The Wall street journal had an article that was the banner of the front page, and the lead of the Arts/ Leisure section about cycle chic, and while I had a couple of issues with it, I thought that overall it was a better pieces than most in the mainstream media. Although there was a "business of cycling" slant (not surprising given the source) I thought it was less patronizing than a lot of the "how cute, women on bikes" stories that one too often sees. A guy on the elevator today wanted to talk about it- so it's great that it's getting a lot of attention. A little disappointing that the author had to call her husband to pick her up at the end of the ride.
The thing that disturbed me was how negative the comments FROM OTHER BIKERS were. There were of course the obligatory 10% of "scofflaw cyclists don't obey the laws, and biking in the city is incredibly dangerous and foolhardy" people, who were robbed of their favorite "Lance Armstrong wannabe" line. What was discouraging was a ton of people, ok, almost all men, who ragged on how heavy and stupid steel IGH bikes were, and how the last thing the bike community needs are new inexperienced riders in "dangerous" inappropriate footwear.
So now we need to don armor and steel toed boots to get to work? What are you so afraid of guys? Someone riding to work without a reflective triangle make you feel like what you're doing isn't so heroic and brave?
To me riding not being heroic is the goal, and to that end, my other tidbit:
This isn't actually "mainstream" media, but there's a fabulous film from the great Streetfilms about the recent VeloCity conference in Copenhagen. I know that there's a lot of publicity about Copenhagen and cycle Chic, but this one was told through clips of american city planners there for the conference(Including Livable Streets' Jackie Douglas!) . It was so inspiring and beautiful- to think that someday we might have the same thing here is something to be dreamed of, and worked for. My favorite moment was the planner from LA talking about the boxes o'kids she saw everywhere.
I went to a meeting about the Accelerated bridge program earlier in the week, and although the contrast to the "bad old days" of the old MassDot was striking, it's more that they seem to have gotten the message that if they don't plan for bikes, bikers will revolt and make their lives miserable in public comments. We have such a great advocate in Nichole Freedman on the Boston side of things, now what we need is a similar visionary in the Mass DOT hierarchy. The aforementioned Jackie was saying how instead of them grousing about 6" of lane width, they need to come into these meetings saying: this is our plan for getting 30% bicycling mode share by 2020. Supposedly they're looking for a Ped-Bike coordinator, and I hope that they get the right person in that job.