Comment 40263

By moylek (registered) - website | Posted April 29, 2010 at 08:18:38

Some people are very attached to their stereotypes. I say that as someone very fond of a number of stereotypes of his own. But they can get in the way of understanding.

Cycling around Hamilton, I've never got the impression that my velocipedic brethren are a bunch of tree-hugging, patchouli-scented, hemp-wearing, dred-locked hippies. But one sometimes sees cyclists portrayed that way on discussion threads. That is, when they're not being portrayed as spandex-clad elitists - a mere minority on our roads, I believe.

Leaving aside the trollery, who are the cyclists in our city right now? Who do you see in your part of the city? And are you seeing any changes as cycling becomes a little more acceptable?

In the West end, most of the cyclists would appear to be undergraduates on mountain bikes; the cooler ones ride old road bikes or even brakeless fixed-wheel bikes. But I see quite a few earnest (by which I really mean styleless :) commuters on hybrids heading to the university - professors, researchers, and staff. Every few days I'll see a pack of not-quite-young-anymore men in bright lycra on mud-splattered mountain bikes heading back from the trails. And most days I see one or two serious commuters on touring bikes, bent double, seriously panniered, clad for speed.

But earlier this week at My Dog Joe in Westdale I found myself parked nose-to-nose with another Dutch city bike for the first time ever. I was on my way to the office, wearing a jacket and tie, my compatriot was a normally dressed real-estate agent running errands ... no whiff of patchouli, in other words. Around the world, normal people on bikes is becoming more normal. I'm seeing a little more of it in Hamilton now, too.

Comment edited by moylek on 2010-04-29 07:21:17

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