Lisa Schweitzer: Remember when biking used to be a fun thing rather than An Important Thing? « Sustainable Cities and Transport:
“I think one of the reasons why there is a resistance to otherwise nice things like local foods and bicycling concerns the often terminally joyless way their advocates present the Great Social Good that The Better People Who Do These Things create, unlike you, you indolent, planet-killing dolt.”
2 thoughts on “Remember when biking used to be a fun thing rather than An Important Thing?”
I agree that the save-the-planet arguments are weak and unconvincing, but the ride-a-bike-because-it’s-fun argument is even more weak. The author is far more optimistic than I am that the fun argument will be successful.
The argument bikers should be making is a little bit about health, but primarily about economics. We need more research in this area, but I strongly suspect that studies comparing the economic impacts of various transportation modes (including everything from metals harvesting, manufacture, construction of necessary infrastructure, operating and maintenance costs, and impact on heavy freight movement) would suggest that we would all see economic benefits from increasing the bicycle modal share. Certainly this is the case on an individual or family basis. I suspect it would play out society-wide as well.
She certainly does make an effective case that terminally joyless advocates are ruining bicycling for everyone by citing no examples. I think we are blessed in Minnesota at least to have a cycling community that isn’t overly militant and has managed to keep a lot of the fun aspect.
On the other hand, not much of commuting by any mode is “fun” when compared with jumping your dirtbike off a homemade ramp. Haven’t transportation engineers and law enforcement agencies killed off all the fun of driving by putting in signalized intersections, restricting speed limits and telling us to stop doing doughnuts?
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