Monday, February 1, 2016

Facebook Holds Back on Bikes, Boy Bands Ride On

Facebook is not supplying its employees with electric bicycles because the law governing their safety in Menlo Park is not clear.  This begs the question of whether other companies would support cycling and e-bikes for their employees if statutes were written to be understood.  Or were written at all in some instances.  Certainly city officials need to act now and not wait for some imagined critical mass that has probably already been assembled.

There is something incredibly sweet about a couple that finds love across the oceans after they meet though shared strava data.  From Pennsylvania to Australia, they communicated until they finally met and eventually married.  If you are about to be cynical, and imagine this marriage won't last because they likely have nothing in common beyond cycling, and one or the other of them will give everything he/she knows to follow the other, and resentment will ultimately build, the sex taper off, and the little things, chewing style in particular, will come to annoy, just stop yourself.  Nobody loves a Debbie Downer.  

A review of Citibike's 22 million rides shows that most bikes are used for utilitarian purposes, like getting from one place to another, like you would in a subway, or a bus, or a taxi.  Hey!  Which proves cycling is transit, meriting infrastructure spending, legal support, and planning.  Wow.  Didn't need 22 million rides to figure that out, but data is so delicious.

We have reached the point where young women everywhere want to take a bike ride with members of their favorite boy band.  This could limit the spread of disease and it is certainly a different approach than referenced in "American Band."  And so, in Manila, if you enter a contest, you can ride around the city with the Vamps, none of whom appear old enough to vote, or drive a car, which may explain the bike ride.  Just sayin'.

Momentum Mag has published a study that reveals bike commuters are six times healthier than other commuters.  After riding Washington's Metro in the blizzard, during which time I felt as if I was being alien smuggled, conducted an anecdotal study of steely facial expressions worn by bureaucrats, and learned that crowds of teenagers are indeed VERY loud on trains, I am glad to be rejoining the ranks of happy bicycle commuters.  Maybe ten times happier and twenty times healthier.

The Washington Area Bicycling Association is holding its choice awards.  You should pick your favorite bike business and nominate them for recognition.

Since some people bike less in the winter, it is probably wise for them to give their bikes a safety test before they head back out.  London Cyclist has published a suggested safety test.  But there are other do-it-yourself resources.  I have test driven the Bike Doctor App.  It is great for calming you down when you get a flat, and you are starting to panic that you will be savaged by some stranger if you don't get it repaired and get back on the path, and there will be nothing left for investigators to investigate, except your remains and a ruptured tube.  And you can read the Bike Doctor App on your phone in the dark, unlike the pocket bike repair guide I have which requires flashlight assistance.  At $4.99 it is not the cheapest app out there.  If you have a conventional bike, its probably fine.  Anything fancy or complicated, like a tire skirt or a cargo with a rear rack, this app won't help much.  Complicated bike owners should instead learn to love a local bike mechanic, or learn to tolerate him/her.  They will usually perform a safety check for less than $40.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, navigating around massive piles of snow with a healthy sense of humor, which is at least six times that of the nearest car driver, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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