Transportation | Ecotrope

Which reality sucks more: Biking or driving?

Ecotrope | Oct. 13, 2011 5:22 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:34 p.m.

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GM's ad telling college students to ditch their bikes for a discounted new car was met with backlash from cyclists and environmentalists. GM pulled the ad, and a bike company has made its own version.

GM's ad telling college students to ditch their bikes for a discounted new car was met with backlash from cyclists and environmentalists. GM pulled the ad, and a bike company has made its own version.

OPB’s Rebecca Galloway clued me into a hot topic in the cycling world yesterday. I see BikePortland picked up on it too.

Apparently GM launched an ad campaign directed at college students telling them to “Stop pedaling … start driving.”

One of the ads, pictured above, featured a guy on a bike shielding his face in shame as a cute girl drove by in a car.

“Reality sucks” it says. “Luckily the GM College Discount doesn’t.”

Whoops. That didn’t go over too well with cyclists.

GM pulled the ad and apologized repeatedly on Twitter.

The rebuttal ad to GM's campaign telling college kids to stop pedaling and start driving.

The rebuttal ad to GM's campaign telling college kids to stop pedaling and start driving.

Meanwhile, bicycle company Giant made its own rebuttal ad witha ┬ápicture of gridlock and the slogan “Reality DOES suck. Luckily bicycles don’t.”

It lists the price of a bike next to a Chevy Silverado and notes that you can “save hundreds … even thousands of dollars a year” by biking, and “the only thing you have to lose is some weight … and the burden of fuel prices.”

So, which reality is worse: Biking or driving? The question gets interesting if you account for the environmental and social impacts of both.

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