Sunday, March 1, 2015

May Bike Share Live Long and Prosper, and May the Elderly and Female Join In.

In Copenhagen, it seems that #bikeshare has been relegated to a tourist attraction, and it is dying.  Does this mean the death of cycling in #CyclingMecca?  No.  It means the system had an unsustainable cost structure, and pretty much everyone bikes and uses their own.  May bike share live long and prosper, as #LeonardNimoy said.  But if it comes to the end of a long good run and it must go, let cycling live on.  I would give this shocking twist of fate a Spock analysis, but logical characterizations of municipal failings would have baffled Spock.

While bike share in Copenhagen limps along, cycling in general must be increasing.  #Voxwomen is the new Youtube channel for women's cycling.  Hard to believe that while most bike commuters are men there is a channel that features women's cycling.  This is a little bird of hope.  Or maybe a California Condor of hope.  It's something that merits a general yippee.  #chicksonbikes

Can sites like Voxwomen bring more women to cycling?  What about older people, who have not embraced cycling despite the evidence it is therapeutic, and can even treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease?  Not yet.  If you want to reach older people, you are going to have to go their media, network television, that thing we all used to watch.  Right now the images of the elderly on television are frozen.  Medicine ads run back-to-back on network news - which is still watched by older people at the scheduled time.  No older person appears to be cycling unless they are dong so slowly and only after receiving some advertised drug.  Ads featuring cycling and its benefits it could help to change this image and maybe reduce the need for all that medicine that is aggressively advertised.  Right now, if an outer space creature chanced upon television ads and tried to figure out American culture from what he/she/it saw - ads for prescription medicines for E.D., various auto-immune diseases, and smoking cessation - he/she/it would certainly imagine we could be easily plundered and overcome.  Calling all billionaires!  Please sponsor pro-cycling ads featuring women and older people.  Take back America's sense of well-being, and restore its image in the eyes of extra-terrestrial creatures.–-growing-levels-cycling-have-not-brought

The unsteal-able bike has shown up in another round of videos, this time on the Washington Post's online section.  Great, if there were not bike chop shops, whose "contributors" dismantle bikes.  They do not steal and ride them away.  If you don't believe me, just ask any runny-nosed meth addict with bolt cutters you chance upon.  A bike is to them nothing more than the sum of its parts.  No bike is unsteal-able.

So if I see you in the bike lane, and you are on an unsteal-able bike that has not yet been stolen, and you are Medicare eligible, or assisted-living avoiding, or you happen to be a woman, or not, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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