Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top 5 Bike Resource Finds

In my effort to keep up on improvements and growth of the biking movement, I come across some pretty cool resources. Some come across my inbox through some list-serves I subscribe to, others great finds are the latest in peer-reviewed research from international research foundations and, of course, I find some by surfing the interwebs. The following is a list of my Top 5 Biking Finds I've come recently.

5. Top 10 Myths About Women & Cycling. This list is a few years old, but is still too good to pass up. (Great infographic!) I love lists, and this one is a great mythbuster!

4.  Bike Equity Network. Ever wonder how diversity is being considered, discussed and included in the bike movement? Or how those involved within the biking and walking professions view the events in Ferguson, Missouri or the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin? There's a list-serve dedicated to discussing these and other related issues that you can subscribe to here. The network is supported by Dr. Lugo who is an national leader in promoting inclusion and diversity within the bike movement. I enjoy hearing about some of the issues from folks who have a different perspective than I do, and being a part of this group has helped me think about issues in a new way.

3. Bicyclist as Consumers. The peer-reviewed, internationally-renowned Transportation Research Board, or TRB as it is affectionately known, has published some good stuff in one of their recent journals. In the Transportation Research Record (TRR): Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2468, there's an article that highlights the researched spending habits based on travel modes. In Davis, California, researchers examined the spending habits of those who biked versus those who drove. Results:  Bicyclists outspent those who drove and visited the downtown more frequently, resulting in a 1-2 punch of more spending by those on people-powered, two-wheeled machines. (Subscribe to get weekly updates to TRB.) If you are trying to get your City Council or Chamber of Commerce to support bicycle improvements in your home town, this is a must read!

2. Engaging more Women in Bicycling Report. Since 2010 there has been a focused effort in researching and understanding why only 25% of bicycle riders are women. The League of American Bicyclists continues their support in this effort, and released a report designed for advocates interested in creating a successful women’s outreach and encouragement initiative in their community. Since the Upstate is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, understanding the complicated lives women lead will help us create a better places to live, better biking infrastructure and programs and better communities.

1. National Findings on the "Interested, but Concerned" Bicyclist Group. A while back there was some work done that considered grouping riders into four different types:  1) Strong & Fearless; 2) Enthused & Confident; 3) Interested, but Concerned; 4) No Way, No How. People for Bikes did some research to further examine the "Interested, but Concerned" crowd, and they came up with six interesting conclusions. These are great ideas to consider as in taking biking to the next level in your community.

Any resources, articles or factiods you've heard about lately? I'd love to have you share them in the comments below!

Monday, March 16, 2015


It strikes me every so often, and, thankfully, this time, the warm temps and sunny skies are resuscitating me. My desire to bike has fallen flat. Or, really, my desire to commute by bike has fallen flat.

It seems to hit every winter. The blues of being cold, darker mornings and evenings and combined with nerves of steal I confess I need to endure my route. I usually spend some time of the year yearning for a better bike commuting situation.

I can't do much about the weather and season - spring always has a way of coming back and refreshing me. But there is something inside of me that yearns for a better bike facility between my work and my house. It's a practically a straight 5 mile shot. When it comes to distance and topography, there almost couldn't be a better biking situation. The road though, is another story. It's got a shoulder, and is labeled a "bike route," and that's it. I'd love a bike lane, and it's ripe for a cycle track. Commuting on a 4 lane, 40 mph state road is not my ideal biking environment.

I write this to let folks out there know that not every day for my is a "I love riding my bike!" day. Most days during the year I do love to ride, especially in early spring when the weather is breaking and spring is waking up the world.

But there are some days, some weeks, when I don't want to ride my bike...and I don't. I think it's a healthy thing to take a break. Because, after a period of time, I'm itching to get back on two wheels.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

University Race in the Cradle of the Blue Ridge

I love living in a small town in the Upstate. There are so many reasons why, but yesterday I was reminded of another.

On the way to church Saturday evening, we were passed by a number of cyclists. The first group was lead by a motorcycle, and they were flying! Not far behind were a few other cyclists. And then at a local crossroads, there were police cars and officers ready to direct traffic. We were driving on a race course!

After doing a quick internet search, I realized that the Clemson University Cycling Team was hosting the Clemson Collegiate Classic. Two blocks from my front door, a race with cyclists from across the southeast was happening!

With the scenery and rolling hills, ideal weather conditions for early March and a relatively low traffic volumes, I can't say I'm surprised. And my heart swells with a bit of pride for Clemson, Central and Six Mile area. To be host of a bike race that drew some of the best schools and riders in the southeast is a pretty cool thing. It was even a bit of a boon to the local area. Driving on the way back from church, I saw a several cars with bikes on the back parked outside local restaurants. Small town economic development opportunity, right Central? Yet another reason why I love biking in the upstate.