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The Growth Of Biking, And Bike Share

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 12

NPR had a great story today about the growth, and challenges of biking, and bike share programs.

Listen here, or here:

Here is a taste:

Millions of commuters across the country have a new way to get around. In the last few years, bike-sharing systems have popped up from Boston to Minnesota to Washington, D.C. They’re supposed to make commuting easier, greener and cheaper. But the people who arguably need these bikes the most are often the least likely to access them.

These bike-sharing systems have a lot of different names: Divvy, Hubway, Nice Ride. But they all work roughly the same way: you pick up a bike at one docking station, ride it and then lock it up at another station. And these systems have something else in common: the users so far tend to be young, male and wealthier than the rest of the population.

“The rates of low-income ridership in all bike-share programs around the world is pitifully low. So we can only do better,” Carolyn Samponaro of the Transportation Alternatives in New York, said. The Citi Bike system launched in New York earlier this year.

Samponaro and I met up at a docking station near a big public housing project in Brooklyn. It’s right across the street from a busy bike lane, and about two blocks from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge — in other words, a prime spot for bike commuting. But the docking station just sits there, full of bikes, waiting for riders. Samponaro said this unfortunately fits with the data so far.

“The rates of low-income ridership in all bike-share programs around the world is pitifully low. So we can only do better.”
“The demographic information I’ve seen to date is that it’s more men than women. And only 0.5 percent are low-income New Yorkers,” said Samponaro, who considers that a pretty poor rating.

Read the rest here.

What most excites me about this is that these programs are driving a change in thinking about how we build transportation systems. Bike share systems are perfect for people who need to save money, or get in shape. They are human scale designs. Almost everyone can ride a bike.

Sadly bike share systems seem to currently be focused on the affluent, they are in the business of making money, and currently rich people ride bikes more. This is can also be a good thing in the long run. It used to be that if you were rich you owned a car, if we shift this thinking to be “if you are rich you ride a bike” many more people will aspire to ride, and unlike the dream of car ownership, many more people will actually be able to achieve the dream of owning or riding a bicycle.

You can’t democratize a luxury like a car. Just look at the mess it has caused. Its destroying our planet, embroiling us in decades of wars, ruining our health, killing our populace, enabling horrible city design, and in general has been a failure. The same can not be said for the bicycle. If everyone in the world used a bicycle as their main mode of transportation it would prompt us to be healthy, to design our cities better, to use public transportation like trains for long distance travel, to be much more gentle on the environment, and we would have a radically different foreign policy. In short bicycles are not a luxury, they are a the foundation of a solid transportation system.

More bikes! More bike share systems! More access to these systems for the poor!


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When The Bike Bell Isn’t Enough

Written by Boston Biker on May 09

Get yourself a train horn…this is awesome.


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Posted in Audio, crafts, fun, video | 5 Comments »

Bikes Not Bombs 2012 Bike-A-Thon Registration Now Open

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 12

Registration for Bikes Not Bombs’ 2012 Bike-A-Thon is now open!!

(Photo by Wayne Chinnock)

Register now for Bikes Not Bombs’ biggest and most exciting event of the year! Our 25th annual Bike-A-Thon will be Sunday, June 3rd, 2012. (Rain date would be Sunday, June 24th.) Join hundreds of riders for an amazing day of cycling and fun while raising critical funds to support Bikes Not Bombs work in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and right here in Boston. Each year we have riders of all ages and skill-levels and every rider makes a difference! We’ll have four scenic routes to choose from: 15 miles, 25 miles, 65 miles, and a 40-mile route that’s new for 2012!

Sign up today to take advantage of our early registration special! We’re offering half price early registration again this year, which means if you sign up to ride during the month of March, it’s only $10 for adults and $5 for youth!

Be sure to stop by our event website, Hub, or Bike Shop to register to ride and find out more about Bike-A-Thon 2012!

Also, you can RSVP to the Bike-A-Thon Facebook event, share it on your wall, and invite your friends to join in the fun!

Read more, and Register to ride!


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NPR Tackles Transportation Bill And Cycling

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 09

We have talked about this several times here before, but here is an awesome break down of the transportation bill and what it has to do with bicycling.

Part 1, Part 2.

Link to show here.

Thanks Rebecca for the tip.


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Amazing NPR Story About RAAM

Written by Boston Biker on May 29

Here is NPR’s Radio Lab amazing story about bike racers in RAAM. Absolutely fascinating, these guys are at once my heroes and bat shit insane.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow? April 13, 2018
      TweetFrom Cambridge Bike Safety: The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 7 April 7, 2018
      TweetThis is better! A sunny, somewhat cool spring day. Me on my bike, my daughter on a trail-a-bike, and my son on his bike. We rode down the Southwest Corridor, stopped at Ula Cafe for lunch, rode over by Jamaica … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt should be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt shoudl be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #30DaysofBiking Days 3,4,5, and 6 April 6, 2018
      TweetIt’s been cold, rainy, windy, and I’m not sleeping well. These days of biking are short rides on Hubway to get from here to there, head down, and shivering. This is not the joyous Days of Biking I signed up … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 2 April 3, 2018
      Tweet Easter Monday.  The first work day of April.  Today is the day I’m going to start riding my bike to work again! Or not.  Because it’s snowing.  And I’m tired and lazy. But every bit of biking counts no … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 1 April 2, 2018
      TweetI didn’t think I was going to go for a bike ride on Easter Sunday.  As tends to be my habit, I ride less and less in the winter time and then find it hard to get back into the … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run March 23, 2018
      Tweet Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene. A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker