We all know by now that some cities are better than others when it comes to being cyclist-friendly. Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Portland, Montreal and Strasbourg have some of the best cycling infrastructure at the time of writing. Good job guys.
But for those who's city perhaps could be doing more, is there a way for us to have a say in and to encourage future cycling-friendly transformation?
Sigr decided to look in to this. How can we constructively inspire those who steer our urban development?
1. A good start!
We named our 4 first Urban Jackets after Swedish cities that we think have come a long way but NOT all the way (Malmö (men), Göteborg (women), Stockholm (men | women) and Umeå (men | women)). We'll be sending a happy letter to the mayor anc vice mayor in each and every one of these cities this week. Not to tell them that the cities are perfect, but that they are well on the way to making it happen and to keep up the good work. We want to make them proud. By writing an open letter to these cities, we hope this will inspire more Swedish cities to do the same or at least start making more effort in this area. This is the letter we have sent to HELENE, CARINA, CECILIA, RANA, HANS, ANDERS, AXEL & ANDREAS!
2. Bike facilities
If your city does not have facilities for pumping up tires or fixing a flat tyre... Perhaps you and a friend or two could start a local bike maintenance event? Pick a date and a time, invite friends via social media to come to an open space event "hosted by everyone with a bike" and fix your bike, say every first Saturday of the month between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. People bring what they have, and help each other. In time, people will realise how easy it is to keep your bike in tip-top riding condition. Your city is almost guaranteed to notice your efforts and do something to improve life for cyclists.
3. Social acceptance
And a general perception that cycling is safe and doable for anyone. Start putting up happy flyers! Here are some ideas... "Cyclists have more fun", "You're only one ride away from a good mood", "Burn fat, not oil", "Think globally, cycle locally", #Half the wheels, twice the fun!" and there are many more you can google.
4. Bring forth the Guerilla
Put up flyers to make people aware of the local laws regarding cyclists and bikes, for example that it's OK to take your bike on public transport between the hours of x and y o'clock. Many people don't know that at least some of the time, it usually is! This helps people to cycle at least a part of their daily route even if the total infrastructure for cycling is not complete yet. If your city has very restrictive rules - perhaps spread the word about compact foldable bikes?
Of course, infrastructure is key. In Denmark and the Netherlands, a set of rules has evolved over a century. Tried and tested and proven to work, this established set of rules is the model for cities everywhere in these countries. It includes making protected, one-way bike lanes (also so cyclists do not hurt each other!) that aren't shared by cars, buses or pedestrians. This is a tough one. You need to write lovely letters to your politicians or perhaps, invite them to go cycling with you. So they see what you mean... This one is tricky. But some times politicians just do not know about the problem until they see it themselves.
GOOD LUCK FELLOW BIKE REVOLUTIONARIES!
As a thankyou for getting to the end of this article and for hopefully being a part of the cycling revolution that we and our planet so desperately need, we would like to offer you a discount code valid until the end of March 2019 for 15% off and FREE shipping on any urban jacket in our store. The code is BIKEMORE
(Our urban jackets are called Malmö (men), Göteborg (women), Stockholm (men | women) and Umeå (men | women).
P.S. You can read about a full methodology here, how some guys actually made an algorithm to judge which city has the most bike love!