20 December 2010
Brian Micklethwait

I have recently acquired a new computer, and that has caused me to spend much of the recent weekend rootling through all the data that got transferred from the old machine to the new, if only to get used to using Windows 7.  In the course of this rootling, I came across this photo, taken almost exactly three years ago, on December 19th 2007.  This at first got my attention simply because I thought it a striking picture.  I had been looking for something to put on my personal blog.  But then I realised, it’s transport related:


This kind of thing has become a much more regular part of the London scene than it ever was when I were a lad.  Partly (guess) it’s the Green thing.  Are there tax money and tax break bribes available for such enterprises, now, the way there never used to be?  Partly (another guess - Michael?) it’s that London, which used to be a First World city, now has First World stuff, Second World stuff (in the form of huge and ugly Sovietesque housing estates) and Third World stuff, like guys making a living riding bicycle-taxis for tourists.  I’m guessing that all the world’s cities are becoming like this, more varied within themselves, more like each other in there being the same kind of First-Second-Third World variety everywhere.

But I wonder, is there also a technological component?  Have things happened to bicycle design and bicycle technology that make it easier to peddle such things than used to be the case?

Bugbugs website here.  Note, judging by what is said there, what a big part advertising plays in their business.  I recently wrote here (here) about advertising on eye-catchingly weird vehicles.


  1. Hi,
    I was one of the pedicab riders when this media event was getting organized at Bugbugs, then two years later and nine years after falling in love with this business bought Bugbugs.

    The technology has changed this form of vehicle from a single speed - 144kg beast to in one case 24 speed/45kg. This form of transport is now more then just for tourists, just look up the TFL survey from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/Item11-Pedicabs-Update.pdf

    This industry is heading in the same direction as a bike from 1920 to one made from Kevlar and exotic man made fibers today. Just look at this 81mph cycle. http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2007/03/bikerecord_0330

    Posted by Friedel Schroder on  05 June 2011 at 10:05 pm

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