Friday, November 17, 2006

URBAN BIKING

NO PLACE LIKE NYC FOR BIKES. Perhaps no magazine has featured bikes in city life as the New Yorker. This graphic (left) is one example of the editors' choice of covers that reflect life in a city in which bicycles are part of the common landscape. Our family's first-ever visit to Manhattan last November confirmed the prominent place of bicycles in that hyper-urban environment. The Big Apple makes room for bicycles in ways that Midwestern communities like Indianapolis do not. Indy is beginning to recognize the value of urban biking and making room...ever so slowly.

BICYCLING NATIONS. Bicycling magazine's December 2006 issue graphs the relatively light use of bicycles as a basic mode of mobility in the USA in comparison to Europe and Asia. There are, for instance, 8.8 bicyles for every 10 people in China. The Netherlands boasts more bicycle commuters than any other nation--7.7 in 10 use a bike for getting back and forth to work, store, school, etc. India and China are not far behind. Less than one in ten in the USA use a bike to commute. The excuse of weather doesn't work: remember, it's The Netherlands! Overcoming our excuses, along with legitimate reasons, would be a good discussion, don't you think?

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