To create a thriving bike culture in our cities, people must begin to view bicycling as Europeans do — not just as a way of exercising, but as a serious form of urban mass transportation.
Ask people if they would consider bicycle commuting to work. Most people would respond something along the lines of: “Don’t get me wrong I love bikes, I ride all the time…” and then segue into a barrage of objections.
The top bike commuting towns in the U.S are Eugene, OR (5.6 %), Fort Collins, CO (5%), Missoula, MT (5%), Boulder, CO (5%), and Santa Barbara, CA (4%). Pictures are telling: riders with surfboards, backpacks, or traveling empty forest preserves. Students. Students. Students. A good portion of bikes have drop handlebars, and many riders wear racing gear. Now picture bike riders in Paris or Copenhagen, Barcelona or Marseilles. They are men and women of all ages, in suits and dresses, fur coats and heels. They ride sensible bikes. These are not sporting types, but a cross section of Europe’s working population going to the office on the vehicle that works well in their city. There is more to making a city bike friendly than creating pathways – part of that is changing attitudes.
What you can do now. On Saturday, March 28–Opening Day for Trails–people across the nation will officially kick off spring trail season by hitting their favorite trails. Just get out on a trail to take part! Rail-trails are multi-purpose, safe public paths created from former railroad corridors which traverse urban, suburban and rural communities in America.
Here’s a great article that just might kick-start a change in attitude and get more people out of their cars in the U.S. and onto bicycles: http://www.bicycling.com/beginners/commuting/why-youre-not-bike-commuting-and-how-fix?cid=NL_BIK_2050496_BIK_03132015_Commuting_excuses