One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness

By Zack Furness

Even if thousands of individuals within the usa like to experience bicycles for workout or rest, facts express that just one in step with cent of the complete U.S. inhabitants experience bicycles for transportation - and infrequently part as many use motorcycles to shuttle to paintings. In his unique and intriguing e-book, "One much less Car", Zack Furness examines what it skill traditionally, culturally, socioeconomically, and politically to be a bicycle transportation advocate/activist. featuring an underground way of life of motorcycle fans who aggressively withstand automobile tradition, Furness maps out the cultural trajectories among mobility, expertise, city area and way of life. He connects bicycling to radical politics, public demonstrations, replacement media creation (e.g., 'zines), in addition to to the improvement of neighborhood courses through the international. "One much less motor vehicle" additionally positions the bicycle as an item with which to investigate and critique a number of the dominant cultural and political formations within the U.S. - or even breaks down boundaries of race, category and gender privilege which are interconnected to mobility. For Furness, bicycles not just unlock humans from expertise, in addition they help social and environmental justice. So, he asks, why will not be extra american citizens adopting them for his or her transportation wishes?

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Indeed, while the Clarion Clubs may have been ardent devotees to the socialist cause, their constituency and disposition was largely middle class: a situation that inevitably caused friction between cyclists and the actual laborers who viewed cycling as bourgeois activity. ”138 And though it would appear that Clarion cyclists were out of sync with the day-to-day rhythms of working-class life, it is a mistake to simply dismiss them on such grounds. Indeed, the coupling of cycling and politics in other European countries speaks to a pervasive dissensus over what constituted authentic socialist endeavors, particularly when it came to sports.

The Anglo-Saxon of today, the pioneer of the world, whose footsteps are found equally in the frozen regions of the pole and under the tropical sun of India—the same men in the cold of Maine and Minnesota, or under the heat of Arizona or Louisiana—is, first of all, strong and active in body, and his dauntless mind is the natural complement of the physical man. Animal force alone is not sufficient for the needs of our present civilization. 97 These sorts of appeals, or at the very least their racist assumptions, were most explicitly promulgated through local cycling clubs and formal cycling organizations like the League of American Wheelmen.

20 Thus, the headset—like the radio before it—crystallized a specific set of cultural dispositions and assumptions regarding the use and value of technologies, as well as the listener him- or herself. Following Sterne’s formulation, I am suggesting that the emergence of the automobile actually marks an end point for a series of transformations in practical orientations toward mobility, technology, and space that were initially crystallized through the bicycle. These transformations were by no means natural or inevitable, nor were they simply the result of technological innovations in bicycle design.

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