Backpedal is a documentary about the advocacy of bicycling in Charleston, South Carolina.
It’s a must-see for everyone who wants to move around using something other than the prevailing beasts of transportation. This is not only for cyclists.
Before we go to more screensnaps, let me repeat some snaps from the documentary Bikes Vs. Cars to set the stage:
And now let’s return to Backpedal.
For everyone who thinks battling for bike lanes is just about bikes, you’re wrong.
Just about every city acknowledges the existence of skateboards these days.
And Charleston has been particularly hostile to skateboards:
All of the red streets — which are basically the main streets of downtown — were made off-limits to skateboard riding:
Here’s how one crazy cop enforced the law:
When most people think of skateboard riders, they picture this …
… but never this:
That’s a guy who had to have his legs amputated due to contracting an infectious disease. His preferred method of getting around is a skateboard.
Here’s an example of the attitude from drivers towards people on other wheels:
Click for really big:
The middle finger! I hope he never had kids.
And from a woman in the car right behind him:
She gives a thumbs-down. Smug entitlement twice in a row!
The prejudice against skateboards and bicycles is institutionalized in Charleston. Just look at these punishment comparisons.
Now skateboards. Wait for it …
… wait for it …
And now bicycles. Wait for it …
… wait for it …
And here they are in size comparison:
The documentary not only focuses on how bicycle-hostile the city is, but the decades-long stalling of placing bike lanes on existing bridges.
I won’t spoil more of it except to add that there are three people — two are officials, one is a resident — in this who are so damn boneheaded that it’s a wonder they can even feed themselves!
It’s time for people who use bicycles, skateboards, electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric skateboards, electric unicycles, OneWheels, and other forms of personal transport to recognize their common cause under the banner of an Alt-Wheels movement. They have as much right to use the streets as private and public vehicles. Gas taxes alone didn’t create those streets. Gas taxes alone don’t maintain those streets. Gas-powered vehicles, in fact, ruin those very streets through excessive wear. Most of those one-person-per-car trips can be done another way.
For anyone who thinks only “weirdos” use something other than a car, what kind of person does someone need to be to convince you otherwise?
How about someone who was the youngest American ambassador in history?
Angier Biddle Duke (November 30, 1915 – April 29, 1995) was an American soldier, diplomat in the United States Foreign Service and a White House aide. In 1952, at age 36, he became the youngest American ambassador in history when he was appointed to be the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador.
Is that guy “normal” enough for your liking? Yeah?
Well, this is how he died:
Duke died at the age of 79, from being struck by a car while rollerblading.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Now all of you in the opposition, recalibrate your goddammed moronic notion of “normal.”