Home > Slow Bike Miami > [Copenhagenize Miami] Definitions: Bicycle Culture 2.0

[Copenhagenize Miami] Definitions: Bicycle Culture 2.0

Copenhagenize MiamiIn saying that I seek to “Copenhagenize” Miami, what exactly does that mean? Copenhagen and Miami are very dissimilar cities, so how can one influence the other? And what is this “Bicycle Culture 2.0” that I speak of? Think of them as keywords that convey in a tight package a lot of information about the change sought for Miami.

Over the next three posts, I’ll be defining the terms Bicycle Culture 2.0, Copenhagenize/Copenhagenizing and Miamize.

Bicycle Culture 2.0

It’s a rising trend, people riding their bikes as they do normal, day-to-day things. Pin it on global warming, environmentalism, high gas prices, casual fitness fads, the “current economic climate,” the result is the same: people are riding bikes more. A half-century ago and prior, the bike was a commonplace form of transportation for all ages. That changed after the War, and the new affluence brought the development of housing further away from urban centers and the rise of the Car Culture. Cities like Miami became defined by their roads and suburbs, by how long the commutes were, by how big/fast/expensive the cars were. Bikes got relegated to weekend jaunts by  Lycra-clad road warriors, or to the archetypal holiday gift for boys and girls. At most, they became the domain of hipster subcultures thriving on the desolate edges of urban centers. But times are changing.

Bicycle Culture 2.0 is about recapturing that time when bikes were a de facto form of transport and bringing it to the 21st Century, taking advantage of decades of new techniques in urban planning and bicycling advocacy to create a new cityscape that is safe for bicyclists and promotes the use of bikes by all segments of the populations, from the young to the young at heart. With the establishment of the revolutionary form-based zoning code known as Miami 21, the City of Miami already has a blueprint for the building blocks of Bicycle Culture 2.0. Now we have to work on the rest of Greater Miami.

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  1. willie
    November 30, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    In reply to your DM: I am not sure we do want the same things.

    I want BikeMiami to promote bicycling in Miami. All cycling. (Including “fast” which you never mention. Have you ever seen how many “fast” riders there are on Sunday mornings on Key Biscayne?)

    I promote “fast” on Twitter because I am in BUSINESS and Twitter is my media of choice to promote/advertise to that (TA) market segment. Not because I do not like “slow” bikes or city riding, or mtn bikes, or because I do not like the culture of bicycles in Europe.

    I do not care who writes the BikeMiami Tweets or where they come from. Are they from the City or not? And if they are not then they are misrepresented.

    I do business in Miami and if the City Tweets and endorces a proposal about how bicycling should be promoted I will voice my opinion. (Don’t take it as a personal attack.)

    If BikeMiami is a private thing…just you and SlowBike, and MBS, and “whoever” then we have a bigger problem.

    What I think is, you, Highmoon et al, have your own personal interests…slow bike…fine…a slow bike, a fast bike they all have tires and chains to fix. I like them all. I ride them all. I sell them all. I don’t care what you ride.

    I think you, Highmoon, like Euro style and therefore we all should…copy Denmark. Fine. Blog it up. But don’t think BikeMiami can do this without criticism.

    I am done discussing this with you. You have obviously done a lot of work on this idea. But the basic idea sucks (don’t take it personally)

    “Copehen’zed Miami” idea makes no sense. It is in the way. It is unnecessary. It has nothing to do with riding a bike in Miami. Miami is not going to become a copy of some city in Europe or the U.S.

    And like it or not, we have a bike culture…beachcruiser, roadies, clunkers at Publix, mtn. bikes. Make it better for them. We are never going to be able to ride our bikes to IKEA, or Sawgrass, or along a dike that is 400 years old. This is a CAR CULTURE, and it is not going to change because we call it something else.

    In Florida we need two things: 1. To make the roads safer for cyclists.
    How? Inforce the traffic laws and make bike lanes.

    2. Get more people out riding.

    Everyone owns a bike. It is not safe to ride here. This is not a problem to be solved with a idea no one can spell or even pronounce.

    Fine, copy the ideas of every city you like. Adopt them here. It does not need a name, and a logo, and a theme. There are only two things to find out: How other cities made their roads safer (not a problem a cyclist can solve). Get more people to ride their bikes…because it is safer.

    Highmoon, promote your “C-M” idea all you want. Write all the blogs you want about it. My attacks are not personal. They are against a weak idea that the City of Miami seems to be proposing. And the idea is in place of getting the job done.

    Now we have to read about “Bicycle Culture 2.0” This is mental masterbation. It is a waste of time. No one cares but you… (This is not a personal attack, you are terrific, handsome fellow who likes girls and bikes and probably puppies or cats) This is criticism of your idea.

    Riding a bike is fun. READING ABOUT RIDING A BIKE IS BORING.
    Everyone owns a bike. We need to get them out riding on safe streets.

    If BikeMiami is an official site of the City of Miami I am going to be critical of it on Twitter. If BikeMiami is you pretending to be speaking for the City then I am going to be more critical.

    I am not going to write you again. I do not want to talk on the telephone.
    I will read your blog. I will not RT or bother you in anyway.

    I was told, as you must have read, that my opinions have cost me business.
    Not so much my “opinion” as what you wrote about them…that my only interest is “fast”…

    I hope now you know my interests in cycling are a lot deeper than “Fast Enthusists”.

    Ride safely.

    Respectfully, Willie

    (Sorry, no spell check)

    • December 1, 2009 at 5:19 PM

      Willie, let me start by stating out some facts:

      This is *my personal blog,* not the City of Miami or Miami Beach, not Bike Miami, not anyone else’s. Mine.
      I am not Bike Miami. I tweet for Bike Miami, but as a volunteer, which means I am not officially part of anything in the City associated with Bike Miami.
      Bike Miami is an *initiative* of the City of Miami Diaz administration. Not a City agency, not a City office. Just an initiative that came from within City Hall.
      With Diaz and the Bike Miami Coordinator gone from City Hall, no one knows what is the current status of Bike Miami. Mayor Regalado has not said anything.

      As far as I know, Bike Miami’s goal is to promote cycling in Miami, and I engage that goal on Twitter by letting followers know about any and all cycling events I find out about. But ultimately, Bike Miami is also interested in creating a bikeable city, and that’s where all the new urbanism, bike infrastructure, transit-related news come from. Bike Miami has also had a close relationship with the local bike blogging community, and that’s why all local bike blog posts are retweeted as well. Tweets seen from @BikeMiami some come (or used to) from within City Hall from the Bike Miami Coordinator, and others come from outside City Hall from me – that has always been made very clear, so there is no misrepresentation there. Currently @BikeMiami tweets come from outside City Hall and until the current administration decides if they will continue to support the Bike Miami initiative, they do not speak for City Hall.

      Bike Miami is not a private endeavor, nor is it “just [me] and SlowBike, and [Miami Bike Scene], and “whoever”.” But as I said, it isn’t an official agency or office of the City either. That said, just because @BikeMiami retweets info about events and blog posts does it mean that the entity that is Bike Miami is supporting them. Unless you see an official statement of “Supported/Sponsored by Bike Miami” it is just Bike Miami sharing information with people. Currently only Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides are official Bike Miami events.

      I think that pretty much covers all the basic info about Bike Miami as it relates to your comment. Anything beyond this will have to wait until there is a new Bike Miami Coordinator (if that happens) and then they can answer more questions for you.

      Now, on to what concerns me personally, my blog and my project, “Copenhagenize Miami.”

      I don’t care one bit if *you* think that my idea to hold a lecture called “Copenhagenize Miami” is a good one or not. I think it is a good one, which is why I’m spending my time, effort and money to try to put it together.

      I am taking great care to write out very clearly what I mean with that phrase, so once all the information is out, THEN you can judge if it has merit or not. But again, as much as I want public support for the idea and the lecture, I know some people won’t go for it. I’m fine with that. You have already made it very clear you don’t like it, have even insulted me repeatedly for even daring to have such an idea. Fine, you made your point. Now move along and leave me to pursue my project in peace.

      If you had taken the time to gather all your facts before spouting off, if you had even taken the time to talk to me like an adult instead of throwing accusations over Twitter, then you would have found out that my concept does not seek to create a copy in Miami of any other city on Earth, but it does involve looking at cities that did things right and learning from them so we can apply those lessons here. This isn’t about supplanting/destroying/ignoring Miami’s current bike culture, but enhancing and expanding it. Yes, we currently live in a car-driven culture, but I don’t have to accept that as the be all-end all, I don’t have to accept defeat that it can’t be changed before even trying. You are very welcomed to not try; I will do what I can.

      In Florida we need two things:
      1. To make the roads safer for cyclists. How? Inforce [sic] the traffic laws and make bike lanes.
      2. Get more people out riding.

      In this we agree 100%. As to whether this is something that can be “solved with a idea no one can spell or even pronounce,” (here’s how) I am willing to take my chances. And it has a name, a logo and a theme because it is supposed to be a lecture, which you clearly missed in my first post on the subject.

      You also continue to confuse what is my project and what is a City project. Copenhagenize Miami is my project, not the City (unless I get them to sponsor in as well, but I haven’t asked yet). So the City isn’t proposing my idea any more than the City is proposing the monthly Critical Mass rides, or the Ally Cat races, or the Loose Canons or the Bicycle Film Festival. Learn to tell the difference between sharing information and officially sponsoring.

      I am a writer, so I write. About the things I like and enjoy, which include riding my bike and advocating for a better bikeable city. When you tell me that…

      This is mental masterbation. It is a waste of time. No one cares but you… (This is not a personal attack, you are terrific, handsome fellow who likes girls and bikes and probably puppies or cats)

      Guess what, that IS a personal attack, whether you want to accept it or not. And if you find that “READING ABOUT RIDING A BIKE IS BORING” then by all means stop reading this and all blogs, news articles, books and tweets about cycling. But let me and all those that do enjoy writing and reading about the subject do so in peace.

      By the way, the tweets that lost you a customer were the ones where you were attacking me. You can see them right here or ask @LoriTodd herself.

      Once again I tell you, I bear no ill feelings towards you nor wish you bad in your business.

      If/When the City of Miami decides what is the fate of Bike Miami, I will let everyone know via Twitter immediately and see where that decision takes us. When that happens, I’m sure whoever ends up in charge will welcome any feedback City of Miami bicyclists have to give. If (and this is a big IF) the City of Miami were to sponsor the lecture entitled “Copenhagenize Miami” then you are welcomed to voice your opinion on the matter to whomever it may concern (please note this has not happened as of this writing). If the lecture entitled “Copenhagenize Miami” is done and presented next May, you are very welcomed to attend and hear what is said. Or not, it’s up to you.

      I do ask that, given that you have such a big problem with me, you leave me alone to do my thing.

      • WilliesBicycles
        December 1, 2009 at 7:01 PM

        Truce Mr. highmoon. No more comments from me. On Twitter. On here.

        Sorry you are so worked up. That was not my intention. You seem to think everything is a “personal attack”. In no way was it meant that way.

        You seem like a sensitive guy. I am sorry to have hurt your feelings.

        I am still confused about bikemiami. But I will drop it.

      • December 2, 2009 at 4:01 PM

        No need to be condescending, Willie. I am open to conversations, but only if you’re gonna be respectful and a partner in the conversation. You can read this blog whenever you want, and comment as well. Offer ideas if what I say doesn’t match what you think. It’s a back and forth.

        As to your confusion about @BikeMiami, I don’t know how else to explain that I am only a volunteer keeping the Twitter account going. I don’t speak for the City of Miami, but I do take care of the Twitter account that bears the name of an initiative that came from the previous City of Miami administration. Nothing more, nothing less.

  2. Yvette
    December 1, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Willie: No offense, but that wasn’t at all respectful. Calling someone’s ideas mental masturbation, saying “no one cares but you” is NOT respectful. And it IS a personal attack. Talking about ideas helps flesh them out and bring them to fruition. Or do you think that, say, our Founding Fathers just went out and didn’t discuss options on how best to build a new nation? Talking, sharing ideas, is a step in making change.

    By the way, did you notice this is Highmoon’s PERSONAL slow bike website, NOT the City’s? I agree with you that the City isn’t doing nearly enough to foster safe cycling and cycle culture here. But let’s be honest, it’s government, and it has its own plodding pace. That’s true here, in Chicago, NY, and everywhere else. That isn’t Highmoon’s or anyone else’s fault, except for those IN the government themselves.

    It sounds to me like you have a personal beef with Highmoon. I don’t know you from Adam, and I don’t care what kind of bike you ride, I am glad there’s another cyclist out there, and I wish you well in your business. Still, I believe that riding AND talking AND acting are the ways to forge change. Not attacking other people for their views.

    The idea of looking at other cities and learning from them is a mature way to do things. What worked there? What didn’t? What *might* work in OUR city? What won’t? Why reinvent the wheel when countless other cities have done what we hope to accomplish in the Greater Miami area (namely, making the city safe for all cyclists)? It’s not about cycling to Ikea. It’s about being able to cycle to your local Publix or Starbucks or the beach or wherever without getting killed–and in harmony with others around you. I totally agree with you that getting people out there on their bikes is the ultimate goal: but HOW do we do it? What can be done to change the car-centric culture here? How can we change the unfortunate truth that many people out on our streets on their bikes are just downright ignorant of the law and of the safety measures they should be taking?

    Those of us who seek change have to talk about the various ideas and options, share what worked in other cities, and go out there and DO something. Not throw stones at one another. You say that Highmoon has cost you business (although I see BikeMiami retweeting a lot of your tweets, and promoting your store). I can’t speak to your claim, because I just don’t know, but I sincerely hope that isn’t true–we need local bike shops! I do ask that you please stop throwing stones, as it doesn’t accomplish much but create bad blood. Let’s work together and respect each other, because I think ultimately we are all on the same side: the side that wants more people out there on bikes, and to make the streets of South Florida safer for ALL cyclists.
    Sincerely,
    Y.

    • WilliesBicycles
      December 1, 2009 at 6:14 PM

      RE: YvetteSays,

      With all respect,

      I am sorry my language offended you. It won’t happen again.

      My disagreement is not a personal attack on your husband. I don’t even know you. My criticisms are of the “Copenhzd-Miamized” proposal, which I thought was being promoted by the City of Miami. A done deal. It’s coming in May…like it or not here is how we are going to promote cycling (my business) in Miami.

      How do I say I think “Copeh…z Miamize” is a dumb idea without hurting your feelings or you taking it personally?

      To disagree with your husband seems to be the problem. Honestly, I do not even think it is his idea. But he is trying to tell us (the working bicycle community) how we are going to promote our business for the next 20 years. Why do you think we should just accept this without comment? When/how/where do we “discuss this”? Why are my disagreements taken as personal attacks? Have you read his tweets? In what forum would he like to discuss this idea? Will you be speaking for him now?

      His blog was written as if this is what is coming. Not, here’s an idea to discuss. “We are going to Copen’z Miami…starting in May” What? “Bike 2.0” What!!

      Who is SlowBikeMiami to tell the working stiffs in the bike business in Miami how we are going to promote safe cycling? He is the expert now? We can’t even question this? We cannot disagree? He’s “hurt” when someone disagrees with him?

      There is no point in going over why I think think “cop’zd” is ill conceived. (nothing personal, I know it is not your idea) I think this is a “for profit” idea by copen’ized.com. They are hussling it; you are buying it. And we (those in the bicycle business in Miami) will be asked to support it, and pay for it, and sponsor it, and buy tickets to hear a lecture from a “consultant” (pitchman) on how if we all hold hands and ride together we can overcome and be just like Denmark. And without any forum to discuss it? Why wouldn’t someone want to ask questions?

      I am all for copying what works in other cities. What we do not need is another clever process that makes everyone feel good and that someone else profits from.

      We need to:

      1. Make the roads safer for cyclists. How? Inforce the traffic laws and make more bike lanes. (nothing the public can do and here the police do nothing to enforce the traffic laws. We need to solve this problem with some creative thinking…)

      2. Get more people out riding. We don’t have to explain to people that riding a bike is easy and you can even go shopping with it, see how they do it in Denmark. They are not stupid. We have to make the streets safe for them.

      I am not “throwing stones” (I haven’t since I was 6) by being critcal of your husband’s ideas. I am not attacking him personally. Or you. “CopenzdMiami” is a weak idea. I would be critical of it no matter its author, source, or profit center.

      I also think the use of @bikemiami by highmoon is deceptive. It looks(the logo)and reads like it is an official of the City of Miami speaking for the City. I have always thought it was THE City of Miami.

      You: “I totally agree with you (me) that getting people out there on their bikes is the ultimate goal: but HOW do we do it?” “Copen’iz Miami” is not the answer. Have you thought about it? Or just bought into it? It is unnecessary. It is in the way. (Sorry I am being negative and contrary but…how else to say it?)

      Everyone owns a bike. We don’t need a “Copen’zd Miamized” campaign to tell them…Okay everybody it’s safe to ride now… It is PROCESS IN THE WAY OF PROGRESS. It is just another plan, and unfortunately, to me at least, not a very good one, a waste of time, effort, and money. No more than another campaign, slogan…(that no one can pronounce or spell)

      You: “It sounds to me like you have a personal beef with Highmoon.” I do not even know the man. My “beef” as you call it with highmoon is that I think he is being deceptive by using a lot of Twitter personalities to push his personal views. I thought (and I think others feel the same) that he is the official cycle spokesperson for the City of Miami. And in this role RT all his other personal interests from the City, and as being endorsed by the City.

      Both of you have said disagreement with your point of view is a “personal attack”. This is your way of saying “no discussion will happen here…this guy (me) is attacking me personally.” This is not so.

      Ms. Y, I respect your views and opinions, but I strongly disagree with them, and two, I don’t think you have any experience to voice them with such expert confidence. And most important…neither of you has ever argued why the “Copeh-Miamized” idea is a good one. This is it. Don’t disagree. You dismiss every criticism with “…he’s attacking me personally…” Sell me! Sell us! Tell us why this is such a great idea. What other ideas did you explore? Who will profit from this?
      Not a fair question? Why?

      I will continue to comment anywhere on why I think “Copen-Miamized” is
      an un-necessary and poor idea and why the bicycle community should not support it. I will never use your name or attack you personally.

      Respectfully.

      (Yes, I was told I lost a customer…@loritodd. This was a result of one of highmoons tweets last night that I was “takin off the gloves and attacking” him. Lots of tweets like that from him. No problem, she was never a customer, but I am the one who should be “taking it personally”.)

      • December 2, 2009 at 3:54 PM

        My wife will choose if to reply herself at her own time. These are my comments on points you raise here.

        My criticisms are of the “Copenhzd-Miamized” proposal, which I thought was being promoted by the City of Miami. […] I also think the use of @bikemiami by highmoon is deceptive. It looks(the logo)and reads like it is an official of the City of Miami speaking for the City. I have always thought it was THE City of Miami.

        You keep saying, regardless of how many times I have corrected you, that this idea is being brought by the City of Miami. It isn’t. This is me, Daniel, proposing it and organizing it. If and when sponsors come in, then they can be held accountable for that association, not before. I have also made it very clear on the Twitter page and feed that I am a volunteer only, so if you thought otherwise that’s on you.

        How do I say I think “Copeh…z Miamize” is a dumb idea without hurting your feelings or you taking it personally?

        How about we start by not using derogatory language like stupid, dumb, “mental masterbation,” yes? How about we instead talk about WHY you think it is not a good idea; you know, speak/write out the reasons why you think it is an idea without merit and (most important) offer solutions or alternate options for consideration. That is the way to have an adult conversation, not throwing sticks and then saying “Hey, I didn’t mean to offend you.”

        Second, where do you make the leap from “I want to hold a lecture” to “I want to tell (quote) the working bicycle community, the working stiffs in the bike business in Miami (end quote) how to run your business”? I can’t tell you or anyone how to run your business; I can suggest that maybe you should carry X or Y, but it’s your store. Besides, where have I said anything about bike retail shops? They are a very important component of the bicycling engine, but this idea does not address them directly, at least not in any way I have thought of or stated. So I understand well that you want to protect your business, but I don’t understand why you are being so paranoid when I have not said anything about the retail component.

        You want to discuss my idea (and hey, I want people to discuss the idea!), you can do so here, in this blog, in the post that addresses the point you want to talk about; that’s why this is a blog with comments and not a closed broadcasting stream. Do so in a respectful manner, and when you disagree, say why and offer counterpoint ideas. When I wrote my post on Critical Mass, absolutely the most controversial issue I have tackled to date, people disagreed with me in a respectful and polite manner; I responded in the same way and we had a really good conversation all around. I don’t care if you disagree with me, but I am not interested in arguments and useless adjectives. Either we have an adult conversation, or we can go our own way.

        His blog was written as if this is what is coming. Not, here’s an idea to discuss.

        Allow me to quote from my own post “Help Me To Copenhagenize Miami” from November 16:

        I want to bring Copenhagenize Consulting’s Mikael Colville-Andersen to Miami to give a lecture as part of the National Bike Month celebrations in May 2010.

        I was very clear that I *want* this to happen, not this *is* going to happen (I mean, if I had the money to spare myself, it would be a done deal, but that’s not the case). As far as I’m concerned, this is a project I will do my best to bring to fruition, but as with every blog post I write, feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Want to talk about it? Please do.

        There is no point in going over why I think think “cop’zd” is ill conceived.

        Then you’re just rabble-rousing for no particular reason? If there’s no point, why do you bother, why do you care? You’re sending mixed signals.

        I think this is a “for profit” idea by copen’ized.com. They are hussling it; you are buying it.

        I never said it wasn’t. Mikael has a fee for his lectures in addition to airfare, lodging and expenses, just like any other lecturer has. I was also very clear and upfront about that in my initial post. As for whether I’m “buying it,” yes, you could say I am. I like Mikael’s concept of promoting bicycling advocacy, I believe in it and try to emulate it as I can. Again, no big surprise there.

        We don’t need a “Copen’zd Miamized” campaign to tell them…Okay everybody it’s safe to ride now… It is PROCESS IN THE WAY OF PROGRESS. It is just another plan, and unfortunately, to me at least, not a very good one, a waste of time, effort, and money. No more than another campaign, slogan…(that no one can pronounce or spell)

        But tell me *why* it is all those things. You haven’t, so I can’t offer any counterpoints. You are just saying “this sucks” and nothing else.
        And by the way, it is spelled Co-pen-ha-gen and pronounced like this. Stop citing that as a reason.

        Ms. Y, I respect your views and opinions, but […] I don’t think you have any experience to voice them with such expert confidence.

        Now you’re being condescending. Who has the experience to voice an opinion, then? You? What does it take to have that experience? Who decides the criteria to voice an opinion on bicycling advocacy? Get off your high horse. I (and my wife) am not giving out edicts, proclamations and laws, I am offering ideas and opinions, and last I checked, I can do so all I want in the US of A, just like you. When you hear me start spouting off on bike repairs and you know for a fact that I am dead wrong, yes, absolutely correct me and tell me I have no clue what I’m talking about. Beyond that, offer what you got to the conversation or move along.

        And most important…neither of you has ever argued why the “Copeh-Miamized” idea is a good one. This is it. Don’t disagree. You dismiss every criticism with “…he’s attacking me personally…” Sell me! Sell us! Tell us why this is such a great idea. What other ideas did you explore? Who will profit from this?

        Again, quoting myself from the post “Help Me To Copenhagenize Miami” from November 16:

        Keep watching Slow Bike Miami in the coming weeks for more information on this push to Copenhagenize Miami.

        I’m telling you right there that I’m going to be explaining the whole concept more as time goes on. This series of definitions are part of that elaboration, as will be other posts in weeks to come. Did you actually read my post or just start disagreeing on principle?

        Did you disagree with the Miami Bicycle Master Plan feedback sessions? Do you disagree with the proposed series of lectures by the Florida Bicycle Association? Do you disagree with any kind of Bicycle Summit as are held in a variety of cities, Miami included? Do you disagree with any kind of forum for talking about bicycles or just the one I propose?

  3. December 3, 2009 at 9:48 PM

    I don’t get why people get in such uproars about slow biking.
    I’m not a slow biker myself, but I don’t see a need to knock it. Unlike cars, a slow bike causes me no inconvenience, i simply go past it, end of discussion.

    I also don’t think you have any intention of monopolizing bike practices in Miami. You know there are other kinds of cyclists out there, and I’m sure you have no serious problems with them as such.

    I think better bicycle infrastructure will benefit all cyclists, especially if they keep an eye on making transportation easier. It really bugs me, all those random bike lanes in poorly trafficked areas.

    • December 4, 2009 at 2:13 PM

      I wish I was in a position to have such a say in how bicycling practices in Miami go; I’d do wonders with that power. As it is, I’m just another guy on a bike with a blog to voice opinions and ideas, and hopefully those will lead, somehow, to change that’s better for all of us.

  4. December 4, 2009 at 3:00 AM

    The idea of remaking an aspect of American society over in the image of a western European state makes me a little uneasy. [see healthcare debate]

    http://www.smallgov.org/?p=511

    But on the other hand, I most certainly have no problem with observing and attempting to learn from what has happened elsewhere.

    And if someone wants to underwrite a lecture, I have no problem with that; I wouldn’t even rule out attending.

    There are as many ways to promote bicycling as there are motivations for doing so.

    For my part, I hold cycling up as a means of individual liberation, as opposed the mass-use, burdensomely expensive, heavily regulated and unhealthily sedentary motor vehicle dependency.

    I was reading earlier on CNN about a study that concluded that rising obesity and the concomitant sedentary lifestyle was overriding life expectancy gains from reduction in tobacco use.

    Through cycling, individuals can enjoy greater control over their own lives and experience a solution to the transportation problem that is more consistent with human nature than the current state of motor vehicle usage.

    Anything that serves to advance, promote, or facilitate cycling I’m inclined to view in a positive light. Even if the motivation is distinct from mine. Which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be critical, of course.

    But I think that rather than implicitly bickering towards futile attempts a unanimity, we should find effective ways to agree to disagree and let each go his own way…

    —The Bikemessenger
    .-= Robert Noval´s last blog… A Most Reliable Prostitute =-.

    • December 4, 2009 at 2:22 PM

      Hi, Robert.
      I agree with you on your first point. I’m fully aware of the basic fact that Europe and the US are two very different beasts, and each has its own needs. I don’t think we can recreate Copenhagen or Amsterdam or Portland here in Miami, but yeah, we can look, learn and adapt, and that’s all I’m proposing via this idea.

      And ultimately, I believe the chance to have these conversations is essential in the process of advocacy. It is a chance for people to gather up, put their ducks in a row, see what’s there and what needs to be there, then head out refreshed and refocused, even people that believe in different methodologies.

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