London: Bike city?

Hosted by LSE Cities, the Sustainability Team and LSE Literary Festival

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building,


Dr Rachel Aldred

Dr Rachel Aldred

Emily Chappell

Emily Chappell

Michael Hutchinson

Michael Hutchinson


James Spackman

James Spackman

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 consider 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?

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 (@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 (@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 (@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. 

LSE Cities (@LSECities) is an international centre at LSE that carries out research, education and outreach activities in London and abroad. Its mission is to study how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focussing on how the design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.

The LSE Sustainability Team (@SustainableLSE) works to create a more environmentally sustainable university, through the responsible management of our estate, operations and resources, and by engaging with our students, staff and local community.  

Suggested Twitter hashtag for this event: #LSELitFest

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, taking place from Monday 20 - Saturday 25 February 2017, with the theme "Revolutions".

Update, Monday 9 January: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ned Boulting is no longer able to speak at this event, but we are delighted that Michael Hutchinson will be joining us.


A podcast of this event is available to download from London: Bike city?

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