This article by Elly Blue describes a confused world full of sexism, angry drivers and confused cyclists. I often forget about the strong sports and athletic emphasis in the cycling world–mostly because I don’t really pay attention to the sports side of it. Women are still touted as sex objects in the cycling world. Sports seems to cloud the mind, obscuring a greater issue: it is still not safe for women in children to bicycle alongside auto traffic.
It’s hard for people to live without their car if they only feel safe getting around by cars. Do we actually need to drive a car because we assumed everyone was affluent enough to get everywhere by car? How close is the day when 55% of our income goes into travelling by car? Does that status extend to $10/gallon gasoline?
Will the price of gas out-pace our ability to build separated bike lanes so that citizens can safely cycle without fear of being hit by a 3500lb rain-suit? Are the only cyclists going to be brash, fearless men who would rather chase down cars on their bikes and knock on driver-side windows to tell motorists how they nearly murdered a bicyclist? What does it say of a society that we allow civic infrastructure to remain intractably oligarchical, when a growing number of families can’t afford the gas to use it? Will it force us into vigilante civic infrastructure?
As a father, Elly’s article speaks to me of family life–getting groceries–safely. Civil rights, and the freedom to travel unharmed with your children in public. By walking or biking. I am increasingly convinced that the transportation revolution, like the nutrition revolution, is to be won by women with children voting for safer bicycling infrastructure. We have to pay taxes to get that done. We have to enroll corporations (like grocery stores) into encouraging their customers to get their groceries by walking and bicycling. This is a domestic freedom. Women need to stand up for their right to not travel by car.