Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Bicycling

Naysayers: You Can’t Do THAT On A Bike!

Coord invites cities and other curb managers to apply for its Digital Curb Challenge to undertake a free curb management pilot program in 2020. Applications close on Feb. 14. Click here for information.

Raise your hand if you've ever gone to a community meeting and heard someone say something like this:

https://twitter.com/winkybiker/status/1225448347785281536?s=21

Yeah, we have, too. It's an extreme version of one of the most frustrating arguments that cycling advocates hear every day: "Because you can't [insert thing that's hard, but not impossible to do on a bike in your city here] on two wheels, there's no point in investing in making biking easier at all! Case closed!"

It's an argument that completely ignores why biking is so hard in our communities: because everything about our built environment prioritizes cars — and the argument will persist until we redesign our cities to put sustainable transportation at the center of street planning.

Here are a few photos that bust stubborn myths about what you can't do on a bike. Think we missed something? Post a picture of yourself doing it, tag it #ThingsYouCantDoOnABike on social, and we'll add the best ones to this post.

1. Take your kids to school

Any parent knows that getting a preschooler to put on their socks in the morning is the ultimate challenge. Getting junior to school without a car shouldn't be — especially if you live in a place that's urbanized enough to put that school within active-transportation-distance of your home.

When the kiddos gets a little older, you can bike with them. For extra points, carry their backpacks in your rear basket so they don't have to.

2. Travel with a pet

Is this entry an excuse to post photos of a cute dog in a bike trailer? Yes, yes it is.

Real talk: getting a cat to the vet sucks even if you're taking them in an armored car. At least you can decompress a little on the ride before you have to coax Noodles out to get her shots.

3. Look professional

Photos (left) Via Creative Commons
Photos (left) Via Creative Commons (right) Via Austin Monthly
Photos (left) Via Creative Commons

You: "But I could never bike to work! I work in a (gasp) formal office environment!"

This dapper gentleman: "Hold my briefcase."

You: "But I wear skirts!"

This woman: "Oh, honey. Have you heard of Google?"

4. Get your bike to the bike shop

Calm down, Schoedinger. The paradox of how to get your bike to the shop when you have a flat tire is easily solved by ... just borrowing another bike. If you live in a city with a bus network, better yet, just throw that thing on the front rack. Or lobby for a denser development pattern so you can just walk it to the bike shop down the street.

5. No, but seriously, how will I fulfill my endless need for ever newer and larger furniture???

OK, seriously, how often are you re-furnishing your apartment anyway, dude? There is space in society for occasional delivery trucks! You do not need to own a car the size of one to use every single day! But fine, if your house is literally a West Elm showroom ...

Via Flickr
Via Flickr
Via Flickr

6. Move a ton of eggs

Poultry farmers of America, look at the glorious car-free future that awaits you! (But for real: please consider this our mic drop on the perennial "but I buy my groceries at Costco, and I can't go there on a bike" argument.)

7. Transport every hat

It's like a real-life version of that kid's book, "Caps for Sale," without that annoying monkey.

8. Move ... whatever these things are

Construction equipment? Very large pool noodles? Dunno! Just throw 'em on top of your rickshaw and have yourself a time.

9. Give the most epic Valentine's Day gift ever

This one's a little blurry, but trust us: your love wants this more than whatever Walgreens chocolate-aisle nonsense you got this year.

Seriously, step up your game, or Mr. Steal-Your-Girl (-Or-Guy) here might do it for you.

10. Haul away the last vestiges of car culture after society finally comes to its senses

Well, at least we can dream.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Got Served

Another day, another GOP lawsuit trying to overturn a Biden administration climate change rule.

April 19, 2024

Disabled People Are Dying in America’s Crosswalks — But We’re Not Counting Them

The data on traffic fatalities and injuries doesn’t account for their needs or even count them. Better data would enable better solutions.

April 19, 2024

LA: Automated Enforcement Coming Soon to a Bus Lane Near You

Metro is already installing on-bus cameras. Soon comes testing, outreach, then warning tickets. Wilshire/5th/6th and La Brea will be the first bus routes in the bus lane enforcement program.

April 18, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Charging Up Transportation

This week, we talk to the great Gabe Klein, executive director of President Biden's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (and a former Streetsblog board member), about curbside electrification.

April 18, 2024

Why Does the Vision Zero Movement Stop At the Edge of the Road?

U.S. car crash deaths are nearly 10 percent higher if you count collisions that happen just outside the right of way. So why don't off-road deaths get more air time among advocates?

April 18, 2024
See all posts