Critical Manners Bike Ride Vancouver

Cycle Personalities
August 12, 2009, 9:27 am
Filed under: Bikes in the News

There was an article in the Tyee last week about Portland’s progress on developing bike routes. My favourite part was the section describing the different types of cyclists that inhabit a city:

On one end sits No Way No How, the one third of the population who has no interest in biking whatsoever. Maybe they’ll take a ride on a weekend through the park, but even in the best of conditions they probably won’t bike on a regular basis. They just don’t want to.

Then you have the Enthused and Confident, not quite kamakazis, but close. These are the roughly seven per cent of people who will bike in the city where it’s relatively safe, relatively comfortable, if not a little unnerving for the average person.

Above them, on the extreme end of the spectrum sit the Strong and Fearless, perched on their bikes in the pouring rain, in the middle of the street, ready to go. They represent almost nothing, maybe one per cent of the city’s population, the bike couriers and other kamakazis who will bike anywhere, anytime, now matter how dangerous or poor the conditions.

And everyone else? They’re the Interested but Concerned, the other 60 some-odd per cent of the population with a rational fear of cycling in the city. They like the idea of cycling, they know it’s good for their health, and for the environment, but they only want to do it if it’s as safe and comfortable as their ride in a car or bus. And these are the people that American cities, Portland and Vancouver included, need to aim their bike infrastructure at, Geller argues.

It seems like the people who’ve been most supportive of Critical Manners so far fall firmly into the Interested but Concerned camp (with a healthy dost of Enthused and Confident participants thrown in).

I really hope this ride inspires more of the Interested and Concerned cycling citizens of Vancouver to come out and try riding on Friday!



How come I’m considered Kamakazis because i bike year round and in varying weather?

Comment by Asha

Because bikes are only for pleasant weather, on trails and when no car could even remotely feel threatened by the existence of a bicycle.

BTW, here’s an idea for the ride, in order to keep it sociable people should call each other and text each other on the cellphone at all times. Just like the “responsible” car drivers do that we are trying to show we can be just like them.

Comment by M

While it is not illegal to text while biking in Vancouver, it is illegal to listen to a cell phone while biking.

Comment by S

I’m sure I’m not the only “kamikazi” who is very supportive of your effort to see this ride take place. Looking forward to it. I hope participants will practice tolerance to all kinds of cyclists, as well as comply with the road laws.

Comment by John

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