It was John Archibald Wheeler who said “Time is what stops everything happening at once.” All you have to do, therefore, if you wish to make time disappear, is try to do everything at once, as I have been doing of late. The business started I guess, with my recent trip to Sydney to speak at Dollars and Sense of Building for Bikes (masterminded by Rebecca Short and sponsored by Omafiets bikes). It was well worth the effort, not least for the opportunity to see a few dozen bikes parked outside the Institute of Architects’ headquarter in Sydney.
Even better than the bikes was the talk by Emlyn Keane (Head of Property Management and Sustainable Performance at AMP Capital Investors) who showed us great slides of 5-star bike parking and shower facilities going into surplus car parking space beneath their office towers in Sydney. Yep, you heard correctly: surplus car parking space. Traffic congestion heading into large cities has reached the point where high paying tenants don’t care if parking awaits them when they reach the city. Executives are choosing to ride.
Office bike parking is something I saw taking off in Portland 2 years ago, and it’s not the only trend to cross the Pacific. Office lockers and showers are precursors, it seems, to a city being overran with beards, ironic tattoos, fixies and Indian Pale Ale manufacturing. The shock jocks can blame all of these things on bike infrastructure and the failure of driving to deliver on its promise of speed.
I’ve been reminded this week that driving must also suck-eggs in all of those countries where people speak Spanish. I know, because hits to my blog have gone crazy since ArchDaily republished a story I wrote for them, translated into Spanish. In the past I have spent a week in Mexico City, another week in Barcelona (where I’m sure they know Spanish), and I have even had my son attend Bloomingdale School (PS145) in New York where most of the kids speak Spanish as their first language, but I must confess I have never really wrapped my head around the enormity of the Spanish speaking world. Last week opened my eyes.
And my fame only climbed, with Archinect publishing this story about me. I felt as famous as Lou Reed. But then he died and I began to feel less famous than Lou Reed after all. Craving a boost to my fragile male ego, I made the mistake of racing against guys who are faster than me.
Resigning myself to the truth that preparing presentations all day means I’m far from being the fasted cyclist in town, I set my sights on a new goal: to be the most fashionable:
In other news my article in the Conversation lampooning John Forester, drew John Forester out of retirement to leave comment #92 (thank you James for tipping him off. What if JF wants to litigate?) 103 more people left even less coherent comments where that article was linked to on reddit, and it was even reprinted by SBS Cycling Central. And I’ve finally figured out how to use Pinterest to collect photos of buildings that I believe can inform a Cycle Space Architecture.