The Hardest People to Convince

History is full of examples of People with new ides running up against opposition.  Surprisingly it is the Experts of the time who are the most difficult to make a Paradigm shift to a new way of thinking.  Experts have so much time invested in their beliefs that it becomes part of their belief system blocking their minds from believing that there may be another alternative.

When Galileo said that the Earth was not the center of the universe the Catholic Church persecuted him and his followers for such ungodly thoughts.  When Darwin proposed his theory of Evolution is was rejected by the scientific and religious community.  When Einstein proposed his Theory of Relativity it was rejected by the Newtonian scientific community.  When Neal Bohr proposed the theory of Quantum Mechanic Einstein rejected is as in violation of his theory of Relativity.  In all these examples they are now commonly accepted by the experts as truth.

So it will be no surprise to me that those who claim to know the most about bicycle riding will be the most difficult to convince that bicycle riding can be the future for a sustainable community and that bike riding and paths should be designed for the casual and less experienced rider before it will ever gain popularity for daily use.  But I am proposing far more than that.  I am proposing that one day bicycles will be the primary means of transportation and will totally replace cars.

For me it is a matter of how soon this process will happen.  I have already outlined the important that bike riding must be Safe, Attractive, and Convenient before its total acceptance by society.  This will take time.  We must change how people think about transportation as well as make the needed infrastructural changes.

Bike riding may seem uncomfortable and expose people to doing more work peddling and exposing themselves to the elements, but these can be beneficial in terms of exercise and getting some vitamin D badly lacking in those who seldom get exposed to nature.  Simple put on some sunscreen to reduce UV exposure.  It is a way of life in countries such as Denmark where the Winters are very cold and snowbound and the Springs and Falls quite wet.  We live in an almost perfect climate of little rain and almost no freezing cold.

But there are still those bicyclists who are used to making left terns in the car turn lanes outright suicidal for kids under 13, adults without much cycling experience, and senior over 70 who need a curb to stand on and who have trouble getting started from a standstill such as myself and I’m in decent shape for my age of 70.

So I hope you strong and experienced cyclist who cycle almost daily and are streetwise and hardy can have some sympathy for the rest of us and consider a cycling world more designed for the casual cyclist if bicycles are ever to become the primary means of transportation for everyone.  You are the 1-2% who cycle regularly.  I represent the 98-99% who need to make bicycling a Safe way of life.

Give us a break and lend us a helping hand.  It is as much in your interests as it is in ours that biking become more universally accepted and that cars be removed from the road.  Cars are bad news for all cyclists of all ages and skill levels.  Let us work together to get rid of those dreaded enclosed steel contraptions as quickly possible.  For every person we get to ride a bike regularly one less car is on the roads we share.  So let us work together on those 98-99% who are still driving cars.

About Frank Geefay

Sustainable Bicycle and Smart Growth Advocate
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