Here’s one cycling activist who doesn’t like bike lanes.
Park Sloper Michael Green — who started his two-wheeled life as a bike messenger during the wild early 1990s — has a forthcoming book that challenges some of urban cycling community’s most-sacred notions.
Yes, Green’s book, “Bike NYC,” will be a bike-centric Lonely Planet-style tour guide, but the main point is celebrate a libertarian approach to biking.
Hence the problem with bike lanes.
“Biking is about taking matters into your own hands,” Green said. “People ask me how I can be a bike advocate if I don’t use bike lanes, and I say, ‘Once the city gives you bike lanes, you’re expected to stick to them — and that’s limiting.’ ”
Green’s no elitist, taking a different approach than the so-called “Bike Snob,” who also has a book out right now (see main story). Rather, Green doesn’t want to waste time dividing the biking world up between “us” (the hardcore riders) and “them” (those people you see in Prospect Park with their kids on the tag-along).
“I hold biking in such a high regard that I don’t have time to make fun of it or the people who make up the culture,” he said. “We’re promoting the universality of biking in an accessible way.”
Green has assembled a small posse of enthusiasts to write and illustrate the book, set to hit shelves next April. Along with photographer Ed Glazar, and fiction writer Mari Blackman, Green hopes to brand what they’re calling the “eco-tourism” movement that will ultimately be multi-city and lead to the inevitable iPhone app.
The book will allow scenery-seeking cyclists to take matters into their own hands by choosing from a selection of rides, most of them off the beaten path.
But that’s what cycling is all about.
“Biking is a stop-and-smell-the-flowers sort of thing,” said Green, who has become a lighting designer since his messengering days ended. “You’re outside and you’re close to everything. This is a tour guide through an undiscovered New York.”
Find out more at Michael Green’s Web site, www.bikeblognyc.com.