22 November 2009

This is Where We're Heading

What a pleasant and fantastic opinion piece in the NY Times by one Verlyn Klinkenborg the other day entitled Individualism, Identity and Bicycles in Northern California.

The author understands the Bicycle Culture 2.0 goal - the simple redemocratization of the bicycle. The piece has it all - all the right buzzwords, the right understanding of 'tool' instead of 'sports equipment', diversity, individualism, regular clothes, you name it.

Here's a bit of it:

"And whoever all these cyclists are, as individuals, their individuality is burnished by the bikes they ride and by the way they ride them. It’s as though the bikes are only partly transportation, as though they were really machines for differentiation.

And what aids the differencing is that few people wear helmets, and everyone is wearing ordinary clothes — none of the sleek and gaudy costumes you see on cyclists pumping through the peninsular hills and whistling down Sand Hill Road to the Caltrain station. They are themselves on wheels.

There is a deeply pleasing randomness about the campus cyclists, as though one morning university officials had assigned a bicycle to every member of the Stanford community, come as you are, without considering for a moment matters of fit — or fitness.

Read the whole damn thing right here. It's so refreshing, hopeful and just plain nice.
Thanks to Martha for the link. Oh, and the photo is from this article.