Bikes, Cockroaches, and Hurricanes
Hurricane Sandy, which hit parts of the eastern U.S. hard last week, has been getting a lot of attention on the web. Sandy has had a lot of impacts, but it has most notably brought more attention to two things that don’t often get attention outside of certain circles: bikes and climate change. Now, the latter is complicated and messy, so I won’t discuss it much here, suffice it to say that Sandy has made a lot of people think a little harder about what climate change might look like. The first item – bikes – have also been getting a lot of post-Sandy press, especially with the flooded subways, crowded streets, gas rationing, and power outages in places like New York and New Jersey. Indeed, bikes have been likened to the “cockroaches” of transportation, of disaster, of the apocalypse, what-have-you. To that end, I wanted to do a little montage of some of the interesting videos of post-Sandy bike use.
There’s no doubt that bikes are pretty resilient and useful in disaster situations, but you would think that knee-deep water would provide a limitation for even the bravest cockroach cyclist. Not so for filmaker Casey Neistat, who braved the streets of Lower Manhattan on bike to capture some amazing footage of the flooding.
Meanwhile, in the post-Sandy clean-up and recovery, bikes have been used to help provide a lot of disaster response functions, including to charge electronic devices! Bike Portland editor Jonathan Maus was in NYC during the hurricane, and has captured a lot of great images and videos like the one below.
Indeed, the best way to get around NYC especially, as well as many other places hit by the hurricane, has been by bicycle. With the subway system down, NYC transportation has come to its knees, but it’s also provided a great opportunity for a cycling boom, as well. Streetfilms has captured some of the transportation excitement in the video below.
As New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the east coast continue to recover post-Sandy, one can only hope that bicycles will become as prolific, and not just as resilient, as cockroaches in the post-storm recovery plan. And our thoughts are with the victims of Hurricane Sandy, as well.
Updated: There is also a great piece by Sarah Goodyear on The Atlantic Cities about bicycles for disaster relief and the assistance she has helped provide in the NCY area.