For those of you unfamiliar with his work Mikael Colville-Andersen - he is a film director and photographer from Copenhagen and a passionate advocate against compulsory helmet legislation.
I saw this image on Copenhagen Cycle Chic recently and the tag line (and title of this discussion) really got me thinking. What does "Dressed for the destination, not the journey" actually mean?
Is it actually about living in a place where no-one should think twice about riding a bicycle for transport?
A city where it is a natural and completely acceptable for anyone to ride a bike for what ever occasion at any time of the day / night or year?
It has nothing to do with the journey anymore, no special clothes for the trip required!
From my point of view it is really interesting to explore the issues of using a bicycle for everyday transport from many different perspectives.
It is not just the cycle culture of a place, but the planning, street design and behavioral change programs that can make this a reality for us all.
What is the future for Adelaide?
Likewise Colin, I always ride with a helmet, essentially I grew up with helmets so it seems pretty natural to me to wear one. However, please don't take this the wrong way, but I really don't want this discussion to turn into a helmet debate - been there, done that ;-)
I am more interested in exploring issues with bicycle transport - helmets are one part of the puzzle, but there are so many other factors. Riding a bicycle without even considering it, or questioning it as a 'normalised' transport option, not an 'alternative' to something else is what I am really interested in.
Modern technology allows people to interact easily even though they may now be on different sides of the city. The same circle of friends is maintained, rather than developing local relationships. The swing from one job for life to a more fluid workforce is also a factor. Pace of life and a 'broad working horizon' automatically promotes vehicular transport. To me these are issues we're faced with.
Female cyclists indicator of 'bikeability'
Getting people out of cars and onto bicycles, a much more sustainable form of transportation, has long vexed environmentally conscious city planners. Although bike lanes painted on streets and automobile-free ‘greenways’ have increased ridership over the past few years, the share of people relying on bikes for transportation is still less than 2 percent, based on various studies. An emerging body of research suggests that a superior strategy to increase pedal pushing could be had by asking the perennial question: What do women want?
In the US, men’s cycling trips surpass women’s by at least 2:1. This ratio stands in marked contrast to cycling in European countries, where urban biking is a way of life and draws about as many women as men – sometimes more. In the Netherlands, where 27 percent of all trips are made by bike, 55 percent of all riders are women. In Germany 12 percent of all trips are on bikes, 49 percent of which are made by women.
“If you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed ‘bikeability indexes’ – just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female”, says Jan Garrard, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and author of several studies on biking and gender differences.
Women are considered an ‘indicator species’ for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child-rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organised around practical urban destinations to make a difference.
“Despite our hope that gender roles do not exist, they still do,” says Jennifer Dill, a transportation and planning researcher at Portland State University. Addressing women’s concerns about safety and utility “will go a long way” toward increasing the number of people on two wheels, Dill explains.
Read more at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=getting-more-bicyc...
Ah - the helmet thing again.
I have ridden thousands of klicks with and without. I have crashed with and without - head first (well face first) without and with. Obviously I am still alive and lucid.
Now I'm a bloke and I "wear" my hair short, a helmet makes no real difference to my final "style", but does it make a difference to my traveling safety?
Arguments abound both for and against but if you are curious I'd suggest actually looking at what the standards are required to protect against - which it seems is not any more than what the skull has naturally evolved to protect against! Go figure.
I am a strong supporter of this type of thinking. It is the way cycling should be seen and marketed. That is, as an everyday activity that everyone does without thinking - like driving or using a vacuum cleaner. Seeing more people using bikes as everyday transport and dressed in normal clothes would encourage more to do it and, IMHO, make our cities much more pleasant.
I totally agree with you when you say "it is not just the cycle culture of a place, but the planning, street design and behavioral change programs". My view is that it mainly the planning and street design that make a key difference.
Are you the same Edward who has a letter published in this months Australian Cyclist magazine on a very similar topic to this (the distraction of the compulsory helmet debate to actual planning for cycling)? Was just reading this over the morning coffee!
If it is your work please feel free to re-post it here. Like the opinions and debate on these issues which are more complex then helmets!
I cycle to work which is 110km per week, apart from the health benefits and the joy of riding it's the money saved:
Multi Trip bus ticket about $32 per week ($1600 per year) or car parking $75 per week ($3750 per year) + about $50 petrol per week ($2500 per year).
Also no pollution.
Love it Mark! I have a book called How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, ... - though mainly North American focused the themes of the book can be easily translated into the Australian context. Main thing is depreciation of an automobile - the big 'hidden' cost to the individual in owning a car. I only work 4 days a week because I don't own a car and choose to rent where it is locationally efficient rather than buy a house far from work and school (but that's just my household - does not work for everyone of course)!!
I can also recommend Simply Car Free, an ebook and good read!