Sharing the Benefits of the Bicycle

An insightful post on the secretrepublic.com goes beyond the health, environmental, cost savings, and traffic reducing benefits of the bicycle. The author describes the bicycle as “an instrument of experiential understanding.

What does it mean to be an instrument of experiential understanding?  It means that the urban environment is perceived more actively while riding a bicycle.  You are engaged by the sights, sounds, and smells around you.  You notice the historic monument in Lincoln Heights or the hidden restaurant in Koreatown.  You also notice how our current infrastructure can reduce our quality of life.

Here lies the secret weapon of the urban renaissance.

You see, those of us fighting for our cities, we struggle because too few see the problems, and fewer understand the solutions. They are quite literally racing past the issue, too busy to see, too fast to comprehend.

I cannot approach the average citizen and explain the innate intricacies of land use and transportation relationships, how density is vital to urban sustainability, how our sprawled real estate developments are built on economic quicksand, how our freeways shredded the urban fabric like a rusty dagger, how deeply our lives would be enriched by a collective commitment to urbanism.

The post reminds us that by encouraging others to ride with us we can share our vision for a more dynamic city better than words can sometimes describe.  Like the bicycle, the message is simple and effective.