Bicycle Fixation Weblog

Home » Archives » July 2007 » Victory through Cycling

[Previous entry: "Bicycle Fixation Editorial in Los Angeles Business Journal"] [Next entry: "Oakland a Leader Again"]

07/18/2007: "Victory through Cycling"
J. H. Crawford, editor of, just sent out notice of an excellent article he found in the Sierra Claub websiste. Written by Mike Davis, it recounts how Americans willingly and effectively lived slower, greener lives during World War II in order to free up resources for the military, and how they found what was in most ways a better life by doing so. They dedicated themselves to smaller houses, simpler clothes, more home-cooked meals, and...bicycles:
More important, that national obsession of the 1890s, the bicycle, made a huge comeback, partly inspired by the highly publicized example of wartime Britain, where bikes transported more than a quarter of the population to work. Less than two months after Pearl Harbor, a new secret weapon, the "victory bike"--made of nonessential metals, with tires from reclaimed rubber--was revealed on front pages and in newsreels. Hundreds of thousands of war workers, meanwhile, confiscated their kids' bikes for their commute to the plant or office, and scores of cities and towns sponsored bike parades and "bike days" to advertise the patriotic advantages of Schwinn over Chevrolet. With recreational driving curtailed by rationing, families toured and vacationed by bike. In June 1942, park officials reported that "never has bicycling been so popular in Yosemite Valley as it is this season." Public health officials praised the dual contributions of victory gardening and bike riding to enhanced civilian vigor and well-being, even predicting that it might reduce the already ominously increasing cancer rate.
Read the entire article in the Sierra Club website; it's called Home-Front Ecology.

Search the Blog Archives

Browse the Archives

Environmental Activism Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

A Few Good Blogs....

Kent Peterson
LADOT Bike Blog
Lovely Bicycle!
Saddle Americana