It’s weather-man meets Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

People commuting by bike [in the States] are such a small proportion of the population that — whether we like it or not — every person is implicitly an ambassador for cycling. When you’re on the bike, you’re extremely visible to every other member of your community. So, if you’re goal as a cyclist is simply getting a workout and getting to-and-fro quickly, carry on as you were.

However, if, as a cyclist, you want to model behavior that captures the imagination of pedestrians and drivers around you, and thus influence them to consider cycling themselves, then you need to shed the chamois. If you’re looking cute, wearing everyday work clothes, casually cycling an upright bike to the office, you are much more likely to subconsciously influence someone to consider cycling. When we’re all sprinting around downtown in our spandex kits, it’s much easier for “othering” to occur — pedestrians and drivers won’t see themselves in you.

~ Re-blog of my own comment from Towards A Slower, Simpler, More Civilized Bicycle Culture

YES! Female cyclists as an indicator species of how well we’ve planned our cycling infrastructure. True true true.

A few months back, I was riding my bike out of my neighborhood, and a guy turning onto my street drove directly at me in my lane. Head on. I was just waiting at the stop sign, and he gunned it directly towards me, into my lane, and scared the crap out of me.

Why? Because he was being impatient making a left-hand turn onto the street, and didn’t want to wait to turn until after the next car passed by. He nearly hit me because he couldn’t wait 4 seconds for that car to pass, to make a slow and safe turn into his own neighborhood. 

He lives three houses down from me. He’s my neighbor. I see him walking his dogs a couple times a week. My neighbor almost hit me with his car as I waited at the stop sign.

I rarely do this, because it’s a terrible idea. But, I rode back to his house to talk to him about it.

Me: “Hey, that was pretty scary. You nearly hit me.”

Him: “Well, you were in the way. I couldn’t tell what you were doing.”

Me: “I was waiting at the stop sign. You’re my neighbor man, don’t you know how scary it is to have a car come barreling towards you like that?! What if you hit me?”

Him: “mumble mumble”

I rode away, feeling pissed and unsatisfied with the encounter.

The anonymity of cars brings out the worst in all of us. Cars prevent us from having humane interactions with our neighbors. Cars break down a sense of community that we would otherwise have passing each other and making eye contact on the sidewalk.

Cycling in the U.S. from a Dutch perspective. This video shows some of the best cycling infrastructure that we have here in the States — SF, Davis, and Chicago — and yet, this “infra” is clearly still lacking. 

"This situation makes clear why you are 30 times more likely to get injured as a cyclist in the U.S. than you are in the Netherlands.” 

via Momentum Magazine

How the Dutch design traffic intersections. They’ve used this design with great success for decades, apparently. Brilliant. 

This addresses some of the most common ways that cyclists are hit by cars: the left hook, and the right hook. More on this soon. I’d really like to create a follow-up comic to How to Fix a Flat where I explain how to avoid the most common types of accidents that cyclists have. What do you think?

Related: the Portland Bureau of Transportation recently did a study about people’s attitudes towards cycling. 60% of Portland residents are “interested and concerned.” They are potentially winnable, and could be converted to cycling, but their #1 concern is safety when mixing with cars (rightly so). Offering separated, protected bike lanes, and designing intersections like the one you see in the video above could greatly increase ridership.