If you can get over the looks of the bike (pictured above), which in all its oddness evokes images of über dorky segues, you just might agree with us when we say it’s an exciting bicycle engineering feat. Exaggerations aside, this prototype was developed by French carmaker Peugeot to be an urban ride that’s equipped for carrying a laptop (or even a small laptop backpack) in its very own frame.
When we learned of the new ticketing policies taking place in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, we couldn’t help but wonder if it’s bound to become a microcosm of the bicycling in the U.S.: relatively un-policed, but for how long?
Prospect Park offers those in Brooklyn with 585 acres of natural land and — more importantly — a popular roadway for cyclists and pedestrians alike. And until about four months ago, says neighborhood news source The Brooklyn Paper, this roadway presented cyclists both hardcore and recreational with a paved place outside of the dangers of New York’s roadways with a place to ride without inhibition. Now, tickets ranging from $50 to $200 are being doled out by park police, stopping bicyclists from running red lights, riding against traffic and even speeding. The neighborhood news source says 188 tickets have been handed out to cyclists in the last four months.
This story was originally posted on GOOD Magazine’s website in partnership with CLIF Bar’s 2-Mile Challenge.
Maybe it’s that story you heard once about a friend-of-a-friend who got hit by a crazy driver while biking? Or the nervous calculation when you compare a 25 pound bike to a several ton car? Whatever their source, there are plenty of urban legends and misconceptions when it comes to bicycle safety and how hard it is to share the road. We’ve talked to cyclists and experts alike to reveal what’s truth and what’s fiction in common biking myths.
Time’s Up! announces a new campaign called Love Your Lane, and all are invited to take part! The Love Your Lane™ campaign is designed to inspire community support for the positive new cycling infrastructure sprouting up all around New York City. Help us promote respect and utilization of the exciting new green infrastructure and bicycling lanes created by the NYC Department of Transportation.
Join the lovefest and get this campaign off to a rousing start, here is what we are doing on 2/11/2011, on Valentine’s Day weekend, the Love Your Lane Bike Ride and After-Party at the Living Theater in the East Village.
Goals of the Love Your Lane Campaign:
- Promote usage of the new infrastructure – If we don’t use it, we lose it.
- Work with DOT to promote the smooth acceptance of their designs in all different communities.
- Bring the cycling, skating and walking community together as a unified voice for safe streets.
- Encourage all to share the road with love.
- Create fliers and educational pamphlets explaining the benefits of biking and why bike lanes are here to stay.
- Meet with city officials, including the DOT, to discuss how Time’s Up! can help raise awareness of existing and future bike lanes and green infrastructure.
- Use Time’s Up!’s festive, fun events, bike clowns, new sound bikes, and theater to promote the new infrastructure.
- Design and distribute items such as stencils and patches with our new Love Your Lane logo.
LOVE YOUR LANE!
With 20 years of involvement, creating positive change and engaging in celebrations of what our streets could look like, Time’s Up! is now seeing widespread environmental awareness, well-planned infrastructure and a steady increase in non-pollution transportation. Let’s all work together to spread the love and keep the momentum going!
If you build it, they will come… in the case of bicyclists, this just might be the case. Check out this chart that Reuters posted last month:
This is a chart of the number of bike commuters in New York. It’s known as the NYC Commuter Cycling Indicator, and it comes from surveys taken ten times per year at predetermined points around the city. It doesn’t give a good count of the number of bike commuters in New York, but it gives an excellent idea of the trends: bike commuting has essentially quadrupled in the past decade, and has doubled over the past four years. Which just happen to be the four years during which Janette Sadik-Khan has run the Department of Transportation.
This is important because it shows just how effective strong leadership can be, when combined with a dedication to creating good infrastructure…
The lesson of this chart, then, is that if you build bike lanes, cyclists will appear to fill them. That’s fantastic news, since cities with lots of cyclists are always the most pleasant cities to live and work in — even for people who don’t bike themselves.
Have a lane that you love? Send us a photo! You can post it to our Facebook page, shoot us an email at blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com or upload to our Flickr group and we might just feature it here on our weekly photo feature, Lane Love.
We all know that it’s better for us and the environment if we hop on our bikes to commute, especially the short trips we have every day, but it’s always awesome to have some solid numbers on our side too. Check it out…
Two years ago, Shannon Galpin became the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan, a country where women are no longer allowed to ride bikes. In 2010, she rode across the Panjshir Valley, a 2-day journey of more than 150 km that tested the perception of women riding bikes, while highlighting the beauty and potential for adventure in this remote area of the world.
On October 8, riders across the US used their bikes as vehicles for social change by participating in the Panjshir Tour — showing their support and raising funds to fuel Mountain 2 Mountain‘s programs in Afghanistan. Well, now it’s time to celebrate.
If you’re anywhere near Denver, don’t miss the finale ride tomorrow at Bear Creek Lake. Show up wat 10a.m. on Saturday, October 15, to empower women and children in Afghanistan. Look forward to delicious refreshments from New Belgium Brewing beer, and Oogave – The original agave soda, sweet gear from from Osprey Packs, a wheel set from Stans NoTubes, and gorgeous red frame from Niner Bikes. All up for grabs and in support of Mountain 2 Mountain.
Shannon wrote on the prAna blog:
It was my goal to challenge perceptions and invite conversation on both sides of the equation. Challenging the stereotypes of women and Americans in Afghanistan, while challenging parallel stereotypes of Afghans as a people and as a nation in the United States. Bridging cultures and communities on two wheels… by coming together with our bikes, we can fight for justice, we can battle for change, and we can do it one pedal stroke at a time.
- Cycling keeps the weight off by burning off those calories! Also exercising keeps your metabolism at a high level, thus you burn more calories in your sleep too.
- Exercise improves the insulin sensitivity of your body, thus your body responds better to the same amount of insulin. Insulin keeps your blood sugar low. Ultimately, if you have bad insulin sensitivity, then your pancreas has to work extra hard to make insulin. This causes your pancreas to burn out and stop functioning leading to high blood sugar and full blown diabetes.
- Cardio exercise improves your heart strength, and thus your heart needs to work less hard while at rest, thus reducing your blood pressure.
- Both of these profiles are improved through exercise! LDL is the bad guy and HDL is the good guy. Essentially LDL takes cholesterol and deposits it in your body. HDL does what is called reverse cholesterol transport and removes cholesterol from your body.
There’s no question that bikes can provide independence and livelihood, especially in the developing world. World Bicycle Relief was founded on that exact idea, using bicycles to assist in poverty relief and disaster recovery initiatives.
Founded in 2005, WBR has an enormous amount of industry support, and for good reason: since its inception, the organization has distributed over 75,000 bicycles and trained over 700 field mechanics.
After seeing their efforts highlighted in With My Own Two Wheels, a film that we recently saw at Mountainfilm, there’s no doubt that WBR is doing amazing work.
We caught up with Matt Pierce to learn about WBR and the organization’s work.
What inspired the launch of World Bicycle Relief?
World Bicycle Relief was founded in January, 2005 in response to The Indian Ocean Tsunami. Cofounders F.K. Day and wife Leah Missbach Day traveled to Sri Lanka and found an acute need for basic transportation amongst those individuals struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives.
The need was for simple, sustainable transportation. At the time, F.K. Day had nearly 20 years of experience as head of product development at SRAM Corporation and connections with some the worlds brightest minds in bicycle engineering. World Bicycle Relief was founded by SRAM Corporation and industry leaders to address this need.
Welcome to Pedaling Change! There’s a lot of good work being done in the world of bikes, from alternative transportation advocacy to international development. To highlight some of the great action that’s going on out there, once a month we’ll be profiling a non-profit in the bike world to look at just how they’re working to make positive change.
There’s nothing quite like bicycle travel. With your panniers packed full, a map stuffed into your back pocket and plenty of spare tubes, you’ve got the whole world in front of you. But inspiring people to travel by bike takes work, and that’s where the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) comes in.
Started in 1973 as Bikecentennial, over the last several decades, ACA has been working hard to ensure that more people travel by bike, and has made a name for itself as the premier bicycle travel organization in North America. In fact the organization has over 44,700 members nationwide.
Thanks to the organization’s Adventure Cycling Route Network, over 40,699 miles are routed and mapped to help cycling enthusiasts explore the world via two wheels. If you’re looking to do some cyclo-inspired adventuring, ACA is the place to start. Publishing a magazine, organizing rides, running a yellow pages for cyclists and raising money to fund more bike routes, it’s no surprise that ACA is a resource and a leader in the industry.
We caught up with Winona Bateman, Adventure Cycling Association’s Media Director to learn more about the organization and some of their current campaigns.
What are your top three reasons for getting people out on bikes?
Adventure Cycling’s mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bike for fitness, fun, and self-discovery.
There is obviously a strong travel component integrated into ACA. Why is travel by bike so special?
Traveling by bicycle is powerful and inspiring. You get to experience a place up close and at a human pace. You can also eat a lot of ice cream, if that’s something you enjoy! Last summer more than 1,000 cyclists visited our headquarters in Missoula — we’re always so amazed at the diversity of people who drop in: students, retirees, groups, solo riders, with every age and level of experience represented. Bike travel attracts all sorts of cyclists and when you’re out on the road you will surely meet a wide range of other bike tourists. Pretty fun!
Tell us about the Build It. Bike It. Be Part of It. Campaign.
The Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign is an annual social media fundraiser for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) that takes place during National Bike Month. We’re hoping to raise $30,000 this year. These funds will support Adventure Cycling Association’s ongoing organizing role in helping states create U.S. Bike Routes. We’re asking cyclists across America to donate $10 to support this visionary project, they can learn more and donate here.