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1. Learn Stuff – Bike Share

If a bike share hasn’t landed in your town, that may change soon. Starting in the French town of La Rochelle in 1974, the bike share began as a free of charge, use-and-return program. Over the years, the formula for success has been changed but the idea is no less brilliant.

The bike share concept is a simple solution for modern cities that face many complex transportation challenges. Bike share programs are designed to enhance personal mobility and helping communities achieve a wide range of goals such as reducing car traffic in city centers, bridging gaps in mass transit, improving personal wellness, and introducing more citizens to cycling and public transportation.

In our neck of the woods, Trek Bicycle Corporation recently launched their B-cycle system. The core design principle of B-cycle is to provide an aesthetically appealing and technologically powerful bike sharing system. The stations and bicycles were designed to blend into the existing landscape. This bike sharing system is easy to use and versatile. It’s aimed at quick errands and trips, giving individuals an active, car-free choice.

Don’t take it for a day long ride - that’s not the point. Rather, hop on a B-cycle for a quick jaunt to lunch, to deposit a check at the bank, or to run to the corner store. A quick swipe of your member card or credit card releases the utilitarian bike with running lights and a front market basket. Adjust the saddle height and you’re off!

The B-cycle system gives users the tools to incorporate bike sharing and its benefits into their every day lives. Currently B-cycle bike sharing system are located in nine cities including Denver, Chicago, Des Moines, San Antonio, Honolulu, Boulder, Madison, Omaha and Spartanburg. So if you happen to live in or be visiting one of these fine cities, give bike share a try and see how the world looks from the comfy seat of a B-cycle.

 

1. Learn Stuff – Bike Share »

2. Accessory Handbook – Stylish Bicycle Accoutrements »

3. Advocacy – 300,000 and counting

4. Supercommuter – Cecily Walker »

 

 

25 to advocacy

2. Accessory Handbook – Stylish Bicycle Accoutrements

While many bike commuters live by a "function-over-fashion" motto, there are just as many that place high significance on style. To make things easier, we've come up with some great new products that live in both the worlds of function and style.

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Grasshopper Bamboo Fenders

Our new Grasshopper fenders are made from fast growing Moso Bamboo. They keep you dry while making your bicycling adventures even more sustainable. In our minds, they’re the best softcore Monocot fenders on the planet.

      • Made from fast growing and sustainable Moso Bamboo
      • Durable marine-grade top coat finish and 3 ply Bamboo laminate construction
      • Hardware is all stainless-steel and pre-installed for hassle-free mounting
      • V-stays for added stability
      • 45mm width fits tires up to 27” x 1 ¼” or 700c x 35 mm

dasher
Corky Grips

By way of the Cork Oak forests of Portugal come our stylish and comfortable Corky Grips.  These 100% natural cork grips wick away hand sweat and dampen vibrations as cyclists pedal on down the road.  The sustainability of production and the easy recycling of cork products make these grips a favorite of environmentally-minded velophiles and the endangered Iberian lynx which calls the Cork Oak forest home.

      • 100% natural Cork
      • Ergonomic shape
      • Dampens vibrations and natural cork wicks away sweat

    dasher
    Courtesy Bells

    RING, DING, DING -“Passing on your left!”  Our simple little Courtesy Bells help cyclists happily navigate their way down the bike path and along city streets.

        • Brass bell for clean sound
        • 360 degree dinger rotation
        • High fatigue spring
        • Fits bar diameters 22.3mm – 26.0mm
        • Offered in brass and nickel-plated brass!

    ripon


    3. Advocacy – 300,000 and counting

    Imagine a place where one bike lane leads to the next. Where trails, bridges and underpasses lead safely to exactly where you want to go. And regardless of your bicycling experience or fitness, you can pedal smoothly across the street, across town or even across the country. Bikes Belong’s Peopleforbikes.org (PFB) campaign is working to make this vision a reality.

    The backbone of the PFB campaign is a pledge that can be taken (online or on paper) in support of better bicycling in the U.S. The campaign, which launched at the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, CA in April 2010, has already generated more than 300,000 pledges and created a group with exceptional clout and potential. The movement is striking a chord with Americans who see bicycling as a fun way to improve health, reduce road congestion and carbon output, and save money.

    PFB is now the largest unified group of bicycling advocates nationwide. The campaign aims to show government leaders that Americans everywhere support cost-effective legislation that improves bike paths, lanes, trails and other facilities from coast to coast.

    This message is especially important as Congress considers the renewal of the federal transportation bill – the largest single source for bicycling funding, which has invested more than $4 billion in bike projects and programs since 2004. Renewal of the bill is now being deliberated, and will possibly come late in 2011.

    PFB has rallied the troops three times so far to help show how much Americans care about the federal investment in bicycling, and has asked supporters to speak out on local issues, too. Nearly 50,000 letters have been sent to U.S. Representatives PFB supporters.

    Peopleforbikes.org will continue to activate its pledge base to show leaders that Americans care about bicycling. The campaign will also continue to celebrate the spirit of bicycling by publishing personal testimonials and stories.

    Sign the pledge at www.peopleforbikes.org.

    billy knudson

    4. Supercommuter – Cecily Walker


    This edition’s supercommuter is written by our friend Alan, the mastermind behind EcoVelo. Alan has a beautiful way with words and photographs. Check out his passion for cycling at EcoVelo.

    A supercommuter rides through every season, in all types of weather, day and night. Choosing the simplicity, health and pleasure of bicycling, a supercommuter simply prefers to ride a bike instead of driving a car. 

    Cecily Walker of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, certainly qualifies as a supercommuter. Whether riding to work, the store, or just to meet up with friends, she uses her bicycle for 99% of her daily trips. She was a fair weather bike commuter for 6 years, but a little over a year ago she went full-time, riding her bike year-round, even through Vancouver's cold, wet winters.

    Cecily recently moved, in part because she wanted to live closer to work, but also because she wanted a less hilly commute.  Describing her commute, she says, "my daily ride takes me around Vancouver’s seawall, and over to a busy four-lane thoroughfare that passes under Rogers Arena. After that stretch, I bike up a couple of gentle hills on downtown streets that have only minimal traffic." It's not a long commute, but Cecily is out there on her bike everyday, enjoying the ride. "I know 3 kilometers doesn’t seem like much to people who put in 25 kilometers or more per day, but I use my bike for everything."

    Cecily has found that communicating your individual needs to your local bike shop is important when shopping for a bike. "If you’re a heavier rider like I am, don’t be afraid to express your concerns to your local bike shop. Heavier riders have different concerns than our thinner counterparts, and it pays in comfort and safety to tackle these issues head on when choosing a bike." Her dealer outfitted her with a Fryslan, a Dutch bike made by Batavus for the North American market. Being a Dutch bike, the Fryslan came fully-equipped for year-round use with a rack, lights, fenders, and a chain case. For carrying her commuting and shopping loads, Cecily prefers stylish bags from Basil and Po Campo - Cycle Chic is alive and well in Vancouver!

    Keeping it fun while integrating bicycling into her lifestyle are Cecily's secrets to success as a long-term bike commuter. She advises, "if you’re feeling daunted by it, start small. Try small trips to the grocery store, or combine your commute with transit – that’s how I began 6 years ago when I was commuting to the University of British Columbia (7 kilometers from home, uphill, on the cheapest bike in the bike store). And you don’t have to be a perfect commuter to make riding a bike part of your lifestyle. The most important thing is that you enjoy it."

    We couldn't agree more!

    Photo by Cecily Walker.
    If you would like to nominate a Super Commuter, please contact us at info@planetbike.com.