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Jo Helme

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I studied (and cycled) at the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Vienna. My day involves squeezing information out of cycling advocates, experts and policymakers, and then writing all the juicy bits into articles. When the climate crisis gives you lemons, ride bicycles.

How Bogotá Became Latin America’s Cycling Capital

Despite being ranked as the world’s most congested city, bicycles in Bogotá are blooming. This is the remarkable story of how the bicycle weaved its way through – and how it shook up social statuses and the sound of Sundays in Colombia’s capital.    Bogotá’s Bicycle Story: It Began With a Sunday With...

Enrique Peñalosa: “An Advanced City Is One Where the Rich Take Public Transport”

Bogotá’s former mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, redrew the capital’s cityscape. Surviving two recall elections, he built hundreds of parks, bike tracks, bus lanes and sidewalks. For him, a bus stuck in traffic does not represent inefficiency – it represents inequality.  How Peñalosa Changed Bogotá  The sheer scale of construction and change that Enrique Peñalosa...

Isabell Eberlein – the Cycling Activist Steering Germany’s Car Culture in a New Direction

To tailor BMW’s catchphrase, Isabell Eberlein is the ultimate cycling machine. Her track-record of cycling advocacy is staggering – from Berlin’s bicycle referendum, to cycle rides against the patriarchy, to making businesses bike-friendly. She told us about what drives her and how she campaigns for change. Isabell's Story: Not the...

Behind the Scenes of the EU Handshake Cycling Project

‘Handshake’ is currently the biggest European Union project on cycling, combining thirteen cities and a budget of nearly five million euros. We spoke to the project coordinator, Mario Gualdi, to get a first-hand account. What's the Aim of Handshake? “The starting idea is bringing together people that are doing similar things, in...

The Missing Link: How to Make Intersections Bike-Friendly

Safe intersections are critical to any cycling city, yet are often the last link to be thought about. Here is a beginner’s overview to bike-friendly intersections, based on advice from three experts in the field.  Out in the Open: Why Bike-Friendly Intersections Are Important There are two main reasons why any...

It Was No Easy Ride: Amsterdam’s Journey to Becoming a Cycling Icon

Cycling seems like second nature in Amsterdam, but after speaking with Marjolein de Lange, co-author of the book ‘Bike City Amsterdam’, we discovered that this hasn’t always been the case. Filled with fierce activism, from white bicycle archaists to angered mothers, this is the story of how Amsterdam fought...

Creating a Cycling City: How to Get Started

Not sure how to cultivate a cycling culture? Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an advanced cycling city, we’ve got your next steps planned out. Stages of a Cycling City Whatever stage your city is at, there’s more that can be done to grow a cycling base. Below are the next...

How to Get a City Cycling: The Challenge

Creating a cycling city is no easy ride. Here’s everything you should know from the outset, all brought to life by people we’ve spoken to who deal with cycling every day.   Whilst no city is the same, there are a few challenges even the champion cycling cities struggled with. Thankfully...

Kimberley Nelson: “I Was Tired Of My Life Being Threatened”

Kimberley’s dangerous commute led her down a path where she would end up transforming Calgary into one of Canada’s cycling cities. She tells us about the journey, along with e-scooters dating, ‘sanity rides’ and how best to drive change.  Kimberley’s Story: Battling for the Bike Commuting to work by bicycle, there...

EU Cycling Projects: What’s Out There

What do stars, pasta and chips have in common? They’re all names for EU funded initiatives on cycling. Here’s the place to start if you want to understand this curious world of EU cycling projects.  What Are EU Cycling Projects? Any project which promotes cycling and has received European Union funding...

School-Proof Ways of Getting Children Cycling to Class

Trying to encourage children to cycle to school? Follow these tried and tested ideas, and you’ll be sure to pass with flying colours!  Why Cycling Comes Top of the Class  Although convenient, driving to school by car has its downsides. If there are too many cars, congestion halts the start of...

The Pains and Gains of Cycle Lanes

Building a cycling network? Here’s everything you need – not just the pains and gains, but also the brains behind cycle lanes and the knacks behind cycle tracks. No cycling city is complete without at least a few cycle routes. Colloquially, most refer to all forms of cycle routes as...

What Makes or Breaks Bike Sharing Schemes

“Many cities think bike sharing is this easy, ready-to-insert scheme: it’s not.” We spoke to two of Europe’s leading bike sharing experts to find out what five things you need to get right when setting up bike sharing schemes. Bike Sharing: More Complicated Than You'd Think “Bike sharing is a powerful...

Useful Guides to Cycling

Looking for a handy handbook on cycling? We’ve found some of the best freely available ones, saving you from ceaseless searches.  Sieving through the endless sheets of information on cycling can be overwhelming.  If you’re looking for condensed articles with only the juicy bits included, then look no further than our...

Has Bern’s ‘Velo Offensive’ Been Victorious?

In 2014 Bern launched a ‘Velo Offensive’ to make cycling the triumphing transport choice. We asked those involved about which tactics were deployed and whether it can be heralded as a win for the bike.  What Is the Velo Offensive? Momentum is building to make Bern the cycling capital of Switzerland....

Cycling Posters: How to Campaign with Personality

Awareness campaigns to promote cycling have been rolled out in countless cities, multiple times. Cycling campaigns have taken various angles –from letting us know how good cycling is for our health, environment, bank account or time management, through to persuading us to cycle using humour, emotion or guilt tripping...

A Need-to-Know Guide to Cycle Highways

Everything you need to know about cycle highways, covering all the basic information, steps to creating a cycle highway and insights from people working in the field.  What Are Cycle Highways? A Whistle Stop Tour  Cycle highways pride themselves on being high-quality cycle routes which cover long distances, usually connecting suburbs and...

The Cycling Professor: Its More Than a Bicycle, It’s a Counter Movement – and John Lennon Knew It in 1968

Do we need driverless cars, or carless drivers? Why do we talk about congestion, but not systemic traffic violence? How come John Lennon was in bed with a bicycle? We interviewed the Cycling Professor, a renowned social media activist and academic at the University Cycling Institute, who left us...