» Bicycles On My Mind

The Biking Architect

A place for creative, green, sustainable, design inspiration…

Biking Architect Home About the Biking Architect Table of Contents RSS Feed Blogroll

Bike LogoBicycles On My Mind

This past weekend I did my first century (100 mile) training ride for this summer’s Seattle to Portland bike race. Initially, my intention was only to do about 80 miles but the day was fine and I had a good companion. All the necessities were there for a ride that brought me completely into the moment… The sun was out, the wind was at our backs and the road just seemed to fly by below my tires.

These ‘perfect’ rides are fertile thinking grounds and I often find myself mulling over designs in my head. This past Saturday though, my thoughts remained on bikes, not so much about their design or function but about what they symbolize around the world.

In Denmark bikes are seen as a primary mode of transport. On days when the snow piles deep the plows often clear the bike paths well before the roads. No matter the weather, rain, snow, sleet or sunshine, the Danes will be out and about on their bikes.

In Paris bicycles are encouraged as way to cut congestion and help travelers reach their destination without adding to the city’s traffic problems.

And in Rwanda a bicycle can mean the difference between making a meager living or remaining impoverished.

These thoughts made me ponder bicycles here in the US. We certainly don’t see them as a primary mode of transportation and we seldom use them to cut traffic problems. Bicycles are more often seen as bothersome by the cars that whiz by, threatening to unseat any rider whose vigilance wavers for a moment. In this country bicycles are not a necessity in our lives.

What does this say about us as a culture? Americans place such high value on cars that use huge quantities of resources, pollute and, in the long run, really don’t give anything back. What would happen if, as a country, we shifted our values and added a few more bike paths? What would it take to begin the change?

Enjoy this site? Subscribe and keep up with all the updates!
Or support this site by promoting us through your favorite network:

del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google Reader Ask.com Yahoo! MyWeb reddit StumbleUpon

Tue, April 28 2009 » On the Road

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge