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Tag Archive: national bike month

Friday Musings: What Got You Pedaling?

Utterly Shameless Bike Love Month: May 2012

New Recruits: May is just around the corner, and so the creeper approaches: National Bike to Work Month!  And, like every fun-loving, zero-emissions, two-wheeled, “coffee + eggs = bike fuel”, transportation cyclist, I always wonder if this year’s Bike to Work Month will bring new commuter faces beyond the month of May.  Yes Velodactyls, this is what keeps me up at night (either that or the heaping tablespoons of Nutella I shoved in my face post-dinner).

How can we get more people to commute by bike? May 2012 will be a barrage of Bike to Work Week challenges, workshops, rallies, and bikey SWAG, as local bike organizations shotgun their way through possible Spring recruits.  Our own star staff writer Elizabeth posed the question in 2010: We all know bike commuting is the best thing since the Jammy Shuffle, so why aren’t more people doing it?  I gotta admit, I’m on bike commuting like a woman on smack, so I surely don’t know the answer!

Calf-Envy, this is RL when he commutes sans SPDs.

Minority Report: As the minority, commuter cyclists face the same puzzled looks from co-workers, semi-sweet concerned lectures from loved ones, and blatant stares of calf envy (hello Mr. Officer, I’m up HERE) as we think to ourselves – if only you’d know the glories of the dark side, you’d be out of excuses and on a bike too!  Nevertheless, we’ve had some progress.  Last year, this Atlantic Cities article reported increased bike ridership across the U.S.  (If you like colorful graphs, you should definitely click the link to this article).

Overall, a universal increase U.S. Bike Commuters over the past decade! I'll take it!

Converting to bicycle commuting is all the rage in U.S. cities, if the proliferation of blogs devoted to the topic is any indication. But we wanted to know: Just how big have increases in the percentage of bike commuters been in specific cities? Are there regional differences? Cities where bike commuting isn’t catching on at all? We surveyed 55 major U.S. cities to see if we could find the answer.  While there are stark differences across individual cities, taken as a group these metros saw an average increase in their percentage of regular bicycle commuters of 70 percent between 2000 and 2009.

The chart-laden article concluded that Portland had the highest percentage of trips taken by bike at 5.8% with a 222% increase from 2000 to 2009 (Don’t make me graph battle you, Portland.)  I can say for my office, the percentage of riders has increased since I started three years ago from 1 out of 16 to 6 out of 16!  HUZZAH!

Majority Report! Best Monday of my life: 7 bikes for 10 employees at the office... fist pump.

So, we all agree we need more bike commuters on the road to alleviate traffic congestion, stress, obesity, arthritis, pollution, drugs, guns, high fructose corn syrup, and other bad stuff (we can solve world peace with transportation cycling, right!!?)

My question today is what got you pedaling?  We weren’t all born on fetus-sized bikes so it had to start somewhere!  A lot of bike commuters have shared our first bicycle memories, but what converted you to utility cycling?  Was it a Bike to Work Month challenge, an enthusiastic bike-loving friend, a hand-me-down bike, a car in the shop, or an inspirational blog on bike commuting (hint, hint!)?  Safety in numbers means that bike commuters need more bike commuters!  So, muse along with us and share your thoughts!

~Happy Friday Bike Commuters.

Best parking spot at the beach - that's what's got me pedaling!

Video: Bikes Make Life Better

Our friends at Peopleforbikes.org tipped us to a new video they’ve posted on YouTube. It combines bicycles and light art, two of my favorite things, and is really quite enjoyable. Seeing as how National Bike Month is in full swing around the country, the video is certainly worth sharing.

In their words,

We all know that when people ride bikes, life is better. In this short video, we bring this idea to life as riders trigger projectors throughout a city, transforming an urban environment into a vibrant, colorful world. A world made better, by bikes.

Check it out and tell us what you think in the comments below.

Florida Bike Month is Almost Here!

We here in Florida like to kick things off a bit early…while most of the rest of the nation celebrates National Bike Month in May, we go our own way and do things in March.

For folks in the Tampa Bay area, the Tampa Downtown Partnership and the New North Transportation Alliance have compiled a list of activities for the end of February, all of March and into May itself. Take a look:

Florida’s Bike Month Activities March, 2011
Visit www.TampaBayCycle.com or become a Tampa BayCycle Fan on Facebook for more information on all of the rides/classes/events listed.

All month:
– Tampa BayCycle Ambassador membership
– Free use of locker/shower at Downtown YMCA branches for bike commuters
– Weekly Discounts at City Bike Tampa
– Words for Wheels bike giveaway contest submissions (due March 2)
– Every Monday Tampa Bike Co-op free hands on bike maintenance clinics
– Every Thursday @7pm weekly rides from downtown Tampa www.citybiketampa.com
– Every Friday Group Bike to Work rides into downtown Tampa and USF from various locations
– Every Friday free bicycle valet parking at the Tampa Downtown Market
– Every Saturday different rides sponsored by the Seminole Heights Bike Club, SWAMP Club, Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, Just Ride Bicycles, Grupetto Meet Up

February 18-19 Traffic Skills 101 class

February 24 Urban Restaurant Tour, sponsored by City Bike Tampa

Tuesday 3/1 Clearwater Sustainability Plan open house 4:30 – 7:30pm www.myclearwater.com/greenprint

Friday 3/4 Bike month kick off at the Tampa Downtown Market 10am – 2pm

Saturday 3/5 USF Bicycle Scavenger Hunt

Saturday 3/5 Urban Safety Class sponsored by City Bike Tampa

Saturday, Sunday 3/5 and 3/6 Store expansion celebration at Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium

Monday 3/7 Ride Your Bike, Get in Free! 7:30pm Lightning game. Secure bike parking at St. Pete Times Forum

Thursday 3/24 Free Flat Repair Clinic 7-9pm sponsored by Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium

Friday 3/25 Critical Mass Ride, Seminole Heights Bike Club

Saturday 3/26 Tampa’s Downtown Bike Race and Festival 10:30am – 8:00pm

Saturday 3/26 First Annual Pinellas County English Attire Ride 10:00am

Thursday 3/31 Urban Restaurant Tour, sponsored by City Bike Tampa

April 1-3 Bike League Certified Instructor training

Saturday 5/14 Urban Safety Class sponsored by City Bike Tampa

Thursday 5/26 Free Flat Repair Clinic 7-9pm sponsored by Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium

Thursday 5/26 Urban Restaurant Tour, sponsored by City Bike Tampa
______________________________________________________________________________

There are a lot of good events to choose from, and I’ll report on more as they are announced. There are some upcoming group “ride to work” rides, and once I locate the map and details I’ll share them with you. Also, I hope to attend a number of these events as time allows, and I’ll be sure to carry my camera along to record the details. Stay tuned!

TransForm’s Car-Free Challenge

The folks from TransForm recently sent us their announcement for their “Car-Free Challenge” to be held between June 1 and June 7, 2010.

They even made a cute video to help advertise it…although bicycles aren’t featured, I was pleased to see bike-carrying racks on the bus used in the video:

As an aside, way back in the late 90s, I attended a wedding in my hometown, and the bride and groom left their reception on his-and-hers mountain bikes with cans and streamers attached. That SCREAMS classy — screw the gas-guzzling limo; try a great alternative!

Drive That Bike!

Longtime reader Phil of Bike When You Can sent in his revamping of The Beatles’ classic “Drive Your Car”…reworded in the wake of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and a fitting song for National Bike Month:

Asked my girl what she wanted to be.
She said Daddy, can’t you see?
I wanna be healthy,
Have planet that’s clean,
But you can do something in between…

Daddy you can ride a bike.
Pedal power’s what I like.
Daddy you can ride a bike,
and we can be car free.
Ding ding a ling ling, yeah!

Told my girl that my prospects were good.
She said Daddy, it’s understood.
A clean environment is more than just fine,
It gives me a chance to live a long time.

Daddy you can ride a bike.
Pedal power’s what I like.
Daddy you can ride a bike,
and we can be car free.
Ding ding a ling ling, yeah!

I told my girl I can start right away
When she said listen Dad I got something to say
Just one less car is a fantastic start,
and lets get our friends to take on their part.

Friends you can ride a bike.
Bad balance? You can get a trike.
Friends you can ride a bike,
and we can be Oil free.
Ding ding a ling ling, yeah!

Check out more good stuff at the recently-resurrected Bike When You Can…Phil and his family are devotees of the Xtracycle, too, which always brings xtra love from the Bikecommuters.com team!