Sunday, August 16, 2015

North Korean Bike Lanes and North Carolina Bike Trains

So in case you have not heard, Washington, DC Public Schools are going to offer bike riding lessons as part of the curriculum.  And if you cannot afford a bike, you can use some of the schools'.  This is a smart step to getting kids to become more active, fighting childhood obesity, and making sure no one gets left behind in bike love.
After all, the city of Copenhagen has been saving a quarter of a billion dollars in healthcare costs through cycling every year.

The City of College Park, Maryland, having failed to get Capital Bike Share, is considering starting an independent bike share of its own.  This is a great choice as long as the Terrapins don't win a tournament and send thousands of inebriated revelers into the streets to wreak general havoc against the bikes and docks.

Business is booming if you are a bike store owner in Europe, or if you sell accessories or parts or anything else related to bikes.   And one area for real growth is fold-up helmets for the multi-model riders who want to get to the commuter train, then make the helmet disappear into the briefcase for the rest of the day.

Taking Amtrak in North Carolina?  If so, you may now bring your bike.  When I think of North Carolina, I think of fried okra, Thomas Wolfe, and tobacco.  I do not think of bike infrastructure.  But hey, I am glad to be surprised.
It's election time again (in over a year, during which time the national suffering will be great) and the candidates have all begun to say what they will not do.  Few actual plans are being articulated, probably because no honest candidate knows what he or she will do once they have real responsibilities.  And I know, there are no honest candidates, or live griffins, or donors who do not expect to influence.  But I would like to see someone ask all the candidates where they stand on changing the way we live/drive/bike.  This week Citylab asks if Americans are just too afraid to make driving unappealing, even if it would enhance our national security, help address the obesity epidemic and drive down healthcare costs.
In Europe there are many cities where the car is no longer king: Milan, Brussels, examples.  

"But what about North Korea?" you ask.  How is the cycling infrastructure there?  Excellent.  Civil liberties or freedom of expression?  I guess it just depends on your priorities.  Whoooahahah.

So if I see you in the bike lanes in a reasonably free if somewhat obese country, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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