Previous Page
Urban Velo
Next Page

Publisher's Statement

I once attended a lecture by Sir Ken Robinson. He posed the theory that children are born creative, and they gradually un-learn their creativity. His point was illustrated by a famous experiment conducted by George Land, where 1600 children were given paper clips and asked what they could be used for. Then they were re-tested at five and ten year intervals. The results showed that 98% of the children initially tested at a genius level for divergent thinking, then 30%, then only 12%. The same test given to 280,000 adults yielded a 2% genius rate.

What strikes me as interesting is that I hardly know anyone who didn’t ride a bicycle as a child. Certainly I would be wrong to postulate that 98% of the US population learned to ride a bike as a child, but I’m sure the percentage is significant. Yet figures from the League of American Bicyclists indicate that only one quarter of the population rides a bike even once during the course of the year. And the numbers get even more discouraging when you look at what percentage use bikes for transportation as opposed to recreation.

As children, we all saw bikes as fun. But they were also how we got to our friends’ houses, to the playground, to the pizza parlor. The fun went hand in hand with transportation. So my rhetorical question is, “What’s changed?”

Of course everyone reading this knows that bikes are still fun. But it’s interesting that along with the loss of creativity, the brunt of society has un-learned how to have fun. Actually, it’s not so much interesting, as it is sad.