Earl of Portlandia

Gracing the front page of the guardian was a photo of Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat congressman from Oregon wearing a bow tie and "congressional bike caucus membership pin".

Seems like something straight out of the second episode of Portlandia... Kyle McLachlan and the Mayor of Portland would be proud!

But one a more serious note, while I'm a fan of the bike badge (that's a photo of mine), I thought it a shame that in the article (available here) he describes himself as being "aggressively 'bike partisan'"... the unintended pairing of "aggressive" and "bike" is not one that should be repeated...

B. F. Skinner, and lessons from behaviourism, tell us that the pairing of a neutral stimulus ("bike") with an aversive or negative one ("aggressive") - or positive one for that matter - will, with repeated exposures, lead to the neutral stimulus evoking the same response as if exposed to the negative. It's a bit like Pavlov's dogs drooling at the sound of bell rather than the sight of a bowl of food rather than bikes and agression.

The more positive associations with "bike" the better!

And being a bit of a pedant, I cannot but think that the title of the article "It's big, it's green, and everybody wants one" implicitly refers to people suddenly and superficially also wanting a green bicycle badge rather than actually to ride a bike or support the implementation and expansion of bicycle infrastructure.

Don't buy the badge, ride the bike instead.

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