2021/8/6 - DoTTS Faculty 教員コラム
The Humble Bicycle（N.H. Jost）
When we think about transportation in the 21st century, it’s easy to focus on the innovations occurring with self-driving automobiles, or with the advancements in rail transportation, say the Megalev, or even with the improved, safer highway systems. But it is humble bicycle that is finally starting to gain some well-deserved attention with urban planners, health advocates and academics who all understand the benefits for societies which look to bicycles as a reliable and environmentally friendly means of transportation. It is also interesting to note that the tourist industry is starting to take note of the importance bicycles can play in advancing local tourism. (See the links below for an introduction to bicycle tourism)
On a more personal level, I think we can all remember back to our own experiences learning how to ride a bicycle: the joy of first being able to balance and pedal, and finally to be moving freely with the wind in our face. I’ve been a fan of bicycles all of my life. First and foremost, I’ve always enjoyed the fun and freedom of riding a bicycle. More recently, however, I started to look at bicycles as a form of transportation from a different perspective. I’m starting to see the utilitarian value (功利主義的価値) for societies that promote the use of bicycles. Simply put, bicycles are good for societies and not just the individual!
In this short column, I would like to share with you a few photos of people who are using bicycles in ways that you wouldn’t ordinarily imagine. Most of these photos were taken in Munster, Germany, which is “Germany’s most bicycle-friendly city”! This city, like so many other cities in Europe, promotes the use of bicycles as a clean alternative to cars.
I’m sure you’ll find the photos fascinating, and hopefully they will inspire you to think about how bicycles can be used here in Japan. In later columns I hope to talk in more detail about bicycle tourism, for instance, or how bicycles promote sustainability. Please enjoy!
For further insights into bicycling.