Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

August 5, 2016

In Friday’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Morton repeats Utah stage win a year later; Gonçalves impresses in Portugal sprint; Van Poppel doubles wins in Burgos; Why the Tour of California’s move to WorldTour could be bad for US cycling; ‘Dream signing’ Michael Matthews confirmed by Giant-Alpecin; Preview: What you need to know about the men’s road race at the Rio Olympics; Dennis crashes on Rio course recon; Roche: A fourth Tour win for Froome will be complicated; Contador testing climbing legs in Burgos attack; AG2R La Mondiale signs Naesen and Vandenbergh for two seasons; Kluge signs with ORICA-BikeExchange; Davis Phinney’s ’84 Olympics bike and the golden dream that almost was; Study: Bicycle laws, infrastructure marginalizes poor; Drink developed for military boosts cycling performance; Five Crazy Moments in Olympic Cycling History; Wiggins set for final Olympic chapter – part two; Queensland state velodrome construction time-lapse

Study: Bicycle laws, infrastructure marginalizes poor

by CyclingTips

As bicycle commuting and riding increases in the United States, a recent academic paper argues that the increase in infrastructure is actually marginalizing a bike-riding population, those for whom bicycles are an economic necessity, not an option to driving a car.

The paper “Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for all?” by UC Riverside scholars Alfredo Mirandé, professor of ethnic studies and sociology, and Raymond L. Williams, distinguished professor of Spanish, draws from Mexican literature and culture to explain the varying experiences of cyclists from the range of socioeconomic strata in Southern California.

They argue that cycling infrastructure is an extension “of a general movement in society to regulate space by law and to marginalize the poor, students, and racial minorities from the urban landscape.”

“We argue that the proposed mandatory helmet law was directed specifically at rascuache [a Mexican colloquialism for poor] cyclists, as this is the only group that typically does not wear helmets, primarily for economic reasons. A high-quality helmet might cost as much, or more, than their inexpensive bikes. Moreover, by creating this law, the California Legislature set up a scenario to further criminalize, harass, and control economically disadvantaged cyclists.”

“Social class and socioeconomic disparities remain significant impediments to the implementation of a just and sustainable cycling policy on both sides of the border,” Mirandé and Williams conclude. “Cycling policy in the United States clearly favors Catrín, middle- and upper-class recreational cyclists, over the rascuache riders who use bicycles not for speed, sport or recreation, but out of economic necessity.”

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