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Tag Archive: bikes in the news

Santa Monica, Peak Oil and the Global Energy Outlook

I spotted a good essay in the Santa Monica edition of Patch today in my Google News feed. In the essay, there is some discussion of the Santa Monica City Council’s bold Bicycle Action Plan and the ribbon cutting on a new high-capacity bicycle parking facility (the largest in the nation at 360 spaces).

The essay goes on to talk about how bicycles fit into the global economy and the author states:

What I don’t think our society has quite come to terms with yet, is how drastically economic, ecological, and cultural shifts will be shaping our transportation reality. These emerging shifts are demanding more serious consideration for bicycling in urban transportation. Riding a bike will be viewed as an increasingly logical response for people trying to manage our high levels of unemployment, stagnant wages and climbing fuel and food prices.

Some of it is preaching to the choir, but the way the author lays out his case is worth a read. Take a look at the full essay by visiting the Santa Monica Patch page here.

Good Things in the News from Minneapolis

A number of people have sent me links to two news articles coming from the great city of Minneapolis. It’s no secret that I have a deep love for the Mini Apple, as referenced in my brief overview of the cycling scene there. Folks “get it” there…and they do it on two wheels year-round, despite some rather atrocious winters.

First up, take a look at this cool self-service bike repair kiosk located on the Midtown Greenway:

Minneapolis was named the country’s number one city for biking last year by Bicycling magazine, but the city’s bike community isn’t resting on its laurels. Looking to make Minneapolis even more welcoming to cyclists, local entrepreneurs recently opened the city’s first self-service bicycle repair kiosk, to serve the flat tubes and busted gears of the thousands of cyclists who travel Minneapolis’s bike paths each week.

Full article available at GOOD Magazinejust click here.

Secondly, well above the national average, women have taken to two wheels in MPLS. The following article has some interesting insights as to why more women nationally aren’t adopting bicycles as transportation, and points to overall safety as helping the Minneapolis “uptick” in female riders:

There’s been a lot of head scratching lately on the question of why women don’t bike as much as men. Recently, the discussion got another little bump when the New York Times weighed in.

But what adds to the puzzle is that’s not really true in Minneapolis compared to the rest of the country and even other bike friendly cities like Portland. Here, depending on the data, between 31 and 45 percent of bicyclists are women, compared to a national average of 26.4 percent. The only thing the biking pundits find more puzzling is that people here also bike in the winter.

The full article is available at the Minneapolis Star Tribuneclick here to read the rest.

Mad props to the titans of the tundra — and if you haven’t visited Minneapolis before, please do — it’s a wonderful city, not just for bikes.

Bikes Vs. Cars in the News: Your Thoughts?

It seems like every day there is another news article stating that with the escalating gas prices and the surge in bicycles on the road, friction between motorists and bicyclists has skyrocketed. Surely, you’ve read such articles in places like the New York Times, Reuters newswire, The Wall Street Journal and a variety of other sources.

From www.taiwanderful.net
(photo from Taiwanderful)

Many of you have probably read (and responded) to such articles and discussion topics on a variety of bicycle-friendly blogs. Perhaps the most reasoned response I’ve seen comes from Paul Dorn of the excellent Bike Commute Tips blog. Check out his coverage of this issue and his thoughtful responses to this “media frenzy” by reading his article.

Another impassioned response to this media-driven “phenomenon” can be found on the Austin Cycling News blog. Writer Adriel (a frequent commenter on our site) breaks the argument down and provides some stirring rebuttals to the various “claims” of these news articles.

Put me in the “skeptic” camp…while I believe that more bicyclists are on the road and that many of them could stand to build up their skill levels a bit (something we’ve discussed before), I refuse to believe that there is a sudden rise in bike vs. car tensions. Conflict sells in the media, and with all those new bicyclists on the streets, there are a lot of “unseasoned bike commuters” out there who may perceive yelling and shouting from motorists as a terrible new development. Most of the more-experienced bicyclists out there know that this is par for the course, for the most part.

I certainly have not experienced any increase in the number or frequency of bike vs. car conflicts around here…nor have I seen a dramatic uptick in the number of bicycles on the road. But, as always, I’d like to hear your thoughts on these matters: is this all a bunch of hype to help sell newspapers? Have any of you experienced a rise in tensions on the road? Is there really a rise in these kinds of conflicts, or have a couple of highly-publicized confrontations (such as the New York and Seattle Critical Mass run-ins) put a biased spin on the public’s perception?