Bike News Roundup: I want to help you move by bike

Due to a conspiratory meeting that went too long, the Bike News Roundup is coming out one day late. However, it’s worth it. More soon…

The Sierra Club posted this photo, by Ethan Welty/Tandem. It’s from Vashon Island. The bike was chained to this tree decades ago, and the tree grew around it. There’s a poem here somewhere (if you write one, leave it in the comments).

More bike-friendly cities! Redmond moves up to silver.

Seattle cycle chic shopper’s guide.

Zipcar runs a strange ad, and BikePortland is all over it.

Tucson area library Book Bike, a pedal-powered book mobile.

Bike share in Boston takes off faster than planners expected.

Short haul truckers at Seattle’s port don’t have it easy, either.

Seattle Transit Blog wants more bike boulevards.

Washington and Oregon are using less gas.

More details on Portland’s upcoming bike share.

Who wants to move by bike? I wanna help!

This argument is terrible.

Here’s how you make your streets safer (all you have to do is watch some films!)

Watch Cleveland’s warehouse district get flattened by parking lots. This is what car dependence does to our public spaces.

2,000 burning man bikes headed to charity.

Portlandia star is afraid to bike near streetcar tracks.

This guy in DC is a dick.

One Boston Bruins player is hauling the Stanley Cup around town in a bike trailer.

Vancouver gets parklets. When are we going to do this in Seattle?

The gas tax is being killed by inflation.

What did I miss? Any other thoughts on your mind? This is an open thread.

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16 Responses to Bike News Roundup: I want to help you move by bike

  1. Ryan Surface says:

    Or try this book by Berekeley Breathed – Red Ranger came calling see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316102490/qid=1099665343/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1 I believe this bike plays a key role in that tale

  2. Todd says:

    The last I read is somebody vandalized this and removed the handle bars and front wheel. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/1412

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Who would do that? How is the tree going to get to work now?

      • Todd says:

        First, I don’t know who would do such as stupid thing but I’d like to send ’em off to jail. And I’m not sure how the tree is going to get to work — let’s hope it’s not by a logging truck. :)

  3. Per says:

    I think the bike is still in fine condition. Just saw it a couple weeks ago. It’s very much a local landmark on the island.

  4. Shane Phillips says:

    Ugh, that argument about how bicycles are less efficient than cars is RIDICULOUS. I’m not sure if the guy was just trying to cause a stir for the hell of it or actually argue his point sincerely, but it’s astounding how many important points it ignores.

    For one, when comparing fuel costs and food costs, he ignores the basal metabolic rate, essentially assuming that if you’re not biking to work your body is not consuming any energy whatsoever.

    Even more obviously, it ignores the relative capital costs of buying and maintaining a car (and insurance and licensing costs, too) versus buying and maintaining a bicycle.

    Then it ignores the health costs associated with living a more sedentary lifestyle. Obviously not everyone who doesn’t bicycle is unhealthy (ouch – triple negative), but bicycling is an easy way to combine transportation you were going to take anyway with exercise. Taking that one step further, bicycling can often be faster than other commute modes (and there’re no parking fees), and that saved time – or the time saved not needing to hit the gym before or after work – can also be used to earn more money or otherwise be more productive.

    Lastly, the idea that you need to eat more because bicycling burns more calories is itself flawed. Many people eat more calories than they burn on a daily basis (obesity epidemic, anyone?), and bicycling is a way to level your input and output without shifting to a calorie-poor, often nutritionally-poor diet.

    I realize there’s really no reason to be posting a response to that article here, but I just had to write it down somewhere. What a dumb argument, wow.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Just let it all out. That’s what open threads are for. Sometimes you read something and you know you should just let it go, but you can’t. Writing is therapy…

      (also, you left out the energy required to extract, refine and transport said gasoline, perhaps the biggest source of inefficiency for cars…)

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Though, to be fair, I imagine the resources required to extract a Big Mac from the earth is also fairly energy intensive…

    • Dan Taflin says:

      And yet the guy does point out something that’s often ignored. I have a Threadless t-shirt that shows MPG for a bicycle is infinity for city and highway – cute, but really inaccurate! I actually did an analysis of this myself (my first blog post) and concluded that a bike commute is definitely cheaper for me – but only because of the high capital cost of an automobile compared to a bike! Before depreciation they were actually neck-in-neck.

  5. Joe says:

    My wife and I did a bike move here in Seattle (we “only” had 2 kids at the time!)

    It got covered in the PI: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Seattle-couple-make-a-zero-carbon-move-1274445.php

    The one tip I have is put out the word via your LBS, you’ll find plenty of bike-fanatics more than willing to help out in exchange for pizza & beer.

  6. Kelli Refer says:

    Protect my bicycle for me, dear tree
    Oh please, oh please protect it for me!

    I shall, I shall replied the tree

    As time passed by, the small one forgot
    but oh no, oh no the tree did not

    I shall protect your bicycle forever more
    It is a duty I will never ignore

  7. merlin says:

    I’m musing about the language we use to talk about transportation safety. When we refer to “pedestrian and bicycle safety” as a separate concern from transportation safety in general, this obscures the fact that almost all transportation fatalities – and there are around 40,000 per year in the US – involve motor vehicle crashes. This fact has become even more difficult to tease out of the data since the categories by which the CDC categorizes “unintentional injuries” are now “grouped by the characteristics of the injured person (e.g., pedestrian
    [V01–V09], pedal cyclist [V10–V19], or car occupant
    [V40–V49]), ” (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/injury/Definitions_of_injury_terms.pdf) rather than the type of vehicle causing the injury.
    The number one concern in reducing pedestrian and bicycle fatalities is to protect people from cars. And the people most at risk from cars are actually the people driving and riding in them! These two components of transportation safety – protecting the people inside the cars and protecting the people on the outside – tend to be addressed in compartmentalized ways, so that “automobile safety” turns cars more and more into invulnerable moving fortresses and “bicycle and pedestrian safety” teaches people they should stay out of the way of those deadly missiles.
    Slowing down cars, and more important, driving less, protects everybody – and frees up the roads for uses that really do depend on motorized transport (such as moving freight, emergency services).
    Also worth noting – “pedestrian” implies that the person walking is somehow involved with other traffic. A person hiking in the woods is not a “pedestrian.” Even a person walking on a sidewalk who dies from falling down a set of stairs would not be considered a “pedestrian fatality” but rather an unintentional injury death from a fall.
    Like I said, just musing …

  8. Catherine says:

    I kind of want one. Just to put on my wall. (c;

  9. Catherine says:

    Oops, here’s the link: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Write-a-Bike/716663

    It’s a write-a-bike!

  10. Doug Bostrom says:

    That situation w/the short haul truckers is sad in many ways, most particularly in what it says about our investment choices and oblivious behavior. Here’s a fluid, highly rationalized system for moving thousands of containers thousands of miles en masse across the planet, with reasonable energy efficiency. At this end, containers are loaded singly or in pairs onto individual trucks and moved to a rail line just a few thousand yards away so they may be efficiently transported once again. So we’re left with a situation where a nearly seamless flow of goods of is interrupted by a glaringly broken, pathetic bucket brigade of tiny, inefficient trucks moving through surface traffic.

    For lack of what do these trucks crawl laboriously and filthily with their pathetic loads? A continuous circular rail line connecting the marine terminal to the rail terminal? A belt of some kind? Hardly does it require rocket scientist thinking to imagine there’s a better means of getting containers from ship to rail. The details of how that would be accomplished are a rounding error compared to challenges such as designing reliable ships able to handle 10,000 TEU, or mile-long trains and continuous strips of track spanning thousands of miles.

    Truly insane, and of course another thoughtless way to spew energy to little effect. How blind we are, really. Meanwhile, of all the much touted failings of the Port of Seattle administration, this one takes the cake and is certainly grounds for a massive upheaval there.

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