The new “design vehicle” bicycle planners are using is a 60-year-old woman on a shopping trip. The thinking behind this is if you design a road that is attractive and safe enough for a woman on a shopping trip, most anyone will feel comfortable using it. In this way all those slightly more timid people who ride bikes but don’t consider themselves “cyclists” will use their bikes to get around because it is convenient, comfortable and fun.
Needless to say, even many hard-core “cyclists” left the bikes at home the last couple days because of the winds and the rain. I did ride both days, and it was super fun, but definitely more of an adventure ride than a normal commute. Before I started feeling too tough and proud of myself, I saw this woman riding to the bank on Water Street. Note that she is heading directly into the wind in this shot. It may be that we bicycle planners need to rethink the new design vehicle. Perhaps 60-year-old women on shopping trips are a lot more ‘core than we have stereotyped.