In recent years, the bicycle has seen a boom in popularity, both as a recreational vehicle and as a way to commute to work or school. But even some metropolitan areas in the United States are far from bicycle friendly.
Two Spoke, an online forum dedicated to all things cycling, has become a way for some cyclists to help each other navigate the automobile-dominated world, providing a place to discuss everything from cycling apparel to bicycle-rights legislation. Two Spoke site administrator Travis Haynes recently spoke with MOTHER EARTH NEWS via e-mail about the forum, as well as the bicycle’s place in the United States as a legitimate form of transportation.
How did Two Spoke get started, and what are the site’s goals?
Two Spoke was started May 8, 2009, in response to a need for a cycling website that was owned and operated by cyclists. The goal is to establish an online cycling forum that works as both a resource and a community that covers all facets of cycling and cycling life.
How has the site grown since then? What kinds of things are people using Two Spoke for now?
Two Spoke has grown in leaps and bounds by establishing a genuine and friendly environment that facilitates the flow of information from those with the knowledge to those in need of it, everything from designing and maintaining your cycle to advocacy issues. Two Spoke provides an inclusive community of cyclists looking to connect with other cyclists.
How has the growing environmental consciousness in the United States and throughout the world affected the cycling community?
The growing environmental consciousness is definitely providing a new realm of support to cycling rights. The continued influx of people from all walks of life, though, is what will assure the place of the bicycle in America not only as a toy but also as a legitimate and respected means of transportation. As the cycling community moves into the future we look forward to being a reliable and constant source of quality information with a friendly, helpful atmosphere.
What changes need to be made to make the United States more bicycle-friendly?
The nature of cycling rights in the United States is a constantly changing and highly diversified issue with no clear solution. Two Spoke supports legislation that aids in both the safety and understanding of cyclist issues, and the progressive thinking that will support us in the future.
Do you think the idea of commuting to work or school via bicycle is feasible for the majority of people?
Two Spoke feels that there are many limitations to cycling and if it cannot be practiced safely and responsibly, it ought not to be practiced. This is why Two Spoke supports legislation to that point. With proper legislation, cycling will become a commonly used form of transportation.
What advice can you give to someone who is considering starting to bike to work instead of drive?
For those that choose to cycle instead of drive, the best advice we can give is have fun. If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.