BikeCommuters.com

Bike Your Drive!

Some changes coming to Nick James’ city

New York City’s bronze medal from the Washington-based bike group represents an endorsement for the city’s efforts under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to promote cycling for a cleaner environment and a healthier populace.

“The way we think about transportation and how we use our limited street space is changing,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner.

The city is installing 400 to 500 bike racks a year and plans to have more than 400 miles of bike lanes and paths by 2009. There will then be 1 mile of bike lane for every 10 miles of road; the ratio is now 1 to 15. In San Francisco, it’s 1 to 7.

In Brooklyn’s hipster-heavy Williamsburg section, the city reduced the space for car parking in favor of bike parking — a first — when it widened the sidewalk to fit nine new bike racks over the summer.

“It’s better because people used to chain their bikes to trees and house gates,” said Pedro Pulido, an architect who parked his bike at one of the new racks last week.

Read More Here.

A little girl on a bike is faster than a car

You guys may have seen my daughter’s bike before, its an early 80’s Freespirit Brittany. Nothing special about the bike other than it being pretty cute.

This morning I had some freelance work I had to do at one of my client’s offices. This meant I needed to drive there in order to get to the location on time. I had to drop off my younger daughter at school so Priscilla could pick her up later with the Xtracycle.

Breanna got on her bike at the same time as I got in my car with my other daughter.
Anyhow, as we’re driving to school, I say to Aleah, “I wonder if we’ll beat Breanna to school?” But as we kept driving, I didn’t see Breanna anywhere. I actually started to get worried until I spotted her already walking her bike on school grounds!

I was blown away on how fast she got there. We left the house at the same time, but by the time we got in the car, buckled up, drove out of our alley, waited for traffic to pass so I can get on the street…she had already pedaled herself through our neighborhood, on the bike lane and to school.

It did encourage me to see that even a little girl on a bike is more practical than a car when going to school.

Though I normally take my kids to school on the Xtracycle, I’m STILL the only parent that accompanies their children to school via bicycle. I was hoping it would catch on, but all the parents ever do is comment how cool my bike is or stare as they are driving away in their big SUVs…I just wished there were more parents that could see the benefit of taking their child to school on a bike, or at least letting them ride their bikes to school on their own.

Fixed Gear Friday: 2008 Redline 9-2-5

We have posted pictures of the new Redline 9-2-5 before. Personally, I didn’t care for the color scheme, but when I actually saw the Redline 9-2-5 at the SBS booth it totally changed my mind.

The bike looks really classy and the bullhorn handlebars basically say “I dare you to ride me hard and fast”. Equipped with fenders, this bike is also ready to tackle rainy weather. If you are in the market for a fixed gear commuter bike, you should consider the New Redline 9-2-5.

Alternatives to the Safety Flag

A few weeks back, we posted a review of a safety flag…and while the device worked well, a number of our readers commented that it might be too dorky or ineffective for their uses.

The safety flag in question:
D-Tour safety flag

Those comments got us thinking: what could be some good alternatives to this flag? We came up with a couple novel ideas that we wanted to share. Let’s head to the Bikecommuters.com Secret Laboratory, located in the hooker-infested wastelands of central Tampa, to see what we came up with!

The secret lab

Mad scientist and all-around great guy Noah came up with our first alternative. It is still a flag, but we GUARANTEE that this will draw far more attention than some puny, fluorescent flag — here it is:
Noah's pirate flag
This flag creates a tremendous racket when flown — the flag flaps in the breeze, the pole clanks and rattles. It sounds, well, like a pirate ship! We’ve found that this flag is most effective if some verbal invective is used simultaneously…you know, “Avast, ye scallywags, give me some space or I’ll SWAB THE DECK with ya!!!”

Our next alternative was created just after Florida passed their “step in the right direction, but unenforced” 3-foot passing rule. This alternative provides both a visual passing distance indicator as well as a text-based indicator. Here it is:

Friendly side

Had a rough day and don’t feel so charitable? Well, this alternative is reversible…just unscrew the two bolts and flip this badboy over to let motorists know how you REALLY feel:
Not so friendly

There you have it — two alternatives that might make you feel a bit less dorky and keep you VERY visible to motorists. That’s how we roll at the Bikecommuters.com Secret Laboratory…coming up with great solutions to all your commuting problems!!!

Thanks to my homie, Terry, for allowing me to plunder his collection of yardsticks.