The ultimate goal of bike culture

Note: I originally wrote this as a guest piece for the awesome BikingInLA blog.  Seeing a video posted over on Cyclelicious reminded me a lot of the sentiment of this post, so I decided to share it again.

There are many of us so-called avid cyclists that are big on participating in, but also promoting cycling.  I’m one of those folks.  For me, this is partially self-serving.  The more folks that we have out on the road riding their bikes, the more accustomed to bikes on the road motorists will be.  Makes it safer for all of us overall.  Socially I think it is a win.  The oft-cited benefits to health and the environment seem like obviously beneficial gains to me as well. That, and the natural human compulsion to want other folks to enjoy what I enjoy.

For some, it is about fostering a “bike culture.”  A culture where going to the grocery store, or tootling down to the local cafe, or getting the kids to soccer practice, are all things that are perfectly reasonable to do on a bike.  A culture where riding a bike in the rain to get to work doesn’t make you extreme, eccentric or even on the fringe.  A culture where riding a bike is normal.  As normal as driving a car.

And now we have a conundrum.

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Divisions, divides and cultures

Divisions, divides and cultures.  Divisions, divides and cultures.  It seems to have been my mantra of the last couple of months.  And apparently I’m not the only person somehow entranced by these topics.

I had an opportunity to guest post on BikingInLA and talk about my thoughts on bike culture.  Zeke responded with his guest post on BikingInLa, providing more thought-provoking insights.

On the other side of things, I’ve talked ad nauseam about the cycling world’s habit of dividing up into subcultures.  Truth be told, I don’t really think this is a “cycling world” issue as much as it is just human nature.  Us versus them seems to be an innate human tenancy.

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