A friend told me he had used the Rock The Bike web site to help a co-worker understand what bike culture is. That got me thinking, what is bike culture? I looked on Wikipedia and was unsatisfied by the old Bike Culture entry, so I wrote a description and updated the Wikipedia entry. What do you think? Comment here or update the Wikipedia entry.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bike culture is a set of art, music, and community events offered by passionate bicyclists seeking to inspire beginners, rally the faithful, and express their love of bicycling as a life choice.
Those who have made bicycling a lifestyle choice, not a mere recreational habit, often see see bicycling as a movement they want to help grow. There are several paths people use to convince others to try biking: Practical improvements, Logic and Facts, and Bike Culture.
Practical Improvements include measures at the level of local government, such as bike lanes , improved parking facilities, and access to public transportation, as a well as products that improve the bicycling experience, such as flat-resistant tires and simple, effective safety products. These techniques help address the common objections to bicycling: “I don’t feel safe”, “my tires are flat”, “what if my bike gets stolen?”
The path of Logic and Facts seeks to convince and ground the decision to ride bikes at the logic level. Examples of Facts include: “Bicycling helps you integrate exercise into your daily life, which is something you need anyway,” “Bicycling is an important way to reduce your personal impact on Global Warming,” and “Bicycling makes our cities more liveable by reducing traffic and improving community interactions.”
Facts, strong as they may be, enter the brain and park themselves in the repository of facts. And while we may call facts to ground and rationalize decisions, only our emotions can bring us the point of making changes in our daily habits and lives. Bike Culture accesses these feelings directly, through music and art and through group rides and events.
Recognizing that bicycling for transportation represents a significant departure from a more established automobile-centered how-to-live archetype, and therefore requires a strong emotional basis, Bike Culture artists, musicians, and organizers seeks to use their offerings and events to embolden these emotions, and push people farther along in their own personal transformations.
Bike culture consists of:
- Bike Music
- Bike Film
- Bike Rides, often noncompetitive in nature. Includes Critical Mass, Midnight Ridazz (more info below).
- Art Bikes, often impractical for transportation purposes or fantastical, such as tall bikes, choppers, unusual multi-person human-powered vehicles, and human powered floats.
- Printed word: Blogs, haikus, zines and magazines, stickers, spoke cards. Books include: Thomas Stevens with his narrative “Around the World on a Bicycle,” Mark Twain with his essay “Taming the Bicycle” and H. G. Wells with his novel The Wheels of Chance were early contributors to bicycle culture.
- Spoken word: Slang, rap, poetry
- Arts and Crafts (both handmade and mass manufactured): An example of visual art is Mona Caron‘s Bike Mural.
Lately I’ve been carrying sturdy plastic bags with me to waterproof my Xtracycle.
So when I headed to the market to buy supplies for Bike Blended Smoothies on a rainy night in SF this past weekend, I just grabbed the bag I had with me.
As I went through the produce section, I started putting all the separate fruits in their own bags, which I then would put in my basket. Then I started thinking, “so many bags”. So I just put everything in my sturdy plastic bag, as an experiment. It all made it back fine to my place, though checking out took a little longer than usual.
One of our Flickr friends, Murray Neil, a New Zealand bike culture head and Xtracycle rider, combines his love of photography, kites, and biking in his crystal clear aerial shots. He fabricated his own kite-based aerial photography rig and uses the photographs to document, among other things, which bike lanes he finds effective and which intersections still need work. In the photo above, Neil can be seen as a tiny dark blue figure in the sand to the left of the bridge on the far side of the river. You can even see the faint line of the kite’s string. Even cooler, the red and white object halfway across the bridge is his friend Ted, who had seen his kite line and biked over to say “hi.”
Unlike airplane based aerial photography, Neil’s is quiet, cheap, beautiful, and non-polluting. Now that’s community.
RJL20 is one of our Flickr friends. I saw his picture of his Xtracycle commuter rig this morning.
Malamana shredded it tonight with Afrolicious at the Elbo Room.
Weather permitting — Let’s gather at my place at 9 and ride to the show together.
935 York St. is the starting point.
In the back to back tandem, riders face away from each other for an aero position. It’s pretty much the opposite of social biking
OK, so apparently there’s a little YouTube trend called the Human Bicycle. Here’s one of the more humorous ones:read more
Posted by Wild Johnny
02/15/2008 – 20:15
“Bike Around the Clock” Fabulous 50’s Ride – Feb 15th, 2008
w/the Southbay Cruisers
We are excited to announce this 10 – 12 mile ride over mostly flat terrain which will start and end in front of:
The Lighthouse Cafe
30 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
We will meet at 8:15PM/Ride at 8:30PM SHARP-RAIN or SHINE.
Get in touch with your inner howl, as you sing and dance to your favorite 50’s tunes with us late at night on our bike ride through the
Southbay. We will have at least one bike stereo for the ride as well as our Southbay Cruiser Karaoke set up – bring your ipods to karaoke
to your favorite songs. We encourage you to dress 50′s for this ride. Show us your late night howl- and show us your
50′s dance moves too!
For more info see our website at www.southbaycruisers.comread more
I must preface this by saying that I’m from Boston, and I learned from my mother recently that the Patriots were having a record-setting perfect season, and I still have just about zero desire to sit in front of a TV for 4 hours on Superbowl Sunday. If you’re with me on this, then join us for the Superbowl AlternaRide.
This is not a cruise. We’ll be riding hard, on and off-road, from San Francisco’s Civic Center to the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach, Marin County, and back. Rain or Shine.
For the last three or four years (can’t remember) we’ve led the Superbowl Alternaride and have never actually made it to the Pelican. But think about it. Pitchers of cold beer in an English Pub setting, the perfect reward for a hard day’s pedaling. And then we ride back. And so each year we start earlier. And this time, we’re getting serious. We’re starting at 9:30 AM on a Sunday. This is the only way we can possibly get to the Pelican and back and be off the highway 1 climb out of Muir Beach before dark. There will be multiple turn-back options for people who aren’t feeling up to it on the day of the ride. Total mileage will be under 40, but a third of it will be off-road.
Meeting point: Mama Toby’s cafe (On Laguna at Fell) in the Civic Center area.
Bring the gear, food, and water you need to stay warm and happy. I’ll bring some DaBombucha to share.
After seeing The Story of Stuff on a couple of my friends’ gmail status messages, I saw the 20-minute online movie and got motivated to take myself out of the loop of planned obselescence.
Then a week later I made the mistake of putting my iPod in my pocket next to a magnetic toy. The iPod hard drive was dead instantly. The toy was fine.
I thought about replacing the iPod with one of the newer ones. But I’ve had it for almost three years, and it’s never had a problem before that couldn’t be fixed by resetting it. So I decided instead of spending $300 on a new one I’d buy a replacement hard drive for $70 on eBay, and a screen protector.
I followed the excellent video instructions on ifixipodsfast.com and fixed the iPod in about 15 minutes. I didn’t have a non-marring pry tool handy so I used a small electronics screwdriver. It left a very small mark on the one side from prying. Then I applied the screen protector, basically a clear sticker, to the ipod screen. I bought it thinking that it would prevent further scratches to the iPod screen — that my screen wouldn’t get any worse than it was. But when I applied the screen protector, the screen instantly took on it’s original glossy look.
None of the scratches accumulated during 3 years of ownership were visible any longer. I have a suspicion that a lot of people throw away electronics simply because they look old. If more people knew about screen protectors, maybe they could save their money for other things, or spend less time working and more time having fun riding bikes.