• EMC News and Reviews

    Some good news from Heffers bookshop in Cambridge: apparently my book Einstein & the Art of Mindful Cycling has remained in their top ten non-fiction bestsellers throughout November. Great credit is due to the publishers, Ivy Press, who did such a lovely job with the book's design.

    Elsewhere, a nice review has cropped up on the website of the excellent Boneshaker Magazine.

    Unfortunately, every rose has its thorn, and a rather horrible but amusing review has appeared on a Dutch website. I put the review through Google translate, and the dreamily weird, insulting results are so funny I pasted them below. The author seems to have an oddly scatalogical take on the book. It takes one to know one, I suppose...

    Something too good to see how the content of this book together gescharreld is. And I was there some of giggly. Every writer has indeed tricks. There is nothing wrong with that. Only, those tricks are not already on the first pages clear.

    Everything in Albert Einstein & the Art of Mindful Cycling hinges on a single observation of the great man. Ever Einstein namely let slip that he invented the Theory of Relativity on the bike.

    From there Ben Irvine argues that cycling for everyone over there a similar utility may have. The British philosopher and publicist sure. Cycling leads to mindfulness, as it is known today with a good Dutch word. And this state of lucid attention is a great luxury in this for everyone so busy times. Cycling calls so then because the rhythmic motion relaxes and makes merry. And who are receptive can also input still see everything.

    Go therefore especially cycling. Without purpose or hurry.

    Now there are more circumstances in which people get good ideas. What there unconscious all brewing, may present at the oddest moments. Some get their best ideas in the shower. Others during the wash.

    Not surprising that people get ideas while shitting [1]. I have even been a scientific statement read - it presses doing anything with the blood pressure in the head, and so.

    Ben Irvine and had now a book to someone who hung a scientific breakthrough came in the toilet, it was probably a more interesting text delivered. For me.

    I was been curious combination of a hagiography of a great thinker, a history of the poop, and explain why good shit is good for a man.

    There was at least some originality spoken.

    The biography of Einstein was not me strangely, and therefore struck me that Irvine a rather clean polished version has that story. Moreover, there was too much, and his life to the very dragged, just because that one aside.

    About the history of the bicycle, which is also a large part of the book takes, I was already a thing known.

    And I still long for this publication was expecting an optimistic story to American self-help to get cut, it was not. Perhaps because Ben Irvine itself is not very present in the book. Already, the reader is to know that he turned back to the bike converted after a drunken night with consequences in 2009.

    In short, this is indeed a finely designed book, and Irvine has some fun for me unknown quotes about cycling found, but otherwise was quite against this issue.

    A little writer should so someone can explain what it has to go cycling. Or walking. Or signs. Or sculpting. Or call the occupation but in which not only the head or chat used to something to bring. That is the life of Einstein not necessary. The analogy with what look bikes for Albert Einstein would have done, even lavishly pretentious, and therefore laughable.

    And well, then I learned that there still exists a phrase that describes how it is that with a big grin through the rain to bicycles. A downpour epiphany "called according to Irvine. That the phenomenon relates to the relief there is, as a cyclist realizes that the weather nothing can be changed.

    So looking at the perspective. That is the main message of this book. An online who also had a postcard appropriate.

    Decent effort. But this is what I call a proper bad review...

  • Excellent Clinical Negligence and Cycling

    In their new ‘Walking and Cycling’ report, published yesterday, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have offered their tuppence-worth (a rather large understatement) when it comes to cycling policy.

    I’m not sure how useful these epic government-sponsored reports are. They seem to benefit the people who are paid to write them more than anyone else.

    And you’ve got to wade through an extraordinary amount of triteness. ‘Walking and cycling are distinct activities’ was one of my favourite examples in the NICE report.

    In the end, there’s nothing new in it. The following statement says it all:

    “The action needed to increase levels of walking and cycling will vary according to people's local and personal circumstances. For instance, it will differ according to whether someone lives or works in an urban or rural area, the local traffic conditions and their perceptions of safety.”

    So maybe the bureaucrats should stop writing these reports and instead give back money to local communities and let them solve their own problems, more efficiently and sensibly.

    And then maybe the report writers could focus, ironically, on getting London’s local affairs in order. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, London being a metropolis means that it has distinct infrastructure needs when it comes to cycling. Due to prohibitive levels of heavy traffic on the city's major transport arteries, regular Londoners need an alternative way of ensuring they can cycle from A to B safely.

    Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map, with its long straight coloured routes, criss-crossing the capital in all directions, would provide this. All we need to do is put dots of coloured paint along the mostly quieter roads comprising Parker’s map.

    Maybe, indeed, all those report writers should get out there with paint brushes and stop wasting people’s money on ineffectual verbiage.

    Although, credit where credit’s due, another NICE report managed to briefly mention something useful on the topic of ‘built or natural environments’ (a topic which is itself rather bizarre: is this what the National Health Service should be doing with taxpayers’ money? Would you be happy if a private health care provider charged a premium so they could offer you advice on cycling infrastructure?). The report at least mentions the word ‘network’ twice – albeit amid 11,000 other words.

    George Orwell must be smiling wryly out there somewhere.

  • I Bike London Christmas Ride

    After the success of their Parks and River Ride in November, I Bike London are organising a Christmas Ride. It will be a fun and sociable event, going along Regent’s canal and towards East London.

    The ride will start at 11:00am on Saturday 8th December, leaving from the Achilles Statue at Hyde Park Corner (postcode W1K). After heading up to Regent’s Park, the riders will join the cycle path alongside the canal in Camden and follow it all the way to the Olympic Park, before ending at the Britannia Pub in Victoria Park around 3pm (postcode E9 7BT).

    The pace will be relaxed and suitable for children, with breaks along the way. Mechanical assistance is provided if needed. The route covers 30 kilometres (18 miles) and is flat most of the way.

    At the end of the ride, the particpants are all invited to the pub to celebrate Christmas with some mulled wine (or whatever you like)!

    ROUTE MAP HERE: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1916096

    If you have any enquiries please feel free to contact the organisers on info@ibikelondon.com
  • Cycle Lifestyle 8 is here!

    Cycle Lifestyle, the free cycling magazine aiming to inspire non-cyclists and cyclists alike, is back with an eighth issue. Download it here, or view it in the browser on cyclelifestyle.co.uk.

    All the usual favourites are featured – including The Peddler, New Bike on the Block, and Give it a Go – as well as cycle poetry, tips on winter cycling, and a new column called My Favourite Cycling Street.

    10,000 paper copies of Cycle Lifestyle will be delivered to thousands of locations in London and beyond, including schools, workplaces, cafes, student unions, cycle shops, and more.

    It’s an exciting time for the magazine, with my book Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling recently published.

    Our mission at Cycle Lifestyle is to make sure that the good news about cycling, well-being and health is represented in the media.

    Please help us to spread the word by telling your customers, colleagues and friends about us.

    Best wishes – Ben Irvine, Cycle Lifestyle Editor

  • Lothlorien and the Lakes

    This weekend, I enjoyed a wonderful three nights’ break in Lothlorien Cottage in Kents Bank, Grange Over Sands.

    This pretty seaside town enjoys truly stunning views over the vastness of Morecambe Bay and the surrounding hills to the South, as well as easy access to the glories of the Lake District directly to the North.

    The purpose of my trip was to start work on a new book, following up on the recently published Einstein & the Art of Mindful Cycling. I also had the pleasure of meeting owner David Chadwick and his wife Pam, and their two kids Holly and Matthew whom I am pictured with below.

    The cottage was lovely, quiet and tidy, and comes highly recommended. And, of course, the clean air and rural calm of this beautiful region did wonders for my creativity and peace of mind. If I were a doctor I would prescribe a visit to the North of England at least once a year!

    Grange Over Sands is also a great place to cycle. There is something for everyone there. The countryside immediately surrounding the town varies from flat to mildly undulating, while the further you go into the Lakes, the more challenging the inclines become.

    If scenery is your thing, then a cycle tour to this region can hardly be bettered, and Lothlorien Cottage makes the perfect basecamp.

    Ben Irvine, Cycle Lifestyle editor

  • Call for distributors

    With Cycle Lifestyle issue 8 publishing in a few weeks, we're looking to increase the number of retailers and business premises which stock copies of our free magazine.

    Cycle Lifestyle appeals to employees and customers alike, and whenever we add premises to our distributors list, we can also (if you want us to) add them to our distributors map, showing readers where they can pick up a copy in London.

    Please get in touch and let us know your delivery address and phone number, and we'll make you an official distributor of Cycle Lifestyle magazine.


  • Monocle interview

    Late notice, but... I'm giving a short interview tonight (24 Nov) at 6.30pm on the Monocle 24 radio station, about my new book 'Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling'. Link here:

    Best wishes,

    Ben, Cycle Lifestyle editor

  • The Poetry Postie

    It's always nice to receive emails from people for whom the bicycle forms an unusual part of their life. I especially enjoyed hearing from Sally Crabtree, the 'Poetry Postie', who delivers 'poetic letters' or 'singing telegrams' on her rounds. Her work is a lovely example of the creativity that cycling brings. Now, if she could just sing me that bank statement I got this morning, everything might be OK after all...

  • Vote for Wheels for Wellbeing!

    Wheels for Wellbeing, a charity backed by National Lottery funding, has helped hundreds of people with disabilities in London to cycle using a wide variety of specially designed bikes. This video gives a flavour of the vital and wonderful work these campaigners do in extending cycling's accessibility - a goal which all of us at Cycle Lifestyle passionately believe in.

    Wheels for Wellbeing have been shortlisted for the National Lottery's 'Best Sports Project' award. Please take a moment to add your vote and help a dedicated group of facilitators and riders get the national recognition they deserve. Click here to vote!

  • Book signing in Heffers, Cambridge - Sat, 27 Oct

    I'll be signing copies of my new book Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling in Heffers bookshop, 20 Trinity Lane, Cambridge, on Saturday, 27 October, 2 to 5pm.

    Cambridge is probably Britain's most bike-friendly town, and is a beautiful place to explore on two wheels. Come along for a biscuit and a chat. For further info, contact info@oldspeak.co.uk.

    Best wishes,

    Ben, Cycle Lifestyle editor


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