Last Thursday we wrote about Guillaume Van der Stighelen‘s presentation on Velo-city, as you might recall. If you missed out, you can basically just visit his website and read what he had to say. Guillaume wrote it as an answer to a question posed by Dr. Bernhard Ensink, secretary general of the European Cyclist Federation: ‘Can you make a hero brand of Urban Cycling?’
You can read to full answer on his website, but here are some highlights, starting with his own personal example:
‘In the morning, when I ride my bike to the office in Antwerp, there is a path that runs along the Ring. A four lanes highway circling around the town, connecting traffic from Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris and Brussels. A truck carrying load from Lisabon to Copenhague will probably pass here. From 7 to 10 it’s stuck. I pass BMW’s and Aston Martins on my Koga Myata, a beautifully crafted colaboration between Holland and Japan. I see the faces behind the wheels, and I wonder, why do they want to be there and not here. In the fresh open air. Once in town, I can go any restaurant I want for lunch, I don’t need parking space. On my way back home, I see the same faces, standing in line again. They are nervous. They need to be back home on time. Because they have an appointment. At the fitness club. (…) Some will say you can’t ride a bike in your office suit. Nonsense. You don’t need lycra to ride. You don’t have to race that bike. I rarely go faster than twenty kilometers an hour. Doesn’t make me sweat.’
And then, what it really comes down to according to Guillaume:
‘Most arguments are rational. Less CO2, more mobility, healthier. Well, those drivers know that. But that doesn’t convince them apparently. Let me tell you what the argument is: status it is.’
You can spill your own thoughts about the whole ‘cycling as status’-idea on his website.
And here’s a photo of what Guillaume is talking about, but it’s in Brussels.
2 Responses to “Velo-city: quick epilogue”
Himself ;-) Says:
May 23rd, 2009 at 07:49
Well, it seems that you just flashed Michaël de Borman, president of PRO VELO asbl/vzw and vice-president of ECF on this photo
If you see him, tell him that he really needs to pump up his back tire !
Cycle Chic » Blog Archive » ‘Lead by example’ Says:
May 29th, 2009 at 15:43
[...] course you remember Guillaume Van der Stighelen, don’t you? Well, Guillaume is not just a marketing preacher slash hero. He puts his money [...]