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

(Psst: You totally can.)

Mattresses-on-bike lead

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

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.

Via Creative Commons.
Via Creative Commons

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.

Via Creative Commons.
Via Creative Commons

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.

Via Creative Commons.
Via Creative Commons

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.

Via Travel With Kitties.
Via Travel With Kitties

3. Look professional

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

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.

Via Real Hartford
Via Real Hartford

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 Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Via Urban Observer
Via Urban Observer

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.)

Eggs on bike
Via Pinterest

7. Transport every hat

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

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

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.

Via
Via Pinterest

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.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

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

Via Business Insider
Via Business Insider

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

Well, at least we can dream.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

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Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. There’s a difference between bike-safety warnings that focus on blaming victims and warnings that recommend actual systemic improvements. The launch of a Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets by U.S. Secretary […]