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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Three Women who Changed the Course of History On Bicycles @momentummag

"La bicycliste et caricature, 1897" by Montorgueil, Georges, 1857-1933 (creator)Somm, Henry, 1844-1907 (illustrator) - This image is available from the Brown University Library under the digital ID 1123259547400435.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
La bicycliste et caricature, 1897” by Montorgueil, Georges, 1857-1933 (creator)Somm, Henry, 1844-1907 (illustrator) – This image is available from the Brown University Library under the digital ID 1123259547400435.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Susan B. Anthony, famed suffragette leader and women’s rights reformer, once said of the bicycle, “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.” Anthony described the image of a woman on a bicycle as “the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
It may seem surprising that the bicycle could have played such a pivotal role in the women’s rights movement. What exactly was it about this familiar two-wheeled transportation device that lent itself so freely to unparalleled social change?

In the mid 1800s, when the early women’s rights movement was gathering steam in the West, there were clearly defined roles and expectations for women. A woman’s place was thought to be in the home and her role was a domestic one. But as women pushed back against these structures and demanded a place in the public sphere, the bicycle came to be emblematic of their bid for freedom. By enabling women to control their own transportation needs, it offered an autonomy that had previously been out of reach. Riding a bicycle shattered norms of appropriate conduct for women of the day and ushered in a new era of women asserting control over their bodies and behavior.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Are you #drivenbyadventure? If so, you and a similarly intrepid companion may be eligible to win one of three all-expenses-paid epic riding experiences on Trek’s newly updated and expanded line of touring and adventure bikes.

More rugged pairs can hope to win a trip to experience the many terrains of Virginia on the new Trek 920, a drop bar 29er model designed for off-road adventures. It comes stock with front and rear racks as well as a mountain drivetrain with bar end shifters.

Tour the rest of the story to see how you can win…


Boulevard De Maisonneuve in 2012. Image: Google Street View.
Every city that's ever considered removing auto parking to make room for a protected bike lane has been, understandably, nervous. North America's best city for biking wasn't immune.
But when it was planning its signature downtown bike project in 2005, Montreal got past those concerns with a very simple tactic. Instead of counting only the change in parking spaces on the boulevard De Maisonneuve itself, a measure that might have led to headlines and perceptions that "half of the parking" was being removed, it counted the total number of auto parking spaces — public and private, on-street and off — within 200 meters of the project.
The district, it turned out, had 11,000 parking spaces. Converting one of the corridor's two auto parking lanes to a protected bikeway would remove 300 of them, or just under 3 percent.
"The effect on the debate was suprise," said Jean-Francois Pronovost of Vélo Québec, the bike advocacy and planning nonprofit contracted by the city to study the issue. "No one estimated that there was that number of car parking [spaces] available."

Enough with Bikes vs Cars – It’s about Better Cities! @planetizen

Courtesy Paul Kruegar
A few weeks back, I watched with concern Toronto having a rhetoric-heavy debate about removing the relatively new bike-lane on Jarvis Street. Last minute efforts to save the bike-lane were ultimately unsuccessful, although as small consolation, Council chose not to use bike-lane infrastructure funds to remove it – a previous intention that had been seen as adding budgeting insult to active mobility injury.
Just this week, I watched international press report on the findings of UBC Public Health research, verifying what we all knew. Painted bike-lanes reduce the risk of accidents by 50%, and separated bike-lanes reduce the risk by 90%. 
Bike-lane debates have been going on for some time in Toronto, as they have in many cities. In recent years, exaggerated and polarizing phrases like "anti-car" and "the war on the car" have been thrown around irresponsibly by media and politicians alike, making me wonder more than a few times if Fox News had moved to the metropolis once called "The City That Works." 
I suppose it illustrates part of the problem, that at this point I feel the urge to point out I don't consider myself a "cyclist." Doing so would seem as odd as calling myself a walker, a transit-rider, or a driver. I'm an urbanite, someone who loves living in cities, and an urbanist who has studied how cities work all of my adult life. Really, I'm a citizen.

Home to Home (McGrath to Anchorage on the Iditarod Trail)

Home to Home (McGrath to Anchorage on the Iditarod Trail) from Luc Mehl on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Austin, Texas.
Diversity created the city. But diversity has never been easy.
Almost as soon as PeopleForBikes selected its first six Green Lane Project focus cities, we started hearing from their staffers that they wanted to better understand how the values of diversity and equity – of race, of ethnicity, of class – could improve their work to make bicycling mainstream.
The four of us on the Green Lane Project team share those values. But we're not diversity or equity experts; we're infrastructure experts.
So, to help city staffers and advocates across the country think about these issues, we've teamed up with the Alliance for Biking and Walking and spent the last eight months talking to people who live and breathe this work: people like Nedra Deadwyler, an Atlanta business owner working to make her street's stoops and sidewalks places for social gathering, or Jocelyn Dicent, a teen activist working to reconnect New York City's Rockaway Peninsula so she and her friends can get to school safely.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Report Says Doping Was Ignored to Shield Armstrong @NY Times

Lance Armstrong, right, with Hein Verbruggen of the International Cycling Union in 2005.CreditFranck Fife/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 
For years, cycling’s top officials turned a blind eye to doping, operating in deference primarily to one rider — Lance Armstrong — according to a reform commission that spent the past year excavating the sport’s doping problems.
The three-member commission issued a scathing indictment of the sport’s officials Sunday, laying much of the blame on a governing body that, it said, had interests that ran counter to any genuine efforts to expose doping. The 227-page report detailed how Mr. Armstrong’s extraordinary influence had not only compelled officials to ignore drug use but had also enabled his lawyer to secretly write and edit the report of an earlier investigation into Mr. Armstrong’s doping practices.
The panel was appointed by the main target of its criticism, the International Cycling Union, commonly known as U.C.I., in January 2014 as part of an effort by its newly elected president to rebuild the sport after revelations of the sophisticated doping program of Mr. Armstrong and his team. In October 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency exposed Mr. Armstrong’s years of cheating in devastating breadth and detail.
[Keep reading at New York Times]