By James Longhurst
American citizens were using motorcycles for greater than a century now. So why are such a lot American towns nonetheless so ill-prepared to address cyclists? James Longhurst, a historian and avid bicycle owner, tackles that query by way of tracing the contentious debates among American motorcycle riders, motorists, and pedestrians over the shared road.
Bike Battles explores the various ways in which american citizens have thought of the bicycle via renowned songs, advantage badge pamphlets, advertisements, motion pictures, newspapers and sitcoms. these institutions formed the activities of presidency and the courts after they intervened in motorbike coverage via court cases, site visitors keep watch over, highway construction, 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 motorcycle lanes, bike-share courses, legislation enforcement, sustainability, and public protection. Combining attention-grabbing new examine from a variety of resources with a real ardour for the subject, Longhurst indicates us that those battles are not anything new; in truth they are easily a continuation of the unique conflict over who is―and isn't―welcome on our roads.
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Additional info for Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road
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.
Pope. It was up to the commissioners, said the justices eventually, to decide whether bicycles should be allowed in parks. After that defeat, it was clear that cyclists would find a remedy not in the courts but in a declaration by state legislature affirming the status of bicycles. . ”46 A few other states emulated this example, with the League of American Wheelmen lobbying legislatures for support. 47 The Police Power and the Scorcher Outright prohibitions, like those challenged by the Liberty Bill, were less common than laws and ordinances to regulate bicycles—such as those requiring lights and bells or imposing speed limits.
31 The association with a male elite was rooted in the extreme nature of the high-wheel: dangerously prone to overturning, with a steep learning curve and little in the way of creature comforts for its rider, the bicycle of the 1870s and 1880s tempted male riders to demonstrate feats of bravery, strength, and pigheadedness. . ”18 All of these associations were manifested in the activities of the League of American Wheelmen (LAW), a national advocacy, social, and racing organization with local chapters.