Answer: Mayors, tennis players, weather reporters, actors, royalty
Reading Tuesday's news, I noted in an article about the upcoming mayoral race that The Seattle Times referred to Mayor McGinn as "the bike-riding urbanist." This is true, Mayor McGinn does ride a bicycle. I read the rest of the story, expecting to learn what modes of transport the other mayoral candidates use, but was disappointed by the lack of coverage. If it's important enough to mention that Mayor McGinn rides a bike to work, why not tell readers how the others convey themselves?
The answer is because that would be ridiculous (mostly), yet the idea persists that it's OK to differentiate people who choose to bicycle.
In fact, bicycling is well on its way to being the new normal. As Stephanie noted yesterday, "when the Puget Sound Business Journal reports that 'if there really is a War on Cars, more and more employers and commercial developers are siding with the bicyclists.'" Moreover, evidence is piling up that car culture is steadily declining.
In Seattle, voters are right in line with this movement, with the majority showing support for bicycling. Even if they aren't ready yet to take to two wheels due to being afraid of riding with busy traffic, voters strongly support creating safe places to ride, even if it means trade-offs. Meanwhile, at Monday night's mayoral forum, Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell reportedly questioned the expense of building protected bike lanes (aka cycle tracks). This is the very type of infrastructure that makes busy traffic streets safer for everyone, especially those who are willing but wary. Protected bike lanes are just the kind of thing downtown Seattle in particular needs if it's ever going to become bike-friendly and serve all ages and abilities of bicycle riders.
I don't know about you, but I'm proud to have a mayor who reaches for the bike lock keys instead of the car keys sometimes. My family isn't car-free, but we bike when it works for us. I tend to think our mayor has some skin in the game when it comes to riding a bike on Seattle streets. He knows what I'm talking about when I say we'll make the choice to bike instead of drive when it makes sense, and we'd like our streets to be safe enough for us to do so.
It's time for media to get in sync and celebrate people who make those choices instead of trying to divide us.
I guess it could be worse. We're keeping good company.
Answer: all ride bicycles from time to time. Mayors, queens, future presidents, tennis players, weather reporters, actors, pro basketball players, amazing moms and awesome dads. Who else? Add your favorites in the comment section.