26 August 2010

Centre stage: New blog from City Cyclists

Cyclists in the City is a new blog dealing with the idiosyncrasies of bikes in the Square Mile. It promises to be strong on practical campaigning and on data interpretation.

The first major post is about the City's contraflow cycle lane experiments, and how to make them work better.


  1. Rob,
    I'm sorry about being off-topic for this particular item, but I found no other way of contacting you....
    Please bear with me.....

    In a comment to an earlier post you said something that made me curious, and which I hope you can elaborate :

    "Like I said, Tim, I'm essentially a libertarian (much like Bad Science guru Ben Goldacre, also a non-helmet wearer, and a GP who understand stats and risk and head injuries really really well). I'm happy for helmets to be legal and if you want to wear one that's fine by me. It's not real cycling though."

    Do you have any quotes from Ben Goldacre on helmets ? In writing ?

  2. Hi Morten.

    Ben made his comments on helmets to me in an interview for a podcast last year. For various reasons the podcast never worked out, and I don't have the recording itself.

    From what I remember, Ben's position is that he doesn't wear one because he isn't convinced that it offers worthwhile protection. But if you can get hold of him by email - if! (ben@badscience.net) - I'm sure he could give you something quotable. Perhaps even he could do a Bad Science column on it, given the interest from researchers such as yourself?

    I'm sure you know about the a BBC Radio 4 programme today (Friday 27 August) at 1.30pm which evaluates the risks of helmet wearing - you can listen to it online for a week after its broadcast:

    Researcher Ian Walker will be interviewed on the programme. He's known as the man who proved that wearing a long blond wig is safer than a helmet. (I'm paraphrasing a little, maybe.)

  3. Thanks Rob,

    I'll try to contact him.

    The BBC4 programme let us down, sadly. I saw you take on it. But I must say I also agree with those that are baffled with the amount of press Ian Walker gets, compared to other researchers on helmets with much more scientifically viable methods and results.

    I am not a researcher by profession, but I have read and discussed quite a lot about helmets, during the latter 5 years. The sociology of science angle of it does interest me. If the public and governments can be tricked so badly in the helmet propaganda/scaremongering/compulsion issue, how can we trust their judgement in other slightly tricky and counter-intuitive issues ?