Regular readers know that a few years ago I started Bike Hour. It’s like Earth Hour only everyone rides bikes — I don’t care what they do with their light switches. Since its heady beginnings Bike Hour has turned into a small, but very widespread facebook community. It has the potential to grow, but since a core tenet is that no one should own or control it, Bike Hour is unlikely to find a sufficiently motivated promoter. It will certainly not grow the way some other social media phenomena have grown—only to burn out as quickly.
This is still my favourite shared video following Bike Hour, made by a bike blogger in Poland who filmed everyone cycling during Bike Hour in Krakow, absurdly pretending they all knew they were riding for Bike Hour:
Bike Hour’s relationship to mainstream media is like that of a recluse. The media outlets that have been foolish enough to try to cover it, have not found the story they’d sought. Any that ask me for interviews still, only do so because they have not done their homework, and think it is some kind of critical mass ride.
In vain I shall try now to elicit your pity, for the predicament I have gotten myself into. I recently received the following questions, and gave the following answers, to an American radio station.
Q.1 Tell us about your project.
Q.2 How did you conceive of it?
A.2 It all started with point 5 of this blog post: http://cycle-space.com/?p=8443
Q.3 What is the purpose of it? (May be a repeat of 2)
A.3 For people to show they have bought the bikes, so now it is governments turn to build the infrastructure
Q.3a. it seems you are playing up the the idea of safety in numbers, do you think that only 1 or 2 cyclists isn’t enough to create safe-streets, whereas a populace is? what is the magic number of cyclists is on the streets to make it safe?!
A.3a. You’re confusing Bike Hour with critical mass. Most bike hour observers ride on their own.
Q.4. How many riders do you get out to it?
A. 4. How many people celebrate Christmas? There is no way of knowing… although I doubt we have as many observers as Christmas.
Q. 5. Do you have any perception of how big the movement is?
A. 1105 last time I looked here: https://www.facebook.com/BikeHour
Q. 6. In the northern hemisphere, March 21 is usually a pretty cold day. Do you have any plans to do all the equinoxes (december, march, june, september)?
A.6 We want to be able to use bikes for transport year-round. Aiming for summer months suggest cycling is recreational only.
To conclude let me answer the question posed in the title, “Whatever happened to Bike Hour?” It is happening this coming Sunday! As usual I shall be out riding with my kids, and taking some photos to share with other Bike Hour observers on Facebook.