Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Normalize Cycling


The outrage over Courtland Miloy's column remains pitched after two weeks.  If you are just now wandering into this dust up, Miloy wrote a column complaining about cyclists and saying it might be worth the fine to hit a cyclist with a car.  The response was powerful and has focused the Washington newspapers and blogs on cycling like never before.  Did Miloy's nonsense cause a benefit to cyclists?  Here is some of the bike column response:

The Post writes that cyclists and motorists agree that enforcement of the traffic laws is weak as to both groups.  Earlier the Post simply commented that fewer citations were issued to cyclists last year than in many years prior.

Bicyclists responded in droves to Miloy's column - in person and through print/blog.  I did not see a terrorist in the bunch.  Unless they are sneaky and have Yepp child seats.


Columnist Petula Dvorzak called for peace between cyclists and motorists, but the piece was clearly a mere defense of her colleague of more than a decade.  Referencing the most racially charged case of the 1990s, she quoted Rodney King's seeming dismay at the Los Angeles riots (sparked by his beating at the hands of police officers).  "Can't we all just get along?"  Given the possible racial overtones of Miloy's column, this was an interesting choice of quotes.  Paranoids might see a message.

Citylab reported that the mere existence of cycling haters is a sign of cycling's success, describing such phenomena as a type of "cognitive error called fundamental attribution error."  Which means "just plain wrong."

Another cyclist pointed out that riding in DC taught him defensive cycling.  As if D.C. were a war zone and cars the weapons of an enemy.  Hmmm.  War zone.  Terrorists.  I am detecting a theme here.  A theme of violence, chaos, and survival, and mostly conflict between bikes and cars.

And another Post columnist wrote about why cyclists sometimes ride on the sidewalk in response to Miloy's complaint that cyclists were doing so.  #sodriversdon'tkillthemduh

Even Vox(yup that one, Latin for "voice") wrote a response to Miloy.  It is valuable for its photo of a cycling postman.  The kind of postman you see in Italian movies but never in real life.  However, it contains some data showing the group with the most cyclists are Latinos, not white, tattooed hipsters.

The award of civility and character should go to Greater Greater Washington publisher David Alpert, who was personally attacked in Miloy's column, and Veronica Davis, of Black Women Bike DC.  Alpert urged empathy toward the other side in the cycling vs. car debate.  Veronica invited Miloy out for a bike ride.


The Bike Rack is serving free Peregrine Espresso and coffee on July 16 between 730 and 9 am.  While this blog will post after that delicious combo, take note of this little shop.  They serve Peregrine often.
And they are offering a Women's Road Skills Clinic on July 19 at 830 a.m.  You may be able to learn how to deflect attention from that annoying cat-caller, or how to ride while wearing your favorite skirt.  Or maybe how to change a flat in your flats.

REI is leading an overnight bike tour of the C&O canal August 2-3.
They are also offering a clinic called "Fix a Flat" on August 13, 2014.

Bike Share:

Remember those who said that Capital Bike Share was doomed?  Hah!  Nonsense.  DC's Capital Bike Share just closed their operating deficit, and their advertising space is sold for the next five years.  Whooot! Whoot!

Few people in Montgomery County, Maryland took advantage of free bike share.  Perhaps there is lead in the water there and people have been stupefied.

You can now valet park your Citi bike in the Village.  Oh, who cares?  We have been able to do that at National's baseball stadium for years.  You New Yorkers are always one step behind.

Medical Mutual is kicking in over a million dollars for Columbus, Ohio's bike share program.  It's better than Kentucky Fried Chicken sponsoring it.

The helmet debate has started in Minneapolis now that it has bike share.  How Minnesota nice.

Unclear on the concept: Someone in NYC really likes their bikeshare bike.  They put a U-locked on a bike share as if to reserve it for their personal use.   We have all come upon the empty dock.  But isn't that like hiding a library book in the library, or locking up the specific grocery cart you want to use?  It's a violation of the share model.  This person must be stopped.

How are things doing in Chattanooga after two years of bike share?  Some say it was money wasted. Someone always does.  I call those folks bores at parties.

Schenectady is getting a bike share system.  This is not a gag.  I am being serious.

Houston's bike sharing program is growing.

Will Madrid's electric bike share system succeed?


The Bike Lane to Nowhere is now going somewhere.  The bike lane around Union Station now stops between First and Fourth Streets in Northeast D.C.  DC plans to extend it to Stanton Park.  Great, because I almost die there often.

DDOT has published the 2014 list of bike lanes in Washington.  Here's a link where you can download the pdf and stuff it in your panniers or keep it on your tablet.

Bike parking now overtakes car parking in some places.  Should we plan more toward a non-car model?

Bike lanes are coming into Ward 8, one of Washington's underserved neighborhoods.

Merchants lead the charge for protected bike lanes in Portland.  Cycling brings buyers, lingerers, window shoppers and romantics with wallets.  Merchants should be doing the same elsewhere.

People for Bikes needs help with their inventory of protected bike lanes.  If you have data, please give it to them.

Pittsburg is moving forward on lanes despite delays to 2015.

Oh Brittania!  After a mass die-in protest by Stop Killing Cyclists in London, Vauxhall is getting protected bike lanes.

Policy and Advocacy:

London Mayor Boris Johnson has challenged Downing Street to meet his commitment to cycling.  This will be interesting to watch.  If the Cameron Administration steps up to Johnson's challenge, how will the U.K. change?  Cameron's new transit secretary immediately emphasized that his PM is a cyclist and has spent more on cycling infrastructure than any PM in history.

A new study shows that for every $1 spent on cycling infrastructure, cities can save between $6 and $24 in other costs such as healthcare and reductions in damaging pollution and more.

Helsinki wants to eliminate cars entirely and is planning transportation accordingly.  Is this where all cities will one day go?

The U.S. will never be bike friendly because it won't build islands that will keep cars from hitting bikes claims this piece in outside online and fastcoexist.;utm_medium=xmlfeed

Want more bike parking in your building?  Policy, design and best practices are available here through San Francisco Bike.

Helping women respond to harassment when they bike, Grist has a few thoughts.

The Irish Times states that the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks.  HGVs (meaning SUVs and larger) have been required to have better mirrors.  Cyclists required to behave intelligently when riding.

There is a looooongggg Bike bridge planned for the spans between Malmo and Copenhagen.

Random Notes:

Seeking to attract a young, talented workforce?  Bloomberg suggests you locate your business near bike lanes.

Want to document your ride, your harassers and anything else?  Get a camera for your ride.

In the 19th Century women were deterred from bicycling by those who threatened that it could result in "bicycle face," also sometimes called a look of determination.


Interested in the best cycling holidays in Belgium?

Carolyn Vines, the author of Black and Abroad, spoke to Dutch News about her cycling and experiences as an African American woman and everyday cyclist living in the Netherlands.

Here's a video from BBC News on how to hire an e-bike while you are traveling in Copenhagen.

The new, super long bike bridge opened in Copenhagen.  Here's the Youtube video of this wonderful piece of infrastructure.

Here's your survival guide to cycling the Mojave Desert.

Are you among the crazies who have signed on for Strava's Sufferlandrian competition?  Are you trying to integrate your insanely competitive cycling impulses with your summer vacation plans?  Does your spouse realize the loneliness that will be your marriage.  If this is you, here's your program of pain.


E-bike are an $11 billion industry.  Hiccup in May when China's e-bike production slowed.

Cathy Rodgers has reached the halfway point on her ride across America on an electric bike.  Some major news outlet should be covering this.

An American Statesman (that one, in Texas, oil state, big hats, big hair, Tex-Mex) reporter tries out an e-bike.

Product reviews: E-bike kits and more.

Hype-angel posted this video of an e-bike going down a canyon behind a motorcycle.  It's a little bit of "Jackass" meets okay cycling guy.


Momentum Mag suggests 8 ways to store your bike that look cool.  I need a cool looking way to store 8 bikes.

How to choose your bike pump from Bike Radar.

Want a gorgeous kit bike that comes in a lovely bag?  Now you can have one.

And here's my favorite cycling book:

So if I see you in the bike lanes, and you are chic, let's be smug.  Heck, even if you are kind of a slovenly dresser, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

1 comment:

  1. As a native Albanian, I find the Schenectady story truly unbelievable. Good on them!