RHODcast: Mar 11, 2021
With spring just around the corner, I understand that many people are just dying to get out on their bikes again. Some, like this week’s guest, the broadcaster Jeremy Vine, have never put them away.
According to Britain’s Bicycle Association, bicycle sales in April 2020 were up 112% year-on-year, and they never looked back. Cycling Weekly, quoting the Department of Transport, says that 52% more cycling happened on British roads between the first week of March 2020 and the first week of October.
Covid, the desire for exhilarating exercise under lockdown, and perhaps especially fewer cars on city roads, all account for this. Do not either underestimate the political will of the UK government which earmarked a further £175million in November 2020 for local authorities to create a “safer infrastructure” for cycling.
The result being, in London, anyway, a continued expansion in the provision of dedicated cycle lanes. And some increased aggravation with other road users. At least one local authority, Kensington and Chelsea, took out a brand new cycle lane not even two months after it was opened.
Many cyclists now wear cameras – and use them. Join Jeremy Vine and me as we explore what might be just the start of London’s Cycle Wars.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Share this episode:
It was 50 years ago to the day when four of the very few people in the world who can actually say “I was there” talked to RHOD SHARP about The Beatles’ rooftop concert on January 30, 1969. In a conversation broadcast on BBC 5 Live’s Up All Night in 2019, Let It Be director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Apple Corps’ Kevin Harrington and Ken Mansfield and Metropolitan police constable Ken Wharfe provide a fresh take on the events depicted anew in Peter Jackson’s extended documentary.
Robert Moore of Britain’s ITV News stepped out one January morning a year ago into quite possibly the biggest scoop of his career. By luck and judgement he and his crew would be there in the Capitol reporting on the first time in US history that the building had been breached by a hostile force: a force of self-described American patriots.
At least 5000 Black soldiers fought on the colonists’ side in the American war of of independence, despite a tempting offer to join the British forces. When a new school is dedicated to one of them, ALGY WARD tells the story of Marblehead’s Joseph Brown.
Rhod Sharp gets into the rich yachting history of Marblehead Massachusetts with the yacht designer and builder CHRIS HOOD.
An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
The BBC’s New York correspondent sees the USA that so excited him as a youth sapped of vitality, politically divided against itself but in an old saying, always headed to hell and never getting there. When America Stopped Being great merges Bryant’s reporting experiences with a historian’s perspective in a way which, as the Washington Post said, gives foreign laments a fresh arc.