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

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

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