BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: urban cycling

IRS and Bike Share

If you are an urban commuter and hope to claim your bike-share expenses as tax-exempt, you’re out of luck:

Along with other unpopular things the IRS has done recently, you can add treating bike share benefits as taxable…The IRS concluded that expenses an employee bears participating in a bike share program do not qualify for the favorable tax treatment provided for qualified transportation fringe benefits.

Read the full article by visiting the original Forbes page.

Interbike 2013: Ergon Bike Ergonomics

We had a chance to swing by the Ergon booth while we were in Las Vegas. Let’s take a look at some of their new offerings, shall we?

First off, Ergon has greatly expanded their saddle line…with saddles for road and mountain and disciplines in between, there’s one for every butt out there! The new road saddles (SR3 series), new cyclocross saddles (SRX3 series), and enduro-racing saddles (SME3 series) were getting all the attention. I had the chance to test-ride one of the very first SR3 saddles in the U.S., and I can say it was VERY comfortable for a racing saddle.

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There were plenty of grips to choose from…ergonomic styles in rubber, cork, and the really stylish leather ones, a collaboration between Ergon and luxury cycling shoes maker Quoc Pham:

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Ergon has expanded its range of backpacks, too. While these were developed for the mountain bike/marathon bike market, they serve admirably in a commuter capacity. You may remember that we have a BX4 pack on test right now (review coming soon):

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Of great interest was the display of products from Phorm, a subsidiary of Ergon’s parent company (RTI Sports). Using ergonomic and comfort features developed for Ergon, Phorm is aimed at the recreation/urban/commuter market with a wide range of saddles and grips:

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Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky

We’ve reached a milestone!

Our site founder RL notified the writing staff here yesterday that we’ve just published our 2400th article here on Bikecommuters.com. That’s pretty amazing!

It’s been a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun, for all of us…writers past and present. But we really couldn’t have done it without you, our readers. Your contributions in the form of emailed suggestions, questions, and the many comments you’ve left (almost 20,000 at last count) make it all worthwhile.

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For those of you who are newer readers, please dig around in our archives; we’ve covered a ton of territory here over the past 7 years and you’re sure to find something riveting, or helpful, or funny…or head-scratchingly weird… if you look long enough. For our longtimers, thanks for sticking with us and being faithful readers and commenters. We appreciate it!

Friday Musings: “It must have been your fault. C’mon. You are a biker.”

Here’s one we hope will get the conversation started on this lovely Friday — a tale of a wronged cyclist forced to defend himself with video footage available all along to law enforcement folks:

Getting in a crash is one of the scariest things that can happen to a cyclist. Even worse is when police assume that bicyclists are always at fault, even if they’ve got evidence to the contrary.

Read the full account by visiting the Greater Greater Washington website.

We’ve long talked about inaccurate reporting (by the media AND by law enforcement) in bicycle/motor vehicle collisions, and we’ve also discussed recording your every move with personal camcorders. It’s a shame that we have to resort to being our own detectives after a crash…but it’s been made clear time and time again that the law is not often on our side, even when we’re in the right.

Happily, in the story above, the author successfully defended his actions on the road.

Do you have any similar stories to share? Any thoughts on additional steps we can take to protect/defend ourselves on the streets of our cities? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Bike commuting infographic from the UK

Here’s one from our friends at Express Solicitors, a UK-based law firm. It’s geared toward someone “on the fence” about starting to bike commute:

Getting to and from work is always a topic is in the news. Not only are there various options, there’s also debates over which is the best way to do it. While the majority of people will probably stick with their cars and swear blind that they’re superior, the cycling scene is actually gaining continuous popularity. According to Express Solicitors’ new infographic, since 2003 over three quarters of a million more people in the UK have decide to get out their bikes and cycle their way to work. That is a dramatic and impressive increase in people altering their normal routine for an apparently faster, healthier and cheaper way to work.

Cyclists vs. Motorists: The Wheel Truth - Express Solicitors

Although the health benefits are widely known by many, there are numerous other reasons for people to opt for a bike instead of their car. For example, the costs of travelling using this mode of transport are a lot cheaper in comparison. Not only do you save on the cost of the commute, but you also save on the cost of owning and using your car in general – you could roughly save up to $1350 (£900) per year. Moreover, if you decided to get rid of the car completely and just rely on your bike, you could save a further $8950 (£6,000) per year! In such times of financial struggle, those numbers really can’t be easily ignored.

The infographic also makes a point of reinforcing just how helpful cycling to work is in regards to the environment and your carbon footprint. The example used to really set it into perspective is a daily bike ride: a daily ride that adds up to over 12 miles worth of travel could save nearly “one stone” of pollution. This is a very surprising amount when you consider just how much green topics are discussed and addressed on a daily basis. Moreover, there is arguably no doubt that knowing you’re helping look after the planet is a wonderful feeling every time you travel to and from work.

There are so many more benefits if you choose a bike over your car for work, so why not take a look at the infographic for even more powerful and surprising percentages to help give you that added boost for dusting off your bicycle.

Tools like this may just help undecided would-be commuters to give that bicycle a try. What do you think?