London International Cycle Show 2010

London International Cycle Show 2010

by the London Ambulance Service & St John Ambulance Cycle Response Units
London, England

The 2010 Cycle Show was even more special than usual.  Firstly because it was the last time the Cycle Show will be held in Earls Court, which has an interesting past.  In the late 19th century, Queen Victoria used to visit frequently to watch the infamous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.  Yee-ha!  In 1937, the building that stands here today opened; at the time, it was the largest building in Europe, measured by volume!

Next year the show will be held in the NEC in Birmingham.

And second reason this show was special is the vast increase in the number of cyclists in the UK, both commuters and recreational, meaning the show is busier than ever.  The recent launch of London’s Bicycle Hire scheme and the increasing number of emergency services bikes on the road means our great capital is going pedal crazy!

The show is comprised of one large hall, with three indoor tracks:  one for testing commuter bikes, one for testing mountain bikes, and one for children.  There is also a stage area where various Q&A sessions are held throughout the show; one of my highlights being the session with author Robert Penn.  He has recently released a book called All about the Bike, which narrates his quest to build the ultimate dream bike.  The Public Safety Cycling (PSC) stand was across the way from the stage, so we were lucky enough to hear all of the talks.

The PSC stand, as in previous years, proved very popular with visitors over the weekend – particularly younger visitors who excitedly gathered around the police bike, desperate to press the siren button and to see the equipment the St John Ambulance bicycle can carry in its impressive rear pannier.  A range of information from St John Ambulance, the City of London Police and PSC was available for visitors to take away.

UK IPMBA member Ashley Sweetland, who is the National Cycling Adviser for St John Ambulance and manager of the London Cycle Response Unit (CRU), co-ordinated the emergency services presence on the stand, along with Davina Plummer from the City of London Police cycle squad.  Ashley provided members of his team to provide medical cover throughout the four-day event, while Davina ensured a police cyclist was available to answers questions. 

St John Ambulance London CRU member and nursing student Kerrie Eichenberger led medical provision for the show, working in partnership with event organisers.  Along with the usual range of cuts and bruises that come with cycle tracks, a serious accident occurred that led to one of the BMX riders being evacuated by London’s Helicopter Emergency Service (HEMS, staffed by a doctor & London Ambulance Service Paramedics) to hospital, a rescue which Kerrie and her St John Ambulance London CRU colleague Peter Catt co-ordinated.  Well done to them both for treating this badly injured person well; we all hope he has improved.

As you would expect, the four days were a showcase for all things quintessentially British.  The British made and manufactured folding bikes Bromptons have a huge stand as do Pashley, one of England’s last bike builders.  The British-made rack bags Carradice have seen a recent resurgence in popularity.  Each one is signed by the person who made it.

The “6 Pack” Exposure light was attracting a lot of attention.  It is hard to miss, as it pumps out 1800 lumens, from 6 LED’s. The battery will last three hours on high, ten hours on medium, and 24 hours on low.  This new, super-bright light is a remarkable bit of kit, and it only weighs 500 grams, including the bracket.  It does not come cheap, though!  It is retailing for around £450 in the UK.  IPMBA Instructor Paul Davies has helped design an emergency services version which is now in production; we will let you see the first working sample soon.

Also attracting lot of attention was the Yoga for Cyclists stand.  It could be easy to dismiss this stand, but after a lengthy chat, I was sold.  Spending a lot of time on your bike can leave your muscles feeling tight, and yoga can really help to relieve that stiffness.  Furthermore, the breathing practices used in yoga can really help you control your breathing when riding, which can never be a bad thing!
From all of us at PSC in the UK and our partners in the emergency service cycle teams. 

© 2011 IPMBA.  This article appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of IPMBA News.

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