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Beauty and the Bike

When we talk about what makes a community bike-friendly, the discussion often focuses on the physical infrastructure: bike lanes and bike racks...


When we talk about what makes a community bike-friendly, the discussion often focuses on the physical infrastructure: bike lanes and bike racks and what not. But those factors-while important-aren't the only things that young girls think about when they're considering biking. They also care about the social perception of biking. If biking is regarded as a stylish, cosmopolitan, and independent activity, rather than a fallback for people who don't have the means to drive, that helps encourage the activity.A campaign in Darlington, United Kingdom, called "Beauty and the Bike" is promoting this idea that biking is stylish through a documentary, a book, and a public exhibition. The end goal is to get girls in the city to bike more. In this eight-minute version of their film, you can see the different views of biking in Darlington and Bremen, Germany, and the effects they have.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M88sF-rvul0In urban centers in the United States, biking doesn't really have an image problem. We have fixies and Critical Mass and "eco-consciousness." But I'm not sure if that means high-school girls in the States think biking is cool.
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