Sunday, March 8, 2015

Women's Bicycling History Month

We have have a group called "chicks on bikes," but once upon a time, there was the ultimate chick on a bike.  Back over a hundred years ago.  Susan B. Anthony, famous leader of the suffragette movement, said of cycling: "I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.  It gives women a sense of freedom and self-reliance."  Here here.  Talk about "leaning in."  I know she said this before women were given the right to vote, which is arguably more emancipating.  But it is still a rocking quote.

The International Cargo Bike Festival is set for next month.  If you want to learn how to use bike delivery for your business, you should attend the workshop by #OutspokenDelivery on April 18.  Almost anything can be delivered by #bicycle in cities.  Flowers, pizza, groceries, piping, siding, massage treatments, ideas, singing telegrams, and dry-cleaning.  You would need the right caravan for the latter.  Something like Anthony Quinn had in Fellini's La Strada, without the motorcycle and pathos.

B-Line Sustainable Delivery or Portland, Oregon

Many Americans who own bikes do not use them out of fear of getting hurt in traffic.  This is a rational fear that can be addressed by better infrastructure, many more cyclists, and public health education campaigns.  Threats might also work.  They sometimes do for people.  Oh, that would be wrong though.  Right?

Is car ownership up in the Netherlands?  Could it be the myth of an ethical #bicyclingsociety is just that - a myth?  It seems that maybe a lot of Dutch do not own cars simply because of the cost.  Or are they smart enough not to want the hassle?  Hmmmm.  Those Dutch.  Hard to figure them out some days.

Speaking of cost, it seems #CapitalBikeshare is about to raise prices.   But they can't make it cost as much as a car, or even 1/10th as much as a car.  It's still a great investment.  Whereas a depreciating asset that requires constant feeding and maintenance is never a good investment, particularly where other choices are available.  It's like investing in Bernie Madoff's firm after you learned of his conviction.  Madness.  Unless you live and work where you have no other choice.  And then it's just unfair.

ThingWorx, a French company, has developed a new IoT system for #bikeshare that it hopes will become the industry standard.  Great.  But it needs to be tight as drum in terms of the code.  It needs to be easily adaptable and low cost to maintain.  Many a software system has been the near downfall bike share systems.  A fix is needed.  Not a patch afterwards.  (Get it?  Patch.  Bike and code humor.  Bad, but . . .)  And I can get the "Oh but the French made it" thing out of my head if it really does the job.  Few things are more irritating than an out of whack bike share system that doesn't know which docks are empty and which are full.  Okay maybe famine is worst.  Or pestilence.  Or some other biblical-level plague.  But it does feel rotten to arrive at work 15 minutes before a meeting only to discover every supposedly available dock for blocks is filled to capacity.  Perhaps the French have moved past their somewhat accommodating role in the two world wars and I should give them another go round.®-Internet-IoT-Platform-Connected#.VPzuLEsbQpE

After bikeshare employees voted to unionize in 2014, local bike mechanics working at private shops formed a union in solidarity with their counterparts.  No idea where this may lead, but let's hope not to a bail out of the industry and complaints of abuse of the retirement system.  So far, no sign of that.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, even if you are a fish, or a French coder, or bike mechanic, or someone who has benefitted from the skills of a fish, a French coder, or a bike mechanic, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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