26 July 2007


Flow, originally uploaded by [Zakkaliciousness].

I participate in many discussions about bicycle advocacy with cyclists in UK and the US, among other places.

I am of the opinion that those few who commute in cities/countries where bicycle commuting is no more than a sub-culture are not doing bicycle advocacy any favours by commuting in lycra, hard-core bike gear and on specialised bikes.

If there are car commuters sitting in traffic thinking, "Hmm, today would be a nice day for riding to work..." they are hardly going to be encouraged to ride when they see lyrca-clad, hard-core cyclists flying past. On the contrary.

They'll think, "Oh bollocks, if I want to ride I'll have to infiltrate a closed sub-culture, not to mention buy loads of gear in order to 'fit in' and be accepted..."

They're not going to bother.

On the other hand, this blog, among others, serves an important purpose. It shows how easy it is to ride. How effortless and relaxing.

All you need is the clothes in your closet, a bike that works, and the desire to do it.


Anonymous said...

Yes, cycling in Copenhagen can be "effortless and relaxing", but try telling someone commuting up and down actual hills that they don't need a separate set of apparel, never mind showers at their place of work.

KULBE said...

:-) Hardcore cyclist, this one is so good, makes me giggle!

In CPH I found only one bikers category which may suit this funny definition. The ones advertising Tuborg Beer, they spin faster than anyonelse on the bikelanes.

In UK the attitude is far different, I noticed a wild desire to be seen. Reflective+fluoreshent shirts, helmets, racing bikes.. I saw people sprint between two near traffic lights at 5PM in the heart of the city.

I totally agree with your point of view, just show everybody how easy and relaxing can be, to ride a bike.


Colville-Andersen said...

Copenhagen may be the most cycle-friendly city in Europe, if not the world, but there are many other cities that can boast a thriving bicycle culture. Many of them are in Switzerland... you know, that mountainous inland country?

So that "actual hills" comment makes me giggle. Get sweaty? Ride slower. Millions of Europeans can't be wrong.

The point is that in the vast majority of cities in the UK and the US there is ample opportunity to ride without Haute Categorie mountains.

The point is also that those members of the cycling sub-culture are not doing cycling any favours by dressing the way their do.

Colville-Andersen said...

Thanks, Kulbe. Good to hear from you again.

Bill in South Carolina said...

This time of year, I do my fitness ride early in the morning...in lycra...on a serious road bike. Do you actually propose I just stay home so as not to confuse those who may be contemplating bike commuting? Are the bike lanes somehow reserved for commuters?

Nord said...

I'm a lawyer, and I commute in Houston. I try to hide the spandex the best I could, but I'm afraid that commuting in a suit and tie is not as doable in the sub-tropics as I've seen on the streets of Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

By the way, love the site!