The economics of cycling
“Some people have to… but it would be perverse to give people an incentive to use a car rather than public transport.”
“I am rather surprised by my honourable friend’s burst of socialism and that he should be discouraging the use of the motor car, which should be encouraged in a free society.” — Conservative MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Ress-Mogg (2015)
He is a fervent fan of four-wheeled travel, Jacob Ress-Mogg, and in his writings asserted that cars should remain dominant in a free society. People should be free to pay tax, pay fuel and buy chamfered tanks to deliver an infant payload to a school within walking distance. Driving is a huge freedom that comes at greater cost. It would make sense, this is a capitalist who was caught blocking renewable energy whilst hiding gross conflict of interest deep in oil and gas. Unsurprisingly, Mogg is an ardent imperialist supporting invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq again, and Syria twice. Four wheels good though, tank tracks better — that is the dominant economic and thus political pressure within the UK around which all else revolves. Manchester is not immune despite what slick marketing tries to claim, the council is abusing cycle funding and doing the bare minimum to green-wash the city — there are no “bold civic plans”. There are no “integrated and strategically planned network of dedicated, high-quality, newly built [n]or enhanced cycling routes” on the horizon. Motoring grinds on.
A Crashing Reality
All material evidence in any locality mirrors a national trend of a complete disdain for cycling. Labour councillor for Manchester, John Byrne, is pushing for a national ban on helmetless cycling which is known to reduce participation. Lower political incentive means cycling provision suffers further neglect leading to increased risk of brain injury per head for those that persist. Australian researchers called such legislation “a disaster” yet receives worrying support from opaque faux-charities especially those accountable to the motoring industry like Brake or Road Safety GB. Perhaps though they understand that building posts in cycle lanes or laying tram traps at junctions might cause harm.
This year Bedford Council banned town-centre cycling. Norwich spiked dedicated infrastructure in favour of building car parking with the same cycle funding. West Sussex spent over 100k£ of “sustainability” grants increasing capacity for private motor vehicles. Liverpool has already suspended nearly all bus lanes. Oxfordshire County Council belligerently refused to provide for cycling despite ample lobbying, funding and space.
In 2013 the government created a 400m£ grant scheme helping the already wealthy buy private electric motor vehicles. (Roughly someone who could afford a 20k£ car could receive 5k£ in welfare.) Conservative mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith not only wants to scrap all London bus lanes but all bus services and all dedicated cycle infrastructure in favour of hi-tech private motor vehicles. “Opposing” Labour candidate Sadiq Khan is remaining tight-lipped, but from one corner murmurs familiar platitude while the other leaks negative talking points suspiciously similar to those pushed by oil/gas investor Canary Wharf PLC.
To add insult to injury the two dominant advocacy groups Sustrans and the National Cycling Charity helped embezzle half a million of cycle safety funding on a “turbo” roundabout with the explicit aim — as the name suggests —to increase private motor vehicle capacity. The sitting Tory government has cut cycle funding by 23m£ shedding jobs from the industry, whilst announcing 15b£ for road building fully supported by Labour. They increased speed limits for Britain’s hauliers and scrapped air quality monitoring. All the junk coming from dominant “think-tanks” favours private motor vehicles. The Institute for Economic Affairs is aggressively pushing road privatisation even wanting HS2 plans replaced with highspeed autobahn. The Westminster regime after slashing renewable funding, has just committed to an overt Syrian war meaning a likely indefinite occupation similar to Afghanistan or worse a bridge to Iran. Motivation is not some clash of civilisation but crushing arab democracy to provide new ground for western capital invested in oil, gas and mining.
The international scene is equally grim. Decarbonisation of transport is no longer a concern for G20 policy makers. The 2015 UN Convention on Climate Change has almost nothing binding but asserts “car sharing and electric vehicles” as a solution. For the UK this means oil, gas, coal and fracking then some sort of vague futuristic carbon capture technology — in my day they just used to call them trees. You must buy the problem and the solution but if not, pay poor nations to remain under-developed so Anglo-europeans can drive a prius. (Likewise completely removed from climate talks is animal agriculture even though responsible for up to half of all climate destruction and whole lot of mass murder.)
So what is the point of these conventions, agreements, disagreements, unagreements? Politicians yammering about the merits of cycling or paying community voices to praise promises never realised. Oil companies spending large on sustainability campaigns. What does London Travel Watch watch and who for? Why does a Communications Manager for a natural gas company head-quartered in Virginia, United States, direct a supposed environmental group as trustee of Sustrans in the UK? Why does war profiteer and oil investor Rupert Murdoch sponsor sport cycling and organised cycling events whilst having his global publishing empire attack cycling as a transport choice? Why does Elizabeth Winsdor advocate the most humble of lives at Christmas? What is the point of Barack Obama who invaded 7 countries in two terms receiving as many Nobel Peace prizes?
It is all to invert reality. It is to occupy positions of power and minds with an illusion of change whilst business runs a red light. One is left disorganised, confused, directing funds towards dead-ends, having faith in institutions acting against community interest, repeating slogans, kvetching, in-fighting or fighting a potent denialism:
London air pollution is caused by Saharan sands. Speed doesn’t kill. Yellow vests will keep you safe. Cycling needs licensing. Police crack down heavily on bad driving. Police are under-resourced to deal with bad driving. Police have the resources to deal with bad cycling. Headphones should be banned. Cycling should be banned. Cycling is more dangerous than motor transport. Vegans are self righteous sickly creatures who can’t get enough protein. Beef is a superfood. Immigrants are a drain on the NHS. The NHS is failing. Austerity is real.
The media-industrial-complex can’t change the science and they know on a long enough timeline truth always outs because you can’t deny physics. However, good science takes time and a lie can be driven half the way from Detroit before someone has donned a white jacket. Denialism exists…
“…to fog the mind of the general populous in the short run to slow and obstruct any action by opponents buying time for other [financial machinery] to come into play.” — Prof’ Philip Mirowski, 2013
Denial of harm with the promotion of ineffectual or completely owned opposition exists to create paralysis. (Uber executives somewhere will be giddy as London’s cycling community, blackcab and uber drivers tilt at each others windmill, knowing the end game is autonomous vehicles and goodbye to all three.) Investment here is that pint of flat cider sacrificed to summer wasps. The same strategy of infiltration, decoy, and subversion afflicts all opposition: peace movements, animal rights, environmental rights, black rights, human rights. If one is still in denial for our own particular transport concern let me drive home the final nail.
Of the many harbingers of the coming auto-automobile dystopia and entrenched hostilities to cycling, none other is as convincing than UK government transport forecasts. They claim a decrease in cycling by 2040 and increased use of private motor vehicles. They claim peak cycling happened this year in 2015 and will decline for the next 25 years. That is a bold claim, but of course this is likely not a true forecast. Such numbers could indeed be engineered by gross favouritism, defunding, under policing motorists, over-policing those cycling, extremely hostile media campaigns, and massive fossil fuel subsidy.
On the back of rewriting trespass laws so companies can legally frack beneath homes, Britain has become the only G7 country to increase corporate welfare for dirty energy. Faced with such evidence I find little civility for public-relation types peddling bullshit whether bikerboomer Cartlon Reid or CEO of Creative Concern, Steve Connor (the latter providing the immediate inspiration for my article). Titled “Peddling Prosperity” he makes a case for cycle investment but I reply to the contrary: no sound investor is going to touch cycling other than to run it down. He repeats claims made by Transport for Greater Manchester that cycling will increase by 300% and have a modal share of 10% by 2025 which begged asking the question… was he paid to write the article and does Creative Concern contract with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) or Manchester Council?
“No… I wanted to write it but some of the research was pulled together working on TfGM bid for Cycle City Ambition Grant. And yes, they are a client. And yes… I occasionally work for the council and was chair of our climate change plan for a few years.” [original formatting]
Fabulous and who to believe — will there be a 300% increase or a 20% decrease? If I own a hedge-fund or pension scheme do I move money towards Uber, Tesla and maintain shares in Royal Dutch Shell or pivot to Scott, Trek, Boardman, maybe some bakery and GoPro? Maybe if helmet laws are imposed I should invest in MET and Evans Cycles. If I’m a government treasurer managing a contrived “austerity” do I want to encourage a mode of transport that costs 6000£ per year or something that costs as little as 0–200£? Peak cycling is said to occur this year and defined as the start of a contraction even GCSE economists will question waiting for until 2041 to enjoy returns.
Why you shouldn’t invest in cycling
My Lords, we all know the Mayor of London’s addiction to cycling, [editor’s note: this is simple not true] but is my noble friend Lord Higgins not absolutely right that what is happening now has done more damage, and is doing more damage to London than almost anything since the Blitz? — Baron Nigel Lawson of Blaby (Dec 14th, 2015)
As community vultures were bike-bizzing clickbait misquoting in the process, many self flattering rubes chorused a smug knowingness and contempt for this senile, stupid unhinged and very very wrong…
- former editor of the Spectator,
- former Barclays bank director,
- former President of the British Institute of Energy Economics,
- former Chancellor of the Exchequer,
- former Secretary of State for Energy,
- former Financial Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury,
- founding Chairman of climate denying Global Warming Policy Foundation…
…and shrewd political operator integral to Thatcher dominating politics long after her tenure. That name should ring a bell because Mark Thatcher funded an armed coup of Equatorial Guinea in 2004 and I’ll leave readers to guess what product now represents 97% of exports. It’s very seductive and comforting to disappear a hugely complex system behind a wig of stupid people doing stupid things.
The precise motive for such hysterical comments is unknowable but one can measure effects and map to known political strategies or attempt to see patterns elsewhere. There is no remarkable insight offered by pointing out forty-thousand Londoners killed and one-million homes destroyed has no honest relation to a few miles of roadworks— I don’t believe he believes. To debunk is to promote. The Blitz doesn’t even compare well to motoring because road death runs into the hundreds of thousands if not millions. People (and conveniently trams) were bombed so they could be driven over with cars made in Germany so maybe there is a fair comparison somewhere after all.
Outrageous statements are more likely to be picked up by journalists who will likely find agreement in fundamentals but condemn the inflammatory rhetoric. Negative positions on cycling like those of Zac Goldsmith or Sadiq Khan mentioned earlier can be established as the new normal because extreme politics makes space for false-moderates to move into and seem more reasonable. Despite running a police force that has killed ten-thousand Americans in no trial executions, a kidnap-torture colony at Guantanamo bay, an expanded drone war, and a military that deliberately bombs hospitals, people can’t see Obama’s fascism for Donald Trump’s hair. One demands total surveillance of the muslim community, the other moderates but insists “muslims must confront [islamic extremism] without excuse”. As one commenter astutely remarked wild rhetoric pushes the Overton window — what the public doesn’t accept today may do so tomorrow given enough fear. (If you want further understanding from an apolitical-political vantage research price anchoring — it is essentially providing a 200£ football shoe that’s not supposed to sell so you think paying 70£ is quite reasonable.)
This works in “road safety”: first people walking must remain on “sidewalks”, then they must only use crosswalks. Then they must push buttons and only use crosswalks. Then wave yellow flags, push buttons and only use crosswalks. Now “road safety” organisations are trying to make contrived visibility aids a night-time legal requirement for people on foot, walking dogs or cycling. They are literally smearing ponies with reflective paint. DriveSafe.org an initiative ran by the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership, now targets cycling with the slogan: “Night or day, LIGHT your way” (pictured). This is not some charity but a QUANGO accountable to Greater Manchester’s Police, Primary Care Trust, Fire & Rescue Service, along with the Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Courts Service and the Highways Agency. How long before this becomes a legal requirement? Stop resisting. This is exactly how jay-walking was contrived and the same industrial block are successfully pushing the Overton window in regards to what should be considered jay-cycling in polite society. London police are already stopping daytime riders without helmets and silly coloured clothing. One may contest motive but the likelihood of blundering towards legal immunity for their favourite customers and stricter controls on competitors seems incredibly slim. Electric bicycles must be physically limited to 15mph — for comparison a non-athlete can easily achieve 20 to 30mph just from pedal power. There are no such physical limits on motorists who can tear up Britain’s roads literally with racing cars and any effective counter-strategy such as speed cameras must be aggressively blocked. No one is demanding cars be painted bright yellow to assist those that walk or cycle and I’d suggest there are no accidents in road safety (or politics for that matter). Imagine a scenario where motorists must ring a bell as they pass road crossings: “You hit this man and didn’t ring your bell! Guilty as charged!” Deny responsibility, outsource risk and blame the victim.
There you have it — the police don’t just enforce the law they help create the law by softly applying what later will be codified officially and in the process, always engineering favourable economic conditions for dominant interests. This is because drilling through the rhetoric of the police, Rees-Mogg, or Lord Blabberby, these are all just expressions of the same greased handshake between Parliament and the London Stock Exchange — quite literally. Both are dominated by oil and gas ready to stomp competition whether worker, wind-turbine or bicycle.
Dirty fuel as a sector is the largest by market share and Royal Dutch Shell valued at 135b£ crowns the exchange. Third in line is the princely British Petroleum. Many other sectors especially banking, energy, engineering, insurance, and major hauliers build out from this foundation of dirty fuel (and dirtier wars). In summary 20% — 400b£ of 2000b£ — is directly buried in oil and gas but beyond half are immediate stakeholders. The global reach of just Royal Dutch Shell alone historically and presently is staggering from the first Malaysian wells in 1910 operations are now on all continents including 4.6b£ invested in just one Arctic lease alone.
Payoff from any initial investment sees significant lag— first exploration, negotiating with local government, changing laws, perhaps overthrowing a government by military action, creating ISIS to take out Syria, lobbying for subsidy, building drilling platforms, building pipelines, refining, distributing, then inducing consumption. To take fracking for an example, such extraction is only viable when prices are sufficiently high simply due to the unavoidable technical and political complexity. Fracking is untenable without sufficient demand says the classic economist and invasion of the middle east might have quicker payoffs and be more easily sold to politicians. In some cases certain “opportunities” are decades in the making. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, publishing mafioso Rupert Murdoch, former CIA director James Woolsey, along with others including Jacob “Cliche” Rothschild run Genie Energy. It took 40 years of Israeli military incursions, border expansions, Palestinian internment and billions in US war funding for them in 2013 to enjoy license to drill in the contested Golan Heights. Syria is the other party. Before any well is tapped they need to be damn sure demand will exist in years to come, and that might mean some daft statements from a kooky lord.
I can only touch on the vastness of this industry but it all works to ensure the UK has twice the oil available than can be produced from indigenous North Sea reserves alone. Of all the oil products consumed in the UK 77% goes on transport, 56% on motoring fuel.
Marketeers, politicians, advocates and campaigners throw around modal fluctuations quite arbitrarily— at least in public. In private there will be paper shufflers in Canary Wharf and Shell deeply engaged with excruciatingly detailed analysis of emerging transport scenarios. Even Sustrans can deliver moments of insight: if school run mums could instead have their children walk or cycle 2b£ of oil revenue disappears. Throwing even 10k£ at gobshite opinionists like Angela Epstein to write articles literally extolling the moral virture of driving her daughter 1.5miles to school makes complete economic sense. Unsurprisingly she is a lead agitator for cycle licensing, taxation and police oppression. Those wanting a 10% modal shift need to reconcile billions of pounds being wiped from the value of the stockmarket.
However glorious that sounds, motoring provides significant employment, along with virtually all transport taxation and the bulk profit needed for the sector to remain viable. One must convince road builders like McAlpine or Balfour Beatty (essentially to be understood as tarmac manufacturers) that laying cycle infrastructure requiring less maintenance, engineering and materials is a wise business decision. Not that motoring tax provides for all road expenditure, take that away and other parts of the economy will be imposed upon even more severely. This could be as simple a higher food costs as hauliers pass on overheads and such concerns are seemingly endless:
- How many motorists can be removed until a shortfall in government revenue and taxes must be introduced for aviation fuel? Would boozed Brits cease to brawl the streets of Faliraki as Easyjet fails?
- How many motorists can be removed until the haulage industry becomes untenable due to internalisation of cost previously shared or completely outsourced?
- Can the insurance industry survive if autonomous cars are truly as safe as marketing claims? Government spends 100m£ per day dealing with collisions yet underwriting motoring has operated at a loss for the last 23 years. Maybe hysterical calls for mandatory cycle insurance are actually sincere and quite rational.
- Publishers are hugely dependent on adverts for cars and insurance products, how will they cope if people just start using Uber?
- If the UK commits to a plan limiting consumption how will the deficit ever be closed? Why would international finance value British Sterling in a shrinking economy?
- How many people cycling will it take before incursions into Libya or Syria cannot be supported due to loss of consumer demand for oil? Is cycling therefore a “threat to national security”?
Does Shell and BP have British police embedding spies in environmental groups? As part of their cover do they impregnate activists then disappear once their “tour of duty” comes to an end? Who has been entrapping politicians with child rape in a similar strategy as deployed by General Motors against political rivals wanting road safety reforms? Who has that alleged picture of Cameron fucking a dead pig or anyone else for that matter saved for a rainday? Which industry has had concession after concession met from a government happy to bend-over encouraging drilling with abandon?
These issues should not be considered hypothetical, only one was even speculative —the younger skeletons that maintain an obedient David Cameron may be left for future historians to unearth. Such a modest proposal as cycling reducing motoring revenue provokes an extremely dedicated and powerful adversary with vested interests at all levels. Let me labour the point:
Congestion charging applies in London but solving that problem does away with 2.5b£ in revenue per decade. Half has been diverted to bus subsidy but implemented by aerospace and defense contractor Chemring Group, such a system doubles as a tool of mass surveillance hidden in plain sight. Every number plate logged and route mapped. That may even be the primary goal but keep laughing at Kippers and Trumpets. Elsewhere, government is already wanting tax increases to solve an emerging deficit as people are bribed towards electric cars which have been historically tax exempt.
In similar fashion, private capital also manoeuvres to ensure fertile ground, to do otherwise is to evaporate. Uber is already matching the valuation of General Motors despite just really being a payment processor. Tesla Motors are trying to drive a current 25b£ valuation up to 700b£ and promise to have a production of one-million units per year by 2020. It’s convenient for this nascent industry that ethics have suddenly been found for emission targets meaning Westminster has had to fake concern for a scandal they’ve long known about. (Initial research outing the fraud came from alternative energy research units in the US.) Emerging therefore, is something of a Reformation of the Motoring Church. A rightwing conservatism demands a continued relevance and must accommodate a disruptive liberal leftwing pew only interested in mutually assurred coexistence. The House of Rothsminster must marry the House of Musk. For the Musks sparks fly whether powered by photovoltaic cell or gas-turbine and fundamentals like road privatisation, smooth tarmac sheets, a four wheelster bed, fetish for rubber and a shared hatred for heathen cycling sees much agreement. However, pre-nuptual tension still exists with minor squabbling over permissable auto-asphyxiation and whether monogamous vehicle relations should give way to a promiscuous sexting of cheap rides. An orgy of sardine-can metro-sexuality may be an acceptable compromise on special occasions, but only for the common commuters. Most importantly though will the wedding be held under the sun, or go up in smoke?
Any transition to solar from the emmisive combustion engine inevitably requires pivoting commercial and military domination towards world lithium reserves excluding the possibility of some carbon nanotube breakthrew. Is it a coincidence that Latin America suffers an increasingly rightwing lurch of political groups supported by the Whitehouse regime? The same for South China seas becoming a military contest as Polyenesia has increasing significance as capital demands virgin ground to defile. However charming Elon Musk appears diplomacy will not be the only power projection as US-led imperalism secure long-term material interests. Staying with soft power though, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership looms on the horizon which gives corporations exclusive right to sue municipalities that attempt policy that would negatively effect profit. Manchester Metrolink has seen mostly private investment in the region of 4b£ and is managed by french multinational RATP Group, itself owned by the French government. Considering the sums involved is it likely that such corporations would sit idly by as cycle lanes undercut their business models?
A Clear and Present Danger
The motoring-industrial-complex makes plans with a meticulousness of any military campaign. Millions of personnel, billions in investments, miles of pipeline, standardised tyre tread globally, and largely uniform traffic law from Sydney to Singapore — things are not left to chance. In 1981 ExxonMobil confirmed the threat of emission-led climate change but hid findings and instead sustained (along with many others) a whole pseudo-science denying climate change with millions of dollars for the next 27 years. It’s just not conceivable in regards to business strategy and material analysis that such a rigourous and pro-active block would overlook their biggest rival.
As a crude and immediate insight let’s say 1% of motoring miles disappears and with it 1% of fuel consumption. Fuel at current low prices of ~1£/litre and annual UK consumption is about ~20 billion litres means a “loss” of 200–300m£ per year. Should Manchester’s 10% modal share go national goodbye 2b£ annually — but that’s just the fuel. The average annual cost of car ownership (to the person, not society) fluctuates around 6500£ and there are about thirty-million registered vehicles but let’s cut 1%. Goodbye 2b£ per year. The Netherlands have achieved moderate in real terms but extravagent relative gains where 30% of all trips and 10% of all miles are travelled by bicycle. Goodbye 20b£ per year. Like with congestion, what happens if bold civic policy like ending subsidised animal agriculture and building #space4cycling solves the obesity crisis? Would stakeholders invested in the long term malaise of the British population be happy that a key growth area currently valued at 10b£ disappears? Say I own a steel manufacturing plant, do I want to sell 1000kg to each driver every 11 years or 10kg every 20 years to some cheapskate commie who wants to cycle?
I want to go back to Steve Connor’s essay which I will quote at length hopefully revealing quite quickly that there is no economic case for cycling — to even attempt one is absurd. Consider the idealised scenario where Connor isn’t speaking to you nor I, but some dragon of finance requesting 20m£ investment for an imaginary cycleway. He will want to know how much up front, how much return and on what timescale.
Connor: The level of return on investment for cycling stands well ahead of other transport modes (yes, including Metrolink) and in stark contrast to provision for cars, where there is a clear, negative impact on the wider economy.
The bank manager cocks his head turning a curious eye.
Gideon: What sort of return are we talking about here? Is there any significant intellectual property at stake? Do you intend to charge subscription or impose some sort of microfinanced pay-as-you go model?
Conner flashes a nervous smile and continues to his next talking point.
Connor: The first tranche of benefits that fit most closely with Greater Manchester’s strategic priorities are reduced healthcare costs and a ‘bounce back’ as business sees fewer days off sick; increased physical activity and more widely a reduction in air pollution will cut both cardiovascular and respiratory problems leading to fewer hospitalisations and a better record when it comes to sick days.
Gideon nods a single silent nod.
Gideon: I still see no return warranting capital investment. However wonderful your health may be, Glaxo Smith Kline stock ticks each time you need statins not when you don’t.
Connor begins to sweat.
Connor: Increased levels of cycling mean less money spent on road construction, repair and maintenance costs; less will need to be invested in parking spaces and the subsidies that go with them, and more widely we’ll see a business benefit through reduced congestion and a societal benefit as road safety levels improve.
Gideon scrolls his stock portfolio.
Gideon: Do you understand that I have interest in NCP’s parent company, British Petroleum, and Tarmac Group amongst various others, how will any return on cycling offset losses I make elsewhere? I do hear Gopro shares have surged by 15% with talk of an Apple takeover but surely the average commuter isn’t going to be rolling 12k£ carbon bikes on the way to work.
Connor: [Well…] the RAC puts the cost of owning and running a car, on average, at £6,689 compared to an estimated £0-£200 for keeping a bicycle on the road; fuel, repair and maintenance all adds up. Similarly there are clear-up costs for cars that can be factored into the economics of cycling at a city scale, too. […] Beyond health, infrastructure and reduced costs of congestion there’s a positive economic impact from tourism, bike sales and increased retail that can be tracked as cycling increases.
Gideon now visibly disinterested steps up from his chair.
Gideon: You are using wonderful economic language — words like “investment”, “returns”, “business performance”, “retail sales” , “gross cycling product”— but I am slightly puzzled. I cannot tell whether you attempt to sell socialism to a capitalist or a curious capitalism to socialists. No investor is going to buy this idea of reduced spending as a means of greater prosperity. Either way I must conclude, I have polo with the prince at five after an interview at three with a lovely team wanting 600m£ for a floating cycle lane up the River Thames and they are willing to charge 1.50£ per go. Sounds promising.
The more one advocates the savings of cycling the more one freaks out the most wealthy, and these people can buy very violent friends or before that, international media campaigns designed to foster random acts of abuse. You are speaking the wrong language to the wrong people. There is just no economic case to be made for cycling, you will not convince an economic block to act against their own interests. There is one purely invested in social gains not monetary. For a nation on low income cutting transport cost has the possibility to usher in a four day work week or even worse three days. Cycling leaves value at source improving health, mental well-being, cognitive function, social well-being, empowering children, elderly, and the disabled, but neither for-profit governments nor corporation can readily extort that value away. Communities freed from monetization might give rise to sudden bursts of socialism, better they be atomised as single units of economic activity in single units of transportation competing for artificially scarce gains. Freedom of movement must be stopped at all costs but for billionaires this is a rounding error compared to what they stand to lose (and besides most reactionary campaigns are funded by taxation). If you had the time to read or read again, you are probably part of a vanguard that enjoys this right more so than others. More power to you. Alternatively you maybe a Lord Sugar type somewhere in London, perhaps stuck in traffic, with time to rage in favour of the machine.