07 June 2009

Stuff To Read

Just a couple of bits and pieces I've read that may, or may not, be of interest.

From the always interesting UTNE Reader, there's this piece entitled:

Conservative Cyclists Transcend Cultural Stereotypes - Can’t We All Just... Go for a Bike Ride?

Bike commuters hit the streets in massive numbers last year, and scenarios like this one—starring the lefty cyclist and the GOP-loving driver—have been bandied about in media reports and water-cooler anecdotes. But not everyone on two wheels is out to curb climate change or stick it to the man. There are conservatives who integrate bikes into their lives just as thoroughly as their liberal counterparts do, which raises the question: Do bikes and politics really have to mix?

And this piece from the Philadelphia City Paper is refreshingly sharp in its tone and position:

Biketopia - How to make Philly a cyclist's paradise.

Yeah, we know. You — that is, some of you out there — hate bikes. More specifically, you hate bikers. All of them. You don't discriminate.

We know, because you announce it, over and over, like a vendor hawking fruit from a truck. It happens pretty much any time any of us at City Paper write something about bicycles. The comments are always the same: "Bikers have no respect," "bikers break the law," "bikers deserve to suffer bloody, horrible deaths at the front end of my car, which I love."

About the only thing I find frustrating about the photo at the top, which accompanies the Philly article, is the portrayal of 'cyclists' as tattooed, flowers-in-the-hair sub-cultural types with hippie-like exhibitionist tendencies. Not a bad, thing, but hardly representative of the majority of cyclists. But hey.

Thanks to Pat for the link.