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I thought this article from Grist was pretty good. Its a model followed by Bikes Not Bombs, also Boston Bikes, and Hub on wheels. All to great results. I would go one further and say that if you want to empower anyone give them a bicycle. Its basically free/low cost transportation, and in a city like Boston that could be the difference between being able to take a job or not. Also having a bicycle saves you a significant amount of money on T-passes, gas, insurance, etc, which is also very important to lower income people.
Not only that but the sense of empowerment can go a long way towards giving people the confidence to thrive when they may be facing challenges.
Cycling has a reputation for being a white man’s sport, hobby, and mode of transportation. It’s an image rooted in truth — white people accounted for about 80 percent of the cycling population in the U.S. as of 2009 — but it’s far from a complete picture. From 2001 to 2009, the rates of cycling among African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians grew far more than among whites.
Ed Ewing is working hard to keep that trend going. He’s the director of diversity and inclusion for the Cascade Bicycle Club and co-founder of the Major Taylor Project, a program that uses cycling to empower underserved youth in the Seattle area. The program is named after Major Taylor, the first African-American to win a cycling world championship race.
I sat down with Ewing at his office to talk about his work, his history in bike racing, racism he’s experienced as an African American cyclist, the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity in cycling and bike advocacy, and much more. Through the course of our conversation, Ewing dove deep. He discussed the systemic issues of race and discrimination, policies like neighborhood redlining, and poverty that shape the lives of the students he works — and he explained how cycling is connected to all of it.
Read the rest of this nice article here.
Tags: bikes, empowerment, grist
Posted in advocacy | No Comments »
Today’s hipsters and their fixie bikes are not the first to embody the too-cool-for-school persona of the cyclist. In the 1970′s, counter-culture types in the mountains north of San Francisco took to careening down Mount Tamalpais. They were riding for adventure, for exploration, and as a way to interact with the landscape; they were not riding for exercise. Sarah McCullough, whose PhD dissertation at UC Davis explores the history of mountain biking, explains how this group of renegade cylists invented the sport.
FEATURING: Sarah McCullough, Cultural Studies, UC Davis
Special thanks to David Takemoto-Weerts at US Bicycle Hall of Fame and Otis Guy: http://www.usbhof.org
Tags: bikes, grateful dead, high wheelers, too cool for school
Posted in education, fun, video | 3 Comments »
A while I posted about some amazing pictures of bike culture in Cuba. A couple days later I got this awesome email/video.
Thanks Diego for more info on how bikes are used in Cuba!
We are a production team specialising in web documentaries and have completed a short film on Havana bicycle culture which we believe may be of interest to Boston Biker.
The documentary provides an insight into Cuban bike tradition and the mechanics who help keep the hundreds of Habaneros who still rely on bicycles on the road.
A bicycle revolution took place in the country in the 1990s during the five-year ‘Special Period’ of austerity, when Cubans embraced them as an alternative mode of transport. Once cars returned to the island, the country’s bicycle culture took a hit. Now, new bikes are difficult to come by and parts are not readily available, yet many Cubans still use bicycles daily and, despite the limited resources, a handful of mechanics provide a service to those who rely on their bikes in their everyday lives.
You can view the video here:
If you wish to see more of our videos or find out more about us, please visit www.kaurimultimedia.com.
Many thanks in advance for your time.
Tags: bikes, cuba, video
Posted in video | No Comments »
I think there are a lot of stories in this data, but the one that really stands out is MORE BIKES! This town is just exploding with new riders. Are you one of them? Have you started riding since 2007? Have you noticed things improving? I feel like every year I see more and more riders, more and more good behavior, and more and more people riding year round. BICYCLES!
Since 2007 Boston has seen a 78% increase in cycling. Below you can find data from 2013, as well as data dating back to 2007. Click on each image to view a larger version.
Counts are conducted each Fall during the hours of 7-9am and 4-6pm. Thank you to all those who have volunteered their time throughout the years.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Please contact Najah Shakir at [email protected].
Tags: bike counts, bikes, City of Boston, data, images
Posted in advocacy, education | No Comments »
Just got this, looks like it could be a good time:
Winter is Coming! Prepare by cleaning off the autumn leaves, pumping those tires, and lubing up that chain so you’re ready for the frost season with a finely tuned machine. We’ll cover the basics of bike cleaning and preventative maintenance, and we’ll cover a wide range of topics; from what tires work best in the snow to the best types of home-made fenders to keep that slush off your back. You really can be an all-season rider with the right tips.
Workshop is FREE and OPEN TO ALL, at the Harvard Ed Portal. 175 N Harvard St in North Allston. from 5:30-7pm.
See you there! Bring your bikes, we’re going to get hands-on!
Tags: bikes, common wheels, winter
Posted in Mechanical | No Comments »
Bicycles have many super powers, but every morning I use one of the little known ones, the ability to become a pedestrian at will!
A cyclist walking their bike is a pedestrian. Totally separate set of laws, totally separate set of road use conditions. SUPER USEFUL SUPERPOWER!
Before I tell you how I used that super power this morning here are some general uses:
- If you have trouble making left hand turns, get off your bike and use the cross walk.
- Bypassing road construction by walking on the sidewalk.
- Walking over footbridges as a shortcut.
- Walking up and down steps as a shortcut.
- Walking through buildings as a shortcut (very useful on some campuses).
- This list could go on forever, feel free to add any to the comments, but you get the idea.
Near my house is a school for little ones, and every morning there is a line of cars waiting for the “school bus” (its just a van with lights on it) to drop off the kids. There is also always a cop sitting there who LOVES to give out tickets to people (including cyclists) who drive past the blinking “illegal to pass when these lights are flashing” sign on the back of the “bus.”
Every morning I see impatient drivers/cyclists get in trouble by Johnny law for breaking the simplest of laws (don’t be bad in front of cops…duh), and every morning I do the following.
I ride up to the start of the wait line. Get off my bike. Walk past the school bus on the side walk. The get back on my bike. Whole thing takes about 30 seconds. I am literally walking past a single van.
The cops love it, they smile at me every morning. I am following the law TO THE LETTER, and it allows me to keep my commute speedy and safe.
What bike super powers do you use on a regular basis? Let us know in the comments.
Tags: bikes, school bus, super powers, walking
Posted in education, fun | 8 Comments »
So good! (Thanks Marianna For the heads up) Read the rest here:
In 2003 I walked into my local bike shop and bought my first new bike. It was exciting, exhilarating, and even a little scary. Dozens of bikes and 10 years later, I have found myself in a place where I can help others through their first new bike buying experience at the bike shop. I have worked as a bicycle sales associate for almost 8 years, and I have been a professional bike fit specialist since 2007. I have heard and seen just about everything in the bike shop.
You have decided that it’s time to head to the bike shop because you need a new bike. Whether it is your first new bike ever, or you’re buying the bike to try a few sprint triathlons or even to participate in the Pan Mass Challenge, there are a few things with which you’ll need to get familiar before busting down the door of your local bike shop.
“I’m not a serious biker” was usually one of the two most popular opening statements I heard when working with someone at the bike shop. First off, YES YOU ARE! Don’t undervalue yourself during our first interaction (or ever, for that matter). I already think that you are a serious biker because you are here at the bike shop to buy a new bike, one of the greatest investments that you will ever make and never regret. Don’t worry–I am not going to judge you because you can’t name the entire Shimano component family. I’ve been there. New bike shopping is exciting and it is a learning experience.
Tags: bike shop, bikes, how to
Posted in education, fun, news | 1 Comment »
I LOVED this:
I got a big dick swagger to me. I sit with my knees too wide. One of my favorite activities is listening to punk rock, drinking cheap beer, and performing bike maintenance squatting on my kitchen’s dirty linoleum.
I’ve wanted to be one of the boys forever, and sometimes I feel like I am one. I have boy days. I don’t flash friendly smiles, I don’t show off my jigglier body parts. I throw on a loose Cadence t-shirt and some cut off jean shorts that need a laundering, I get drunk on malt liquor half-sleeping in the sun in Humboldt Park, I jerk off to porn & take a blunt nap, I wake up and go to the bar and sneak in the men’s restroom because why do girls always take so long to pee, anyway?
I have my girl days, too, where I watch Earth Girls Are Easy and do my nails and sing elaborate parodies of 1960s girl group ballads to my dog. I mean, twenty percent of my wardrobe comes from the Target Little Girls section, and I read Japanese fashion magazines for teenage girls in the bathroom obsessively. I even had the cutest Hello Kitty Kawaii Town of all time.
There’s incredible diversity out there. It’s my favorite thing about the human race. There are people out there who were born intersex, or who were born with a brain that doesn’t match the sex of their body, people who choose to present themselves androgynously and fuck you very much if you want to know if they’re a boy or a girl. When we try to fit every person into a specific little blue or pink box, it discriminates against everyone who can never possibly fit in those little boxes, and everyone who doesn’t even want to.
Tags: awesome, bikes, gender, weekend reading
Posted in fun | 3 Comments »