View Full Version : Security in numbers as biking becomes mainstream: No one makes themselves outcasts

07-31-2017, 07:52 AM
From the NYTimes in coverage of bicycling in the Big Apple.

More New Yorkers Opting for Life in the Bike Lane (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/30/nyregion/new-yorkers-bike-lanes-commuting.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well)

Boring is good. Articles written and presented like this one as fairly evenhanded reportage rather than as an article that reads like it is pressing forwards a political agenda.

As often the case, NYC will do things on a scale that makes it impossible to ignore. As written into the lead in for the article:Biking has become part of New York’s commuting culture as the city expands bike
routes and Citi Bikes become ubiquitous. There are more than 450,000 daily bike trips.450,000 daily bike trips! Biking as primarily a grassroots movement aided and abetted by the lowly 30-pound CitiBike, which is a good thing. Because we, as cyclists, would remain outcasts if it were not for the sheer number of bicyclists that have helped to elbow our rights and claim of fair use and access to public roadways. Which forced NYC government to allocate precious square footage of public space for bike lanes - which irrespective of how bike lanes are implemented does mean however that bicycling and bicyclists are a legitimate bloc of citizenry that now have a seat at the table.

In bicycling within society, change comes slowly but it is happening. Keep your eye always on the big picture.

07-31-2017, 09:05 AM
Pittsburgh had three Open Streets events this Summer and my wife and I joined in on yesterday's festivities. The streets were open from 9am to 1pm and the route was a 7 mile round trip from the Lawrenceville neighborhood to Market Square and back, so if you were looking to burn calories, it wasn't for you. However if you were looking to see 25,000 people riding, walking, running and even doing yoga at the exercise stations, it was a great event.

I mentioned to my wife that events like Open Streets provide people with the confidence that they can get from point A to point B on a bike and have fun while doing so. When young kids see their parents ride it also establishes a sense of "this is ok to do". I also believe that even the person who rides a few times a year, gains some appreciation for those that are out there every day, when they participate in an event such as this.

The current Mayor and City Council have been expanding the bike lane system and this has resulted in more people riding for both transportation and recreational purposes. Bike Pittsburgh www.bikepgh.org is also an outstanding advocate for all things bike, and they do a great job of sponsoring events and raising awareness.

There's no question however, that bikes and cyclists are seen by many people as a nuisance and an inconvenience. Their opinion of course. Every once in a while I come across a hater while out on a ride, like I'm sure that many of you do. When they pause in their rant, I offer to take them on a ride and grab a coffee. That usually ends the conversation and it makes them think. One day at a time as they say.