I grew up in a suburb of Washington D.C. called Arlington. I went back there this weekend to visit my family. It was weird. In five days I saw two bicyclists. Two. One of the cyclists was wearing a styrofoam cooler on his head as a helmet. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure he was chasing a squirrel. In five days I didn’t see any bike shops. Not one.
Instead of bikes I saw cars. A lot of them. And pavement. Everywhere. Northern Virginia is essentially a gigantic parking lot stitched together by a haphazard web of highways. It’s ghastly.
It’s fun to think that if I lived in Virginia I would go against the grain and ride my bike around. But the reality is I’m too much of a coward to joust with the cars in that environment. You would have to be cooler-on-your-head kooky to do so.
We Minneapolitans should be grateful that we live in the most bike-friendly city in America – and make sure that we keep it that way.