To: Loren Mooney, Editor-in-Chief
Your March, 2010 editorial, "Cyclists at Play" contained a statement which finally allowed me to understand the strange coverage of cycling that your magazine proffers.
"We adults have schedules that make it harder to find ride time," you said, "but in the end, bikes are still toys." (emphasis mine)
Really, Ms. Mooney?
For many thousands of us, bikes are not toys. My bike certainly isn't. It is the vehicle that takes me to work every morning, to the grocery or hardware store, or to the dentist.
It wasn't a toy that I rode to the barbershop last week. Nor was my bike a toy when it had the trailer hitched on behind with a load for the town dump.
The "bikes are toys" attitude is the primary reason motorists refuse to share the road with us, creating unsafe conditions for cyclists everywhere.
As a cycling instructor, I have found that the "bikes are toys" attitude to be a major contributor to dangerous cycling behavior, such as ignoring red lights or stop signs, riding on the sidewalk, or wrong-way riding. After all, the rules of the road don't apply to toys, do they?
It truly is a shame that your magazine caters to the "bikes are toys" market. In doing so, you shoot yourselves in the foot, falsely limit the public image of cyclists to one of spandex-clad elitists playing on their $5,000 toys, and enable the motoring public's road arrogance.
I would hope that Bicycling, which bills itself as the "World's Leading Bike Magazine" would be capable of more.