|The commute takes me right by the north end of the airport so this is a regular occurrence.|
|Shadow portrait with Gunnar.|
Cities are increasingly vying to be bike friendly. Among them, Chicago wants to become the most cycle-friendly large city in the country—and has said it will build over 30 miles of protected cycle lanes this year. At the moment it ranks fifth, according to Bicycling magazine. Ahead of it are Washington, DC, Boulder, Colorado, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon. And cycling is growing fast in all these cities, as it is in New York and San Francisco.
In a forthcoming book, “City Cycling”, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler argue that the bike boom needs to be expanded to a broader cross-section of people. Almost all the growth in cycling in America has come from men aged 25-64. Rates of cycling have actually fallen slightly among women and sharply among children, most probably because of nervousness about safety. But in fact cycling is getting safer all the time. According to a paper* by Messrs Pucher and Buehler with Mark Seinen, fatalities per 10m bike trips fell by 65% between 1977 and 2009, from 5.1 to 1.8. In their book, the authors claim that the health benefits of cycling far exceed the safety risks.
The growth comes thanks to cycle-friendly policymaking and increases in government spending. In Portland, which brought in a comprehensive programme, cycling levels have increased sixfold since the early 1990s. In Chicago the motivation is to improve the quality of life, and thus encourage both businesses and families to move there.
Chicago is also planning one of the largest bike-sharing programmes in the country, with 3,000 steeds. Bike-sharing increases the number of trips by bicycle in a city and improves the cycle culture. Growth in cycling is also spurred by weekend closures of streets to motor vehicles and mass cycling events. All these look likely to become more common in America.
As 48% of trips in American cities are shorter than three miles, there is big potential for further growth. Yet while the future looks bright, America will struggle to catch up with northern Europe, where the proportion of local trips done by bike can be as high as 30%.
|The obligatory, coming around a bend, running into a herd of sheep, in the French alps, photo. They were not intimidated by me.|
Even the most fleeting of glances, and you can tell that designers of prewar bicycles weren’t in the least interested in efficiency or performance. Streamlined, ornate and totally over the top, these bikes had one mission: to create excitement and joy. And for us, they’re still doing the same thing many years later....
A pair of fourth-generation Nevadans, Coot and Fluff (Scott and Julie Callahan) have been collecting bicycles for over 20 years. They currently have over 120 original and restored bicycles, focusing on the period from 1933 thru 1941.
It all started back in 1983. To pass the days when Coot wasn't in school or working at the local bike shop, he'd often go out for rides on his road bike. Fluff, a family friend, enjoyed cycling as well and would join him on these casual rides around the Carson Valley (itself a little ranch community just east of Lake Tahoe).
Things went on pretty much like this, until the day Fluff very much accidentally came across a one-speed Schwinn girl's bicycle at the St. Gall Catholic Church yard sale. Knowing how Coot had always wanted an old bike, she immediately snapped it up, and the rest, as they say, is history.
|The same...but different.|
|A beautiful, and classic, Raleigh!|
|Restored to better than showroom quality!|
|Love these head badges!|
|This Della Santa is one of the most gorgeous bikes I've ever seen... Beautiful, intricate, and quirky!|
|The Fuji touring bikes were inspiring some lust on my part!|
|Ed Gresham's "Flyer"...built by him and ridden by him at the time of his passing.|
|Tons of murals and "graffiti" along the way.|
|Not really a bike lane but nice and clear in the mornings.|
|Definitely election season!|
|What's this weird building....?|
|Oh...I won't be stopping here on the way to, or from, work.|
|Near the airport...|
|The marker on the right seems a bit ominous...|
|Self-portrait with Planes|
|My new home away from home|
...when picking a venue you are always going to make comparisons with Battle Mountain. What made that such a good location for the human-powered speed record attempt was firstly the surface. It’s fast. The next thing is it is 5000 ft above sea level, plus it has something like a 6 degree slope in your favour. In an engineering journal I read, they said that Battle Mountain is worth 156 watts extra in energy, and that is just the slope, then the surface is actually purposefully built for the record attempt, so that has be worth another fraction in terms of surface resistance.
We have to accept that we aren’t going to get as good as Battle Mountain. But, we can still get close. What we need is a flat surface, with no blemishes or joins in it, ideally the smoothest tarmac surface we can find in the UK. It needs to be 2 miles long so we can get it up to speed, and of course, it needs to be in a straight line. So, it isn’t an impossible task. It’s not Battle Mountain, instead it will be a purely British attempt. I like that.Here's a link to a video on Obree.