Dublin cycle chic

Want to promote cycling in Ireland? Marketing it, and stop the scaremongering

Dublin cycle chic

Mikael Colville-Andersen, who runs Copenhagenize.com and Copenhagen Cycle Chic. In his own words: “The main point with my blogs is that if cycling is to be an everyday activity then it can easily be done in everyday clothes, like millions of Europeans do every day”.

In a post about the Velo-City conference, he points to a post by Guillaume Van der Stighelen, co-founder of marketing company Duval Guillaume, where Van der Stighelen talks about marketing cycling as a ‘hero brand’

“Most arguments are rational. Less CO2, more mobility, healthier. Well, those drivers know that. But that doesn’t convince them apparently. Let me tell you what the argument is: status it is”.

I suppose Colville-Andersen himself has gone some way in helping branding cycling — on his blogs, talking to the press from a few countries, and in video form:

Copenhagen – City of Cyclists from Colville Andersen on Vimeo.

More here, here, and here. And they even cycle in the snow in Denmark.

So, in Ireland, if government at local and national levels are serious about increasing cycling they need to stop the scaremongering nonsense and the misuse of taxpayers’ money on promotion of yellow vests and helmets. If you want to make sure cyclists are visible enforce the law of bicycle lights use. If you’re going to push cycle helmets which have flawed research backing their use, then promote motoring helmets too.

If you’re, say, the Labour Party and you talk about “Dublin Must Become A Copenhagen Or Amsterdam For Cyclists” then you don’t wear pointless helmets at your photo-shoot. If you’re the Green Party you should need to be told this in the first place. Err… but at least they are being green by reusing the one helmet at their photo-shoot?

Oh, and that’s not Copenhagen in the photograph above, it’s Dublin. And just to prove it’s possible to cycle like a normal person and it’s not a once off, here’s six more people cycling in Dublin, just one is wearing strange gear:

There's always one...

(the 6th person is behind the camera)

ADDED: Pushing ahead with the measures outlined in the recently published National Cycle Policy is needed too, but the importance of marketing is still a missing part of government plans. And not only is government at different levels not marketing cycling, their cheap but false safety promotion makes cycling appear more dangerous than it is — they enforce the myth that cycling is dangerous.

Too far fetched?

Is it too far fetched to think Microsoft released Vista the way it did so the next version — which we now know as Windows 7 — would sell better? Because no company could have released an OS so flawed on purpose, or could they have?

For the record Vista came installed on my laptop, and since the announcment of supporting XP for longer was made last year I’ve been thinking of upgrading to XP. Yes, it would be an upgrade.

Dealing with emails

“No new mail! There’s always Google News if you’re looking for something to read.”

…that’s not a message I’m used to seeing. I used to leave email linked to something I needed to do in my inbox, but that’s really a bad way to go about dealing with emails.

I get a huge amount of email sent to my Gmail account daily (secondly accounts are also redirected there), I’ve been trying to work out a “system” for dealing with it for some. But even if you don’t get a massive amount of email, you should try to deal with it better.

One thing which has worked (I cant over state how well it has worked!…) is to set it so that all emails from mailing lists and boards.ie etc are auto-tagged as ‘bulk’ (I’ve just changed this to ‘Can delete?’, as pictured below). So, when such emails arrive in my inbox I know they are likely have a low level of importance and I’m unlikely to want to archive them. Then, with a very quick scan, I can delete them in bulk.

That helped. But still I had high levels. A problem which has got considerably worse since returning to college (again) and becoming a DCU student. With the DCU emailing lists [snip… I guess this subject needs another blog post].

Along with the ‘bluk’ / ‘can delete?’ tag, I also created tags for different subjects — relating to games, tech, emails from contacts etc. But this didn’t really work. Unlike the ‘can delete’ tag, it wasn’t active.

Now thanks to the ideas behind 43 Folders Series: Inbox Zero I think things are going to be a lot better. (And a very lager thanks to Damien Mulley for the link to 43 Folders — in case the people who have told me about the site before are reading, yes you may have told me about it, but links are, I guess, more active).

Go and read the Inbox Zero series. Or watch the video — it says its nearly 60mins but a good deal of that is the Q&A, and anyway it’s really worth watching.

Simply put the idea is to keep your inbox clear.

Delete. Archive. Respond straight away. Or, if you really need to, send mail to a respond later folder. And don’t (as I used to) use your inbox as a to-do list or a diary/calendar — use a calendar like Google’s calendar which you can sent up reminders.

Anyway, I feel this is actauly going to work. Here’s hoping it does… now all I need is to sort out my RSS reader…