Active Versus Inactive Transportation

Until I started a bicycling blog, I had never really heard of the term “active transportation.” The first time I heard this term, I thought it was rather odd. I didn’t know whether it referred to the fact that one was being active by using this form of transportation or whether it meant that the transportation itself was active in some way.

Although I assumed that transportation modes such as bicycling were forms of active transportation, I was surprised to learn that most advocates of “active” transportation consider public transportation to be a type of active transportation. For instance, after checking a few U.S. state government websites, I found the following on Oregon’s website:  Continue reading ….

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The Role Of Bicycle Tourism In A Community’s Acceptance Of Bicycling

Bicycle tourism, although growing in leaps and bounds, is not something we think about when advocating for bicycling or bicycle infrastructure. Bicycling is generally seen as a recreational activity or a mode of transportation. Consequently, arguments for its acceptance are often based on these themes primarily because this is how bicycling has historically fit into our society.

The problem with traditional methods of bicycling advocacy is that non-cyclists often see bicycle infrastructure investments as only benefiting a small number of people. They perceive “their tax dollars” as going to things they will not use themselves.    Continue reading ….

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Cyclists Taking Risks When No Cars Are In Sight

Cyclists vary considerably in what they consider to be a risk and how much risk they are willing to take. Risk averse riders take virtually no chances. Average riders pick and choose what they are willing to risk. And bold riders are willing to risk it all for either a chance to get ahead of the traffic or for the thrill of overcoming the odds associated with failure.

Not long ago, I was watching traffic on a street in a busy area of Boston. This area is filled with hospitals and research facilities. Consequently, most of the people there are either medical or research personnel or patients.    Continue reading ….

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Cycling Weather Around The Globe

The title of this post is slightly misleading because I have been unable to review this issue around the globe. But, an article I saw about riding in the rain in The Netherlands made me wonder about how cyclists react to weather in different cultures.

Unlike the U.S., where rainfall frequency varies from very dry to frequently rainy, in The Netherlands it only rains approximately 6.5% of the time. For comparison, in Seattle, Washington it rains approximately 40% of the time.

Continue reading ….

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Bicycle Repair And Liability

Some tragic accidents are the result of a freak accident. Others are the result of negligence on the part of some party.

The former is sad, but understandable. The latter is not.

An example of a cycling death that is tragic and preventable is the story of a 14-year-old boy who was struck by a van when he lost control of his bike after the brakes failed. This is quite different from the many stories we hear about drivers striking and killing a rider because the boy could not stop and rode into the path of the van.    Continue reading …. 

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When A Bicycle Becomes A Lock

Those of us who are active in the cycling world are accustomed to regarding bicycles as vehicles. We see them as a means of transportation. We see them as a form of recreation. And, we see them as an integral part of daily life.

While bicycles have a lot of pluses, namely, low operating and maintenance costs (in comparison to cars), health benefits and a means of avoiding traffic congestion, there are a few downsides. One of the negatives associated with owning and riding a bicycle is the problem of theft.    Continue reading ….

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How Police Accident Reporting Practices Affect Bicyclists And Pedestrians

As if the statistics on car versus bicycle accidents weren’t frightening enough, I recently read the following:

“Dart across Washington Street once or twice, and you probably would not pick Boston as the nation’s safest city for pedestrians.

Study after study says it is, though: More people walk to work in Boston than just about anywhere, and the statistics showing that a dozen or so pedestrians are killed in the street every year compare favorably to figures for just about every large city in the country.

So by the standards of the nation’s busiest metropolises, Boston is best. But are the city’s streets really safer than those in, say, Concord?

The short answer is no. The state’s records on pedestrian accidents in Boston capture only a fraction of such accidents here. That is because the Boston Police Department has refused for years to report most crashes — pedestrians, bikes, cars, and everything else — to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Officers are needed on their beats, police say, not filling out extra paperwork for the state’s databases.”

Continue reading ….

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Cycling In America Goes With Privilege Not With Necessity

The article on cycling elitism, which I wrote about a few days, ago piqued my curiosity about who is riding bicycles today and why. My research led me to several articles which confirmed that the majority of cyclists in America are white and relatively affluent, rather than poor and riding a bike out of necessity.

What wasn’t agreed upon in the articles, some of which were written by academics who had done their own research, was why people in lower income neighborhoods were not drawn to cycling in the same percentages as their higher income counterparts. Despite statistics quoted about responses given to studies by poor people, I think that the entire picture of this situation is far from clear.

Continue reading ….

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Is The Rise Of Cycling Elitism A Result Of Individual Goals Or Infrastructure Evolution?

As I was scrolling through a list of links to current cycling news and blogs, I came across a headline which caught my attention. It was about the rise of an upper class cycling culture.

The author of this article is located in Portland where, apparently, the cycling culture has changed in ways that we haven’t seen in Boston. The reasons for this difference are certainly multifactorial, but the most dominant reason probably relates to the composition of the residents.    Continue reading ….

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Can We Improve Safety For Novice Cyclists By Changing Our Own Positions?

Commenting is an important part of blogging. It gives the author and readers a way to express their impressions and ideas and it facilitates discussion.

This blog receives quite a few comments for a personal blog. It may not be as big or as well trafficked as some of the high profile blogs, however, unlike those blogs, it gets comments that are insightful and thought provoking.

Over the past week, there has been a lot of traffic to this blog for the purpose of reading about and discussing whether cyclist drivers can run interference for cyclist bikers.    Continue reading ….

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