A thesis: Internation Relations and cycling (looking for help here, please)
Today, prior to a four day weekend culminating in Labor Day, Dr. Nameisntrelevant in my International Relations course gave a broader description of a 'paper' that she wants us to have finished by Sept. 19th.
Originally, my understanding, which is bad apparently, was that she wanted us to interview someone 'international' and get the feel for how they saw the U.S. (pro/cons, etc).
Well, being that the other 24 folks in the class got the same impression, I felt I was right; clearly I was not.
What she wants is a broader paper (4-5 pages) on something that is both involved in the U.S. and International scene, and with that, I was told these examples:
Go work as a migrant worker for a day (document it)
Talk with someone who is selling discontinued items (her example was Tupperware) internationally, etc
So, I had this brainstorm hit me dead on as I'm sitting there in the front row, middle aisle (the A+ seat) wearing my SPD shoes because I forgot to bring my sandals to change into for classes today...
Vehicular Cycling, aka, the thing I do daily!
Now, I know that overseas riding a bike as a vehicle is the norm in many cultures, and I thought 'Hey Dean, what would be better than a 4-5 page paper (with accompanied oral presentation which is mandatory) on the cultural differences of biking here and abroad.
So how can you help? Reference materials, etc. While I will be using a combination of the school's library resources, as well as, some of the books I have at home, I was curious if anybody here knew of any solid information (first hand accounts work!) of bicycle travel outside of the U.S. I'd love to work out something via email to interview you for this paper.
Also, I can't recall who, but I recall reading an excellent abstract on vehicular cycling and other forms (recreational riders, etc) recently here - does anybody recall who wrote that?
I've been to Thailand for 4 trips and Cambodia for 1 trip, the journals are at www.eastbaybob.crazyguyonabike.com There are a lot better international journals than mine on the site, take a look there are some good reads there.
I'm afraid I don't have much real information on this, but I have heard utilitarian cycling is common in Cuba, in part because of the US embargo making cars much less available...that topic might allow you to get the US/International aspect of the paper covered. There's a Toronto based charity that collects donated bikes and ships them down there.