Laugh? Cry? … Cry

Check out this recent press release from Trek re: their “Game Changer” program for bicycle advocacy. Here’s a screen shot of the picture on the press release.


Yes. What you see there is likely a door-zone bicycle lane. In other words, a lane where the bicyclist is encouraged by the paint to ride next to parked cars.

This is what I’m fighting against: The mindless spilling of paint for the single purpose of encouraging participation. Now add another purpose: To sell more bicycles.


No. Profit.

Door-zone lanes (and other faulty infrastructure) continue to be painted in this country despite all that we know about how dangerous they are. Here’s what happens when you get doored (whether in a bicycle lane or not):

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Comments 17

  1. Ian Brett Cooper wrote:

    I just sent the following email to the contact listed on the press release (

    Hi Eric,

    Just saw your press release entitled ‘Trek Unveils New Advocacy Plan’ which has a door zone bike lane as its intro graphic. Clearly it never occurred to anyone behind this bit of propaganda that door zone bike lanes are deadly, or that maybe this graphic was not the best way to proclaim a new advocacy plan.

    Does your new advocacy plan really involve killing as many cyclists as possible? If so, the image you used is quite appropriate. If not, it might be time to ACTUALLY get serious about cycling advocacy, rather than just employing it as ‘lip service’ in the hope that it will sell more bikes.

    I mean, Jeez! How much more incompetent can you possibly get?

    Ian Cooper
    Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 1:58 pm
  2. Ian Brett Cooper wrote:

    Got a response straight back:

    “The image used in the release was meant to communicate the idea of the need for more bicycle infrastructure needed in general throughout the country.
    To your point, yes, the image could have been more wisely chosen. No offense intended. ”

    I responded:

    “Eric, the last thing we need is bicycle infrastructure like that. Here in Maryland, if that bike lane got put in, I would be required by law to use it. An unmarked road is safer than a door zone bike lane.

    Not all infrastructure is good – or safe.”

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 2:14 pm
  3. Khal Spencer wrote:

    More butts on bikes equals more bikes out the door of your LBS. Its not necessarily about safety, but one would think that Trek would want good roads, because right hooked or doored cyclists being scraped up off the road, or doored cyclists run over by a bus after being doored ain’t good advertising.

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 3:04 pm
  4. Andy Cline wrote:

    Canned response … received the exact same message — to the word. I sent him a thanks noting its cannedness πŸ˜‰

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 6:53 pm
  5. Ian Brett Cooper wrote:

    Well, it’s good to know that he’s getting so many complaints that he doesn’t have time to respond individually.

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 7:04 pm
  6. Steve A wrote:


    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 9:35 pm
  7. Andy Cline wrote:

    Hey … I’m an academic. We’re licensed to coin words πŸ˜‰

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 10:05 pm
  8. RANTWICK wrote:

    Cannedness is now part of the Official Rantwick Lexicon (ORL). Also, way to hop on this, everybody.

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 11:00 pm
  9. Max Power wrote:

    This kind of “advocacy” reminds me of the people of Springfield looking for cured for the flu:

    Posted 27 Aug 2013 at 11:03 pm
  10. Ian Brett Cooper wrote:

    Last night I got what I assumed must be a sarcastic tweet from someone calling himself ‘Vehicular Cycling’ on this:

    “@IanBrettCooper is a VC icon. He signed his letter to @TrekBikes with “jeez, how incompetent can you possibly get?” Now THAT’S advocacy!!!”

    Not sure who Vehicular Cycling is, but he’s either REALLY against bicycle infrastructure, or he’s the opposite and using irony and sarcasm. Help me, I can’t tell anymore. I think maybe the internet has broken my sarcasm detector.

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 4:47 am
  11. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Cannedness has replaced candidness, I suppose. Makes for a punny comparison.

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 5:49 am
  12. Andy Cline wrote:

    Khal … I thought so. I find myself very amusing πŸ™‚

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 7:58 am
  13. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Well, Andy….I’m glad at least some folks are trying to keep up a literary tradition in the USA.

    Something on NPR this morning that one of their journalists was going to be re-creating the March on Washington reports as snippets of 140 characters, i.e., Twitter. My wife, who taught writing/rhetoric and literature at Kapiolani College for 20 years, rolled her eyes. As did Yours Truly.

    I see the value in such things, as so much in the world today is Twitterized. I’m curious as to how something like the March on Washington would sound had it been reported today in today’s media. Of course, one is taking the old reports, themselves a narrative created by 1960’s journalists, and re-reporting it. Two translations of reality?

    Is that worth a paper by your students?

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 8:43 am
  14. Ian Brett Cooper wrote:

    Speaking of Twitter, the twitterverse is buzzing (can tweets ‘buzz’?) with Trek’s apparent attempts at damage control. Now they’re claiming that they used the image to “convey both that progress had been made, but there is also massive work to do.”

    Yeah, because in their press release they totally wrote about how the image showed a substandard bike lane.

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 9:45 am
  15. Max Power wrote:

    Regarding the “Twitterizing” of King’s speech, I suppose you have seen the famous recasting of the Gettysburg address as a PowerPoint presentation:

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 9:52 pm
  16. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Just about died laughing, Max.

    Posted 28 Aug 2013 at 10:38 pm
  17. Andy Cline wrote:

    Perfect example of the dumbness of PP πŸ™‚

    Posted 29 Aug 2013 at 7:38 am