Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bicycle Libraries and Super Highways

There was a bike boom in the late 1970s that crested in 1971 when Schwinn sold more bicycles than it ever had.  Then there was a second wave, in the 1980s, after the MBT hit a dirt pile near you.  Recognizing that public interest in things like the environment, saving money, and riding a bicycle like a dirt bike make people buy bicycles, it seems obvious that cycling infrastructure and advocacy can fuel sales.  Yet bicycle manufacturers tend to forget this.  A little spending on advocacy could change that.  It's like an investment in the future of sales and other good things.  In Washington, #BicycleSpace, a bicycle retail store (now stores) has always sponsored rides and events.  Where are the big companies that make the bikes?   Hmmmm.  A few show up, but more could step up.

The National Bike Forum and Women's Summit 2016 has a nice video now available on Youtube.  If you care about cycling advocacy this is a good watch.  If you are a carefree rider who cannot be bothered with bicycle politics because of life's other demands, you may want to pass.
RS1, that bicycle autobahn that was  planned for Germany, has hit a bump in its super highway - funding.  The EU kicked in some money early on, but that was a migrant crisis ago.  Now, it is not entirely clear the thing will be finished.  

The city of Golden, Colorado has adopted the language of the original sharing model for its bike share - Bicycle Library.  I am imagining the paper cards taped to the handle bars and the empty threat of overdue fees.  Would the person checking the bikes out speak in a studied whisper?

So, if I see you in the bike lanes or a bicycle highway, and you are on a borrowed bike with a few date stamps or a bar code, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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