Category: advocacy

Over the past few years, we’ve posted articles about bike theft prevention, from locking your bike, to web series about catching thieves, to Kickstarter-funded bike trackers, among many others.

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was a great article about the efforts of the San Francisco Police Department in combating bike theft using a variety of high-tech tools and techniques:

SAN FRANCISCO — Officer Matt Friedman fights crime with modern tools: Twitter, which he uses to publicize pictures of suspects and convicted criminals, and a GPS device, which he uses to track down stolen property.

In both cases, his lure is stolen bicycles — including the “bait bikes” that have recently been seeded throughout the city to tempt potential thieves. Equipped with GPS technology, the bicycles, which exist to be stolen, can be tracked down in real time and the thieves can be arrested.

Take a look at the complete article by visiting the NYT page here.

These aren’t run-of-the-mill “bait bikes”, either. SFPD doesn’t play around; they use expensive rigs equipped with GPS trackers to guarantee that when they catch up with offenders, they can charge them with a felony, not a slap on the wrist. Bike thieves, beware!!!

By now, many of you have heard that the U.S. Census released new data (based on 2012 surveys) recently that shows bike commuting up by around 60% over the past decade. This sounds great, doesn’t it?

But seasoned bike advocate and author Elly Blue has some concerns about the way those numbers are collected, interpreted, and presented. Like her, I’ve often felt that the Census data collection on bicycle travel left a lot to be desired, and Blue sums up her concerns very eloquently in a recent Bicycling Magazine blog post:

New census numbers are out for 2012 (press release). Any time you hear anything in the next few years about the number of people who bicycle in the US or in a specific city and state, there is a very good chance the numbers will be from this survey. Proceed with caution: They don’t necessarily mean what we want them to.

Spin on over, give it a read, and then come back to tell us what you think — do you sometimes feel that bike commuters get under-represented? Are there more of us than the numbers show? Any other thoughts — we’d love to hear them!

The other day, I stumbled across a great essay on the somewhat controversial “Idaho Stop”, where cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs if the coast is clear. The concept tends not to be too popular with “vehicular cycling” proponents, who believe that bicycles must follow all of the rules and regs that are applied to motor vehicles. The rub is that in a number of areas, the “Idaho Stop” is a law on the books, geared specifically to cyclists’s unique road needs.

If you’ve looked around a city lately, you might’ve noticed that many cyclists don’t obey many traffic laws. They roll through stop signs, instead of coming to a complete stop, and brazenly ride through red lights if there aren’t any cars coming.

Cyclists reading this might be nodding guiltily in recognition of their own behavior. Drivers might be angrily remembering the last biker they saw flout the law, wondering when traffic police will finally crack down and assign some tickets.

But the cyclists are probably in the right here. While it’s obviously reckless for them to blow through an intersection when they don’t have the right of way, research and common sense say that slowly rolling through a stop sign on a bike shouldn’t be illegal in the first place.

Take a look at this thoughtful and comprehensive essay by visiting the Vox page here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Idaho Stop, and other cycling-specific laws or practices. Leave them in the comments below.

Here’s an article I spotted in the Washington Post‘s free daily, Express, with the catchy headline “Good Luck Parking That Thing”. It seems that the D.C. Metro area’s many bike commuters (3.1% of commuters, according to recent Census reports) are more than parking areas can handle:

Co-workers Stavely Lord and David Hambric both thought it’d be smart to ride their bikes to happy hour on 14th Street last Friday night. The moment they arrived, they realized the problem with this plan: parking.

Every rack was packed. And all of the meters and street signs in sight were already sporting Kryptonite locks. The only spot left was along one side of a tree box.

“So we had to share,” Hambric said as he detached his frame from Lord’s. (They’d latched the two together, and then locked up to the metal railing.) Hambric, a Bloomingdale resident, explained that coming up with such creative solutions is just part of being a cyclist in Washington, “where bike parking is at a premium, and demand has outstripped supply.”

Read the full article by visiting the Washington Post page.

It’s a glorious problem to have, for sure…also a sure sign that cities need to keep up with growing demands. We’ve talking about this a lot over the years, that encouraging more people to travel by bike takes so much more than painting a few stripes on the pavement. To increase bike share in a city, there needs to be a comprehensive development of related infrastructure, and that includes ample bike parking wherever it will fit!


Here’s a press release we got the other day — it may be of interest to Minnesota residents and others who are looking for ways to celebrate National Bike Month:

‘Bike Mom’ Project to Encourage Women, Kids to get on Bikes in Minnesota
Eight-week initiative includes a content series, events, and a major bike gear giveaway

ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 13, 2014) – Pedal Minnesota, in partnership with Minneapolis-based Monopoint Media, have launched a project to encourage women, moms, and kids to ride bikes. It launched on Mother’s Day, May 11. Focused on a Minnesota audience, the “Bike Mom” project runs for eight weeks. It includes a series of articles published on, social media contests, event appearances, and a major grand prize gear giveaway. The project has a goal to inform and motivate women and moms to bike in Minnesota. In addition to serving as an information resource, the project will feature 5 to 7 “ambassadors.” The ambassador moms will document their experience biking with kids on social media and on the PedalMN blog. A major component of the project is a promotion called “The Mother Of All Bike Gear Giveaways.” More than 10 companies have donated gear, including bike seats, kid trailers, scoot bikes, apparel, helmets, and a mom-oriented bike model for the winners.

Minnesota is widely recognized as a top place to ride a bike. Bike trails, on-road bike lanes, and other infrastructure abounds in the Twin Cities as well as out-state.

All “Bike Mom” content and the giveaway contests will be hosted on the Pedal Minnesota site. Go to for more information on the initiative.


Pedal Minnesota is an unprecedented collaboration of state agencies and private organizations to encourage more people to get on bikes more often, in Minnesota. The partnership includes Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota departments of Health, Transportation and Natural Resources, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, and the National Park Service. Pedal Minnesota encourages all types of biking, from leisure to commuting. serves as a go-to resource for information on bicycling, including mapping tools, lists of biking events, personal tips and trip ideas from bicyclists across the state.

Monopoint Media LLC, founded in 2006, is a creative agency focused on outdoor, sports, and active lifestyle brands. The company ( is based in Minneapolis and works with brands to build video, stories, micro-sites, social-media projects, and custom events. Monopoint Media owns and operates, a widely-read blog covering gear, the outdoors, and active lifestyle topics.