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New cycling campaign says "thank you" to bicyclists

kickstand campaign stickers on a bicycle

While bicycling hasn’t hit the kind of critical mass we see in other countries, it’s certainly taking off in the United States. As with any new trend, “cool factors” come into play. Whether it’s the hardcore athletic cyclist decked out in brightly-colored Lycra or the hipster on his/her single-speed cruiser, biking has become a means of sharing one’s sense of identity, as well as a healthy, low-carbon means of transportation.

There’s nothing wrong with that, unless it discourages others from hopping on their bikes because they don’t “fit in” (or, on the other hand, don’t want to be associated with these “in groups”). Yeah, the whole line of thinking on all sides reminds me way too much of high school, but if these social factors are keeping potential riders off their bikes, that’s a problem.

Graphic designer Keasa (no last name given) realized how much this whole coolness factor played into her willingness to ride when renting a bike with a kickstand and a basket (neither particularly hip, apparently) in Copenhagen. After finding both items particularly useful in her two-wheeled travels around the city, she had a revelation: “I had been quite a snob about these things before this trip. And then it began to sink in. By being judgmental about what was ‘cool’ or ‘acceptable’ in bicycling I was actually discouraging people from riding their bikes! GASP!!!” In response to this epiphany, Keasa started The Kickstand Campaign, an effort to say “thank you” to cyclists – all cyclists.

The concept is simple: Keasa designed stickers that cyclists and concerned citizens can share with those on two wheels as a way of saying “I appreciate what you’re doing,” and to create “positive bicycling community.” It’s a small, one-person effort, but it strikes me as one that could be incredibly effective: it’s always nice to be recognized for something you’re doing that takes some effort and  motivation. And that recognition can provide even more motivation to keep going.

Think “bicycle snobbery” is really keeping people off their bikes? Think this kind of small effort can make a real difference? Let us know, and also check out The Kickstand Campaign on Facebook.

via Car Free Days and Chris Baskind at Google+

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Greenpeace’s new toxic clothing campaign.

Heretical thinking about the transportation of the future.

Image credit: carfreedays at Flickr under a Creative Commons license