Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Bikes Equal Less Cars Studies Show. Or "duh."


Capital Bikeshare is happy to take old share docks from Canada and re-purpose them in DC.  We preach "reduce, reuse and recycle."  So why not?  If it gets more docks out there and saves costs, it is hard to see a downside.  It's not like those great shoes you got on eBay only to discover they had been worn by a chain smoker with foul foot odor and an incontinent cat.  Bike share docks serve a basic purpose and are unlikely to retain smells.

Devolution is not replacing evolution.  Here's the evidence.  Richmond, Virginia, where David O. Selznick filmed parts of Gone With the Wind, where Sherman marched, where a governor recently got convicted of something other than throwing his wife under the bus, that place, is getting bike share in 2015.  So man continues to evolve, not return to a primitive state as low as a mollusk.

Policy and Advocacy:

People with disabilities often find cycling is easier than other forms of exercise and transportation.  Making cycling more accessible to them is a rocking thing to do.

Apparently men still bike more than women.  But why is this the case?  Are women dropping kids off at school more?  (Hmmm.  Maybe that duty could be shared?)  Are women afraid of messing up their hair.  (Solution:  Put it in a ball on top of your head and then put your helmet on.  You will arrive looking gorgeous.  Short hair?  The issue is hydrogen bonds.  Short hair gals should probably wash it when they arrive, or go without a helmet.)  Afraid of riding in a skirt?  (Try the tried and true Dutch method known as "Knees together a bit."  Or the penny and a rubber band method Canadian women use to turn any skirt into a pair of shorts, except the tightest of pencil skirts.)  Is it that women feel unsafe on the routes they might bike to work?  (Bike with someone.)  Probably all of this and more.

Since the launch of bike share, cycling has doubled in Washington, DC, and New York City.  And who said building infrastructure was not in the budget?  But wait, it gets better.  Solo driving has dropped by 9%.  If you think your riding a bike is not having an impact, think again.  As Gandhi said, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

The city of New York is auditing the troubled bike share system.  Fear not.  Perhaps they can figure out a better way to run bike share and make it more profitable.

When I think of Nigeria, the last thing that comes to mind is cycling.  Fraudulent faxes, teeming cities, petro dollars, and terrorism borne of corruption, yes.  But electric bikes?  Not so much.  And yet, the government there is promoting the use of electric transport.  Lagos has had a series of bike-a-thons, and has a nice network of cyclists.  So call me "stuck-in-an-image-of-Nigeria-as- a-cesspool."  Go Nigerian cyclists!


A small group of people in Chicago are trying to build a bike that can perform in winters as bad as last year's.  The bike does not appear to have a removable snow plow, but I would recommend hand heaters or heated bar mitts, studded snow tires and a revolving red light like the ones they put on top of fire department ladder trucks.

In Canada, Devinci cycles is committed to making bikes in Canada despite the cheap cost of labor elsewhere.  How do such companies hold on when their competition is moving to countries where workers have no choice but to work for peanuts, or maybe just peanut dust?


D.C. police are about to start citing cyclists who use the sidewalk in the central business district of the nation's capital.  This is important news, and not for the reasons you think.  This means the murder rate is so low that D.C. police have the time for enforcement of cycling offenses.  So if you are riding in the central business district, all fourteen blocks of it, use the many bike lanes available to you.  If an officer writes you a ticket, congratulate him/her on having enough time to bother with decent, tax-paying citizens like you.  Surely this is proof that the crack wars are over.

Stating the obvious, here, but do not kill pedestrians.  In fact do not buzz them.  Most cyclists would never do this.  And some pedestrians are a lot like those guys in the grocery store who back up to view the entire shelf in an aisle without bothering to see who is behind them.  However, cyclists tend to be humanists as a group, notwithstanding the occasional juicing tour competitor.  After all, crushed eggs in a grocery cart, or a claim of achilles injuries by shoppers who back-up recklessly are bad, but death is permanent.  Also, let me add this is a very unusual event.  Unlike the killing of over 700 cyclists by motorist last year.

Random notes:

Here is Bicycling magazine's list of the 10 best car free places to ride.  My friends recently tried the Allegheny Passage Trail and C&O from Pittsburg to D.C.  They had only two flats along the way.  That fact alone is an endorsement of these findings.

Members of Bikemore can now get a Zipcar discount.  Take advantage of any chance to live car free except for the Target run each quarter.

Hippie dare-devils invented mountain cycling.  At least that's the claim.

Could you use your cargo bike during a disaster to help? Absolutely.

Pryor Dodge has created a museum of cycling.  It features terrific photos of Penny Farthings, golden French tricycles, and more.  Thank God for eccentric collectors with amazing refinement.  Without them, the world would be much more boring.

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

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