dress well and ride considerately

Four days of rental bike riding in Osaka have changed my view on the importance of infrastructure. Cycle lanes and bike racks are nice but are far less important than simply forcing car users to give way to bikes, discouraging people from using cars in the first place, and tolerating all considerate bike use.

However, my main take-away from the trip is this:

the fastest and easiest way to get more respect and consideration for yourself as a cyclist is simply to dress very well and ride very considerately.

If that sounds suspiciously like a seven-word summary of Mikael’s Cycle Chic Manifesto from a while back, that’s what it reminded me of too. It’ssimply great advice. “Clothes are your wings,” as a Korean saying goes – dress well and people treat you better. And act courteously and respectfully and you get courtesy and respect in return.

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shared pavements are the norm in Osaka - and it works just fine

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6 thoughts on “dress well and ride considerately

      • Sure. I’ve seen plenty of them. But, personally I hardly ever wear a suit myself, so it would be quite a stretch for me to do so. Car drivers have the unfair advantage of being closed in while we’re totally exposed for all to see. I don’t think I dress badly or anything, but I don’t think my clothes can really command respect of drivers either. I hadn’t really thought about the effect of clothing when I bike, but it’s something to think about. Thanks for your insightful post!

  1. I really love this post! I wish that every one followed this advice. Not just cyclist, but everyone (motorists, pedestrians, and bikers) It would be amazing if everyone was considerate and looked fabulous while doing so.

  2. This is a nice thought but my road to school every morning is a narrow winding country road set to 70 km/h, and usually the motorists live up to that mark as well. And since it’s my life on the line if they don’t see me, well…

    • I’m afraid without people like you contacting your local council and informing them that the road clearly neither is wide enough nor has long enough sight lines to warrant the 70 km/h sign they will claim ignorance and nothing will change. I’ve worked for my local council and this tends to be how they work.

      My suggestion would be this. Get as many local friends together as you can with the same concerns for safety on that stretch. Draft a letter each, highlighting the safety issues for non-motorists trying to use the stretch. The more times the council hears about the problem, the more likely it is to at least look into doing something about it. Takes time, but I’ve seen it work in the long-run.

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