New York Times: don’t send world “back to their bicycles”

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by Frank Steele on Apr 25, 2006 at 11:54 AM

Aaron Naparstek | Party on

Aaron Naparstek was a little taken aback by one sentence in a recent New York Times editorial. Overall, he agrees with the message, that China’s migration to cars and greater energy usage will have profound environmental impact unless the US helps China leapfrog oil and also makes sacrifices to reduce the US oil habit.

So far, so good. Then, we get:

The United States doesn’t have the right to tell a third of humanity to go back to their bicycles because the party’s over.

The assumption, as Naspartek notes, is that bicycling represents a backward step, which doesn’t match his own perceptions:

That’s so different than how I see it. Getting on my bike to drop my son at day-care, run an errand, or go to a meeting isn’t a sacrifice. It doesn’t mean “the party’s over.” It doesn’t represent some sort of personal or societal failure. The way I see it, a city filled with bike traffic is the party.

Naspartek also provides a link to this awesome book cover, by Mona Caron for the book Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration .

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