Polling attitudes on the “invisible cyclist”

We’d like to extend a special thanks to the Bike League’s Equity Initiative Manager, Adonia Lugo, for hosting last Friday’s “Equitable Bike Advocacy and the ‘Invisible Cyclist'” webinar. It was a great success and you can listen to the webinar or view a curated collection of #bikes4all tweets from the event here.

The following twitter exchange captures the gist of what the discussion meant for the future of the “invisible cyclist.” Continue reading

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

Invisible Cyclist Rides Again

It’s been well over a year since Julian and I conceived of and launched The Invisible Cyclist. And while our inaugural post, Origins of “The Invisible Cyclist” Blog, generated quite a bit of interest, the weeks and then months slipped away without another peep from us…until now.

Part of the reason for the silence is that we realized much of what we had hoped to achieve with The Invisible Cyclist–stimulating dialogue around the roles of the bicycle and burgeoning bicycle cultures and advocacy movements in remaking cities and their transportation systems to be just, equitable and sustainable–was already happening. Continue reading

Origins of “The Invisible Cyclist” Blog

Recently Steve was preparing to teach a course in which students would develop a bicycle transportation plan for the University of San Francisco, so he began to look into the range of issues the class would need to understand in order to situate the plan in the broader context of the bicycle advocacy and bicycle culture bursting from what seemed like every corner of San Francisco.

Trained as en environmental sociologist, and working at a university that takes its social justice mission seriously, transportation justice was one issue Steve knew the class would have to examine. So he delved into the literature on the transportation justice movement and looked at the websites of major environmental justice organizations doing transportation justice work. He found little to no mention of the role of the bicycle in transportation justice. Continue reading