Thursday, October 11, 2012

Heels on Wheels 2

Ms. Dailey identifies four chief types of “ladies burning rubber out there”: the Fashion Victim, whose outfits harmonize with her trendy neo-vintage wheels; the Speed Demon with extraterrestrial helmet and sleek, Matrixy gear (like Gwyneth Paltrow); the Earth Mother, who careers toward farmers’ markets with her baby bobbing precariously in the front basket; and the Retro Rider in Steampunk get-up, whose vehicle “weighs more than a cement-mixer.” BeyoncĂ© Knowles is a devoted urban biker who relishes the anonymity a bike gives her when she’s in public. “By the time they realize it’s me, I’m already gone,” she says. The suffragist Susan B. Anthony declared that bicycling “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,” and the novelist Iris Murdoch called the bicycle “the most civilized conveyance known to man.” Albert Einstein, though not a woman, gets a pat on the head because he came up with his theory of relativity while riding his bicycle at night. Comment by velo Mondial: He must have had great cycle infrastructure guding him, as his mind clearly was not on the road. Read on in The New York Times.

Heels on Wheels: A Lady’s Guide to Owning and Riding a Bike

Are you in the mood for a contentious debate? Stroll past the North Pavilion of Union Square in Manhattan before 7 p.m. on the last Friday of each month and ask any of the hundreds of cyclists who gather there for the Critical Mass ride why women’s bikes tend to have a low crossbar (also called a “mixte” or “step-through”), whereas men’s bikes have a high crossbar that juts from below the seat to below the handlebars. Is the feature a quaint leftover from the days when women wore petticoats, and maneuvering themselves over the high bar would have been a challenge? Might it reflect a surprising impulse toward modesty among modern women who don’t mind weaving among taxis and buses, but still prefer not to bestride their steel steeds like a cowboy hopping on a palomino? Or is the step-through an anachronism in these days of unisex denim and leggings? Why do male and female riders require different kinds of bikes? The answers you get will be vociferous. They will not be unanimous. Clare Owen, the British velophile Katie Dailey skirts the controversy by mildly pointing out that, however it came about, the lower bar is easier to clamber over than the higher one. Read on in The New York Times.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cycling in Central Europe

The still increasing private motorisation results in unsustainable traffic congestion and air pollution in the cities and regions of Central Europe. By designing and implementing trans-national, cross-border and national strategies the EU-Project BICY aims to achieve a widespread modal shift towards cycling and walking to improve the quality of life and reduce pollution. Considering that around 80% of all urban trips have a distance of less than 5 kilometres it becomes evident that an increased use of bicycles would bring about an enormous reduction of problems associated with congestion, pollution and the emission of CO2. As a consequence of this many positive effects could be achieved. From improved health, time savings to combating climate change. In other words, cycling mobility (together with walking and in combination with public transport) should be promoted as the most sustainable, ecological and, under certain conditions, healthiest and safest way of mobility. The BICY project partnership includes those that are forerunners with regard to bicycle mobility. The project made a brocure 'Trendy Cycling' in 8 languages.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Now moving to a better beat

Great Britain Goes Dutch

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain has long made the case that cycle tracks, and space for cycling more generally, should not be seen through the prism of getting cyclists out of the way of motorists, but rather as part of a strategy of humanising and civilising our towns and cities.  In doing so everybody benefits, because demand for space on the road network diminishes if these policies are implemented successfully.  Car use can be made more difficult, but it is not fair to do this without providing people with a comfortable and convenient alternative. Removal of routes for cars, and the taking away of road space, has to go hand in hand with the creation of space for cycling. Thet can see how this has been achieved in Dutch cities like Amsterdam. When the subject of the reallocation of road and street space is raised, is often accompanied by talk about how different Dutch streets are. How they are narrower. Or wider. Or older. Or newer. And that because our British streets are so wide, or so narrow, or so old, or so new, Dutch-style improvements to those streets - to make them more attractive for cycling - couldn't possibly work here. Read on in Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Horse behind cart

The European Commission started an investigation on the accusation that bikes made in China destined for Europe are illegally re-routed and re-packaged through Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. The Commission is also conducting an interim review on the imposed anti-dumping duty of 48.5% on bicycles imported from China into the EU member states. The European Commission started the procedure after it received a request to investigate the possible circumvention of the anti-dumping measures imposed on imports of bicycles originating in China from the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA). The European Commission claims to have sufficient evidence that the anti-dumping measures on imports of bicycles originating in China are being circumvented by means of transshipments via Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia and by means of assembly operations of certain bicycle parts from China in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. Velo Mondial feels that European anti-dumping regulation hampers the growth of cycling in Europe and makes bicycles unnecessary expensive. Read on in Bike Europe.