In support of sustainable development and human health, the United Nations in 2018 declared June 3rd as World Bicycle Day. An excellent mode of transport, the bicycle contributes to cleaner air; less traffic caused by gasoline-powered vehicles; and better access to education, health and social services in often densely populated or vulnerable areas. In short, the bicycle is simple, affordable, reliable, clean, and environmentally smart -- not to mention fun, for the sense of freedom and pleasure it affords. Enjoy a ride down a country road, or commute to work through city streets (preferably with designated bike lanes), the choice is yours!
During COVID-19, biking became more visible, at least in my neighborhood, as masked cyclists took to their velos, often citi bikes, to wend their way around New York City, avoiding public transportation. But even before the pandemic, we could appreciate the length of time that bicycles have been around (from the early nineteenth century, with the draisine or velocipede), -- and watch the growing trend that began in Europe and spread in following decades to the United States, lagging a little behind our worldly citizens. Think of Holland, Denmark, the Netherlands where relatively flat terrain provides the perfect opportunity, complete with tulips, windmills, or canals! Or China, where bicycles, in the absence of cars, have been a major part of everyday living -- some might say, as necessary as a cell phone or sewing machine!
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Robertson, N. (1971, May 17). With Health and Environment Trends, Adults Swing To Bicycles. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Gardiner, J. (1981, Mar 15). International Bicycle Network Does Job Without Acquiring A Bureaucracy. The Sun (1837-1995)
- Lancaster, J. (1990, Feb 11). 'Sustainable' Society Urged By Year 2030: Research Group Warns Of Global Degradation. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- McAllister, B. (1990, Aug 11). On the Right Tracks Of My Gears. The Guardian (1959-2003)
- Wise, D. (1992, Jun 19). Rays Of Hope For Cycling Classes. The Guardian (1959-2003)
- Bicycles: An Old Idea That Keeps Getting Better. (1992, Sep 17). Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)
- Urban Riders: Bicycle Commuting In the Valley. (1993, Aug 01). Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Libman, G. (1995, Apr 28). Pedal Pushers: By Creating a Bike-friendly Environment, One Company Lowered the Number Of Car Commutes and Turned Employees Into ... Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Balaram, G. (2000, May 28). Born-Again Bikers Rally To Pedal an Environment-Friendly Cause. The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Kelly, O. (2011, Oct 25). 1,200 Discarded Bicycles Shipped To Africa. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- McGreevy, R. (2014, Apr 25). How the Bicycle Rules the Road In Copenhagen: The Danish Capital Is Decades Ahead Of Most European Cities For Cyclists. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Bing, Eric G. Pharmacy On a Bicycle: Innovative Solutions to Global Health and Poverty. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, c2103. e-book
- Emereole, Hezekiah Ukegbu. Teaching Physics with the Bicycle: A Curriculum Model for Teaching Secondary School Physics With Utilitarian Objects in Developing Countries. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1983. e-dissertation
- Heinen, Eva. Bicycle Commuting. Amsterdam: IOS Press, under the imprint Delft University Press, 2011. e-book
- Tracy, Sam. Bicycle! A Repair and Maintenance Manifesto. 2nd ed. Oakland, CA: PM Press, c2103. e-book
- Vivanco, Luis. Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective On a New (Old) Thing. New York: Routledge, c2013. e-book
- Check our related library offerings pertaining to the bicycle via Pocketknowledge, the digital archive of Teachers College, Columbia University.
- Detail Of GL00-SB04-FC00-0075, from Students of Arthur Wesley Dow Collection, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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