I’ve been busy lately preparing a few presentations I’ll be giving on cycling and cities, in the next couple of days. A lot of thought needs to go into what bike to arrive on, what clothes to match it to, how I should wear my hair, and of course what images I should steal from the web to put in my powerpoint presentations. As a result, I’ve been neglecting my blog, and worse still, neglecting my crowd-funding venture on pozible, to raise funds to promote my new book when it hits the shelves in coming months. So how about I take a short cut, and post a few teasing passages. Here are the first two paragraphs from a chapter called From Brownfields to Bikefields. If they get your attention, do have a look at the rewards on my crowd funding page. They include talks I can give to your office, logo placement within the book, ads on my blog, and incredible natural fragrances my Primrose has developed inspired by scents I know from my favourite bike routes.
Infrastructure and laws privileging bicycles over cars in the Netherlands were borne of unique circumstances in the early 1970s: hundreds of children killed on their bikes every year, mass demonstrations, car-free Sundays and an oil crisis. We can learn from the Dutch, but treating their story as a meta-narrative, as though strategies they employed can be repeated where politics differ, is folly.
There is, however, a pragmatic approach to achieving more cycling in cities where change is coming too slowly; an approach borne of current political circumstances and the post-industrial urban condition. It involves building bike paths where they don’t impact voters who drive – on rail easements, parks, waterways – then rezoning whatever brownfields these paths intersect, to permit Bicycle-Oriented Developments (BODs)…
(Is that enough?)