New Yorkers love their bike lanes; Critical Mass turns 20; George Hincapie retires; the world’s smallest rideable bike; and more

*Bicycle lanes draw wide support among New Yorkers.  Six years after the Bloomberg administration began its controversial campaign to edit the city’s streetscape, adding 255 miles of bicycle lanes onto streets previously dedicated to automobiles, a hard-fought acceptance for the lanes may finally be at hand. A new poll by The New York Times finds that 66 percent of New Yorkers surveyed think the new bike lanes are a good idea.

* (San Fransisco’s) Critical Mass turns 20 in September and they’ll be celebrating this milestone in a big way, and everyone is invited!

San Francisco hosted the first-ever Critical Mass ride on the last Friday of September 1992. This leaderless ride became a monthly “organized coincidence”, and in the years that followed, spread around the world.  Organizers are expecting riders from across the globe to attend the celebration. Visit their anniversary webpage to find out how to be part of the celebration, to find lodging, and rent a bike.

You don't have to travel all the way to San Francisco to participate in a Critical Mass ride. Seattle Critical Mass occurs on the last Friday of every month. 

*Alastair Bland of the Smithsonian Blog questions whether Portland really is the best city for bikes in the country. “...I battled traffic on loud, gridlocked boulevards that could have been the main drag of any American town, and I crossed and recrossed the Willamette River via the snarling, bumper-to-bumper, almost-a-freeway Ross Island Bridge—no fun at all," he states.  "And I was appalled at the freeways and concrete overpasses that crisscross parts of Portland like giant, tangled braids of electrical wiring. In fact, I felt less and less each day that this city was any more remarkable a cycling haven than San Francisco or Santa Barbara or New York or London.

* Momentum Magazine meanwhile is raving about Montreal, a city that welcomes cyclists with a "Bienvenue cyclistes!”  sign  proudly displayed at every metro/ light rail entrance.  Montreal has the highest number of cyclists per capita in North America, and the most extensive network of cycling infrastructure of any city in Canada.

* The Dutch have raised the bar on bicycle infrastructure again. The Eindhoven “Hovenring” opened recently, which is essentially a floating bicycle roundabout, taking bicycles completely out of the intersection.

* Portland lowers speed limit to 20 mph on 70 miles of neighborhood greenways. In an effort to ,ake neighborhood streets safe for kids, bicyclists and pedestrians, the City of Portland has officially lowered the speed limit to 20 mph on 70 miles of neighborhood streets.

* Vancouver police set out to do helmet checks on two mornings last week, ticketing cyclists without helmets.  Vancouver cyclists say rash of bike helmet fines are the wrong way to encourage ridership, not to mention a “waste of police resources”.  A violation for not wearing a helmet can cost someone up to $100

* How’s this for a marketing strategy? Instead of advertising in the local publications, Christian Petersen and his partner decided to put up 120 bicycles on the facade of their bike shop in Atlandsberg, Germany.

*Cars aren’t cool anymore writes Taras Grescoe in the Ottawa Citizen, and statistics show it: In the United States, less than a third of 16-year-olds now have drivers’ licenses, versus half in 1978, and across the continent, vehicle miles travelled, the most reliable measure of automobile dependence available, have been in free fall since the middle of last decade. Car sales are down 20 per cent from their peak in 2000, and the declines have been sharpest among the young.

*George Hincapie has officially retired. The seventh and last stage of the USA Pro Challenge on Sunday, Aug. 26, was the final race of Hincapie’s 19-year professional career.  The 39-year-old will be remembered for his legendary selfless efforts as the domestique for Tour de France winners Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans.

*This video of the world’s smallest rideable bike been making the social media rounds:

Anne-Marije Rook's picture
Anne-Marije Rook