28 May 2010


Cool graphics in this little advert for 2MileChallenge.com.


Kevin Love said...

They are not going to get urbanites riding even two miles on those crappy bikes.

No fenders, chaincase or coatguard means getting filthy dirty. No storage space means I can't use it for going to work.

And no lights or bell means it is illegal to ride it on the road here in Ontario. And quite stupid anywhere else.

Peter said...

@Kevin. It's just 2 miles, really you could do that on any bike.

Kevin Love said...

@ Peter. But why would I do it for any distance at all if I'm going to get sprayed with muddy water and wind up filthy dirty?

And why would I even ride ten minutes to work if I couldn't take my briefcase, laptop and other work stuff?

And why would I ride ten seconds after dark without a light? Scary!

And in addition to official law enforcement, why would I ride illegally without the proper safety equipment?

If we are going to encourage people to take up cycle use, let's do it properly. Do we want to have a person ride a bike and then dismount, filthy dirty, swearing an oath "I'll never do that again"?

Or do we want someone to ride a bike to work in their nice work clothes with all the things they need. And get off the bike saying "That was nice. I'll do it again tomorrow."

Green Idea Factory said...

@Kevin: What bike are you talking about?

Kevin Love said...

Green Idea Factory asked:
"What bike are you talking about?"

Kevin's answer:
All the bikes shown in the film. In the initial cover frame as well as starting at 1:06 in the film.

They are all unsuitable for the use suggested by the film.

Kevin Love said...

David Hembrow did an excellent job of describing what an everyday bicycle should be like for ordinary people to cycle to work, shops, church, visit friends, etc.



Green Idea Factory said...

@Kevin: What you and David say about an "everyday bicycle" are absolutely true, BUT I think the video image should not be taken too literally.

If you look below the video you will see that "Build your Bike" link which goes to all sorts of various bike designs... and unfortunately also to some things which are not necessary.

It would be great if the video showed more realistic city bikes, or least a bike of different kinds. A lot of confused cycling promotion starts with inappropriate imagery.

Not to say this campaign or video is confused... but more about that later.

Peter said...

I'd like it if they added to the film a statistic of the collective weight loss, in megatons, if Americans accepted the two-mile challenge.

Peter said...

If someone is travelling 2 miles without a bike, its likely they have some other transport options.

If they are already own a bicycle, as the video presumes, it doesn't help if you then say "You own the wrong type, buy this sort" (not trying to put my words into your mouth).

Perhaps on the days that the weather is inclement, they can travel the 2 miles the old way? Then when they miss cycling, buy accessories for the one they already own.

@the other Peter, that's quite funny.

Peter said...

Many people I know started transportational bicycling by accepting a 2-mile challenge from me. I've talked a number of people into getting their bike out of their shed and going to the grocery store, the farmer's market, the bank, etc. with me.

A lot of people view their town from the point of view of their car. They have no idea what the true distances are. Everything that's not a brief walk away seems "far". When they realize that there is a pleasant route to the store and it is only 12 minutes away by bicycle, even going at a very slow speed, they have a change of perspective and start realizing that their bicycle can be a fun and useful way of getting around.

This change of perspective - from the point of view of a car driver to that of a bicycle driver - is why the challenge is so important. Suddenly their town seems accessible even without a car.

Sure, their bike is a fenderless, lightless, rackless "10-speed", but they can look at my bike and see how to use a bike for basic transportation. Meanwhile, they can try out their bike in clement weather using a backpack.

If they get into it, they can always add a rack and some fenders to their bike and purchase an inexpensive blinky tail light and a 1/2 watt LED light for the front and be ready to go. Is it an ideal tranportational bike? No, but it works and will hold them for some years.

Green Idea Factory said...

The Alliance and Trips for Kids are great, though I am not sure about the third beneficiary, which relates to the whole carbon emissions thing in the video that is incredibly abstract and confusing.

On the other hand, the information about saving money and especially about how so many people go only two miles is strong and appeals to common sense.

They have a bunch of educational stuff about different types of bikes, but then go too far into helmetshouldism and finally to reflectivecultism. Plus I think a water bottle? For two miles?

I think that the two mile thing is mostly trips for entertainment, shopping and school? This will mean the USA will need like 10 million good bike parking spots ASAP. Longer trips over 5 or 10 miles can be done by combining cycling and PT, so lets hope a challenge in that area comes next.

I don't agree that A-to-Bism needs to be the primary motivator for cycling as health and conviviality/social benefits are great, too. Or just money, which ties into all those things. But the carbon stuff is confusing and, while I love ClifBar, it simply makes this too much of a sport thing. Two miles is not really a sport thing...