Web Resources

Rubbing Shoulders with Greatness

We were informed last week by Andreas of the excellent blog London Cyclist that we made it into his “Top 50 World Cycling Blogs”. According to Andreas:

It was calculated by looking at over 100 cycling blogs;
The rank is based on a number of elements such as Google Pagerank, Twitter Rank, Alexa Rank, number of comments and Technorati Authority.

Number 12? Not too shabby, if I must say…of course, we’d be nothing at all if it wasn’t for our faithful readers and commenters — you make this whole endeavor worthwhile!

Check out the full list by clicking here: Top 50 Cycling Blogs. You may discover some new favorites…but don’t forget to come back here to get your commuting fix!

Meet Our New Friends: We Are All Mechanics

Thanks to the wonderful connective powers of the Web, we’ve got some new friends here at Meet India Viola and Ali Dwyer, founders of the Madison, Wisconsin-based We Are All Mechanics.

A little about them:

We Are All Mechanics (WAAM) began in 2003 as the joint vision of Ali Dwyer and India Viola. We set out to share our love of bicycles and technical knowledge with other women in our community.

Our series consists of four 90-minute class sessions and covers basic routine maintenance. Topics range from how to fix a flat tire, to brake and derailleur adjustments, chain cleaning, and bearing adjustments. The classes take place within the repair area of a bicycle shop, and provide an insiders look at the mechanics’ work area. Our classes are kept small, with a low student-to-teacher ratio and emphasize a hands-on approach to learning. Students get a chance to ask questions about their bicycles in a relaxed and fun learning environment.

After completing our classes, students report feeling greater independence when riding their bicycles as well as a sense of empowerment when approaching bicycle repairs at home or in the shop.

Through our ongoing class series, clinics, and rides, WAAM promotes continued learning among cyclists in the Madison community.

we are all mechanics

We’ll be doing commuter profiles on India and Ali in the next few weeks…but in the meantime, check out their great site…another fantastic example of cyclists giving back to their community and serving an under-represented segment of the cycling family.

Setting George Will Straight…

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and syndicated conservative columnist George F. Will penned a column for Newsweek a few days ago that got cycling advocates into an uproar…in the column, Will sets out to bash U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and includes a glaring factual error:

Where to start? Does LaHood really think Americans were not avid drivers before a government highway program “promoted” driving? Does he think 0.01 percent of Americans will ever regularly bike to work? Intercity high-speed rail probably always will be the wave of the future, for cities more than 300 miles apart. And as for Portland …

Read Will’s full column by clicking here.

Perhaps Will used the “0.01 percent” figure as artistic embellishment, but a variety of outlets took him to task for it.

Treehugger beats him up with statistics

D.C.’s “The Wash Cycle” gives him some of the business

And, perhaps most eloquently, associate editor of The Atlantic Monthly Matthew Yglesias tries diligently to set Will straight

Shooting off at the hip without facts as backup has become a popular technique of late for many conservative writers and radio personalities — but what the above misguided statement really illustrates is that people who choose bicycling as a viable transportation mode have a LONG WAY to go to achieve understanding in the United States. There are thousands of us out there, but we’re still so easily marginalized by comments/wisecracks like Will’s.

What’s your take on these comments?

Let the silence ROAR – Ride of Silence at 7 p.m. tonight


I encourage all members of the cycling community to participate in your local Ride of Silence tonight. If you’re not in Chicago, check to see whether your city has its own ride and if not, organize your own. We ride at 7 p.m. in solidarity.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that informs motorists, police and city officials about cyclists’ legal right to share the roadways. It is also a chance to honor those who have been killed or injured while bicycling on public roadways. It is a free, slow-paced, silent ride of about 10 miles. The annual Ride of Silence occurs worldwide on Wednesday, May 20, 2009, at 7 p.m. local time.

Whether you are a recreational cyclist, bike messenger, bicycle commuter, mountain biker, professional cyclist, or a parent riding around the neighborhood with your kids, you share an experience with millions of people on this planet. Unfortunately in the US alone, nearly 700 cyclists die each year in traffic accidents with an additional 44,000 injuries.

In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. The ride is unique, as a free event organized totally by volunteers. Ride like you’ve never ridden before, for those who cannot be here. The greatness of this ride is made up by individuals, choosing to be together in peaceful and silent assembly on the same day, at the same time.

International Ride of Silence organizers expect at least 277 separate rides in 17 countries with more than 22,000 cyclists participating.

Organizers request that participants wear black arm bands to show solidarity with victims and their loved ones, or red arm bands to signify a personal injury from a bike/motor vehicle accident. All participating cyclists are asked to wear a helmet.

Here in the Chicago metropolitan area alone we have rides in five locations (
Arlington Heights – Recreation Park
Chicago – Daley Plaza
Downers Grove – McCollum Park
Evanston – Chandler Center
Joliet – Joliet Memorial Stadium

Be safe out there and let the silence ROAR tonight.

Bike To Work Day Events in Downtown Tampa

Florida may have celebrated Bike Month back in March, but the events for Bike to Work Week keep coming. From our friends at the Tampa Downtown Partnership:

Downtown Tampa will be celebrating National Bike to Work Day on May 15 with group rides coming in from literally all directions. Participants will meet up afterwards at Indigo Coffee for a free beverage. The Downtown YMCA is offering free showers and the Partnership can supply a bike helmet if requested in advance. See which route is best for you then just show up at the appointed time or contact Karen Kress at (813) 221-3686 or (What’s Hot section) for more information. Most routes can also serve as a park and ride if needed. Come join us!

A PDF flyer illustrating Bike to Work Day routes can be found by clicking here.

For the fifth year in a row, I’m not working on Bike to Work Day…but I’ll probably still find a way to ride my bike. For the rest of you, have fun and be safe out there!