Speed over sense? Individual choices and marketing cycling
While these debates and opinion pieces are great fun there is a serious point underlying it that particularly interests us at Better By Bike, which is "What is it that gets more people cycling, more safely, more often"?
The essential website copenhagenize.com has many articles on this topic including one with the following challenging thoughts.
"The reemergence of the bicycle on the urban landscape has brought New Cyclists onto the streets and many of them are influenced by the pre-exisiting sub-cultures, be it 'gear' or attitude. Their role models are clearly defined, whether they adhere to them or not. By taking to the bicycle they become, in the eyes of the general population, members of the sub-culture. Often against their will."
"The question is how much sub-cultural cycling groups are limiting the growth of urban cycling with their dominant fringe attitude. How can we separate cycling's image from sub-culture and normalise it? That's the challenge."
We're also interested in the Diffusion of Innovations theory (how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures), as it relates to cycling.
Again copenhagenize.com has an article considering this, including this graph.
Where are we in Bristol? The overall mode share for cycling is 7% but cycling to work in some wards is over 17%. We're not needing to work with Innovators, and have been focussing on Early Adoptors. Should we now be thinking about Early Majority?
Bristol's better by bike.
* not to be confused with Bristol Cycling Chic