Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Wiggle

The Wiggle, San Francisco's well-known bike route for cutting across the city without having to go over any hills, now has its own PSA! The Wiggle has evolved quite a bit in the last ten years or so, going from a nearly unmarked local biker secret to getting its own bike path markers, green painted lanes and bike route signs.

And now it has its own video featuring ironic hipsters and a catchy jingle. I think it's hilarious and fun, but if I were actually trying to learn the route based on the PSA I'd have to watch it at least ten times. Its entertainment value is exponentially higher than its educational value. And the folks doing the world's dorkiest Wiggle at 0:58 manage to make even me, the girl who wears clear safety goggles when I ride my bike, embarrassed for them.

Today was Bay Area Bike to Work Day, known to me as Another Day I Biked to Work. I'm not really the target audience for Bike to Work Day, whose main purpose is to encourage people who are a bit intimidated about commuting on their bike to start doing it, but a part of me is sad I didn't catch any of the festivities.

Said festivities apparently involved "energizer stations" offering snacks, drinks, commuting-related freebies, perky experienced bikers eagerly offering advice and encouragement, and some manner of bike repair. There were also bike convoys leading timid newbie bike commuters along safe, comfortable routes to their workplace. I missed all of it. My route to work goes up several hills, and no bike convoys seemed interested in going my way.

Bike to Work Day is one of the many things that I love about San Francisco. So many people here think biking is a great idea. The cycling community here is large, diverse, well-organized and politically active. (Don't be misled by the PSA, which makes it look like only white hipsters ride bikes.) Cyclists are generally well-behaved, law-abiding and careful not to be aggro in traffic. Naysayers are always desperate to point to the one shithead outlier and claim that the remaining 99% of bikers are the same. Folks, don't hate on the bike. I have no doubts that dude is a deep douchebag off his bike, and a complete jerkface in his car, but I don't hear anyone accusing all drivers of being like him. Oh, the prejudices we embrace.

A well-articulated article about bigotry against cyclists. Couldn't have said it better myself.

No comments: