Monday, December 28, 2009

2010: Year of the Bike?

On Christmas Eve, Andrew Ritchie, inventor of the Brompton folding bike won the Prince Philip Designers Prize, formally known as the Prize for Elegant Design. Today, it appears to reward a lifetime of achievement in design and, on its fiftieth anniversary, Ritchie was chosen as the prizewinner. England seems to have a greater affinity for cycling than the US, but if they take bikes as seriously as such an award would suggest, then this country is bound to start thinking more seriously about cycling. I've chronicled the bicycle's increasing role in the fashion world and noted its emergence in some American lifestyle magazines and blogs on my other blog. Despite the trend-hunting and the fickle followers of the en vogue, I never doubted that the rise of cycling would endure. Now Design (yes, with a capital "D") has taken note of the bicycle and I'm thinking/hoping that in addition to innovative or stylish new bikes we'll see new bike infrastructure. Atlanta just got its first sharrows which is a delightful surprise, but just a small step towards realizing what's needed in the city and this, of course, is the case in many cities across the US. I'd like to believe that in 2010 there will be a lot more safe space for cyclists to ride their folding or classic French-inspired bikes.

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