Bike trials and environmental advocacy, bike trials and urban design

This post is a bit of an excuse to showcase videos of two uber-talented riders in the cycling subcategory known as bike trials. Both do however touch on other issues more related to this journal.

The first is of Ryan Leech. One of the shorts at the Banff Mountain Film Festival last year was a sequence of Ryan excecuting moves on a trail in an ‘old growth’ forest in BC, Canada. However the take home message through the medium of his riding was lets not destroy these forests and lets keep it for other uses. I followed up on his website and saw a big part of what he does includes raising awareness of environmental sustainability issues. So all credit to him, if only more with his profile would do the same!

The second is Danny Macaskill. A video of some creative riding on & over the Edinburgh streetscape reminded me of what I think is a courageous proposition from uk’s CABE: asserting the value of risk in public places. There is a pervasive pressure (I have designed in the UK and I know) to always be looking to ‘design out’ risk. This can all to often lead to bland ands unimaginative design that kills off any potential for greatness. (This parallels the discussion of the shared space concept that I am a huge fan of). Imagine designing something that the younger guys can actually relate to!!! Below are the two links to get a feel of the argument. I don’t know what ever became of it but I sincerely hope the ‘compensation culture’ and ‘health and safety gone mad’ epidemic does not stifle some promising new thinking in urban design.

The links: The hidden dangers of risk aversion and What are we scared of?

Now, without further ado, here are the videos…

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