i’m not a strong advocate for bicycle advocacy but i do like to leave my mark on the world. the contrail is a device that fits to your bike and leaves a line of chalk everywhere you ride.
your first question might be, who the hell would need such a device? the answer is, bicycle advocates. they ride round in circles at their little protest meets and make a point by writing colored lines on the pavement.
that last line probably sounds more sarcastic than it’s meant to be. i’m glad there are good earnest folk out there fighting for our right to ride, i just don’t happen to be one of them. i prefer an ‘us against them’ approach to cycling. on a bike i’m eager for opposition and quick to rise against it. i’m quite certain that many car drivers are actively trying to kill me and that those who aren’t usually don’t have enough spare brain cells to get from A to B without occasionally running over a cyclist or pedestrian. they have their cell phones to play with, radios, and three course meals and make up to do. these are not people you can or should bargain with.
the other problem with bicycle advocacy is that even the well-meaning bureaucrats and public representatives can’t help because they aren’t cyclist and there couldn’t understand what a cyclist actually needs, no matter how politely we try and explain it to them.
here on the gold coast they painted bicycles all over the road and ran a yellow line down the side of the road and declared they’d created 100’s of kilometres of new bike tracks. in fact they hadn’t created anything. that piece of road already existed and bicycles were perfectly legal — if not safe — riding there. the addition of the yellow line and the neato bicycle stencil art didn’t make difference one. the addition of some kind of barrier between rider and car would have created something new and bike friendly. the current lanes are used by bikes when they’re available to bikes, by cars for driving and parking when the drivers see fit.
what will ultimately change the face of riding will be more bikes on the road. critical mass was a step in the right direction, with it’s fuck-you approach to bicycle advocacy. unfortunately if often couldn’t reach critical mass and it petered out and became a little too apologetic. a real critical mass, enough bums on bike seats, will be the only thing that makes us cyclists safe. until then i’ll maintain my reactionary pose and maybe get an airzound and try to scare the drivers outa my way.