“Advocacy in a blazer”
“Towards a Slower, Simpler, More Civilized Bicycle Culture,” via Vancouver’s Hush Magazine:
In choosing not to participate in the needless consumption and fear-mongering that typifies militant cycling, it is also just as important to avoid the riding style it encourages. Not only does that protective gear imply that cycling is inherently dangerous and complicated (actively discouraging the average by-stander from giving it a try), it also leads to risk compensation, causing the wearer to ride faster and more recklessly than they otherwise would. In choosing style over speed, and elegance over exertion, you are a completely predictable vehicle on the road, travelling at a jogging pace, yielding to pedestrians and cars, and following all traffic laws. Think of yourself as walking with wheels; you are Mary Poppins, not Bradley Wiggins. You’re likely riding a few leisurely blocks to the grocery store, not zooming through a construction site or a war zone.
Once you discover the simple comforts and pleasures of civil cycling, you won’t look back. There are few things in life as enjoyable as cruising half-speed in the sunshine, watching all the other motorists and “avid cyclists” racing for the prize. My daily ride to work on my three-speed, Dutch-style bicycle is an absolute dream: dressed for the office, sitting up straight, never breaking a sweat, and turning plenty of heads. In doing the same, your mere presence in the urban landscape inspires others, without being labeled an activist. If the bicycle is ever to move past the dismal 5% mode-share it enjoys in Vancouver, it will have to be with more than just the middle-class, middle-aged road-warriors who currently dominate the bikeways, seawalls and separated lanes of our city. Every citizen will consider cycling a feasible mode of transportation, irrespective of age, sex, ethnicity, fitness, politics or financial means. That is the basis for the new bicycle culture: advocacy in a blazer, dress shirt, and pinstriped trousers.