Backlash against bicycling is good for cyclists

It’s not much of a secret that next to city vs. suburb, bicyclists vs. drivers is a little steaming cauldron of hate when it comes to debates.

Nothing can stir one side up like mentioning the other side.

But here’s something surprising: it means cycling is mainstream, The Atlantic’s City Lab writes today. That should be good news for cyclists.

Writer Sarah Goodyear calls it “bikelash.”

Kit Keller, executive director of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, says that bikelash is part of the cycle that happens along with any big societal shift. “We say there are three stages of social change,” says Keller. “Ridicule, violent opposition, and then acceptance. And sometimes there’s a fourth stage, too, where someone who has been opposed to it from the beginning will say, ‘Oh, that was such a great idea, I was really for it from the start.’ And it makes all of us giggle and be happy, and we just go on doing good work.”

Goodyear says “bikelash” is “an inevitable part of the evolution of bicycle transportation in North America.”

She also thinks bicyclists should pay attention to traffic laws, even if they don’t make any sense.

More cycling: 'Nude' Or Not, Women's Cycling Team Uniform Makes Waves (NPR).