Activism Future Building Society

Overcoming defensive reactions to entertain different ways of living

Replied to On Natural Wine by Alicia Kennedy (From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy)

Neither natural winemakers or drinkers nor vegans are the powerful ones here. If you’ve been thinking they are, perhaps it’s time to interrogate why you feel that way—to ask how we can move forward for a better world, instead of mocking anyone trying to do things a bit differently.

The actual similarities between natural wine and veganism are, at the end of the day, about giving a shit.

If there is a commonality between natural wine and “the vegan movement”…, it is that people who do not participate in them overstate the influence and strength of both of these concepts. They are threatening because of the perceived “aggression” of the believers, forcing bottles imported by Jenny & Francois and Impossible Burgers down everyone’s throats! (This is not happening.)

Future Building

Investigating intersectionality in biking habits

Read Toward feminist geographies of cycling

Using a systematic search strategy, this paper reviews the literature about gender and cycling and critically assesses existing approaches to study the topic. Most studies use a binary conceptualization of gender, a cross-sectional research design, and quantitative analysis to examine male–female differences in cycling behaviours, stated concerns, correlates, and barriers. The two hypotheses at the centre of most of this work are (1) that women cycle less than men due to greater safety concerns and (2) that women cycle less, or at least use bicycles differently than men, because of their more complex travel patterns that arise from greater household responsibilities. While the literature draws attention toward travel characteristics, it often relies on a simple binary conceptualization of gender. In doing so, it identifies differences in male–female cycling patterns, but it rarely sheds light on the gendered processes underlying these differences. In this paper, we argue that research into cycling as a form of mobility could be strengthened by engaging with feminist theories such as performativity, intersectionality, and embodiment to advance a more nuanced understanding of how gender and other axes of identity are intertwined with cycling.

Concentrating on how gen­der shapes mobility without considering how mobility shapes gender is problematic because it can result in studies that ignore the power relations that exist between these social categories. Furthermore, failing to do so can contrib­ute to gender-based inequalities. For example, it can encourage harmful gender stereotypes (e.g., girls don’t bike because they are scared), inhibit people from fully expressing themselves (e.g., I can’t admit I find cycling dangerous because I will be called a sissy), or justify the status quo (e.g., women will never bike as much as men because they are more fearful).

Emphasis mine.

Future Building Society Technology

People will keep dying to cars until we decide their safety is more important than cars’ convenience

Replied to The Urbanist’s Ryan Packer Discusses Worsening Traffic Safety Crisis on KUOW by Doug Trumm (The Urbanist)

The pedestrian safety crisis has been worsening in Washington State and across the United States, even as most other industrialized nations have taken strides to reduce their traffic fatality rate in recent years.

Last year, the state saw nearly 150 people walking lose their lives on our streets, a 31.8% increase in one year and the highest figure seen in at least several decades. That trend is not showing any signs of slowing in 2022.

Graph showing a 30% leap in pedestrian fatalities from 2020 to 2021 in Washington State, after a slow increase over a decade

This is a choice we make when we put efficiency and convenience above all else. The design of our roads, the investments we choose to make in infrastructure for people walking and biking, the timing of our traffic signals, the laws we enact, the driver training we require, the penalty for vehicular manslaughter — these all shape how many people die needlessly on our streets.

One of the people killed was an elderly woman in my city who was hit walking in her own neighborhood by someone backing out of their driveway. Since that day, I always back into my driveway so I have a clear view pulling out.

Traffic deaths should be so rare as to be a shocking tragedy, not an everyday occurrence. It infuriates me when people dismiss Vision Zero as unachievable because there will always be one or two people who die in totally random accidents, using pedancy to avoid confronting a real cost of our time-obsessed capitalist society.

These conversations are vital to have now, before self driving cars become common and accepted — what norms of pedestrian deaths will we accept as our cost of convenience? Especially since self driving cars so far cannot accurately identify a person on a bike.


Pretty French mountain pass for indoor biking

Bookmarked Col de Larche – The Forbidden Climb (France) – Indoor Cycling Training (YouTube)

Col de Larche is a beautiful and very popular mountain pass, which is normally only climbed from the Italian side (Colle della Maddalena). The climb from Fra…

Art and Design

Photographs of the unfinished desert

Liked Dry Land (

For six months, I cycled through the arid lands of the Maghreb and the Middle East with the idea of recreating a world from the landscapes and characters I met there. The American West is at the heart of my fascination with deserts and dry places. A territory paradoxically empty but rich in symbols. There everything reminds me of the unfinished, the in-between. Everything is being built.


Preparation or surprise?


In watching this I realized how helpful these kind of videos could be for prepping for an unknown ride — this bike lane had a *lot* of sand on it and I might not want to ride my road bike on it. But it would ruin the surprise of a new ride if you knew what was coming 🤷‍♀️

The male Anna’s hummingbird in our yard was going to town on the red flowering currant outside my living room window, so I was a little distracted from the video 😉 I had forgotten that last year I pushed my bike up to the window for springtime so I could watch the birds and insects and stuff, may be near time to shove the couch out of the way. Maybe after getting my handlebar tape rewrapped…

Outdoors Places

Indoor biking with cows in the fog


Ride through a pack of cute goats at 50 minutes 😍

Read a Guardian “100 tips to make your life better” and most were meh but I liked “exercise on Mondays, nothing happens then” — excellent point. Will try to follow that advice 😉

Outdoors Travel

Biking in the Southwest


Did an indoor bike workout watching this and had a real strong moment of sadness and mild despair that I don’t know when I’ll be able to travel again. Last year we did a desperation mini “road trip” in a rented camper, this year after being vaccinated I thought we’d be able to go somewhere but I haven’t felt safe yet. Feeling dispirited again with this new variant. My sister pointed out that when the pandemic started I was relieved at saving myself all the effort and logistics of planning a trip — I do a *lot* of research and have a hard time making decisions — but I’m feeling like it would be worth it right now.

Have to say after that I kind of tuned it out and focused on the music so couldn’t say if this was a good or bad one 🤷‍♀️

Cool History


Bookmarked Boneshaker (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.)

Boneshaker (or bone-shaker) is a name used from about 1869 up to the present time to refer to the first type of true bicycle with pedals, which was called velocipede by its manufacturers. “Boneshaker” refers to the extremely uncomfortable ride, which was caused by the stiff wrought-iron frame and wooden wheels surrounded by tires made of iron.

TIL old bikes of a certain era were called boneshakers, especially in the US.

If I ever rewrite that weird west story I gotta have the hero ride a boneshaker.

Why don’t more historical fiction writers work in cool weird bikes and velocipedes? I want dandies on hobby horses and penny farthings and ladies on safety bikes. I think Courtney Milan wrote a novella involving an early bike?


A Different Perspective on Road Design

Watched Traffic Calming is Everywhere in the Netherlands by Not Just Bikes from

The most amazing thing about traffic calming in the Netherlands is just how ubiquitous it is. From city centre to suburb, from large city to small village, traffic calming is everywhere in the Netherlands.


Level of Service animation:

Sustainable Saftey:

Traffic Calming Strategies images from:

A totally different starting point, revealing what our society cares about: speed at all costs. The Netherlands starts from a perspective of “sustainable safety” – the idea that humans will make mistakes so we design to make it easy to do the right thing.