Next Monday marks the final episode in our year-long public speakers’ series on the bicycle and society. Join us for a roundtable on putting more bums on bikes. Thanks are due to Meagan McEwen and Annie Foreman-Mackey for recruiting the panelists and for chairing the session. The roundtable event is free of charge and open to the public.
On March 14, retired professional cyclist Michael Barry visited McMaster University to talk about the essence of professional cycling. Barring the “ums” that proliferate in my introduction, this was a fascinating interview. Enjoy.
Our next adventure in the McMaster Rolling Seminar: La Vie Vélo runs on Monday, April 1 @ 18:30 in Gilmour Hall 111. A roundtable on women and racing will seek to unpackage the culture and politics of women’s racing on local and larger scenes. Join us for what promises to be an especially engaging session. The McMaster Rolling Seminar is funded by the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award; all sessions are free and open to the public.
My Arts & Science course, “The Bicycle & Society,” is turning its attention to political activism next week. While much of our readings will focus on recent forms of activism in the Canadian and American contexts, and examine the nature of critical mass rides, etc., I wanted to stress that cycling activism is not just a developed-world phenomenon, and that it also happens elsewhere. A friend sent me this fascinating Al Jazeera documentary on cycling activism in Guadalajara, which movingly stresses both the obstacles in establishing bicycle-safe urban infrastructures everywhere, but also instills hope. For the class’ purposes, it breaks us out of our concentration on urban planning and the bicycle as being a phenomenon of the twenty-first-century affluent activism to think more broadly and globally. Link to the film here.
Also, too, bike shares are growing in many urban areas. This is less overtly political in its conception, but it does stress the need for infrastructural overhauls in order to ensure safe spaces for bicycles on roads and lanes. Here, too, this is not uniquely a developed-world issue. See this account of happenings in Manila.
On January 17, Dr. Jim Longhurst (University of Wisconsin – La Crosse) visited McMaster as part of the McMaster Rolling Seminar: La Vie Vélo. His presentation was a part of his current research on early cycling politics, and focused on debates over the creation of sidepaths in a number of North American cities.
The talk was filmed, and I share it here for public consumption. Students in my two bike-y courses might find much of the presentation quite helpful.