Sunday, October 11, 2015

People Are Taking Bike Share Instead of the Subway

Washington's Metro subway system appears to be in a death spiral.  First, Metro suffered a decade of broken escalators and elevators, doubling the commute time of anyone who was disabled or elderly.   (They were forced to take shuttle buses between stations.) Three jurisdictions (Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia) had oversight of Metro, and none of the three would adequately own Metro.  I am not sure which genius decided to build escalators exposed to the elements (rain and snow in particular).  But now, people have other options - they have Capital Bike Share.  And they are ditching Metro in droves to ride bikes.  Not a bad thing.  Perhaps Congress, which can get almost nothing done these days, could consider funding the mass transit system of the major economy in world.  Whacky, I know, for a developed nation to have a functioning mass transit system.  I am just sayin'.  In the meantime, if you want to leave Metro and join the cyclists, welcome.  You may smell the occasional dumpster, but you will not have to avert your gaze from the nearby nose-picker. And even if you do, you will care a lot less that when you are not sharing the same mid-train car support beam with said picker.

On the fence about whether to bike?  Fear your helmet hair, lacquered with Final-Net might suffer, or your support pantyhose run?  Ditch Metro/that-car-that-is-ruining-you for a bike, and ditch the lacquer and support hose too.  Ride often enough and you won't care about the first, and you won't need the second. The good news is that 99 more bike share stations are coming to Washington.  Whoot!  Whoot!

So what is the right way to ride a bike, you wonder, having given up heavy, constraining foundational garments and hair shellac?  Well, Claude Hillel, an avid cyclist and healing arts professional has this to say to you:

Atlanta has a new bike czar, and she is a czar-ess, hopefully not of the same ilk as Catherine the Great/Weird.  Meet the woman who will lead Atlanta away from its car-clogged self to a streamlined, slender new southern capital. Pecan anyone?  Yankees in Atlanta?  Oh, my!

Winter cycling.  Are you ready for it?  Cars pretending not to see you in the early dark, despite the mini-strobe light armband you are sporting, and the pulsating headlight.  Snot-cicles, frozen hands, ruddy cheeks.  Bike lanes are the most useful to protect cyclists in winter notes

Insurance company Worry and Peace steps into the cycling market in the U.K.  Will U.S. Companies follow?

And in products this week, Bontrager introduces a tire they say won't be punctured by a nail, Britain's famed Royal Mail cycles are being re-built (and, God they are glorious) and re-purposed for good in Africa, and a new titanium lock might be the right light-weight option for you.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, and you are atop a Royal Mail bike, without heavy hairspray and a near-crippling girdle that makes you look like a character in an old Jon Waters film, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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