I believe the bicycle is a profound social tool, though in America you wouldn't know it. In our nation, the bicycle conjures up a false dichotomy: it is seen as a toy to be used by spandex warriors or by schoolchildren eager to shed their training wheels. I believe the bicycle's potential extends far beyond fitness and early childhood. I believe the bicycle can bring our communities closer together; it might make our communities healthier and increase the quality of life for American cities. Indeed, I think the bicycle has the potential to heal some of America's most serious urban social maladies.
In July, I will begin to examine the ways in which the bicycle has improved life for people around the globe. Thanks to the Thomas J. Watson foundation, I will spend my postgraduate year living, writing, talking and riding bicycles in cities across the world.