The ‘bike-ocalypse’, or just change? Mark Hallinger offers many questions and the beginnings of an answer on surviving turbulent times
his opinion started as a humour piece back in October or November last year, a bit of good-natured grumpy reflection about where the cycling world might be heading. This would all be based on a range of characters I actually came in contact with over a few weeks last year. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales on wheels, perhaps. Or maybe a wild downhill ride a la Dante’s Inferno? Or, it could have a ‘Four Horsemen of the Cycling Industry Apocalypse’ theme. The first horseman might be a gaggle of 20-somethings on electric scooters roaring down the bike path. This could be coupled with a mythical study that noted that 63% of urban dwellers cite
16 | March 2019
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electric scooters as a regular form of transportation, whereas one year ago that number was less than 1%. Another horseman was seen on the same gorgeous October day as the scooter hipsters, a pair of 40-50 something businessattired movers and shakers on hoverboards. We’ve lost another demographic, I thought! For the benighted, hoverboards are those electric platform devices with a wheel on each side and gyroscopes for balance. If you’re stuck in the year 2000 like me in more ways than thinking that nine speed was enough already, they are sort of like a cut-down Segue with just the platform part, with no ‘handlebars’ reaching skyward.