot as a way of trying to answer the question, but the answer might not be valid because the behaviour was the subconscious imitation of other people or a subconscious and ascertain events entitlements or something like that, rather than a considered decision to behave in a particular way. But the explanation you get when you ask somebody why they did it will be as if it were deliberately considered and chosen. And so the explanation won’t really be the right one for the behaviour.

Ian Walker 16:40
Which might mean if the government – and I’m touching wood here – if the government did actually bring in some more London style, even though it does happen in London, most London style draconian fines, parking on the sidewalk on the pavement that might actually change behaviour of that bulk of the population which are doing it unthinkingly you’re gonna get the radicals are always going to want to park on the pavement. But a good bunch of people are just doing it for the reason you just said they’re just they’re not thinking about it, they’re just doing it.

Ian Walker 17:12
Yeah, absolutely. I think that that’s what we really hope is going to happen. You can see how it how it’s come about that this you know, let’s face it fairly anti social behaviour has become normalised because if you’re in your car, and you need to stop at a shop or a house or something like that, it’s more convenient for you to just bump it up on the pavement, Job done Off you go get about your day. And and if you have essentially been licenced or permitted to do this income, this convenient thing, because everybody else is doing it. And nobody has ever told you not to. Then of course you’re going to do what’s easier and convenience people fundamentally do what is easy and convenient. So clear message from government saying, Okay, look, this is no longer acceptable. This is causing problems for lots of people, especially people in many cases whose lives already have enough problems. The central message is going to show that it’s less acceptable, that should start to eat into the number of people who are doing it. Once it’s less common and normal that eats into that subconscious copying tendency. And hopefully, it will be the small snowball that starts the big change.

Ian Walker 18:35
So I’m not hopeful. There’s there have been many, many reviews into this over the years. There’s there’s all sorts of it’s probably every 10 years, there’s a government review into this and the government, you know, farms it out, and they say, right, we’re going to we’re going to, we’re going to go with recommendations that the panel gives, the panel comes back and says well ban payment Parking them. And the government says, oh, oh, well, yeah, so better not do that. So I’m not terribly hopeful. But it’s it’s kind of like, the signs that it occurred. Some changes could be afoot. So why would grant chaps float these things if he wasn’t going to do some tweaking?

Ian Walker 19:17
Yeah.

Ian Walker 19:19
And you write that and there will be resistance. I mean, when it comes to traffic issues, I keep finding myself coming back to that phrase that’s often used in very different contexts of when all you’ve known is privilege. Equality feels like oppression. And, you know, we see with a lot of motorists that as soon as you say, you’ve got to have some responsibility for your actions. There’s this knee jerk, oh, my god, you’re taking something away from me. Anger approach, and we’re going to see that as we ask people to no longer inconvenience other people for their own convenience because they’re just so used to having the world accommodate them coming first.

Ian Walker 20:02
And what we’re seeing that right now with the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods concept in that I’ve asked on Twitter, for example, genuine examples of people who have been cut off, they can’t motor they can’t get out of their house, they can’t go where they prefer to go. Show me a genuine example of where you are being blocked in into your driveway by a low traffic neighbourhood. And of course, nobody can, because it’s hyperbole. It’s, you know, literally they just got to spend another five minutes maybe going around. But then John Crace the journalist, The Guardian journalist, put in one of his columns last week, the exact same thing that you know, I you know, motorists are now blocked from getting anywhere. And I challenged him and said, Well, can you please show me a map where you are genuinely blocked in by these wonderful phrase, the modal filters, the bollards and stuff, and he hasn’t responded Now assuming it has seen Because there’s an awful lot of first that background kicked up when he said this and what I said that this is what he said, and I’ll probably approach him offline to see if he will say these things because these Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, they’re not genuinely stopping people going anywhere. They just make it slightly more inconvenient if you choose to do a 500 metre journey in a car.

Ian Walker 21:21
Absolutely. And I’m sorry, I can’t remember who said this, but somebody on Twitter made the good point that the percentage difference it will make to your journey is completely related to how long your journey was in the first place. So if you’re leaving your home in a city centre and driving to another town, it’s not going to make any real difference. Whereas if you’re leaving your homeless centre and driving 500 metres to buy a newspaper, it’s as a percentage of your journey time. The hit is going to be quite substantial. But that should be the sign that your journey maybe needed reconsidering in the first place.

Ian Walker 21:56
But you are asking people to in that case, modify their behaviour. Yeah, that’s a psychology. You know, that’s, that’s kind of tough because these are ingrained behaviours.

Ian Walker 22:04
Hmm. It’s true. But one of the things that I’ve really come to realise over the recent years, is fundamentally the geographers had it right all along, and we psychologists didn’t, because if you want to know about why people behave the way they do in travel, it’s mostly about the physical environment, the physical environment, shapes the way we travel more than what we think we might kid ourselves that our travel behaviours are rational, deliberate, considered choices, but really, they’re in much bigger part they’re, in most cases, a response to the built environment of the built environment makes something easy and convenient. People are going to do it. If the built environment makes something difficult and feel dangerous, people are not going to do it. And of course, for those of us who are interested in promoting walking and cycling. What does the built environment do? It makes it difficult, slow and feel dangerous. And right there is the problem.

Ian Walker 23:10
Hmm. So let’s talk about SMIDSY for a second. So, “sorry, mate. I didn’t see you.” But what you were saying before, in effect was there’s another category of Yeah, yeah, I absolutely saw you. Yep. But I want to kill you. So there’s a small subsection of motorists who as as you know, Andy Cox, the superintendent, and West Midlands Police have found out there is an awful lot of people who are doing this deliberately. So, is the only way we can mitigate against that literally. Having cycleways.

Ian Walker 23:50
Oh, good question. I mean, I think on the one hand, just as for context here, it’s another example of The kind of strange double standard that exists in our culture in context of cars. So I did a long ride with a friend this weekend. And we had several instances of people using their vehicles as weapons against us, simply riding along the road, and people swerve their cars utters or screamed abuse at us as they passed for doing nothing wrong whatsoever. Now, as my friend and I were commenting later, I’m sure every single one of those people is perfectly nice in any other context. I’m sure they all think of themselves as perfectly decent people. And I’m sure several of them probably do lovely things like giving to charity or volunteering. And it’s just our culture has this toxic strand, where as long as you’re in a car, all bets are off and it’s certainly okay to behave like this. So for example, the person in the large mistake who flew right pastors was leaning on their horn for no reason whatsoever on an otherwise empty road, I, I can guarantee that when they Next go in a shop and have to stand in a queue, they will not scream at the person in front of them to get out of their way. Whereas that’s what they felt it was perfectly okay to do two guys on bikes. And so we have this very weird, messed up cultural problem with driving that and that condones and encourages and permits otherwise completely normal people to behave in deeply aggressive and dangerous anti social ways. And I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the rest of your question because I was going off on a rant about that.

Ian Walker 25:49
Well, that’s okay. Well, I’ve actually just segue into into what you’ve just said there actually, rather than go backwards. And that is that that behaviour that weird Jekyll and Hyde behaviour that you have when you when you get behind the wheel of course was very much recognised and parodied by Disney 50s 1960s I’m sure you know it the famous storyteller Goofy, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Wheeler. So Mr. Walker is the sweet mannered, lovely pedestrian, which you’ve just kind of mentioned, people are like that in real life. And then as soon as he got behind the wheel of a car, psychologically, Mr. Walker changed into Mr. Wheeler, who was this awful, aggressive character who just said that is that is that what it is? It’s that it’s that trigger? It’s getting behind the wheel of a car and then you feel something different?

Ian Walker 26:45
Well, apparently, yes. I mean, I’ve never personally studied this in detail. And I do have one or two colleagues who do work on driver anger. And your ultimately from what I’ve seen of their work, it is does seem irrational, it seems. Anger in drivers is often triggered by things that in any other context would not be permissible. So for example, a minor delay to your journey is seen as a legitimate cause of becoming angry. And and this is why I think the real explanation doesn’t sit within a person’s head. The real explanations for this sit at the level of our culture. You know, we have a strange cultural, double standard about almost every aspect of motoring. One part of which is it’s perfectly fine to be aggressive and to assault people, as long as you do it with a car.

Ian Walker 27:47
And we are seeing it to absolutely horrific effect in America at the moment, you know, with these big big muscle SUVs going through the city of Portland with the driveers – if As if they’re not aggressive enough, then that Macing people out of the window. And then of course, you’ve got the President saying, well, they’re patriots doing that you think, Oh my god, that behaviour is going to be so cemented in people?

Ian Walker 28:13
Well, I mean, it fits into a slightly wider picture as well, doesn’t it have something that society has wrestled with for literally thousands of years, is how do we reconcile people’s freedoms when they’re not when they’re in conflict with each other? So how do we reconcile my freedom to drive whatever I want, however, I want, with your freedom to be safe from the consequences of that and your freedom to not breathe poisoned air and things like this. And ultimately, the way we’ve addressed that, that conflict between your freedom and my freedom for quite a long time in countries like ours and countries like the United States, has been to say Well, if you’ve bought the car, your freedoms are more important than the person who isn’t in the car. So the person who’s not in the car will be at the edge of the road, in their space at the edge of the road, the person who’s not in the car will pause and wait until the person in the car has got out of the way. before crossing the road, the person who’s not in the car will make a special journey to a designated crossing point, so as not to inconvenience the person in the car. And, and hopefully the various things we’ve been talking about here today, you know, the ideas coming from grant shops, the ltn 120 guidance for promoting active travel. I’d really like to believe that these are the beginning of a swing in the opposite direction where we say, Well, you know, the person who just wants to walk down the street, their freedoms are important to their freedom to make a journey, their freedom to breathe clean air, their freedom to be able to go to the shop without their life being in danger. Hopefully we’re seeing a rebalancing towards those freedoms being taken seriously as the freedom of Yeah, I’m good. I’m doing air quotes here, the freedom to drive what you like.

Carlton Reid 30:13
Oh, well, we’ve now got into not just

Ian Walker 30:17
recent government announced we’ve gone back thousands of years into, into absolutely, how we classify freedom. But at this juncture in I would now like to cut for a commercial break. And we will be back, however, to talk about your absolutely fantastic book.

David Bernstein 30:38
Hey, Carlton, thanks so much. And it’s it’s always my pleasure to talk about our advertiser. This is a long time loyal advertiser. You all know who I’m talking about? It’s Jenson USA at Jenson usa.com/thespokesmen. I’ve been telling you for years now years, that Jenson is the place where you can get a great selection have every kind of product that you need for your cycling lifestyle at amazing prices and what really sets them apart. Because of course, there’s lots of online retailers out there. But what really sets them apart is their unbelievable support. When you call and you’ve got a question about something, you’ll end up talking to one of their gear advisors and these are cyclists. I’ve been there I’ve seen it. These are folks who who ride their bikes to and from work. These are folks who ride at lunch who go out on group rides after work because they just enjoy cycling so much. And, and so you know that when you call, you’ll be talking to somebody who has knowledge of the products that you’re calling about. If you’re looking for a new bike, whether it’s a mountain bike, a road bike, a gravel bike, a fat bike, what are you looking for? Go ahead and check him out. Jenson USA, they are the place where you will find everything you need for your cycling lifestyle. It’s Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. We thank them so much for their support and we thank you supporting Jenson USA. All right, Carlton, let’s get back to the show.

Ian Walker 32:05
Thanks, David. And we are back with Ian Walker. In the first half of the show, he went through his psychological training and background. And in the second half of this show, we’re going to switch completely different lives. It’s almost as if we’re having like Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Walker conversation here we’ve got two different people we’ve got Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde here in that psychology psychologist in is different to this other guy, this athlete in these these are two different people you would you would think so Ian, you’ve written this brilliant book. It’s called Endless Perfect Circles and I’m gonna be asking you questions that I know the answer to because you’ve written down in your book. I’ve still got to ask them so I will I will come and ask them but but first of all, so this is this is a story about a number of endurance rides you’ve done and and and run system running in there too, but just tell us How did you get into long distance endurance sports in the first place?

Ian Walker 33:08
Well, I basically did it very late. So what I’ve explained at the start of this book is I went to a fairly poor School, where, yeah, most things were not really encouraged. So they certainly weren’t very good at encouraging people to learn. But also in particular, the teachers there had no real ability to push or encourage people to have a good sport. And so basically, the short version is I came out of school 1618 years old, absolutely convinced that I had no ability to do sport whatsoever. And I hung on to that perception for something like 25 years. And then shortly after turning 40 I got encouraged to have a go at long running race, which I did on a spur of the moment decision and yeah, okay, yeah, let’s do it when a friend invited me. And from that point on, I did this first long distance running race, and actually did reasonably well at it. And one of the things that I keep coming back to across the course of this book is how long it took me to go from 25 years of thinking I could not do anything sporty, to realising I was actually reasonably good at certain sports, and just how difficult it was to claw back 25 years of misperception on that count,

Ian Walker 34:41
And you are not just kind of okay at it. You’re a record holder. So you can tell us about that. That the way you you didn’t, you were going to go one way across Europe and they decide to go north south to Europe. will tell us about all the different rides you’ve done. So let’s get into the cycling. Talk about the the record breaking across Europe. But then also tell us about the you know, the trans continental and all the right races that you’ve done and where you came in them, for instance,

Ian Walker 35:12
well it was so I was very, very happily doing long distance running. And I’d found this wonderful world full of amazing, friendly accommodating people, everyone so encouraging. And then I stumbled across a photo essay on the stryver website about a race called the transcontinental race. And this essay just revealed to me a whole new world of scale. So I’d done running races that take, you know, maybe a day or so, and at the time, running for an entire day, feels vast It feels like this huge event. But then I started reading this essay and realise that there was a world of cycling races That went to a whole new level. And that if I was to start riding a bike, I could do events that didn’t last a day, I could do events that maybe lasted two weeks. And I just got absolutely hooked on on this idea of, of just handing myself over just like putting my life on hold for one or two weeks or more, and just taking part in a race that that is your whole world for that period. And so I entered the transcontinental race back in 2017 or 2017, and just threw myself in at the deep end again. Basically, I bought a bike started riding through myself in the race and did a lot better than I thought I would certainly not troubling the winner, but I was sort of fairly high in the field despite having lots and lots of punctures and breakdowns and getting stranded in Romania. And things like this. And so the following year, I decided to have a go at another race of the same sort, which is called the North Cape 4000. That race, it’s similar bikepacking self supported. Hundreds of riders set off from the north of Italy. And it’s a race to the very top of Norway. So the very, very last point in Europe if you’re heading north called North Cape, so it’s about 4300 kilometres. And basically, again, I set out just with a view of, let’s see what happens. And then there was this really astonishing turning points partway through the race, where I realised that if I was bowled, and if I really, really pushed myself, I had a chance to get into the lead of the race. And I’d never done anything like this before. And you’ve got to remember this 25 years of thinking I didn’t do sport, to suddenly find myself in that decision point of interest. Heck, okay, I’m, I’m actually in a position here where I could take the lead in an international race. And to do that, to make that jump, required opening quite a few new doors, it involved partly just pushing myself physically much further than I ever had in the past. But also, it really did involve throwing off this mental baggage of believing that I was a person who could not compete. And so, yeah, taking part in that race just was transformational. Because I made that decision. I made that decision of like, okay, yeah, let’s let’s do this. Let’s just see what happens if I try to win if I try to do sport properly, and so I threw myself in and there was a bother. Well, for an outsider, thrilling, and for me, nerve wracking section of about five days or so, of being in the lead If the race to the finish, and I book I refer to it as the thousand mile breakaway, and it genuinely was 1000 miles of me riding as hard as I possibly could, with the entire rest of the race chasing me down. And I’ve got to say it was so incredibly mentally stressful to spend days being hunted like that. But again, you know, it, the whole thing was just this revelator experience of to discover what it’s like to push myself that hard. And thankfully, I was able to maintain that lead to the finish and, and was able to finish in first place.

Ian Walker 39:42
Which was, which was, as I say, quite revelatory given my background and how I’d for so long carried around the idea I couldn’t do this. And then that brings me on to the final thing, which in many ways is the meat of this book. Which was me saying to myself, Okay, I’ve competed I’ve won this international race. And maybe I am actually okay at this stuff. How can I go further? What’s the next step for me? And the answer I came up with was to try and break the record for cycling across Europe as fast as possible.

Ian Walker 40:20
And how fast did you do it?

Ian Walker 40:24
And so I went from I went back to North Cape at the top of Norway. And I set out there and headed south aiming for to reefer which is the southernmost point in Spain. So it’s from the very top to the very bottom of Europe. And, and I managed to do it in 16 days, 20 hours and 59 minutes. So that was averaging 377 kilometres a day. I was riding for 16 to 18 hours every day. Pretty much a non stop efforts. And then there’s all sorts of Extra challenges involved in this. So for example, because I wanted to do it as a Guinness World Record, they place all sorts of restrictions on what counts as a record attempt. And critically, one of the things is it must be continually overland. So that raises all sorts of extra issues like, you have to go through Russia. There’s no way to get from the north to the south of Europe without going through Russia. And your that raised all sorts of interesting questions about customs and border controls. And frankly, the astonishingly bad standards of St. Petersburg drivers.

Ian Walker 41:41
And then you got through Russia. And you actually got through the checkpoints much quicker than you thought, didn’t you?

Ian Walker 41:48
Yes, sir. I I’d read all sorts of stories about people going through Russian border controls. And in particular, the one that stuck with me was Sean Conway, who at one point broke the record for cycling east to west across Europe. And he’d written about, you know, being made to empty his bags out and wait around for hours. And, you know, it sounds and I’d read various other stories from previous cyclists who talked about just hours and hours of delay and bureaucracy and aggressive border guards and being searched and questioned over and over again. And in the end, I turned up and basically found this young Russian woman who was going through ahead of me, and I just sort of latched on to her and essentially pretended to be her boyfriend without her realising. And whistled through the whole thing in about five minutes, which is fantastic.

Ian Walker 42:45
So you mentioned roads there and then the very different so you go from one border to another border and all of a sudden the road a completely different so where where were the best roads? Where were the worst roads?

Ian Walker 42:55
Oh, there’s a question and probably the best roads I’ve ever written were earlier on the transcontinental race where I would say Austria and Switzerland have some of the greatest roads, just very well constructed really great surfaces. And again, in the transcontinental race, the worst roads by far has been Macedonia. You’ve got really long stretches that are just cobbled roads. And you bear in mind I was hitting these after something like 12 days or sitting on a bicycle saddle, and doing 20 kilometres of cobbled road after you’ve been sat on a bike for two weeks is not much fun. So that they’re the worst on the most recent journey when I did the record for crossing Europe. Probably the, the scariest road so the worst road in terms of the traffic was definitely Russia in going through St. Petersburg. And they just have these vast, vast six eight lane boulevards, full of speeding traffic people literally crashing into one another. Right next to me. It was genuinely terrifying at times to get through there. One of the curious things was that a couple of days later, I found one of the easiest fastest roads, which was in Latvia. And there’s a section there where you’re allowed to cycle on the motorway on the freeway. And, to my surprise, that actually felt much safer than most of the roads, because ultimately, a lot of roads any any kind of reasonably substantial road, the traffic is going that speed Anyway, you know, hundred hundred and 10 kilometres an hour 60, 70 miles an hour. Whereas on a typical road, you’ve got the traffic doing those speeds past you, and you’ve only got a little bit of shoulder at the edge. Whereas on the motorway, you’ve got an entire lane to buffer you from the traffic and the speeds are essentially the Same so the motorway felt incredibly convenient and safe compared to typical roads.

Ian Walker 45:06
And then in Spain you did a long stretch before Seville where there was a like a parallel road so there’s that like a tip would be to find a motorway and then found like an equivalent a road that’s that’s like next to it.

Ian Walker 45:22
Yeah, I did that really deliberately. So I what I did for the whole course, I looked for new motorways, and Spain has had a lot of new motorways built in the last sort of 1015 years. And I found this stretch that went for hundreds of kilometres, where there was the new motorway built directly parallel to the what was the Old Main Road and the old roads are all still there. And it was just unbelievably convenient. Because the roads that have been replaced, they’re still there that well surface they’re good quality roads. They Pass through towns, their shops, there’s petrol stations, there’s motels, all the facilities are still there from when they were main roads, but there’s hardly any traffic on them. So I just spent like three days, gliding along these highways at almost having them to myself with the incredible convenience of being able to stop and get food and water and so on whenever I needed to. So that is an absolute top tip. Look for motorways and look for the roads that they’ve replaced.

Ian Walker 46:30
Another top tip in the book is the what you do when you go into a hotel. So, so describe how you get your, your bike past the receptionist.

Ian Walker 46:41
Well, this is a really good one. And in fact, I mentioned that I was riding this weekend with a friend and we stayed in a couple of hotels this weekend and I was able to demonstrate to him that this works. So what I’ve discovered and I think any of your listeners who’ve gone on cycling trips will probably have experienced this The typical thing when you’re going to a hotel is you come up to the reception desk, and the receptionist will say, okay, you need to leave your bike outside. And what I found that just magically works almost every time is, if you carry your bike in, rather than wheel it in, they almost always let you take it into your room. I think when you wheel your bike in, and you’ve got the clicking free wheel, and it’s making noise, and they see the wheels going across the floor, it starts to make people ask questions and say, Well, look, that thing’s a vehicle that needs to be outside. I don’t want that filthy thing in the room. Whereas if you carry it in, on the one hand, it’s silent. And I think also, it seems to send this message to people of, Oh, well, you know, he’s got it in his hands. It’s just another piece of luggage. I guess it’s fine if it goes to the room. And I i’ve, since I discovered the secret of carrying bikes into hotels, I don’t think I’ve ever been refused. Taking it up to my room, which is just this magical little trick

Ian Walker 48:04
It is a good tip. I mean, even if you’re you’re you with a bike with lots of bags on, you could probably take them off before you go into the hotel and still do the same trick. You don’t have a lightweight bike like you’ve gotten a bike. So yeah, we’re kind of describing your route. in stages here. We’re kind of like we’ve definitely segwayed away, but you’re not you’re now in Spain. You’re on this wonderful motorway or road that’s parallel to the motorway and then you you’re very nearly at the end, but then you have a meeting with with your girlfriend Hmm. And you how many kilometres Have you still got to do I mean, that must have been so so numbing to do that after you’ve met somebody after haven’t seen anybody. For a long time.

Ian Walker 48:49
It was so hard. So something I learnt a year or two earlier in my first big bike packing race was I really learned and I learned this the hard way. I learned that pushing through the night is a bit of a mistake. And yet, you know, just to prove that we’re all capable of being absolute idiots at times, as I came towards the end of the world record crossing, I failed to remember that lesson and decided I was going to push right through the night to get to the finish. So at this point, I’d written something like 300 kilometres, it was another 200 to the finish. And I thought, gar, come

Ian Walker 49:29
on, let’s do this. Let’s just let’s push

Ian Walker 49:31
through the night and get this done. And so I set off and basically, as I should have predicted, I just slowed down and I slowed down, and by my speed plummeted, it became harder and harder, keeping myself focused and going forward became harder, you know, your, your body just wants to shut down at three o’clock in the morning. And so I’m pushing myself through this My girlfriend and our parents heard arrived in Spain the day before. And up to that point, I’d really deliberately said, No, don’t come and meet me. I will meet you at the finish. I wanted to keep myself focused keep myself in this little bubble of just me. And so I thought if I met them, it might almost break the ceiling. And, you know, stop me being able to focus on just keep moving forward. But in the middle of that night, I just cracked it was something like four o’clock in the morning, I was cold, I was hungry. I was really exhausted. I still had quite a long way to get to the finish. I was crawling along to terrible speed on some really hilly roads. And I just cracked and I phoned Louise and said, Did you think maybe you could come meet me after all, and so they came out and we caught it with each other in a A nighttime car parked outside a restaurant. And in some ways that was great. It was really nice to have somebody pat me on the back and tell me I wasn’t far to the finish. But then on the other hand, it did as you alluded to, it was, it was almost mentally hard for them because having that external world reappear, and burst my bubble made me realise how far it was still to the finish. And it was still maybe four more hours of riding to the finish. And that was the longest four hours you can imagine. So it was a really tricky one. It was it was really great to see them and get that, that boost of seeing familiar people. But at the same time, there was an effect of the bubble bursting, and being brought out of my own head, after being in there for 16 days was a really dislocating experience.

Ian Walker 52:00
So a lot of this writing a lot of what you talked about in the book is about what’s in your head. Because clearly humans are capable of these feats of endurance we know that we are physiologically capable of doing amazing things you know that’s that’s just our ancestors and living in the in the forest have given us that and long distance running etc. But then the modern person has then got to get round these in their head. So, a What are you thinking about? And are you using any psychological training is any tips you can give us from your your day job as to how to get through what can often be a grind?

Ian Walker 52:44
It is a grind and yet so to give, give the game away slightly. A really substantial chunk of this book is what I’ve learned along the way about how you deal with difficulty how you deal with keeping yourself moving when you don’t want to. And, you know, I’ve really partly from my own experience, and partly from listening to other people with experience, I’ve managed to capture a whole load of information about ways you can do this. And one of the things that I think is really interesting is how what I’ve been able to do is use endurance sport, as a kind of practice for suffering. And I think other people have had the same experience of how you can, you know, there are times in life when things are hard, and there are times in life when keeping going can be difficult. And endurance sport is a place where you can practice in a fairly safe, comfortable sort of way. The techniques that you need to be able to keep yourself moving when life gets difficult. It’s almost you know, it’s like a dry run for coping with adversity. And a way to test yourself and learn that you are able to keep going, you are capable of pushing on when things are really difficult, that you just need to find the ways that will motivate you and the ways that will keep you going forward. And so what I’ve done here is share all the various things I’ve come across the good ways of keeping myself moving forward. And so sometimes, you know, that’s as simple as breaking down the task ahead of you. So certainly, when you’re travelling a long distance under your own steam, you hundred percent can never, ever allow yourself to think about the destination. If you’re trying to think about the end point, it’s always always too far away. That Thank you thinking about it will never be useful. So it It’s all about breaking down the enormity of the task into tiny little sub goals, because each tiny little sub goal is a victory. And it might be that those sub goals if it’s really tough, those sub goals might be something as simple as getting to the next tree getting to the next road junction, it might be that the sub goal is simply getting 30 metres further up the road, but that’s fine. After that 30 metres, you’ve had a little victory, and you’re further on than you were before. And as long as you can keep yourself just in the moment, and don’t look too far ahead. Just keep yourself in the moment, focus on something tangible and achievable, like reaching the next street sign. And that is amazing for keeping you going. And the other thing that I talked about quite a lot is the importance of acceptance. And this is where there’s some overlap with my more professional, psychological World, one of the things that I’ve really come to value from doing endurance sports is the kind of pleasure or liberation, I’m not quite sure what the right word would be. But the there’s a real joy in accepting difficulty there, putting yourself in a difficult position and saying, This is it, it’s going to be like this for a while, and it becomes pleasurable. At the point you stop fighting the difficulty, if you’re in a situation that can’t get better. So, you know, if I’ve put myself in a position where I’m 200 kilometres from the nearest source of food, and it’s the middle of the night or something like this, and maybe I’m really tired. And, you know, I’m falling asleep, and I just want to stop moving. And there’s nothing to be gained by giving into that by fighting that, you know, if my circumstances are hard, just wishing They were different isn’t going to make life better. Where what I find works for me is to give into it to say, Okay, yeah, I’m in a really tough situation here. Okay, that’s fine. I accept the fact I’m in a tough situation. And that allows me to keep moving. That that acceptance that that giving into it, and frees you up. And as soon as you’re freed from trying to fight your situation, dealing with the situation becomes wildly easier.

Ian Walker 57:32
So I loved the microcosm of life in the book in that if you do something incredibly hard, this then translate into into the real world. I’m gonna give you an anecdote now, if you don’t mind. So I’ve been in my dim and distant past I have been a long distance cycle tourist – I’ve not done it in record breaking times, I took lots of bags and stuff on but I have done you know, cross, Europe and cross continental trips. I’ve also done 24 hour solo mountain biking in the past, so I know that kind of aspect of your book about going through the night again, it’s not 16 days of it, but it’s 24 hours. It’s it’s through the night. But it’s the bit in your book where you talk about this is you know how you can you can treat your life like this, if you do these endurance events. If you could do this, you can do anything in effect. And the anecdote is one of my early tours in the UK long before I did anything across Europe, was going to see my sister in Nottingham, and I was living in Norwich at the time it was only 100 miles. So it wasn’t a huge distance. But I had bags on because I was going touring. It’s so it’s five in the morning. And it was very soon I started having diarrhoea and I then had to go 105 miles with incredibly bad stomach cramps, and that to this day is my worst day ever ride for all the reasons you can imagine, like, you know, disappearing behind you know, haystacks and the just the sheer physical and discomfort of that and, and I didn’t want to stop I was just going to go ahead and do this anyway, I’m not going to turn back. And that was a life lesson for me in that and I’ve always used that that’s always in my head. Whenever there is a I do a tough ride anything tough in life, I always go and this is now 30, 40 years since this happened, but I always go Yeah, it’s not as hard as travelling through the day with with chronic diarrhoea. So there you go. Yeah, that’s that’s, that’s my anecdote on on toughness. Now, in your book, you describe it as a as a textbook, because of what you learned. So it’s absolutely people will who buy this, and I do recommend they buy this book, don’t just take the anecdotes that Ian’s giving you now because they’re far funnier in the book, not that you’re not funny in real life here, but in the book that absolutely fantastic and I just want to get on to now and I’ll read some of the ads because they are they are just laugh out loud funny, some of them and I’ve grouped them all together and maybe you can you can you can describe them in yourself. But it’s the food so clearly a cyclist has got to be fueled. So that’s that’s absolutely top of your mind when when you’re riding is so when my question is what are you thinking of? You’re probably thinking about most of the time. But this for anecdotes that I’ve that I’ve picked out. And I’ve described first and we can we can go into greater depth. So here they are. It’s the 7-Day croissant. It’s the anecdote about seagulls and fish and chips or one seagull probably. I’m hoping it’s just one seagull. Latvia’s one kilo bags of yoghurt, I laughed out loud at that one just imagining you doing this and then the ‘one in one out’ policy. So we’ll go backwards out what is your ‘one in one out’ policy in for saving time?

Ian Walker 1:01:05
Oh, this is horrible. So if you’re eating, I think you should probably put your food down now. And yeah, this was on the record attempt, one of the things that was going to make all the difference was being efficient with my time. You know, that obviously, I trained really hard. But you very quickly realise there’s a point where I, there’s a limit to how fast I can pedal the bike. But there’s no limit to how much time I could waste off the bike. And one of the things I had to do was be really efficient and spend as little time as possible off the bike. Because if I’m on the bike and moving, that’s forward progress, that’s good. That’s getting me towards the goal. And so I had this really strict 30 minutes. rule for myself in the mornings that I woke up, I had to be on the road within 30 minutes of waking up and that might not sound much at the moment. By if that sounds easy, I challenge you to have a go at it, when that includes making breakfast, getting dressed, servicing your bike, and so on and so on. So one of the things I hit upon as a way of trying to get as much done as quickly as possible in the mornings, was I started having breakfast while sitting on the toilet. So that was my one in one out policy was basically shoving food in one end as yesterday’s food came out the other way.

Ian Walker 1:02:29
I don’t know why you mentioned that because that’s just normally. Yeah, that would that was definitely funny. And I can actually recognise that that is that is yes, I won’t I won’t go any further than that. Right. Latvia has one kilo bags of yoghurt. So what did you do to Why are these bags of yoghurt so good. And what do you do with that that made it so special in the book?

Ian Walker 1:02:48
Well, the thing is, when you’re writing these sorts of distances, life just becomes entirely focused on finding calories. So you know, I’m burning through eight hours. And 10,000 calories a day, on top of just whatever’s needed to stay alive. So that is just a hell of a lot of food. And especially after a few days on the road eating junk from petrol stations and stuff like this, you really start to lose taste for food, it becomes hard to make yourself eat after a few days of vast amounts of cheap, nasty food. And one of the things I stumbled across when I crossed Latvia the first time during the North Cape 4000 race was in the supermarkets, they have these kilogramme sacks of yoghurt and ease are intended to last a family for a week. So you know, the idea was to have a little squirt of this on your breakfast in the morning. But this kilogramme of yoghurt it’s something like 1200 or 1500 calories in a bag. And it turns out you can rip the corn off the bag and just fester. Work the whole thing down your face in 10 seconds at While I was able to get something like 1500 calories into me with one big squirt of this bag, the problem is it turns out, people don’t think it looks very good when you’ve got witnesses. So at one point I came out of a soup and chug two week supply of yoghurt in 10 seconds. And there’s basically a village full of people staring at me in disgust. But yeah, I didn’t care. It was it was entirely functional and got the job done.

Carlton Reid 1:04:29
That was wonderful. That worked. That was I’m laughing now and I’m laughing when it was in the book as well. That was great. I’m going to go I’m going to finish with the fish and chip supper anecdote last but first of all, let’s go to the 7-Day croissant – so what’s the 7-Day croissant? Would you eat one now? And why is it so good for the trip?

Ian Walker 1:04:47
Well, the 7-Day croissant is almost like a talisman for long distance European cyclists. So what they are they are these pre packaged croissant that are sold all over eastern Europe. So basically Basically, that used to be, I’m now imagining there used to be hidden behind the Iron Curtain. And but, you know, as the Iron Curtain fell, then the 7-Day croissant were released. So basically you only find them in the old Eastern Bloc. So you know, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia places like that. And they’re basically absolutely foul. But you can buy them in almost every single shop and petrol station, they’re incredibly cheap, and they’ve got a huge amount of calories in them. And you know, they’re just convenient because you can just stuffed them in your jersey pocket and eat them on the move and so on. So they are absolutely rancid. And I just realised I’m not going to get a sponsorship deal this way am I but they taste vile. But they are so incredibly convenient for the fact you can just shove them in a pocket you can buy them every shop, that I ended up eating them the whole time in Eastern Europe on all three trips.

Carlton Reid 1:06:02
Would you eat one now, when you’re away from the bike and away from this trip?

Ian Walker 1:06:05
Well, I have actually eaten one quite recently. So about a month ago, I cycled down to the south coast where one of my friends lives. And yeah, basically there back in a day just to have lunch with him. And as a little surprise, he ran off to the Polish shop the day before, and bought me a triple of 7-Day croissants.

Ian Walker 1:06:28
And so I did eat them on the way home all time.

Carlton Reid 1:06:31
Very good. And then the final anecdote I’d like you to recount and you’re going to recount this cleanly, in that you can’t say the same word you said in the book. You have to have some of the euphemism. Some other way of expressing this, but talk about this is a trip in Wales. And this is a seagull supper, we could say,

Ian Walker 1:06:53
yeah, this was a ride. Actually. Coincidentally, it was a ride I was doing exactly two years ago. today because Google Photos reminded me this morning, so exactly two years ago today, I was doing 1000 kilometre ride with a friend in Wales. And we were, I think two days in at this point. And we’ve had a really tough day of climbing because Wales is a hilly country. And we were in a little town called Bala. Towards the end of the day, we still had maybe five hours or so to go and we stopped to eat and we got to the fish and chip shop in Bala just as it was closing so it was one of those real skin of your teeth moments where you’re thinking I’ve I’ve been here just five minutes later I wouldn’t have been able to have any food. So I got this fish and chips, massive fish and chip dinner. And we were sat on a bench outside and some huge dunking great bird just did the biggest plop across my dinner. And so you can just imagine my faces I’m starving, hungry. I’ve got the Only hot food in town and I’m just watching seagull droppings, erupt across my dinner. But the thing is, and this is one of those things that makes you wonder about long distance cycling, I was so hungry. I just pushed all the plop to one side and carried on eating. And that’s the sort of animal that you become after a couple of days on the road. And that was only going around Wales. That wasn’t like crossing Europe that was just three days in Wales.

Carlton Reid 1:08:31
Okay, so I’m not giving every single part of the book away. There’s still tonnes of people that people will find hilarious and and fascinating in this book. So but yes, that’s a fantastic anecdote and thank you for giving, fleshing that out. And thank you all. So for the the euphemisms for the word. Which actually, I think an Anglo Saxon phrase actually probably makes it funnier. Anyway, yes. That was excellent. Thank you. Now again, I’m going to ask you a question that I know the answer to but let’s talk about it anyway. And that is your coaching. So in previous ride you didn’t have a coach, but in the in the in the record attempt you got coached

Ian Walker 1:09:11
Yeah, it was it was genuinely a sort of a situation of not wanting to have any possible regrets. You know, I knew I was almost certainly only ever going to try something like this once. And I it became really important to me that if if things went wrong if I didn’t manage to break the record, and I didn’t want to have any regrets in the future, I didn’t want to risk looking back on this as an old man and thinking, you know, I reckon I could have broken that record If only I’d done something different. So I decided that the best way to leave no stone unturned was to find an expert and I found a wonderful coach called Holly Seear, who’s a very experienced cycle coach. And she was absolutely wonderful for helping me in all sorts of different ways just get on top of the process, partly just making sure I did enough training of the right type, which of course is exactly what you’d hoped from a coach. And but she was also very good at helping me think about logistics thinking about how much I needed to eat and all those kinds of things. And so she fulfilled the whole role of a whole raft of different roles. Partly just the raw physiological knowledge that’s needed to make a good athlete, but also she was a sounding board she was encouraging. She was a planner and so yeah, I really valued working with her on this.

Carlton Reid 1:10:43
I want to talk about dotwatchers now because I’m sure lots of people who listen to this potentially dotwatch you have said they might have dotwatched other people I’ve certainly dotwatched my son who cycled back from from from China and he want to have one of these Spot GPS devices on so just explain what a dotwatcher is and and why they were very important to you and how you sometimes met them on the road?

Ian Walker 1:11:06
yet, so I think ultra distance cycling does actually have a slightly

Ian Walker 1:11:14
hidden world of spectators. And it’s the thing that makes it slightly unusual is it’s probably the only spectator sport that unfolds even slower than cricket. So you know, cricket fans have got extraordinary patience watching an event unfold over five days, whereas the people who enjoy watching endurance cycling ultra and john cycling, there’ll be watching races unfold over two weeks. And obviously, when the race is unfolding across an entire continent, you can’t televise it, you can’t watch it, and so on. So the way people follow the races is that the riders carry satellite trackers that upload their positions. Every five or 10 minutes through communication satellites, and the race organisers will provide a map of the continent. And you can see exactly where every rider is. And it’s, you know, you’ve obviously had a go at this, I’ve watched other people’s races. And it’s just it’s kind of strangely compelling, fascinating thing to sit at home, at refreshing your web browser every couple of hours and seeing how the race is unfolding, especially when you’ve got some of the races that allow riders to choose a route. So for example, the North Cape 4000 rate that I mentioned earlier that had a fixed route, we all had to follow exactly the same path. Whereas a race like the trans continental, you can go whichever way you want, as long as you hit the checkpoints. And so there’s such an excitement of going, Oh my God, look, she’s gone that way. And he’s gone that way. I wonder who’s going to get there first and you’ll sit there for maybe a day watching these two lines converge on the butor in just thrilling to see, see this thing unfolding such slow motion. And so the people who who spectate on these ultra distance sports, become known as dot watches. And one of the things that I just absolutely loved of the past few years is where you bump into them. So because of course, there’s this real asymmetrical relationship where they know where you are, but you don’t know where they are. And every now and again, you’ll just meet somebody in the streets. So for example, you know, on the transcontinental race, I was riding through a really old Slovenian city called Ptuy, which I think is how you pronounce it. P. T. U. Y., if anyone wants to look it up, it’s really beautiful. And as I’ve rolled into the town, there’s a young woman there, and she just waved and made a sort of stop/stop/stop gesture. And she’d been watching the race and she’d come out and she was greeting everybody who came through that town and similarly other parts of the world. So you know, in Serbia and in Italy and places like this, people would just appear out of nowhere and say, Hey, you must be Ian, I’ve been watching you on the tracker. And it’s just this absolute delight after, you know, maybe you’ve been riding for a week at this point. And you’ve just spent seven days completely inside your own head, focusing on the race, and it’s an absolute joy to have somebody just appear and drag you out of that for a few minutes and be reminded that you’re part of this bigger event. And so the dotwatchers are just one of the most wonderful things about this sport.

Carlton Reid 1:14:40
But you’re also a dotwatcher. Certainly when you’re doing it against other people, because you’re watching where the people who are chasing you are coming with so that’s also a demotivator for you. or perhaps a motivator?

Ian Walker 1:14:53
Yeah, and it’s one of the things I mentioned earlier that’s in the North Cape 4000 race where I was able to take the lead with 1000 miles to go, I became really quite obsessive about checking the tracker, because obviously you can look on your phone and see where the entire rest of the pack is. And it almost became unhealthy just how much I was fixating on where everybody else was, especially because there were one or two riders whose trackers weren’t updating very frequently. And so you the addition, the additional stress was quite considerable. I was in this position where I was pushing myself to the absolute physical limits in a way that I’d never done before. And then to have the additional mental anguish of worrying about where everybody else is and, you know, are they catching me up? Are they going to appear on this next bend without me realising it? Yeah, it became really quite a stressful thing. And in the end, I had to just stop myself looking at all I just said, Look, knowing where people are, cannot change the outcome of this, all I can do is just write as fast as I possibly can. And I just have to put the phone away and devote myself to just writing as fast as possible.

Carlton Reid 1:16:14
Always checking people like that uses battery life, which must be stressful in its own way, because you are not always going to be at hotels you sometimes can be sleeping in, in all sorts of exotic and not so exotic roadside locations where you’re not going to get electricity. So describe how you charge your electronic devices. And I know it’s different in the later races because you’ve now got your own onboard electricity generation. But talk about how you originally did it and then why you went to onboard electricity generation.

Ian Walker 1:16:51
Yeah, so for the first of the two big races for the Transcontinental and the North Cape. I took just a big battery Packer sort of to dead 20,000 milliamp hour USB battery pack, and I’d use that to recharge my bike computer, my phone, my lights, and it works kind of okay, that would be enough power to get me two to three days of autonomous riding. But the problem was, I had a moment on the North Cape 4000 race where it really led me down at a bad moment. So it was maybe 11 o’clock at night, I was quite high in the mountains in czechia. And I just ended up low on power. And so I was forced into a hotel you know, several hours earlier than I would have liked to, just because hotels were the only place you could get a good recharge. And so it really is kind of threw a spanner in my plans for that day. It led to me doing what I knew was a mistake, which is sleeping at altitude, because this was just near the border with Poland. And it’s quite mountainous and the border is up on top of the mountains. And sleeping high up is a mistake, because it means that when you start the next day, you’re descending without doing any physical work in the cold air. So you always get really cold if you sleep altitude. And so having made that mistake and having, you know, been caught out and have had to change my schedule to fit the needs of my battery pack, rather than have the battery pack work for me, I realised I needed to become more autonomous. And so I switched over to a dynamo system. And that has just been absolutely wonderful. It means I can run a headlight on full brightness the whole time, which makes night lighting so much safer and faster. It means I’ve got USB charging facilities so I can charge my computer and my phone and and that autonomy just opens up options and it’s always nice to have options. So even if I do end up sleeping in a hotel or whether I end up sleeping in a bush shelter. I can in principle, I can keep going indefinitely. And just knowing that I’ve got the freedom to go indefinitely if I want to removes a big source of anxiety, and lets you ride much more efficiently.

Carlton Reid 1:19:19
Hmm. So, the final question is I’m going to I’m going to going to come back to the first part of this show and that in and that is, when we’re discussing the, in the first episode we’re talking about how cycleways are the way to go. distracted drivers and all sorts of aggression on the road is not very nice. That’s that in that’s the, that’s the cerebral Ian, and then if we come into this half of the show, where we’re talking about the the athlete Ian, there going across Europe as fast as you can, in that’s an Ian that that that is throwing all that out the window because you’re going on fast roads where you’re going to guaranteed to get these awful drivers to how do you square those two circles, those two different Ian’s?

Ian Walker 1:20:13
Yeah, that’s a very good question. And I don’t know if I do entirely. Certainly, as you’ve alluded to they’re racing for long distances forces you to ask yourself some questions about which roads you will travel on. Because I think, for most people, given a free choice of going from A to B, across a continent like Europe, you would naturally seek out the back roads, the quiet lanes for all sorts of reasons, partly because they’re quieter and safer, but also they’re often more scenic. Whereas something I realised quite early on in my bike racing was, if you want to go fast, that’s not an option. If you want to go fast, you’ve got to take Bigger roads. Now, having said that, one of the things I’ve realised is there are bigger roads and there are bigger roads, and they’re not all the same. And it’s a little bit like with the motorway that I mentioned earlier. I have found that, you know, a good, wide, long, straight road, where there’s plenty of space at the edge, they don’t feel bad, you know, even with trucks going past and, and so on and so on. And lock the drivers, it doesn’t feel particularly dangerous. Probably the thing above all that determines how safer road feels when you’ve got the bigger roads is just the width. So a nice wide road just means everybody’s got some space to coexist. It’s when things get narrow, that it doesn’t feel as safe. But in terms of how I reconcile that with the professional roadside In? I don’t know, I just don’t know what the long term solution could be, I can’t realistically imagine a situation where we’re going to get lovely, safe, efficient, off road cycle facilities that travel long distances across the continents or even across the country. And so, to some extent, the solution will have to be getting drivers in check.

Ian Walker 1:22:27
Absolutely. Now, that’s going to be the end of this show they’re in. So now is the point where we can plug your book with actual details. So I want three things off you on where you can get your book from. Maybe from from yourself, I’m sure because I’ve seen that on Twitter that you have other copies, you’re quite happy to sign them. Secondly, I want to know where people can find you on social media. And then thirdly, websites, and specifically because we talked about the crate on the road. So where can people read if they indeed is still a blog that’s still going on? It’s still fine, double anyway. So those three things in,

Ian Walker 1:23:16
right three things. So first, the book, it’s called Endless Perfect Circles. It has all sorts of things in it. It’s not just anecdotes about crossing Europe. It’s also all the lessons that I’ve taken from doing it, how to cope with adversity, how to deal with difficult situations. And you can get that from pretty much anywhere you’d expect to get books. In reality, the fastest place to get it is Amazon, who have it in stock and can get it to sort of next day, or obviously the Kindle version, you can get instantly anywhere else that sells ebooks will have it so Barnes and Noble nook, all of those other places. They all have it Kobo or have it Immediate download, in principle, any physical bookshop can get a copy that, yeah, because it’s independently published, they might not have it in stock, but they can order it. If you ask. Alternatively, if you can find me on Twitter, where I’m @Ianwalker, I can probably send you a copy directly. But you might be to be honest, especially if you’re not in the UK, you’re probably going to find a bookshop the easier way. So yes, I’ve where I am @IanWalker, on Twitter, or at Iancyclesalot on Instagram. Or everything’s pulled together in one place at my website, which is drIanwalker.com, which has links everywhere. And finally, you do want to find that article about parking. That’s on my old blogspot thing, which I have not updated for a long time but does still exist and it’s bamboo badger.blogspot.com Which was a name that just popped into my head when I had to think of one very quickly. But if you go to bamboobadger.blogspot.com and search back to 2008, then I think you can find that article about parking cars.

Carlton Reid 1:25:13
Yes, or just follow me cuz I certainly send that one out on Twitter quite a lot. I think it’s a very apposite and timely and perennial, sadly perennial piece. Ian Walker, Dr. Ian Walker, thank you ever so much for being on today’s show that has been absolutely fascinating as the book is entertaining and fascinating in equal measure.

Ian Walker 1:25:40
So thank you. Thank you so much. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Carlton Reid 1:25:45
My thanks to the one and only Dr. Ian Walker for taking the time to talk with me there. I hope you enjoyed listening to today’s episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. The next show will probably be a roundtable with our usual suspects, attorney Jim Moss and my co-host David Bernstein. Meanwhile, get out there and ride..

September 1, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast


EPISODE 255: Canyon Creates Concept Car (And Releases Utility e-Bikes)

Tuesday 1st September 2020


SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: Sebastian Wegerle, Jack Noy and Roman Arnold of Canyon.

MACHINE TRANSCRIPT

Carlton Reid 0:14
Welcome to Episode 255 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was released on Tuesday, first of September 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast for shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now here are the spokesman.

Carlton Reid 1:09
Canyon makes bicycles. Very nice bicycles. They’re ridden in the Tour de France but the German brand doesn’t just make high-end road bikes it also makes gravel bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes, fat bike and city bikes. It also now makes cars … sort of. I’m Carlton Reid and today, 1st September 2020, I’ve written an article for Forbes.com that explains how and why Canyon is getting into the car market. The concept electric car that’s unveiled today is a lightweight, skinny, Human Powered Vehicle that almost but not quite fits in the microcar class. The car has to be pedalled and it’s a cycle with a roof on it really. Now, as the author of Roads Were Not Built For Cars, a book which explores how 1890s bicycle companies made the first cars and morphed into automobile companies, I really enjoyed talking with Canyon because this is potentially a history-repeats-itself story. On today’s Spokesmen podcast I chat, remotely, with Roman Arnold, the founder of Koblenz-based Canyon but first up will be Canyon product manager Wegerle and Canyon UK marketing manager Jack Noy. All three guests — and graphics for Canyon’s concept car — can be seen in the flesh on a half-hour video I’ve placed on YouTube. This audio version is longer than the video because I’ve also included bits where and Jack talk about Canyon’s new electric bikes. And Roman talks about e-bikes and how Canyon has fared during the bike boom. Here first are and Jack talking about Canyon’s new e-bikes including one festooned with fenders and luggage racks.

Carlton Reid 1:44
It’s Jack up first. And then Sebastian, who’s got a bit more of a German accent, coz he’s German, is following him.

Jack Noy 3:24
We have had hybrid bikes, but they they’re quite performance focused. And now we really wanted to blend the technology we learn from having World Tour teams racing bikes with real practicality for everyday everyday use.

Sebastian Wegerle 3:39
So yeah, we will share today our thoughts and motivation, why we want to contribute to maybe solutions for urban mobility. And we also want to share our thoughts about it. And then we want to quickly introduce you to two products that are will be useful Available beginning of next week, and an idea that might be available later on. So now we start with a first product that we will launch next week, the light ebike. So the objective was, as mentioned, to build a lightweight bike to not have any compromises. Um, so, building a lightweight bike is quite easy because you can just easily get rid of all the features and a very lightweight bike, but it’s not very practical and functional. Um, so we said we a car.

Carlton Reid 4:34
I can’t quite see that weight. It’s very small. What’s the weight?

Sebastian Wegerle 4:37
17 kilogrammes. We do know that there are bicycles with 15 kilogrammes, but we have a powerful motor. And we have the full functionality and this is for us to be very sweet spot between minimal assists super lightweight bikes that are very close to normal bikes, and the gap between the and the high torque bikes that are more 2425 kilogrammes, we think with the 17 kilogrammes. We have something that still we are able to carry it upstairs downstairs. It rides like a normal bike. But you have also the ebike experience of the strong push, do

Carlton Reid 5:09
you have any hurdles you have to go through? When you send an electric bike through the post is anything different from sending an ordinary bike any regni regulations, what’s

Sebastian Wegerle 5:22
the there are regulations usually we send actually we send our normal bikes we send with the post in Germany normal with the bikes there is it’s a it’s a weird situation. As soon as the battery is installed, it’s not a battery, it’s more complicated to send a single battery than sending out an E bag theoretically, because the big the big providers, they say of course if you have plenty of ebikes on your truck and you have an accident, it will behave like you had a lot of batteries on it. And therefore this is we always distant with spedition This has another advantage because if we send some another back in the with with as a package, we have to keep a certain form factor. So we have to pack it in a very small box yeah I would say and with with this position, I mean you can have to live with a fridge for example. So the contract is much, much more flexible. And this is a benefit that we take so for example, we we assemble the bike fully and we only take out the front wheel and seat both, so it is more or less in five minutes is ready to ride. And because we have this this allowance with this petition, we have different different opportunities as well of course at higher costs and market because

Jack Noy 6:52
the customer doesn’t see because unless it’s like free, great service but the box is much bigger and And it’s just great like, take the top off the box and the mud guards even already attached and like protected, it’s just slotting the front word and so again like if we’re trying to bring people to cycling everything needs to be easy not just the writing experience but also the purchasing and assembly experience. And yet in some ways, especially said the batteries are a nuisance, but in other ways they open open doors for us. Cool. Let’s um, let’s get into the next one, which again is this is an established mobility user case. Someone that needs that versatility to maybe toe something maybe to write a little further maybe to add another layer of practicality in terms of carrying capability. So yeah, hi torques This means with a with a powerful motor and yet, please have practical features so proceed on the city is yours to proceed on is is a new bike for us we’ve no need to proceed or proceed on in the past the bike has a carbon frame and I think looks fantastic but also Yeah, plenty of practical features.

Sebastian Wegerle 8:22
Yeah as I said, I mean this is coming from the community which is wireless and functional This is just adding on everything I mean you have more more than required more or less right you have 85 newton metres multitenancy strong enough to push a mountain bike up the steepest climb, have it in the in this urban bike and you have the trailer mount, you have like with high beam to really have the best visibility and record mudguards and all of these features integrated into this iconic silhouette which is More or less the successor of our very first urban bank where we also had the approach to integrate everything and have very clean silhouette.

Jack Noy 9:07
You remember that one Carlton, and here’s 2015 2014 with the that top tube that blend into the stem and the light integrated system as well. So yeah, that’s the DNA kind of passing through into this pipe.

Sebastian Wegerle 9:20
So, as I said, it’s it’s good to have all the features and have a most enjoyable ridng experience. And also the flexibility so compared to a cargo bike where you always have your, you always have the station waggon and the big trunk, you can easily adjust to whatever you’re up that specific date. If you’d like take your children to the park or to the kindergarten, you attach the trailer. If you just had him for lunch to the city centre, or to the office. Then you have a normal bike so you’re very flexible and cover multiple scenarios. On the top spec. We have combined the Bosch perform cx high torque motor with the envio low automatic shifting and the gates belt drive, which means that we have found more or less the perfect match between a high torque and low maintenance. And with the new 85 newton metres uptake you have more than sufficient talk to really pull off a trailer even in a in a climb from zero and with the with the belt it’s I mean the car and bike is there standing outside for 23 hours a day so if it’s raining, you are actually nowhere on a belt. This is Pacific advantage. Um, these are the features so you see multiple luggage solutions you can instal a front rack where you can put your hand back or you can put your arm is fierce Or when you go to the bakery in the morning at the croissants. You can pull the trailer and we have

Carlton Reid 11:08
Are they proprietary or they have a third party design.

Sebastian Wegerle 11:13
Yeah, yeah.

Jack Noy 11:14
Yeah the rear rack is is a is integrated with the fenders. So that’s also I guess us but the pannier compatibilities the ORTLIEB quick, like quick lever is it quick lock quick lock on one.

Sebastian Wegerle 11:30
So it’s very easy to attach the off the backs and to take them off, but we think that also um, the other one, I think the benchmark product when it comes to cycling bikes, but if we, if we talk to people, they don’t necessarily want to have a second back as their bag right. So sometimes it’s easier for grocery shopping to just use your your normal bag or you have a rucksack or you have your office back. And therefore we did this, this baskets that you can attach in this very same interface. And then you can just put in whatever you like, right you can put in your yoga yoga mat, or you can put in your gear. So everything and I think we think that’s quite convenient. So we have these three different approaches when it comes to luggage, then set the light, quite important and comfort to also have this pcls

Jack Noy 12:27
you know, the seat post from before carton, the leaf sprung Canyon seat posts. It was originally developed with a gun, as I guess kind of like a partner of ours due to the family connection. Great. And then I know we went through these that beginning but now on to the final user scenario which hasn’t been covered yet. So

Jack 12:50
this is where we we are concepting so I

Jack Noy 12:55
guess it’s the first it’s a first kind of pitch of bringing this idea of out into the open for feedback. And then from here, taking, taking the next steps to making it making it a reality. So yeah, pure concept.

Sebastian Wegerle 13:12
We think there’s a gap between the car and the bicycles. And we want to bridge this gap

Sebastian Wegerle 13:18
somehow.

Sebastian Wegerle 13:20
Um, so first of all, there’s a gap in the two different speeds and the two different infrastructures very much depending and I do fully understand it’s not 100% applicable to UK, but in most of European countries, you do have the two infrastructures and it looks like you always have different capacity left in the two infrastructures. So when you write from this from the suburb towards the in the city, most of the time there is a fair chance that streets are still not blocked. So right there and do

Sebastian Wegerle 14:01
so using

Jack Noy 14:03
suburbia into city, the first part of your trip, maybe not so much these days, but the first part of your trip is hopefully fairly free flowing B roads or single lane a roads. But then of course, there reaches a point as you get to the centre where congestion is, is too much. So,

Sebastian Wegerle 14:25
yeah, and then most of the time there’s the bicycle infrastructure is not occupied yet and there’s the capacity left so you can just switch and move to the bike lane and continue there and operate the vehicle as an E bike. So this is the idea of the two modes, so you have 60 kilometres per hour. You can be part of the traffic not blocked traffic when you’re riding on the streets, and then you can switch to the evac mode and operate the vehicle on the cycling lane. The biggest reason in this in this survey I think it was can see that we read was why don’t you use the bicycle for your daily commute? Because it rains in the neck get wet. So, too, you

Carlton Reid 15:14
don’t have a roof.

Sebastian Wegerle 15:16
Yeah, exactly we have to, we have to provide full weather protection.

Sebastian Wegerle 15:21
And therefore we have this closed capsule concept. So whenever it’s raining, it’s raining you’re fully protected in your capsule and you’re safe and dry inside. But when the sun is shining, you want to have this bicycle feeling which is the as flowing through your hair. You can hear the birds singing and smell the bakery next door. So they open the open mode is then both giving you this this cycling experience and everything that is nice about cycling, but also Solving the heat management issue because then you have the wind going in. And it’s not that you’re locked in this capsule, and it’s heating up and heating up and you’re getting bought, you know,

Sebastian Wegerle 16:09
in the greenhouse.

Carlton Reid 16:10
Yeah. So this is this is this is the microcar segment. This is gonna, that’s why it’s called a microcar. It is,

Sebastian Wegerle 16:17
yeah, Light Electric Vehicles. But it’s, as we have this dual mode. And I think this is for a lot of infrastructures, this is the best concept because you can use both infrastructures. And so it’s really bridging the gap between the bicycle and the car. Because we have these these light electric vehicles like Renault Twizzy. And this is actually the legal the legal category category that we are in they’re in this 60 kilometre per hour mode. But when it doesn’t change any thing too good if you’re stuck in the same traffic, just sitting in a smaller vehicle there, right? The moment

Jack Noy 16:55
The dimensions we’ll get to, they’re built around existing cargo bike dimensions which will we’re aware. Again not probably not so much for London. Oh, well UK is quite unique case but for a lot of Europe, cycle lanes are relatively wide and cargo bikes seem to operate just fine and it does seem that when cities are considering new bike lanes they are thinking about cargo bikes that they should you know they should be able to work

Carlton Reid 17:27
Is this narrower than the Twizzy?

Sebastian Wegerle 17:29
Yet 80 centimetres only between 70 and 90 centimetres wide, I would say. And I think they’re in some countries their regulations where you can have been wired in one metre. So design I think, both for product and the concept. Very important because it helps you to generate acceptance. I always bring in the example of the Renault twizy. I really liked it, which was a really big fan of the little PC, but a lot of people think Look, it looks awkward or the the BM w c one which was the scooter with the with the roof and and this leads to a lack of acceptance to really check out this concept and idea in a more detailed level and therefore we think that especially with concepts we have to go all in with the design but also with with our products, but it is not only about having a very attractive product but also already considering aspects like easy to produce easy assembly from the very beginning. So you see there also with the capital concept it could be injection moulded and carbon fibre reinforced plastics. And then you have two big tools to produce the main parts of the of the vehicle already.

Carlton Reid 18:53
Do you see this is mail order still. Do you see this as you send this in the post or is this you’d have to have a dealer network

Sebastian Wegerle 18:59
We don’t think that we have to have a dealer network because we think we’re facing more or less the same challenges in our service contact with we do see a trend to serve as partners, either bike shops or mobile service partners. Not only to solve these specific challenges, but also to solve the service challenges on all of our bikes, right. And also design wise we focus already on low maintenance. You see, it’s still pedal operated. So you you’re pedalling in numbered style, which whichever mode you are, but you two to two packaging reasons and also maintenance reasons. We don’t have a mechanical trifle from the, from the pedals to the motor, but it is electric so you’re pedalling into a generator to either when you’re in the car mode and generate a signal that is reinforced with the energy from the battery to go 60 kilometres per hour or in the pedelec mode up to 25 kilometres, also adding additional power from the from the battery. But if you want to go fast and you pedal pedal hard enough, then you generate so much energy that you can go faster than 25 kilometres per hour. And you just have a wire and no wear at all em in this in this drive train.

Jack Noy 20:24
No mechanical function just just electric and then I don’t know if we forget it, but there’s like energy that energy recovery. Yeah as well I think a cool point and important. So you know how fast recumbent bikes can go downhill carthon this is limited to 60. But with a decent Hill, it’s 100% something that’s aerodynamic with this minimal, you know, frontal area to go pretty fast. So the idea would be to have like a current system in place which limits the speed to 60. And while doing that also So we recharge your battery, like, I go into my situation.

Carlton Reid 21:04
Yeah, so this is like it’s a cross between a micro car and an HPV. So the human powered vehicle like the Mike Burrows of this world who’ve been, you know, championing them for a long time.

Sebastian Wegerle 21:19
Exactly. And with facing the same challenges as an HP V, human powered vehicle, so you have the nice moving in the exact same area where you usually have the steering wheel, right? So you have to come up with a generative solutions. And also getting in and getting off the car is is a challenge. So what we have here is you see the two the two seats, and when you open the roof, you can access the car. Like, like a bathtub, it’s exactly the same height. So it’s it’s a deemed norm in Europe, for the height of a bathtub, we have very similar height of the bathtub on. In addition, you can put your hands here on the on the top. So it’s easy to have the access when the capsule is fully open. And if you want to store something on the in the rear either your child with the size of the one with the 50 or boxes, whatever, you can slide all seats to the front. And then the rear seat is in exactly the same position as the rider seat here in the picture and you have access to top on very easily and then you slide it back and you can jump in the car. The steering wheel as an as mentioned we we we had to change the steering concept. So it’s more it’s now like a choice stick concept on a tank, tank steering on the left and the right side. So you have two sticks and you also operate the brakes in this area. And then you you just snap in your smartphone in the middle and as your hmm To get all the information required and to operate the system,

Carlton Reid 23:04
How many wheels?

Sebastian Wegerle 23:06
Four. Four is the most stable option also for cornering.

Carlton Reid 23:15
And then you show me before had the roof comes away. But when the roof is closed, how are you getting air into the rider to stop the sweating?

Jack Noy 23:27
A grill in the front still and cabin vents.

Sebastian Wegerle 23:32
And the presumption is also that you close the cabin only if it’s raining some key facts so it needs to be lightweight to be efficient, right. So we’re looking at 95 kilogrammes. The form factor is an 83 centimetres wide and only a bit more than one metre high and two metres 30 long. The range is 150 kilometres not because we expect people to travel on holidays with this vehicle but to have a very convenient charging cycle so you don’t have to charge every every day on a daily basis

Jack Noy 24:17
like combined range so a mixture of 16 and 25 so for sure if you used it in 25 then you go a fair bit further than 150 but if you burn around at 60 kilometres an hour then your range would would drop a little bit as well.

Sebastian Wegerle 24:35
So and possible price we have to offer this bike This is this vehicle somewhere between five and seven half thousand euros which is and if you look at the entry level cars I would say it’s you. Dascia and the small Volkswagen they started nine and a half something like this. happen advantage. You have it cheaper price. And you’re also your position in between premium ebike with the additional benefits of this concept, and the

Carlton Reid 25:07
car. The first cars were made by cyclists. So even Benz, his car was 75% was from a tricycle shop in Frankfurt, in fact, so the wheels, the everything on there was was from a bicycle shop. And then all of the capital, the manufacturing technologies that people transferred directly from cycling into early motoring. So when I do this story on Forbes, it’s going to be very much along the lines of, you know, this is this is there’s a historical precedent here in that bicycle manufacturers have have very often gone across and made cars. It’s kind of you know, something that the technologies are actually very similar even though we think of Cars and bicycles as two different vehicles. They are very very similar in many many ways.

Sebastian Wegerle 26:07
Yeah and it’s just and and we we don’t have any ambitions to go the next step and the next step in the next step and then end up building cars that we think might be a problem.

Carlton Reid 26:18
The current situation, this is what happened so rover you know rover, Land Rover and that started as the rover bicycle. So Rover bicycle company, transformed itself into the Rover car company and then forgot its bicycle roots.

Sebastian Wegerle 26:35
Definitely. And I think this is, this is this is the change in the mindset that I mean we cannot solve the issues if we still stick to the most comfortable seat heating and air condition and the best Dolby Surround system and as much leather as possible and big motors, and then we cannot we have we have to make compromises in comfort. But the good thing is, as we said in the beginning, we have also by making sacrifices in the comfort, we will gain additional life quality by saving time saving money and having a better environment. And I think this is I mean, we start with this mindset, this is a different this is a different mindset than when the historic bicycle makers started making cars because this they were changing something in their perspective to a positive thing, right? They said okay, we can offer more comfort. It is. It is it is an auto mobile so you don’t have to pedal No. Because now we have a motor right? You don’t need a horse anymore. We have a motor now. So we add comfort and we are in a situation where we can add comfort and we can add comfort. And now we have been so comfortable cars that all these comfort that we’ve added throughout the last couple of decades. Painful Yeah, yeah. pollution.

Jack Noy 27:57
Yeah. So there’s definitely no ambition from Canyon to be a part of the problem on that side is definitely looking for a solution, I guess using bikes as inspiration but also recognising that the car is so accepted. So hundred percent, there needs to be some DNA of that.

Carlton Reid 28:16
So two questions. First one, I’ll be rude. Second one is a more of a serious question. So the first question is, How serious are you at producing this? And how much of this is a concept? Two interesting thing, but you might not actually make this. So how confident are you of actually producing a commercial version of this?

Sebastian Wegerle 28:44
Well, for us, it is very important to go with our audience very early to the public to get feedback. So current stages, we have had all these ideas and brainstorming and things that go into this concept. And now we try to prove the concept. So first of all, we want to prove the design, then we want to check the acceptance. I mean, if you are writing moving such a vehicle in the car infrastructure, will it be a problem? Or will it be accepted? How does it operate on on bike lanes? And if we can check all these points right, then, of course, then the next step is to work on on producing it, we definitely go and now we evaluate the performance with cargo bikes and similar vehicles that are somehow around to protect the fuel. So the first point we’re working now on the on the first write of a prototype, not in the design, and it’s only about the function, right? And this is the next step. And if if all the feedback is positive, or the feedback is so we can still implement it. And this is also important if there’s valuable feedback, where people say, Yeah, but this is a stupid idea. If it would be like this, then it would be more accepted that we can take all this feedback, then the next step is to work on industrialization.

Carlton Reid 30:05
So my second question, and you always partly answered it there, sort of is that you’re both too young to remember this, but there’s a product called the Sinclair C5,

Sebastian Wegerle 30:17
I have this – we bought it.

Carlton Reid 30:19
okay.

Carlton Reid 30:20
Which got a lot of ridicule. So it was, you know, the, Clive Sinclair said, this is the revolution. It’s going to revolutionize transport. It’s there’s electric pedal device, it came out, and then people fell over laughing. And he got the rest of his career. He was dogged by the ridicule he got for producing the C5. Are you ready for the same amount of ridicule? And how are you going to tackle it?

Sebastian Wegerle 30:51
Now everybody can laugh now. And if we see that everybody starts laughing then we don’t produce it. But I think we may be avoided a few mistakes. stakes that they made are the Sinclair with the Sinclair. You fell over every time you try to move around the corner. Actually the Sinclair doesn’t address any thing like weather protection, because you get at least as wet as you get on the bicycle. Maybe even better because you’re sitting very close to the ground and whenever there’s a car driving through, and you get it not only from the top, but also from the bottom. And but it was so funny and impressive thing that we actually and it’s hard to find them. We bought one with what I think two years ago, we bought one to also have a first evaluation of the form factor. And of course, the situation has not changed. If you’re writing this futon, everybody starts laughing at your choke.

Jack Noy 31:52
I didn’t say Um, so I mentioned it earlier. And I was like, No, no, I think they have one in the office.

Sebastian Wegerle 31:59
We have one in the office and what is also what is also very funny that I think the perspective has also changed. I mean, bringing a simpler today, you would not end up with the same reactions, because the mindset has already changed. And this is something of course, yeah, there are issues with this concept, the 65 Yeah, 100% agree. But also the acceptance would just today, it’s a different situation. It’s not king of the king of mobility is the car and that’s the Holy Grail. No, it has changed. And we had nobody Well, we have it’s sending downstairs so there are journalists walking in, and nobody break down laughing. So we have first reactions. Yeah, that’s right. But the only thing I also they may I mean, this is this is where we learned a bit about how to focus on the on how to produce it, right because that’s exciting. What they did, they said very easy to shells, and things like that they had a huge investment in toolings, of course, because they have much more components. And it’s a quite complex, complex vehicle overall still.

Sebastian Wegerle 33:14
And also the quality. I mean,

Sebastian Wegerle 33:18
if we were

Carlton Reid 33:19
He sold 5000, yeah. So maybe he made 14,000 and he sold 5000 that’s not bad.

Sebastian Wegerle 33:28
It’s not bad. If your business case is to sell 5000 then everything is fine. But if your business case to sell 50,000, and you sell only 5000, then you bankrupt and we are fully aware of that. So that’s, that’s also what I said. I mean, we, if we must be bored, we have weird, weird discussions with some automobil Industries, suppliers that are working on motors and things like that. And all four types of vehicles in this category. And they asked us what is your what’s just a rough idea of a quantity that you could sell in the in the first year, the second year, and we said well in a business to consumer, for end consumers not for for commercial applications, because commercial applications thing people do calculate differently. We said one to 2000 units. That’s, that’s, that is our business case. And not more than that. Yes. Um, and because it’s easy I mean, you have if you talk to someone who is sourcing vehicles for commercial applications, for example, parcel deliveries or food deliveries, right? They they just calculate how much money I saved with this vehicle. How much more attractive is it is compared to school door car. So that’s a very racial aspects that dominate this decision.

Sebastian Wegerle 34:51
And it’s totally different from end consumers.

Carlton Reid 34:53
So right now the form factor is quite small, and there’s not that much luggage space you showed me like the way you put the child. But if this is going for in effect the cargo bike market would you envisage having more storage in a later version.

Sebastian Wegerle 35:14
We have to evaluate this. I mean it’s also something that changes maybe Of course you’re not going to the supermarket and only once a week and you’ll buy the stuff you need for the whole week. But I think there’s also something which is which is just just changing in the in the behaviour when it comes to sustainability. It doesn’t make sense to buy vegetables once a week and then throw away half of them because they are sweet to go on a more frequent basis. And if it’s not an issue if your mobility devices as it’s easier to use, easier to park it’s also not a burden to go grocery shopping twice a week for example, and we have this something We have to evaluate Of course and we have to make our experience and get different opinions on and then we see here and maybe we maybe we add the trailer

Jack Noy 36:11
a bit challenging the bike lanes. But yeah, maybe a train is good

Jack Noy 36:20
for little um,

Jack Noy 36:21
rather than rather than a rule. Yeah rather than roofbox a tail box something like this. Yeah.

Jack Noy 36:29
So make it look awkward again.

Jack Noy 36:30
Yeah. Then you lose the proportion.

Carlton Reid 36:35
Thanks to Wegerle and Jack Noy from Canyon for the product run throughs that. Next up will be canyons founder Roman Arnold. But before that, here’s my co-host David with a message from our show sponsor.

David Bernstein 36:50
Hey, Carlton, thanks so much. And it’s it’s always my pleasure to talk about our advertiser. This is a long time loyal advertiser. You all know who I’m talking about. It’s JensonUSA@Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. I’ve been telling you for years now years, that Jenson is the place where you can get a great selection of every kind of product that you need for your cycling lifestyle at amazing prices and what really sets them apart. Because of course, there’s lots of online retailers out there. But what really sets them apart is their unbelievable support. When you call and you’ve got a question about something, you’ll end up talking to one of their gear advisors and these are cyclists I’ve been there I’ve seen it. These are folks who who ride their bikes to and from work. These are folks who ride at lunch who go out on group rides after work because they just enjoy cycling so much. And and so you know that when you call, you’ll be talking to somebody who has knowledge of the products that you’re calling about. If you’re looking for a new bike, whether it’s a mountain bike, a road bike, a gravel bike, a fat bike, what are you looking for, go ahead and check them out. Jenson USA. They are the place where you will find everything you need for your cycling lifestyle. It’s Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. We thank them so much for their support and we thank you for supporting Jenson USA. All right, Carlton, let’s get back to the show.

Carlton Reid 38:16
Thanks, David. And we are back with Episode 255 of this spokesmen cycling podcast. Before the break we heard from Wegele and Jack Noy from Canyon. And now here’s the firm’s founder, Roman Arnold. I started by asking him about the bike boom. And we also talked about e-bikes and of course, Canyon’s concept electric car. Excellent. I have been as I’ve said, I have been to to your factory in Koblenze. So I did a story for Bike Europe daily on your plans for America. So that was back in 2017. So I came for that. So I’ll actually finish on America if that’s okay. But I’d like to start with with bike boom. So, how has Canyon coped with that? Have you coped with the extra demand that has come for a certain price level of bike? So you’re you’re clearly higher than that, that really popular price level, but how have you coped with the bike boom.

Roman Arnold 39:29
As

Roman Arnold 39:32
on one hand,

Roman Arnold 39:34
I feel a little bit ashamed as a guy from the bike industry that I have to say there’s something out like COVID In the end, our industry benefits from it. But when COVID came out, we had different scenarios. Also in our company, of course, like everybody, we were super afraid. What will this make to our business are we had certain plans how the business could develop in and most of the plans, of course, was the business will be down, will it be down 10% 20% 30% or even more. And we had one scenario that also was a tailwind scenario. And the tailwind scenario was something could this give me another extra 10% boom for us. And in the end, for us as a company and for the whole industry, it came out at the boom, we’re far more than 10%. So we sold more bikes

Roman Arnold 40:40
than we planned, of course, so we have quite

Roman Arnold 40:44
good year, and we were able to call this boom but on the other hand, we as most of the cycling industry are somehow limited because you know very well we have very long supply chains. So either you have a plan for me And to execute this plan, there’s not too much room so our business always was going very well. So also without COVID we every year have a nice growth rate. So they were they were not too much room for us even if we always think about good pros, he only ordered a certain amount of bikes so some of our bikes just were sold out earlier. It doesn’t mean to us that we wouldn’t have sold this bikes anyway. But we also could see so far Yes, we sold more bikes and we sold more bikes in every area. And not only in the entrance level area. Also people because it seems to be a more interested in cycling in moving their body doing some exercise. So also even road bikes. First down, but then also accelerated.

Carlton Reid 41:56
Mm hmm Did you have a percentage of how much bigger you got because of COVID?

Roman Arnold 42:05
I can’t tell you how much bigger the company that I think we have a growth rate this year Simon close to 30% or some something like this. Yeah, it’s a I think it’s a little bit over 30% but actually I have to say also our growth before was planned something between 20 and 25 so there’s not too much room

roma 42:35
extra for it but of course

Roman Arnold 42:39
some of the bikes we sold earlier we we have remained safe coming bikes in and what we saw in the very beginning that nearly in every country says go down because nobody knows What does COVID mean to us and how long the lockdown we hold on. I have to stay at home. How what will it mean. And then one country after the other country recovered and even countries I have to say like Spain and Italy, we have really in France in the beginning were really, really down after this strict. All of them were able to recover for us.

Carlton Reid 43:20
Yeah, so you’ve had electric bikes in your range for three years now, two years now. How big a segment is electric bikes for you right now, in percentage terms,

Roman Arnold 43:35
still less than 10% for us. But

Roman Arnold 43:41
in the whole industry, you know, it’s more around 50%. So we also, were able to grow our business in the past, even if we didn’t have a big offering electric bikes, but if you ask me home on how big you plan electric bikes will be in the future for you. I can tell you, it will be one of our biggest drivers for the business and we think it will be much, much higher percentage than today. But we are not the kind of company that you say okay woman, everybody is asking for ebikes Oh, we should sell e bikes, we can make some great money of it. We are more the company that has a we think we have a certain provisioning, we have a certain expectations to our bike. So we were somehow a little bit late with ebikes in the beginning, because we had the kind of company 10 years ago who discussed Is he back to cycling or not? And 10 years ago, we decided with a bigger motors and this No, this is not a bike. This is not a kind of positioning, but then getting the Moto slider and the batteries with more reach that you can go for several hours out. Then we decided, I think, five or six years ago, yes, this is pure cycling. This is also a kind of way we think it is. And then we start the product.

Carlton Reid 45:19
And I know you have a bike shop background. And you are now with a company that has no bike shops. But do you ever see a future where there may be bike shops in Canyon’s future?

Roman Arnold 45:37
Maybe making your own bike shops, Canyon branded bikes with the breadth of product you have from me in the very beginning.

Roman Arnold 45:45
So so what I say

Roman Arnold 45:49
Carlton, when

Roman Arnold 45:52
I’m still not old, but what I say okay, if there’s one legacy I have in this industry I was clear at the front front front to change this industry and Consumer Direct when people didn’t believe that it’s possible to buy a bike online. So we enter pairs for many of our followers and we are still the leader in this kind of industry. In the end for me, doesn’t matter. We are not the enemy of the bike shops, we are part in the in the beginning some of the bike shop said oh, this is our enemy. We are part of the cycling industry and the whole industry has a shift and we just we’re at the forefront. And there are many reasons there are many reasons why it’s right to buy a bike direct from the manufacturer because we have a closer contract because we have some price advantage and all the other things but there are also many reasons why it’s good to have a local shop that can service your bikes. And I see the whole industry is changing. And the industry is changing that everybody helps each other here. So we bring business also to local shops because in general because it has a big trend to internet to digitalization so they have less people working in in their shop. If people comes with our bike into their shop, this is also frequent in their shop brings the customer into the shop and they can service it. So it also can bring them extra business and you see many different things. You see some big shops, you see online retailer which still growing very fast, then you see pick a shop space, a big huge selection. They also find a way to survive and then you see smaller shops who are very specialised in service. So I think there is room for all of them and they will interact with each other and then make the whole cycling movement. better in the future. And yes, it might be also stores from Kenya in the future, but it’s more like a flagship show to show our sing. In Germany we say something like hundred is wonder. It’s a German saying and if you would translate it into English it would say, business always has to change or change is an essential thing of business. Yes, of course, we also have to adapt to new trends that we sync what we choose direct to the consumer. This is also the way you will see from Canyon and in the future we will also find ways to serve our customer even better, better. This might be with some of our own shops, but this also might be of corporations based affiliate dealers who also have other brands. This Might be through networks like I prepared at home

Carlton Reid 49:04
so I was showing yesterday your your guy showed me that your new electric bikes, but then they also showed me Of course they took the laptop and then showed me the concept car. So where do you see the concept car in say two years time? So if you bring the first one out where do you see it developing?

Roman Arnold 49:25
It’s a concept, is car the right word? Or we only call it car, what defines a car?

Roman Arnold 49:34
But let’s say the right word is concept car. But we also could say concept bicycle, or concept mobility or whatever. We did this because you weren’t problems and I would say what makes us go every day to work is because we love bicycles. And when we develop this pipe also with We are a big company now or medium sized company now. So we also have to do turn over and have to make some money. But the good thing is I still think our very first ideas oh how we can make our life as a scientist better how we can going out with new and you’ll see a general shift. In the whole society. People don’t want to go with cars anymore. They don’t want they want to fly less. All these things to more sustainability. But sometimes if you go with a car and if you go for 10 miles and it’s raining, yeah, you feel maybe I better should take my car. Or if you have to do some grocery shopping, put something in and this was the idea behind this concept, saying that we say okay, now within with the possibility of an email tool We can make a very light, protected pipe from the outside, where we can be very sustainable in moving from A to B maybe also bring our small kit to the kindergarten and to some grocery shot in this was the very idea behind it and then I allowed my people to work on this idea. We are already in a stage that we are in discussion with a car manufacturer that we say okay, is it possible to cooperate with him on the chassis? I cannot say in three years we will see this car but our goal is to do something like this in the future because we think it’s a good part of the mobility shift in the future because you need something what is lighter with the ledger less energy consumption, but you needed a little bit more comfortable than today.

Carlton Reid 52:05
So, Adam Opel in the 19th century so 1890s he was a bicyclist his sons were all bicyclists, it was an oval was a bicycling company. Opel very quickly became not a bicycling company, it became an automobile company. So, trajectory of lots of bicycle companies in the in the 19th century were start with bicycles. And they all many of them evolved into car companies. So that’s not it’s not a crazy idea to think of that maybe in 2030 years time Canyon is Canyon Cars, not Canyon Bicycles. Is that a crazy idea? Or is that …

Roman Arnold 52:54
It’s not a crazy idea, but I would not call it Canyon will be Canyon Cars. Canyon Bicycles will always be Canyon Bicycles, because this is what we think is the future. And but I would say otherwise, Canyon will produce bicycles also in the future, which can substitute cars and some way also learned some things from what we seen today as a car. But I totally believe from inside, car for sure for sure will be not a mobility concept on short distance in the future. I would say if I want to polarise also, I would say the the century of the car was the 20th century. Now we are next stage. The car will not be the future mobility, the car will have a place in future mobility and the reason why Adam Opel changed to cars is because there was a whole shift from horse to bicycle to car. And I think also car companies has to shift and has to see on different kind of mobility. I will not say there will be no SUVs. There also is a purpose for SUVs, if you have a big family if you want to go to holiday and this, but I believe pretty much it will be not the same like it was before. When I talked to the German magazine here, I thought I have to shame when I see how much money politics spend for the next generation of autobahn and this and then compare how less money they spend to make the car more bicycle friendly. And it’s not because I’m from the bicycle industry. It’s just because every day in the traffic jam, it’s obvious that this cannot be our future.

Carlton Reid 55:01
So you went into America in 2017? I think it took you a long time. It took you two years, three years to actually get the structure right. For America. So was the structure correct? Was it waiting that long did that? Was that the correct thing to do?

Roman Arnold 55:23
If I would answer this in American language? I would say yes, yes, we did it. Yes, we did it. And we did it right. Actually, it took us far longer, I always was my goal that can ensure a global company and global without the United States is not really global. So So therefore, we were very, very hesitating so fast. It was somehow easy to serve Europe from also our infrastructure we have here there’s not too many German cars. He’s made it in the US. So therefore we really prepared very well for it. And if I Three years later, I have to say, Yes, we made it even made it in the US. And maybe Frank Sinatra says if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.

Carlton Reid 56:20
So how big a segment of your company is America?

Roman Arnold 56:31
Yeah, it’s already close to 15% 18% already. And we have a steep growth rates in the US and what we can see from in the US DATA, so when we see the ddata that we already recognisable force in the US for road bikes, and people noticed that we are setting also mountain bikes in the US. And I will say in this short time for only three years, we are quite successful in the US. And it seems that people like our German engineering in combination with the direct to consumer. Yeah, so I’m quite happy what we achieved in the United States.

Carlton Reid 57:24
Thanks to today’s guests Wegele, Jack Noy and Roman Arnold. The video version of half of today’s show can be found on YouTube and has been embedded on our website at the-spokesmen.com That’s also where you’ll find show notes and plenty of other information. The next episode is an interview with psychologist and record breaking endurance cyclist Ian Walker. That’ll be out at the weekend. Meanwhile, get out there and ride.

August 24, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast


EPISODE 254: From the Tour de Trump to the Tour de France via Arkansas


Monday 24th August 2020


SPONSOR: Jenson USA


HOST: Carlton Reid


GUESTS: David Bernstein and Jim Moss.

LINKS:

Forbes.com article on Donald Trump, the Tour de Trump and Joe Biden

Guardian article on Tour de France Covid protocols.

Bentonville, Arkansas: “Mountain bike capital of the world”

MACHINE TRANSCRIPT:

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 254 of the spokesman cycling podcast. This show was engineered on Monday 24th of August 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast. For shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen.

Carlton Reid 1:08
Hi there. I’m Carlton Reid and after the last audio comm video episode with Josh Horton of turn, Hi there I’m Carlton Reid and after the last audio-cum-video episode with Josh Hon unveiling the new GSD we’re back with our usual suspects, my co-host David Bernstein and attorney Jim Moss. We talk about the Tour de Trump, Joe Biden’s bicycling technique, the Tour de France, airstream bike touring, mountain biking in Arkansas and other stuff. We’ve got a whole bunch of topics to talk about. I would like to start and we kind of like preempted this beforehand. And of course, David’s been in this industry for so long. Of course he was around at this point, but I’ve got a story on forbes.com and It’s actually going quite viral at the moment. It’s quite funny I put on last night because it’s President Trump, of course and his use of bicycling. And I smuggled in because I’ve been around the trade also for an awfully long time. I smuggled in, in this story, even though it’s a current story about his views about bicycling now and Joe Biden, I smuggled in the fact that Well, actually, Trump does have a bicycle connection. And this is a lot of people don’t know, this is the Tour de Trump in in the late 1980s. And then I asked David, I said, David, what do you know about where you still have any costs? David, you said you were so let’s get talking about President Trump’s views of bicycling right now. But let’s just go into to to Trump kind of memories and I’ll bring Jim in in a second. So David, what were you doing in the industry at this point?

David Bernstein 2:53
Yeah. So in those days, I was working for the parent company. Well, the parent company of a number of different Bike related brands, but I think the one that most people know the best is Tioga Tioga was a popular mountain bike and BMX brand. I mean, my goodness, I still see tires on BMX bikes that look a whole lot like the comp threes we used to make back in the 80s. And see you guys you guys remember these? And, you know, we were we were we were sponsoring john Tomek at the time. JOHN John’s, john was a great guy a great, he would do anything we wanted when it came to print ads, and we put him in some silly ads. And we were sponsoring Tinker Juarez and then of course, Johnny became a roadie as well as some of you may remember. And, yeah, so we were I was in I was in that business at the time. And certainly we had product in the Tour de Trump and the tour du Pont and which

Carlton Reid 3:57
is the race that came after So, to the drum was two years, DuPont was involved with the first two years but then took on the title sponsor. And then it faded because this was a Tour de France or meant to be the Tour de France. It was going to be eastern seaboard to begin with, but it was meant to then go the whole of the US, wasn’t it? That was the idea. Yeah. Tell David, tell me. What was the idea about this raised originally it was going to be bigger than the Tour de France.

David Bernstein 4:23
Well, well, you know, everything Trump does is supposed to be you know, a superlative. Right? And, and it was it was intended to be America’s Tour de France. Although you could say the same thing about something like the Colorado classic, and some of the other road races from the time. It is, and it was, of course, as again, a lot of things with the Trump organisation it was it was it was really intended to get that name out there. And to be an advertisement for, you know, the Trump casinos in Atlantic City and things Like that, if you remember, Jim will remember this at the time. There was an East Coast interbike in Atlantic City. That’s right. Remember that? Yeah, I forgot

Unknown Speaker 5:11
about that.

David Bernstein 5:13
And it’s funny, I was thinking this morning, this is like the time of year, not when we’re not normally talking about the Tour de France’s I’m sure that we will, when we’re usually talking about things that eurobike in interbike. So it’s kind of depressing that we’re talking about the Tour de France and August and September. To know that, yeah, the Tour de France, the tour to Trump and the tour du Pont, were popular among diehard cycling fans. But at the time, there were far fewer diehard road racing cycling fans than we have today. And I think at the end of the day, and of course, you know, there was no internet and there were and these and there weren’t, you know, 50 million channels on our televisions. Because of those,

Unknown Speaker 5:55
I’m strong.

David Bernstein 5:57
I don’t want to talk about Armstrong because of all of the things. I just don’t think that it was. I think it was bound for failure because of all

Carlton Reid 6:05
this the Armstrong came in. He was in the Tour de Pont. He wasn’t in the tour to Trump. But it wasn’t the to the Ponce. It just came into that era. Right. And that’s when the era bill I know Jim might not want to talk about Lance Armstrong, but you cannot escape the fact that he built industry.

Jim Moss 6:22
Oh, yeah. No, I I like talking about Lance. Um, I, I mean, I don’t I have no idea why, but I have a very different opinion from most of the regular spokesman podcasters nobody is wearing the yellow jerseys from his seven wins in the Tour de France is just, you know, they can’t find anyone to give them to. He was the best among the developers and everybody was doping. So granted, it was illegal. It was wrong. It was dangerous. It was deadly. But it still was it he was still the best of the best and The argument is, if nobody was doping would he have still won? And, and I, you know, my knowledge is minimal on those issues, but I still think he would have been so he made a lot of money and he created a bike industry in the United States.

Carlton Reid 7:15
So let’s, let’s bring it back to to the Trump. So did you end to watching Pro Cycling in 1990?

Jim Moss 7:24
I want you to remember Trump, I don’t I remember watching the Tour de Trump, but I couldn’t hang in there. The way I hang it on the Tour de France. I would I would watch it for 20 to 30 minutes, and then I fade in something else at back then I was into being a mountain climbing guide, whitewater rafting guide that type of stuff wasn’t into cycling as much. Second thing is what you did to recover from your knee injuries back then

Carlton Reid 7:50
said that the story that I did on this wasn’t about the type of jump but it’s kind of like brought some of that in, but it was the I don’t know if you saw this a couple of weeks ago is by Comes past a fox news reporter who shouted him. He’s on a bicycle. And he comes past the reports I’ve read him he’s How old is he? 77. And he comes past him fast and is able to, you know, mentally say stuff to the reporter as they’re coming past but he comes past really quite fast. So he’s clearly in my piece. I say he’s clearly varial agile and pretty fit for or very fit for a 77 year old. And then what the story is, then Trump yesterday, day before yesterday, says I’m never going to ride a bicycle and we kind of know that because you kind of just look at him. And you probably know that he doesn’t ride a bicycle. Are you?

Carlton Reid 8:46
Are you with me there? Do you think? Do you

David Bernstein 8:48
think he rides a bicycle interesting. here’s here’s the interesting thing about that. And that is if you remember the president when Biden was vice president was Barack Obama. And he, he, he was sort of famous for riding a bicycle for a different reason. If you remember, he was raked over the coals because he was wearing quote unquote mom jeans. Do you guys remember this? And, and, and, and here is his Biden. And he’s like you said, He’s going and he’s 77 years old and he’s going by on his bicycle. He was, you know, people are shouting questions at him. And he’s, he’s giving answers back, which was, which was cool, not wearing mom jeans. And of course, you know, part of Trump’s thing I’m never gonna ride a bicycle is because he’s worried about getting injured. And then of course, he has to bring up john kerry again. Who is an actual roadie. So Ron’s has remembered. Yeah, I remember john kerry had had an accident, and he hurt himself. But you know, haven’t we all? Hold on? Yeah, well, I can show you scars from surgeries and things.

David Bernstein 9:57
I want anyone else No,

David Bernstein 9:57
I don’t. I don’t see Donald Trump getting out of it. anytime soon,

Jim Moss 10:00
I rode off a cliff on my mountain bike Friday and to make sure I protected the bike. I made sure it landed on me both times I rolled down the cliff that was protected by.

Carlton Reid 10:13
See, I think you mentioned there David, you mentioned Barack Obama. I definitely think Biden looks better than Barack Obama on a bicycle looks more natural on a bicycle. Yeah, of course, if we go backwards, we’ve got bush on a bicycle. Absolutely. If john kerry ever had become president, then you’d have had an absolute roadie in the White House, Bush was of course, a mountain biker more than a roadie but Biden Biden looks pretty good on a bike. We don’t really see him on a bike that often but when we saw him he looked good.

David Bernstein 10:48
Of course, you know, he’s neither a roadie nor a mountain biker. You know, he’s sort of on a

Unknown Speaker 10:51
get around the farm bike if you

David Bernstein 10:55
if you I don’t

Jim Moss 10:56
I don’t think it has anything at all. to do with cycling, I think it’s that if, if Biden would said I like chocolate ice cream, Trump would say I’m never eating chocolate ice cream, I only eat white ice cream. And I use that analogy that way for a specific purpose. I think if David you should have caught that by now you should have been grinning. And it doesn’t matter what it was. It was you know, I Biden loves pancakes and eats and I hop and Trump would never go into an eye hop is nothing to do with the realities of cycling which is sad. Maybe if he got on a bicycle and and use these got blood flowing to what little brain there it to his brain. Um, you know, things could be better. I better shut up.

Carlton Reid 11:54
Well, we kind of know that that that that Trump isn’t it isn’t a bicycle for all sorts of different reasons. Now Jimmy, you mentioned there that you’re watching the tour. Did Trump say it was on television back then? Yes.

Jim Moss 12:08
That was one of the big things is that the money that Trump tour to Trump and DuPont, the sponsors had that brought them in was they got time on TV. Now, I don’t ever recall watching the entire race on TV, but I can’t remember if that’s because I didn’t watch the entire race or you couldn’t see the entire race. But it also was on newscasts. Every once while in the evening, you know, the final hundred yards type of deal. What we

Carlton Reid 12:38
saw, I don’t know the history of, of what was on TV or what people could see bicycle races back in the day. But was that kind of in your recollection was that kind of early for seeing Pro Cycling? So this was quite newsworthy from a from a cyclist point of view that all of a sudden you’re getting all of these European guys coming across and you’re seeing them in the US Was that early to see cycle? Yeah, on TV? The first

Carlton Reid 13:02
time I ever remember cycling on TV?

Carlton Reid 13:06
Hmm. Do you remember anything earlier?

Carlton Reid 13:12
David, what were you what was what was it around? Was that kind of some of the earliest? So was that good from a sponsors point of view you were thinking that we’re on TV here.

David Bernstein 13:22
You know, it’s funny I I don’t remember watching that race. But now, you know, I’m sort of casting my mind back to because I was more involved in the mountain biking scene at the time with mountain racing and things like mountain bike racing. And any of the mountain bike coverage that was on TV was all pre recorded, edited. And a lot of it as a sponsor of major mountain biking events at the time, a lot of it was edited and packaged for sponsors. So for instance, we used to sponsor the Famous Kamikaze downhill in Mammoth, which was at the time, huge race, and we part of our contract was to make sure that our name was seen on the racecourse at the finish line in the in the announcements on TV. And so at the time, you know, obviously we weren’t getting the kind of live coverage that we get now, which is almost ubiquitous. It was all prepackaged pre recorded and quite frankly a bit hokey I mean, it just it was it was it wasn’t great coverage. It’s just a very fast

Carlton Reid 14:38
downhill and it’s not not nothing really heavily technical about the chemicals. And it was miles rock right? Wasn’t it? It was like the top guy at the time. He was the guy to be miles Rockwell

David Bernstein 14:48
tomac was so Mac as well was was huge at the time. By the way. Here’s a piece of trivia. JOHN tobac son, today is one of the top motocross riders in the world figures, Eli tomac. And that’s that’s cool anyway, no at the time it was it was guys like, like net overend and john tomac even though they were known for and and Tinker Juarez and people like that, because oh and Greg herbold Oh, there’s forgot asked. Yeah. And and, and at the time even though they were also known for cross country, because as you rightfully said, the Kamikaze and at the time most downhill at the time, was on very wide fire roads. It was only later that they added jumps and chicanes and things like that to downhill, which I never Sorry, I’m an old guy. I never really liked that. And I actually had a friend a guy that I actually sponsored, who died on one of those races. bylaws, I believe, have all of the the sort of features that they put into the race. And so I, I lament the loss of those super fast downhills that just are no longer there because now it’s all about jumps in and doing cool tricks but

Carlton Reid 16:12
and that was back in the day when they didn’t have I mean not that would have made a huge amount of difference if you hit something at 50 miles an hour anyway, but they didn’t have armour back then. They were racing in spandex and a helmet. They had a hell down but they weren’t. They weren’t in like full on downhill gear.

David Bernstein 16:26
Yeah, we all had because I raced downhill. I was crappy, but I raced downhill at the time. And I had a full face helmet. I think I had some, some some, maybe some elbow pads and maybe some knee pads. Maybe she had I don’t remember, but it was all sort of billion that came from the soccer industry or something

David Bernstein 16:43
like that.

David Bernstein 16:45
I think I think it came from BMX at the time. So I think people were wearing that for BMX, and of course, where did the BMX gear come from? It came from the motorcycle industry. So I remember at the time there were a lot of manufacturers of BMX and mountain biking. That started in the motorcycle industry, which kind of at the time made sense. I’m sorry, we were like you somebody said, we’re just a bunch of old guys here, john.

Carlton Reid 17:11
Well, we aren’t diverting from from the TV aspect of this because I was doing a segue here for you, David, which was gonna be how we’re going to watch the Tour de France. So, you’ve raised the point of owning, I’ll just tell you mine point of view. So from here, it’s not really a huge issue. We have a terrestrial TV station, we watch it via that or we have Europe sports, we’ve got two options. For instance, in the UK, and then of course, the internet. If you want to watch on your on your on your computer, you can go and get various streams and what have you. But the way you’re mentioning it as though it might be kind of problematical for you so how do you watch it in the US

David Bernstein 17:54
So for the most So for most people, depending on their cable package, and I’m I’m cord cutters so I have no cable package and because of where I live, I can’t get anything with an antenna. If you’ve got a cable package that has NBC sn which is the NBC Sports Network, then you can watch the Phil Liggett Bob roll circus yen’s vocht circus. Yeah. general thing. I I’ve grown tired of it primarily because of the number of commercials and the repetitive nature of the commercials. So for folks in the US, the option is if you want completely commercial free, is to buy the NBC Sports gold package, which is actually quite reasonable. It gives you like a year for something like $55 and then it’s completely commercial free. And I’m telling you that the commercials are repetitive. You see the same

Jim Moss 18:54
commercials, every thank heavens, we’re watching those commercials because without them The majority of Americans would not see professional bicycle racing. And not know I mean, I get up early in the morning. Yeah, MSNBC is about the only way I watch I get up early in the morning and watch the the podcasts or the shoot that’s like an hour late with all the mistakes and because I think it’s hilarious, you know, it’s 430 or five o’clock in the morning and I don’t get up. I’m not an early morning person. And I’m just rolling around on the couch laughing my butt off because then you’d go in and watch it later in the day with it cleaned up but to correct spelling mistakes and stuff. Then you go he’s gonna say Oh, they clean that one up. He got that one right the second time around. I think it’s hilarious. I told you guys that bell sports up in Boulder the the below press. They have a big whiteboard where they put all the announcers names and they track who makes what mistakes and how many each day and then have a running total for the whole tour. It’s hilarious.

David Bernstein 20:00
So when I get tired of fill, and that’s usually after that stage to look, here’s the problem filling it is, is is I mean, he’s, he’s probably Encyclopaedia of cycling knowledge. But what I find is that they tend he and his and the gang tend to dumb it down a little bit for the non cycling audience. And so every day, it’s like, we need to tell you what a sprint is, we need to tell you what a KLM is we need and and quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of non cycling, you know, endemic cycling folks that are watching all the time, so I wish that they wouldn’t do that. So if and when I get tired, then I crank up my VPN. And I will watch SPS from Australia, which is pretty good coverage. I can usually figure out a way to watch Eurosport in the same way And then if I just want to watch and maybe turn the, you know, turn the volume, sometimes I’ll watch Fred’s TV, again, using a VPN so that, you know, I’m, I’m getting around the geo restrictions look and and disclaimer, this may or may not be ethical or legal. I leave that up to you. But I think this year, I’m probably just gonna pay for the NBC Sports gold just because it’s, it’s simpler, I can just turn on my TV and it’s, you know, on my Roku or on my Apple TV, and I can just not have to worry about screwing around with VPNs and figuring out where all the feeds are. So that’s my plan this year, the best place I’ve found to find where all of this is available, is steep. hill.tv steepen hill.tv. I think he does an amazing job of telling you all of the places where you can find the coverage. So

Carlton Reid 21:52
can I ask David just just as a bit of a left field stuff here because because Jim raised this as you know, this is what actually pays figuring this coverage Do you have an ad blocker on your your Mac when you’re on your browsers so you don’t see any ads? Or do you see all the ads?

David Bernstein 22:12
I have an ad blocker and when I go to read your stuff, I have to turn it off because Forbes makes me turn it off.

Carlton Reid 22:21
Forbes has got a lot of ads Yes, it makes a lot of money but

David Bernstein 22:24
but no Forbes literally so I’m happy to pay your salary. But no Forbes says Oh, you’ve got an ad blocker if you want to see this content, you have to turn it off. So yeah, I have an ad blocker cuz Di Di Di

Carlton Reid 22:38
Di ng is how I know it. I know it’s annoying, but I’m kind of with with with Jim here and that I’m kind of I know the content annoying sometimes. But I don’t turn it off. So I don’t have an ad blocker. Jim. I’m assuming you don’t have an ad. No,

Jim Moss 22:51
I actually have an ad blocker but I do turn it off for some things, man and but but I’m also bugged by The idea that, look, the only success we’re going to have in cycling and professional bicycle racing in the United States is if we educate more people, it is an extremely difficult sport to understand. For the majority of Americans, I mean, the Colorado classic, when it would be 100 TV or in the news in the evening here in Colorado, the sports announcers would screw it up every time. And that one great one actually said, and his boss and I are friends, you know, why do they have teams you know, they don’t block for each other. They don’t you know, lay their bikes down and you know, I mean he is he can compare it with football. And so yes, when someone goes into why a sprint or that type of stuff, it just gives me more time to go to the kitchen or go to the bathroom. But but it’s necessary to get the new people Because 99% of the people that were getting into the sport, have no idea how to ride at 21 miles an hour or faster and to get into paceline. It would scare the daylights out of them and to draft them, you know, they understand drafting from NASCAR, you know, and that’s 100 miles an hour. They don’t understand drafting at 24 miles an hour. We have to explain that we’re going to get the future Dale sits down and she watches for a little bit. And she asked me questions and I try to be patient and answer him. But it’s not an easy sport to understand here in the US because it’s so completely different from everything we do here that we call it sport.

Carlton Reid 24:50
So we could just watch breaking away on loop just make up a watch that as like, you know, here’s your prep, watch breaking away.

David Bernstein 24:58
You know What you said, Jim, I think is is is is right. And I think that we’re getting better at educating the general public about cycling. And I’ll give you an example. I’m on the phone with my mom the other day and my mom’s in her 80s. And she said, You know, I read that the top guy isn’t gonna be in the Tour de France this year now. Okay, just stop there for a second you the two of you know who I’m talking about. Okay. But I thought it was cool that my mom who isn’t reading cycling press and isn’t falling cycling somewhere in some newspaper that she’s reading during her, you know, lockdown or quarantine, she found out that team in iOS said that Chris Froome wasn’t going to be in the Tour de France. So explain to her why that was. And the fact that, you know, he had a horrific crash last year, he’s lucky to be alive, and he’s just not quite ready, but they’re going to give it to burn all and he’s gonna be the standard bearer, and I thought it was cool. That moment. I read about this and if my mom’s reading about it, Jim, and I think the general public is getting more information these days. Oh, coverage.

David Bernstein 26:07
Yeah. But yeah.

Jim Moss 26:10
Look, if you if you go to the you walk out the street, across the street to your neighbour, and you say, bicycle racing, the only name they know is Phil Liggett nowadays. I mean, it’s sad that

Carlton Reid 26:26
there is the aspect of it. People want to know more about it, they the internet, you can find out about it now. It must have been that people don’t want to know about it. It’s not a case of we have to educate people. This case of people don’t want to be educated. They don’t want to watch bicycle racing. It’s not because they don’t understand it.

Jim Moss 26:43
They just don’t watch it on my blog. There’s all sorts of flags up front. There’s one guy that’s got a Wisconsin flag. There’s one guy that’s got an ohio state flag. And everything else is a bronco flag. Right? I mean 12 other houses all have Bronco flags. You know, this, we have a guy that has a 1960 fire truck that’s painted Bronco colours. We, I mean, there is a blue beautiful statute at our airport, you know, with these blazing red eyes and if you look at it as the sculpture it is it’s just stunning. And people bitch all the time because it’s not white to represent the Broncos.

Carlton Reid 27:28
You know?

Carlton Reid 27:30
We This is

Carlton Reid 27:31
American football. Oh,

David Bernstein 27:32
yeah, sorry. I

David Bernstein 27:34
need to educate me here. And for reference cards in the Broncos colours aren’t orange and blue.

David Bernstein 27:41
Yeah. So you’ll see a firetruck.

David Bernstein 27:43
This is why I’m a Rams fan because because because blue and gold looks much better.

Jim Moss 27:50
Yeah, orange. I mean, you can’t miss them. Well, I walked into my bank a couple years ago on a Friday where it is okay. Now. No matter what your profession to wear an orange and blue Bronco jersey, and the assistant vice president says How come you’re not wearing your Bronco shirt? And my response was because I don’t have one and I never wear anybody’s name on my back. I’ll put my name on my back, but you gotta pay me to wear your name. You know?

Jim Moss 28:23
me my banker talk about

David Bernstein 28:25
talking about talking about rabbit holes yeah

Carlton Reid 28:29
well it can be that already streams of course we could. We could go.

David Bernstein 28:33
Don’t get us started. Just

Carlton Reid 28:35
tell people like 15 minutes before we had if you went on a holiday day

David Bernstein 28:40
you got it explained air stream.

Carlton Reid 28:44
Do you take a bicycle? Yes. Do you take two bicycles? Please?

Carlton Reid 28:49
So it’s a it’s a bicycle story. Yeah. If two bicycles in your Airstream you can you can mention on the show.

David Bernstein 28:55
We went to Grand Teton National Park. We rented an Airstream. We had an amazing time. Part of the what made it amazing and this is actually this is a bicycle story. A lot of times when I go to national parks I mean I take my we take our bikes everywhere but a lot of times when we go to national parks, I’m scared to death of riding on their main roads. And the reason is because you get people who are first time renters of Airstream. They’re not paying attention when they drive. But here’s the thing. Grand Teton National Park has some amazing distance and variety of off the road bike paths, which were great for road riding. We had some great rides through some beautiful scenery. And we were off the road but we were on pavement it was and there were a lot of roadies, actually, especially on Saturday and Sunday. So I’ve written in Yellowstone I’ve written in in the Grand Canyon. I’ve written a lot of national parks. But I’m going to tell you Grand Teton National Park had some great facilities for cyclists. She didn’t need a mountain bike didn’t need a gravel bike. No, you just know

David Bernstein 30:10
about biking. Yeah,

Jim Moss 30:12
we got it. Yeah. And and we got to explain the airstream thing my parents started their retirement 30 years ago, by getting an Airstream and taking off and living in it for a month. And then the next year, two months and eventually six months until finally, for a couple years they lived in airstreams full time. They then found a place in Florida where they bought a house where you had to own an Airstream to buy a house in this community. And they travelled my parents have been to Alaska with that Airstream. They’ve been all over the United States. And so the my mom’s Airstream numbers three to three, she was the international recording secretary for the club or something I don’t know. And so when he brought up Eric I’m not getting that. Oh, you got to you will. The cult is coming for you. They have their own clothing. They have a song book, they have a pledge to the cult is coming

Carlton Reid 31:14
off to this was we had before the show started we had you to waxing lyrical about espin. And are you now going to get an Airstream or you think

Carlton Reid 31:28
now I’m thinking about actually you demoed

Carlton Reid 31:30
my stick blender.

David Bernstein 31:32
Well, yes. No, our plan is this art. It’s It’s, it’s, it’s it’s a way of going to some amazing places for both road riding and mountain biking and not having to worry about things like hotels and tents and things like that. And we had a great time. So we will probably Yeah,

Jim Moss 31:51
it is the most phenomenal and safest way to haul bicycle. You got $100,000 of aluminium around your bike.

David Bernstein 32:02
I’m not spending that kind of money. So I don’t want anybody thinking that next subject, Carlton,

Carlton Reid 32:08
Arkansas.

Carlton Reid 32:10
Yeah. So Jim

Carlton Reid 32:11
this is this is your cue for talking about Bentonville and talking about

Carlton Reid 32:18
that the heirs to a certain fortune.

Jim Moss 32:21
I am on all these press lists, obviously. And one of them I got in May during the pit Well, during pandemic, which we’re still doing with it announced that Bentonville Arkansas was the mountain bike capital of the world. And if you go to the Bentonville, Arkansas, you know, tourism page, it’s the number one thing on the page. And the reason is the last time I actually looked at the number I know that the grandsons great grandsons, the heirs of the Walmart fortune, had put 30 some million dollars in to Arkansas mountain biking they have the longest mountain bike trail there’s a 500 mile mountain bike trail I guess they own what’s the clothing company they just bought the other day starts with a p

Jim Moss 33:16
but you know because of their

Carlton Reid 33:18
longtime investors then Rapha

Unknown Speaker 33:20
they

Carlton Reid 33:21
so they Rapha

Jim Moss 33:24
Rapha they’re now sole owners of Walmart’s now the sole owner of rapha. And it’s it’s big. I mean, they they hosted the world races mountain bike and cross races there for years now. I mean they’re supporting mountain biking and living here in Denver where I’ve been riding at least in Colorado once a week and not repeated a trail sits, you know and writing areas were on a trail You’ll see every 10 miles for trails take off and go different directions from their main trail. You know, I mean mountain biking, just, you just go for days here. It just cracks me up to see that Bentonville is the mountain bike capital of the world. I mean, I’m glad to put the money into it. So I’ve been bills realised

Carlton Reid 34:19
I’ve never been there either. I’ve been to Colorado, so I know you and I’ve certainly been to Park City Of course, Deer Valley, David, but is Bentonville, Arkansas? Is it is it ski? Is there skiing there in the winter and they’ve just extended out or is it they’ve just made a mountain bike community out there? So they haven’t got that infrastructure of it being a ski resort. The highest

Jim Moss 34:45
point in Arkansas is 2753 foot.

David Bernstein 34:53
I don’t it’s not my understanding that Arkansas

David Bernstein 34:57
is a ski No, they haven’t But no, I never heard They have a ski area as as,

David Bernstein 35:03
as a resident of Park City, Utah, which is a gold actually the first gold level mountain biking destination. According to imba, I need to know the Bentonville is only a silver level and we were the first gold level. And that here we have 450 miles of trails. And of course, we do have actual mountains. And yeah, we do have the infrastructure for skiing. And don’t forget, we’re also a resort community, which means we have lots of restaurants and bars and nightclubs and things like that when the pandemic is over. So I just need to defend a real mountain biking destination. Which is

Carlton Reid 35:40
Yeah, it’s an interesting claim. And it’s like all of these you can you can claim what you like nobody’s gonna stop you. Apart from other resorts. I’ll go well hang on one. And then there’s like a bidding war game.

Jim Moss 35:51
One of my riding buddies has gone to the area twice for the World Championships and really sort of scaling The racing because the writing was so phenomenal. He says the trails are immaculate, he says the perfect and they just rode on the whole time and then we get back in time to watch the vintage. But you know, it’s what 12 hours driving versus eight minutes.

Carlton Reid 36:21
OK, I can see, you’ve sent me some links here. So I’ll put them in in the show notes. Thank you.

David Bernstein 36:27
I have a cynical question for Michael forgave ignorance. But yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t realise that first of all, that they that they bought a majority stake in Rapha. I looked that up while you guys were chatting there. And of course, Walmart does sell bicycles, not that I would necessarily take them on trails. I get mad a lot or so. So the cynical question. Yeah. So the cynical question is this. Is this just sort of a marketing effort to sell more bikes and more

David Bernstein 36:59
clothes? No. Great

Carlton Reid 37:02
they just got lots of money the grand sons like now Yeah,

Jim Moss 37:06
they love Stuart Walton. Yeah,

Carlton Reid 37:09
stick with it dispel this stupid funny it’s kind of it’s not the normal way of spelling so I think he’s one of the key ones Okay, so hey they just got a tonne of cash so they’ve spent on their their prediction which is mountain biking and they certainly wouldn’t have made any money from from Rafa because Radford was losing lots of money so again, it was almost a vanity pile they got to buy this iconic brand Rafa but they they do have a pro really apologise here. I’m not going to search for this. I’m trying to think of it in my head. It begins with a V, but they’ve got a pro mountain bike brand, which was

Jim Moss 37:51
one of these handmade bikes, but they’ve declared bankruptcy twice.

Carlton Reid 37:57
No, no, it’s not that one. It’s a different one. I’ll search it up later on but it’s a V and I’ve done stories on it so I should know this. So they own Viathon that’s Walmart owns that I do apologise it’s Walmart owns that not the Walton grandson’s. That’s different. This is where it becomes confusing. Yes, yes, thank you. That’s the one. So Walmart owns that. But of course the Walton grandsons here, they’re on the Walmart board, but their businesses are totally different from Walmart. So they’re not trying to you know, get more business into into entry level Walmart bikes at all because they’re totally separate businesses,

David Bernstein 38:37
but that would be like me

David Bernstein 38:38
and well these viith on bikes are not going to be sold and

David Bernstein 38:42
it would be like me opening eliminate

Carlton Reid 38:44
the plan was eventually to maybe but yeah, it was it was a standalone thing.

Jim Moss 38:48
Yeah, that’s like, that’s to me opening a lemonade stand to support my income as an attorney.

Carlton Reid 38:56
Hmm, yeah, yeah, it’s pinprick stuff for sure. So while we’re talking about product, and we’re talking about where you can get bicycles from David, do we know any, any retailers of bicycles? Who might have gear advisors? Do we know any we have any stories we can tell about a such a brand, David,

David Bernstein 39:24
as a matter of fact, we do. What What a great question, Carlton. I am so glad you asked. You know, there is a site, there’s a site on the internet that you can go to where you can find your advisors. It’s called Jensen usa.com. slash the spokesman. Make sure you use that URL. Jensen USA is our longtime oil and wonderful sponsor. And and it is a place where you can call when you have questions before you make a purchase. And I’m going to give you an example. So we we were just talking about airstreams I rented one. I’m gonna come around to a point here. And in order to do that I needed I needed to buy a bunch of products for the trailer hitch on my car. And there is a website that you go to. And they say that you can talk to them and ask them questions I did that. I called, I asked them questions. I bought a bunch of products and it turned out not they weren’t, it wasn’t the greatest advice. The point of the story is this. A lot of times when you’re dealing with internet retailers, when you call, you may not necessarily be getting somebody on the phone, who has the kind of intimate knowledge of the products that you’re looking for. But when I’ve called the gear advisors at Jensen, USA, what I have found is that they know their stuff, and the advice that they give you is really good and the reason for that is simple. They’re cyclists. They’re riding to work to in front. They’re riding on the trails around Jensen, USA. At lunch or on the roads, and so they know the products that they’re selling. So if you’re looking for advice to on buying a product, best thing you can do is go to Jensen usa.com, get their phone number and give a call to one of their gear advisors. And while you’re there, here’s what you’re going to find. You’re going to find a great selection of products at really competitive at excellent prices. And of course, those gear advisors to give you some great customer support, we I would recommend them even if they weren’t a sponsor, but because they’re a sponsor, it makes it that much easy, easier. But in order to show them that you’re heard about them, on the spokesman, do us a favour and go to that URL. It’s Jensen usa.com slash the spokesman. And if you’ll go there, they put some products up there every once in a while that change that are some good suggestions, some things that we like and some things that they like, but go to that URL to let them know that you heard about them here on the spokesman that’s Jensen usa.com. We thank them a tonne for their support, and we thank you for importing Jenson USA. I’m so glad you asked that question.

Carlton Reid 42:06
It seems to come up every show.

Jim Moss 42:08
It’s not. I don’t know why. Yeah.

Jim Moss 42:13
topics.

David Bernstein 42:16
One of those perennial topics. It was funny, though, because you started, you started asking the question, I thought to myself, where’s he going with this?

Carlton Reid 42:27
Now, we were talking before about the Tour de France, but we can we can segue back to the turn of France. And I know, I know, David, I know both of you were saying we shouldn’t really talk about a certain pandemic issue. It is pretty much unavoidable at the moment, however, and we talked the last time we were together about whether the Tour de France is going to go on it right now. It does seem as though it’s going to go on and one of the ways they they are making sure it goes on is having this rule, which I think velonews broke the story. Two or three days ago, where the protocol they’re going to use the ASO that organises them tour France is two strikes and you’re out in effect. So if you have two riders who test positive, the whole team is out of the Tour de France

David Bernstein 43:23
riders. It wasn’t somebody sorry. Yes. They were upset. Yeah. I mean, it could be a bus driver. Yes. One year. It could be.

Carlton Reid 43:32
Anybody. anybody involved with the team? Yeah, sure. Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. So do you think that’s gonna I mean, this three week has an awful long time and especially when you look at the cases in France are going up. They’re going up quite fast. And so the closer we get to the sort of rounds that that’s gonna be and we also know that you know that the world championships are already off. So France is putting on there and Massive a massive event with these protocols. Are they enough David to do you think the show will last the whole three weeks the show that is the greatest annual sporting event.

David Bernstein 44:13
I am neither a doctor neuroscientist.

David Bernstein 44:18
But

David Bernstein 44:20
But I have done a lot of reading. And I have been following this very, very closely. And if you and so a couple of things, number one, you’re right. The case case numbers in Europe, unfortunately, over the last couple of days and weeks have been increasing. And people are getting very concerned about a second search happening. And so that that’s that’s an issue. A number of teams have already had positives throughout the last few weeks. And so that’s a concern. They’re putting the teams in sort of mini bubbles, which is sort of a silly thing when you think about the fact that okay, but then they’re out on the roads of France and they’re all drafting and in a peloton. So I just I have doubts about that. And then you think about think about this, I was, again, because my mother asked me about Chris Froome. And so she was asking me the same question you asked about you, will they actually be able to pull this off? Let’s talk about a climb and the top of a climb and what it looks like during a normal race. And does that seem a bit dangerous to you, from a, a, an infection prevention standpoint. So my hope because I’m looking forward to watching the race. My hope is that it will go off weeks, and I pray that nobody gets sick. But the realist in me is very concerned about whether or not this will happen now, I’m very curious to hear what justice moss has to say.

Jim Moss 46:20
Well, I think you’ll be one of the most effective virus

Jim Moss 46:25
movement centres in the world.

Jim Moss 46:28
How many colleges and universities had these great plans, spent the summer disinfecting, and then tried to tell 20 year olds not to get close to each other and failed miserably and now are all you know I mean, we think up to a dozen that had students on campus and now the students have been sent home and said you’re going to learn virtually this year. I mean, I love the Tour de France. I love everything about it. I you know, it’s just the one have the greatest spectacles that we see each year. And spectacles meaning a good word for the first time, but you’ve got people screaming bloody murder on the sidelines, and you know that they’re spewing particles all the way across the road. And these writers are going to be writing through that. If you got a two strike rule you better at quarantine your entire staff and bus drivers a week and a half ago so that you got at least 14 days going in. I don’t care how much testing they do the the the testing is good for an hour, you know, and then you can be sick and spewing. You know, the study just came out that kids don’t get the disease but they all spread it. In fact, I mean, some some astronomical numbers above 50% of the kids in some areas have had the disease but if show no symptoms, and yet they are still able to spread the disease. I mean, it’s just, you know, you’re gonna have to put barriers up the entire hundred and 80 mile route sometimes 120 mile routes to be able to keep people away. And then you got people in the peloton. I mean I know going uphill that I ride breathing slowly through my nose when my mouth closed. Okay, people climb back into chairs after falling out.

Jim Moss 48:26
You know your

Jim Moss 48:28
I if I’m wearing a mask, I take it off because I think it’s slowing down oxygen. And I need all that actually I get especially with our fires right now. Um, I just I mean, I hope I pray I want but I don’t think it’s gonna work. I just, there’s just no way.

David Bernstein 48:47
You are you guys. Are you guys writing masks, like wearing them? I didn’t hiding it riding riding. No writing Ronnie.

Jim Moss 48:56
I wear a buff, keep it around my neck and then when I see Somebody’s yeah pull it up. unless somebody’s gotten off the trail a long way so a lot of people are doing that a lot of people used to be people pull the bikes off or step off the side of the trail so you can pass mountain biking, road biking, you know it’s it’s the slalom weed as I say you’re just working your way around people. Few of them are wearing masks, but very few people wear a mask outside here in Denver. Yeah, and most the time I’m not really either. And, and after the first five minutes of writing, it’s wet anyway was sweat.

Carlton Reid 49:38
About two months ago, there was a sounds strange to say that there was a viral posting. I think it was on medium.com of athletes. There was like the graphic of the droplets being breathed out into the outside air, and then how many people it would in fact outside and then A huge controversy over that particular graphic is not as dangerous out there. It was controversial it was it was by Burt Blocken. I know the guy who did it. He’s the aerodynamicist. So he’s the guy who models aerodynamic effects

Carlton Reid 50:18
of cycling.

Carlton Reid 50:18
So he was then out of his comfort zone, I think here and he was doing this particular modelling got shot down in flames very quickly by lots and lots of other experts. But then a lot of that has still is still lingering in that you should be wearing masks even outside and it came from that particular block and modelling, but David, are you saying you are wearing a mask outside and the reasoning behind

David Bernstein 50:46
it is or No, No, I’m not. I’m like Jim, you know with a buff. I can’t imagine climbing you know, a mountain with a with a mask on it. I just think it would be tough, but I’m not around anyone, you know, maybe my wife because we ride together, or my daughter. But the good news is, I’m lucky and fortunate in that I live someplace where even when I’m out for a long ride, I’m usually not seeing anybody and I’m seeing them. You know, I’m passing them really, really quickly. And at least according to like, for instance, the doctors in charge of our Department of Health here in our county, you know, he says, it’s all about viral load. He says, if you’re outside and you’re hiking, and you’re just passing somebody, you’re not getting that load. And again, I’m not a doctor or scientists don’t believe anything I say. But so anyway, no short answer is no, I’m not wearing a mask and I’ve got the buffer

David Bernstein 51:46
in your you’re not passing or seeing anybody when you ride.

David Bernstein 51:53
I choose where I go. So for instance, on the weekends, riding around here in Park City, the roads are are literally clogged with cyclists. I choose not to ride in greater park in the Park City area in this valley. I will drive someplace to go for a ride because a there’s fewer cars and B there’s fewer people and see I can generally I get, you know I get tired of riding in the same place every single day. So during the week number riding in Park City, and on the weekends I go someplace where usually there’s far, far, far fewer people. See, you

Carlton Reid 52:26
know, in the last show, I actually griped about this and this is a crazy and stupid thing to brag about. But the fact that the teams don’t have team masks, and they still don’t. And I’m just I’m sure I am. I am blown away that they haven’t got loaded up masks. That’s just what why not. You can make them medical you can make them you can make them just put some covering over and these are big bits of real estate for putting in front of the TV cameras

Jim Moss 52:56
that you can find a place in around Park City to rock Hi. I went for a mountain bike ride on Friday. Yeah, we started in a well known parking lot. But we rode for four and a half hours. Which I figured out with a keto diet is stupid. I got to switch things because man when you when you bonk on, keto you’re done. There’s just nothing and nothing you can do so, but we probably passed.

Jim Moss 53:29
I’d say 150 cyclists.

Jim Moss 53:33
Well, but you’re talking about even road riding. I

Jim Moss 53:38
I bet you there’s 10 times more cyclists out right now, on the road. Wherever I mean, on the bike trails, they’re just they’re just crowded. I mean, they’re literally crowded. I used to go for a ride at certain times on the bike trails and I wouldn’t see anyone for miles. And I’m seeing I mean, literally 10 times more cyclists. And, and 10 times so even more African American cyclists, which is I is really great. The diversity is awesome right nowadays, but hundreds of cyclists

David Bernstein 54:16
have it you you live you, you’re you’re you your greater metropolitan area has more population than my entire state. And I’ll give you an example. So I’m every year on my birthday, I ride my age in miles plus one to grow on. So this year, I rode from essentially the Park City area to Evanston, Wyoming. Okay. You think we saw any cyclists out there? No.

David Bernstein 54:44
It was the two of us.

David Bernstein 54:46
That was it. And a bunch of cows and antelope drive out.

Jim Moss 54:52
Well, first of all, being in the right now you can ride other than for six miles section from downtown Denver to Utah. bike trails. Okay, we got a six mile section in the canyon where I’m going well, you can’t get there right now because, of course, I 70 through Lynwood canyons close because we’re fires. But saw that I mean there we have cyclists everywhere that there are if you go into the bike shops I thought they had some new bikes on display and I walked around yesterday finally looked at the new bikes, and it was just repair stuff that it had no place else to put. They put it in the stands where they normally have bikes for sale. But there are bikes that I haven’t seen in 20 or 30 years that are being brought out of closets and attics and garages and said here fix this up. I want to write it, including, did you know that Ford made an electric bike 25 years ago, Lee Iacocca invented an electric bike and this bike my bike shop at Mountain Sports had won on the show floor and it was a beautiful bike.

Carlton Reid 56:03
When when he left, he then started the electric bike company.

Jim Moss 56:07
They were so big for dealers and this guy actually gave one. It was amazing. I was stunned about how, how closely it matched what we have today.

David Bernstein 56:21
You know, one of the talking about electric bikes one of the things we’ve talked about on the show for years and years and years and years, is electric bikes. And what I’m finding lately around here is that I’m seeing an explosion of electric bike sales. There’s just it seems to me like there’s electric bikes.

Jim Moss 56:40
The only electric bikes that I can find right now are the extremely high end $6,000 electric bikes in Canada. Other than that, there’s nothing left Ah, and and Friday’s ride four hours of riding we solve for electric bikes, electric mountain bikes.

Carlton Reid 57:00
Do you know what I’m getting next? My next electric bike and it’s from a good friend of yours, David, that we mentioned last show as well. Josh at Tern. So I had a big a big episode with him. The last episode to find out the spokesmen was actually a show with with Joshua. Okay, so they’re sending me one of those bikes. So trial. So it’s the new GSD with all these trick new features on it. So I’m going to have that for a couple of weeks to ride around on and that is an expensive, that’s like $8,000 up isn’t it? That’s the you get all the bells and whistles and you’re talking $12,000 So, but that’s a cool bike and that’s, that’s, that’s that’s a

Jim Moss 57:52
son to soccer practice and his son is on the back of the plate reading you know, I mean What besides that amazing podcast and amazing story about this bike, the fact that was the one thing that I left with was, it’s so comfortable and it’s so easy to ride that your son on the back on the way to soccer practice is reading. Mm hmm. I like it.

Carlton Reid 58:19
Yeah, now that they’ve done well with that particular bicycle, so we could ramble on about airstreams electric bikes to the from the pandemic, we could, we could keep on going. But we can’t we have got to stop at some point. And this is the point we have to stop. It’s that point of the show, where David wouldn’t would use to say the tips but because I’m in charge, we don’t have tips. If people think we ought to have tips again, then absolutely. We’ll, we’ll bring it back.

David Bernstein 58:54
There are a lot of know. I love that part of the show, but that’s okay. It’s your show.

Carlton Reid 59:00
So what we normally do, when we don’t have tips is and tips we can have both of course, is we say where we can actually find each other on on on social media. So, Jim, where can we see you and your grumbling dog on social media, y’all

Jim Moss 59:19
two of them do have

Jim Moss 59:21
talks.

Jim Moss 59:23
One of them’s over in the corner. Easiest way to find me is just to Google recreation law, recreation dot law@gmail.com recreation dash law, calm as my website blog

Jim Moss 59:40
or actually you now Google “Jim Moss” I think I keep popping up.

Jim Moss 59:46
People are working on that getting rid of me.

Jim Moss 59:50
But yeah, and in all honesty, people.

Jim Moss 59:54
I only get contacted like once every, you know, once a year once every six months and no I enjoy comments from readers and a lot of them have have straightened me out and helped me out. And so please do not hesitate to get a hold of me if you have a question. And I’m not, you know, I mean, if it’s a short five minute labour question I answered because it’s quicker to email you then to bill you.

Jim Moss 1:00:18
It takes 20 minutes to do a bill.

Jim Moss 1:00:22
If you’ve got a question or a con, let us know. We like knowing what you like hearing so we can talk about we may not talk about it because you know, we’re, we’re here to talk. We’re gonna follow our script. Anywhere. We end up going but but yeah, get ahold of us recreation. dot law@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you. Really.

Carlton Reid 1:00:49
Okay, and the world’s VPN expert, David, where can we hear

David Bernstein 1:00:55
and I’m not going to tell you which VPN I use because they don’t sponsor the show. Um, yeah, I I think the best place to find me these days is on Instagram. I’m Fred cast on Instagram, but if you want to shoot me an email, my email address has not changed and all my How long has it been Carlton like 15 years of podcasting. Now the Fred cast@gmail.com ba Fred cast@gmail.com, Oregon on instinct Africa

Carlton Reid 1:01:20
ever, ever gonna bring that show back? David ever?

David Bernstein 1:01:24
It’s an excellent question. I have toyed with doing a slightly different show, which I’m not going to explain here someday I will do it the problem. Okay, the problem with the Fred cast is the amount of preparation time that it took. And then of course, you know, if let’s say I did an hour long Fred cast that was probably four hours of recording and editing and, and post producing time. And then to prepare for an hour long Fred cast took me some time, sometimes 678 hours and I just got to the point where It was just too much time.

David Bernstein 1:02:02
A day.

David Bernstein 1:02:04
Yeah, well, it was time that I took throughout the week. And so that took me away from my family and took me away from my job and all of my, my paying job. I miss it. I miss the the interaction with the listeners. I won’t lie, I miss the product tests, and the swag and stuff like that. But the show I’ve been I’ve sort of been noodling about for the last couple of years would not take that kind of preparation. It’s more of a of a one on one interview show. Someday I’ll do it and I would not get

Carlton Reid 1:02:37
your feed will still be there. You just pump in the same feed. So people have got it. You know, I really see how they probably haven’t deleted it. It’s just it’s still gonna come out.

David Bernstein 1:02:48
Yeah. And my thought would be that if I did this new show, I would put I would put the first few episodes into the feed with a little sort of a prelude to say, Hey, you know, podcast listeners. This is what I’m now doing. Blah, blah, blah. But for now, I just I got to focus on, on on business and family and air streams. Right

Carlton Reid 1:03:08
It just remind people that shade. David, that was the because it was such an Early Show. It was the biggest show. So the Fred cast at the time, and for no good number of years was the biggest bicycling. Yeah,

David Bernstein 1:03:22
podcast. Yeah, it had the most listeners. I got, especially during the tour. I got, I mean, the number of downloads per show was was astronomical for a cycling show. It’s interesting, though, around the same time, a number of other cycling podcasts. So there was there were a couple that were around before I started. And then there were a couple that started shortly thereafter. And there are a couple that are still around that are extremely successful, and that are well monetized good for them. So I think he’s

Carlton Reid 1:03:56
talking about David Haye, talking about

David Bernstein 1:03:59
so the two jobs are still around, and they’re still doing their thing. The velocast. Our friends are doing very well and they’re monetized and and and then, you know, there’s there’s some other people I mean, there’s a I go, I can see her face. I’m sorry, I can’t remember her name. She’s such a nice woman. outspoken podcast. We know her. She was at press camp. She’s great. She’s just such a nice person.

Carlton Reid 1:04:29
Thanks to my co host, David Bernstein, and attorney Jim Moss. Links for the stuff we talked about can be found on the-spokesman.com. The next episode could be another product unveil. Watch out for that on September the first and I mean, watch out because it should be another video. It’ll also be available on The audio, of course, but it’ll be on the YouTube channel that I’ve got, which I’ll embed on, of course, the-spokesman.com. Meanwhile, get out there and ride…

August 10, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 253: Next Generation Tern GSD Unveil With Josh Hon

Monday 10th August 2020

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUEST: Josh Hon, team captain, Tern Bicycles

TRANSCRIPT

Carlton Reid 0:12
Welcome to Episode 253 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show was engineered on Monday 10th of August 2020.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast. For shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen.

Carlton Reid 1:09
The Tern GSD, or get stuff done, is an iconic compact electric cargobike used by families and business the world over since its launch in 2017. I’m Carlton Reid and on today’s show I speak with company CEO Josh Hon. He actually prefers to call himself team captain rather than CEO and Josh tells me that he and key members of staff work for this innovative folding bike company because they believe so much in transportation cycling and could have easily got better paid jobs in other sectors had they wanted to. This enthusiasm shines through in everything Tern does, and their latest machine is no exception. And what a machine — it’s the much anticipated, 2nd generation GSD, packed full of improvements. Today’s the official launch day and I managed to catch up with Josh at the weekend — we chatted with a Zoom-style service and if you want to see the new GSD as well as sneak a peak inside’s Josh’s apartment in Taiwan then check out the YouTube video I’ve embedded on the-spokesmen.com The video uses the same audio as this podcast but you get to see Josh squatting down to run through the bike’s features …

Carlton Reid 2:40
Now tell me first of all, about the GSD version one. So that was 2017 because this is a an epoch changing bicycle. This was a bicycle that that changed the parameters of what an electric cargo bike looked like and could do. So go back in history and tell me about 2017 when you first came up with this thing.

Josh Hon 3:08
Well, it was really just it was an evolution right? So the GSD in its final form was not where we started it was it when we started it was actually quite a bit shorter. It wasn’t really cargo focused as much. But just as as we started to develop it and prototype it, and really spend time thinking about it, we were just thinking that well, you know, if you’re really going to develop an electric bicycle, and it’s going to be optimised for carrying a passenger or two and and more weight, you really have to design it differently than a regular muscle powered bicycle. Right, a muscle powered bicycle is, you know, you you optimise for low rolling resistance with large wheels, right and so you you can’t but you compromise with cargo space and centre of gravity. But with electric you, you don’t need to make that same compromise, you can compromise a little bit differently because you have that extra extra boost. So you don’t need the large wheels. But then you get the lower centre of gravity and more more room for cargo. And it also has to do with you know, just even your riding position, right, your riding position, muscle powered bike is is is a bit more forward, it’s down and and that’s less air resistance. Again, when you have an electric bike, you don’t have to make that same compromise and you can sit more upright, be a bit more comfortable, be more visible in traffic, right then you can see over the tops of cars, that’s something that’s nice. And so really that’s the GSD was really our kind of evolution and thinking about okay if we’re going to design an urban bicycle that can help people drive a little bit less. How should we design that? And how could we do it? And so it kind of evolved a few times. And we ended up you know, with the GST.

Carlton Reid 5:17
So, forgive me for saying this, I’m sure you know this, but it maybe it’s nice for somebody else to tell you this, it’s iconic. So it’s an iconic bicycle. I can spot it from a long, long way away. I know exactly what it is. And I have seen them all over the world. So when I’ve been in America, I’ve seen a GSD on the bike paths. In the UK, I’ve seen GSDs dotting about, so it’s an iconic bicycle. So, you’ve sold a fair few of these around the world?

Josh Hon 5:47
Sure. Yep. We’re pretty happy with sales. Yeah, it’s I mean, it was a leap for us, right. It was our first non-folding bicycle. We had quite a few debates, strenuous debates, on the team: do we go out with this small wheeled non-folding, relatively heavy bicycle? And I remember thinking, man, this is a bit risky. It could bomb, but it really could bomb. And we’re lucky. We’re fortunate that you know, in fact, our largest distribution partner, when we told them about the product, and we showed them renderings, they said, don’t do it. We don’t need that. And that’s, that’s a, that’s a bit that’s a bit hard when, right, your largest customer by far says, don’t do it, we don’t need it. Fortunately, you know, we’d been ridng prototypes quite a bit by that time where we, you know, we were confident enough to think they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ll come around, and fortunately they did. But yeah, it’s It’s been it’s been a quite a journey.

Carlton Reid 7:03
I would describe it not only iconic but as a car killer in that you can do things on it – I mean, all cargo bikes are car killers – but this one in particular because you can do … It’s modular, it’s got lots of things on it. So I know we’re gonna be talking about the GSD version two, you’ve got a brand new one out, but let’s stick to the 2017 model First of all, so what did you have? What kind of modular things did you have to make this into a car killer? So you could all these different things you could you could put on it and take off and what do you have then? And we can we can talk about the new stuff in a minute.

Josh Hon 7:42
Well, I would start by saying it’s not intended to be a car killer. We also drive cars and for longer distances, cars make perfect sense. But you know, for short trips, right, less than five miles, driving a car is is a bit silly. And it’s just it’s crazy that in all of the cities around the world, you have massive congestion. And a huge percentage of those trips are all less than five miles. So the idea is can we make a bicycle that’s convenient, where, you know, I remember used I used to go out on rides, and you know, it’s been 20 minutes running around the house. I have to look for my lights, my helmet, my lock, the kids’ lights, and I’d have to see if they’re charged and it was just this huge pain and, you know, when you go out to drive your car, all you need is your keys, right? That’s it, you get your keys and everything that you need is is there on the car. And so I think with the GSD the thinking is the same thing, right? You have a trip to the market, a trip to the library, a school drop off, you just grab your bike keys, and hop on the bike and everything that you need is there and so that includes safety things, right. So, you know, we have a Clubhouse that that wraps around the children to keep them safe and centred on the bike. The lights are there, the lock is there, you know, so everything that you need. And so that’s what we’re always thinking about is, you know, how can we make that bicycle more convenient, and an easier choice and, and and largely we are the customers. So it’s really, you know, the GSD has its specific form factor, because we want to use it, right, so, we live in a building where we’re on the eighth floor and we have an elevator. So a cargo bike that doesn’t fit in that elevator just simply doesn’t fit in our lives. And, you know, I think the thing is, is that’s true for a lot of people living in cities. And, you know, another example is when we when we showed the vertical parking feature on the GSD we thought it was brilliant, because you know, all of us on the Taipei team live in apartments with elevators. But when we showed it to our German friends, our partners, their product team didn’t get it at first because they all have large garages and houses. And I think the funniest thing is that actually so they came back and they said, yeah, we we don’t get this vertical thing. You know, what are you guys thinking with this? It’s not it’s it doesn’t make sense. But the, the owner of the company, he got it. And so the great thing was seeing the owner of the company,a seventy year old gentleman at Eurobike. And he’s like, flipping the bike up and showing dealers and so all the product guys are looking at the owner going, oh, he gets it. He understands it. And so that that was that was quite a lot of fun. But I think it’s

Carlton Reid 10:58
Sorry, so you put it up on its end and then it just stands there?

Josh Hon 11:01
Yes. So it takes up the floor space of a potted plant. You know, you could stick it in the corner of your living room. Yep. Yeah.

Carlton Reid 11:14
So that’s 2017 and it was it’s a fantastic product has been fantastic for you it’s been fantastic for Tern’s brand awareness because lots of companies have got this this bike, lots of families have got this bike and I know you don’t want to call it a car killer but I’m sure lots of people have got rid of their second car and got this particular bicycle. And GSD, let’s just let’s remind people or tell people for the first time who don’t know this, it stands for Get Stuff Done. So it’s like a practical bicycle, that’s not a car killer, even though it is a car killer, it’s get stuff done. Yeah?

Josh Hon 11:51
That’s the PG version. Yes.

Carlton Reid 11:55
Okay stuff. Okay. Okay. I see where you’re going there. We’ll leave that. So 2017 we now spring forward to 2020 is this would you call it MKII? What do you how do you describe this, the new GSD?

Josh Hon 12:14
Well, it’s Generation Two. It’s, we call it just the New GSD. Yeah, so we basically, you know, of course, as in any product development project, you have to freeze things so that your, your supply chain can get to work on them. So we had to freeze things, you know, well in advance. And so, there have been so many things were we’ve seen, that could be improved or that could be improved and, and you have to wait. And in addition, right, our dealers, our distribution partners, our customers have made, you know, literally hundreds of recommendations to us. Could you add this, could you add this, could you add this, could you do that? Could this be lighter or faster? You know, more convenient. And so that’s what we’ve had, you know, two years to work on and so we are really excited for version two.

Carlton Reid 13:12
Josh, why don’t we now do an unveil? Like let’s let’s have a look at you touching and feeling the new GSD. Okay. And then you can tell me that the things when I’ve got a list here because you’ve sent me a press release, you’ve you’ve … Walk me through it, I mean, you can start with I mean, the first thing on my press release is a stronger, stiffer frame. So start with that.

Josh Hon 13:41
So here it is. Here’s the bike. Kitted out.

Josh Hon 13:47
Yeah, so the so here’s the frame.

Josh Hon 13:51
We we made it substantially stronger. That’s, you know, when you are carrying a maximum load it just It just rides a lot more stably when the frame is stiff, you know, there are

Carlton Reid 14:06
Sorry, Josh, is it heavier, stronger and stiffer and a little bit heavier or?

Josh Hon 14:12
The bicycle is heavier. Yeah, that’s the unfortunate thing with physics; if you want to make it stronger and stiffer you add more material. So the bike is a bit stiffer, is a bit heavier. But it’s just so we’ve we’ve actually sent the frames off to EFBE in Germany, for stiffness testing, we’ve just gotten the numbers back — in vertical stiffness, we are 40% stiffer. So in the words of the EFBE tech who was doing the testing, and version one was already the stiffness, stiffest frame vertically that they had ever tested.

Carlton Reid 14:59
So they It doesn’t matter because it’s electric. Yeah, it doesn’t matter that it’s that it’s slightly heavier. Well, yeah.

Josh Hon 15:07
Yep. I mean, yes, absolutely. But the stiffness matters a whole lot because when you have wiggling kids on the back or you have cargo and you’re manoeuvring through traffic, if you get a little bit of a wiggle, it makes you feel uncomfortable. And that’s so important with cargo bikes because there there are cargo bikes where the frames aren’t quite as stiff and you definitely feel that and when you feel unstable or unsafe, you go okay, I’m not gonna I’m not gonna do that route or that ride anymore. And torsionally we are 15% stiffer. And so EFBE said we are on par with kind of the the heavy duty sporty, kind of downhill bikes that they’ve tested. So we are very happy with, and of course, this is a longer frame, so having that torsional stiffness with a substantially longer frame is quite good, but 15% stiffer than GSD version one and 40% stiffer vertically than version one.

Carlton Reid 16:12
And just cuz, you’re now crouching down there, what’s that wheel size?

Josh Hon 16:16
So that’s a 20 inch wheel.

Carlton Reid 16:20
That’s the same GSD Onw, GSD Two, 20 inches is your platform?

Josh Hon 16:24
Yes, yes.

Josh Hon 16:28
Well, you can see just from the side view also there’s

Josh Hon 16:35
I mean, everything from the motor is updated as well. So we we’ve opted for the top of the line Bosch cargo line motor, 85 newton metres of torque, it has 400% assistance. It’s the best kind of cargo bike motor that, you know, that’s on the market today. Towards the front, you can see we used to have a rigid fork. So some people will had mentioned that, hey, with smaller wheels even though you have large diameter balloon tires, on bad roads, you know, like Berlin, lots of cobblestones. You know that that was an issue. So we decided to add a suspension fork for comfort, a little bit more control over bad roads.

Carlton Reid 17:29
And that suspension fork is across all of the models because you can go through what models you’ve got coming up, but that’s on all the models is the front suspension fault, but the rear one is only on some models.

Josh Hon 17:42
The suspension. Correct the suspension fork is on all models. Yes. Yep.

Carlton Reid 17:49
Okay, and it’s gonna sound like a daft question here but so what colours have you got? Let’s just say you know that we’ve got a very nice yellow there but what other colour options have you got?

Josh Hon 18:02
Well, for the we’ve got matte black as everybody does has, we have the original Beetle Blue, that very bright, kind of old VW colour which we like a lot. We have a colour called Tabasco. So we like Tabasco sauce, so it’s this kind of orangey red colour. We have a couple of different shades of grey, so a lighter grey and darker grey, we have a sage colour and we have Dragonfly Fruit, which is a bit of a polarising colour. So Dragonfruit is kind of this purplish red it’s very vibrant. I think you either love it or you hate it. And yet different people here on the team are in different camps.

Carlton Reid 18:53
That’s actually quite a lot of colorways I thought you’re gonna say white, yellow, red and black. But that’s that’s a that’s a fair few. Yeah.

Josh Hon 19:00
Yep. Okay, we’re finding that Yeah, in in, in some, in some, in some cities there are so many GSDs running about about that people are actually saying ‘you know, I don’t want to have the same colour as everybody else, you guys need more colours.’ So okay, so that’s what we’ve done.

Carlton Reid 19:20
Okay, so which particular model is this so you’ve got is it three models you’ve got? Which one is this?

Josh Hon 19:25
This is the entry level this is the S10. So this has a 10 speed Deore derailleur drivetrain. We also have the S00 which has the Enviolo hub with infinitely variable gears and a belt drive. And our favourite, which is the the R14. The R14 is with a Rohloff hub and a belt. It’s basically, we just put everything on that bike.

Carlton Reid 19:39
The Rolls Royce, that’s kind of bike, the bee’s knees. That’s the ultimate with a Rohloff. Wow. Yeah. So before we go, we could have done this at the end. But let’s let’s while you’re sorry for making you crouch there, Josh. But it’s a compact, you can almost get the whole thing in the video screen here. That’s great. So, tell me the prices. No, we’re gonna done this at the end. But as you’re as you’re down there now and we’re going to the various models, so start with the Rohloff, let’s go from top to bottom because Rohloff that’s gonna be that’s gonna be pricey. So how pricey is it?

Josh Hon 20:38
The Rohloff? Well, I’ll give you the US dollar pricing. It’ll be slightly different in Europe and the UK. Rohloff is if I recall, at $8,200.

Carlton Reid 20:55
So that’s not that much different from the Euro price. I mean, it’s roughly the same I mean, I’ve got the list here. I mean the yeah 8300 in effect. Yeah 8899 Euros so that’s the that’s the so let’s that we’re frightening people right now that’s the top of the range. So if you want the absolute best GSD that’s the one Rohloff hub. Eight and a half thousand pounds. This is why it’s a car killer, tthese are these are pricey things, Josh, you’ve got to get rid of a car to afford the bike.

Josh Hon 21:33
Well, this is what so this is not only just the Rohloff, it’s the E14 electronic shifting. So when you come to a stop, you hear it go ck-ck-ck. And it downshifts for you so you have the perfect gear to start off. It also comes with a double battery. It comes with, you know, our super premium lighting system. So it’s it’s really everything. It’s more than just this Rohloff hub.

Carlton Reid 22:00
Okay, put me down for three, three of those.

Josh Hon 22:04
Okay, no problem.

Carlton Reid 22:05
That’s fantastic. Okay, so that’s that’s the bee’s knees, that’s the ultimate right let’s step down. Let’s go to the yet. Let’s forget the middle. Let’s go straight to the, I don’t want to call it a bottom of the range because that’s crazy. Let’s talk about the one you’ve got there. The yellow one, the E10. So how much is that gonna cost people?

Josh Hon 22:23
The S10 is 4,500 Euros.

Josh Hon 22:30
That’ll be 4,500 euros, I think it might be $4,600 and it should be right about there in pounds as well.

Carlton Reid 22:41
And how much is what what price differences is that compared to the models that are already out there in shops.

Josh Hon 22:49
Basically, they are a $500 step up from the version one so you know you we’ve basically upgraded frame we’ve added upgraded fork we’ve upgraded the motor. We’ve we’ve added on a lot of standards, you know like that block is now standard. The lower decks are standard, the wheel guard is standard. So a lot of standard things and it jumps up by $500

Carlton Reid 23:16
OK. Now what I did notice there when when you’re crouching down was the kickstand. So you have an all new kickstand, it’s it says it’s patented. So what what what’s that kickstand going to do for me?

Josh Hon 23:30
Well, the kickstand is incredibly strong, incredibly stable. The beautiful thing about it is that it locks into place. So when you lower it, it locks automatically. And so when you are loading it up with cargo or you put your kids on it and they’re wiggling around, or even if you have it parked in your garage next to your nice car and somebody bumps into it. It’s safe. It’ll stay stable, it’s safe. It won’t tip over. The other thing that’s that’s really nice about it is that it has a remote unlock. So you load up the bike. And then you step over the bike, press the remote unlock, and roll forward, and you’re off. And so that’s a very different usage than, you know, like putting your kids on, holding it. Hey, you climb on using one hand to get them on. And then you have to swing your leg over while you’re holding your bike. So so it really dramatically I think, Carlton, you’ve used the original, right and, and you know that the original, you couldn’t load 40, 50 kilos of things on the back, step over the bike and then roll forward. You had to get it off the kickstand with with a bit of effort. And then you have to swing your leg over while the bike is fully loaded. So I think if you

Carlton Reid 24:53
Yeah, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t say that’s a weak point because that’s everybody you know, every every kickstand kind of does that no matter how beefy they are. But to have the remote one and to lock in that’s that sounds like an amazing upgrade. Yeah, especially if it’s slightly bigger and heavier and you’ve you’ve got kids on the back and you’ve got that’s gonna be amazing. Yeah, that particular so is that your? Is that proprietary?

Josh Hon 25:17
Yes. Yes. So version one to version one of the bike right? The the kickstand that we spec’ed was an off the shelf version. It was not as, let’s say robust or easy to use as, as people would have liked. And so it was one of the weaknesses of the bikes. We had some some complaints regarding it. And so that’s something that we’ve been thinking about for two years, and we’ve had two years to design something special. And so we we feel like we’ve we’ve hit a homerun with the skid stand. So we’re excited to let people see it because there’s there’s nothing out there on the market like this.

Carlton Reid 25:56
If somebody’s got a GSD now can they retrofit, could they say ‘can I get one of them on my existing one?’ Or is that got to be on this one?

Josh Hon 26:04
It has to be on this one. We did make retrofittable Atlas kickstand as you know. But this version, the connection points are quite different. So yeah, so yeah,

Carlton Reid 26:15
I kind of figured that I thought I’d ask. Yeah. Okay, so that’s called the Atlas lock stand I can see here. Yes. So that’s that’s pretty special. And then the frame geometry, have you have you changed how the frame rides looks, measures? What’s what’s the what’s the differences between GSD1 and this one?

Josh Hon 26:38
Well, we tweaked the geometry. So version one, I think people generally like the geometry a lot. But I would say that it wasn’t really optimal for people 6ft3, 6ft4, 6ft5 so really tall riders

Carlton Reid 26:55
I’m out here. That’s that’s, I like the small one, you know, Then I can fit this but anyway, sorry, sorry, six foot three. Okay.

Josh Hon 27:03
Okay, so the really tall riders would find our handlebars a little bit low, and the cockpit a little bit cramped. So you know that that describes quite a lot of riders. And so, again, we’ve tweaked the geometry and we’ve slackened the seatpost. We’ve raised the handlebars, so the handlebars are six centimetres higher than before.

Josh Hon 27:28
And the slacker seatpost to hold …. Yep, it’s a lot.

Josh Hon 27:33
And you know, with a slacker seatpost as you go up the the cockpit lengthens more quickly. And if you’re, if you’re shorter than you know, that cockpit, that cockpit shrinks, and so it’s really a better geometry for very tall riders, or if you’re on the shorter side.

Carlton Reid 27:52
Yeah, so, which is

Carlton Reid 27:53
me? Mike is definitely me.

Josh Hon 27:56
We’re in the average, we’re average.

Carlton Reid 27:59
And then the accessories you have, what are they? They’re different. Is is a different modular like, you know, clicking points it is a completely brand new platform is what I’m trying to say. Even even the accessories you’ve got are gonna be different or can accessories from the first one fit on this one or vice versa. what’s what’s what’s the, what’s the, what’s the thing that’s going on there?

Josh Hon 28:20
Yeah, the accessories are, I would say largely compatible. Not all but largely so in the front all of the front accessories that we had before will work on Gen Two in the rear, many of the accessories will be compatible. I think what we had in the front and the rear, we were pretty happy with but we we tweaked some small things and optimised a little bit. But yeah. The key is that we also have developed a number of new accessories as well. So we have announced three accessories. We have a Clubhouse Plus, which works better with child seats so you can have any combination of large child, small child or child seat and double child seat. We also have a lower deck and we have the new cargo hold panniers you can see here so it’s a

Carlton Reid 29:24
so that they expand out and how much can they fit in?

Josh Hon 29:27
Well, these hold 52 litres. The thing that we love is the Fidlock buckle.

Carlton Reid 29:35
So oh, what’s going on that then magnets?

Josh Hon 29:38
Yeah, they’re magnets. They’re they’re Fidlock. They’re a German design

Carlton Reid 29:43
Oh, Fidlocks, okay, I’ve got the water bottles. Okay. Yes,

Josh Hon 29:46
yes.

Josh Hon 29:49
Yeah, yeah. Just easy to use every every time you use it and you think that’s so cool.

Josh Hon 29:55
So, so the capacity of those paniers is 52 litres per side right? So that’s 140 litres. Wow, that’s a lot of shopping that you can do you know, your your, your kids can put their feet inside and there’s still room for their bags or you know, a grocery run.

Carlton Reid 30:15
How many kids can you get in there then, comfortably?

Josh Hon 30:18
Comfortably? Two .

Carlton Reid 30:20
Not in those bags? Sorry in the in the Clubhouse how many kids can get in the clubhouse? Two kids?

Carlton Reid 30:25
Or and then there’s

Carlton Reid 30:27
a Captain’s chair as well what’s that?

Josh Hon 30:30
The Captain’s chair is for bigger kids. So if you’re over 10 years old or 100 I don’t remember the exact something like 135 centimetres. So for an adult, you know, every now and then, you know, I’ve ridden my mom to work. So when I need to do some product testing, I enlist Mom, I say hey, can you hop on the back I want to see how comfortable it is and, and so the Captain’s chair is really it’s it’s essentially a backrest inside supports. For an adult you so that you really you’re a passenger, you just lean back recline, you can you can read a book. So we, my wife, and I ride our son to soccer practice every weekend. And my son is in the back reading his Kindle and eating his breakfast. And he’s very happy. And a couple of weeks ago, actually, I asked, I said, ‘Hey, you know, how to do prefer to get to’, you know, all of his friends. They arrive by by car, right? And we’re the only strange parents that are arriving by bike. And so I was curious, and I said, ‘what do you what do you prefer is a bike or the car?’ And I was so happy. He said, bike that’s what I like, the bike.

Carlton Reid 31:43
And how old is he, Josh?

Josh Hon 31:45
Well, he’s 14. Right? So

Carlton Reid 31:47
14 is amazing, but he’s still saying 14 Yes, you know, cuz I got, I had teen children. And I used to take them on the back of my cargo bike and I would say yeah, 14, 15 is when they’re starting to go ‘I don’t want to be seen on the back of my dad’s cargo bike’.

Josh Hon 32:06
Yeah, so yeah, I was thinking the same thing. And so that’s why I wanted to just double check and he was like, like, Dad. So I made me very proud.

Carlton Reid 32:17
Yeah, fantastic. Now it looks fantastic. We’ve gone through the prices and and people who are going to want these kind of things are going to, they’re going to want these things. They’re gonna they’re gonna ignore those prices and they’re just gonna go for it because as I said, it’s an iconic, epoch changing bicycle. Now, for people who don’t know Tern, let’s go through a potted history of where Tern’s come from, how did Tern get into becoming this, the maker of an iconic bicycle and also how big a market share in your company is the GSD. Is it like a flagship product? And you don’t actually sell that many of them, you know, in the whole, you know, product brand you’ve got, or is it something that’s actually quite important from a from a, you know, a volume sales point of view. So, history of the company, and then zero back in on that product.

Josh Hon 33:19
Well, we we started in, we launched. I think it was, I hope I’m correct, June 16 2011. So we are a bit over nine years old. I would say that it was really kind of a team of very passionate bicycle people and all of us believe in bicycles as a form of transportation. I think that’s the best way to explain it is. You know, we do have road riders or mountain bikers Well, but but i think it’s it’s this, this idea that bicycles should be the way to get around for short distances in cities. And that’s that unifying vision, which I think is so important to to a new young company. So, you know, all of us could have gotten higher paying jobs someplace else. But we believe in, in this vision and so I think that has, you know, that has united us for nine years. And it’s, and it’s honestly been been, it’s been a it’s been a tough road. It was a tough road launching, you know, soon after the, you know, the economic crash. And we started with folding bicycles. That’s what we knew. That’s what we were good at. That’s what we’re still good at. But at that time, you know, folding bikes weren’t doing as well. And so it was was tough. But I think, you know, that, that that vision that we all we all believe in, that’s the thing that kept us together, you know, right. If we’re all just, hey, we’re just here to make a fast buck, flip it and then and then exit, the company would have been finished a long time ago. So I think that’s something that, you know, it makes me quite proud that they’re, you know, we have so many people that have been, we’ve been here from the start, you know, from day one, nine years ago. So, so that’s, that’s kind of the, you know, that’s, that’s where we started. Today, the, you know, e-bikes are a very important part of our product line. You know, we we see, you know, if we think about urban cycling, we think about folding as being an important pillar of that. We think about cargo as being an important pillar, we think about electric and then just kind of lifestyle bikes, bikes that look good and feel good riding. So we look at those as kind of our four pillars for urban cycling. The GSD is definitely a flagship product for us. I think it’s it’s, you know, raised our profile a bit. So, yep,we’re thankful to have it.

Carlton Reid 36:18
And where does it fit into the ecosystem in terms of its flagship in that you’re selling a few, but it’s a really famous iconic bike, or is it really integral to your company? You’re selling a stuff load of these?

Josh Hon 36:35
What we’re selling. I mean, I think we’re a small company. We’re still small compared to the, to the big boys. But yeah, it’s it’s a it’s definitely an important, you know, important part of our product line. Hmm.

Carlton Reid 36:50
And then one thing we haven’t, I haven’t asked and that that’s quite important is when can people get a hold of these things? So somebody’s watching this and go or listen to this and going on ‘Oh God, I gotta have one of them. Here’s my money. Take it now.’ When can they physically get their mitts on this bike?

Josh Hon 37:09
The very end of the year or early, let’s say January 2021. So

Carlton Reid 37:18
people say excited about this bike, and now you’re telling them you can’t have it next week!

Josh Hon 37:25
It’s, it’s actually, it’s a bit of a challenge to, to try and do marketing without news getting out. You have so many stakeholders, right? You have your distribution partners, and you have your dealers and then you have media. And so there’s always this this balance of okay, well, how, how close can we, you know, so even, you know, Apple has some troubles, keeping a lid on leaks. And so, yeah, so the we we feel pretty good about, you know, we’re talking about it in August and that means we have to ship know if people are seeing them in shops beginning, you know, by the end of the year that means we have to ship at least, let’s say five to six weeks earlier. So that means we’re we’re shipping in a in a pretty short amount of time.

Carlton Reid 38:16
Okay, and then bike boom, how is that it impacted you as a company globally? And then and then because you’re based in Taiwan. So has the bike boom. Have you sold as the Taiwanese country because it’s the bicycle Kingdom now, isn’t it? Is it? Have you sold loads more bikes in Taiwan? And is the Taiwanese bike industry doing well from the bike boom, domestically, as well as internationally?

Josh Hon 38:45
Well, so we were we are headquartered here, but we’re doing business around the world. And honestly, the Taiwan market for us is very small. And in fact, you know, GSDs technically are not legal in Taiwan.

Carlton Reid 39:01
Really? Yeah. Why not?

Josh Hon 39:05
I think there are some

Josh Hon 39:10
believe it or not protectionist government policies at work, so that’s something that we, you know, that’s something that we are communicating with the government on, you know, let’s, let’s create let’s, let’s make it a healthy open market. And if there’s a healthy, healthy open market, then you will have a lot of people thinking about this market and developing products for it because the market is not Taiwan, actually. Right. The market is Germany, Holland, the United States, right, but those are the markets. So, so the in terms of bike boom, we are seeing, we’re seeing I mean, I think, as anybody in the bike industry, realises we’re seeing very strong growth in bike sales in most countries around the world. It’s it’s terrible that it’s taken a pandemic. But, you know, I think it’s a sea change right in, in how people view bicycles, you know, before it was ‘yeah, its recreation’ and UK is a great example where sales have just gone off the hook. Right? They’re there. They’re crazy. And the encouraging thing, right is that the government is stepping up and saying, Hey, this is a good thing. We can’t transport 8 million people per day through the Tube. We can’t take more cars on the roads. But, gee, bicycles sure are, you know, a relatively cheap way to move lots of people. So it’s great to see the UK Government stepping up and saying we’re going to allocate £2 billion over a number of years towards infrastructure. And it’s it’s amazing awesome

Carlton Reid 40:54
in the UK is going to be doing an electric bike programme. We don’t know the full details of it. A lot of jurisdictions around the world offer a subsidy for buying electric bikes. And how important is that to your business? The subsidies?

Josh Hon 41:10
I think if we’ve seen you know, if there’s a country or city doing a subsidy, the bike sales go up. But you know, honestly, that’s not something, you know, I don’t think you can depend on governments to to work quickly or in your favour. I would say if it happens, fantastic. We’re happy to take it. But, you know, the, the important thing is to create useful products, right? So if we can create a product, which is, you know, useful enough affordable for people and they could say, hey, maybe I don’t need that second car, maybe a cargo bike or an electric bike could replace that second car. That’s what that’s that’s what we’re thinking about.

Carlton Reid 41:51
Thanks to Josh Han there, and thanks to you for listening shownotes and more can be found at the-spokesmen.com. The next show, sponsored as always by Jenson USA, may or may not have a companion YouTube version, but either way, get out there and ride!

August 3, 2020 / / Blog

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The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast (VIDEO SPECIAL)

EPISODE 252: Let’s Not Be Stupid With Snot Rockets

Monday 3rd August 2020

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOSTS: Carlton Reid & David Bernstein

GUEST: Jim Moss

TOPICS: We talk about Strade Bianche, the bike boom, all things Covid-19, the likelihood of the Tour de France being staged. And this show is also available as a video on YouTube.

MACHINE TRANSCRIPT

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to episode 252 of the Spokesmen Cycling Podcast. This show was engineered on Monday 3rd August 2020

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast for shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the-spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen.

Carlton Reid 1:08
Hi there I’m Carlton Reid and for today’s special episode with my co-host David Bernstein and show regular attorney Jim Moss we recorded with our webcams. You’re getting the audio only version of the show but if you want to see us in the flesh then the full episode is on Youtube. Search for it in the Youtube app or check out the embed on the-spokesmen.com We had a few issues with Jim’s audio, which I have fixed as best I can. For the next video session he’s gonna upgrade his microphone set-up. And you could be on the show too because the service we’re using — Riverside.fm — allows for video call-ins from show listeners or, in this case, show watchers. Notification of when we’re going to be throwing open the show to anybody we like the look of will be on our Twitter pages so for me that’s carltonreid all one word Naturally, you’ll have to have a Zoom-style set-up with a webcam, external mic and headphones. Come on the show, ask us questions, give us your points of view, we’d love to have you on board. It’s bound to be a tech nightmare but so long as you’re fully clothed and don’t have too many dogs barking in the background we’ll work through that. OK, let’s get into today’s episode show. We talk about Strade Bianche, the bike boom, all things Covid-19, the likelihood of the Tour de France being staged.

Carlton Reid 3:00
And welcome to Episode 242, no 252 of the spokesmen cycling podcast and it’s actually the spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast or triangular podcast anyway, because I have got two guests with me two regular guests with me today and I’m looking at the camera here, but down on my monitor here, I can see them. So I can see David Bernstein and I can see Jim moss. Hi, guys.

David Bernstein 3:34
Hello, how’s it going, Carlton?

Carlton Reid 3:37
It’s going, it’s going good. Now for people who are going to be getting this in the normal way as in via iTunes, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts and you’re getting the audio, then doing this with vision, but we’re not doing this with zoo. We’re doing it with a programme called Riverside. so new to everybody would be great. Having an internet of vision it’s been it’s been a nightmare so far to tell the truth. Looking at we’re gonna persevere we’re gonna we’re gonna first of all, we’re going to talk about what we haven’t talked together have we? We haven’t talked together together for some months so we haven’t talked about the amazingly horrible pandemic and what it’s done to our our lives. So So David, I’ll start with you because I can actually see you because Jim’s actually disappeared. Even I’m sure he’s there. What what, how are you? What are you doing? Are you have you been at home even shielding? What do you mean? What’s happening?

Carlton Reid 4:40
Yeah, so I think much like everybody out Well, first of all, knock on wood. We’ve all been safe and healthy and nobody here has gotten the dreaded so we’re happy about that. And I I know it’s been the same for you despite, you know, people in the medical profession in your life, so So it’s been it’s been interesting, but now I’ve got, Wow, my adult kids are back home working from home full time. I’m working from home. My wife is working from home. And as everybody as everybody knows, I normally travel on multiple planes a week. I haven’t seen I haven’t seen an aeroplane up close since March the second.

Carlton Reid 5:21
And Is that good? Is that good? Have you enjoyed yes and no.

Carlton Reid 5:25
Yes, and no, I mean, you know, my business requires for the most part that I visit with my clients. And so it’s difficult not to be on site with my clients. So I’m doing a lot remotely. I’m doing a lot of webinars and seminars and zoom calls sitting right here, not wearing a cycling t shirt usually but you know, for during the week, but this is I’m kind of planted here. Otherwise, you know, I think like the rest of the world doing more cycling, which has been great. My younger daughter, who some of the Fred cast listeners may remember from you And years ago, when we wrote across California together, she bought herself a new road bike, and she’s become a cyclist. So that’s cool. And I would say that as far as cycling, I would say my wife and I are in the best cycling shape we’ve we’ve been in in years. So yeah, so that’s great. And I know that it’s been really good for the bike industry. And maybe we’ll talk about that. I’m sure Jim may have some comments about that. But yeah, overall, we’re doing fine. And I think like the rest of the world looking forward to a vaccine so that we can all go back to our normal lives. But otherwise, yeah, all as well.

Carlton Reid 6:39
Jim, are you in the best cycling shape of your life?

Jim Moss 6:44
I mean, not like when I was 20 years younger, but yeah, getting good mountain. Not as good. I’m not climbing well this year, but I’m also trying a lot harder stuff. Now that Think about it. I mean, I did a mountain bike run a couple weeks ago that was like 14 Square swear words per every 10 foot of distance so they they brought in concrete caissons to keep the trail from disappearing from road I’m happy I’m happy on the road I’m climbing a lot more which was something you have to learn how to do in Colorado or you don’t right at all. Life is good where Dale and I are both healthy. The dogs are demanding more time since we’re both here constantly got one here in the studio

Jim Moss 7:35
checking for security breaches.

Jim Moss 7:39
But life is good. I’ve been working from home for 18 years so there’s nothing new here for me. But the it’s it’s exciting. I’m getting a little batty you know, just having no real outside contact. And zoom is not outside contact and mostly because you know, I’ve so many education courses I’m taking I’m just like Listening a lot to conversations where I’m not important. And so, I set that on one computer, I keep working on my other. But life is good. You know, we’re, I got all of most of my clients to close their summer camps. I’ve not had any summer camp disasters, which in the United States are going to, it’s going to be the litigation nightmare. Whenever season closed, of course, that became a monster. You spend $120,000 to go climb a mountain and then the country closes and you lose your money.

Jim Moss 8:38
And then the bike industry bike industry is just going nuts.

Jim Moss 8:42
To the point that not only can you not find bicycles to sell, but you can’t find tires. 2018 tires? Yeah, yeah. 26 inch tires have disappeared. Everybody is bringing everything out of the market. I’ve got one guy who A cycle shop is driving around Saturdays to garage sales, to learn for bikes that they can buy and refurbish and sell in the shop. The storerooms have all the shops I visited or empty or they’re filled with bikes that need repaired because there’s no more room in the back to store the repaired bikes. So the cycling industry is just in habit and you’re seeing people everywhere. I mean, it’s it’s almost as bad as skiing nowadays on our on our bike passes. It’s I call skiing, slalom skiing, because you’re, you know, you’re going around the beginners all the time. And that’s what’s what Cycling is. At one day, last week, I saw six African Americans cycling, which is fantastic. I mean, normally in the past, if you saw one a week, it was amazing.

Jim Moss 9:49
And electric bikes are now everywhere.

Jim Moss 9:54
It did a ride, a mountain bike ride, and I just had one section going uphill kick my butt. popping up 18 inches and then manoeuvre the handlebars between two trees. And by the time we got done the bikes like one place I’m laying wrapped around a tree, you know and get up and get organised and two older guys came flying through there and I was like

Jim Moss 10:18
and then I noticed that electric bikes so I laughed so

Carlton Reid 10:22
that you know that the problem of not being able to find bikes is one I mean, the mainstream media has caught on to I’ve seen it in a number of, of major newspapers in the last two weeks. I even called my local mobile bike repair guy just wanted a couple of tuneups, and he’s like damn six weeks out

David Bernstein 10:45
September

Carlton Reid 10:46
Yeah, I’m Yeah, it was. It was crazy, Carlton, how are you guys doing?

Carlton Reid 10:53
We’re doing okay. I mean, I’d like to say that I’ve I’m doing a more cycling than I have been but I I’m not really I’m doing some cycling, but roughly the same as I was probably doing before. I haven’t haven’t decreased it and I haven’t increased it, but we’re all healthy. And there’s five of us like you, David. There’s now five of us. Our full house here, including the dogs at six. So wet, wet, wet, wet, hot, hearty, hail and healthy. So we’re fine. Thank you. So

Carlton Reid 11:26
if anybody’s if anybody’s followed your social media, they know that you’ve had the opportunity to do something that we haven’t. You travelled.

Carlton Reid 11:37
You can’t go so Yes, I have. David, thank you. I have been to Switzerland, where the World Championships are going to be held in theory touchwood there’s no one around here but touchwood the World Championship UCI road World Championships will be held in September so I was able to take a train from my home in Newcastle and it was is eight o’clock in the morning and I got to VBA in Switzerland just before midnight. So it’s a long, you know, many, many connections, but I got that I didn’t have to fly, you know, because flying at the moment, I wouldn’t be very uncomfortable I would be not comfortable with train, you know, on in the UK at least. And in the Euro star train, your The seats are blocked off. So nobody can sit next to you. You’ve got your mask on yet that’s obligatory, but nobody can sit anywhere near you. Which is bad for the train companies because they can’t sell all their tickets. But it’s good for the passengers in that all of a sudden you’ve got first class rail service, you’ve got as much room as you could possibly want. So I went to Switzerland for that. Fantastic three days of riding. So I guess I am doing a bit more writing when I get to go to Switzerland. But normally No, no, I’m not doing as much as I would be. Well, it’s it’s about privileged that we are able to get out but that that might change because our our our number is creeping back up again. So we might come back into into lockdown completely. So you’re right, everybody that the bike industries appears to be booming and I’m saying appears to be because the stats aren’t in. We haven’t got all the stats, all we’ve got so far is anecdotes and bike shops selling out of stock as I tell journalists who when they bring me up and asked me these sorts of things, I’d say look, it’s fantastic that appears, we’re booming. But you actually look at the actual figures of say major stores like hallford they’re not doing that fantastic. They’re doing like maybe one 2% up it’s not like doubling of a market. It’s we need to see the figures is what I’m trying to say is we need to find out what has actually happened because if everybody sold out of bikes that’s almost And that’s just because the bike trade isn’t very good at the moment. It’s been eight nine years of being in the doldrums. So that biker hasn’t been ordering bikes for a long time. So we’ve been going very low stock levels for a long time and bike shops, no longer stock bikes, all these different factors would say, Well, of course we’ll sell a bikes instantly, because there’s no bikes in shops. Anyway. So we need to work out. Has this actually been a genuine boom, and my book, which is very pleasantly called bike boom, wrote that a few years ago that’s sold out. You can’t buy that anywhere at the moment. So clearly, people have been searching for bike boom and actually found the this book, but of course, that was the 1970s bike boom, which was a genuine bike because that lasted for four years. And they were genuinely they you know, they went from, you know, like 7 million in the US per year selling bikes. To 14 million bikes per year so that was a genuine doubling of the market and I would hazard a guess that we’re not actually in that kind of zone with the bike industry at the moment it’s just a lot of it is just artificial in that there’s just not that much stock there. Anyway, let’s get away from the bike boom and and, and and talk about racing is back. David, did you watch it yesterday? There’s got to be funky. It’s not even a classic in many respects. It’s quite a new race. But did you watch and what did you think about it?

Carlton Reid 15:36
I didn’t watch it. I was writing it’s very hot here right now. So I got it either. Right early in the morning or late late late late late in the afternoon. So no, I was out doing a 30 some odd mile ride yesterday but it was fun. Here’s what was the fun thing. It was fun watching Twitter. And and, and, and it was it was it was as if the cycling fans came out of hibernation. And you know, spring had arrived and the sun was shining, and the clouds had parted and they were finally able to chase after whatever live feeds that they could find before the live feeds got shut down to go to the next one. But I read accounts have it and from what I know it’s a it’s a I was gonna say a bad word. It’s a really hard race. And have

Carlton Reid 16:24
you gone on record somewhere, David? store DDL? No. It’s a real shame because it was a it was a beautiful race. It was really really scenically. I mean, I can imagine if because I’ll just paint a picture here is very, very dusty. Obviously the starday road Yankee White is the white roads of this area, near Sienna, and it was very, very dusty. So the motorbikes which were actually kicking up all the dust, the photographers on the back of those will that hatch to have some amazing shots of basically riders in pure dust. You can see that from the TV shot so the print magazines are gonna have some amazing shots of this race Jim Did you did you watch it? Did you see pictures of it?

Jim Moss 17:08
No. No So

Carlton Reid 17:12
what is this cycling podcast and what make a video again let’s let’s let’s talk about the races Did you watch it? No

Carlton Reid 17:26
You weren’t you know you were you were talking about the photographer’s having some great shots and I know Brian, you know our friend from Velo Images. He Yeah, he’s got this he had this series It was like before and after the peloton. It was like, This is what the guys look like when they go sign in. And then it was this is what they look like when they finish the race. And I can imagine if he did that yesterday, the photos that he would have taken and I’ve seen some of the shots it looks it looks amazing. But to see you know, what was it a large percentage of the peloton not finishing the race because it’s the It’s that difficult. And I and I do know that it’s a hilly area. I mean, cn is known as a hill town. So it’s it’s just a gorgeous place to ride through. I was interested to see this is where we’ve all become public health officials. I was interested from, you know, sort of a health perspective. How do you get because I’m, when I’m cycling, I’m cycling with my family. But like yesterday, I saw a whole team go by. There were probably eight of them in a paceline. And of course, this is in the United States where we have these crazy surges. And I thought to myself, well that that considering our new focus on hygiene, I thought, well, that doesn’t look safe. And then I start to think about the pro peloton and I am and you know, Carlton, we’ve got a lot of American sports repeat re beginning restarting here baseballs got problems where you know they’ve got several teams who basically have said well we can’t play because we’ve had too many positives soccer had issues thankfully basketball knock on wood because of the way that they’ve they’ve put everybody into this bubble they’re not but there’s no bubbles in professional cycling and if i think i think Israel What do they call that Israel startup nation had had an issue with it with a positive test. And and so I just get concerned about all these guys in this tight group breathing heavily being close together and I love cycling, but it also at the moment, I look at it and sort of gives me the willies.

Carlton Reid 19:48
I was riding in in the pack. So there’s there’s about eight riders out in Switzerland. And there was this, what you call across there in America, the snot rockets.

David Bernstein 20:01
Okay, we call it that do

Carlton Reid 20:03
you call it that Okay, so that’s not right and I’m thinking I I you should be like 20 miles ahead of me to do us not rocket at the moment that is just not on but it’s just it’s just natural for people to do that sort of thing without thinking he actually did it a few times that’s that was really annoying touchwood I haven’t come down with anything so he didn’t have anything but those sort of things are gonna be coming up in in if people going out like with your friends you can say something but if you’re racing with somebody, you’re not going to be able to say anything said these sort of you know, you pass bodily fluids when when you’re riding along at 30 miles an hour. People might not know this, but you pass bodily fluids so

Carlton Reid 20:46
disgusting. To use your term does this not rocket become an offensive tactic? Where in in the peloton and you do that so that you maybe you can get a little bit of distance and gain an advantage?

Carlton Reid 20:59
You would definitely gain advantage, you can do that and then sprint away

Jim Moss 21:03
until they take it in. It’d be an advantage until they catch and beat the living crap out of you.

Carlton Reid 21:10
Or fine you, you know, 100 Swiss francs or something. Yeah.

Carlton Reid 21:15
So that brings me on to then if we do we think the Tour de France is going to go on. Oh,

Carlton Reid 21:21
wow, he was just right there. Why, Jim?

Jim Moss 21:25
Because that’s all I’ve been doing now for three months is studying this disease. And if you believe that you can run an event and not kill somebody, or permanently, permanently cause damage to thousands of people. You’re an idiot. In Colorado, we found out that if you catch COVID-19 and you are between the ages of 20 and 40, you have a 20% higher chance of having a stroke. Wow, okay. Yes, there’s all sorts of these numbers that are coming out on these limits. Various studies that have been reported yet that I’m, you know, finding all the time. There’s another study that shows that it causes permanent damage in most people, not only to their lungs, but to the hearts, their brains, their livers and kidneys. The autopsies that they are doing on some of the deceased are showing massive clotting problems throughout their entire bodies. Gail has a new job, she’s selling PvP, everyone needs a truckload of mass or, or whatever, let me know. And in fact, a couple friends of mine from the cycling industry, of course own Chinese companies just switched him over and they’re you know, she’s going great guns with them, but the it’s just scary. My sister, this is even scaring my sister runs 29 nursing homes. She had two instances of the disease in our nursing homes one that a medical emergency they sent the patient to the hospital. The patient at the hospital got the disease but she was notified by the hospital on the way back and they were to quarantine that patient. She survived. She my sister immediately locks down the nursing homes. When somebody comes in therapist doctor employee, their temperature was taken medical history was checked that a therapists come in medical was okay. temperature was normal at 8am. At 2pm. The therapist says I’m not feeling well. temperature was one on one and climbing. She had worked with five patients. She had talked to six people all 11 got the disease to die.

Jim Moss 23:38
It is not something to play around with.

Carlton Reid 23:41
But is is it? Are you is your concern for the peloton or is your concern for potential

Carlton Reid 23:51
for both, it doesn’t matter.

Jim Moss 23:55
We, you know, obviously when I cycle I breathe hard. In fact, it’s very Number one thing on my resume that I do well and so you’re close to the race you cannot think about if you’re doing snot rockets when you ride Are you not going to get close to the riders of spectator? The whole concept of bicycle racing is you know, rear wheel, the front wheel, your breathing whatever the guy xx alien in front of you no matter what. One person in the peloton is going to pass it to everybody else. One spectator on the side of the road to pass it to the peloton.

Carlton Reid 24:35
But Jim, they think they run a race yesterday. Apparently successfully. So might that not be a test and I you just thinking because it’s bigger, the Tour de France then that’s the reason it can’t go on.

Jim Moss 24:51
I think that in two or three days we’ll find out of that race was successful.

Carlton Reid 24:56
Yeah, true, now,

Jim Moss 24:58
in one in two we made No Was there any spectators at that race? You know,

Carlton Reid 25:04
that when a huge number they would definitely stay away.

Jim Moss 25:07
So we may not know for ever maybe if a spectator got sick from it we and you could you can pass the disease and not have the symptoms you can you can carry the virus and not be sick. So we may never know it’s in and the issue is, is we don’t know enough about it to make that decision. We don’t know if you’re going to live or die. I was talking to a doctor, an ER doc in New York City. He says yeah, one of the things that you’re saying diabetics, and if you’re overweight, this is one of the things that we’re not announcing but is finding out is true if you’re an alcoholic. If you intake too much alcohol your chances of dying of this disease are greatly increased.

Carlton Reid 25:52
But, but we have to think right that the peloton, alcoholics that they

Jim Moss 25:59
spectator Are you? Yeah, sure.

Carlton Reid 26:09
Look, I think here’s the here’s, here’s, here’s the thing, and it’s the same again pick a sport. Sport is big business. Sport means billions of pounds, dollars, euros, whatever it is. And I think that if you are whether whether you’re ASO, the producers of the Tour de France, or you are an owner of an NFL franchise, or you are the manager of a football team, that’s football as in soccer. You’re watching your business suffer as as so many people are and and these are huge businesses. And I my opinion is that we that the Tour de France will start I don’t know whether or not the Tour de France will finish. And that’s that’s a concern. And what’s what’s, let’s look at it from a cycling fans perspective. Forget the business for a moment. As we saw yesterday, I told you there was like a reawakening on Twitter, which was cool. Cycling fans are hungry to watch cycling and we can talk and I’d love to about these virtual races, but cycling fans want the Tour de France to happen and they miss it. I think that if if I think French cycling fans want to see the Tour de France and so yeah, I think it’s going to start I just don’t know whether or not it will finish and I don’t know, I haven’t. I don’t know how they do either of you know, they released their protocols for what their plans are for keeping the peloton and the spectator say, I haven’t

David Bernstein 27:55
seen them.

Carlton Reid 27:57
I haven’t seen any. I mean, I’m in like registered media so I’ve been getting emails, so they have been talking about how journalists can can lessen their impact. And of course, they they cancelled the attap. Right? You know, which would have been, what 30 50,000 riders coming in from all over the world. That’s not that’s so they’ve cancelled, like the major international event where people are coming in from from every corner of the world. But I guess their thinking will we can closely monitor from now. The riders and the teams, so they’re this slightly bubble eyes, you know, it’s not as much of a bubble as basketball, but they can they can monitor them, you know, they’re testing and a great deal, etc, etc. So I assume that’s what they’re thinking is, we can monitor these guys. We can’t monitor 50,000 people coming in. But we can monitor a relatively small number of teams right? And and support staff. But that begs the question, of course, if you can do them, but what about the spectators? You’ve got no idea how many spectators they’re going to be and whether they’re gonna associate distance, but I think

Carlton Reid 29:12
I think it’s going to depend sorry to him, but I think I think it’s gonna depend on what happens because they’re still doing the donate the criterium du Dauphine. And I think that it depends on what happens there. To me, it’s like the dolphy. Ne is the rehearsal. And it always is right for the Tour de France. But this year, I think it’s not just for the race itself, but for whatever the safety and protective measures that they’re going to put in place for the fans and for the cyclists, and I think that they may learn a lot from the dopey name, and then apply that eventually to the tour. Sorry, Jim. I interrupted. No,

Jim Moss 29:46
I understand. I just First of all, I don’t even think it’s professional sports teams that are bubbling with the new term or not, you know, interacting with anybody or succeeding at that. I mean, the Marlins in baseball Excellent proof for the 21 of their players now tested positive. The basketball players in their bubbles in their hotels in Orlando are still getting together at night. You know, and partying and having a good time. The there’s a trade association here in the United States for camps that created this bubble philosophy, keep the kids in small groups, it’s going to work. All these camps are financially on the edge said we’re going to open up. We got an example here in Colorado where three days after the staff came in, they close the Camp 50 of the staff members were put up in individual hotel rooms in a hotel for two weeks. There’s a camp in Georgia just got reported by the CDC 500 kids in Camp 250 cases of the disease in one week. You know, and and, and then we go spread it and so you get back from camp and Grandmother hugs, grand son, granddaughter, whatever it is. That’s no difference in cycling, we leave the side of the road. You know where we’ve cheer was there for three hours, you’re not going to talk to the person six foot away. And when you talk to somebody long enough, do you notice you’re getting closer? So one of the things that I’ve constantly had to think about is I’m always stepping backwards because the conversations were coming together. Okay, and I’m okay, step back, step back, step back. I mean, I’m constantly stepping backwards is one of the notice that is so side of the road, it’s just going to spread like wildfire. wildfire weather jumps across the barrier to the peloton, or from the peloton back to the spectators. Who knows. Now,

Carlton Reid 31:47
so Jim, can I just be different questions? So it’s not whether you think it’ll go on? I was gonna put it on it. Do you think they ought to put it on?

Jim Moss 31:58
No. Okay. We know

Carlton Reid 32:02
That’s that sounds that where you’re coming from, you’re getting all the negatives. So clearly you think they shouldn’t put it on?

Jim Moss 32:08
Yeah, I miss it. I mean,

Jim Moss 32:11
some theories, one of the big theories a couple of the lung specialists are looking at is that exercise may keep you from getting the virus using your lungs to the maximum capacity, which is the excuse I’m using to go out and put myself at risk. And Gail, you know, is that by cycling, I’m using my lungs. And I have yet to see any cyclists that I know of, or people who are serious exercise fanatics get the disease. Unfortunately, I know an attorney in Salt Lake City, who is very serious runner, and he got the disease in March, I think in April. And actually, he says that he at even I think it was April and now here we are August. He says he’s not sure he’ll ever be able to do the kind of running in the kind of distance that he used to do so. So I think I think, you know, I don’t want to I don’t want people to think that just because you’re cyclists, you’re not going to get it. Any of it. I didn’t get it right like that at all. Yeah, right. Right. You’re not giving out a medical advice here. We’re Oh God. Oh, bad.

Carlton Reid 33:23
Yeah, we give out bad cycling advice. So you know,

Jim Moss 33:29
screw up.

Carlton Reid 33:30
Yeah, Carlton. I’m like, I’m like, Jim. I don’t think that they, I mean, I want to see the tour thoughts. But I don’t think that they should. I want to say that, at least from my perspective, and I think I’m speaking for for you guys, too, you know, Look, dear listeners, this is these aren’t. From my perspective, these aren’t political statements that we’re making and unfortunately, You know this, this becomes political on either side. The politicisation of a pandemic is just a very strange thing to me. So I just want you to know, these aren’t these are our These are our feelings about sport, and these are our feelings about health, and the health and welfare of the people that we like to follow those athletes, and also the people like us, you know, we’ve all stood at those barriers, watching races, whether that’s in the UK, or in Colorado, or Utah or France or wherever or Israel. And, and, you know, you stand at those barriers and you are very close to other people. And, and these are the kinds of situations in which any kind of an illness can be passed. And when we’re talking about a serious illness that can have that can result in death or can have lifelong issues. It’s not a political conversation, then it’s it’s one about caring for fellow

Carlton Reid 34:58
humans. So one thing so yeah, forget, forget the spectators, if you can have. So it’s like almost like the soccer thing with football where you’ve got stadiums without any spectators. And so if you could organise it, that you had the Tour de France or you have any of these major races, but you had either no or very few spectators. So the question is, I’m rephrasing the question or asking the question again, would you then be happy with the race to be on? Or is it? Is it still no, it’ll still be back to the athletes?

Carlton Reid 35:34
I don’t think they’re there. I don’t think the plan is to put the cyclists in a bubble. The plan is, you know, to put in extra protocols at their hotels and those kinds of things, but they’re not putting them in a bubble in as we’ve seen elsewhere, without a bubble. The possibility goes up, the probability goes up. And so and so and seriously, how are you going to keep French fans off the roads? You know, gendarme there’s not enough gendarmes in France to keep the fans off the roads. So so we’ve got the fan problem. We’ve got the peloton problem. So do your question. Do I think they should do I think from a safety? No, they shouldn’t. Even even with your hypothetical.

Jim Moss 36:17
The reason why I get media badges is so I can get closer.

David Bernstein 36:22
Yeah, right, right.

Jim Moss 36:25
I don’t want to be on the one side of the fence. I want to be on the inside. I want to see the spokes go by, you know. Mm hmm. You know, that’s what makes bicycle racing. So phenomenal. Crap. If you get eight people together in Denver, and they’re riding together, there’s three people standing on the sidelines cheering it’s a bicycle race. Right? You get four friends together. There’s always a race to the top of the hill, and or the county sign or whatever, right? Yeah, exactly. There’s always a race and we know where they are. pillar to post Lookout Mountain here in Gold, right? You leave the pillar and you stop the timer at the post. And and I’m still trying to get mine so it measures in minutes rather than hours. But it’s what we do. It’s what cycle would put cycle racing so far add up, in my opinion, all the other sports because the people can reach out and touch and get in trouble and they do. The cyclists. You can’t do I mean, maybe la you can get that close to the sweat falls on you in a basketball game but not in baseball, not in football, only in cycling other others fans right next to the cyclists when they’re playing.

Carlton Reid 37:42
Hmm, this is why I thought when I went on this trip to Switzerland, I think they’ve been very optimistic and thinking that this this race will go ahead. I mean, they showed us all the protocols that are taking, gonna be taking place all the safety measures or the barriers that they’re gonna be putting on where Normally, there wouldn’t be barriers for the spectators on the hill sections, etc, etc. But it really won’t take that many people coming down with it before before the world championships to happen for it to collapse a world championship. So at the turn of France or the dolphin a, I mean, well, how many how many riders will it take 110 support staff? How many will it take for them think right? No, no all races and in that how good Switzerland has prepared and Switzerland is very, very low. Our numbers low it’s the best place in the world. Big Data has shown that Switzerland is actually the best place in the world. However, if the tour of France is cancelled, then I can’t see that race going on in Switzerland no matter how many measures they put in place, and no matter how many, or how low the our rate is in Switzerland right now. It’s gonna be a cascading effect, isn’t it? So they’re very optimistic to get me and other journalists across there. They want to rescue their, their tourist season they want people to come I just think that is so optimistic to expect this these events to carry on so I’m torn on with the should carry them on so I’m not with you, David or Jim. They shouldn’t carry them on. I am torn on whether they will go on so when when I was invited to the attap and you know, many, many months ago that got cancelled. I put it up my mind. I was then about 10 days ago, I was invited to the tap again. I did not think Rob better get some training in here. I’m going to be a tap. I’m still thinking, no, I don’t think the hotel will will be on and lo and behold what is now about four days ago. You know, they’ve agreed that it’s Not gonna go on. So yeah, I don’t think it’s gonna happen. But I’d love to ask Jim I said I’d love to see it happen. It’s gonna happen.

David Bernstein 40:08
And you have the foresight of having medical knowledge in your household. Right? You’re getting better information than 99% of the world is when you made that decision. You’re trying to interpret

David Bernstein 40:22
what’s going on?

Carlton Reid 40:24
Well, my doctor wife actually was quite worried about me going to Switzerland. And it was only when I was there, and you’re on the ground and you see all the measures and you see how normal it is in Switzerland. You know, you’re wearing a mask on public transport, but restaurants, everything is open, everything is fine. And there is no massive cases in Switzerland. It’s it’s almost back to normal. And they had days early. So the guy I was riding with the guide. He had it he said 70% of verbiage. Residents probably had it. And then what they did is they they tackled it hard, very, very early and almost eradicated it. Whereas most other countries and I’m including US and the UK in this, were far more lackadaisical, didn’t stamp on it hard. And we are now suffering the repercussions from that. Now,

Jim Moss 41:24
I have a friend in New Zealand who has been sending me and posting things about skiing in New Zealand, New Zealand did the same thing they stamped on the heart and the ski resorts are full. And everyone’s having a good time. When you they’re going to eventually close the ports and close the airports because that’s where the disease is coming from.

Carlton Reid 41:43
Yeah, so let me let me ask you guys a question. I brought it up before and that is these virtual races. You know, the ones for the pros are doing races on Zwift and things like that. Did you guys want, Carlton’s making a face? Did you guys watch?

Carlton Reid 41:57
No Gotta be hardcore. Really, really hardcore to get a kick out of that? No. Yeah, the answer is no. And you David,

Carlton Reid 42:10
no. But listen, listen, there’s people No, no, no not at all. And I’m not a fan of swift we can talk about that another time but but you know, there are people who watch others play just regular video games, you know, whether it’s Call of Duty or, or whatever. So, it’s the same thing, right? It’s like watching somebody play a video game except they’re in their basement sweating away trying to, you know, beat the other guy to the volcano in the swift Island or something. People

Jim Moss 42:35
always ask me why I don’t go watching professional sports. I mean, Denver has every professional sports team that there is and more than any other city in the United States and I’ve seen the Broncos once, the Rockies once and the nuggets once and I’m done. You know, once a decade, I guess these professional sports and people ask me that because everyone wears orange and blue and everyone wears Whatever I said was just like sex. I’d rather participate personally, there’s

Carlton Reid 43:07
there’s so many good show titles in this show, Carlton, I don’t know how you’re gonna choose but okay.

Carlton Reid 43:13
Now I’m just visualising it and

Jim Moss 43:16
I need it.

Carlton Reid 43:20
So it’s okay. You’re in the best shape of your life. Yeah, fine.

Carlton Reid 43:24
Bad. You know, you know on those lines I mean, we were talking about about bikes. You know, who has done incredibly well during this pandemic with their bikes? peloton.

Carlton Reid 43:38
Oh, yeah, so

Carlton Reid 43:40
they’re completely sold out. Yeah. And, and, you know, I poopoo that I say, Oh, that’s not real cycling. You know, I took my real my real bike up to a trainer. But you know, they’ve done very, very well. And that’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a little bit like swift and Some ways, but they’ve done yeah. Wouldn’t you like?

Carlton Reid 44:04
Yeah, they kind of benefited from people ridiculing it something wrong a few months before the pandemic started. So it’s almost like perfect PR for them. It ramped up the awareness of this thing. pandemic starts lockdown starts boom. That’s all you can do. It’s amazing. He couldn’t have planned it better in fact, forget China virus it’s pretty peloton by manufacture this in our lab.

Jim Moss 44:34
No, it was manufactured by dogs.

Jim Moss 44:38
Dogs created the virus think about Oh, yeah.

Carlton Reid 44:44
So my dog has never had so many walks in his life.

Carlton Reid 44:48
Oh, yeah. Well, this is just as crazy as demon sperm, isn’t it? So come on. This is just

Jim Moss 44:54
as easy as bad. There’s so study of the day that estimated 60% of all gyms. fitness facilities will not reopen. Not because they’re not going to survive but because people have switched their training to in home, and they all bought weights, they all bought whatever they need. When you see the new gym that’s a mirror, you put it on your wall and it’s like, peloton but you lift weights with other people that saw this unfold. I saw on Forbes. Yeah. And that’s the next thing that the studies are showing up as who’s not going to open up to this. How many retail stores 40% of nonprofits are going to go under. You know, we’re going to have a major economic repercussion worldwide is going to last for decades.

Carlton Reid 45:42
Oh yeah, this is 10, 20, 30 years of impact.

Jim Moss 45:46
Honestly, I don’t care if ASO has a bad year. I care about whether or not my neighbours Do you know, yeah, in that case, let’s not be stupid.

Carlton Reid 45:59
There’s your Show title. Let’s not be stupid.

Jim Moss 46:04
Well, what about the sale of Buffs? I got my mask on back to writing got my

Carlton Reid 46:09
mask. That’s what I do now. Actually, I got one so I got one of those. Yet when I did the what’s the granfondo in Italy?

David Bernstein 46:21
Hang on,

Carlton Reid 46:23
though right now the Maratona. Okay. Yeah, when I did the Maratona they that’s so stupid. I do look at my jersey on the wall. They gave me a great Buff, and yeah, I wear that when I ride. And then if I need to, I just pull it up over my face. It’s great. And by the way, if it’s cold morning, it keeps your neck warm. It’s excellent.

Carlton Reid 46:41
Which is when I was working that race yesterday. There was a few teams Trek Segafredo had a team mask. And then lots of the other teams Didn’t they were just wearing surgical mask and you thinking these guys are paid to play logos on jerseys cap Everything and they haven’t done team masks Are they crazy? You just go to the interview afterwards and you put on your mask and and and why are they having said all team fans should be sporting their favourite teams masks if you’re a football fan if you’re a cycling fan, you should be getting your, your your team’s fit mask and there just doesn’t seem that many available and I’m very surprised at last.

Carlton Reid 47:30
Yeah, I agree with you.

Carlton Reid 47:33
David are talking about commercial things. Can you can you give us an an an ad break at this point, David? Absolutely. Well,

Carlton Reid 47:41
and it’s I mean, to me it’s not even an ad it’s more like a like a tribute. It’s a tribute. No, everyone knows that our our longtime loyal and devoted and we really appreciate sponsor is Jenson USA and go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen whenever you need anything you know you you can’t find things in your local store Jim said it. And while when Jim said that I immediately went to JensonUSA.com/thespokesmen and I looked to see what they have and they’ve got a good selection of items in stock. If you’re looking for tires, you’re looking for tubes if you’re looking for components or tools because you know, your mobile bike repair guys six weeks out is mine is I looked you can find that stuff on Jenson USA right now they are open. They have free shipping over $60 and I mean, they even complete bikes. So Jim said for instance, you know, you can’t find a complete bike, you know, I look just Orbea, a Colnago, Rocky Mountain, you name it. The brands, you know, and I say this all the time, but amazing selection, great prices, and unparalleled customer service. What do I mean by that? When you call on the phone, you’re going to get a gear advisor. Now gear advisor isn’t just some person you know in a phone call This is somebody like you like me who rides, they ride to work, they ride home or they go on the trails at lunchtime, and they’re just like you and they’ve written the stuff that you’re asking about so they can give you expert advice. So check them out. It’s Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. And we do ask that you use that URL, because then they know that you heard about them right here on the Spokesmen. So we appreciate you supporting them. We really appreciate them supporting us. Make sure you use that URL at Jenson USA. It’s www.Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Now back to you, Carlton.

Carlton Reid 49:39
Thank you, David. I’m assuming I haven’t checked this but I’m assuming they Jenson USA that is they, like many companies are working remotely. So those gear advisors I’m assuming are not gonna be in. In the normal depot. They’re going to be at home doing give advice. Do you know that Why, David? Does it send a website?

Carlton Reid 50:02
I haven’t it. It doesn’t say on their website. It does say that, for instance, they’re doing curbside pickup for those of you in Southern California, if you don’t want to wait for shipping, you can go and, you know, it’s just like when you get your to go items and they bring it up to your car. But I’m gonna guess that you’re right. And it’s, you know, these days, it’s easy to work from home.

Jim Moss 50:22
I also think one of the other things that I’ve noticed, especially in the cycling industry is what European companies are no longer here in the US. Where I think we’re losing a lot of companies, I mean, not just from the attrition of competitiveness in the cycling industry, but because the communication is just easier to close down an operation than it is to try and keep it open during this period of time. I’ve been tracking down several companies that seem to have just, I don’t know if that’s this or because of lack of interbike slash trade show. downloading and that’s a whole nother spokesmen we talked about sea otter trade show that type stuff or other marketing issues or the virus but several companies have just sort of faded away

Carlton Reid 51:14
at interbike with claps anyway it wasn’t it that wasn’t going on Coronavirus

Jim Moss 51:21
Yeah, exactly. It already died. It was

Carlton Reid 51:23
so we’re already remodelling our society in many ways even before the virus So David, saying he’s doing remote things you’re probably doing some more remote things previously. Yeah.

Carlton Reid 51:36
Yeah, yeah. Some but but again, still putting my button in an aeroplane seat most of the time and going to go into see people. It’s interesting. You know, there was supposed to be another a new outdoor industry trade show. There’s going to be this summer right here in Salt Lake City. And actually, we know the person who was putting it on because he’s put on press camp. And of course before that he was at interbike. But of course it was postponed until next year as well. But it’s funny, Jim, you’re talking about European companies that it reminded me a friend emailed me recently. A I think it was a velonews article about something, some press release that FSA had put out. And they, they, they referred to them to them as an Italian company. And he, he, he emailed me and said, When did they become an Italian company? Because I think you were there at the beginning of that company, then Italian office, but they’re not Italian.

Carlton Reid 52:35
Well, I’ve just ordered a headset from my Giant bike and it’s an FSA. So, David, yeah.

Carlton Reid 52:43
I have in this drawer, I think I still have the original trademark, or copyright.

Carlton Reid 52:52
People who let’s let’s go through that bet that history day because a lot of people who’ve listened to this show before might know but tell us Tell us again about your your your your start in the industry FSA, even knowing people like Josh Hon and stuff at school.

Carlton Reid 53:10
Well, Josh, that’s a different story. Josh and I met in high school. And if you don’t know, Josh is a for those of you who may not know, originally was working with his father at Dahon, the folding bike company, and of course now, running Tern the folding bike company with a bike company, I think is probably the better way to say it. No, no, I met Josh in high school. No, my start in the industry was in 1989 when I was working for the parent company of Tioga, the mountain bike company and BMX component company and of course, we own Shogun and we also did, we were it was a Japanese trading company. So we dealt with there at one point, we touched 70% of the Shimano product that moved around the world. So that was a big And then from there, I started my own marketing company in the bike business. And one of the brands that I helped start was FSA. So and I and it’s, it’s I love seeing that logo on people’s jerseys at the Tour de France or, you know, on almost every bike out there, you said you’re ordering a headset for your giant and it’s an FSA. Anyways, oh, yeah, I did a lot of marketing and PR and sales in the bike industry all around the world that was a tonne of fun. And then I left the bike industry and instead started podcasting. And how long have we been doing this Carlton

Carlton Reid 54:32
2006 — 14 years

Carlton Reid 54:37
In podcast terms, it said so long time. Let’s find out where people can can find each other at the moment on social media, which might be a bit different to before so I’ll start with David David, where can we where can we find you and what are you doing on social media right now?

Carlton Reid 54:58
So it’s funny i was i was just opened up my phone to see to make sure I had my, my Instagram name right, which is Fredcast and that’s probably where you can find me I am a an infrequent poster. And when I post it’s usually bikes or dog. So when

Carlton Reid 55:16
you’re cycling through an oil painting yesterday, I want

Carlton Reid 55:20
to paint a painting. Yeah, it was a gorgeous ride. And that that picture was taken. I mean, as the crow flies, probably three miles from my house was just beautiful

Carlton Reid 55:28
filters. So you are you boosting some of that or was that literally you were riding through that. That’s

Carlton Reid 55:33
what it looked like. Yeah, that was pretty awesome. Okay, and then if you look, here are some pictures from from last week when I rode to Evanston, Wyoming, which was a lot of fun, too. And, and it’s funny because if you look at each of them, you’re looking at a gravel road or a dirt road. And of course, I’m on my road bike. But you know, sometimes you can’t avoid that here. No, so you find me on Instagram. I am Fred cast. And it’s funny. I would have to go back to Twitter and see when the last time was I tweeted, it’s probably Been a couple of years. I just don’t tend to a wheel.

Carlton Reid 56:05
I know you got me into this.

David Bernstein 56:07
Yeah, you’re prolific.

Carlton Reid 56:08
Yeah, yeah, you got me into this I blame you definitely.

Carlton Reid 56:12
But while Jim is telling us where we can find him I’ll look up and I’ll let you know when the last time.

Carlton Reid 56:17
So Jim,

Jim Moss 56:19
recreationlaw, I post continuously on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, and I never go to those sites. I use a service I posted it puts the stuff out at the right time. I see Facebook as a never ending black hole of information, which 30% of it makes me furious and the other 70% agree with so best way to find me is just to email me at recreation dot law gmail. com or go to my website, recreation dash lawn calm.

Carlton Reid 56:57
Not much is done. And and you can Email me too. I’m the Fred cast @ gmail . com. Last time I tweeted was 125 days ago when we did a lockdown edition of the spokesmen with Calton, Donna, Tim, Jim and, and Richard Masoner from Cyclelicious.

Carlton Reid 57:17
Yeah. As a good show 125 That’s a long time ago. Yeah, I’m talking 125 seconds probably. Maybe maybe minutes, maybe minutes. Yeah, yeah. Perfect.

Jim Moss 57:32
I would call read column on TweetDeck.

Carlton Reid 57:39
Well, I recommend that to everybody, you know, definitely get a column with me. And so yeah, I’m as as you can kind of like, bad preview there. I’m definitely prolific on Twitter. I agree with you, Jim. About the black hole. That is Facebook. I will post on Facebook. Don’t expect an answer. People send me like stuff on messenger. And I’ll answer it maybe three months later, when I open messenger up. You know if it was our we’re trying to reach you urgently and it’s like, are you still trying to reach me urgently? When you, you know, eight months ago. So Twitter Carlton Reid is where I’m definitely at Instagram, his dogs, and of course, Forbes. So forbes.com

Carlton Reid 58:27
Thanks to my co-host David Bernstein and show regular Jim Moss. Don’t forget, as well as listening to today’s show you can also see us come alive in our home studios because we recorded moving images with our webcams. The moving is mainly waving our hands about and some surreptitious keyboard action so don’t go expecting any visuals of us on our bikes or anything. You can watch this episode on YouTube at the-spokesmen.com which is also where you can find a show transcript and links and stuff. And as I mentioned in the intro, YOU could be on the next show … meanwhile, get out there and ride.