Do you ever have those moments on a bike when you feel like the city doesn’t really want you there? I decided to document some of those feelings on a recent ride.
If you ever doubted the global appeal of the bicycle in winter, today’s third annual Moscow Winter Bike Parade ought to disabuse you of the notion.
More than 3,000 Muscovites braved the snow and cold to ride together in the shadow of the Kremlin.
For cyclists in this megapolis that is just beginning to look at ways of improving bike friendliness, this was both a coming out party (the event came on the heels of the sixth Winter Cycling Congress, which brought delegations of cycling advocates, planners and lovers from all over the world), and a rolling street party.
I’ll post more about the fascinating cycling culture of Moscow soon. But for now, just enjoy some of the smiling faces, wacky costumes and downright bizarre bikes that lightened up the streets of Moscow.
Montreal, perhaps North America’s most bike-friendly big city, is finally looking at ways of making it easier for people to ride a bike through the winter. Here’s what we learned on a recent trip.
The rant was so out of touch as to be almost quaint. Earlier this month, Canadian Sen. Nicole Eaton, 71, went on a Twitter campaign against cycling in Toronto, criticizing the construction of bike lanes using the same old arguments that are often thrown around by uninformed reactionaries: Nobody rides a bike, cyclists don’t obey the laws, and bike lanes begrime cities.
What made Eaton’s rant especially rich was its unique combination of laughable ignorance (she tweeted that wasting money on bike lanes was unbecoming of a global city such as New York, London and Paris, which are all actually chock full of cyclists and bike infrastructure) and it’s low-hanging-fruit hypocrisy (Canadians find it ironic to hear tax-fighting arguments from a senator, when the Senate is a largely symbolic piece of government stuffed with elderly patronage appointments who have a horrible history of wasting taxpayer money on enriching themselves).
Still, Eaton’s rant wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. So in the name of public service, we’re here to offer some help. Below are some answers to common misinformed anti-bike criticisms, presented in handy wallet-card format. So if you’re a politician or public figure who has yet to embrace urban cycling, print this card, laminate it, and put it in your wallet or purse. Whenever you are tempted to go on a ridiculous anti-bike rant, pull it out and read the answers before opening your mouth or tweeting. Not only will this save you some embarrassment (and your Twitter account, poor old Sen. Eaton has now deleted hers), it might just elevate the debate over cycling.