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Life in the Bike Lane

April 10, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Bicycle Maps

Trek has a few bicycle blogs, one of which is focused on commuting, advocacy, and city riding, and it’s called ‘Life in the Bike Lane‘.

I think that’s just a great thing. Almost a month ago they posted about our petition. That was a big boost when we were trying to get things going around here, so we definitely appreciate it.

Many of us are now aware that Lance is getting ready to open a potentially-commuter-focused, Trek-carrying bike shop in downtown Austin. I consider that a major coup for the city of Austin. I’m thinking that a least a few folks would have a different opinion on the likely impact of such a shop, but to me it’s a big deal not just because of the potential for inspiring the local cycling community (and politicians!) to work even harder - and to get more non-cyclists onto bikes, but for the ripple effect that such a facility could have. The Field Museum in Chicago just copied the (Paris-based) Vélib’ bicycle sharing program on a small scale - and it’s a great start, and it’s just the very latest example of just how catalyzing any one event/program/facility can be. Granted, the Vélib’ program is relatively large, now - with 20,000 bikes, but it started in 2007 with ‘only’ 10,000 bikes, and before Vélib’ there was an even-yet-smaller bike rental program called Roue Libre. Check out this NY Times article from 2001. So, to me, the important thing is to just start - to try things. We’ll work and live and learn. Once we have a toehold, who knows what can happen.

Speaking of Chicago, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation wants people to bike to work - and is gearing up for this summer’s Bike to Work Week. Some of their main advice? ‘Plan your route well in advance‘. If you live in or around Chicago, it might be time to call the nice folks at the Chicago DOT Bicycle Program and check if they have bike route data available in electronic format. You might also want to ask them if they, too, are working with Google on getting bicycle directions going on Google Maps. :)

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