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Posts Tagged ‘bicycling’

Photo: Century Cycles 

In September, Mary Ann participated in the Neocycle night ride in Cleveland with 1,500 other cyclists and shared photos and enthusiasm on Facebook.

Joshua Gunter covered the story for the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Glowsticks and headband lamps replaced headlights in eastbound lanes of the Shoreway on Saturday evening, when about 1,500 cyclists took over the road for the first NEOCycle Night Ride.

“The unique ride, which started at Edgewater Park and featured the Detroit-Shoreway, Gordon Square and North Coast Harbor neighborhoods, was a highlight of the weekend-long NEOCycle — Cleveland’s newest cycling event and the Midwest’s first urban cycling festival.

“Cyclists as young as 8 joined the casual ride, whose full tour covered 15 miles, or two laps of the 7.5-mile course.”

For tips on getting ready for a night ride, check out Ohio-based Century Cycles, here.

Photo: Joshua Gunter.The Plain Dealer 

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One of the biggest challenges for biking in cities is the intersection.

Liz Stinson writes at Wired, “Biking through a city can feel like navigating a video game staked upon your life. You’re avoiding pedestrians and potholes all the while making sure cars don’t run into you. …

“Even protected bike lanes have an Achilles heel: the intersection. Most protected bike lanes — lanes that have a physical barrier between bicyclists and drivers — end just before the intersection, leaving bicyclists and pedestrians vulnerable to turning vehicles.

“Nick Falbo, an urban planner and designer from Portland (one of the most bike friendly cities in the nation), is proposing a new protected intersection design that would make intersections safer and less stressful than they are today. Falbo’s design is taken from the Dutch way of doing things. … Falbo’s adapted design has four main components.”

They are the corner refuge island, the forward stop bar, the setback crossing, and bicycle-friendly signal phasing. Read what they are here.

“ ‘This design requires you to have a much tighter corner radius,’ says Falbo. ‘These large truck operators, they are professional drivers they can actually make tighter turns than these standards normally say they would. The real answer is that I think you’re going to have to be a little stricter on your trucks in any number of ways.’

“It’s a battle, but Falbo thinks implementing these bike lanes are totally possible, pointing out that protected bike lanes are just now gaining support across the country. …

“‘We’re trying to attract more riders,’ he says. ‘Some of these conventional facilities, they work and they’re safe, but they’re stressful and that level of stress and lack of comfort is what will keep the average American from feeling like they can ride.’ ”

Image: Nick Falbo
Nick Falbo designed a type of bike lane that addresses dangerous intersections.

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Got this from SmallerCitiesUnite! on twitter.

Rachel Walker writes at PeopleForBikes.org, “How do you get more people on bikes? Go to where they are, open up a ‘shop,’ teach them to build and maintain a bike. Help them earn a bike. Repeat.

“This is the philosophy behind the myriad of community bike shops sprouting up in inner-city neighborhoods throughout the country. Non-profit organizations that cater to the underserved aim to destigmatize and popularize cycling among communities that have probably not heard of Strava or clipless pedals. In these neighborhoods, bicycle lanes, racks, and, most importantly, riders, are noticeably absent.

“And that, according to the forces behind community bike shops, must change—for multiple reasons.

“ ‘For our core constituents, getting a bike and learning how to maintain it is about economic mobility,’ says Ryan Schutz, executive director of Denver’s Bike Depot. ‘Owning a bike lets them travel farther to find work and spend their money on food, instead of on gas or bus fares.’

“Like the majority of community bike shops, Bike Depot puts bikes into the hands of people who otherwise couldn’t afford them or may not choose to buy them. The organization accomplishes this through earn-a-bike programs and by selling low-cost refurbished bikes. They also teach members bike safety and maintenance skills.” More here.

Sounds like a variation on Bike Not Bombs, which started in the Greater Boston area several decades ago, refurbishing donated bicycles and sending them to poor countries.

Here’s what Bikes Not Bombs says on the website: “Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change. We reclaim thousands of bicycles each year. We create local and global programs that provide skill development, jobs, and sustainable transportation. Our programs mobilize youth and adults to be leaders in community transformation.”

All good stuff.

Photo: People For Bikes
The Community Cycling Center in Portland, Oregon, offers bike camps to local kids.

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Bike Share came to Boston last summer. I blogged about it here. I did wonder if people who used the Bike Share would be bringing their own helmets. It turns out that only 30 percent of Bike Share users do, compared with about 70 percent of those who have their own bikes.

MIT to the rescue! Thanks to a group of determined problem solvers, a bike helmet is in the works.

“The prototype of the product they call HelmetHub would dispense headgear to what until now have been the mostly helmetless riders of Hubway. …

“Much of Hubway’s allure is its immediacy,” writes Eric Moskowitz in the Boston Globe, “making even that side trip to the store — or the prospect of being saddled with a helmet after returning the bike — inconvenient for some users, said Nicole Freedman, who runs the city’s Boston Bikes program, which oversees Hubway.

“The HelmetHub prototype features a touch screen similar to those on Hubway rental kiosks, draws power from solar panels, and occupies half the space of a soda machine. And it works, dispensing helmets that adjust to fit most head sizes.” The prototype is almost ready to launch, and knowing the enterprising MIT mindset, it won’t take long. Read more.

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