Sometimes we get so caught-up in our own particular perspective. So, please excuse us if we assume you know what we’re talking about when we talk about bikes. These days any particular interest or preference can be super-focused and magnified by an entire world of fellow (and expert) aficionados. It’s easy to think that we all think alike.
You probably have your own special interests. The internet is a monster magazine rack on the back-side of a wormhole. It’s 2.1 billion people creating 100,000 tweets, 27,700 tumblr posts, 48 hours of YouTube video and 571 new websites – every minute — of every day. Boy, it’s easy to get distracted.
But we’ve gotten engaged with a world of bike enthusiasts that’s way beyond the travails of Lance Armstrong and mountain bike videos. Check out LovelyBicycle, for example, there’s a New England neighbor who writes about biking the way James Beard writes about food. We’ve “met” Byron of TokyoByBike, Mike of BikeBlogNYC. There’s Cleverhood, a small company (and client) inventing US-made outwear for livable cities. And we’ve been indoctrinated by the teachings of Mikael Colville of Copenhagen Chic fame, the slow bike movement and the helmet law argument.
It turns out that the simple bike is the key to happiness. Perhaps you knew that once. Kelly McClure over at Vice Magazine said the bike conjured visions of her pink Strawberry Shortcake bike. In our neighborhood we’d mount our bikes to discover new territory. They were our imaginary jets.
Now that we’re all grown up we’re starting to re-learn the whole bike thing all over again. Bikes are a way of living, says PeopleforBikes.org. “Bikes are a way to get around town, to relax, to have adventures, and to stay happy and healthy. And every time we pedal our way forward, we not only get to where we’re going, but we also show the rest of the world just how powerful human power really can be.”
It’s more than just that fact that traffic congestion wastes nearly 3 billion gallons of gas per year in the U.S. Or that, for every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, about 1 pound of CO² is saved. Hey, we love traffic jams as much as you do.
It’s about re-thinking cities. In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg gets it. He appointed Janette Sadik-Khan as transportation commissioner. She loves bikes (and she has a Cleverhood, btw). Around the world, cities are closing down car lanes and opening new bike sharing programs. We’re re-thinking our relationship with cars and just how are cities got this way.
So, when we talk about bikes we’re talking about all the people we’re meeting all over the world who care about creating more livable cities.