If This Were An Automobile, People Would Copy The Design

Background Reading


Divvy bikes lined up at a station at Daley Plaza. DNAinfo/Ted Cox

Divvy bikes lined up at a station at Daley Plaza. DNAinfo/Ted Cox


So if you were the Urban Cycling Movement and you had found the Holy Grail to ‘Bicycle Safety‘ what would you do? Why, nothing of course! Think about how stupid that reaction is.

In one fell swoop you could eliminate:

  • On street parking issues altogether
  • Bicycle theft would be a thing of the past
  • No need to worry about ninja riders since all bikes are equipped with lights
  • Better brakes for operation in nasty weather
  • Every bike has a kickstand
  • Every bike has a fender skirt for the rear
  • Every bike has a step through design suitable for all genders, ages and dress codes
  • Yearly maintenance costs are zero

Then add in one more thing. Probably not as glamorous as you might hope for, but here it is:

Your chances of getting into serious accidents are less. That means the bike is safer! So what’s not to like?

Well for an answer to that you have to talk to all the ‘real cyclists‘ who haunt the Chicago ChainLink Forum and ask why they ride anything else. Then you have to ask why the whine about businesses like BikeShare or government funded bicycle shops going under when they are either unwilling or too lazy to step in and stop it.

Maybe the idea of actually paying under $100 per annum to ride a virtually flawless bicycle would take too much of a dent out of their already meager beer money allowance. I don’t know. I just know that among the most prolific groups on the ChainLink Forum the Fool Moon Fiasco is king. And trust me the very last thing this group of idiots has on its collective mind is ‘safety‘.

Oh sure, once they sober up they whine all day long about automobiles being their nemesis. But think about it. Divvy riders use the same streets. And many of them are tourists, so they know ever less about the city than a native. Yet they get around and seem to do so with aplomb.

My guess is that there is something in the behavior of the ‘Bicycle ComfortCrowd (more concerned with riding in high heels or wearing fashionable jeans to show off their tattoos and other body modifications) that makes them unable to perform at as high a level as their Divvy counterparts.

Whatever it is the PeopleForBikes ought to fund a study and push for mandatory replication of the successful formula. Oh, wait! We cannot force cyclists into doing something that we can demonstrate will save their lives and at the same time make handling bicycles a more manageable issue for everyone. Nope we have to be able to continue our ‘scofflaw ways‘ and do so with panache. Besides our collection of Ghost Bikes is at an odd number. We need to even that out.

But seriously, why do Divvy bikes work? Even more puzzling why would bicycle commuters ever refrain from using a safer mode of transportation?

Nah, let’s go Fascist on the bastards. If you are operating a bicycle within city limits on streets and especially in ‘bike lanes‘ your ass had better be on a Divvy.

The Push Back Begins