London: Bike city? LSE Literary Festival discussion

Discussion of the LSE Cities Literary Festival series hosted by LSE Cities and LSE Sustainability Team

All over the country, cycling is growing fast as a spectator sport and pastime. In London, it is also booming as a transport choice, spurred on by packed tubes and shiny new cycle lanes. What’s the appeal? Physical thrill? Mindful flow? Simple practicality? Nonconformity? Our panel considered why cycling got this big and what its future is in London. Can it get too popular and are we headed for civil war on the roads? What would we need to make London a cycling utopia?

This event was part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, which took place from Monday 20 – Saturday 25 February 2017, with the theme ‘Revolutions’.

Event materials


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    Rachel Aldred

    Rachel Aldred (@RachelAldred) is Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster and one of the Progress 1000 Most Influential Londoners.  One of her research projects (Near Miss Project) was awarded Cycling Initiative of the Year 2015 by Total Women’s Cycling. Since November 2012 she has twice been elected as a Trustee of the London Cycling Campaign and is Chair of its Policy Forum.

    Emily Chappell

    Emily Chappell (@emilychappell) has worked as a cycle courier in London since 2008 and is author of What Goes AroundShe has competed in the Transcontinental Race, one of the world's toughest ultra-endurance races. Emily's writing has featured in the Guardian and in 2012 she won Travel Blogger of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards, and a Jupiter's Traveller Award from the Ted Simon Foundation.

    Michael Hutchinson

    Michael Hutchinson (@Doctor_Hutch) is a former professional cyclist. He has won multiple national titles in both Britain and Ireland, and represented both countries internationally. He is the principal columnist for Cycling Weekly, a regular broadcaster on the sport, and has written three books on cycling: The Hour: Sporting Immortality the Hard Way; Faster: the Obsession, Science and Luck behind the world's fastest cyclists; and Re:Cyclists: 200 Years on Two Wheels, to be published in March 2017.

    James Spackman

    James Spackman (@blackpooltower) is a book publisher and cycling obsessive. Pursuit (@Pursuitbooks), the new cycling imprint which he is launching as part of Profile Books, publishes its first three titles in 2017, by The Velominati, Colin O'Brien and Paul Fournel.