BBC Radio 4 is currently 2/3rds of the way through a great documentary series called The Fall and Rise of the Bicycle.
“Mark Stephen discovers the importance of the bicycle as a global barometer of social, economic and environmental change”.
The first episode went to Africa to see “the impact that owning a bicycle can have on the lives of Africa’s rural poor”. They visited the BEN Bikes project in Namibia, which is, incidentally, being run by an Australian called Michael Linke who’s blogging about the project. The project supplies bikes to the carers who support and assist AIDS victims across the country.
The second episode went to London and Copehagen to experience urban cycling in Europe. The interviews included Matt Seaton, “Bicycling Correspondent” for The Guardian (Scroll down to ‘Bicycles’), and a couple of Copenhagen commuters and couriers (who, interestingly, say that despite its reputation as Europe’s best bike city, Copenhagen ain’t easy for the working cyclist). Have a look at this doco on GoogleVideo about riding in Copenhagen.
The third and final episode, coming up on Monday, goes to China to see how bicycle culture is changing..
It’s all essential and inspiring listening, so don’t miss it.