It seems to me that bicycling should be seen as patriotic. There are just too many good things that come from cycling: If more people biked I think that could affect demand and push down fuel prices in the US. If more folks biked and we bought less gas, the US’ trade deficit could shrink because of how much we spend on gas. If more people biked we could be a more fit country. Since, “the President is an avid mountain biker”, why doesn’t he invite Lance to the Whitehouse. At this point Lance is probably the country’s number one good-will ambassador. If more people biked our beloved country would have far less pollution and road deaths. Americans would be less dependant on Saudi Arabian oil. If more people biked we could spend less on roads. Now I know that there are downsides to moving away from cars like, less money for a few big manufacturers and oil companies. Not only that but at least 9/10ths of voters, regardless of age, sex or economic position are members of the “right foot club”.
During wwII the media was intimately involved with supporting the war effort and pushed things like military super heros in comic books, catroons with war themes, not to mention movies and newsreels.
Rather than that we get NYC freekin out over Critical Mass, even though the taxpayers said let them ride. We get radio talk show idiots complaining about bikes, then resending because they did not know better. We get ill informed newspaper writers complaining about elite cyclist “road hogs”. We get teenagers complaining about irritating bicyclists that make driving momy’s car difficult. We often get lack of support from the police when a car hits someone. We get mega tax breaks for gas guzzling trucks and nothing for bikes, save a few paths that often lack significant planning. And who can forget the good ol boy who yells out the window of his friend’s pickup truck—that person should be praising the cyclists for helping to bring down the price of gas and helping to preserve his favorite hunting ground.
With all of the good things that come from cycling, and all the bad that seems to arise from oil and cars it almost seems like a conflict of (the county’s) interest to not actively support cycling. Sure things are not the same as back in the 40s but still there are overwhelming, benefits to the country to support cycling it is strange that these don’t seem to be perused. Why do you think this is and what can we do to change that?
How it was. This is from:
In spite of increased production, many items became scarce as the war effort tapped America's resources. For example, canned goods were rationed throughout the war because steel was essential in the production of planes, ships, tanks and other military equipment. The same priorities forced consumers to forgo the purchase of refrigerators, washing machines, alarm clocks, bed springs, hair pins, metal office furniture, lawnmowers and residential oil burners. Consumers had to apply to their local rationing boards for the special certificates necessary to purchase typewriters or bicycles. Scrap drives for tin, iron, rubber and newspapers linked local neighborhoods to the boys on the front lines. Even used cooking fat was "recycled" into glycerine for explosives. Gas and food were rationed and walking or riding a bike became commonplace.
"Three cheers for you, Mrs. America, and all the things you're doing at home to help win the war. Without bugle or roll of drums you're in stride with the march to victory--you're setting the thermostat at 65 degrees, saving money to buy bonds, serving less meat, keeping the children well, turning off lights and radios, defrosting the refrigerator, doing Red Cross work, saving metal, rubber, tin cans, taking First Aid, sharing cars, writing letters--anything to win."