Archive for the 'Essay' Category

When did bikes get cool?

It happened right under our noses.

Maybe it was rising gas prices and the economic meltdown that got people looking toward alternative transportation options?

Maybe the bike companies finally found the right marketing scheme showing the world how form and function can come together in perfect proportion?

Maybe the right group of hipsters looked past the typical, nerdy, spandex-clad cyclists and finally realized what they were missing out on?

Maybe a band of skaterboarders decided they wanted a vehicle that could transport them faster and farther while holding onto their irreverent, gritty, outsider aesthetic?

Maybe it was a combination of a little bit of everything that brought the cycling meme closer to the forefront of cool culture, but it’s here and we can all benefit from it.

A greater bicycle presence in our culture can only bring more cyclists to the streets and more cyclists can only bring more awareness to the cycling cause.  It can force local municipalities to consider the bicycle a valid and essential form of transportation to create vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities. This can create the political will to create better roads, bike lanes and paths.  It can also force motorists to respect our right to share the roads they previously viewed as their own territory that we were merely trespassing on.

However it happened, bikes were always cool–it just took some people longer to figure it out.

Lite Brite

bright light
Hate to make my very first blog entry a negative one, but hey, maybe that’s just how I roll? Does anyone else find oncoming blinking headlights on the lake shore path a total nuisance?

I completely endorse the use of headlights and own a set of Cateyes. I understand they help your visibility to motorists, but you might want to take a moment to notice you’re on a bike path – haven’t seen a car there in a while now. Are you worried I’m going to swerve into your side of the path if you only have the steady beam going? Trust me, I’ll see you either way.

Meanwhile, all I see is your two-wheeled, one-man (or woman – I can’t tell) disco party as I approach – distracting my attention from whatever jogger or rollerblader might be directly in front of me in the strobe-effect blind spot. If you’re conserving battery life – give me your address – I’ll send you the $2 per year you’d be saving.

Chicago • Cycling • Culture