Tag Archive: advocacy

Commuter Profile: Brad Palm

We put out the call for commuter profiles…. and Brad responded, sharing with us his “HOT Commuter Bikes“. Thank you, Brad.

Name: Brad Palm aka @spitt0110

How long have you been a bike commuter?

I’ve been a commuter for 5 Years.

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

I found it fun and it took just as long to get to the same places by bike.
My ride has changed as I moved around, but now my commute is .2 or .3 miles. It’s crazy short, but on a narrow aggressive road.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

Biking has helped me get out and pedal almost every day. And I’ve found myself spending more money on nice bike parts and not gas. Unfortunately telling a girl you will pick her up on a tandem is unattractive.

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

I’m a Freelance Hippie and I bike in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I currenty have a Fixie with 32/16 ratio. And a single speed cross bike. And I’m currently building a touring bike with gears.
I used to have an old Schwinn mountain bike, that got me started into winter riding. And I used to have a cross bike with gears and I restored a 3 speed cruiser bike. That was a fun project, I miss that bike. I have a soft spot for cruisers.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

I try to follow the rules while blasting by cars waiting at stop lights. And leading the pack. It’s a good feeling.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?
Co workers are always amused by my dedication to cycling in winter. Lots of blank stares are had at me.

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

I actually volunteer at what we call the ReBike Program where we take donated and impounded, is that the right word, lost bikes from the sheriff dept and police dept. and build them up for less fortunate people and boys’ and girls’ clubs.

And ask any of my friends, I get really angry when I see people biking at night without any lights or a helmet. and when grown men ride BMX bikes.
Or when people bike on sidewalks or the wrong way in the bike lane.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

Bike Safe! :3

Thanks again, Brad, for sharing your commuting story with us. Brad bikes 365 days a year in Sheboygan, WI. In his first email to us, he described his route as “less than a mile each day but it’s an all narrow busy road so some days it can be very aggressive traffic weaving and there’s some days where I can race and pass up to 3 cars while obeying street laws. Ride hard, ride safe!”

If you would like to be profiled on, just drop us a line anytime (at elizabeth {at} bikecommuters {dot} com) and we’ll send you the details to submit your own bike commuter profile.

Ukes and Bikes – Ride Aloha!

Hey guys, remember back in the day when I had a dream sequence involving Jake S. and his ukulele?  Turns out it wasn’t a dream after all!  Check out the final cut of the public service announcement sponsored by Farmer’s Insurance Hawaii and Hawaii Bicycling League.  Ride Aloha…

Enjoy your weekend, velodactyls!

Late to Work: Biking in my Dreams!

Do you ever have a commute where you get to work and wonder, Is this real life!?”  I DO.  I don’t know how it happened, but I ended up uber late to work today, rolling in at an embarassing 1:10pm!  Not to say that I arrive at the dark box of drudgery and sadness (a.k.a. office with no windows) any earlier than 9:30am on a regular M-F… but today was different.  Caught between a nightmare of angry drivers and a dream of ukulele bike advocacy, I thought “Dr. Toothenstein must have gone overboard with the Novocaine yesterday.”  Either that, or now I’m biking in my dreams too.


Gramps keeps it real, he's my posture coach.

My dream started out like this: I groggily flopped out of bed late with no time to shower OR shop for vegetables in Chinatown!  Grandpa yelled my name from the streets below as he waited for a ride on my handlebars over to the acupuncture lady.  We’re cruising down the narrow streets of C-town, as I wait in the middle lane to make a left turn.  Gramps and I are chillin’ completely innocent and unoffensive (well, except for maybe some strong B.O. since hygiene is not my forte), and the nightmare begins.  A jerk-bomb in a truck passes by in the far right lane and yells “Get the FAWK outta tha ROAD!” The truck passes by at full 5 mph (bad traffic makes yelling at cyclists then speeding away kinda hard!)  Gramps gets pissed and starts yelling in Cantonese and chasing the truck down.  Guess I don’t need to drop him off to acupuncture after all.

I call these scones "Forget-Me-Nows" - eat one and forget all bad juju from Jerk Bomb in Pick-up Truck!

I’m a bit stunned from the nightmare, but decide to just crank it out.  There’s only one way to repair the damages from a street-fire jerk bomb: Forget-Me-Now blueberry cream cheese scones from Diamonhead Market!  With nothing but scone on the brain, I zone out for the rest of my ride.  On the way there, I detour through Kapiolani Park.  It’s a beautiful day to take the scenic route to scones, and I  hear the voice of the executive director at HBL calling out my name!  I stop and pull over.

A royal shower tree

Kapiolani Park - a dreamy royal shower tree.

I’ve apparently entered into the Bike Advocacy dream sequence with this kinda hot n’ famous ukulele guy, Chad from HBL and a lady cop.  So much for scones, I guess it’s time to film a dreamy PSA with Jake Shimabukuro on how cyclists have the right to take the whole lane in Hawaii!


After a couple of video takes, some sweet harmonious tunes, and awkward posing in my HBL tee… I start to think: maybe this isn’t a dream, this is REALITY!  And if it is, am I frackin’ sweaty and smelly.


Well, whatever is happening here, I just can’t help but throw up a shaka for the camera!  Deputy lady cop so-n-so says “It’s the law!”


How appropriate that my nightmare and dream revolve around the same theme:  cyclists have the right to take the whole lane if it’s too narrow to share with the car!  Seems Mr. Jerk-bomb is the perfect audience for this Public Service Announcement.  Let’s hope jerk-bomb and other drivers out there will listen up and share the road!  Until this PSA is published on the telly, I gotta go back to Chinatown and find Gramps…  Any of you riders out there have bike commuting nightmares to share?  How do you guys get over those nasty comments from drivers on your commutes?

(For the more literal readers out there, Mir.I.Am was intentionally late to work today to film a Public Service Announcement with Hawaii Bicycling League.  Coincidentally, she did get yelled at by a guy in a pick up truck, but no Grandpas were harmed in the writing of this post.  Blueberry cream cheese scones are baked pure deliciousness itself.  Oh god, they’re so good!)

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!

FREE Women Cycling webinar, Empowering Women to Bicycle for Transportation

A week after the the 2012 National Bike Summit gathered like-minded cyclists, especially women cyclists, for the first-ever National Women Cycling Forum, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) is hosting a free webinar this afternoon – Wednesday, March 28, 2012 from 3-4:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

Per the website, this FREE webinar is entitled the Women Cycling webinar, Empowering Women to Bicycle for Transportation and is today (Click here to register):

Since APBP inaugurated the Women Cycling Project in 2010, thousands of women have participated in the project. This year’s webinar highlights programs and approaches that encourage women to bicycle on a more regular basis. Learn about Cycles for Change, the Minneapolis program that educates and empowers women of various cultures to use bicycles as transportation, helping to build a sustainable environment and community; and Birmingham’s Magic City Cycle Chix, whose motto is “Building courage, confidence, and community…two wheels at a time” and whose mission is to encourage women to mountain bike. Stay tuned as we announce more speakers.

The webinar will also include a brief update on these topics:

Outcomes of the National Women Cycling Forum
Plans for the interactive Women Cycling website
Update on transportation legislation in Congress

The webinar is hosted by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and is sponsored by APBP and the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Last Tuesday, I attended the first ever National Women Cycling Forum – a pre-Summit event intended to bring women together to discuss the disparity between men and women in cycling. The summary of the forum had announced that “Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States — making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009. But that trend is shifting. We’re eager to learn from our peers, share our experiences and explore ideas to engage more women.”

Before I offer my own commentary, I’m curious about your thoughts – those of my fellow male and female bike commuters – on this topic. I wonder if your thoughts echo those of the ones I heard voiced in D.C. last week. Stay tuned, as I’ll be offering suggestions for action of what you can do to organize women in your own community.

Hope you can attend this afternoon’s webinar and hear more on this ever growing important topic.