Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cycling Advocacy

I listen to a few bike related podcasts on a regular basis. One of them is The Spokesmen podcast. While I was catching up on older episodes I ran across one that has a section in it that talks about Bike Advocacy. I thought it might be interesting to some of you. You can find a link to the podcast here or a link directly to the MP3 file here.

Why wait!

Or in this case, why should you NOT wait.

As most of you know, I am a bike enthusiast. I like riding, I like the bike culture, I enjoy the improved health from riding, and I enjoy encouraging others that are getting started with cycling. I also like watching the bike industry to see what is out there or coming our way soon.

I recently purchased a new bike so I'm not currently in the market for another bike. However, just prior to buying that bike I had to decide if I wanted get one now, or wait a few months and get one of the new 2009 models that will be coming out in the next few months. During that decision process I learned a few things about the bike industry and how bikes are priced and what determines the cost/value of a bike. Some of the things that affect the cost of a bike is the cost of raw materials, the cost of shipping the product, and the value of the US dollar in relation to where the parts and frames are manufactured. Unfortunately, all three of those major factors are not going in a good direction. The dollar is very weak right now, shipping costs are going up with the cost of fuel, and the cost of raw materials for bike frames and parts are going way up.

So what does that have to do with you, or me? Well, bike prices are going up. Not just a little but a lot. The number I've heard most often is 20% across the board. So a $500 bike this year will soon cost $600 for the same quality. That means that bike manufacturers will have to offer less quality or just less value in bikes that are targeted at a specific price point or charge more to maintain the same quality/value.

So if your planning to get a new bike in the near future, DON'T WAIT. If you wait too long, you will pay more and/or get less for your money.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

nice day to ride for an errand

Started painting the house exterior last week. Needed more gas to mow the lawn. Combine the errands into one trip and enjoyed the ride!

Fog on the Keystone


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Monday, September 15, 2008

Bike and Ride (Instructions)

By the end of the month ALL MAT buses in Omaha will have bike racks.

HERE is a link that explains how to use them.

This is a great way to make LONG bike commutes more manageable. The MAT system can also help you with east-west commuting needs since Omaha is notably challenged in that regard.

Cycling Commercials

I found the link to the following video over at Amsterdamize.

Friday, September 12, 2008

bike n ride (a bus)

Monday, Sept 15 at 17:00, MAT headquarters, 2222 Cuming St.

Learn how to use the new bike racks on the MAT buses.

Racks are being installed but not functional. They will be available for use starting Sept 29.

For more info:

Anyone know what the story behind this is? This artwork is on a billboard at the intersection of the Big Papio trail and 82nd street.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bike friendly cities

When people discuss what bike friendly cities are like, Copenhagen is at the top of the list. Here is a blog dedicated to the Bike Culture in Copenhagen. Copenhagenize.

So what do you think would help Omaha climb that list of bike friendly cities?

Monday, September 8, 2008

we should be careful out there

I wrote this on munson's blog and decided to post here with some additions b/c of commuter content:

I stopped at the gas station at 132nd and Fort for milk on the way home from work Saturday around 18:00. A guy pulls in and runs up on the curb as I'm leaving. He yells out the window, "Who put this curb here?" He was lit up pretty well, probably from watching the game. We strike up a conversation and I smelled the liquor breath and noticed the slured speech. I tell him to be careful driving since he's had a few. He said I should be careful because of the drivers out there like him - "we don't see bikes on the road", distracted by phone or putting on makeup. He said he would never ride a bike on the road b/c of the danger. He had friends killed on a motorcycle by a cement truck.

Well his friend came out of the store with a case of beer and they headed home - a couple miles away. I should have offered to go get his beer next time so he doesn't have to drive while drunk.

I'm wondering if "Beer delivered by B.O.B." would keep me as busy as Eric is at Jimmy Johns?

Though I've been commuting via the SBL trail lately, I still rode home via Fort St. with the traffic. Everyone gave me space, had my yellow rain jacket on for the sprinkles.

Friday, September 5, 2008

cool commuting colors

The city planted some wild flowers along the cement path on the north side of Standing Bear Lake. One curved section has them on both sides 6-8 feet tall - pretty cool commuting colors. Just a taste of the beautiful fall colors and temps coming our way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

commuters share with owh

Article in owh on commuting. OWH requested submissions for alternative modes of commuting. More than buses, motorcycles, etc., cycling was the biggest category.