28 June 2010

Post Velo-City Rush

I don't even know where to start.

Velo-City Global 2010 wrapped up last Friday, although for some of us it continued right up until Sunday night.

It was a brilliant week. Absolutely brilliant.

My brain is still spinning with all the good experiences and all the wonderful people I met. The social strength of the bicycle indeed. As I said in my keynote speech, isn't it amazing that the simple bicycle can generate enough content to fill a four day conference attended by over 1000 people from every continent? That a machine invented 125 years ago can serve to bring us all together on an academic - but also on a social level?

I was interviewed by the Velo-City organisers and one of the questions was that while many people were keen to chat with me... what did I get out of all of this? The list is long but the most important thing I cycle away with is this: The Buzz.

I've watched this mainstreaming of The Bicycle for over three years now and the curve is consistently upwards but I really am struck by the energy radiating from all the participants. I really sense that there is an irreversible buzz and drive about not only returning The Bicycle to the urban landscape but creating the culture and infrastructure to make it possible.

There were many faces I recognized from the Velo-City 2009 conference in Brussels but this being a global conference there were so many new ones - and from unexpected places. The city of Ottawa, for example, sent 11 people to Copenhagen. I met Turks and Romanians, Calgarians and Koreans.

I'm going to put my money on this bicycle thing. On the fact that the curve took a sharp turn upwards and that there is no peak in sight. Not with this much interest. Not with this much blossoming political will to build infrastructure and the ever-widening mainstream support all over the world.

Feel the buzz. Trust me, it's magical.

I enjoyed every conversation with all the people I talked to. It was brilliant to meet you all.

Now I'm left with a billion photos to edit through. I'll get started.


Pete K said...

let's just hope that some of that buzz makes it's way back to Ottawa with those 11 delegates and then what they're saying somehow penetrates the oil-slicked barrier that permeates stephen harper.

Michael D said...

Regarding the mainstreaming of The Bicycle: In a recent blog post I found that judging by utility-oriented bike shops, the bicycle as regular transportation has really taken off in North America since 2007.

Martin said...

Boo Hoo , was unable to convince my municipality and government to send me and to some officials to the Conference. We are dominated by road builders and road engineers so know wonder. Will have to save my pennies if i want to visit the cycling capital of the world. Well done Mikael on your blog and advocacy

Lasse said...

We want pictures and photos and text from EVERYTHING!

Mark said...

I agree with Lasse: can't wait to have a full, detailed breakdown of the whole event.