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Thursday, January 9, 2014

IT’S TIME TO STOP BUILDING BLACK DIAMOND BIKE LANES | People for Bikes


Photo: Andrew Catellier
Imagine if every ski trail at Vail was a black diamond advanced run. Gone would be the easy runs marked with green circles and the intermediate blue square runs.
Expert skiers would rejoice. Every trip down the mountain would be an adrenaline-charged workout -- unfettered by kids, beginners or out-of-shape vacationers from the flatlands.
The only problem is that Vail Resorts would probably go out of business, because only about 20% of skiers are skilled enough to navigate advanced runs. Instead of hosting more than 1.6 million visitors a year, they’d attract one skier in five. It would be a terrible business decision and the smart people at Vail Resorts would never consider it.

Photo: Brian Wilson.
In most U.S. cities, riding a bicycle is a black diamond adventure. A combination of skill, daring and training is necessary to feel comfortable riding in traffic on big busy streets.
Of course, not all city riding is challenging. There are a lot of greens and blues in the system, including quiet neighborhood streets, greenway paths and rail-trails. But they often don’t connect, and that’s a problem.

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