Another Blog

3 Feb

I read a blog post yesterday about biking that I’m still thinking about today.

It hit home with me, expressing thoughts and beliefs that have crossed my mind, but that I’ve never spent the time to think through. Even if I had, I couldn’t have written so eloquently about them. The blogger is Dave Horton and his  blog is – thinking about cycling. I encourage you to check it out.

With his permission, here is an excerpt from Horton’s post, Who is cycling for (click on the link to go directly to the post). Don’t settle for this excerpt though, follow the link and read it all. What he says is profound. Read the comments too, some are essays on cycling in their own right.

I’ve posted in the past about why we ride, this post is more about why others don’t.


Who is cycling for/by Dave Horton

This might seem a strange question. Surely, cycling is for everyone?

Well, after three years’ research for the Understanding Walking and Cycling project, my clear answer is that – in Britain today – it’s not.

Our task of course is to make it so.

So who then, have we found cycling to be for?

Primarily, for a hardy bunch of inadvertent elitists. People like me, perhaps like you, who ride despite the generally atrocious conditions which very effectively discourage the vast majority of people from doing likewise. Often we don’t notice conditions are atrocious because we’ve got used to them, and/or our skill levels have improved in order to be able to deal with them.

We cycle, we take our capacity to cycle for granted, and we sometimes drift towards an expectation that other people should to be able to do it as easily, or almost as easily, as we do. We fail to understand how difficult other people find it.

The generally adverse conditions for cycling also explain, of course, why those of us who cycle are in such a minority. We’re going against the grain. In a way, we’re doing what we’re not supposed to do. Not very many people will successfully find ways to be able to cycle in an ideological and infrastructural system which very effectively designs cycling out, and which makes car use sensible and ordinary.

But if a small minority of us ride almost without thinking, a big majority of people don’t.

People who don’t cycle, and especially those who are thinking about it, or who are considering the possibility of their kids and/or other loved ones cycling, can very clearly see current conditions for cycling to be atrocious, and by and large won’t do it.”

Read on here and don’t forget the comments.

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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