Bikestravaganza: Grist’s top bike stories of 2011
Photo: Mayhem Chaos2. The bad
Not all Americans are starry-eyed over bikes. In New York, the new bike lanes have been the subject of all manner of liberal NIMBYism. Congressman Anthony Weiner promised to tear out bike lanes — only to explain later via Twitter that he was just kidding. (Weiner, who was at the time a member of the Congressional bike caucus, resigned after it came to light that he’d sent a photo of, um, his shorts, to a woman via that same Twitter account.)
Meanwhile, in Hull, Wis., the town fathers came up with a creatively stupid solution to bike and pedestrian safety problems: Forbid bikers and pedestrians from using the roads. In Elizabethton, Tenn., Teresa Tryon was threatened with arrest for letting her daughter bike to school on her own. And then there was the dude who crashed his car into a bike store. (OK, it was an accident, but really, is there any place safe from cars?)
This fall, we saw GM’s “Reality Sucks” ad campaign trying to convince young fellas that riding a bike would get them laughed at by the ladies. If nothing else, the ad campaign gave Giant Bicycles the fodder for a sweet slap-back campaign.
And we were heartened to note that in November, when a Chicago columnist tried to pick a fight with cyclists over what he called the “war on cars,” he didn’t get many takers. Of course, if it’s “war on cars” you’re after, Seattle alt weekly The Stranger is happy to oblige.