I apologize for any cross-posting or multiple posts.**My name is Zack Furness and I'm a teacher living in Seattle, WA.**I'm currently writing a book called One Less Car: Bike Culture and the Politics of Cycling (Temple University Press).**The reason I'm writing this email is because I'm trying to get feedback from people about their experiences as cyclists and their thoughts about bike culture, bike advocacy, and transportation.**I think it's important for researchers to get a lot of feedback from individuals when they are writing a book, and that's why I've been interviewing people and sending out emails like this for over a year and a half.**
Below, I've pasted some survey questions about bicycling for you to fill out, if you would be kind enough to participate in my research. I've also included a short description of the book and a little bit of information about myself.**Your feedback is really important to me, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read this.**If you are willing to take part in this survey, please return it to me by March 1st (at the latest).**I'm hoping that the book will be published by late 2007, and any profits made from the sales of this book will be donated to Free Ride!, a non-profit recycled bike project located in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.**Visit them on the web at: http://www.freeridepgh.org/
Please feel free to forward this email to any bike advocates, Critical Mass participants, and community cycling project volunteers that you know.**Also, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns about the project.**
You can send your responses, and any other inquiries to:**email@example.com
Thanks for your time and your help,
*One Less Car: Bike Culture and the Politics of Cycling (Summary)
****This book is a cultural study of bicycles and the politics that inform the everyday practice of cycling.**Through a close examination of media, rhetoric, and public demonstrations, I focus my attention on groups of people who believe that bicycles are not merely forms of transportation--rather, they view bicycles as instruments of communication, sources of identity, vehicles for pleasure, and tools for technological, cultural, and political critique.* This ‘counterculture’ is comprised of environmentalists, community activists, feminists, socialists, and many others who have created and developed a politics of cycling through communication and action.**Through this process, these cyclists have not only created an important body of knowledge that speaks to issues of gender, class, and culture, they also demonstrate how people can actively negotiate and contest the meanings of technology and transportation.**As such, they reveal the capacity for others to effectively utilize grassroots organization, alternative media production, and non-violent direct action in the struggle for progressive social change.**More than anything, they remind us that revolution can, and must, begin in our everyday lives.**
*About the author (Zack Furness)
****I earned my PhD in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh (2005) and I'm an editor/contributor with the zine Bad Subjects (bad.eserver.org). In addition to being a teacher and an avid bike commuter, I've played in numerous punk bands since the late 1990s and been an occasional contributor to Punk Planet magazine.**Currently, I'm living in Seattle and teaching at Shoreline Community College.
A quick note about this survey---I am not using these surveys as part of a quantitative study or to make some comprehensive claim about bicyclists or bicycling.** Rather, I'm just trying to learn more about bicyclists' thoughts, opinions, and perspectives on bike culture and bike advocacy.**There's only so much you can learn from conversations, websites, bike zines, and documentaries!
1) What is your name and where do you live?**Please feel free to include any additional information about yourself, such as your age, gender, ethnicity, profession, or economic status.
2) Do I have permission to publish your responses, or parts of your responses in this book?**If so, can I use your real name or would you like to remain anonymous?
3) How long have you been riding a bicycle, and how frequently do you ride?**
4) How did you get interested in bicycling, and why do you continue to ride?**
5) Are you involved with any bike advocacy organizations, community cycling projects, Critical Mass, or any other bike-related projects?**If so, how did you get involved with these groups? (i.e. from your involvement in activism or the punk scene, or because you were just interested in bikes, etc. etc.)**As part of your response, please explain the nature of your participation and the length of time you have been involved.**
6) If you are involved with a bicycling organization, what issues does the group address and what other organizations do they work with?
7) Where do you get information and news about biking?**(i.e. specific websites, listservs, magazines, etc.).**Ho do you think bicycling is represented in mass media?**In terms of media representation, what do you specifically support or object to?
8) Do you think bicycling is political?**If so, why or why not?**As part of your response, please explain how you interpret the meaning of 'political'.**
9) Do you think there's such as thing as bike culture?**If so, what does it mean to you?
10) Is bike culture inclusive or exclusive to people of different ethnic backgrounds, genders, physical abilities, and economic classes (in terms of participation in different activities and organizations)?**Can you give some specific examples to illustrate this?****
11) What are the best and worst parts about bike culture and/or bike advocacy?
12) A lot of bicyclists have very strong opinions about Critical Mass and many also have strong opinions about vehicular cycling (the premise that bicyclists fare best when they use the road like the drivers of automobiles)** What are your thoughts about the importance and/or influence of Critical Mass?** Similarly, do you have any thoughts about the importance and/or influence of vehicular cyclists?
13) Is there a recycled bike project, or community bicycling center in your town/city?**If so, what are your thoughts about these organizations, and have you ever utilized them?**
14) What's your perspective on the single speed/fixed gear phenomenon?
15) What are some of the most important things that have to be done in order to get more people on bikes?**Along the same line, what are the biggest challenges to getting people out of their cars and onto bikes (or public transportation)?
16) Do you have any questions for me?**Any comments?**Any other thoughts that weren't addressed in the context of this survey?
Thank you so much for your participation!**Please return answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org