bicycles promote life.
From this simple statement emerged a vision for an epic study conducted on two wheels… We are two Scott Travel Fellows from the Master of Landscape Architecture program at UC Berkeley, and we are setting out to document (via film, photo, and sketch) how the myriad cultures of SE Asia, China, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh use the bicycle in their daily lives. We aim to show the world how despite incredible challenges – topography, heat, mind numbing traffic, etc. – the bicycle is still the best and most efficient transportation method that humanity has yet invented. And as is appropriate for a study about the culture of cycling, our study will be completely pedal powered. We’ve delineated a ~10,000km route across the Asian continent that takes us through an incredible diversity of landscapes, cities, cultures, and climates of the region.
As landscape architects, activists, and citizens we are fundamentally concerned with the built environment’s ability to encourage actions that promote health, happiness, and ecological benefit. Bicycling is clearly one of those actions. Our mission, therefore, is to bring back techniques, design solutions, and inspiring stories from our travels that will help us promote change here at home. We believe that the bicycle is a tool capable of combating a growing number of problems seen in the U.S. (and the world) today – obesity, climate change, traffic congestion, and general dystopia, to name a few – and for now, our lives are devoted to its promotion.
Alex Schuknecht & Rob Tidmore – June 2012