Betty Blue Skies
We like looking at bikes, particularly those that are used for transportation. We suspect most of our readers enjoy it too. One of our favorite places to peruse photos of bikes is right here in our Bicycle Gallery, a collection of photos of transpo bikes sent in by EcoVelo readers. We’re currently up to 232 entries and counting. If you haven’t seen it yet, have a look and consider submitting a few photos of your bike.
We’ve also set up an EcoVelo Group on Flickr where other Flickr users can post photos of their transpo bikes. Our Flickr Group currently has 421 members and contains 5,777 photos. If you’re a Flickr user, please join us there! And if you’re not, just enjoy looking over the fantastic collection of photos submitted by our Flickr friends.
While it’s more fun for us to check out what other people are riding, we figure folks like to see our bikes too, so we’ve set up a couple of other places on the web where you can see our bike photos. Besides our own Flickr Photostream, we have a Zenfolio site set up where folks can view our photos, and if they so choose, purchase prints or digital downloads.
Summer is in full swing here in NorCal and we’re enjoying this wonderful time of year for shooting photos. Don’t hesitate to join in the fun and submit your photos to our Bike Gallery or upload your photos to the EcoVelo Flickr Group.
EcoVelo Bike Gallery →
EcoVelo Flickr Photostream →
EcoVelo Flickr Group →
EcoVelo Zenfolio Site →
Submit Your Photos to the EcoVelo Gallery →
Photo © ROAM
ROAM (Roll Over America) is a not-for-profit, coast-to-coast velomobile tour designed to bring attention to these highly efficient human powered vehicles. 47 velomobile pilots from Europe and North America departed Portland yesterday on their 3,100 mile journey to Washington D.C. The trip will take approximately one month and will highlight the potential of velomobiles as practical transportation in the widest variety of conditions.
You can read about the participants, follow their progress, and view their route on the ROAM website. Be sure to ride out to say “hi” if they’re coming through your area!
Photos at BikePortland →
According to a paper by the Swiss economists Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer, a person with a one-hour car commute must earn 40 percent more money to have a sense of well-being equal to someone who walks (or rides their bike) to work. Fey and Stutzer say that people underestimate the down side of a long commute when choosing a home, and that psychologically, a long commute often negates the benefits gained by living in the suburbs.
From the paper Stress That Doesn’t Pay: The Commuting Paradox:
“People spend a lot of time commuting and often find it a burden. According to economics, the burden of commuting is chosen when compensated either on the labor or on the housing market so that individuals’ utility is equalized. However, in a direct test of this strong notion of equilibrium, we find that people with longer commuting time report systematically lower subjective well-being. Additional empirical analyses do not find institutional explanations of the empirical results that commuters systematically incur losses. We discuss several possibilities of an extended model of human behavior able to explain this “commuting paradox”.”
While my experiences commuting by car are certainly in agreement with the Frey and Stutzer study, I believe in some circumstances it’s possible to have your commuting cake and eat it too. My 60-mile round-trip commute through the city — a commute that most would consider torturous by car — is a good example. By combining a bike ride, a train ride, and a walk, I manage to live in the suburbs while avoiding the stress of a long freeway commute in heavy traffic. Plus, I gain the benefits of exercise and a significant amount of personal time everyday, both of which were previously difficult to fit into my busy schedule.
I think the take away here is that getting out of your car is a very important aspect of living more peacefully. Whether you live close enough to walk or ride your bike to work, or if you are able to combine a bike ride with a bus or train ride to cover a longer distance, eliminating the stress that is part-and-parcel of commuting by car will very likely make you a happier person.
Stress That Doesn’t Pay: The Commuting Paradox →
[via Seed Magazine]