A Place to Ride

Bike are a popular present for Christmas. And no doubt many kids are jumping with excitement about their new bicycles right now. However, very soon they will get wise to the nature of the world.

Someplace to Ride

Someplace to Ride

Someplace to Ride

Yep, within a few months they’ll know what they want next Christmas.

Someplace to Ride

So let’s help deliver it to them this year.

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37 Responses to “A Place to Ride”

  • highwayman

    Sad, Sad, and very True.

    Turn those images into a poster with an overriding caption at the bottom exclaiming, “Reverse This!”

  • Nicholas Richter
    • Melissa

      We actually have something like that in Sacramento, on a somewhat smaller scale. There’s a place called Safetyville (http://safetycenter.org/safetyville-usa/) that’s a miniature (and somewhat rundown at this point, sadly) version of Sacramento (with notable local landmarks). They have minature streets with bike lanes, traffic signals, light rail tracks and stop signs. In the summer time they have free family bike nights where kids can come and practice riding their bikes. It was great for my daughter (now 5) last summer. Since it’s so small, it’s hard for the kids to actually observe all of the traffic signs and signals all of the time (they’d be constantly stopping and starting), but it’s better than nothing.

    • No you don´t need that. You need a city there children can ride there bike. A city which are planned for the people not the cars.

  • Yes, Dutch infrastructure for everyone 8-80! :P

  • Wooh, yeah, right – you tell ‘em!

    Everything you produce hits the nail.

  • chris

    I love it, thanks!

  • Yeah, the whole banned-in-the-park thing is baffling. I’ll accede the Public Garden to pedestrians; but the Common is so beautiful on a bike! (I learned this before I noted the No Bikes symbol at the entry….)

    I’d endure a speed limit in it in exchange for making it legal to ride in it.

    • b.

      Just an anonymous pedestrian and dog walker, bikes in the park are banned because being silently zoomed up on (the definition of which depends heavily on which side of the zooming you are on) and passed by bikes is startling, and my dog’s been almost hit at least three times. If bikers could use a bell- I’m totally happy to have you there. And little kids on bikes certainly don’t make me mad. Just keep in mind- a pedestrian cannot hear you coming. At all. I’m sure it’s a matter of a few jerks ruining it for everyone, but it’s not completely out side of reason.

    • mikey

      Yep, we have paved trails where a bell is required & its common courtesy to call out. iPodded pedestrians still complain. I think bells & speed limits are great for mixed traffic. Our area is getting “shared bike use” signs every mile or so, that has seemed to bring cars to being more considerate.

  • Steve Harper

    When I was growing up if you got a bike for Christmas and wanted to go for a ride the response would have been, “Wouldn’t you rather go sledding instead?”

    • i.

      I am actually trying to reply to the post above that doesn’t have a reply button…From an anonymous cyclist: If pedestrians would take the headphones out of their ears, they could actually hear the bell or a cyclist saying they are about to pass them. Yet, about 80% of the ones I encounter on a trail don’t seem to think listening to loud music on a shared trail is a safety issue.

  • Is that a VC’er in panel three?

  • Randal

    how sad…. but oh, so true

  • Marge Evans

    YES!!!! make this happen!!!!

  • butch

    i once wrote a letter to a mayor about bicycles being restricted from a park. how stupid is that?

  • Roger

    Hmm. I understand the pedestrian safety concerns, but instead of banning bikes, wouldn’t it make sense to set standards and then enforce them?

    Do we ban cars from roads because a few people drive irresponsibly?

  • William D. Volk

    Schools really do this (ban bikes). Isn’t that sad?

  • Rebecca Albrecht

    I have been riding my bicycle for forty years through Boston Common. Of course I ride slowly in the Common. I don’t usually use a bell unless it is far in advance, because I think that sends the message “get out of my way”. I give people walking, lots of room when I pass, go at probably a walking pace when I have to ride closely and always say excuse me and thank you when I am forced to ride closely. It shouldn’t be hard to post some basic courtesy rules and to enforce them in the Common.

  • Hey! I think the comics are cute. Good perspective. We have spent so much of our public resources and space subsidizing the mighty automobile, that we forget about other road users—such as those who do not or cannot drive a car, and so they walk or bike.

    Re: your comment in the first comic: The no smoking in the park is a common-sense law. People go to the parks to enjoy nature, to get a breath of fresh air, to relax, breathing in other people nasty tobacco fumes is not relaxing not healthy for them or anyone. People can smoke, but they don’t have a right to infringe on people’s right to breathing fresh air.

  • Mike Gallagher

    I taught my four kids, who were born in the nineteen eighties, to take a lane starting at age six. We live in the city in Hartford, CT.

    • Brian

      Excellent work, Mike. That’s the cure for all this hullabaloo about safe places–education.

  • Brian

    I love my mother. But thank goodness over-protectiveness didn’t run in her veins. I rode three-quarters of mile to school every day from the age of 9. On 25 mph urban residential streets. I had two wrecks in that whole time: one because I hit a 6-inch diameter patch of ice–the only one on the roadway and easily avoided; the other because I was riding on the wrong side of the street–against traffic, at the urging of a friend–and swerved to avoid an oncoming car. I stopped listening to him, went back to riding with traffic, and fared very well until the advent of the automobile.

    It’s too bad fear trumps reason and calls it love.

  • MikeOnBike

    Fortunately, the situation is much better here (suburban California). My kids learned to ride on our neighborhood streets around age 5, and cycling to school is pretty common. There’s a MUP around the lake in our main park. The minor streets are pretty well connected, so you can cover a lot of ground off the arterials. Most of the arterials have decent bike lanes if you don’t mind the traffic noise. And this is in a place with no formal bike coalition.

    And of course, the weather at Christmastime is nearly perfect for cycling.

  • Last year I retired after 28 years as a firefighter in London England. Statistically, the most dangerous thing I did during my time in the fire service was get to and from work on two wheels. There is room for us all on the highways and parks if they are used sensibly and with respect for one another, but the “us and them” mentality always seems to muddy the water. Cyclists jumping red lights, cars and trucks cutting across cycle paths, pedestrians texting or listening to loud music are all cited as justification for banning or restricting activities or failing to own up to our own shortcomings. It’s always “THEM” allowing for the divide and rule mentality to prevail and no real progress towards safer streets for all. New York has proven that with motivated and sensible approach to the infrastructure almost anything is possible, but sadly their leadership hasn’t been embraced by many other places, particularly my own capital city of London. These Bikeyface posts and images are fantastic – thank you for sharing.

  • Kevin Love

    Meanwhile, in civilized parts of the world, children walk or cycle to school and it is cars that are banned from school travel.

    See:
    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2009/11/stopping-ban-by-schools.html

    Or see:

    I recommend skipping the first 1:15 of the author describing what you are about to see and go straight to seeing it. Note how the guard enforcing the ban on cars at the beginning of the car-free zone bows politely to passing cyclists. I love Japan!

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