How to write an anti-bike rant (and how to respond to one)
It seems that more and more bikes are begriming our cities, more and more bike lanes stealing parking spaces, and more and more people taking to twitter to complain about them all. A Canadian senator (previously on TreeHugger for denouncing the beaver as "dentally defective rat") recently ranted about new bike lanes in Toronto; she was clearly not a regular twitter user and was unprepared for the backlash from the cycling community. Columnists of the anti-bike tilt agree with her about the bicycult, complaining that in winter "jammed drivers gaze longingly at the wasted space gathering snow dust."
Eaton tweet/Screen capture
It's hard, even in 140 characters, to find enough reasons to complain about bike lanes, bike share stations, or cyclists. Luke Seemann explains the problem in Chicago Magazine:
A local newspaper this week published yet another anti-cyclist commentary, and it just seemed so…inefficient. The same predictable column has been written hundreds of times, each triggering the same predictable cycle of outrage. Shouldn’t algorithms—machine learning, if you will—be able to write these for us by now?
So he created a standard letter with dropdown boxes to help everyone who wants to complain about cyclists, turned into a GIF here; you can fill in and print the original at Chicago Magazine.
Meanwhile, cyclists can enjoy playing bike news commenter bingo, where all the standard arguments against bike lanes and bike infrastructure are laid out, courtesy of The Bicycle Story. Nicole Eaton almost won! Too bad she deleted her Twitter account.
Tom Babin of Shifter responded to Eaton more usefully and positively by noting:
Eaton’s rant wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. So in the name of public service, we’re here to offer some help. Below are some answers to common misinformed anti-bike criticisms, presented in handy wallet-card format. So if you’re a politician or public figure who has yet to embrace urban cycling, print this card, laminate it, and put it in your wallet or purse.
Good points all.