By James Longhurst
Americans were using motorcycles for greater than a century now. So why are so much American towns nonetheless so ill-prepared to deal with cyclists? James Longhurst, a historian and avid bicycle owner, tackles that query through tracing the contentious debates among American motorcycle riders, motorists, and pedestrians over the shared road.
Bike Battles explores different ways in which american citizens have thought of the bicycle via renowned songs, benefit badge pamphlets, ads, movies, newspapers and sitcoms. these institutions formed the activities of presidency and the courts once they intervened in motorbike coverage via proceedings, site visitors regulate, street development, taxation, rationing, import price lists, protection schooling and motorcycle lanes from the 1870s to the 1970s.
Today, biking in American city facilities is still a problem as urban planners, political pundits, and citizens proceed to argue over motorbike lanes, bike-share courses, legislation enforcement, sustainability, and public protection. Combining attention-grabbing new examine from quite a lot of resources with a real ardour for the subject, Longhurst indicates us that those battles are not anything new; in reality they're easily a continuation of the unique conflict over who is―and isn't―welcome on our roads.
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Additional resources for Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road
Is It a Carriage? When riders started using bicycles as transportation more extensively, the courts had to decide whether existing laws for vehicles that carried things and people—that is, “carriages”—included the newcomers. A few existing laws governing tolls and taxation used the word carriage as a distinct subcategory of vehicle, while others used the words interchangeably. The physical form further confused matters: a single rider sat astride a bicycle much as a rider rode a horse, but a horse wasn’t a vehicle, while a bicycle was.
A bike that makes me feel so free, Because the laws don’t apply to me. I go through lights of red, you’ve seen, It doesn’t matter ’cause I’m green. Not all the criticism of bikers came from outside the cycling community. Protesting riders in Chicago streets prompted one experienced but angry cyclist to ask if it was “Revolution? Anarchy? State-sponsored terrorism? ” 24 The bike battles of the twenty-first century serve as proxies for other ideological fights. “Particularly in America, the bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars,” observed the Boston Globe in 2013.
Protesting riders in Chicago streets prompted one experienced but angry cyclist to ask if it was “Revolution? Anarchy? State-sponsored terrorism? ” 24 The bike battles of the twenty-first century serve as proxies for other ideological fights. “Particularly in America, the bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars,” observed the Boston Globe in 2013. The humorist P. J. . . so that an affluent elite can feel good about itself ” in its “sanctimonious pedal-pushing,” O’Rourke sees communist totalitarianism.