December 7th, 2010

Cyclists can see it

Bicycletecture will be a phenomenon of large brownfield redevelopment sites. Cyclists know why. Those of us who regularly commute via bicycle, don't ask if our homes or offices are close to a metro, within TODs, or if any of the places we want to go have ease of parking. We ask how many cars might threaten our lives on the way. Additionally, lazy cyclists ask how many hills they might have to climb. Cyclists don't see brownfield sites in isolation, but as belonging to contiguous networks of current and former industrial land, with tendrils across a whole city. And the best thing of all, is that land is all flat, because it follows old rail lines and waterways. The nearer cities come to transforming all of that land into urban renewal projects and parkways, the nearer they come to creating a cyclist's nirvana!

I've marked the above cycleway map of my city with big black lines, the lower left the remains of a coal skip line since converted into a cycle path, the upper right ones indicating the the former docklands being converted along the lines of contemporary best practice in urban planning. The red shaded areas are residential areas that would be especially desirable to cyclists, because they have ease of access to safe cycling routes. These are the types of places where architects need to consider cyclists' needs in the design of their buildings. (Sorry, I'm feeling very didactic today. The hit count reminds me I'm mostly writing to strangers. Hi everybody out there!)

And to conclude, another example, the Cal Park Tunnel in San Francisco.

Different Pedal Strokes

"Different Pedal Strokes". Hey, that sounds like a good name for a book! And you could be one of its authors! So here's how it will work. Write a completely original 2000 word (approx.) essay, advancing some argument about cycling that no one could have even imagined, then email it to me (behoovingmoving AT gmail DOT com). You won't plagiarize, will you? I'm an academic and I will catch you :) And as such I might get in big trouble myself if I made improper use of your intellectual property. So let's agree trust cuts both ways in this little deal.
This could be us, my fellow cycle buff wordsmiths!

If anything decent comes in, I'll package it up as a book and pitch it to a few agents, in New York of course, or at least agents pretending to be in New York as I know some of those little rats do. We'll split the royalties according to word count. Actually, make that character count, so of you and me, I can use bigger words and thus maintain my moral claim to editorial credits.

If you don't have it in you to write, would you mind terribly posting this newsflash all over the web: Dr. Behooving seeks contributions to book about cycling. The most pseudo intellectual and unpredictable book of its kind.  Thank you so much.