Waiting for the train with my Brompton

The Part you don’t see is the tut tut of mothers as we cycled through the park to the school with ruby on the lowered seat and me cycling her at 20km/h to get her there before the bell. This is my first foray onto the train and it was fun.

Heart rate from Running to Cycling


Athletes who use a heart rate monitor as a training aid need to identify their maximum heart rate in order to determine their appropriate training zones. Here is a brief listing comparing Running, Rowing and Cycling …. 3 popular outdoor and gym activities.

Calculation of Maximum Heart Rate

The easiest and best known method to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) is to use the formula 220-age. A paper by Londeree and Moeschberger from the University of Missouri-Columbia indicates that the MHR varies mostly with age, but the relationship is not a linear one. They suggest an alternative formula of 206.3 – (0.711 * age). Similarly, Miller et al from Indiana University propose the formula 217- (0.85 * age) as a suitable formula to calculate MHR.

Londeree and Moeschberger also looked at other variables to see if they had any effect on the MHR. They found that neither sex or race make any difference but they did find that the MHR was effected by the activity and levels of fitness.

Studies have shown that MHR on a treadmill is consistently 5-6 beats higher than on a bicycle ergometer and 2-3 beats higher on a rowing ergometer. Heart rates while swimming are significantly lower, around 14 bpm, than for treadmill running. Elite endurance athletes and moderately trained individuals will have a MHR 3 or 4 beats slower than a sedentary individual. It was also found that well trained over 50s are likely to have a higher MHR than that which is average for their age.

To determine your maximum heart rate you could use the following which combines the Miller formula with the research from Londeree and Moeschberger.

  • Use the Miller formula of MHR=217 – (0.85 * age) to calculate MHR
  • Use this MHR value for running and versaclimber training
  • Subtract 3 beats for rowing training
  • Subtract 5 beats for bicycle training
  • Subtract 3 beats for elite athletes under 30
  • Add 2 beats for 50 year old elite athletes
  • Add 4 beats for 55+ year old elite athletes

Here is a table to help you. or for those wanting a spreadsheet with HR zones plugged in then look HERE – Adjust only the age to see the changes – if for some reason a reader busts it can you let me know and I will reupload ….

Running Rowing Bicycle
Age Average
20 200 197 197 194 195 192
25 196 193 193 190 191 188
30 192 189 189 186 187 184
35 187 187 184 184 182 182
40 183 183 180 180 178 178
45 179 179 176 176 174 174
50 175 177 172 174 170 172
55 170 174 167 171 165 169
60 166 170 163 167 161 165
65 162 166 159 163 157 161
70 158 162 155 159 153 157

Cargo Bike Racing in Copenhagen

two great shots from HVID photographyat the Cargo Bike Championships follow him on twitter as well  @andershviid

Brooks Blog: Alright then, hands up. Who knows what a “Svajerløbet” is?

Of course, no one does.  Alright then, on with today’s post.

Beady bicycling eyes were trained on Copenhagen last week for more than just the latest offering from the man who has given innumerable cities the gift of Cycle Chic. The World Cycling Championships were underway there since Monday (well done Mr. Cavendish!) and if this wasn’t already enough, the third annual Danish Cargo Bike Championships or “Svajerløb” took place over the preceding weekend, curtain raiser to the fun and games on offer from the UCI.

A number of companies and volunteers are behind arranging the Svajerløb. It is a not for profit event and for all involved it is really a “con amore” affair, fueled by their passion for Copenhagen’s bicycle culture and cargo bikes. The idea to revive the historical Svajerløb started in 2009 when Erik Heinze (Firmacyklen.dk) and Hans Bullitt Fogh (LARRY VS HARRY) held the first modern version of the classic race. Together with Mikael Colville-Andersen and Søren Houen Schmidt, they form the nucleus of the team behind the Svajerløb.

This year’s course was located in the historic surrounds of venerable Danish brewing family Carlsberg’s Copenhagen facility where some of the junior category UCI events also took place on Sunday.

If the increasing number of cargo bikes seen on city streets are any indication, the builders of such machines seem to be enjoying a huge spike in sales. New developments in this corner of the trade have allowed builders to produce frames, which, while remaining a touch heavier than regular bikes, are not necessarily a chore to ride.

This is important, because the success of the cargo bike project lies in their ongoing and increasing visibility on city streets. Therefore, riding your weekly grocery shop home with one is great, but if you aren’t prepared to use it to pop back down the road for the pint of milk you forgot, then maybe all you really have is another specialty bike.

It seems though, that based on anecdotal evidence among new converts, the lightweight cargo bike does indeed quickly become the default machine in an owner’s stable and is here to stay.

Of course, if you’re transporting two kegs of beer, it’s probably not terribly important whether your bike weighs twenty kilos or twenty five.

So while for a short course, high-speed race there might well be an advantage to be gained from using a lightweight saddle, in the real world we are gratified to see that most disciples of the ladcykelhave a Brooks on top.

Meget god, as they doubtless say in Copenhagen.

The rise of the Gentleman Cyclist

From the Guardian:

Most cyclists I have met are conscientiously contemporary in outlook, aware of their responsibility to both environment and community. The slight smugness this can engender is one of the things the gridlocked motorist so hates about us.

But if an increasing proportion of bike-related marketing is to be believed, this modernity is but a veneer, concealing a moustachioed Edwardian, keen as mustard on a spot of biking with his chums. Is the return, I began to wonder, of the sanitised class fantasy Downton Abbeyleading cyclists to embrace their inner General Melchett?

Browsing some of the increasingly popular retro bike designs recently, I came across the Old Bicycle Showroom (“Purveyors of Fine bicycles to Nobility & Gentry“); and I met Pashley’s owners’ club of “jolly chaps”, who look more Friedrich Nietzsche than Fausto Coppi. Then there is the Tweed Run, issuing its dress code like a public school prefect: “Now look here, proper attire is expected“; and Rapha, with its series ofGentlemen’s Races, and clothing for gentlemen.

Needless to say, this foppery is a million miles from the emergence ofcycling as a popular activity in the 1890s. Seventy early cycling clubs were named after the campaigning socialist paper The Clarion (founded 1891), with its ideal of fellowship. The brief aristocratic fad for cycling petered out when the bike became too popular to be posh.

It has, as Tim Hilton’s memoir One More Kilometre and We’re in the Showers relates, “belonged to a lower social class” ever since. Until, that is, the recent popularity of cycling among wealthy men persuaded some marketing departments to rewrite the history of cycling. But does this retelling make any sense?

The idea of a gentleman’s race (in which the whole team has to stick together as a group) makes for a good outing, but has little to do with the ruthless and sometimes drug-addled history of professional bike racing. And the Tweed Run, despite the semblance of tradition, has only been going since 2009, when it began under the sponsorship of Brooks saddles.

Brooks are perhaps the most promiscuous users of this kind of heritage porn, though their evocation of a fantasy past makes some concessions to modern feeling. One of their most popular recent posters features a Brooks-clad couple protecting a fox from the advancing hounds. Its originality comes from embracing the heritage aesthetic, while rejecting the more specific historical associations. We look like 1930s aristocrats, the ad seems to say, but we certainly don’t behave like them.

This marketing does make some sense when selling equipment which hasn’t changed significantly in over a century. To their range of leather saddles, Brooks have been adding product lines from early catalogues to meet the demand for retro chic. You may have to pay £872.30 for a 1930s-styled jacket, but at least you don’t look like a traffic bollard.

It’s the same story with other British heritage brands. Traditional bike bag manufacturer Carradice has seen a significant improvement in sales since rebranding its bags as “retro cool”, as its marketing analysis candidly explains.

Pashley has increased sales despite the recession by focusing on its Britannia range of heritage-styled bikes. They come with a little badge of a trident-bearing, union flag shield-wielding Britannia figure, for those riders who like to imagine themselves ruling the waves while cycling to Tesco.

For a longer perspective from within the trade, I spoke to Ninon Asuni from The Bicycle Workshop. Was this preppy look – it plays very well in the US market – putting off more down-to-earth cyclists, I wondered? She pointed out that the retro revival has had the thoroughly positive effect of encouraging the restoration of older bikes, which are a great solution for the stylish cyclist on a budget. The wide range of stylish, comfortable bike gear keeps people cycling all year round, and in bad weather. And the marketing, she suggested, was mostly good fun.

Some of the marketing – especially Brooks’s – is witty. It’s sad some bike companies feel the only way to make their products seem new is by associating them with this delusional world of jolly chaps, obscuring cycling’s traditional ideal of fellowship. Though as Downton Abbey shows, our fantasy of an aristocratic past extends far beyond the world of cycling.

The attention of big business is, at least, a sign that cycling has become culturally mainstream, a bit like football in the 90s. It has come of age. Like football, it’s losing its history of fellowship, which is being replaced by a marketed, corporate identity; it even has a “coming home” moment of sorts in the Olympics next year, where Mark Cavendish looks set to do well. The recent Intelligence Squared debate about cycling, addressed by high profile literary figures such as Will Self, as well as celebrated cyclists like Graeme Obree, would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.

Where cycling differs from football is that the majority of cyclists participate as well as spectate. The benefits of cycling’s high profile – facilities, driver awareness, and so on – can therefore be shared widely. But when you do go out, just remember, chaps: if male cyclists reckon it’s worth shaving the legs to reduce drag, just think what that walrus moustache is doing to your performance.

Minds Wide Open Windsurfing

Even though I completely gave up on windsurfing in favour of kiting some years ago – this still captures the magic.

From the producers of Four Dimensions, prepare to join a bigger and better team on a new journey of breathtaking windsurfing action and cinematography. With a spectrum of mind-bending angles shot in stunning locations. it’s time to taste the future and keep your Minds Wide Open.

– 50 Minutes Main Movie + Extras
– All Regions
– Starring: Marcilio Browne, Ricardo Campello, Victor Fernandez, Gollito Estredo, Philip Köster, Kauli Seadi
– Locations: somewere in Indo, Klitmöller, CaboVerde, Gran Canaria, Maui, Egypt,

Website: mindswideopenmovie.com
– Main Supporter: Planet Allsport, Pousada Windjeri
– Side Supporters: Fanatic, North, JP, NP, Starboard

Thanks to PWA/JC, Andi Jansen (additional Footage)

Lost in the Dark

There are some things that you don’t always take into account. One of the more obvious ones would be daylight. Douglas and I found ourselves somewhere between the canal and the Botanics running through the tunnels and under trees in total darkness. Knees up, arms outstretched and ears tuned to the faintest crack of twig lest we be set upon by a gang of ruffians.

Somehow we managed to navigate our way out onto what we thought was Queen Margaret Drive only to find ourselves at that weird shop on the corner of Kirklee Road and Great Western Road.

Excuses, excuses… had we not been benighted along the canal I think we might have turned in a fairly good distance in the allotted 1 hour 20 minutes which would have saved us the mile and change walk home.

3rd Sunday Long Run

3rd Sunday Long Run

A book type of day

Wiggle are about to receive the awful Bryton Cardio 30 I returned – cheered myself up with a bike book buying bonanza – All 3 look good

By his 18th birthday David Millar was living and racing in France, sleeping in rented rooms, tipped to be the next English-speaking Tour winner. A year later he’d realised the dream and signed a professional contract with the Cofidis team, who had one Lance Armstrong on their books. He perhaps lived the high life a little too enthusiastically — high on a roof after too much drink, he broke his heel in a fall, and before long the pressure to succeed had tipped over into doping. Here, in a full and frank autobiography, David Millar recounts the story from the inside: he doped because ‘cycling’s drug culture was like white noise’, and because of peer pressure. ‘I doped for money and glory in order to guarantee the continuation of my status.’ Five years on from his arrest, Millar is clean and reflective, and holds nothing back in this account of his dark years.


The bicycle is one of mankind’s greatest inventions – and the most popular form of transport in history. Robert Penn has ridden one most days of his adult life. In his late 20s, he pedalled 40,000 kilometres around the world. Yet, like cyclists everywhere, the utilitarian bikes he currently owns don’t even hint at this devotion. Robert needs a new bike, a bespoke machine that reflects how he feels when he’s riding it – like an ordinary man touching the gods.

It’s All About the Bike is the story of a journey to design and build a dream bike. En route, Robert explores the culture, science and history of the bicycle. From Stoke-on-Trent, where an artisan hand builds his frame, to California, home of the mountain bike, where Robert tracks down the perfect wheels, via Portland, Milan and Coventry, birthplace of the modern bicycle, this is the narrative of our love affair with cycling. It’s a tale of perfect components – parts that set the standard in reliability, craftsmanship and beauty. It tells how the bicycle has changed the course of human history, from the invention of the ‘people’s nag’ to its role in the emancipation of women, and from the engineering marvel of the tangent-spoked wheel to the enduring allure of the Tour de France. It’s the story of why we ride, and why this simple machine remains central to life today.

Voted the most popular Italian sportsman of the twentieth century, Fausto Angelo Coppi was the campionissimo – champion of champions. The greatest cyclist of the immediate post-war years, he was the first man to win cycling’s great double, the Tour de France and Tour of Italy in the same year – and he did it twice. He achieved mythical status for his crushing solo victories, world titles and world records. But his significance extends far beyond his sport.

Coppi’s scandalous divorce and controversial early death convulsed a conservative, staunchly Roman Catholic Italy in the 1950s. At a time when adultery was still illegal, Coppi and his lover were dragged from their bed in the middle of the night, excommunicated and forced to face a clamorous legal battle. The ramifications of this case are still being felt today.

In Fallen Angel, acclaimed cycling biographer, William Fotheringham, tells the tragic story of Coppi’s life and death – of how a man who became the symbol of a nation’s rebirth after the disasters of war died reviled and heartbroken. Told with insight and intelligence, this is a unique portrait of Italy and Italian sport at a time of tumultuous change.

Farewell to MyFitnessPal

I have been back in the UK for just over a week and as I predicted in my previous missive, there are no nearby races before I head back into the sandbox on 05 Oct so long rides are the order of the day.

Apart from seeing my family the biggest excitement was getting on the Salter fitness scales to determine how much work that I would need to do.

 I do like the Salter scales. It allows me to monitor weight, BMI, body fat, water and calories required and obviates the error-ridden analogue scales provided in our desert retreat. Granted I did have to endure a weekend at a friend’s place in Colchester quaffing champagne because his redundancy from the Army has been accepted and no time in the legs but how many pounds could that be? We got back to Trowbridge on Sunday evening and on Monday morning I stepped onto the Salter and waited whilst it whirred into life . . . . . 151.6 lb read the display; as I looked into the mirror I mouthed the words “f^&^ MyFitPal” and stepped off thinking that the only solution is 60 km+ rides for the next week at best effort.
However, the Colchester trip was well it as I had the privilege to meet with a very discrete and humble Belgian ex-pro who owns a bike shop in that part of the world. Patrick Schils has been in the UK for 23 years and has been selling the Belgian bespoke bikes that bear his namesake for that time. In the last 15 years he has opened his own shop in Colchester and it is a treasure trove of memorabilia. It is a rare moment to find a bike shop where the owner lives and breathes cycling. It was typical of Patrick that, although he was getting ready for a Sunday race (he is a few points off Cat 2) he made more than an hour to simply chat everything road-racing; and he knew everything about road-racing. Between his story of how Eddy Merkx fit and bought him a frame through to his exploits on the Ras, I came away with the romantic idea that I would love to bring my bike down and say: “hey Patrick, how can I improve”.  The one thing that did leave me scratching my head was when I asked him how often that he trained and what sort of training that he did. He reassured me that it does take about 10 – 12 hours per week but for him it is all about the bike. No gyms, no weights, no core strength just riding his bike with as many races as he can fit in. If you are in Colchester then you must fit in a visit: http://www.veloschils.com/ Browse the site and be impressed by Patrick’s Palmares.
So tipping the scales at almost 152 lb I got back on the bike realising that the only solution was one that I knew: 60 km in 2 hours or less for every day with as many hill climbs as I could. By mid way through the first week I was back to 149 lb but then the drive train on the training bike, the Specialized Tarmac,  gave in. I must be honest, it has probably done about 15k and is long overdue a new groupset but I have just not got around to replacing it. I was out on a wet and windy session when the conditions made their way into the drivetrain and the gears would simply not stick so I limped home and spent the rest of the week on the racing machine or the turbo trainer. By this morning’s session (65 km in 120 mins) I was back to 145 lb. Granted a stack of that was water (although my water % still reads 60.1% which is fine).
The highlight of the weekend was watching Cav win the World Championship. Team GB had done a lot of work at the front and with 5 km to go it looked like the other national teams were going to take them apart. The chaos that ensued really meant that Cav would either win and dispell the thoughts that his success was down to his lead-out train or that the later would be proved correct. As the peloton went under the red kite it seemed like the later conclusion was foregone: the Australian lead-out was firing; Ian Stannard looked spent and Geraint Thomas was desperately looking round for his sprinter to try to bring him back to the front. Indeed, it is clear that GT spots Cav in the last 500 m and pulls aside realising that he can do nothing for him. Given the number of riders to his front it looked as if Cav was finished but the line that he chose on the inside and his pure speed seen him make the front and pull clear- it was a superb win for Cav, the GB team and British cycling. The tally was 6 medals across the event which is very impressive. Being married to a Welshwoman, I was disappointed for Nicole Cooke who placed 4th.
So with a week to go before I return to the Sandbox, probably for the last time, I will leave you with that image of exultation as Mark Cavendish siezes victory in the World Championships . . . it has only been 46 years!
Enjoy the ride!

Bryton Cardio 30 – A Full Review

I will start this review saying I really really wanted the Bryton Cardio 30 to be a great product. On paper it seemed perfect – a small size, waterproof, gps enabled but I have been sadly let down.

Out of the box it seemed nice presented in a neat case with instructions and lead enclosed.


It is smaller and lighter than I thought it would be – the tiny face displaying 3 lines of data. The strap is comfortable which is a major point for me. The waterproof rating is very good and the construction seems robust.

In Action:

This is were I start to well up – it is hopeless as a training HRM. It may pair easily enough with ANT+ coded items and it may acquire a satellite reading in an OK time but it sucks when you want to read any info from it in a run. The display is useless – it always shows distance in the top line of the display and it will show Heart Rate / Time / Calories / Distance(rpt) but what any running watch needs to show is at least HR and Disatnce AND Time …. preferably at the same time.

The second bad point is that although it can be set to autolap at every 1km say it does nothing else … there is no lap time shown / there is no summary to read and no way to gauge how fast your last split was unless you deduct the last km from current and try work out the split …. and when you are pressing on in a training run this is the last thing you can do.

So this leaves it as a GPS tracker with which you can analyse your run when you finish …. but the disaster here is that the GPS is wildly inaccurate. I used it on the MTB marathon in Wales and it was way different from the Garmin Edge 305 I had on the bike (this is a steal these days at £170 ish)

Blue=Bryton Green=Garmin

This was bad enough but did a run on my regular river route and the Bryton came up very short again … you can see the type of track it records … this is an open park with near zero tree cover and NO tall building nearby ….

My Suunto T6 with GPS and the Garmin Edge (as well as sites like WALKJOGRUN) gave the same reading only ever differentiating by about 50m over a 12km run – but the Bryton is bad – it is out by 800m on this run which is an 83.9% accuracy according to a comparison on Sportypal…. so distance wise it was 800m out on this run and 2km out over a 52km ride. Very Very VERY poor

So thankfully Wiggle operates a good return policy and I will be buying something else that is ANT+ compliant (prob a Garmin of some sort)

BOTTOM LINE – Avoid the Bryton Cardio like the plague ….. it is faulty with bad software, bad GPS and terrible interface.

I have since bought myself a polar RCX5 which is just fantastic …. review HERE

Sunday Ride – a nice 50km *cough cough*

Still haven’t shaken my cough and it was a pain this weekend as went up to nr Dundee to see pals. I went out for ride with Tom a nice 50km into the teeth of a fresh breeze and then looping around the hills before gliding home with the sun and wind on our back.

Not sure whether it is the 11kg steel bike or the cough or a lack of fitness but was suffering up the hills. Tom is debating on a new ti road bike with a budget of around £4000 … need to send him my Cycling Plus which had a great review of the Enigma Eclipse which would also save him a fortune.

endomondo screengrab

PDF below of the review for Enigma Bike


Why Run a Half Marathon?

So here was yesterday’s attempt at killing Peter Currie. You can see the points where we came close.

Thought it might be worth publishing photos of the reason I’m doing this. So here it is… The 70’s swallow tail single fin. It’s probably about the same age as me and in marginally better shape.

[This post originally appeared on Findlay Napier’s blog]

Saturday Morning Run

Never ever would I have imagined myself running along the Clyde footpath before 9am unless I’d been at a party the night before and was being chased home by some over zealous neighbourhood watch nazi. Nevertheless I found myself chasing Richard down to Glasgow Green and up river towards Rutherglen. Not a bad morning for it either and watching the racing skiff crews being shouted at by grey haired men on bikes kept my mind off my aching legs.

Pretty pleased with the 10k time here. I’ve knocked another two minutes off my personal best.

[This post originally appeared on Findlay Napier’s blog]

2nd Fast Session/Gym Induction

This is fast (excuse the pun) becoming the worst part of the training. It basically involves me running like fuck round Alexandra park trying to avoid spewing or shitting myself.

Here’s the charts.

I was stretching at 10 minutes and tying my shoelaces at 13… honest.

To add insult to injury I followed that run by attempting my press ups for the day. Reset the program to day one and at four press ups. More on this over the next few days.

Gym induction today which was just like all gym inductions. Getting patronised by a spotty youth who is clearly fitter than me but can’t bear to let me leave the building without prooving it. A gym induction should go like this…

SPOTTY YOUTH: Do you know how to use all the stuff in the gym.

ME: Yes. This is my fifth gym induction.


You’ll notice in this version there are no parting shots like “Come again” or “Have you considered Spin classes” What actually happens is…

SPOTTY YOUTH: Do you know how to use the equipment. Don’t answer fatty. I’m going to show you anyway. What do you work as?

ME: I photocopy rats for Glasgow City Council. It keeps me and the rats busy.

SPOTTY YOUTH: [on automatic pilot ignoring reply] Oh how exciting. Is that why you’re fat? Don’t answer. Use this machine. Smile you fat fuck. Let me show you how it’s done properly. You’ll never be like me. Does it hurt? I hope so you fat fuck. I hope so.

ME: I’m fine. It’s just that I’ve run here from a meeting and haven’t had a chance to warm up. [but wanting to say. ‘What with the explosion of rats in the city centre these days I’m tired out from photocopying them for the council’]

[Insert montage of me using every resistance and weight machine in the gym to the soundtrack of a choir wailing and cows being slaughtered]

SPOTTY YOUTH: We’ll you lazy fat fuck that’s the end of your gym induction. If you really want to loose weight become anorexic, get marooned on a desert island or get a gastric band. Don’t ever come in here again. Have you considered a Spin class?

ME: No. I couldn’t think of anything worse except perhaps a lifetime of gym inductions followed by interval sessions.

SPOTTY YOUTH: In the same way females must consider Zumba you are male and therefore must consider Spin. It has flashing lights and loud techno music and a man shouting at you. It is like the bridge scene from Apocalypse Now but with loud modern music and exercise bikes. You will taste the fear, sweat and mud. Come back and use the gym anytime you like but within the designated hours and not when there are people here who make you feel inadequate you fat fuck.

ME: Cheerio. Thanks for your help. [I will come back when there is nowhere in Glasgow left to exercise… so that’ll be November unless it snows heavily in October this year]

SPOTTY YOUTH: No problem. Could you fill out this customer satisfaction survey. It allows us to measure the levels of awareness in all customers especially in these two key areas (1) Customers know less about fitness than us (2) Customers will never ever be as fit as us.

[This post originally appeared on Findlay Napier’s blog]

Dublin and London make Copenhagenize list of Top 20 Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities

The capitals of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, London and Dublin, are two of the more surprising inclusions in a list of the Top 20 Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities, published today by urban planning consultancy, Copenhagenize. Amsterdam tops the Index, with Copenhagen in second place and Barcelona perhaps raising eyebrows by clinching third place.

The idea behind producing an Index of the cities that are best for cycling arose from a discussion at the consultancy, which advocates the bicycle as the solution to modern, urban transport issues, earlier this year.

That led to information and stats being collected and the index being developed, rating cities on a number of measures for their bike-friendliness. Initially, Copehagenize planned to use the index internally, but soon realised it would be of interest to a wider audience.

Cities were rated between 0 and 4 on a range of measures in 13 categories, with a maximum of 12 bonus points also on offer for “particularly impressive
efforts or results” – interestingly, Dublin, placed ninth, was the only city to take all the bonus points on offer, while Amsterdam, on 54 points out of a maximum possible score of 64, topped the table.

After rating more than 80 cities worldwide, the index of the Top 20 has now been published, focusing on major cities – Copenhagenize says that the smallest to make the list is Portland, Oregon, but the West Coast city actually has an estimated population of just below 600,000, which actually makes it larger than Dublin by that measure.

Population issues aside, Portland made the list, says Copenhagenize, partly because they were “curious to see how the USA’s top cycling city would fare,” plus “we would never hear the end of it from Portlanders if they weren’t included.”

Each city on the list has a page dedicated to it with reasons behind how it achieved its ranking, together with suggestions from Copenhagenize of how it can improve further.

Dublin’s inclusion is due to “a wildly successful bike share programme, visionary politicians who implemented bike lanes and 30 km/h zones, and a citizenry who have merely shrugged and gotten on with it,” says Copenhagenize.

The consultancy warns, however, that there needs to be “further intense infrastructure implementation to return Dublin to the heady days of [the] last century,” adding, “The new cycle track along the canal is brilliant, but now Dublin needs to find the funds for more.”

In joint 15th place, London’s status, meanwhile, reflects not only growth in cycling in the city, but also the fact that “political efforts – like them or not – have had their desired impact,” including the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.

“A strong cycling community is, in some ways, a benefit to returning the bicycle to the British capital,” adds the consultancy, which says, “London has a diverse range of bicycle cultures, with room for everyone to participate. There is also growing support in favour of lobbying for separated infrastructure.”

On that latter point, Copenhagenize cautions that Londoners should “Stop whining that the Danish and Dutch experiences can’t be transferred to London and start thinking more seriously about proper infrastructure so that you don’t end up being a whole lot of gearheads swarming around the odd Citizen Cyclist.”

Of course, there’s no reason why someone can’t be both a gearhead, riding competitively at evenings and weekends say, and an everyday, non Lycra clad bike rider using two wheels to get around town on a daily basis – we know that plenty of our users fall into both categories.

Having said that, if Copenhagenize wanted to provoke a discussion about how provision for cyclists in the city should be shaped going forward, we can’t think of a better way to start it than this:

“It’s time for more focus on mainstream promotion of cycling and less attention paid to the rants of speed-obsessed sub-cultures. Now that you’ve designed (and spent a lot of money on) the beautiful ‘Pringle’ velodrome, how about spending a bit on cycle lanes to get there. And everywhere else.”

Justified comment or wide of the mark? Let us know your thoughts on Copehagenize’s view of London, and on the Index in general, in the comments below.

The Top 20 Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities Index for 20111  Amsterdam
2  Copenhagen
3  Barcelona
4  Tokyo
5  Berlin
6  Munich
7  Paris
8  Montréal
9  Dublin
10 Budapest
11 Portland
12 Guadalajara
13 Hamburg
14 Stockholm
15 Helsinki
=  London
17 San Francisco
18 Rio de Janeiro
=  Vienna
20 New York City