30 August 2010
TfL promo vids: Bare-headed, or thin film on top?
We spotted this TfL film crew at work yesterday, filming a lass on a hire bike trundling up and down Cycle Superhighway 3 on Narrow St.
The British film industry may be worried by budget cuts at the moment, but TfL is doing its best to rescue things single-handed, with their five lively new films promoting cycling.
Each features a different type of London cyclist, covering the whole range of Londoners that matter: two TV celebrities, two more attractive young white women, and a diversity-box-ticking young chap called Mohamed. No older, or otherwise ugly, people, obviously. Not in the target demographic, no doubt.
Still, to my mind it's good to see that only two of the protagonists are wearing helmets. This lack of lids worried BBC Tranport Correspondent Tom Edwards in his recent blog, though.
Evidently the Beeb guys are a nervous lot when it comes to headgear - and their impartiality snaps faster than a non-Snell standard helmet. For example, the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less last Friday (listenable again until Friday 3 September) 'covered' the helmet debate.
(It surely didn't make best use of researcher Ian Walker, and then allowed the pro-helmet Angela Lee to assert opinions backed by no statistics whatever - which seems curious for a programme on statistics. Overall it was flimsy, full of holes, and gave little worthwhile coverage. Which is probably appropriate for an item on helmets.)
But the presenter couldn't help but sign off saying how he wears a helmet. (Tock, tock, as he taps his helmet, ooh, that's good use of the radio medium you see, they're trained professionals, you know.) The Beeb hackette writing the BBC website article about the same programme couldn't resist putting her oar in too, saying she always wears a helmet.
Of course, it's very unlikely that a BBC programme is likely to cause damage to your laptop or radio, when you lash out in anger at them during another superficial item on cycle helmets that uses anecdote and opinion as 'evidence'. But just in case, it's a good idea to take precautions. Protect the laptop or radio with some sort of cover. Can't do any harm, can it? I think that's the point the programme was making anyway.
So I'm pleased to see TfL is not capitulating to the helmet correctness lobby.
If they could broaden out from their emphasis on bright young people though I'd be even pleaseder. An attractive young woman on a bike is a pleasant sight. But a healthy cycling culture needs more than flowing-haired models pedalling small dogs in baskets. It needs schoolkids, and pensioners, and business suits, and dumpy tired-looking middle-aged people too.
Speaking of which, if TfL needs another extra, I've a bit of time available right now.