Cycling in the US Is Incredibly Successful and Popular

I know that with a pitiful mode share this sounds absurd, but cycling, is actually pretty successful all things considered.

Take for example, how much money is spent on motoring. I don’t feel like going to google.com this morning, but it’s a lot. In fact, it’s pretty much all our money.

And the vast majority of people motor. Wow, isn’t that a shocker? The government spends a lot of money on something and business bend over backwards to make something easy and convenient and people do it.

Plus, there are so, so many car commercials. Watch TV for an hour, on any station and count them. Then look at the number of pro-walking, transit, or cycling commercials.

So the whole idea of “we can’t build for cycling because nobody does it” goes out the window, doesn’t it. The proper way to say it is, despite the complete neglect of public money and in advertising, we still have around 1% mode share in US cities. For a country of 300 million, 1% is a great deal, indeed.

Let’s add to that the number of movies that ridicule cycling. How many are these? Think of any movie that has cycling in it. In fact, there are so many movies that mock cyclists that to make a character look lame, goofy, and unsexy all you need to do is to show him riding a bicycle.

And women never ride bicycles except to make them look weak and vulnerable.

There are exceptions, of course, but they are rare. In many movies, motoring is seen as a short hand for a success. In many movies, the previous bicycling or public transit rider is seen driving off into the sun set in a nice fancy motor car.

And after all this abuse, and lack of funding, we STILL, STILL have 1%. I wonder how many people would drive cars if they had to pay all the costs and risk being mocked? Few could actually afford it. And very few wish to risk being a social pariah.

But there’s more. Let’s add the death penalty for it! True that cycling, while more dangerous than motoring, is not nearly as deadly as the public thinks.

But thoughts are powerful.

Thus, there’s the association between cycling and risk taking, death. How many times have you had a nice bicycle ride, and you were buttonholed and forced to listen to a story about someone like you who was killed for riding a bicycle.

Oh, we don’t call it murder when someone is too neglectful to look out of their shiny windshield, we call it an oopsie. An accident. Someone’s life is just a blip on our radar.

And we STILL have 1%.

Despite being not funded at all, ridiculed, and even made to feel like it’s OK to kill us, as a joke, hee-hee, or because we “deserve” it, we STILL have 1%.

Why is that?

Mainly because cycling is awesome.

There’s no other possible explanation. Cycling is really, really fun. It’s really compelling.

Not even the fear of death nor a bankrupt funding system nor all the movies in Hollywood and their billion dollar spin machine can keep us off our spin machines.

I love cycling, and I am very proud to be part of the 1%.

When I ride a bicycle, I feel very sexy, and I’m very popular. I have a real job that’s successful.

I see no need to “upgrade” to a motorcycle, or anything else except, perhaps a wheelchair when I get too old.

I am very happy to cycle, and I feel like I am a normal person.

Why can’t other people see this?

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2 Responses to “Cycling in the US Is Incredibly Successful and Popular”

  1. Steve A Says:

    Although, it DOES take away a bit of the fun out of it when one of the 99% yells something inappropriate.

    • Fred Says:

      Ug, I knew my whole 1%/99% thing would be taken out of context. Nothing to be done.

      I meant 1% not as shorthand for the rich or for cyclists or anything, but b/c I was too lazy (and in a hurry) to google the precise number of cyclists in San Diego.

      I have all ready seen the number 1% appropriated and connected to, in a clever, but deceptive way, to suggest that the 1% of cyclists are the same 1% that are the wealthy owners of the US.

      I saw this coming, but I didn’t think it would happen so fast.

      Oh, well nothing to be done. Just words on a computer screen…

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