Last year, I wrote a piece here called “Ride Like a Gentleman” about my philosophical approach to riding a bicycle in the city (or anywhere, for that matter). A few weeks ago, my friend Clarence Eckerson asked me if I’d be interested in doing a video for Streetfilms, the wonderful series about biking, livable streets and transit that he directs for Streetsblog, the incredible news outlet dedicated to the improvement of walking, biking and transit in our cities. I immediately said yes and almost as immediately thought the “Ride Like a Gentleman (or Lady)” idea might be a worthy subject.
A week before any of this happened, a friend had told me that her her thirteen year old son wanted to start riding his bike from their midtown apartment to his school in Murray Hill. She asked if I’d be willing to show him how to do it safely, which I was more than glad to do.
After covering the top priority of safety on our test ride to his school, the next thing I hoped to impart upon the young man was the importance of riding with courtesy, manners and respect – something sadly lacking among your more entitled breeds of bicyclists.
Apparently, something stuck. A few days after our ride, my friend called me to thank me for showing her son the ride. When she asked him how it went, he told her it was great and that “George told me ‘Don’t ride like a dick.'” I should totally have kids.
I had a great time being a part of this video. A huge thank you to Clarence, the fine folks at Streetsblog, Sara Lind, Lisa Orman (Streetopia UWS), Brian Hoberman and rest of the bicycling group who graciously let us crash their party. This was a lot of fun.