Twitter's best feature is relevance. It's easy to curate your feed so you only see what's relevant to you (cough Facebook cough). For us that means bikes and people, and their fascinating messy intersection, the city.
Below are 5 of our favorite tweeters on the Twitter. They're full of insight and humor about moving well through our streets.
The all knowing, all seeing, all powerful bike lobby. This parody account is run like a maniacal interest group. It's like the Colbert Report for cycling advocacy. While none of us would want an actual bicycle lobby this unforgiving, the content's absurdity serves its purpose of holding in relief how ignored cyclists needs are and how basic our wants. Keep fighting the good fight.
Follow if: you think the bike vs. car war is too ridiculous and you want a laugh.
The man behind the Bike Snob persona, Eben Weiss, is supposedly mild mannered, but he's been mercilessly humiliating all things bike related, particularly the arms race of road riders known as "Freds," since 2007 on his blog. His Twitter feed offers the same acerbic wit distilled into 140 characters. Add some sincere frustration, delivered with humor, at NYC's Vision Zero failures and you'll get the picture. If @bikelobby is Colbert, @bikesnob is John Stewart. It's mean, it's hilarious, and it's a must.
Writing this is like sitting in the front row at a comedy club. He'll probably lampoon us for including him, or at least for using the word lampoon.
Follow if: you have a passing interest in bikes and a major interest in laughing. A lot.
CityLab is published by The Atlantic to cover "all things urban." The content is as big and broad as the very idea of a city while being holistic in nature. They cover not just bikes but transportation, and not just populations but people. The original reporting, as well as the retweets and shares consistently offer some of the best writing and thinking on the complexity of the urban landscape.
Follow if: you're into urban design, and the fascinating complexity of city systems and life.
Streetsblog is a digital network of non-profit daily news outlets. Their work is to transform our cities by supporting people walking, biking, and riding transit. The content is focused, and while the writing can sometimes be dry, it's accessible even when explaining legal or legislative jargon. This is one of our most direct, most trusted national sources for advocacy news.
Follow if: you're into urban planning and sustainable transportation advocacy made accessible.
Brooklyn Spoke is Doug Gordon, and even though his bio and avatar pictures contain bikes he's clear, "it's not about the bike." What it is about, is an unapologetic voice for safe roads, and a watchdog's eye over the misinformation or misrepresentation of vulnerable road users in mainstream news coverage. While his focus is New York City, what happens there is relevant to many of us. New York's size and density, as well as the city's Vision Zero policies and realities, make NYC streets theater and precedent. 4,000 New Yorkers were seriously injured in traffic crashes last year. Brooklyn Spoke uses Twitter to advocate safer streets for each one of them.
Follow if: you're tired of soft questions about dangerous problems.
We often share the best of these accounts, as well as our stories on our own Twitter feed. If this stuff interests you, join us, @missionbicycle.
Take it from Bill, a good feed is harder than it looks.