Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For the Fun of it

A reminder that people don't begin doing things because they're safe. In this case, we're referring to urban bicycling. People will start a new activity for a variety of reasons, usually self-interested on some level in that they get something out of it. For bicycling, it is enjoyment, fun, in some case bonding with other like-minded individuals that also enjoy the possible nostalgic memory of the freedom that a new bike gave you as a child. Communities of bike riders can then be formed, before it becomes so main stream that niche communities are unnecessary. The emotional aspect is something Bike Friendly Oak Cliff captured.

Our first thought (unconsciously) is an impulsive, emotional response. "Hey, that looks like fun. I'm gonna try it out." Only later does the rational mind kick in and ask, "will I be run over by a marauding Chevy Suburban on a lift kit?" However, the vast majority, the numbers needed to impact city form, movement patterns and infrastructure will only continue bicycling if it is safe. Of course, like all things urban, there is a chicken/egg aspect to this. If it is never safe to bicycle, it is never fun.