Equitable Bike Advocacy and the “Invisible Cyclist”

As we described in our last post, a new report by the Bike League questions the continued usefulness of the term “invisible cyclist.” Adonia Lugo, one of the report’s authors and Equity Initiative Manager for the League of American Bicyclists, has organized a webinar on “Equitable Bike Advocacy and the ‘Invisible Cyclist'” to explore a range of questions around bike advocacy the “invisible cyclist.”

Steve Zavestoski will be part of the discussion and will live tweet the webinar from @invisiblcyclist. A description of the event, scheduled for Oct. 31 at 10am PDT, follows.

From the Bike League:

In our recent report on “The New Movement: Bike Equity Today”, we shared interviews with many people around the U.S. who see the bicycle as a community empowerment tool. We also questioned the term “invisible cyclist,” which many bike advocates use as a way to refer to people of color who use bikes but do not participate in advocacy. Does this term make the efforts of today’s bike advocates who are people of color harder to see? Join us for a discussion with Professor Stephen Zavestoski of the University of San Francisco, the co-editor of the new book Incomplete Streets, Do Lee of Biking Public Project in New York City, and Najah Shakir of Boston Bikes as we explore what invisibility means for bike users and bike advocates.

Register here

Invisible cyclist: Has the term reached the end of its usefulness?

The Bike League’s new report, The New Movement: Bike Equity Today (PDF) asks an important question about terms like “invisible riders” and “invisible cyclists”:

Have the terms distracted us from the vital importance of making every person who rides a bike visible?  Continue reading

Bicycling and the “Cyclist Identity”: Understanding the “Bikelash”

The recent “bikelash” from commentators like Courtland Milloy, who equates bicyclists with bullies and terrorists, has precipitated some thoughtful analyses of the broader trends evoking such strong responses. Eric Jaffe’s Strange As It Seems, Cycling Haters Are a Sign of Cycling Success does an excellent job of pointing out some of the more intelligent analysis, such as Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things by Carl Alviani and last year’s Cyclists Aren’t ‘Special,’ and They Shouldn’t Play by Their Own Rules by Sarah Goodyear. Continue reading

Asking tough questions about race, class, privilege, and sustainable cities

Through this blog and twitter we’ve been able to discover a pretty wide range of advocates, activists, bloggers, activist-bloggers, academics, scholar-activists, and others, who are writing about invisible cyclists in one form or another. We posted a bit of a roundup previously (see Invisible Cyclist Rides Again). As we discover new voices from time to time, we will post about them here. Continue reading

Critical Race Theory and Invisible Cyclists

The positive response to our post “Lessons from the Green Lanes? Listen to Communities of Color” pointed us towards a few pieces on invisible cyclists that we had not yet discovered. In order to recognize some of the earlier thinking on the topic of invisible cyclists, we plan on occasion to re-post work that might now be dated or otherwise hidden in the cracks and crevices of the Internet.

Having stumbled on a piece titled “Invisible Riders in the City of Angels,” by Jonna McKone, we were led to a thought-provoking analysis of some of the prominent invisible cyclists of Los Angeles–Latino immigrants. Continue reading