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All or Nothing Update

September 16th, 2012 | Author: Jules4110
Category: Uncategorized

The Finch FamilyA while back, I posted about Emily Finch, the Portland mom who gave up her SUV for a cargo bike (and that while I admired her story, I was disappointed in myself for feeling inadequate in comparison).   To say that her story – originally posted by Bike Portland – went viral is an understatement.  Emily ended up with an invitation to speak at the Women’s Bike Summit last week. Here is a link to the YouTube version of her presentation.  Inspiring!

Video Link:  Emily Finch: In Her Own Words

 

 

Bicycle News Friday, 2012.09.14

September 14th, 2012 | Author: patrick
Category: News

Bicycle News Friday

News and stories from the past week in the bicycling world.

Although the 2012 political party conventions have wrapped, people are still talking about the Freewheelin’ bicycle buses that delegates used to get around town during the conventions thanks to healthcare company Humana.

KTIV in Sioux City ran a story (with video!) featuring Lakeshore Cyclery in Storm Lake because of the owner’s museum-worthy awesome collection of antique bikes.

Lincoln expects to have its second “Streets Alive” event by closing off 3 miles of streets to vehicular traffic to allow inidividuals and families to experience the route on bike, skateboard, walking, or running.

KIOS recently ran a story about the economics of stealing bikes. Take a listen.

Even the Beverly Hills Police Department is trying to make the streets more bike friendly by providing education to bicyclists and drivers on how to safely share the road.

Omaha will soon have a new bike shop, Omaha Bicycle Company, opening in Benson later this fall. Here is a quick article about the owner, Sarah Johnson, on the blog dingdingletsride.com.

A story from the Fort Morgan Time (Colorado) about Officer Trevor Greenwood, who logs most of his patrol miles on his patrol bicycle.

Bike Portland editor/publisher Johnathan Maus recently sat down with Portland business owner Bob Huckaby, who is pushing for bicycle licensing, to have a conversation. Local news stations KATU captured the conversation on video.

The Star (Toronto) also illuminates the bicycle licensing debate there.

Here is a great Lifehacker article with tips for locking up your bike with great photos based on advice from the late, great Sheldon Brown. Tip #1: Don’t use Twizzlers!

Are you a “psycho cyclist”? If so, the NYPD has bicycle safety tips just for you!

Ken Mayer writes a great analysis of the lessons on Omaha’s Leavenworth street—a common bicycle route—as it has evolved over the years.

A man in Israel has created a bicycle entirely out of cardboard, and this article has a cool video showing the process he undertook to create it.

Turns out that the oil and gas industry uses the term “bicycle deal” to describe the first day of well operation when production is often at its highest.

Finally, Mikael Coville-Andersen made the point at Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place this week that the future will not look like 1980’s sci-fi flicks, but instead will be going “back to the future” to embrace the bicycle.

Have you heard any interesting stories or news about bicycles? Send a note to info@omahabikes.org.

Satisfaction

September 12th, 2012 | Author: Sam
Category: Bike Commuting

I recently read Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft. In this book, he makes a wide variety of arguments about the education system and the function of manual labor for the mind. One concept that resonated with me was the idea that many of our jobs disconnect us from the products we make. A Marxist critique, if there ever was one. As an academic, I experience this disconnection frequently. I spend hours, days, months, and years working on a paper, proofreading and perfecting my argument. If/When it gets published, I sort of forget about it and move on to the next task. This has inspired me to take up crafty hobbies like cooking and bike maintenance.

My partner and I recently rented a zip car to buy some chairs. We were west of Bellevue and realized we needed to return the car (without the cars we bought) to the Creighton campus in 15-20 minutes or we were going to get charged a $50 late fee! We zoomed north, unloaded our chairs, and made it to campus with two minutes to spare. Later, we were marveling at the distance we covered in such a short amount of time.

When I ride in a car, I feel divorced from the labor needed to move myself.  And I feel a great deal of satisfaction arriving safely at my destination after a bike ride. Like the crafty hobbies I’ve taken up, when I ride my bike, I feel like I have done something productive. I’m not saying that this is the only thing I feel. I most certainly get frustrated for all the reasons you can imagine (or have experienced). But that is also part of the point, part of the satisfaction in the end. Encountering struggles, making mistakes, and overcoming them to arrive safely in a new or familiar place produce a satisfying experience. So although I’ll never make it from Bellevue to Omaha in 20 minutes on my bike, I like my connection to the process of getting there when I do.

The Crux: Here to Stay

September 12th, 2012 | Author: Sam
Category: Uncategorized

Jay has added a new post and podcast to his blog, The Crux. The podcast is an interesting conversation with Heather and Jameson Hooten, the creators of “Conversations on a Bus.” Great stuff!

Tourist Mentality

September 7th, 2012 | Author: Jules4110
Category: Activate Omaha, Commuting, Transit

One of the (many) things I love about my job at Activate Omaha is giving presentations.  I don’t know how many I’ve done over the years, but it’s been a fair amount, and the audiences have run the gamut from kindergarteners to senior citizens.  It’s always fascinating to see what part of the presentation resonates with the group and sparks discussion.

Today I presented my usual “What’s Going on With Activate Omaha” to a lunch time service club.  These types of audiences are usually on the older side, and usually more male than female, which was the case today.  The resonating points with this group really struck me, though, leaving me with a “Huh.  Maybe I should blog about this?” feeling.   This post might be better suited over on the ModeShift Omaha site, but I’m going to throw it out here for the sake of conversation:

Why are people so willing to use and embrace alternative transportation as a tourist, but not in their home town?

The information I gleaned from my retroactive focus group today included some of the following quotes:

“We visited my son in Chicago, and used public transit there.  It works really well.”

We hopped on one of those pedi-cabs down in San Antonio.  We got back to our car so much faster and it was fun!”

We took the light rail from the airport and got to our hotel in no time.  It was great.”

This got me to thinking about how many people that have told me about their mostly positive experiences with public transit and bicycles in OTHER cities.   I know, I know…our bus system doesn’t go here and there.   Our streets aren’t this or that.  We don’t have a cool light rail system.  I understand that tourist areas are likely to be spiffed up with visitor’s needs in mind.  I get it.  But are the buses that much sexier in other cities?  Are the streets really that much more bike friendly?

As a tourist, you may not be very familiar with the area, the amount of time it will take to get from point A to point B, or what will happen if you misjudge any number of variables, including your ability to read a transit or bike route map.  You may not  know someone local you can call to pick you up if you misjudge.  Doesn’t that seem inherently “riskier” than jumping on the #2 bus on Dodge and taking a route where you can recite every single landmark between point A and point B with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back?  Or riskier than riding your bike to the grocery store a mile away?

Why don’t these vacation experiences of ease and convenience translate back to similar behavior when people get home?    Do we need to rethink and market alternative transportation with a “tourist” (rather than citizen/resident) mentality, or would it matter?

Lots of questions for this weary Friday brain.  Any answers?

 

Bicycle News Friday, 2012.09.07

September 7th, 2012 | Author: patrick
Category: News

Bicycle News Friday

News and stories from the past week in the bicycling world.

By introducing an anti-harassment ordinance proposal in Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition tries to follow in the footsteps of other U.S. communities that have adopted laws to protect “vulnerable users” of the roadways.

Residents of Mexico City have started to adopt the bicycle as a way to avoid the “hell on wheels” created by the city’s automobile traffic.

Iowa City is contemplating the renewal of their bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

The Omaha World-Herald recent ran a story on the increasing number of opportunities to ride a bike or run to support a cause (with a list of events at the end)

Want to make a fun and interesting wall decoration out of an old Brooks saddle (or probably just about any saddle)? Here is a nifty how to.

Missouri State University is finding that in recent economic times and with climbing gas prices, bike racks on campus are increasingly crowded.

A group of bicycle advocates is trying to figure out how to implement the world’s first crowdsourced bicycling map system.

“Fast moving packs of law enforcement on bicycles” played a role at the GOP convention in Tampa and look to play a similar role at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Continental (known for making bicycle tires) will start competing with Gates when it introduced a bicycle belt drive system in 2013.

Even though some of the advice pertains specifically to Salem, Massachusetts, this article contains a number of good tips for “how to ride a bicycle without getting hit by a car.”

 

Have you heard any interesting stories or news about bicycles? Send a note to info@omahabikes.org.

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