04 September 2009

Dreams on Wheels Goes to London

London Cycle Chic 13
Hackney. Broadway Market. A day in July. London Cycle Chic, indeed.

Press Release from the Mayor of London
Tuesday 1 September

Dreams On Wheels rolls into City Hall

As part of London’s summer of cycling, an exhibition has been unveiled at City Hall exploring contemporary urban cycling culture in London and Copenhagen.

The exhibition Dreams on Wheels is organised by the GLA and the Embassy of Denmark, London, and is designed to share knowledge between the two cities where cycling is celebrated, and to encourage more people to try out two wheels.

The London incarnation, which will run from 1 September – 2 October, is part of the prologue to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year, and other versions have been shown around the world.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

There is more rain in Copenhagen than in London, yet cycling there has become part of the fabric of the city, whereas in London many are yet to join the cycling revolution.

London is now taking great strides towards becoming a true cycling city, with record investment going in to provide the infrastructure needed to make biking even safer, accessible, and more convenient. I hope that this exhibition encourages more people to get in the saddle and savour the city’s sights.

Ambassador of Denmark, Mr. Birger Riis-Jørgensen, said:

"The best way to get around London is on your bike, and I enjoy how the road users respect and consider each other in the traffic. Danes write poems about the wonders of cycling. It is great that Londoners and Danes can now jointly explore the joys and challenges of safe cycling. To the benefit of our planet and ourselves."

The latest figures show the number of Londoners who choose pedal over petrol is on the up – with cycling on the capital’s major roads rising nine per cent over the last year.

Transport for London is investing £111 million this year, providing funding for safety programmes, training, events, and landmark schemes such as cycle superhighways and a cycle hire scheme.

- Dreams On Wheels is curated by Etikstudio with photographic contributions from Mikael Colville-Andersen.


MarkA said...

I had a classic City Hall moment today.... did a trade off with my other half that I would go to the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery if he, in turn, came to the cycling exhibition... so off we trotted down the Thames on a sunny Saturday afternoon - only to find City Hall (and Dreams on Wheels, within it) was closed! That's right folks, this exhibition is only open to the public Monday to Friday, 9-5... beggers belief, it really does! When exactly is anyone in 'the real world' expected to see this???!

String Bean Jen said...

Ah, shit, really Mark? I opened this page from my RSS feeder to see if there was a link to the opening hours. M-F, 9-5? Bugger. I don't think I work close enough to speed on over on my bike to have a looksy-but maybe I'll give that a go. o_O

MarkA said...

Forgive me, not quite as bad as 9-5 but still no weekends, hope you get to zip over and see it - I am planning to bunk off early one afternoon and peddle as hard as i can from Mayfair. Opening times from their website are below:

Current exhibitions:

City Hall is open to the public Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 6pm, and Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Ridiculous, of course, that they are not open on weekends!

String Bean Jen said...

6pm is still ridiculous! I work near Waterloo and can maybe get off work at 5pm one day. MAYBE. o_O Thanks for the detail clarification!

MarkA said...

Mikael; String Bean Jen; - just to say I was able to get to see Dreams on Wheels this weekend as part of the London Open House weekend and loved seeing some of the fab bikes from Copenhagen - I thought the blue cargo bike was especially fantastic, and was amazed at how lightweight the pink Brompton was.

One point of interest is that they had a mock-up of how the new London cycle hire scheme stands might look and it referred to having to pay an annual subscription charge as well as the hire fee - this seems like a frustrating step to me and is a long way from the Copenhagen scheme where you just stick 2DK into the bike and off you go (though presumably these bikes must get stolen all the time?) I do hope that Boris and the City Hall boys don't mess this scheme up as the publicity backlash will be terrible considering the amount of money being spent on this scheme... Time will tell I suppose.

String Bean Jen said...

Ah! Smart move going to City Hall during the open house weekend. Should have thought of that.

That is bad news about the charges for the cycle hire scheme, though. I hadn't read about the details. Who is going to pay an annual subscription fee? If the point is to get more people cycling, including tourists and people who may just want to give it a try (who may later decide not to cycle again or may do it so infrequently, a subscription is not worth it), the scheme will not do much to get regular folk on bikes. Those of us who already cycle regularly and have bikes are already set to go.

I am sad to hear that this is the plan. Is it definitely being implemented with both of these costs? I have been bigging the scheme up to my friends but I know the non-cyclists won't use it if they have to subscribe! My god. Who does that?!

MarkA said...

Seems I was wrong, (sorry!) I have checked the website for Bixie, the scheme in Montreal which London's is most closely modeled on (it's being run by the same people) and it seems you can pay either a one off rental fee OR an annual subscription for reduced fees (rather like buying a TFL travel card) It will however not be compatible with existing travel cards and Oyster, which seems a real shame, but will be credit card based (and they will 'hold' a deposit on your CC, rather like hiring a car) Which is fine as long as you have a credit card I suppose.... I can't help but feel Boris is rushing this out on the cheap rather than tailoring it to London's needs. Still, any scheme is better than none I suppose...

MarkA said...

I should also point out that when I said "this exhibition is only open..." I meant to say - City Hall is only open at these times, it's hardly the fault of the exhibition caught inside.

I daren't say it, but I'm sure there was public access on all weekends under the previous mayor.... :o)