Urban Velo

James May on Bicycles

James May - Top GearFrom James May of the popular TV show Top Gear:

The bicycle was without doubt one of the greatest inventions ever. Without the bicycle, and the desire for liberty it generated, we would probably not have the car. Many of our great carmakers began by making bicycles – Peugeot as well – and most of us learn the basics of the Highway Code riding a bicycle.

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  1. ŁukaszDecember 22, 2012 at 1:05 am

    As a New Yorker who loves his bike as much as his car and a fan of Mr. May, it was great to see this on Urban Velo.

  2. Douglas YardleyDecember 22, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Mr. May is clearly invested in the automotive religion, apparently regarding the bicycle as a mere precursor to the car. I find that a bicycle is far better at satisfying the desire for freedom because I can do many repairs myself, and it costs far less. When I operated a car, I began to feel it owned me. I wasn’t free.

  3. MatthewDecember 22, 2012 at 5:47 am

    After reading this, I think it’s an interesting perspective on the cycling culture. I’m a rider who recognises other riders and pedestrians when they offer a greeting, and I try to return the favor. Doesn’t it happen very often, no. From my perspective, and as a continuation on James’s, our society has become less sociable. Certainly, we now have a means of communicating with people around the world and being able to see their faces while conversing. We are able to read what goes on with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter,… but even with all of this, people are stepping away from the physical interaction of conversation. Why? Part of it might be because we have become a society where TIME is more important than anything else, including conversation. Of course we can all pick our phone and read/call to interact with each other, but human beings are social creatures. part of the reason why I love to ride, is simply the fact that I can SLOW DOWN. Sure I have places to go and what not, but while I’m riding, I’m focused on the moment. Time means little compared to my safety. When time takes a back seat, the whole world opens up. I realise this comment is long, but think of it as food for thought.

  4. sarahelizabethDecember 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I love these top gear guys, that show is hilarious.

  5. Mike ADecember 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I’m glad someone at Top Gear gets it. I’m a huge fan of the show, and while some of the banter is heavy handed and obviously car-centric, it’s nice to see that auto aficionados can appreciate the simplicity of the bicycle. Something tells me that Jeremy Clarkson might not feel the same way though…

  6. Joe PeraltaDecember 25, 2012 at 3:52 am

    So this guy’s a famous TV presenter on a top show, and nobody recognizes him when he’s out riding?

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