Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Elly Blue's Posts

Comments

Can bikes bring back the neighborhood bookstore?

Santa Monica's bike freeway was so packed last Fourth of July that the Coast Guard had to issue a travel advisory.Photo: Elly BlueElly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Santa Monica, Calif.: Spend 10 minutes with Gary Kavanagh -- a blogger, advocate, and ubiquitous presence in Santa Monica's bike scene -- and you're apt to get an earful about the new light …

Comments

What happens first in Vegas: bike lanes or bikes?

Bike racks outside a coffee shop in Las Vegas help attract more cyclists.Photo: Elly Blue Elly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Las Vegas, Nev.: Later this week, the mammoth bicycle trade show Interbike will descend on a convention center here on the Las Vegas Strip. But less-than-badass cyclists are advised to stay inside: "Every single person in Vegas who rides a …

Comments

Bikes find a way in San Jose

A young cyclist in San Jose.Photo: Elly Blue Elly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. San Jose, Calif.: We spent Wednesday night in San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley. This is the promised land of the tech startup, home to high-rise glass towers packed with nerdy white guys in collared shirts hunched over laptops writing code, cheek-to-cheek with staggering poverty, …

Read more: Biking, Cities

Comments

The case of the disappearing bike lane

Elly Blue is on a monthlong Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S., along with Portland bike filmmaker Joe Biel and traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg. This is one of her thrice-weekly dispatches from the road about bicycle culture and economy. Read them all here. Sacramento, Calif.: Nearly every night on tour, Joe plays a short movie of some guerilla traffic engineering in action. As our event wound down in Sacramento, someone found me out back and said, "There's a handmade bike lane here in town, out by the zoo." We headed out to pursue the lead on our way …

Read more: Biking, Cities

Comments

Perception vs. reality in 'bike-friendly' San Francisco

The new Fell Street bike lane.Photo: Elly Blue For the month of September, Elly Blue is traveling around the western U.S. as part of the Dinner & Bikes Tour, talking to local riders to learn about the bike economy and hear their stories over gourmet vegan meals. This week, Blue gets the scoop on bike-progressive San Francisco. San Francisco, Calif.: At the end of 2009, a judge partially lifted a then-three-year injunction on building any new bike infrastructure. Ten projects came out of the gate fast, including a green bike lane on Market Street, a batch of sharrows ("share the …

Read more: Biking, Cities

Comments

Corralling bike fever in Nevada City

A bike corral in Portland.Photo: Greg RaismanNevada City, Calif., has got a fever -- and the only cure is more bike corrals. Bike corrals are like supersized bike racks in a parking spot, usually on-street, which replace one or two car parking spaces with anywhere from four to 20 bike parking staples. They're growing in popularity around the country (I wrote about them in a Bikenomics column a few months ago), but even I was surprised that bike advocates here had read about it and gotten excited. So at 8 a.m., with coffee and local strawberries in hand, we went …

Read more: Biking, Cities

Comments

Dinner (and bikes) are served: The tour begins

Our crew.For the month of September, I'll be traveling around the western U.S. as part of the Dinner & Bikes Tour, talking and learning about the bike economy in places as far-flung as Tucson, Ariz. and Spearfish, S.D. I'll be blogging here about the bicycle economy and culture in the places we visit along the way. From San Jose's booming Bike Party scene to the quiet but quick expansion of the bikeway network in Reno, Nev., there will be a lot that residents of any city -- including my own famously bike-friendly town of Portland, Ore. -- can learn about …

Read more: Biking, Cities

Comments

Living large — and healthy — on the bike

Photo: Brian WilkinsAs Chelsea Lincoln pedaled up a hill one day, partway through her seven-mile commute, someone cruised by in a car, yelling: "You're fat!" "The irony of the situation," she told me in an email, "was ridiculous." The relationship between bicycling and health -- and driving and ill-health -- has been demonstrated many times over. The promotion of bicycling and bicycle-friendly streets has become integral to a number of high-profile public health efforts aimed at mitigating what is widely termed to be an American "obesity epidemic." Lincoln, a graduate student in Portland, Ore., rejects the term "obesity," along with …

Comments

Better than air conditioning: Tips for biking through the heat wave

There are lots of ways to stay cool on your bike.Photo: bitchcakesnyThe heat wave is gearing up for another blast, throwing temperatures over 100 at residents across North America. For many, the heat is a deterrent for getting on a bike. It doesn't have to be. You can bike happily through even the hottest days of the year if you think of bicycling not as an athletic endeavor, but as a leisurely way to get around that includes free, green air conditioning. I'm in the Pacific Northwest, where our climate is increasingly rainy. But don't resent me -- I've weathered …

Comments

The Bike Factor: Disability and the ability to ride a bicycle

Cyndi Sutter's trike helped her to feel free again after a brain injury.Photo: Elly BluePeople with disabilities need cars to get around. I can't count the number of times I've been told this. At events, in blog comments, from friends and strangers in conversation. Sometimes I hear it from people who have direct experience with disability. More often the point is produced as part of an argument against making cities bike-friendly. For many people with disabilities, cars don't just symbolize independence and freedom, they make those things possible. But this isn't universally true, and it isn't always so simple. Disability …

Read more: Biking, Cities