eBike blog – personal experience with sustainable transport for the new millenium

Archive for June, 2007

Car-head mentality

Just want to mention a really good post I just read [once again posted to CM-Melb] about the mentality we have in most western countries of being completely car-centric in our attitudes to transport: Car-head (Bicycle Neglect #1).

Even as a committed 2-wheeler of all kinds for nearly all my life, I know I often feel the same regarding cars: I still ride in them semi-regularly despite not having owned one for 99% of my life, and I am not hugely surprised or even particularly offended when drivers are completely oblivious. I largely attribute my *touch wood* lack of accidents on motorcycle, scooter bike and ebike to never expecting drivers to see me or consider my road rights, and to ride like I am completely invisible to any potential approaching vehicle, especially any larger than me. That and, of course, I am a complete wuss and never have been into riding any sort of bike just for the thrill: it’s always been about getting from a-b and not killing myself on the process.

But it begs a very important question: why should we think that way? Why are cars considered the default and ruling vehicle choice? As the energy crisis looms, we will find it less and less a feasible default means of transportation, and that will mean a big mentality change for everyone unless technology steps in with very clever LEVs on a mass scale. And why should we wait anyway? I would love to be in one of the European cities where it is normal for bikes to be everywhere, where helmets aren’t legislated [and there are less accidents because there are more bikes, thus less need for the things anyway] and people get around on bikes as a matter of course.

Unfortunately, cities started since the advent of car culture are designed around the damn things, so pretty obviously – we will need to redesign these cities before we can redesign our attitudes.

In other news, the Cassidy Express is on loan to my pal Mal, and I’m happy to see it being in action again instead of sitting lonely and locked up in the laundry. And I’m thinking of getting a Trikke, too. Not electric [though they make a rather cute electric bike called the Trikke Bikke which you could probably get away with taking with you on public transport – it’s *tiny*!] but looks like a hell of a fun HPV. And I hardly ever use my rollerblades any more.