Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Economist notices cycling

The Economist has noticed the increasing use of bicycles in the United States due to high fuel prices. It also has noticed the increased number of cycling deaths and the apparent escalation of motorist/cyclist hostility, suggesting that both sides should learn better manners. After nearly two weeks of cycling in Europe, with its narrow streets, I was impressed by the courtesy shown by drivers. Rarely were we honked at, or forced off to move off the road. Without improved driver education in the United States, the increase in the number of cyclists is going to have dire consequences. It will be interesting to see whether the increase in the number of cycling commuters is a sea-change or will disappear as oil prices ease.

2 comments:

Jake said...

I remember touring in France and having cars honk as they approached from behind. At first I thought it was a toot telling me to get out of the way, then I realized it was a courtesy honk to let me know they were behind me and going to pass. That and the encouragement they would shout out the car windows as I made my way up the cols. Fond memories...

Groover said...

We have the same issues here in Oz and I miss riding in Europe and the courtesy and acceptance of cyclists over there. But think of Cadel what you want (tantrums and all), I have noticed a change in attitude and I attribute it to Cadel's Tour success and the subsequent raise of the pofile of the sport here in Australia. But there is still a long way to go ...