43% Increase in Bike Commuting

obama bike 43% Increase in Bike Commuting

The 2008 American Community Survey found that bike commuting in the U.S. has gone up 43% since the 2000 census. The percentage of people who commute to work primarily on a bike in the U.S. is at about .5%, so don’t go all bragging on the phone to your friends in Holland just yet. In 2000, bike commuters made up only .38%, and now we’re .55% strong. .55%!

While the increase looks minimal, keep in mind that the change is among people who “use bikes as their primary means of commuting to work.” The small number actually represents a lot of people ditching cars to commute, and likely the number of casual commuters has gone up even more.


Urban Downhill Madness

I like the play-by-play while he’s riding behind the biker. I know he keeps mentioning the ‘crowd going crazy,’ but I only see a few dozen people hanging out. It’s nice of whatever third world country this is to let Red Bull come in and convert their church roof to an urban downhill course. Either way, pretty sketch ride that looks insanely fun. It looks like he skips the stunt right at the beginning and just shoots over a gap to save some time.


My first ride on an electric bike!

I have wanted to try riding an electric bike for some time now. I have had the chance to ride one for a block or so, but not much more than that. Electric Bikes are appealing for a number of reasons; they could get some people biking who normally wouldn’t commute by bike due to distance or physical shape or any number of reasons, they could make hills less of a pain, maybe(hopefully) reduce sweat, and lets be honest, sometimes waking up in the dark at 8am and thinking about biking to work just bums you out, don’t lie, and an electric bike could really make that easier.

But, there are certain things about electric bikes that I am weary of. For example, they seem like they would be pretty heavy. Or what if you were mid ride and your battery ran out? Would it just suck riding without power? Could you ride the bike in rain? And of course, my own, and everyone else’s biggest fear; what if it fucked up and got all Maximum Overdrive on you?

Well, my boss was nice enough to let me borrow his electric bike. Even though I don’t live more than 2 miles away from work, I was still excited to get a chance to try it out for more than a few blocks. I didn’t initially feel the electric boost, but the harder I was peddling, the faster the bike was going, crazy, right? In my head I was trying to convince myself that these bikes are sweet and it was really nice but at the same time thinking ‘is this actually worth the money that people are paying for these?’

I got home and figured that I should take the battery out and dry it off, due to the rain. I sat there trying to unlock the battery but I couldn’t get it out. I quickly realized what was going on, and felt like a dumb ass in a major way. I was turning the bike on and off, not locking and unlocking the battery.

SO, two of my fears are a thing of the past. The bike can go through rain, I am not sure about an insane downpour, but it did fine in a light-to-shitty rain. As far as a dead battery goes, well, we now know that it rides just fine as a normal bike, and if you are dumb as rocks, you may even think you are getting boosts! The bike is pretty heavy, but in all actuality, it is pretty much the same weight as my cruiser bike with side saddles on it.

So this is in no way a review of electrics bikes, because I have in no way made use of the bikes electric features. I will write about the sweet aspects of the bike as soon as I get a chance to expierience it, but I do now know that it is fine in rain and if it does not get a proper charge it is no big deal.


Giving High-Fives to People Trying to Hail Cabs in NYC

Young, single white people in New York don’t take it too well when you try to give them a high five. This NYU-student looking guy found a buddy with a video camera and a lot of free time. They rode around Washington Square Park, Times Square, Murray Hill, and a lot of Midtown throwing high-fives to people trying to hail cabs. Some people enjoy their sense of humor. Others, not so much.


The Explanation Behind Different Bike Lanes

A bunch of project managers for the NY Department of Transportation pedal around in fancy clothes and explain why different kinds of bike lanes are built. They make mention of signs that say “Share the Road,” though since they ride I’m sure they understand how futile those things are. They also make no mention of cars parking in lanes and whether or not it’s legal to kick cars parked in bike lanes. New York has come a long way as a bike accessible city. The Brooklyn Bridge is on the verge of kicking off a massive renovation; it’d be insane to see a bike lane installed on the traffic level, below all the staggering pedestrians.


Cycling’s Rainy, Dark Season is Here

bike suit 300x220 Cycling’s Rainy, Dark Season is Here

Click image to get full-on Bikesuitized.

You’d be so drenched in sweat by the time you arrived at work that it wouldn’t have mattered if you’d worn a rain jacket at all. The Bikesuit is a real product that we’ll begin seeing in stores next year. It’s as close as you can get to wearing a full on SCUBA diving dry suit, or hell, even a wetsuit when you ride your bike. You wouldn’t have to worry as much about cars hitting you since they’d definitely take note of your outfit; you might have to worry more about them throwing empty beer bottles at you. I would advise putting fenders on your bike and getting slightly less bio-hazard-looking rain clothes.

via Cycleicious


Minneapolis! We’re #2!

bike opolis Minneapolis! We’re #2!
A confusing graphic.

We came in .1% behind Portland in a Rutgers University study into which North American city is best for biking. The percentages are a little bit baffling; I’m not sure if they’re saying that’s how many people cycle in each city or if that’s the measurable amount of bike lanes vs streets. Either way, I would argue that Minneapolis is way less bikeable than Portland due to our extreme cold temperatures, but the fact that we put so many bikers on the streets in winter shows our commitment. If Rutgers had done a study on which city has the most cycling badasses, Minneapolis would have won by a wide margin.


Minneapolis Alleycat

4011782826 c3d3684403 Minneapolis Alleycat

photo by Shawn Jeppesen,

The GearJunkie filed a post about an August Alleycat in Minneapolis that started at One on One in Minneapolis. He borrows some pics from Generation Outdoors, who showed up to shoot the race. Looks like a good time, though I’m not sure why this guy wore a jumpsuit. The race lasted about 3 hours and it sounds like Hurl won the event.


New Wilderness Designation Could Block Mountain Bikes from Western Trails

Monarchcrest10 New Wilderness Designation Could Block Mountain Bikes from Western Trails

Thousands of miles of alpine singletrack in the west could be closed to bikers in the next few years. The problem is that a lot of trails that are opened to bikers right now are old game trails or Native American trails, and they were never designed for the rigors of cycling. Mountain bikers contest that they don’t cause more erosion than hikers or horseback riders, but they also cover more ground and there are a lot more of them. Though in their defense, bikes don’t take massive dumps in the middle of the trail like horses. The Continental Divide trail would be the biggest to get shutdown, and the move seems to be picking up momentum among public land guardians.

This is one of those cases where it’s easy to see both sides. They’re trying to protect the land in its most natural state, but cycling is healthy, fun, good for the environment, and hell-it’s National Park-that’s our land, too. Instead of complaining, the IMBA needs to figure out how to change the conversation from fighting shutdowns to making the trails more bike friendly.


Upcoming Google Maps ‘Bike There’ Option

3878301166 6835b6267e Upcoming Google Maps ‘Bike There’ Option

I just figured out that my commute is exactly 6.4 miles each way. Just about right for the 30 minute slog against traffic and over the Manhattan Bridge. I figured it out using the ‘walking’ option in Google Maps. Pretty soon I won’t have to use that option anymore, because right now Google is testing a ‘Bike There’ option. Not only is this great news for people planning their cycling trips around the country, but it’s also going to bring a lot of attention to the bikeability of cities when the new feature debuts on Google Maps.  After this we should see a Streetview-style Google Map, and then hopefully a lot of cities will start making map mashups that show indoor parking for bikes and bike racks. Keep piling it on; maybe this will even help convince politicians to expand their biking options-no one wants to be the least bikeable city.

via Urban Velo