What the bicycle did, which nobody really foresaw, was the democratize transportation. In doing so it changed society itself. laborers could live in the country and work in the city. Women could escape the house to recreate, ruminate, or as Margaret LeLong did, cycle alone from Chicago to San Francisco. There were no laws about who could and couldn't ride, who could and could not own. The price of a bicycle, once a prohibitive $300, was rapidly falling. The steady advances in producing lighter pneumatic safety bicycles led to annual trade-ins, which in turn beget a brisk secondary market in which last years models could be had for half the cost of a new one.The bicycle was the future, and the future was about getting to a place you had never been. (excerpted from Major by Todd Baif)
Transportation is dominated by the car, bus, train, and airplane. Here in the developed world of the USA there are some people who can not afford these resources. Migrant workers, people living in shelters, workers with wadges below the poverty level, the layed off and those who have lost their job to an overseas economy. Guess what- they roll on a bicycle and participate in the leveling of transportation written about by Todd Baif. Same goes for the developing world where the bicycle is an ambulance, transportation for an HIV prevention worker, The Doctors only means to make a house call, the 'truck' that delivers goods to market, and the taxi in every city.
I am a reader of everything about 2012. The earth is either going to melt from inside out, the aliens who build the pyramids will return and reclaim the planet, or the worlds economic systems will fall apart and thrust us all into a rural developing world. Well guess what- the bicycle will once again be the future that takes you to places you have never been. (Hint: Have a stash of spare parts!)