July 26, 2012

You say Rolls, I say Royce

For the last few weeks, I’ve been driving the boys into Boston for this summer program they’re doing at BU. Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve lived in a major American city, even longer if you don’t count L.A. (and you can’t really count L.A., since it’s kind of another planet), so I think I’ve missed out on a pretty major change in American cities.  No, I’m not talking about the fact that no one can hear anyone else because they’re all wearing earbuds or the tragic staying power skinny jeans have had among men aged 19-27.

I’m talking about the bikes.

There are bikes everywhere. I mean, everywhere. Dudes in slacks and ties, women in conservative skirts, old ladies with messenger bags, dads dropping their kids at daycare.  It seems like half the city is commuting by bike with groovy panniers on the side or a snazzy wire basket up front. There’s even something called The Hubway, which is a system of bicycle socialism. Or maybe capitalism. Or maybe just mass transit alone on a bike.

Is this unique to Boston, or is this happening all over the country? Because, as they say up here in Beantown, it’s wicked cool.

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  • Reply nicole July 26, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Where have you been? Oh, New Jersey. I never said anything, but you really ought to have lived in NYC.

  • Reply Catherine July 26, 2012 at 1:46 am

    I haven’t noticed anything in chicago, but maybe I just haven’t…noticed.

  • Reply Anjali July 26, 2012 at 2:33 am

    In the five years I’ve lived in the Atlanta-area, I’ve seen the use of bikes increase 10-fold.

    As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.”

  • Reply sara July 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    YAY! Yes, seeing tons o’ bikes around these parts, too.

    And now let me introduce you (if you don’t know this already) to wonderful Boston-based BIKEYFACE! http://bikeyface.com/
    She rocks.

  • Reply Heide July 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    It’s happening in New York, too. Better bike lanes, safer biking, more cyclists out on the roads. It’s awesome.

  • Reply Heather July 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Bikes are in the ‘burbs more also. Parents with madsens and big dummys (and tag-alongs) taking a couple kids to school rather than using the (for a fee) school busses. And older kids are willing to be uncool to save the $400 in high school parking or bus fees. Yet the rail trails still struggle to get funding and support.

  • Reply Issa July 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Bikes are everywhere in Denver and the suburbs. Sometimes they annoy the crap out of me because they think they are the only people on the road. But in general, it’s very cool. We have TONS of bike lanes too.

  • Reply Jennifer July 27, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Bikes are so ubiquitous here that when driving we spoof that one Portlandia episode, crying, “Bikes, man, why??” Of course in Bend, OR, most people bike for fun or exercise, not to actually get anywhere! And Bend is not exactly a major metropolitan area…

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