Velo-city Global 2014: Tuesday, 27 May
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards is in Adelaide for the Velo-City Global 2014 conference this week and reporting daily highlights here on the Ride On blog.
At the Mayor’s Reception on Monday night, Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood spoke about Adelaide’s commitment to bike riding. He also mentioned how Adelaide is the 35th biggest city in the world, the 5th most liveable and the 8th cleanest.
In his opening address at the conference this morning when he said he was taking Adelaide from the 5th most liveable city to the 1st, and bikes were a key part of that.
The conference got off to a cracking start with the delegate pack delivering the goods: the compulsory string bag, a pile of brochures and an eclectic collection of promo items. I feel bad for the supplier of the wacky glasses who no doubt thought they had the prize for craziest item covered.
The brain squeeze ball takes the gold for me.
Presumably when you have a stress head ache you squeeze this brain tight and it somehow transfers the pain in your brain to this one.
The conference opening was full of entertainment and pazzazz. A round stage had the opening presenters trying to work out which way to look.
A great performance by some young circus performers was very entertaining. It almost didn’t have much relevance to bikes until they ran over someone while riding a uni-cycle (it was more spectacular than this photo which may be my worst yet).
Danish bike world rock star Mikael Colville Andersen got the focus squarely back on bikes with a passionate presentation about how bikes are vital to cities. After he had the crowd chant it twice, few delegates will forget his advice for what to say to anyone who isn’t convinced about bikes: ‘What the f@#k!’ No sure how this will go if your boss or grandmother isn’t on board.
Former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan, stole the show with a thought provoking and inspiring presentation.
She showed how New York’s bike lanes cost only 1% of the road budget, drove rider numbers up and injuries down while the cash registers of local traders spun 49% faster than ever. A great quote was, “We can’t build our way out of congestion.”
The helmet issue kept rearing its head (at least I was amused by that one). With a protest ride planned for Thursday there’s a danger helmets could overshadow the conference. Bike journalist and world travelling crusader Bojun Bjorkman-Chiswell cranked it up by saying, “I’d rather spend a night in a prison cell than wear a helmet.” Guess she’s never seen the evidence of the damage suffered by a helmetless head or the inside of many prisons.
The Bicycle Network stand was awesome and the team were in top form. Lots of great conversations with passionate and smart people interested in working with us.
Day one in a word: thought-provoking. Both about what we heard and how to put it into action.
After a long day we finished on a high.