Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

08 November 2016

Vote Bike!

Today is Election Day here in the US.

I believe I have heard, "Did you vote?" and "Who did you vote for?" (or "Who are you going to vote for?") more often today than I heard during the last few elections combined. 

The talking heads are right when they describe this year's election as an "enigma" or "paradox":  It's been a long time since so many people have paid attention, even though this year's major party candidates for the Presidency are the least-liked, and possibly the worst, in the history of this country.

I'm not sure that choosing one candidate over the other will make much difference for cycling in this country, so I suspect most cyclists will vote by the same criteria other voters use.  Perhaps Hillary Clinton will be somewhat better, simply because she is somewhat better on environmental issues, which is a bit like saying that any given country is a little better than Saudi Arabia on women's rights.  At least one can hope that Hillary's attention to issues such as greenhouse gases and mass transit might translate into policies, or even infrastructure, that will benefit cyclists.  On the other hand, you can pretty much bet that a man who thinks global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese will do nothing favorable to cyclists.

That is not to say that there's nothing at stake for cyclists or cycling in this election.  The biggest differences that voters can make in creating bicycle policy and infrastructure are found at the local level. So, elections for city councils, county and state legislatures as well as other local offices, some of which are being held today, can be a key to creating more "bike friendly" areas in the US.

Flag of the Samajwadi Party, India

To my knowledge, though, no major US media outlet has done anything like the "scorecard" The Guardian did in advance of last year's general election in Great Britain.  In it, each of the major parties is rated on a scale from one to ten in terms of its attention, or lack thereof, to cycling-related issues.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the UK Independence Party (the one that led the "Brexit"vote) scored zero, while the Greens scored ten. 

Can you imagine the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post or other newspapers rating the Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens or other parties--or, better yet, each of the candidates, especially during the Primaries.  Hmm...How would Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders compare to Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?


  1. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, plans to ride the continental divide trail next summer. Donald Trump used to sponsor the Tour de Trump bike race.

  2. Pawl--Interesting about Gary Johnson. Thanks for passing that info.

    And, yes, I remember the TdT.