January 25, 2012
Some of you may know that I finally completed my Masters degree last year, after several years of hacking away at it part-time while working full-time and more recently, having had Dexter. Phew!
It was a relief to get my final paper completed and out of the way. I suppose it's what most grad programs would refer to as a thesis, but Athabasca University has things structured differently, which meant my paper was classified as a "project". As a result, I believe the length of my work is much shorter than average.
I figured since the winter here is so cold and dismal, I could publish bits of it at a time up here since I am not out on the bike on a daily basis like I am in the warmer months.
I'm not entirely sure how to divide the work up in a way that makes sense in a non-academic context. It's in MLA format, so I figure I will just include the Works Cited with every post, and at the end of the series of posts I can include the Bibliography as well. My academic writing voice isn't actually all that academic in tone, but hopefully it reads alright. I like to use large quotations, and because of the formatting limitations from my document to blogger, I've just dealt with my large quotations by putting them in italics. They're originally supposed to be indented.
The pictures featured in the posts were not originally included in my submitted work, they're just included here to make the posts look bikey.
So without further ado, here is the abstract for Road Rash: A Literature Review of Cycling on a Car-Continent, by yours truly. I'll publish a new section weekly until we've wrapped it all up.
There is a general North American characterization of bicycling as dangerous and cyclists as daredevils, or at the very least there is a perception that bicycling is widespread as a recreational activity but not so popular as transportation. The pervasive car culture in North America also marginalizes cyclists, making the shift in how we think about transportation all the more difficult. However, there is also a new school of bicycle advocacy emerging in various blogs and urban cycling magazines focusing on every day biking. These are helping push the agenda of bicycle commuting by portraying the activity as normal, modern, and fun, on a continent where the norm is usually travel via car for the large majority who can afford it.