One of my pet obsessions is cycling as an alternative to driving. I’m hopeful that cycling represents the next phase of transportation in adulthood.
Another of my obsessions are the many different ways that the U.K. and the U.S. – despite sharing a common heritage – are still miles apart culturally.
Imagine my delight, then, in happening upon this gem in yesterday’s Guardian: The TFL (that’s Transport for London, the city’s transportation agency) is partnering with a private company to provide, quote “normal clothing that serves as specialist cycling clothing.” This new line of clothing is cleverly called Bspoke and you can view it right here on the TFL website.
That’s right. The City of London’s government is promoting a line of cycling gear.
Can you imagine that happening anywhere in the U.S. (O.K., anywhere outside of Portland?)
Of course you can’t. And that’s because even though car usage in the States appears to be on the decline, it’s a slow burn. For all sorts of reasons – most of them cultural, some having to do with urban sprawl – cars are still central to the American way of life.
So, no. It doesn’t look like we’re going to see Mayor Bloomberg promoting the Manhattan equivalent of Bspoke anytime soon.
But there is some good news here. Even if Americans are still reluctant to embrace cycling in quite the way Europeans do, the environmentally-friendly Prius (now in its third iteration) is generating waiting lists in Japan. And Toyota is hopeful that this enthusiasm will be matched in America (as well as in Europe).
My mother owns a Prius, so I’ve had the pleasure of driving one of those bad boys. And – oh my – was it fun.
In the meantime, while we wait to see where gasoline prices and energy policy and – ahem – Middle East politics are headed, I took some comfort in this other news flash, courtesy of the blog Kim and Jason Escape Adulthood:
Question: What was the best-selling car in America last year?
Answer: The Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, with 457,000 units sold.
My only question is when the Cozy Coupe line of clothing will emerge…
Further to yesterday’s post on five great lifehacking websites, I learned today that one of those sites – The Happiness Project – has spawned a sister site that is a happiness-hack-lover’s dream. Appropriately called The Happiness Project Toolbox, this site is a collection of “Eight Tools that will help you be happier now” – things like resolutions charts, lists of commandments and one sentence journals that can be shared with others. Check it out!