TED stands for technology, entertainment and design... of which all three relate to cycling in many forms, so there are plenty of TED talk videos out there on numerous subjects from cycling infrastructure, the health benefits of cycling and bike innovation. Here's a round-up of some of our favourites...
Mark Martin: Bicycling for life
"You really cannot be sad on a bicycle", says Martin at TEDX Louisiana, as he explains how he thinks bike riding can generate positive change in the world. He hasn't driven a car in 22 years and also compares cycling head injury stats with car accidents, falls at home etc to dismiss proposed mandatory helmet laws in his state. Great points, even greater moustache and chops, slightly annoying bell...
Anthony Desnick: The amazing way bicycles change you
Another personal and persuasive case for riding a bike, Desnick goes as far as to claim cycling saved his life by managing his Crohn's disease. After being told his illness was terminal and spontaneously going out on a bike ride, Desnick built up his mileage, changed up his diet and is now able to manage his illness into his 60's.
Lee Craigie: Ride Like a Girl
A former pro mountain biker, Craigie says she learned more about herself in four days of battling through the epic 550km Highland Trail Race than she did in a whole career of elite-level sport. Craigie can certainly tell a story, and accompanied by her trusty custom Shand bike called Jimmy she explains how camaraderie and being inspired by your surroundings can sometimes get you to the finish line much easier than just with sheer brute strength.
Ned Phillips: How endurance athletes are using the power of the now
Phillips discusses endurance sports in general, but goes on to explain how the philosophy of 'thinking in the now' helped him to overcome a 9000km ride across Mongolia amongst other challenges; the idea being that the way endurance athletes think of nothing except their immediate goal to conquer the challenge in front of them can be applied to every day life.
Mikael Colville-Andersen: Why We Shouldn't Bike with a Helmet
Colville-Andersen is Copenhagen's bicycle ambassador, and talks about how important the bicycle is for liveable cities. he claims that the bike helmet is threatening its usage because it creates a "culture of fear". He uses other examples of over-zealous safety products such as a crash helmet for children learning to walk (they do exist, and are actually made in the UK), and questions the validity of the bike helmet as a safety device.
Dotsie Bausch: Olympic Level Compassion
Dotsie Bausch won a silver medal on the track at the 2012 Olympic games, but her path to the pinnacle of the sport was far from conventional; previously Bausch was a model with a cocaine addiction and a life-threatening eating disorder, and an epiphany following a second suicide attempt led her to take up cycling, originally just to start being active again. She goes on to advocate vegetarianism, urging the audience to try going meat-free to make "a positive impact on the environment".
Martyn Ashton: In Disaster There is Opportunity - Finding a Path Through Paralysis
Martyn Ashton was a pioneering mountain biker and world champion in the 1990's, and went on to perform in the popular YouTube live stunt series 'Road Bike Party'; however during one of the shows Ashton suffered a spinal injury and was left paralysed. Despite this he goes on to explain how his greatest days of riding were still to come, after managing to get back on a bike again by working out that "all you need is gravity" to steer downhill...
Bobby Gadda: How Do You Get Off That Thing?
"The initial reason was for attention", says Gadda as he explains how and why he pedalled 1600 miles from Vancouver to Los Angeles on his crazy custom tallbike. Gadda is a bicycle advocate who runs bike workshops and the CicLAvia organisation, that organise closed road events so locals can experience riding and walking the streets without cars whizzing past. He runs us through his gear, how the journey went and most importantly, how the hell you'd go about getting off the bike...
What have we missed? Let us know in the comments!
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.