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How to fight obesity and climate change at the same time

In Louisville, Ky., projects that might normally pitched as good for the planet are being funded because they're good for people, too. Money from private and public investors is going towards building bike lanes, funding community gardens, and increasingly walkability in low income neighborhoods. The motivation behind the investments is not to reduce carbon emissions, but to increase community health. In the Louisville area, more than six in ten people are overweight, and Kentucky, which has the 7th highest obesity rate in the nation, recently had to fend back lobbyists who wanted the state to allow food stamps to be …

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Bikes are now the hottest accessory

Bike lanes and bike riders may be controversial, but bikes as an image are marketing gold right now. Want to sell it? Put a bike on it! Transportation Nation found bikes for sale or used as display elements at Kate Spade, CB2, Club Monaco, Anthropologie, the Gap, Urban Outfitters, and Brooklyn Industries. Sure, those bikes are being used to move whatever consumerist crap people are hawking. But on the flip side, the consumerist crap is also kind of selling the bike. If bikes are promoted as the image of coolness all over your favorite trendy store, you might just start …

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This guy crashed his bike into a taxi for you

Casey Neistat moved out of the bike lane to avoid an obstruction -- like a deliberately parked cop car? MAYBE -- and got busted for not riding in the lane. But he's a good citizen; he paid his $50 debt to society and resolved to never, ever deviate from the bike lane again. Here is the result. Incidentally, yes, it's legal to deviate from the bike lane for safety, including to avoid things that are in your way. It is NOT legal to park in a bike lane. But "laws" are for people who aren't in the NYPD.

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Bike shares are the new black

You know that bumper sticker on your Prius that says "My Other Car is a Bike"? You might want to slap on another next to it that says "And It's Not Even My Bike," because bikesharing systems are totally hot right now. There are now 400 bikeshares in western Europe, up from "a few" 10 years ago. The world's biggest bikeshare -- in Hangzhou, China -- has 50,000 bikes available and logs 240,000 trips a day. Arbiter of cool New York City has plans to launch a bikeshare system by April, 2012. There are bikeshares across five continents -- Mexico, …

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Weiner’s bike lane position shows he’s an ass as well as a dick

Like everyone else, we've entered Super Head-Shaking Mode over Rep. Anthony Weiner and his penis picture problem. We'd be sorry to lose him, from a policy perspective -- he's had a pretty good voting record on environmental issues, although his colleages apparently cannot say with certitude that he isn't a dick. But on the subject of bike lanes, Weiner showed his ass long before he showed everything else. Here's Weiner on his goals if elected mayor of New York City, an outcome that we're going to say is off the table for the foreseeable future (try D.C.!): When I become …

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The grand tour: How bike tourism helps local economies

This is the eighth column in a series focusing on the economics of bicycling. Bike-friendly cities, off-road paths, and scenic country roads where cyclists can spin along in comfort aren't just good for the people who live in those places. They also attract tourists. And tourists mean money for the local economy. Tourism is one of the U.S.'s largest industries and biggest employers, creating millions of jobs and bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars each year (not to mention the tax benefits). Bicycle touring has long had an honored place in the tourism economy and culture. This doesn't go …

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Watch a ridiculously adorable kid encourage the world to ride a bike

This kid just learned to ride a bike, and it made him feel happy of himself! You can do it too! He knows you can believe in yourself!

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The biggest, baddest bikeshare system in the world: Hangzhou, China [VIDEO]

A couple of weeks ago, I rode the Capital Bikeshare system in Washington, D.C., and I was some impressed. With 1,100 bikes, it's currently the biggest in the nation, and it makes getting around Washington much easier than it has ever been before. But the bikeshare in Hangzhou, China, a city of 6.77 million, blows anything in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. out of the water. Streetfilms went there recently to document the situation. Hangzhou has 50,000 bikes at 2,050 stations around the city. People make an average of 240,000 trips a day on the bikes, which are completely integrated …

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How bicycles are fighting illiteracy and empowering women in India

The Indian state of Bihar has only a 33 percent literacy rate for women -- the lowest in the country. But the state government, headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is turning education for girls around -- with bicycles. In 2007 Kumar instituted a plan to give schoolgirls money to buy bicycles once they successfully complete Class 8 (eighth grade). With girls now able to easily get themselves to school, Bihar swelled its Class 9 enrollment by 170,000 in the program's first year. The state gave out 871,000 bikes in its first three years, and dropouts among girls have dropped …

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Cycling survivor: A post-crash meditation on what really matters

Be more human, less of a machine. Also, wear a helmet.Photo: Jorgen SchybergI was badly injured in a bike accident on April 13. Eyewitness reports differ, but it's likely that a car ran over my head, and it's more than likely that the helmet clasped around my head saved my life. The temporal bone on my head's right side is fractured, with associated hearing damage. The right side of my face has palsied temporarily, leaving me with half a smile and a right eye that cannot wink or close by itself. Several notches in my spine were fractured, but the …

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