Bicicultures Roadshow Call for Participants

Bicicultures Roadshow: The Critical Bicycling Studies Tour de California

Call for Participants

April 16-17, 2013 in Davis, California


What is it?
The Bicicultures Roadshow will be a time for activists and researchers to talk, ride, eat, and play as we discuss and experience bicycling cultures. At this two-day conference, we will grapple with the shifting role of bicycle research and activism as it crosses lines between policy, recreation, and radical organizing. The event will take place in Davis, a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community, home of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, and site of the first bike lanes in the U.S. This event is made possible through support from the University of California Transportation Center.

Why Bicicultures?
“Bicicultures” refers to the multiple social worlds of bicycling that co-exist, but may not overlap, in shared spaces. Rather than taking bicycling as a unitary object of analysis, we seek to investigate the construction of diverse meanings around the practice of cycling across time and space.

What will happen at the event?
Rather than following a traditional conference format of breakout sessions and individual papers, this event will emphasize ongoing discussion among all participants. Events may include keynote speakers, roundtable discussions, interactive panel presentations, workshops, field trips, and bicycle rides. We anticipate vibrant discussions about how diverse communities are using and thinking about bicycling as a tool to maintain and reinvent their worlds. Specific topics and formats will be formulated based on participant interest. We anticipate conversations around topics such as race, gender, class, ability, gentrification, activism, public space, embodiment, technology, design, recreation and sport, sustainability, mobilities, and more.

How can I participate?
We encourage participation from researchers and activists working in urban and transportation bicycling and in sport and recreational cycling, as well as those concerned with bicycling’s social and cultural life. To participate, please submit a short piece (~500 words) explaining your interest in bicycling cultures, and what research, project, experience, or knowledge you would like to share at this event. Depending on your inclination, this may take the form of a research abstract, description of activist work, questions for discussion, workshop ideas, etc. Include your name, affiliation (if appropriate), and contact information. Group submissions welcome. Participation may be limited, so please submit by February 10th for full consideration. Submissions and inquiries can be sent to Sarah Rebolloso McCullough at smcc@ucdavis.edu and Adonia Lugo at lugoa@uci.edu.

What makes it a roadshow?
Prior to the Davis event, we will also participate in a field investigation of Los Angeles’ bicycling worlds in tandem with the Association of American Geographers conference (April 9-14th). This event will include organized rides and a roundtable discussion about the history and future of the LA bike movement. Participants in the Davis event are welcome, though not expected, to participate in LA events. Those who are able to attend all events will enjoy vibrant conversations with people dedicated to the study and practice of bicycling from a multitude of perspectives—from sanctioned bicycle events to autonomous actions, from bicycling street fair to bike repair garages, from cities to countryside. Participants are encouraged to attend as much or as little of the Roadshow as desired, all nine days or just an afternoon. Contact the organizers for more information about the LA components.

Photo taken at October 2012 CicLAvia by srd515, licensed under Creative Commons.

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11 thoughts on “Bicicultures Roadshow Call for Participants

  1. I would like to see a well-grounded study of what motorists understand by the sign “Share The Road.” Do the majority of motorists know that it means that THEY must share the road with bicyclists–that is, make room for the bicyclist? Or do they believe the sign means that bicyclists must make room for motorists by riding at the edge of the road? Are there differences between supposedly “bicycle-friendly” cities and other cities? Large cities and smaller cities? Are there differences between cities where the signs have been in use for at least one year, and cities where no such signs have been put up? What education of motorists has been done where such signs have been installed? Does that make any difference? What about bike lanes as a variable–are interpretations different where there are bike lanes and where there are not?

    1. Dear Robert,

      Your questions are very interesting, you can find many of the answers by doing an internet search of your questions. For the more esoteric questions you have on how road users interpret the law and excerise a percieved road ettiquette… Those would seem to be open to both interpretation and study. http://www.facebook.com/bikeforit

      1. Mark. You didn’t answer my question. I read a lot of biking sites, and have never seen a “well-grounded study” of what motorists understand by the sign “Share The Road.” In fact, I’ve never seen ANY study. Yes, motorists’ perceptions are open to interpretation, and need study–that’s the point of my questions.

      2. Thanks for presenting a really interesting question. I’m not aware of any scholarly research on this topic, though if I come across any, I will post on it.

        I would venture to say that it would be difficult to measure the effects of “Share the Road” sites as an isolated phenomenon. Such signs strike me as part of more encompassing efforts to change infrastructural culture. To imagine that solely putting up these signs would significantly change the safety or experience for cyclists would seem optimistic, at best. Such efforts (from my view) would need to be accompanied by other social and physical infrastructural changes that change the experiences for cyclists on the road.

        While we may not know the effects of these signs, we do know that more cyclists on the road tends to make them safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. (See http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/9/3/205.abstract or http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/may/07/cycling-safety-york-calderdale for a few examples).

    2. And apologies for delaying Mark’s response until now. We missed this post in our moderation duties. We will monitor it more closely in the future!

    3. The ‘share the road’ idea was, if I am not mistaken, associated with the position of John Forester who believes cyclists should stay on normal roads, respect the rules, and so should car drivers and other road users do the same. He uses the term ‘vehicular cycling’ and has written books on road-sharing and best practices. There may be data in there. http://www.johnforester.com/ . He dislikes the separated bikeways and special cycling facilities promoted by many planners these days, arguing we all need to travel together. The style is a bit combative in asserting his view, esp. towards the League of American Bicyclists and John Pucher, another key and prolific cycling advocate in the US – which could put people off and doesn’t present a unified front about what to do (see articles here for example http://www.johnforester.com/Articles/facilities.htm) .

      My experience with signage is that it is not as effective as roadway markings, which are enforcable in many juristictions. In Australia, transgressing a bikeway with the solid line separation carries a big fine for a motorist. That solid line and the fines has definitely been effective. Little work on signage and no share the road signs there. Not ssen much in Europe either except on the roads themselves as white markings. However I am appreciating the ‘share the road’ campaign on billboards and on the back of buses in LA this week.

      1. Simon–Thanks for your reply. You say you’re glad to see the campaign in LA using the phrase “Share The Road.” Do you really think that motorists understand that that message is directed to THEM? Or do they think that sharing the road means “Move over to the edge of the road, cyclist, and share the road by letting me get by.”?

  2. My experience with signage is that it is not as effective as roadway markings, which are enforcable in many juristictions. In Australia, transgressing a bikeway with the solid line separation carries a big fine for a motorist. That solid line and the fines has definitely been effective. Little work on signage and no share the road signs there. Not ssen much in Europe either except on the roads themselves as white markings. However I am appreciating the ‘share the road’ campaign on billboards and on the back of buses in LA this week.

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