Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vehicular Cycling in Beijing

Sometimes, I wish people who weren't vehicular cyclists would get trained before they try to write about it.

Katie Thomas, a sportswriter for the (wait for it) New York Times, writes in an article today that urban cycling is nerve-wracking. Nerve-wracking, that is, for an inexperienced cyclist. For an experienced one, such as Jason McCartney, a member of the US Olympic cycling team, it's "giddy" fun.

I'll give Thomas some credit. She admits her inexperience by calling her own idea "archair arrogance". And, she offers a good one-sentence description of vehicular cycling: "It required looking over one’s shoulder, moving into an open space in traffic, and trying to avoid pedestrians — all at once." But by describing the experience as "not for the faint of heart" and as implying that left turns across traffic were tantamount to taking one's life in one's hands, she in effect portrays vehicular cycling as not for ordinary people. And that's just wrong.

See "A Relaxing Ride, but Not for the Faint of Heart".

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