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  • This, That & the Other

English language broadcast - The Bicycle Boom in Madrid

23 may 2012

Justin Coe talks to four cyclists who use the bicycle as their principal means of transportation in Madrid, a city long considered to be a very bicycle-unfriendly. The four are also intimately involved in the Spanish capital's rapidly-expanding bike culture in other ways: Eduardo Gasca is a bicycle mechanic who builds bikes from scratch at Ciclos Noviciado in central Madrid [www.aaciclos.com]; Elizabeth Lorenzi is involved in BiciCrítica [http://bicicritica.ourproject.org], a cycling movement that puts pressure on political authorities to improve infrastructure to make cycling safer, more appealing, and more do-able; Yago Bermejo is from CiclaLab, a small environmentally-friendly company that provides pedal-produced electrical power for events of all sorts [www.ciclalab.org]; and José Sáiz, better known as Peru, is a member of the cycling organization, Biernes [http://biernes.com, http://biernes.tumblr.com], which sponsored a day-long bicycle festival in early May at Madrid's Matadero culture center. Yago is also a musician and songwriter and founding member of the band La Malarazza [www.lamalarazza.org], and we wrap up this week's edition of "This, That & the Other" with two bicycle-related songs written by Yago and performed by La Malarazza: "A Pedalear" (let's pedal), written as a sort of tribute to Rafael Alberti and Paco Ibáñez, who set to music Alberti's famous poem "A galopar" (let's ride)--the original poem was a call to Spanish republicans to resist Franco's fascism, while the new version is a call to cyclists to resist the encroaching traffic of motorists; and a song called "Masa Crítica," inspired by the Critical Mass bicycle movement, which organizes end-of-the-month bicycle protest-rides in hundreds of cities around the planet (23/05/12).

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