Bike Shaped Objects

Funky bikes and news
Not all cities have green lines

Green Lines are our friend

green linesAs a spoiled cyclist I expect the green lines to be there when I look at a map. In preparation for a family visit I arranged to borrow a bike. I looked at the city on Google maps and found no green lines.

At first I thought my settings were messed up but no, there really are almost no bike lanes in Worcester Mass.. This is how spoiled I am. I just assume that all cities are as bike-friendly as San Francisco.

I must admit that Worcester isn’t a cyclist’s dream anyway. It has hills. We’re talking San Francisco would proud to have these hills. And for half the year those hills are covered in ice and snow.

However, in researching this rant I discovered that in the late 1800’s Worcester was a center of cycling activity. There were several bike factories there and hundreds of people pedaling up and down Main street. Major Taylor even moved to Worcester to escape the discrimination of the mid-west.

So what happened? Well, cars of course., and trucks and trains ans so-on. But that happened in San Francisco as well. And look at Minneapolis, it’s a frozen wasteland yet they are very bike-friendly.

So it seems there are two factors at work. The first is that Worcester appears to have had a decent bus system and a lack of wealthy close suburbs whose residents seem to be the most successful bike advocates. These are of course huge generalizations.

So how does one prepare to ride in an urban environment were bikes are not usually welcome? First, the bright yellow vest is definitely coming with me. It’s a vacation so I plan to sleep through the morning rush hour.The rest of the day I’ll just have to risk it.

The other problem is that instead of a road bike I’ll be on a mountain bike which isn’t as likely to keep up with the traffic. Though its ruggedness does make it more likely to take a hit without breaking.


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Bicycle Tourism, in Cleveland?

Proposed bicycle route could stoke local tourism

The Cleveland Daily Banner, 1/8/16

tourismIf U.S. Bicycle Route 21 receives official status, bicycle tourism could be coming to Cleveland from as far away as Lexington, Ky., and Atlanta.

The proposed route would run from Atlanta to Kentucky with about 241 miles of the route in Tennessee. There are 42 miles of the route within Bradley and McMinn counties. In Cleveland, 19 miles of existing roads and the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway are used to guide cyclists from McDonald Road through downtown to Sequoia Road.

Read full article…

Another project that has more hope than reality. I wish them well.

Unlike the German bikebahn U.S. Bike routes do not depend on trails built for bikes alone. These routes are mostly made up of regular roads with some accommodation for bikes. Sometimes just a well-kept shoulder. Not perfect, but it’s several steps in the right direction.

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State proposes to build new bicycle campsites

bicycle campsites

Montana wants bike campers

Billings Gazette, 1/4/15

Public comment is being sought on a draft environmental assessment for proposed group bicycle campsites at four state parks in northwestern Montana.

The parks include Whitefish Lake; Flathead Lake-Wayfarers; and Placid Lake and Salmon Lake. Public comment is being accepted through Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.

Read More…

It’s good to see that people are considering bicycle infrastructure beyond the bike path. After all, no matter how great the path or trail is, it’s useless unless there is something at the other end worth going to.


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Germany Building Bikebahn?

All cyclists dream of the bikebahn. But is it for real?

Never has such a short bike trail generated so much press. Everyone from the bike news world to mainstream media are writing about the proposed 100KM bike trail across western Germany. Unfortunately many of the media outlets mostly just published the press release from the people who want the trail built, ignoring the part about how there is no guarantee that any of it will be built.

I included the link above because they do a nice analysis of this and similar projects from around the world.

I can’t really criticize the small bike blogs for jumping blindly on this story. It was my first instinct. This is the kind of story we always dream of. The concept of intercity car-free trails is the holy grail of wanderlusting cyclists.

I think most car and truck drivers dream of getting bikes off the road as well. The problem there is that if they build us bike paths the drivers will expect us to use it even if it’s way out the way. And out of the way for a bike is much shorter a distance than for a car.

So while the German bikebahn still has many hurdles to hurdle, we are all sending our good vibes for its completion and success.

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U.S. Bicycle Route System grows by 2,000 miles in 2014 » Biking Bis


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