Monday, January 16, 2012
Surely, there must be room for all types of cyclists, and it is not my intent to belittle anyone. However, it is my belief that "Art Rides" and themed "Critical Mass" events do nearly as much harm as good. Mr. and Mrs. Everyman are turned off by cycling freaks and radicals more than they are inspired and/or educated by them.
A group of people to whom the mainstream can easily relate, enjoying themselves in the act of riding their bikes has GOT to be more of an inspiration than the idea that fun on a bike has to involve costumes, bulky decorations and makeup.
Believe me, fifty people on bikes WILL be noticed. Fifty people on bikes in costume will be noticed, then likely discounted by most as fringe-dwelling freaks. Fifty people taking all lanes and tying up intersections will be noticed, yelled at and be the topic of the next shift briefing at the local precinct.
All I'm saying:
If you want to expand the cycling community, people need to relate to cyclists. Those are also the same people who work with city planning commissions, vote in local elections, and petition their assemblyman for bike lanes, speed bumps and cyclist-friendly crosswalk buttons.