Spokes(Wo)Man

Scared of traffic ? No bike infrastructure ? Too Far ? Helmet hair ?

 

Fuck it, ride anyway

Ride the rainbow

In Auckland, their most famous bike path is magenta, with a culturally significant black koru design.

In Copenhagen, and surprisingly not in the Netherlands as I first assumed, they have this tangerine dream ...

In Noo Yawk, I read the act of installing a new bike path described as "laying down fresh Kermit"

Yeah buddy, I know.

San Jose has this cerulean pathway ....

As does Copenhagen again, not shy about colours, the Danes...

and Poland has this glorious solar-powered path which glows a beautiful ghostly blue at night...

This red contribution from Switzerland ...

Wisconsin !!! At least it won't show the bloodstains !

And my old favourite in Brabantia, which for artistic reasons alone is the gold standard.

Aren't some of these stunning ?

For a nanosecond I thought it a terrible shame there were no sunny, daffodil-yellow bike lanes, but of course yellow is already used as lane and traffic markings, so sadly that gorgeous colour is off the table.

Blue as well, here in NSW that tends to indicate disabled and official parking spaces, so that's out too.

Green is ... well maybe because that's the colour bike lane I see most in Sydney, albeit faded and pockmarked,  I find it a bit tired. Boring. Doesn't mean I don't wish there weren't more.

Red made me wonder; it's bold and certainly says "Whoa dude, back the fuck off" but I wondered at night how distinguishable the red is from the actual black of the regular road surface ? 

Never you mind how I know this, but in the dark, black and red are easily interchangeable, so for instance, if you were a high-end cat-burglar targeting only the obscenely wealthy, in some sort of altruist Robin Hood kind of lifestyle, you'd be better off wearing a dark red outfit, because at night you're as camouflaged as if you were wearing special-ops black, but if someone shines a light on you or you have to walk through a public space to get away with the loot, someone dressed all in black simply screams "heist" whereas someone in crimson looks like a regular person with bold fashion sense. That oxblood maroon was everywhere during winter, and looked fabulous paired with neutrals and deep caramel colours.

Ahem. I digress.

So, it's not just about how stunning it is in ordinary daylight, does it glare and distract in full summer sun ? How does it appear under street lighting, whether it's the regular lights, those piss-yellow sodium lights or the newer LEDs that everyone will switch to in the future. How does it look under bike lighting ? I have LEDs you could see from Mars, but not everyone has switched to those yet, plenty of riders are still rocking their old faithful lights which may not react as effectively over certain colours.

And what does your road design actually require ? If you were running fully separated lanes you could go with the pink, red or the blue, or even my favourite the orange, but I think in the shared  streets scenario these are less than visually optimum under the majority of public street lights. Sadly, because riding that orange bike bridge would rock my world.

Still, it's wonderful to see what other countries are doing with their bike budgets; and to see how infrastructure can so easily be designed to be beautiful as well as practical.