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  => acf 1.0 => Library => Topic started by: Simon L3 on January 17, 2006

Title: techne and episteme
Post by: Simon L3 on January 17, 2006
I'm perfectly serious about this. If you have to think about the Way Forward, how do you construct an understanding of cycling as a cultural narrative? How do you think about the future of cycling? Where is your start point?
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: The Glue Man on January 17, 2006
To throw a pebble in the oil, culturally inscribed contexts run deep in this demi paradise vis bicycle balancing. I'm of the canvas dangler persuasion.
Mismatched socks, stripey acrylic, toe strap, bottle dynamo, granny geared. It's an incomplete narrative admittedly promising misty dawns and moonlit toil over a Paul Nash landscape and full consummation of the idyll is rare. Mostly it's just sweat and sore knees. My beginning and end. Ride as reverie.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: bardsandwarriors on January 17, 2006
My start point would be 'purpose'. Why do people cycle, and why does it come out on top for some people, in some environments, compared with the alternatives. I see pure function in everything, even in beauty and poetry; and purpose is at its root.

But I think the answer depends firstly on your purpose for asking.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: blackpud on January 17, 2006
To throw a pebble in the oil, culturally inscribed contexts run deep in this demi paradise vis bicycle balancing. I'm of the canvas dangler persuasion.
Mismatched socks, stripey acrylic, toe strap, bottle dynamo, granny geared. It's an incomplete narrative admittedly promising misty dawns and moonlit toil over a Paul Nash landscape and full consummation of the idyll is rare. Mostly it's just sweat and sore knees. My beginning and end. Ride as reverie.

I didn't understand any of that but it was beautiful.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Not Responding on January 17, 2006
Crumbs. Just think.

For me it's how I get to work. Are you saying I need a cultural narrative and paradigm?

Actually, that's not true at all. It may have been true once but, 9 years on, I have a garage full of bikes, I ride for fun at weekends and spend all my evenings reading about the damn things. Oh and I tithe 10% of my earnings to Wiggle.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Flying Dodo on January 17, 2006
I think, therefore I cycle.

And also...

I cycle, therefore I think.

QED.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Simon L3 on January 17, 2006
Techne I use in sense of being knowledge that is ready to hand at any particular time (not as some ahistorical always present thing in the fashion of the dreaded Herr H)

Imagine this. You're revolting. Not in a niffy, Brooks saddle kind of way, but in a revolutiony kind of way. To be precise the Aurora is shelling the Winter Palace. Where is your leader, Mr. V.I. Ulyanov. At a barricade? Darning a red flag? Not a bit of it. He's reading Hegel. Tell the truth, Trotsky thought that was a bit....effete, but he (Trotsky) had a nice white horse, and Lenin, methinks, only a gentleman's upright with Sturmey Archer gears. But I digress.

My point is this. Supposing that you are charged with charting the Way Forward. How do you know what is forward? Especially if you don't know where you are and where you've come from. And more to the point, especially if you're not sure if your journey is neccessarily conducted in the company of others, or whether the others are just coincidental.

If the latter, then there isn't much to say. If the former then it might be possible to work out what binds and moves, what enlarges and what unfolds. Do we have a theory of cycling as a cultural endeavour, that is, nonetheless, a physical exercise? Why does one person ride down the Embankment, moved by the lights and the smell of the river, and another person, unmoved, hope only for the money to buy a car?

Let's accept that we share a perfectly straightforward ambition. Cycling should be for the many and not the few, and people should not be put in harms way by cycling. What amongst us, the cyclists, do we bring from our past (by which I mean the past of of Major Taylor, of our grandparents, of Fausto Coppi as well as our own experience) that we can build a future on?

I'm relying on you. I'm relying on you because a lot of people detest us, and because some of our number just drift to the front at red lights and park athwart three front wheels, and because I don't believe that we cyclists are so seperate from one another that we have to simply accept it.

So let's start with an agenda for thinking, for inquiry and for research - once again, I'm perfectly serious. I really am relying on you.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Roygbiv on January 18, 2006
If you are serious I'd say a good starting point would be to stop talking pretentious bollocks and get to the point. If you do that then maybe I'll be able to contribute to the debate without worrying about making a tit of myself.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: bardsandwarriors on January 18, 2006
He means that there are forces in society acting for us and against us, and as these forces grow and shrink relative to each other, cycling means different things to different people. Its usefulness changes over time, and the perception (or social identity) changes aswell, each playing off the other. It's a tricky subject to be sure, trying to understand a chaotic system like this; and it isn't easy to express unless you can find the right language.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Roygbiv on January 18, 2006
He means that there are forces in society acting for us and against us, and as these forces grow and shrink relative to each other, cycling means different things to different people. Its usefulness changes over time, and the perception (or social identity) changes aswell, each playing off the other.
Well that nicely sums up the situation if you feel you belong in the "us". So Simon, you'd like us to think about how we'd change this situation to make it more positive for "us" and potentially increasing the size of "us" at the same time? Or is it more complicated than that?
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: ed_o_brain on January 18, 2006
Thanks Bard's.

If I want to begin to understand what Simon has said in his posts where do I start? I'm always interested in what Simon's got to say and it pains me not to understand it.

I think a lot of people, even cyclists some of them (and I mean the unenlightened Halfords MTB type but at least they are on the right track) don't understand cycling. They have a perception of bikes being nothing more than toys. The motor vehicle is king because it gives full independance. It allows an individual to go where they want, when they want in the shortest possible time. Why anyone would want to walk, use public transport or a bicycle is incomprehensible when the motor car will allow them to complete the same journey is a tenth of the time.

Of course this is not true. Decent cycles are not just toys. They will allow you to make a reasonable commute in a reasonable time with other benefits that off-set the disadvantages of using the 'perceived ideal', the motor car, for that same journey. Even if you convince a 'normal person' (and I'm talking about established norms in a cultural context, not inferring that cyclists are abnormal ;) ) that cycles are not toys, they will still feel that purposeful cycling is not accessible to them because of the equipment and level of fitness required.

Then there is the whole aspect that the 'roads are dangerous' but I think this is more likely an easy defence when faced with the challenge 'why not cycle'.

The way forward I believe, is making cycling attractive, perhaps by sexing it up a little but also by making the benefits clear and showing people just how accessible and practical it is.

I think the start point would be Halfords (where people almost universally go to buy a bike) revising their range to include more decent and affordable town bikes and hybrids instead of mountain bikes and the odd expensive looking and intimidating racer.

Not sure how you go on from there. The problem is that most people need to invest quite a bit of time and patience in order to get a reasonable return from their bicycle, N.B. acquiring the fitness required in order to make reasonable progress in order to realise an acceptable journey time. I don't think that many people of a decent enough level of basic fitness for this. And I think this is possibly the main obsticle. We are a nation growing more and more obiese (if the media and national studies are to be believed) and this obiesity means an inertia that is difficult to shift.

I took to cycling like a duck to water because I have a very good baseline level of fitness to start with and I already enjoyed exercise and the benefits it gave me.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Si Davies on January 18, 2006
<thinks out loud...>

Problem is that we (socially) do know where we've come from.  History allows us to create the past that our society perscribes and thus an identity based upon a habitus heavily controlled and replicated by current social ritual and asperation.  

The popular paradign is still largely modernist and subscibes to both social and technological evolution as being natural.  The bicycle is a monument of the past, it has already been experienced and thus we must move on from it..it can do nothing but to return us to the past and backward movement is failure.

If this is the case, either society needs to change to become more post-modernist so that it can move on by moving back....unlikely (the hippies never did get back to the garden).

Or cycling needs to change to differentiate itself from cycling in the past.  Example: take a (our) normative view of an  individual in our society: drives everywhere, uses car as status symbol as it is not only his transport but a large part of his identity.  Would this person take up cycling because he thinks that a bike is superior to his car or would be take up cycling because he can further demonstrate identity through cycling?  Well, looking at the massive growth of MTBing in the '90s and the way that people are now drawn into road cycling because of the high status kit availible and the images of exotic travel, I'd say the latter.  Thus cycling re-invents itself and draws people in because it enables them to display an improved identity.  They do not take it up because their habitus recreates a desire for greeness/fitness/health but because it endenders in them a requirement for a display of social worth based upon technology acquired the demonstration of a specific life style.  

<summary> don't bother banging on about the health/greeness issues of cycling, it'll take ages to get anywhere.  Just sex it up and they'll come...
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Roygbiv on January 18, 2006
Just as Simon pointed out that cycling is a different experience for different cyclists (his Embankment comparison), I don't think cyclists should make assumptions about motorists. Many people (including myself) enjoy the act of driving - it's not just about getting somewhere quicker than any other mode of transport. The holier than thou attitude of some cyclists who describe drivers as "cagers" is not going to win many converts. I digress.

I don't think the way forward or the answer is to make cycling sexy, or to position it as a green alternative to the car. Certainly car ownership and being a cyclist shouldn't be promoted as being mutually exclusive. People just need to be reminded that cycling is fun (who didn't ride a bike as a kid?), cheap, practical and easy (in fitness terms).

But who exactly in the UK is promoting this kind of cycling? There is the government's tax-free scheme where your company buys your bike. It's a great idea but how effectively is it being publicised? And where is the pressure or tax break on companies to provide proper facilities to further encourage cycle commuting? The two should go hand in hand. I live in Peterborough which has probably the most cycle friendly landscape you can get but the amount of cyclists on the road is pitiful. Most people live less than 10 miles from where they work yet the majority use a car to get there. There are myriads of cycle paths but they meander all over the place making it hard for cyclists to get directly from one side of the city to the other. I personally live about 2.5 miles from work yet in the winter I drive to work. Why? Because I don't have anywhere to get changed apart from a toilet cubicle, nowhere I can store my stuff during the day and nowhere to dry it if its wet. The small cycle parking area is also full by 8am. Over 2000 people work on this site and there is provision for less than 100 bikes.

The local branch of the CTC has hardly any members. Their Sunday runs are currently attended by about 3 or 4 people including the leader. What are they doing to attract new members and promote cycling? Nothing. I know this because the guy who runs it works in my office and I was talking to him about it.

How come when you buy a new bike you aren't given a leaflet or "starter pack" (if relevant) promoting different forms of cycling in your area?

How many of the thousands of people who take part in organised charity rides never use their bikes regularly? At the start and particularly the end points of these rides how many organisations are there promoting cycling on a wider basis?

The shorter Audax rides have the potential to be hugely popular. In my opinion they are what most people want from a weekend ride - non competitive, well planned, cafe/pub stops, interesting routes, generally open and friendly, cross-section of particpants. But Audax is not promoted to the wider cycling public and it is certainly not a "user friendly" organisation (just look at their website). I also suspect that a certain percentage of their membership kind of like it that way.

Sorry this is not a considered, structured reply, more a flow of thoughts and ideas. And it's a bit ranty, sorry for that too.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: ed_o_brain on January 18, 2006
All good points JT.

I wasn't singling out motorists as 'us and them'. In my small experience the non-cyclists I talk to are amazed about the journey's I undertake, especially the hilly ones because the natural choice for them for such a journey would be a motor car.

When I explain it's not big deal the impression I get is that they are convinced it is. They don't realise that they too could just as easily do that same journey everyday coping with the hills just by getting on their bike and riding.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Roygbiv on January 18, 2006
All good points JT.

I wasn't singling out motorists as 'us and them'. In my small experience the non-cyclists I talk to are amazed about the journey's I undertake, especially the hilly ones because the natural choice for them for such a journey would be a motor car.

When I explain it's not big deal the impression I get is that they are convinced it is. They don't realise that they too could just as easily do that same journey everyday coping with the hills just by getting on their bike and riding.

I wasn't responding specifically to you Ed about the "us and them" but it's quite common behaviour among those who see cycling as some sort of poitical statement. A quick glance at URC will confirm this...

I get similar comments as you about my cycle rides even from people who are reasonably fit. Just the other day I mentioned to this lad that I'd done 27 miles on Sunday and he winced and repeated "27 miles!!??!!". This same lad rode the London to Cambridge a couple of years ago in 3.5 hours!
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: bardsandwarriors on January 18, 2006
The trick with social narratives is to not get bogged down in anecdotes; because it's about much broader issues than that. Your generalisations have to be accurate, ie. they have to accurately describe reality at the anecdotal level. But at the level of the 'discourse' (look it up) which you are creating, it's wise to stick mainly to the higher and more abstract forms of understanding, and find your patterns in those instead.

I knew a guy once with a master's degree in sociology (speaking of being anecdotal!), and it was a big learning experience trying to follow what he said when he discussed such matters, and (even more) trying to picture exactly what he meant by it.

He used words like 'discourse', and went on about significance, signs and symbols. Symbolic meanings are everywhere, eg. everything that a given motorist thinks about "all cyclists" is symbolic - a cultural meme, propagated from one person to another in bars, homes and offices, through a word or a look here and there; or through little stories told and retold; and through the media, movies, adverts and 'news', etc. Those things then feed back into the media from the people, creating a 'discourse' which constantly reinvents itself and changes how people perceive things. (Some people naturally see those things and think in those terms.)

That's the kind of thing you are describing at this level (of 'social narrative'), but in generalised terms. There isn't really any place for rants; only for fitting the pieces together and understanding how memes and concepts are generated and perpetuated.

(Or something like that!!!)

So the question is, how could we construct such a narrative, which makes sense and explains how cyclists integrate into society, what their function is, and what 'cycling' means to different people, without relying on endless anecdotes. I was wondering last night about this, and I thought perhaps - we could start by making up a list of the forces at work - ? Or by categorising the types of opinion that are typically held about cyclists.... Or by listing and describing each type of discourse at work.... etc. Simon wants to know where cycling is heading, or how we can change its course in society, especially in how it is seen by other people - so that we can attract more people into it.

So what people think about the distances covered is relevant - that is one part of how outsiders see cycling. But there is a lot more to it aswell.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: otto on January 18, 2006
I'm with Samuel becket on this one, T


The bicycle's chain and wheels are continuously moving forward but never escape their cyclic nature and always return to where their motion starts. The bicycle for Beckett seems to have been an infinity machine. Cycling enthusiasts know that of all moving animals and machines, the bicycle has been scientifically proven to be the most efficient. Mankind never came closer to the old dream of a perpetuum mobile than with this fascinating two-wheel machine. Weather and terrain permitting, a bicycle and its rider can stay in motion for hours on end without exhausting all energies.

Cartesian because in another explaination becket saw the bicycle as the perfect example of Descartes mind body dichotomy. The cyclists mind is free to think and wonder whislt his body , as if a separate entity, continues its mechanical automatic exersions.

Free your mind.....ride a bike
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Roygbiv on January 18, 2006
The trick with social narratives is to not get bogged down in anecdotes; because it's about much broader issues than that. Your generalisations have to be accurate, ie. they have to accurately describe reality at the anecdotal level. But at the level of the 'discourse' (look it up) which you are creating, it's wise to stick mainly to the higher and more abstract forms of understanding, and find your patterns in those instead.

I knew a guy once with a master's degree in sociology (speaking of being anecdotal!), and it was a big learning experience trying to follow what he said when he discussed such matters, and (even more) trying to picture exactly what he meant by it.

He used words like 'discourse', and went on about significance, signs and symbols. Symbolic meanings are everywhere, eg. everything that a given motorist thinks about "all cyclists" is symbolic - a cultural meme, propagated from one person to another in bars, homes and offices, through a word or a look here and there; or through little stories told and retold; and through the media, movies, adverts and 'news', etc. Those things then feed back into the media from the people, creating a 'discourse' which constantly reinvents itself and changes how people perceive things. (Some people naturally see those things and think in those terms.)

That's the kind of thing you are describing at this level (of 'social narrative'), but in generalised terms. There isn't really any place for rants; only for fitting the pieces together and understanding how memes and concepts are generated and perpetuated.

(Or something like that!!!)

So the question is, how could we construct such a narrative, which makes sense and explains how cyclists integrate into society, what their function is, and what 'cycling' means to different people, without relying on endless anecdotes. I was wondered last night about this, and I thought perhaps - we could start by making up a list of the forces at work - ? Simon wants to know where cycling is heading, or how we can change its course in society, especially in how it is seen by other people - so that we can attract more people into it.

So what people think about the distances covered is relevant - that is one part of outsiders see cycling. But there is a lot more to it aswell.

I'm sorry, I've misunderstood. I failed Sociology you see but I only took it because the class was full of fit birds. To be honest I'm not the slightest bit interested in constructing a narrative because I don't believe that in itself, it will encourage any one to take up cycling. In my opinion "our" (as in all cyclists) time would be better spent trying to get new bums on saddles because I firmly believe that the more cyclists there are on the roads then the less need there will be for such things as narratives. Good luck with your navel gazing! 

Seriously, I suspect I'm not the right person to contribute as I don't see myself as a "cyclist". Riding a bike is just one of the ways in which I enjoy myself.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Si Davies on January 18, 2006
Quote
To be honest I'm not the slightest bit interested in constructing a narrative because I don't believe that in itself, it will encourage any one to take up cycling. In my opinion "our" (as in all cyclists) time would be better spent trying to get new bums on saddles because I firmly believe that the more cyclists there are on the roads then the less need there will be for such things as narratives.

 ah, but that, as i see it is the whole problem and the question.  How do you get more bums on saddles?

Do you do it by describing the virtues of cycling such as fitness, health, greenness, etc?  Or do you do it by making people buy into cycling as a distinct activity that allows them to follow social trends and thus 'fit-in'?  Another example: there's a lot of people out there driving very flash and fancy cars.  Do they choose these cars because they need all the fancy features or do they pick them because they see the right car as a social statement?  Just look at how much is spent by the advertising industry on pushing forward products not on their basic practical merits but on the advantages they give in demonstrating identity.  People will go to much more effort if they believe that they are keeping up with the Jones's!
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: bardsandwarriors on January 18, 2006
I'm sorry, I've misunderstood. I failed Sociology you see but I only took it because the class was full of fit birds. ;)
And now you've failed this one aswell. Goodbye!

BTW, my reply wasn't directed at you. I was addressing anyone who wants to learn about it. I suppose you think that atom bombs would have been invented much more quickly if Einstein had just started building one, instead of writing bollox such as 'a general theory of relativity' first.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: The Glue Man on January 18, 2006
Any narrative, even social one's, have to have a narrator though he may be implied or embedded deeper than an NBC reporter with the 24th tank reg.
Advertisers do a good job but their take on what matters is pretty flawed unless you're overwhelmed with status anxiety and badge dilemmas.
Motorists -I hate the term, you may as well say house dwellers or air breathers- won't change unless you make them or offer sweet alternatives and distractions but we've been here before recently.
Cyclists show no sign of wanting them near their (campag equipped) hobby horses. In the face of such stone-walling a retreat into curley lugged romanticism seems almost pioneering.
Have you meta-diegesis you like better?
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: Roygbiv on January 18, 2006
I'm sorry, I've misunderstood. I failed Sociology you see but I only took it because the class was full of fit birds.


And now you've failed this one aswell. Goodbye!

BTW, my reply wasn't directed at you. I was addressing anyone who wants to learn about it. I suppose you think that atom bombs would have been invented much more quickly if Einstein had just started building one, instead of writing bollox such as 'a general theory of relativity' first.

This may or may not come as a surprise but guess what? I've never thought about it!

Now I'm off to do some colouring-in but I'll keep an eye on this thread to see how this narrative comes along. It'll be educational for me.
Title: techne and episteme
Post by: Simon L3 on January 18, 2006
I've always thought that the bedrock of cycling was pleasure. Pleasure in freedom. Sensual pleasure. Pleasure in transcending your legged-being self and becoming an airborne kind of thing. Pleasure in transgressing - crossing the county boundary of convention that confines you when you're in a car - or even when you're motorised. Pleasure in having all those hormones running round your head.

And pleasure in efficiency and economy and simplicity - you pick up this simple thing and you're off, without the frustrations, expense (money and matter) and complications of travel. Here, I think Otto is really on to something. Cycling's nothingness is it's perfection. And the complexity of life, of traffic, of bicycle theft, of potholes all detract from it's nothingness. You may know that I ride a C40 with DA wheels, gears, brakes. It is like riding nothing. The gear change is like nothing. The wheels require nothing of me. Of course it takes me ten minutes to get it into a steel cage at work and wrestle with three locks, and that is quite something.

And I believe in pleasure - by which I mean not that there is an oh-so-pure pleasure that defies any analysis, but that we can take pleasure, and make it our own. And that is the charm of cycling - that we make it our own and simultaneously share it with others. And by make it our own, I mean that in the act of taking pleasure in the world we free that pleasure of its guilty history, provided that our pleasure is not some other persons pain. And that's why cycling is such a pleasure, because you can traverse the country, taking pleasure, without causing offence or discomfort to anybody. It is as if you weren't there. You could probably say the same sort of thing about Architecture (and I would, if I'd had enough to drink) or reading, or sex (not even tempted) but cycling is as straightforward a pleasure, a bodily pleasure, as a body can find.

Bards' point about Einstein is so correct that I'm really put out that I didn't think of it first - but I'm also compelled to agree in part with JT, because I'm afraid that this thread is the misbegotten child of odd and rather humdrum circumstance, and I'm embarrassed that I didn't make it clear from the start. I'm now the Chair of the Way Forward Committee of the CTC. I'm supposed to think about the future of cycling, and I'm supposed to come up with something to say at the end of that thinking. And the trouble with committees and agendas is that you usually just pick up on the minutes of the last meeting and see how much progress you've made, and then you think of a way of dividing the 'work' up into tasks or fields so that you can measure what you've thought....and I realise that I'm not really in shape for thinking.

The odd thing about cycling is that it is a deeply sociable pleasure. And that's where I'm running aground. It's plain that cycling in company is pleasurable, but I can't work out what that sharing is about, other than the basic re-assurance that comes from mutual recognition. You can get mutual recognition by putting on a uniform, or by mowing your front lawn, but to say that cycling is more momentous a form of mutual recognition is to understate the obvious. Is there some shared pleasure in our survival? Or do we just take pleasure in the pleasure of others? Do we really need each other in any meaningful way?
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: ed_o_brain on January 18, 2006
Simon, if anyone is "in shape for thinking" it's you. I am glad the job is in safe hands.

Maybe digressing slightly, but I wonder what effect a television advert for a bicycle would have on the general public? Instead of the Peugeot advert 'The Drive of Your Life' what about the 'Ride of Your Life'?

Lots of shots accentuating the carbon curves of the frame set against a background of countryside and open roads moving into a town gliding past traffic to the approval of sexy young women oggling at the riderthe bike.

And, as an added bonus it would be far more truthful than the car adverts!
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: arabella on January 18, 2006
Why does it have to be a bloke on the bike, Ed?

More seriously, though, when did anyone last see a bike in an advert, or even more to the point, an advert for a bike?  (the only one I can think of is the yellow pages one that had the dad looking for a racer for his son, so that means early 80's I think)

It was once suggested that the chief misfortune for cycing was that it wasn't invented longer before the car became so commonplace (cheers your thatchet-ness, not).

Some report on children and cycling I was reading earlier today (sorry, forgo the ref and it was on a different machine) said that more children would like to cycle to school than actually do (perceived danger).  So adverts working on the perception of danger, perhaps.  Also the fitness thing, and the fact that so many bikes are heavy and/or badly maintained.  Maybe we should all turn ourselves into Dr Bikes (I try with my friends' bikes but there's a limit to my knowledge), also work on our bikes in front of the house (like people work on cars in front of the house, not hidden away round the back - a bit of publicity (hmm, shall I try that).

I fear this is a bit mixed up and lacks style, Simon.
Title: Re: techne and episteme
Post by: geeb on January 18, 2006
Where are we going? Where we've been. These things always seem to be cyclical. Indulge my historical inaccuracies a while, as I flex the fingers of over-egged prose...

Our history is transport. The bicycle provided mobility to the working classes when other means were slow, expensive or both. It was considered simply the norm to cycle, unless you were ludicrously privileged (or pretentious). The bicycle represented freedom for the ordinary man.

We are approaching the same position again. There is a huge cost associated with most means of transport, and few realize that cyclists do not have to pay. Financially, the majority can afford whatever means of transport they choose, but that is not where the true cost lies. The motorist is paying by wasting time in traffic jams, incurring costs to his health by failing to take sufficient exercise, and extracting a toll from the planet itself in pollution.

My vision is that the populace will realize that true status does not come from paying for something because you can, but from making the choices that give you true freedom.