[Derek and Sara are doing good things on bikes in their hometown. —ed]
Bike is an Electra Ghostrider with Xtracycle and homemade bins. This bike was used to launch a fun community service project called Litter Patrol a couple of weeks ago. Short term goals- which we are accomplishing at an amazing rate:
- Get peoples attention
- Use creative/fun bikes to do positive things in the community
- Promote biking/walking/volunteering
- Launch a barrage of fun, creative, positive bike related activities on the community some of which include bicycle fashion show, community cruiser rides, bike trains at the schools, bike/walk days, bicycle delivery service – 1$ per delivery! The goal with this is to make it cheaper for people than if they drove and to show it can be done (we just moved to this town and it’s perfect for bikes – flat and not real spread out but nobody bikes – yet)
Long term goals: Turn our little town into a car free zone (or at least parts of it)
Photo only blog is at http://litterpatrol.wordpress.com
More info at http://www.facebook.com/litterpatrol
On any given evening commute, I might encounter 5-10 bicyclists without lights or reflective gear of any kind on their bike or person. It’s plainly obvious how easily motorists might lose sight of these non-lighted bicyclists among the chaos of automobile lights, traffic signals, and signs that assault their visual field.
Studies have shown that a majority of fatal collisions involving bicyclists occur between the hours of 6pm-9pm. I’m not surprised. Unfortunately, most of these bicyclists without lights appear to be “non-enthusiast” (for lack of a better term), so it’s unlikely they have access to the information or resources necessary to ride safely.
Over the past few years, a number of bicycle advocacy groups and city governments have initiated free bike light programs; examples include Portland’s Shift and Police Bureau programs, New York DOT’s bike light giveaway, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates’ “Light On” program, and Chicago’s “Share the Road” giveaway.
I believe this is an important issue that warrants the attention of any organization interested in promoting bicycle safety.
A new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that across the study region of 31 million people and 37,000 square miles, mortality would decline by 1,110 deaths per year and reduced health care costs could exceed $3.8 billion if 50% of “short trips” were taken by bicycle instead of automobile. From the abstract:
RESULTS: We estimate that annual average urban PM2.5 would decline by 0.1 µg/m3 and that summer O3 would increase slightly in cities but decline regionally, resulting in net health benefits of $3.5 billion/year (95% CI: $0.4–$9.8 billion), with 25% of PM2.5 and most O3 benefits to populations outside metropolitan areas. Across the study region of approximately 31.3 million people and 37,000 total square miles, mortality would decline by approximately 1,100 deaths/year (95% CI: 856 – 1,346) due to improved air quality and increased exercise. Making 50% of short trips by bicycle would yield savings of approximately $3.8 billion/year from avoided mortality and reduced health care costs (95% CI: $2.7 – $5.0 billion). We estimate that the combined benefits of improved air quality and physical fitness would exceed $7 billion/year.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that significant health and economic benefits are possible if bicycling replaces short car trips. Less auto dependence in urban areas would also improve health in downwind rural settings.
View the article →
From Peace Pedalers:
Adventure cyclist and filmmaker Jamie Bianchini recently returned home to Santa Cruz after an epic 8-year, 80-country cycling expedition called Peace Pedalers. He piloted a custom tandem bike while leaving the rear seat open to invite total strangers to join the journey as his honored guest. Over 1,000 people accepted his invitation to ride. Now he’s gearing up to share the stories with the world, starting with an independently produced 12-part documentary series on his 2-year, 22-country expedition through the African continent.
There was no shortage of adversity on the expedition, including robberies, a bike theft, being hit by a car, terrible sicknesses, heat stroke, dehydration and heartaches. But Jamie doesn’t focus a lot of attention on these in the series, “If anyone pedals a bike in 22 developing nations you are going to have adversity. That’s a given fact and part of the adventure. The truth is that 95% of my experiences were positive and these are Africa’s untold stories I’m trying to share,” reflects Jamie.
Now five years later the hardest part of his dream is ahead of him—finding the time and money to craft the stories, edit the series and release them to the world. Jamie just launched a campaign using Kickstarter.com’s funding platform to take his dream to the global cycling community asking them to each do their small part in backing the project by making a small pledge. “If fellow cyclists each toss a few bucks in the helmet each we’ll see the world’s first pedal-powered series air that takes viewers into the heart of Africa”. Jamie only has until November 5th to raise $85,000 in pledges or else the series may never see the light of day.
Peace Pedalers’ Kickstarter Page →
Peace Pedalers’ Photos →
With over 44,000 members, Adventure Cycling Association is the largest bicycle travel advocacy organization in North America. Though their focus is predominately on touring and travel (as opposed to commuting), we’re all for reducing automobile use whenever and wherever possible. From Adventure Cycling :
The mission of Adventure Cycling Association is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. We help cyclists explore the landscapes and history of America for fitness, fun, and self-discovery. As a nonprofit organization, all proceeds from tours, sales, and membership go directly back into supporting our mission and programs.
Adventure Cyclist is the monthly magazine of the Adventure Cycling Association. Chock full of beautiful photos and interesting stories of bike-related adventures, it’s a great read for anyone interested in using bicycles for transportation. An Adventure Cyclist subscription is included as part of any Adventure Cycling membership, and back issues are available online in PDF format. Follow the link below (or click the banner in the sidebar) if you’d like a sample copy sent to you at no charge.
Adventure Cyclist →
One of our regular readers, Cecily Walker, was featured as a “Supercommuter” in Planet Bike’s latest Dispatch quarterly newsletter.
Planet Bike →
Cecily’s website →
Cecily’s Commuter Profile →