Commute by Big Wheel: Accidental Advocacy Strikes Again

Big Wheel
Photo: Mark Malkoff

Mark Malkoff, a comedian who beat a New York City bus while pedaling a Big Wheel may also have pulled off a feat accidental advocacy.

In the NY Daily News, he said he felt like “part Evel Knievel, part Lance Armstrong and part Steve-O from the Jackass movies”–none of whom are known as advocates for cycling infrastructure.

(Armstrong, you could argue, has a bikeway named after him in Austin, if that counts as advocacy. Knievel is known these days for being carbon-neutral a.k.a deceased. Steve-O is a living cautionary tale for bike safety.)

But the point Malkoff makes indirectly is that New York City’s above-ground transportation options, listed in order of speed (slowest to fastest), are:

  1. Walking
  2. The Bus
  3. Everything Else

P.J. O’Rourke, in his much-reviled piece in the Wall Street Journal, suggested that the purpose of encouraging cycling in New York is to make adults look and feel childlike, because "[p]olitical activists of a certain ideological stripe want citizens to have a child-like dependence on government."

He’d probably feel vindicated if he were to see this video. And he’d be missing the point.

I watched the video and (when I stopped laughing) thought, How can you argue against bike lanes in New York City?

Someone of a different persuasion could probably watch this and think, Get a car, stupid.

And that’s what we’re up against.

If you missed it, this was my response to O’Rourke’s piece in the WSJ >>

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