Naysayers: You Can’t Do THAT On A Bike!
(Psst: You totally can.)
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Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to a community meeting and heard someone say something like this:
We shouldn’t build that protected bike lane because you can’t buy a sofa on a bike. Won’t somebody please think of the sofas!
— Neil Winkelmann (@winkybiker) February 6, 2020
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
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 …
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.