Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another reason why CaBi is cool

It's very cool that Capital Bikeshare has workers on these Danish Christiania cargo bikes going around doing regular maintenance at the stations. Nice touch. No, I've no idea why the other guy has a regular bike on his back. Maybe helping out with a little impromptu redistribution?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bike of the Day - Linus Dutchi

Spring is here! Told you I'd be back. I probably won't be able to keep up the posting fervor of last fall, I'll try to find a more manageable pace. No time for photos today but I hope to get out there this week.

Warm day today in DC, though historically we bounce around anywhere between cold rain and warm sunshine between now and May. Spring and fall in DC are second to none, though while fall seems to linger forever, spring too often can be a little twitchy then jumps right to oppressive summer.

Guess it means it's that bike-buying time of year. We know you're thinking about it. When I was in the market a few years ago for my first bike in ages, the Electra Amsterdam was the only Dutch-style bike available around here. Meaning a true upright ride with a chainguard and fenders, not so much to ask, right?

The city's bikescape has definitely changed somewhat for the better, though still too many bikes of the brutally functional variety out there for my taste. Linus bikes, including the Dutchi 3 (shown) are sold at Bicycle Space downtown. I've been seeing some around. I don't know how durable they are but they're attractive, seem to have the geometry right (though not as upright as the Electra), and I recall they're not terribly expensive.

The Bike Rack at 14th and Q Streets can get you on various Batavus models, though you'll need to ask, they don't keep many (sometimes none) in stock. Brands like Schwinn and Globe and even Trek have been getting into the upright game too.

Other suggestions? Or hey, for a mere 75 bucks per year of course there's always the mighty Capital Bikeshare, heading into its first spring bloom.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan and bikes II

The Urban Country (see previous post) came up against the sentiment, at least on FB, that it was poor form to be perceived as using tragedy to advance the biking cause.

Today Copenhagenize also has a post about bikes and their current role in devastated Japan, with a comments thread debating whether such a post is in bad taste or not.

What do you think?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan and bikes

Good post by James Schwartz over on The Urban Country:

CNN was reporting on bike shops being sold out in Tokyo as people scrambled to figure out how to get home to reunite with their family and friends.

Our thoughts are with the people in Japan. Just found out a childhood friend of mine who lives over there is safe. He said on FB that when the quake hit he thought he was going to die... he's still trying to reunite with his wife who is in Tokyo.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Calvert Street

Ok, I'm a little rusty, but I like her angle. Lots of CaBi's out there already, especially when the temperature creeps up a bit like today. I have a hunch in a month or so the red bikes will be THE way to get around the city.


And this from the other coast, via The Church of Sit-up Cycling's FB page:

Elegant Dutch ways prove hard to stick to on fast-paced Big Apple streets

The writer sort of wavers between seeing the light:

Who knew that urban cycling — which I find mostly exhilarating and joyous, but occasionally a grim struggle for a sliver of pavement — could also be elegant? [...] Once I started slowing down, I became a more polite rider.

And going a little wobbly, snapping back to North American reflexive attitudes on helmets, speed, heavy bikes, the whole yeah-but-you-can't-do-it-here thing, etc. But always good to see this kind of article, even imperfect, percolating through the mainstream media.

California dreaming

Woah, look at LA thinking big. Fingers crossed on follow-through.

The 2010 Bike Plan […] is perhaps the most ambitious pro-cyclist action in L.A. history, designating a 1,680-mile bikeway system and sweeping new bike-friendly policies.