Lady Fleur and I had a brief discussion yesterday about the politics and history of cycling advocacy.
Category Archives: Musings
Here’s the setup: Brenda in San Diego publishes the typical rant from a legitimately employed and productive member of the motoring public about the unemployed person on a multi-thousand dollar bike and wearing hundreds of dollars of kit invading her private road space. I won’t link to it because you’ve seen it all before.
Earlier this week, I hinted at a post with this title for Thursday, which never happened. This is as far as I got:
I am a risk averse ninny, and I ride a bike.
When I began Cyclelicious ten years ago, many bike advocacy groups told us that every trip on two wheels requires advanced mapping, pre-rides, suiting up, carbo-loading, hydration, armor plating, a doctor’s note, next-of-kin notification, and a healthy dose of fear. Partly in response to this, and partly because I’m resentful of the “strong and fearless” label people apply to me, I crafted my mission statement to counter this paranoid school of thought: “Cyclelicious encourages cyclists to promote bicycling as a fun, safe, responsible, reasonable, and healthy means of transportation.”
I’ve wondered about the economics of online cheap bike sales. At bicycle trade shows I often run into very enthusiastic young people who borrowed $20,000 from the parents to become an Internet sales entrepreneur. They go to Alibaba.com and buy a container load of these bikes for about $50 each from a company like Hangzhou Furui Bicycle Co., Ltd.
I recently was reminded of this drawing of a mamachari bicycle from a now defunct Japanese guide to bicycles. The text says “Mamachari bikes are usually what you think of when you think ‘bicycle’.”
The mamachari style of bikes are the wonderfully utilitarian and ubiquitious form of transportation for Japanese housewives. I wondered what type of bicycles come to mind for people around the world when people talk about bikes. What do you think when somebody says “bicycle”?