Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Almost right

The Daily Beast had an article about the new urban cycling wave.  Unlike most articles about tranportational cycling, which you have to read with a "glass half full" attitude, I thought this one was absolutely great until the next to last paragraph.  The words "cycle Chic" do not appear anywhere in the article,  and there's a lot of focus on the improvements in infrastructure in cities like Chicago and NYC.  (no mention of Boston)

It was so good, I just wish the author (the owner of Public cycles in SF) had left out this one sentence
"Women are more concerned with style than speed."  Some women perhaps.  Others are more concerned with practicality than speed,  safety than speed, convenience than speed.  And of course there are some women who are speed demons and don't give a flip for style.  Not to go into the issue of men who are interested in style (practicality, convenience, safety)

I appreciate that he appreciates how women are embracing bicycles as part of a healthy balanced life, and that women feel able to disregard the bicycle commuter stereotype in favor of riding their bikes wherever they happen to be going, in the clothes they happen to be wearing.   I'll choose to ignore the implication that bikes are a trend, like Yoga.

And I agree with his last sentence:
 "one thing is certain: everybody looks and feels better on a bicycle."


  1. some trends change how we I welcome the idea of a biking trend. Especially if it changes the way we as a society think about communities and getting about...

  2. He (it sounds like a "He" comment), might have been OK if he'd instead said "women and men have different ideas about bike style and comfort."

  3. This from someone who just made a post on his own blog about his discovery of the benefits of purses - in a style that most women would tend to turn their noses up at...

  4. "I'll choose to ignore the implication that bikes are a trend, like Yoga."

    I agree with the entirety of your analysis of the article. But I do think that the growing numbers of women in cycling IS a trend as much as yoga is, and that is not a bad thing. I would also argue that people that like to transport cycle also probably like doing yoga. Both increase your fitness and make you happy-- precisely why they are trendy.

  5. He's basically extrapolating from "women I see in my shop" to "all women who ride bikes," without realizing he may be seeing a highly self-selecting sample. He stocks bikes to appeal to women who care more about style than speed, so that's what he sees.

    He also doesn't quite grasp where to put a comma, but that's a different problem.

    Has Boston or any surrounding towns actually made any major improvements in bike infrastructure recently? We seem to be getting more marked bike lanes, but not much in the way of improved parking.

  6. Boston *has* implemented some very important improvements in cycling infrastructure this summer. First was getting the SW corridor repaved. Second was extending the Commonwealth Ave. bike lanes (and narrowing the car lanes) past BU. There are surely some others, but those two were monumentally important to me.

    Also, construction has begun on the Fitchburg Cutoff Path, which will be like a Minuteman Bikeway just for Belmont.

  7. Musing on cannot be a coincidence that any number of bike blogs has blossomed in the past year or two...or at most three. Or can it?