Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Normalize Cycling, Win Smart Work Force, and Be Safe Out There.

Photo courtesy of irony.                 #Nixonashipster


California is about to move its bike lane program out from under the supervision of Caltrans, the freeway people.  This sounds great, but will money be harder to get now since California is still a car state with a massive freeway system?  Stay tuned.

The National Journal has picked up on the issue of millennials wanting to live where there are bike lanes.  Better late than never.  Denver's Tech sector is taking note.  The Tech sector businesses there are attempting to locate in central areas accessible by bike.  How will older workers fit in?  By getting on a bike, I hope.  How will disabled workers fit in?  That remains to be seen.  If cities bring up the quality of their schools, that talent pool will stick around after they have children.  In the meantime, check out this Workcycle, made in the United States, ridden by a differently abled person around Capital Hill, D.C.  She loves the lanes.


At last Cap Bike Share is sending out replacement keys.  You might remember that they ran out.  How the heck that happened, someone will need to explain to me.  The first new fobs will go to existing members.   #bikesharefob  #forcryingoutloudplanbetter

After Bixi's terrible financial and software woes, it is trying to lure customers back.  Bixi is offering half price memberships right now.  And remember, it's not like the sale meat in the grocery store that you suspect is already turning gray on the side they don't show you.  Bikeshare fobs don't go bad.  #bixi

What does the change of ownership of Citibike mean, and who are the mystery purchasers?  The annual membership could rise from $95 to $150.  Still a fraction of car ownership.  There was a drop in renewals in 2014, perhaps because some people did not use Citi enough to feel justified in paying the annual fee.  (No decent bike can be purchased for a paltry $150, unless it is a stolen bike.  If it can be ridden and is priced that low, buyer beware.)  If you live in a place with small apartments that cannot accommodate a bike, bikeshare is still a great option.  And what about safety?  There were 9 cyclists killed in NYC last year, but none of those deaths were in areas served by Citibike.  Citi's new ownership by ROQX, the Equinox people, is an encouraging sign to financial predictors.  But they are the same folks who could not foresee the subprime crisis.  #skepticalcyclist  I hope it is a great sign for Citibike, crunchy numbers or not.  #bikeshare

Why is Chicago's Divvy lagging behind Citibike?  Is it that Citibike is motivated to prove the haters like Dorothy Rabinowitz wrong?  Or could it be something as obvious as the fact that NYC has three times the population of Chicago?  #needadivineanalysis  #divvy

Boris bikes in London will be offered free of charge to riders willing to take certain rides in August. #Borisbikes

What other locations are slated for bike share or have recently launched programs?  Well, Amherst, Northampton and Holyoke are on the map.  Molina Healthcare is sponsoring a new program in Long Beach.  Aspen's program is already functional and has been since they introduced We Share last summer.  Ann Arbor, a very cold place . . . (pause) . . . is ready too.  Their program will launch in the fall.  Well, I 'll be a polar vortex.  #bikeshare  #awesome


Bicycle Space DC holds tons of weekly riding events, including a city ride on Sunday's at 11:30 a.m. #bicyclespacedc  #justshowupandstopwhining

Join WABA's women's coffee club on August 6  (or any other week you choose) at The Coffee Bar in D.C.  There's a Facebook group if you would care to join.

Meet the Potomac Pedalers in the 3900 block of Yuma Street, NW, on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., ride around, and have pizza, salad and beer.  Just not too much of any of those.  That way you won't make us all look like sops and gluttons to those who generalize.  #potomacpedalers  #don'tbeacyclinglush

Or show up at Dupont Circle on August 13, at 7:30 p.m. for a ride with DC Bike Party, followed by New Belgium beer.  Because what's a party without beer?  (Rhetorical.)  #bicyclesandbeerequalsparty

Policy and Advocacy:

Bridges hold the key to safe cycling in many cities, especially in London.  Making sure cyclists can safely cross is key to getting more people on top of bikes.  If the bike lanes end at the bridge to your home, you may not be inclined to commute by bike.  Full stop.  The ninth cyclist to die this year in London was clipped on a bridge.

Theft and Safety:

The Detroit Bike Blacklist was founded by a guy who mistakenly purchased a stolen bike and was approached at a coffee shop by the original owner.  Find them on Facebook.  You can use it to make sure that bargain bike you want to get from the guy named John Smith on Craigslist isn't someone else's.  #detroitblacklist  #forChrist'ssakenooneisreallynamedjohnsmithanymore

Contrast our vehicular hostility with the patience displayed by Danish drivers in this video.  #youaremeanerinacarthanyouwouldbeinperson

No, you cannot make it up.  A mattress flew off the top of a zipcar striking a cyclist.  The cyclist has now sued the "deep pocket" Zipcar, but not the renter of said car who failed to tie the mattress down.

The Times of Oman has raised concerns about the harm inflicted by a reckless driver on a cyclist.  Hmm.  And it's a petro-state.  With very hot summers.  Very hot.  #omancycling  #whowouldhavethunkit?


Oregon Manifest holds a bike design contest each year to give an award for a well-designed bike that might entice people out of their cars.  Blackline by the design firm Minimal won the award.  #blacklinebicycles

Merge from NYC was also in the running, with lights integrated into the frame, a waterproof smartphone holder, and chic bags from Brooklyn design company MER.  #Mergebicycles

And an electric bike that will take your breath away won in its own category.  #electricbicycles

The Teague Denny e-bike has a built-in lock, smart storage and auto gearing. #teaguedenny

By 2019 the global bike industry is expected to reach $65 billion, with electric bikes remaining strong due to demand in China and increasing demand in the U.S. and E.U.  #ebikeindustry

Bike sales are down, but prices are up, and electric bikes have increased about $3 million since last year.  #electricbikeproduction

It might be a little studied, or perhaps too Mad Max for you, but here is a retro electric bike that can go 65 mph.

Ridescout is a new app that will help you find the fastest and closest transit route, whether it is bikeshare, rail or bus.  #ridescout

Taking care of your stuff is important too.  If you want to learn basic bicycle maintenance, you can show up at the REI August 6, 2014 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  #bicyclemaintenance

Want to see the fun Indy film by Hassan Yee, Bicycle Bride?  It's now on Amazon.  #bicyclebride


There have been seven reports of people attacked on jogging or bike paths around the U.S. this week.  At least one of the attackers was a cyclist.  If you are taking a vacation and want to ride, consider finding a local riding group and meeting them in your destination city.  There is safety in numbers, and you will meet other cyclists.  Here are a few of those reports.  Obviously, if you know something about the guy in the composite below, who is suspected of an attack in Carmel, NY, you should call the police there.

Here is nice map of bike routes in DC.  If you want to sightsee or commute in D.C., it is a nice reference tool.  #bikewashington

REI in Fairfax is holding a clinic on long-distance riding in Fairfax on August 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  This could help you get ready for that ride across the Alps you promised yourself you would do before your 40th birthday.

Random notes:

This video takes you on a journey of all the neat things for cyclists in Copenhagen, including bike bridges, bike LED wave lights and more.  Or you could call it cycling porn . . . of sorts.  Just don't tell your spouse.  It could create an atmosphere of mistrust.  #copenhagencycling

A sweet little video of enjoying the city by bicycle.

Once I espied a guy riding a unicycle in Old Town Alexandria.  He had amazing core strength even though he struck me ever so slightly as an athletic eccentric.  Seeing him, I could imagine the Beach Body series of DVDs, The Core Unicycle Workout, with Shaun-T.  But here is young Katrine Jensen, who won the international unicycle freestyle competition in Montreal.  I am not sure where unicycling will take her in life, but she has had a very good ride so far.  #unicycle

And cheers to Kathy Rogers who just rode across the United States on an electric bike with several good colleagues.  She arrived in Washington, D.C. on August 2, amid road closures and humidity.

So, if I see you in the bike lanes, let's be terribly smug.
Elisa P.

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