How we roll

Pedaling away from the health care crisis

This is the third column in a series focusing on the economics of bicycling. In the United States, we have the most expensive health care system in the world. We collectively invest more than 15 percent of our GDP — that’s around $2 trillion, or $5,700 per person — into health care every year. The tragedy of these enormous numbers is that they fail to stem the tide of our increasing ill health. “Most of the money we’re spending on health care is going to treat preventable chronic diseases,” Michael Pollan told Grist in 2009. Our poor diet, he added, …

Why Car Drivers with a Clue Support Bicycle Infrastructure

Photo courtesy of therozblog via Flickr Imagine what it would feel like to accidentally maim, cripple for life, or kill a bicyclist (daughter, wife, mom, son, husband, dad, teenager or kid) with your car, regardless of who got the traffic ticket. On top of that guilt, imagine the potential for an emotionally and financially devastating lawsuit. Oh, and don’t forget the deductible on your car insurance. I’ve had to brake hard to avoid hitting a cyclist, day, night, rain, or shine, many times in my life. As a cyclist, I’ve been on the receiving end more times than I can …

Free wheels

How women rode the bicycle into the future [SLIDESHOW]

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” — Susan B. Anthony, 1896How important was the bicycle in changing the role of women in the world? Consider these words from Munsey’s Magazine in 1896: To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To women, it was a steed upon …

Police apologize to cyclist for all the wrong reasons

Well, this is a first: On Tuesday, New York City-dwelling cyclists who were ticketed for speeding in Central Park got their tickets retracted and personal apology visits from the police. But the police were only apologizing because of a trivial breach of protocol, when in fact the tickets were apparently unfair from start to finish. The New York Times profiles one cyclist who received an apology. He was going 25 miles per hour down a hill — which is the speed limit for cars, but supposedly above the unposted limit for bicycles. “[P]arks department regulations dating from 1991 limit bike …

New York deputy mayor: Bike lanes pretty cool, probably not terrorism

The New York magazine article we wrote about yesterday — the one about how New Yorkers are getting all het up about bike lanes and how they are akin to 9/11 — has prompted a response from the NYC mayor’s office, penned by deputy mayor Howard Wolfson. Apparently Wolfson is pro-terrorism, because he seems to think bike lanes are pretty nifty. Here are a few of the tasty, tasty facts in his memo, which bike lane opponents (judging by the article) are immediately going to wave off as lies and fabrications: Bike lanes improve safety. Though cycling in the city …

Ewan McGregor makes biking almost disgustingly adorable

The sound you just heard was my ovaries exploding. Ewan McGregor knows the cool way to get around town: On a bike, with an absurdly adorable dog, in a little tweed cap, being as hot as possible as fast as possible without stopping for any reason. Fashion bloggers Tom and Lorenzo are on to him: It's like Ewan McGregor got up yesterday and said to himself, "Self? What is the absolute cutest possible thing I can do today? Shall I hold a naked baby to my chest? Swim with the otters at the zoo? Sing a solo backed by a …

if I can't drive my car the terrorists win

New York’s bike lanes are ‘homegrown terrorism,’ say red-faced opponents

Photo: Kyle Gradinger“Share the Road” has one potential fatal flaw: It involves sharing, which a lot of purported adults haven’t really mastered. Matthew Shaer’s exhaustive history of the NYC bike lane struggle, in this week’s New York magazine, shows just how much people have to mature before a community — even Brooklyn — can become truly bike-friendly. Step one: Stop calling bike lanes “homegrown terrorism.” Basically, the pro side says that bike lanes have increased the number of people who bike to work, decreased bike accidents, and calmed down traffic. The con side says that safer streets are slower streets, …

what ho

How to deck your bike out like a Victorian gentleman

Photo: Walnut StudioloYou may not rock a velocipede, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t be tooling around town looking like Sherlock Holmes. Step one: handsome vintagey leather bike accessories. Step 2: tweed helmet hat. Grow, purchase, or rent a handlebar mustache and get ready to pretend the last 200 years never happened. Photo: bitchcakesny Read more: “Beautiful Leather Bike Accessories from Walnut Studiolo,” Core77  

not in my subaru outback

Liberal NIMBYism: the most despicable form of hypocrisy?

Prospect Park’s new bike lane is worse than airborne weaponized AIDSPhoto: shannonvsimmsIn staunchly liberal enclaves all over the country, citizens who profess to progressive environmentalism in the abstract are thwarting local efforts to increase the sustainability of their immediate environment. Whether it’s suing over bike lanes in Park Slope, Brooklyn, or blocking a bus rapid transit system in Berkeley, Calif., the children of the summer of love appear to have grown up, grown old, and grown immune to the needs of their descendants. Ryan Avent, online economics editor for The Economist, says that there is something even more damaging to the environment …

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