Maximum Unsustainability – The Worst Ways to Ride Your Bike

Bike lane

Riding a bike is a sustainable, green, eco-friendly transport option, right? Well, “it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it” as the old saying goes. If you want to know how to destroy the planet faster, undermine community spirit and generally be ‘part of the problem’ in all ways possible by riding your bike, then you’ll love this step-by-step guide!

Read the article I wrote for Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) on their website  – “Maximum Unsustainability – The Worst Ways to Ride Your Bike


  1. This author obviously doesn’t like cyclists nor does the author reflect the values & principles of practicing permaculture so not sure why it was posted.


    1. The author obviously IS a cyclist (who incidentally owns two bikes), and the author HAS reflected permaculture community building principles in his article through the use of satire, sarcasm and irony!
      -The Author 🙂

      Um, I’m betting you’re American? It’s been said that Americans don’t understand satire or irony – well I had to look that up to see if it’s true, and lo and behold, it’s really the case and there’s a very good reason for it! See the extract from Business Insider Australia’s article “Here’s The Real Reason Why Americans Don’t Get Irony” by Gus Lubin Jan 28, 2015,

      “Well, there’s a reason we don’t get irony, and it’s not because we’re daft.

      As explained by INSEAD professor Erin Meyer in 2014 bestseller “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business,” it comes down to the difference between low-context and high-context cultures.

      Cultures are considered low- or high-context based on the degree to which communication there assumes common reference points and shared knowledge.

      Low-context cultures prefer communication that is precise, simple, and clear. Messages are expressed and understood at face value.

      High-context cultures prefer communication that is sophisticated, nuanced, and layered. Messages are both spoken and read between the lines.

      Any gap between countries on this spectrum can lead to miscommunication. Notably, the British, despite being more low-context than many cultures, are far more high-context than the Americans. Thus they will often say things with implicit meanings that are contrary to their literal meanings — aka irony — that go right over American heads.

      Where cultures fall on this spectrum has a lot to do with history.”

      So, if you’re from the US, you’re forgiven for misunderstanding, but if you’re not from a low-context culture , then you’re being hypersensitive! 🙂


      1. Hi Max, sounds like satire actually, a form of humour that many people in the US culturally just don’t understand. 🙂

        I am a cyclist, and I care for the environment, so if you reverse everything I’ve written in that article, and look past the intentional and obvious tongue-in-cheek exaggeration, you’ll find it’s really about how to ride your bike in the most sustainable way!

        Satire is used to poke fun at things that people do, but it’s presented in a serious way, so many people have trouble recognizing it, if it’s not a form of humour that is culturally prevalent.

        The other thing is that some people get a twinge of guilt when they see their own bad cycling habits mirrored to them in an exaggerated parody of reality.

        The simple message is that if you care for the planet and people, be mindful to ride your bike in ways that minimise environmental impact and supports community.

        Hopping on a bike doesn’t automatically reduce environmental impact, or make you more community-minded, as the parody of extremes in the article humorously illustrates! It takes conscious intention to do the right thing! 😉


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