While preparing my post, “Bicycle Hymn of the Republicans,” I was referred to Kathryn Reid Moore of the South Florida Bicycle Coalition. We spoke on the phone, and it turned out she was working on a similarly themed post for Streetsblog.
Cost reductions, profit margins and jobs creation are what rally the Republican Party and in all of these areas, bicycling really shines. Streetsblog readers know that bicycling infrastructure has a far greater return on investment than a typical car-specific roadway. Even if you take away the “associated” benefits (health, increased public safety, etc), cyclists require less space and cause a fraction of the costly wear and tear that their motored counterparts do to asphalt.
This helped motivate the new Republican chair of the Transportation Committee, Rep. John Mica, to concede bicycles’ right to the road and promise a place for this mode in a new transportation bill. In Mica’s home state of Florida, there are more than 1,000 bicycle retailers and dealers, employing almost 5,000 Floridians, with gross revenues approaching $400 million. And all of these numbers are growing. … Think those bike shop owners are all Democrats? Think again!
What I find refreshing about this perspective is that it sounds so realistic–unlike the selective libertarianism of some on the right (e.g. Tea Party types) who really don’t like the Federal funding that they don’t like. Hell, aren’t we all selective libertarians? I don’t like the Federal funding that I don’t like either.
A pure libertarian wouldn’t want Federal spending on anything other than defense–if that. I respect that position for its philosophical consistency, but it’s wildly Utopian and does not reflect the American political reality.
The reality is that this Congress will have to pass a transportation bill. It will largely be car-centric. Just how car-centric it will be will likely depend on the voices from the rational right–such as Moore’s–being heard.
Let’s set aside politics and discuss something more pleasant: poo.
You heard it here first; cycling makes your poo nicer. Or rather, riding a bike can help to boost your bowels. “Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr Ana Raimundo.
What? A crude American being more subtle than a Brit blogger? It won’t happen again.
Yesterday the Bicycle Film Festival kicked off in Miami.
The BFF was started by Brendt Barbur after his infamous bicycle accident with a bus in New York over 10 years ago.
The BFF has expanded from its beginnings in New York to include 40 stops from Tokyo to Sydney to London worldwide.
In these last ten years the BFF has given the bicycle movement a venue to make, show and celebrate their movies and art.
This video is a compilation of clips from the best bike films of the last ten years:
Our DC-based author, Stacey Moses, let me know that her employer, Revolution Cycles, won “a different level.” I met Stacey for the first time last week, so I can’t say I know her that well. But I think that was her tactful way of saying, Neener neener! We got Gold!
Game on, Stacey! We just wrote a big check to our local cycling organization to support Bike to Work Week. We’re introducing a fleet of e-bikes for employees to demo. We’re building covered and locked bike parking for employees. And we’ve got other top-secret bike-friendly initiatives underway that I’m not going to tell you about right now.
Watch your back, Revolution.