The Rise Of Bicycling In Suburban America

In America, cars have always been associated with affluence. Early in the days of the automobile, only the wealthy could own cars, since they were prohibitively expensive. It wasn’t until mass production began, which lowered prices significantly, that cars were placed in the reach of average Americans.

Falling prices did not cheapen the value of cars. Not the monetary value, of course, but the symbolic value.

Early cars had served primarily as playthings for the wealthy. No roads existed for them to travel on. Short drives were the norm, due to the lack of roads and mechanical limitations of the cars themselves.    Continue reading ….

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Did American Bicycling Start In Newton Massachusetts?

As the old saying goes: “you learn something new everyday.” This is particularly true for bicycling where information sources are spread out instead of being housed in a central location.

The interesting tidbit I picked up yesterday caught my eye when I was reading the “Your Town” section of Boston.com. From time to time, I peruse this section of the site. But, I do not confine myself to my own town. Instead, I read through the news in many of the towns surrounding Boston.

Among the towns I generally read about is the town of Newton. Ordinarily, there is little in the way of excitement in Newton. Perhaps this is a good thing. Nothing too tragic or frightening happens, so life is good there.    Continue reading ….

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Hit-And-Run Text Alerts: Justice Or Jeopardy?

Hit-and-run cases are some of the most frustrating incidents found on the roads. When two cars crash or a car and a cyclist crash, and both parties stay at the scene, injuries can be tended to and the details of what happened can be sorted out. But, in a hit-and-run situation, injured parties are often left on the side of the road, sometimes alone, to fend for themselves until help arrives.

Sometimes there are witnesses who give police a description of the car involved in the crash. Other times, only the injured party can explain what happened, and given the circumstances, may or may not be able to relay what happened.

Vague descriptions of a wanted vehicle are often announced over the airwaves to make people in the area aware that a reckless driver, who left the scene of an accident, is on the loose. Predictions about where the car might be damaged are included to make it easier for non-witnesses to identify a car matching the description.    Continue reading ….

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Someone Wants To Learn About Boston Bikers Who Make Demands Of Drivers

There are lots of perks to be had from hosting your own blog. Not only do you have a lot of control over what features it has and how it is run, but you can learn some very interesting things about how people think and what they do when they are online.

If you have had jobs which require you to learn about the inner workings of websites and the Internet, as I have, you know how to protect yourself from the many evils that lurk online. Among them, is the invasion of privacy which goes along with using technologies you don’t understand.

For instance, many Internet users do not understand how search engines work, and how to protect their privacy when using a search engine. The technical details of how search engines work are not necessary for this post, so I will leave my readers to explore that topic on their own, should they wish to do so. However, as a result of users making poor choices about which search engine to use, I have gained insight into what type of person visits my blog and why.

Continue reading ….

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Variations In Bicycling Weather Challenges

In New England, where I live, we have four distinct seasons. Spring and fall are similar with respect to temperature ranges, the main difference being that spring air has a hint of warmth while fall air holds an increasing coolness.

The other two seasons are diametrically opposed as far as temperature is concerned. Winter temperatures can drop into the single digits. Summer temperatures can soar into the 90s. Wind chill in the winter causes the air temperature to feel as if it is below zero. And humidity in the summer can make the heavy air feel close to 100 degrees.

In both cases, cycling becomes difficult. Summer riding is difficult due to extreme heat. However, the number of days where temperatures rise to such a degree are usually small. Therefore, most people can continue to commute and ride for recreation or transportation throughout the summer.

Continue reading ….

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Should Exercise Be Removed From The Activity Of Bicycling?

Exercise and cycling are seen as virtually synonymous. Health benefits are among the main attractions for choosing cycling over other modes of transportation.

Cycling advocates and enthusiasts point to the cardiovascular benefits which come from pedaling a bike, as well as riding’s effect on weight. Most regular cyclists are able to lose weight and keep it off, as long as they watch their diets and make cycling part of their regular routine.

But for every health proponent there is someone who promotes the idea that less exertion is a benefit for those who ride bikes or who use other forms of transportation. In that camp, the idea of preventing sweat for the sake of one’s clothes or getting somewhere faster takes precedence over promoting good health.    Continue reading ….

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Bike Theft Is Newsworthy When The Bike Has Been Built By The Rider

Bicycle thefts are not uncommon. In fact, bikes are stolen all the time from a variety of locations. For this reason, a myriad of locks and security devices have been designed to keep bikes in the hands of their owners.

Despite their claims, most locks and security devices simply slow thieves down. A determined thief can defeat the best locks. Sometimes the object the bike is locked to can be a weak point and the thief can damage it to get the bike free. There is no end to the creativity bike thieves show when they really want a bike they have spotted.

Many cyclists see locking a bike as something they must do when away from home. After all, their bike is in unfamiliar territory and there is no telling who might be lurking about. This seems like the ideal scenario for bike theft.

Continue reading ….

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Substitute Victim Impact Statements: Can Bicycle Advocates Speak For The Dead?

Dead cyclists cannot make victim impact statements when they are killed in a hit and run accident. They cannot speak for themselves or represent their own interests in any way. Nonetheless, some people think they can be represented in a general sense by those who fall into the same category as they do, and therefore take the same risks.

This is the position a bicycle advocate took with respect to the death of a cyclist in the Fort Collins, Colorado area. The advocate, Rick Price, Ph.D., is a League of American Bicyclist cycling instructor and is also the safe cycling coordinator for the Bike Co-op in Fort Collins.    Continue reading ….

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Child Mortality And The Rise Of Bicycling

A lot of people get killed by cars. Drivers get killed. Their passengers get killed. Pedestrians get killed. And, of course, cyclists get killed.

Automobile proponents, in defense of their preferred mode of transportation, say that cars don’t kill, drivers do. Isn’t that a lot like what the pro-gun faction in the U.S. says — that guns don’t kill, people do.

While statements like that sound very clever at first, they are really quite inaccurate. People, whether drivers or not, do kill. But, they have a great deal of difficulty killing without a weapon such as a gun or a car.    Continue reading ….

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Controversies Over Bike Lanes In Residential Areas

Bike lanes are usually spoken of as a means of making it easier to commute and as an asset in bringing business into retail areas. In other words, the utilitarian side of bicycle accommodations is what people think of first.

Less often, discussions arise about the merits and pitfalls of installing bike lanes in non-commercial areas, where their use appears to be less utilitarian. Whether or not this use of bike lanes is less utilitarian is debatable. However, when bike lanes are proposed in non-commercial areas, different interests come into play.

One such case occurred recently in Alexandria, Virginia. Local officials were considering a plan to install bike lanes on a residential stretch of road which leads to the King Street Metro station from the west.    Continue reading ….

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