The author argues that the goal should be shifted from commuting in particular, which may be unfeasible for many, to utility cycling more generally. Even if work is too far to reach by bike, other trips, under say three or five miles, are perfectly feasible for many, even most, if safe, pleasant infrastructure exists for people to do it. He advocates creating a network within a neighborhood or town that will get people to school, bank, post office, shopping, eating, entertainment, etc., and connects to the next neighborhood, and the next. Then people might see the utility of using a bicycle, without having to make the leap to cycling 10+ miles to work. They might not get rid of their car, but this still has the benefit of getting cars off the street, reducing congestion, pollution, the need for parking, getting people to exercise, and so on. Getting people commute by bike is laudable, but too limited, and in many cases too difficult, a goal. Rather, make cycling safe, convenient, and useful for most people, and more people will cycle.
At the risk of going on a New York centric tangent, last year, New York City introduced bike share, after having installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes. Bike share is limited to rides under 30 or 45 minutes (depending on rental plan), after which there are additional escalating charges. When they announced it, there was big hue and cry, "OMG, a four hour bike rental will cost $77! What can you do with just half an hour?" It turns out, quite a lot. You pick up a bike at one station, ride a mile or two, drop it off at another station, do what you went there to do, then pick up another bike if you need to, and go on your merry way. Bike share use peaked at over 44,000 rides a day, and there are almost 100,000 annual members. Bike share created thousands of cyclists simply by making cycling easy. It eliminated the need even to own a bike in order to ride a bike get around town. Bike share may or may not be useful to you for commuting, depending on where your workplace is, but it can be used for lots of other things, and whatever the destination, getting people to get there by bike is a good thing.