An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Long boring post about bike advocacy, with small subtle jokes that are hardly worth it


You don't hear a lot of cogent arguments against the bicycle. They tend to be enunciated by angry, stuttering motorists who have a tenuous grasp of the law and a failing grip on their own sanity.Over at Salon.com today, though, Andrew Leonard takes a backhanded swipe at bike advocacy by arguing a technicality: bikes, he says, are not nearly as simple as they seem. His point seems to be that bike production is complicated and global, so you know, don't kid yourself, hippie.

We prefer to talk about this as "deferred impact" rather than minimum impact. The model is the camp stove: You go into the backcountry and take a stove so that you don't burn wood and build fire rings and otherwise damage the immediate environment. But that little stove is loaded with heavy metals, plastics, and fossil fuel that had to come from somewhere.

But the important thing has already been expressed: the value of considering our impact, and the desire to start controlling it. Folks like Leonard can occupy themselves doing the moral calculus, but hope has already sprouted like a weed in a parking lot.

Or like the Trek Lime. Truly a weed in a parking lot. Below: Is Trek's president the "Al Gore of the Bike Industry"?

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