"Sign Up, Hop On, Ride Off"....or maybe just walk?
January 30, 2011 2:02 PM Subscribe
posted by webhund (24 comments total)
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In which our guide, Iain Sinclair, expounds upon and attempts to participate in the Transport for London/Barclays "Cycle Hire
" program ("scheme" in the Queen's English").
In a wonderfully pyschogeographic essay
, we are instructed in the differences between "pod, posse, and peloton," distinctive socio-econonomic bicycling castes, the evolution of bicycling in London, complexities of corporate-owned green transport
, and the silliness of politicians riding bicycles. Elsewhere, similar programs have encountered better adoption by the public (perhaps because other cities have rejected soul-less corporate branding
("Barclays Cycle Hire" v. VeloV
(French link)” (Paris) and “Bixi
Ultimately, the author is less than thrilled with the scheme: "Like everything else in the Alice in Wonderland world of pre-Olympic London, cycling has become the plaything of bankers and politicians. We have been persuaded to undergo an online [application] process, like applying for a mortgage, or a loan we don't need, in order to become mobile advertisement for the benevolence of a financial institution. And by this application, we are registered, tagged, our movements logged and our conversations recorded."
Note: Readers not well-schooled in London politics will likely be utterly baffled and at a loss to understand any of the first two paragraphs in the linked LRB article. Keep reading, Gentle Reader.