Today is Election Day here in the US. I am not going to make any endorsements, but I think that if you've been reading this blog (or my other), you have a pretty good idea of who I would--and wouldn't vote for.
It's interesting, though, to see how bicycling has become, as it were, a campaign issue in some places. In San Francisco, the Bicycle Coalition has a pretty detailed list of positions and endorsements on its website. From what I've been reading, cycling and progressive mass transportation policies are very much on the minds of large numbers of voters in the City By The Bay. I haven't been there in a while, but I can't say I'm surprised to read about such developments.
I've never been to Austin but, from what I know about it, I'm not surprised that cycling safety is also an important issue there on this election day. Pedestrian safety is also a priority. I don't see much about mass transportation: I can only guess that there isn't much of it--or, at least not as much as in cities like San Francisco, Boston and New York--there. I am making such an assumption based on what I saw in my admittedly-limited time in other Texas cities.
Perhaps one of the cleverest attempts to use cycling to "get out the vote" is taking place in Denver. B-cycle, the city's bike-sharing program, is waiving its one-day membership fee today.
Being the cynical New Yorker that I am (ha, ha), I wonder whether some candidate is behind the freebie. Even if that's the case, I still applaud the move. A free bike share is better than a lot of other things politicians have given people whom they want to entice to vote for them.
Speaking of politicians and bicycles: The 1946 Schwinn catalogue featured, among other things, a President-to-be and his first wife with Schwinn Continentals, "the only really fine lightweight bicycle made in America today".
Whatever you think of his politics, you've got to admit that very few people ever looked better with Continentals (which, at the time, had Sturmey-Archer three-speed hubs) than Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman. In fact, those few included a couple of other Hollywood stars featured in that year's catalogue:
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall will always get my votes!