The Bike-In Camp-Out with Alite Designs & PUBLIC Bikes

July 11th, 2013

A few weekends ago we teamed up with our friends from camping gear, including tents, folding chairs, and bags. They offered their easy-to-use equipment to make life easier for all participants and recruited Halcyonaire performed music around the campfire after all of us finished bourbon s’mores and hot chocolate. In many respects, we were “glamping”… Read more »

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PUBLIC-Alite-web

A few weekends ago we teamed up with our friends from Alite Designs for the Bike-In Camp-Out, our first ever collaborative bike-in camp-out overnight trip.

A group of 60 participants biked to Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio, which is the city equivalent of setting up a tent in your own backyard. For most of us, it was our first experience camping inside the Presidio with access to incredible beaches, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, and spectacular Pacific Ocean sunset. And for most of us, it took only 30-45 minutes to bike to the campground.

Alite Designs makes and sells some of the best and simplest to use camping gear, including tents, folding chairs, and bags. They offered their easy-to-use equipment to make life easier for all participants and recruited Rice Paper Scissors to cater dinner, snacks, and breakfast. And Halcyonaire performed music around the campfire after all of us finished bourbon s’mores and hot chocolate.

In many respects, we were “glamping” (glamorous camping) but part of our desire was to introduce customers to bike camping without any worries – and to inspire them to consider camping to even further and more remote places on their own. For some participants, it was their first experience pitching their own tent and sleeping outside. Our Alite Design friends even documented easy tips on how to bike camp.

If you’re interested in learning about future collaborative events, make sure to sign up for the PUBLIC e-newsletter and follow Alite Design too.

Check out some photos of the Bike-In Camp-Out from photographer Kurt Manley, who also guided a photography hike for participants.

And of course, you can’t have a proper camping event without s’mores. This photo was taken by Dan from PUBLIC.

Public Protests: Istanbul (Now) and Amsterdam (Then)

June 20th, 2013

The recent intense protests in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul have brought attention to the value and meaning of Public Space. Istanbul has very little free open space, and the government had planned to replace one of its parks with a monument and a shopping mall. The lesson here is clear: mess with public space… Read more »

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The recent intense protests in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul have brought attention to the value and meaning of Public Space. Istanbul has very little free open space, and the government had planned to replace one of its parks with a monument and a shopping mall. The lesson here is clear: mess with public space and you might set off national blowback and find yourself the center of international attention and criticism.

In Istanbul’s Heart, Leader’s Obsession, Perhaps Achilles’ Heel
By Michael Kimmelman

“So public space, even a modest and chaotic swath of it like Taksim, again reveals itself as fundamentally more powerful than social media, which produce virtual communities. Revolutions happen in the flesh. In Taksim, strangers have discovered one another, their common concerns and collective voice.” Read on.

Defenders of Public Space in The International Herald Tribune
By Harvey Morris

“The privatization of the public realm, through the growth of ‘private-public’ space, produces over controlled, sterile places which lack connection to the reality and diversity of the local environment, with the result that they all tend to look the same,” Ms. Minton wrote in a report for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. “They also raise serious questions about democracy and accountability.” Read on.

Transportation Chief Talks of Giving the Public More Public Spaces
By Clyde Haberman

“ ‘People are very possessive and passionate about public space,’ said Ms. Sadik-Khan, the New York City transportation commissioner. ‘When it’s taken away, I’m not surprised that there’s a strong reaction. If you took away Central Park …’ She didn’t finish the sentence. She didn’t have to. New York would surely have a popular uprising on its hands.” Read on.

It often it takes a riot, or some equivalent dramatic event, to get the attention of societies, government, and developers. And it has always been this way in the modern world. The entire biking movement of the last fifty years in fact owes its existence to public protests over the intrusion of automobiles into public space. It’s easy to forget that places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen were not always bike friendly and that public protest allowed them to develop and flourish, as this video makes clear.


How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths

These issues are near and dear to us at PUBLIC, where we think of bikes as one of greatest assets that allow us to more fully appreciate and enjoy our communities and public space. Thanks to the citizens of Istanbul for their courage and for reminding us that the issue is global one.

 

NYC Bike Share Raves and Rants

June 7th, 2013

The launch of bike share in New York City, aka CitiBike, is probably the most significant transportation development in the city – and perhaps the country – in decades. Six thousand bikes, 33 stations, and 15,000 bike trips in its first day of operations. Credit Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner of the New York City Department of… Read more »

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The launch of bike share in New York City, aka CitiBike, is probably the most significant transportation development in the city – and perhaps the country – in decades. Six thousand bikes, 33 stations, and 15,000 bike trips in its first day of operations. Credit Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan and numerous NYC groups for a program will have far reaching implications.

Everyday it seems there is another news article across all media with rants and raves. Thankfully the New Yorker brought a sense of humor and poignancy with its cover illustration.  There is not much we can add to the discussion that has not already been said. But we wanted to share some links and to alert you to the fact that Janette Sadik Khan will be in San Francisco next week. She is giving a keynote address at the San Francisco Bike Coalition (SFBC) Golden Wheels event. Here is a chance to meet one of the most influential and articulate leaders in modern transportation thinking and planning on the planet.

I had the good fortune to meet and interview her two years ago for this post titled “The First Lady of Livable Cities”. We are super fortunate to have her here in San Francisco. If you are local don’t pass up this opportunity to hear her and meet her.  All proceeds go to support the SFBC who work tirelessly to make San Francisco a smarter and more livable city for all of us.

Some summary notes and links on the New York CitiBike program.

The program is off to a phenomenal start. Check out the stats here.

New York City’s leaders took best practices from around the world where bike share has been already implemented in hundreds of cities.

Complaints about bike share are predictable, but over time reasoned arguments generally prevail, as summarized in Business Insider’s article “New York’s Bike Share Is Brilliant, And Every Complaint About It Is Bogus”.

The joyful optimism perfectly captured by New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham here.

The wildest curmudgeon rant we have seen comes from Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Member Dorothy Rabinowitz who may be taking up where Michele Bachman is leaving off.  “Death by Bicycle” is the title for this diatribe.

Our friends at Pentagram Design have been active in this program. See here.

The largest bike share program is in Hangzhou, China, which is 10 times the size of New York City’s program. Here are Bike Sharing Maps from 29 cities around the world.

Credit Mayor Bloomberg and Janette Sadik-Kahn  for a program that will have far reaching implications.  It will do for NYC and the US what the phenomenal Velib program did for Paris and France launched in 2007.

We look forward to watching other cities in the US playing catch up.  Hello San Francisco.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual Golden Wheels event on Thursday, June 20.

 

Bike Superhighway for Los Angeles?

June 3rd, 2013

I grew up in Pasadena, California close to Los Angeles. Pasadena is well known for the Rose Parade, a festival of flowers, which dates back to 1890. But more interesting perhaps during the 1890s with a population of 500,000, there were 30,000 cyclists, i.e. 6% of the population rode bikes. Biking was so popular that… Read more »

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I grew up in Pasadena, California close to Los Angeles. Pasadena is well known for the Rose Parade, a festival of flowers, which dates back to 1890. But more interesting perhaps during the 1890s with a population of 500,000, there were 30,000 cyclists, i.e. 6% of the population rode bikes. Biking was so popular that a biking superhighway toll road was nearly implemented from Pasadena to LA. But the car craze took over, and the rest is history. LA is known for its legendary traffic jams. And Pasadena is known for having the first freeway in the world. The Rose Parade is now officially the “Rose Parade presented by Honda”.

But there have been amazing developments in LA’s transportation system recently. Light rail is being developed throughout the city, helping to restore a streetcar transportation system that existed before GM and other companies had them ripped up.

Bike paths are popping up everywhere like the ones that I saw in Santa Monica last week. LA’s Ciclavia is on a roll and has an amazing event planned for June 23rd to close Wilshire Boulevard to traffic. Maybe it’s time to rethink that 1897 bike superhighway?

Bike Spotting (and Counting) on Market Street

May 20th, 2013

Velometer asks: “Why count bikes?  Because we want bikes to count.” As part of this year’s San Francisco Bike to Work Day, the city debuted its first digital bicycle counter on Market Street, one of the city’s busiest transportation corridors.  Watch this stop motion video here. On Bike to Work Day alone, bicycles accounted for… Read more »

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Velometer asks: “Why count bikes?  Because we want bikes to count.”

As part of this year’s San Francisco Bike to Work Day, the city debuted its first digital bicycle counter on Market Street, one of the city’s busiest transportation corridors.  Watch this stop motion video here.

On Bike to Work Day alone, bicycles accounted for 76% of traffic on sections of Market Street during peak commuter times.

There are digital bicycle counters in several European cities, including many in Copenhagen.  We reported on this a few years back in our blog post, Quantifying Civilization.

Copenhagen Bicycle Counter from PUBLIC Bikes on Vimeo.

We wrote: “The stream of cyclists felt like the very definition of freedom and self-reliance. And people looked happy and alive as they pedaled along on their way to work or school—it was a collective experience of a high order.  I submit that this bike counter is as good a “civilization meter” as anything that history has provided.”  Watch a video capturing the bicycle counter in Copenhagen here.

You’ll count more people riding bikes in Copenhagen than in San Francisco on most days. But we’re making serious progress.  Kudos to San Francisco, Kongregate, SFMTA, SF Bicycle Coalition and all the good folks who helped to make this happen.

Another great thing to count on Market Street everyday are the numbers of people riding PUBLIC bikes.  Thanks to all of you for being part of this transformation.

 

Italian Women

May 14th, 2013

We were touring Italy last month checking out the urban biking scene in a range of cities. This makes for some interesting comparisons to the United States and leads us to this quiz: What is the biggest difference in urban biking in Italy compared with the US? 1. Many Italian cities have retrofitted separate bike… Read more »

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We were touring Italy last month checking out the urban biking scene in a range of cities. This makes for some interesting comparisons to the United States and leads us to this quiz:

What is the biggest difference in urban biking in Italy compared with the US?

1. Many Italian cities have retrofitted separate bike lanes in their cities.

2. Bicyclists can ride in bus lanes and on sidewalks without irritating pedestrians.

3. Bicyclists are not intimidated by cobblestone streets, streetcar tracks or rush hour traffic.

4. There are more older people than younger people riding bikes.

5. Helmets are rarely seen except on tourists.

6. Taxis, busses, trucks, and trams all seem to respect cyclists.

7. Bike Share programs are common even in smaller cities.

8. Lycra is not the prevalent dress code.

9. E-bikes are everywhere, and some are quite elegant.

10. There are more nuns riding bikes.

Ok, that was a fake quiz. All of the above are true. The biggest difference is that you see a lot more women riding than men. Mothers texting while riding, older women with groceries, younger women headed to work. They all seem to ride confidently making left hand turns in traffic and riding over rail lines, without looking stressed out. Perhaps this is what accounts for the seeming lack of road rage, the lower levels of testosterone on the streets?

What makes this all the more interesting is that the Italians love their cars (and speed) like almost no other nation on Earth. They have an illustrious tradition that ranges from common Fiats and Alfa Romeos to fancy Ferraris, Maseratis, Bugattis, and many other iconic cars. Car ownership per capita is much higher than any other major European country, despite the fact that they pay more for gas than any other European country (~ $10 a gallon). But they seem to get along on their city roads. Italians taught us to respect and enjoy pizza and pasta. Perhaps they can teach us how to respect and enjoy each other on the streets?

How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time

February 19th, 2013

Walkable City by Jeff Speck Jeff Speck Chicago, IL Arezzo, Italy New York, NY Amsterdam, Netherlands Portland, Oregon A few years ago, I participated in a National Quarterly Forum called the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, where designers and urbanists get together and share insights. I learned a lot there. In fact it was one… Read more »

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Walkable City Jeff Speck
Walkable City by Jeff Speck

Walkable City Jeff Speck
Jeff Speck

Walkable City Jeff Speck
Chicago, IL

Walkable City Jeff Speck
Arezzo, Italy

Walkable City Jeff Speck
New York, NY

Walkable City Jeff SpeckAmsterdam, Netherlands

Walkable City Jeff Speck
Portland, Oregon

A few years ago, I participated in a National Quarterly Forum called the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, where designers and urbanists get together and share insights. I learned a lot there. In fact it was one of the events that inspired me to start PUBLIC.  At that time, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design was run by Jeff Speck, an architect, planner, author, and speaker.  We became friends. That’s the disclosure part of this newsletter.  So if I’m going to tout a book by a personal friend, there better be some pretty good reasons to recommend it. There are many.

First of all, it is quite simply one of the best books about our cities that I’ve ever come across. Secondly, Walkable City could just as easily be called Bikeable City as the same issues pertain.

If you take a copy of Jeff’s book to your local downtown area, situate yourself in a café or (weather permitting) on a bench somewhere and read the first 50 pages while periodically looking up and noticing what’s going on around you ­– the width of the sidewalks, the number of lanes in the street, the parking, the mix of stores and cafés, how fast the cars are going, how many people are on foot or bike – you’ll receive a unique and invaluable urbanist education. You will also be entertained. Jeff is witty, provocative, and appropriately irreverent.

There are many other excellent books that deal with urban issues from Lewis Mumford’s The City in History to Jane Jacobs to Donald Shoup’s The High Cost of Free Parking. These are all excellent and readable but they are lengthy tomes, and likely too much information for many people. Walkable City is a good, quick read. It’s fast-paced, clever, and alarming in parts. Jeff’s overall thesis is that improving our downtowns is as key to our society’s health and well-being as any other action we might embark upon. His insights will challenge liberals and conservatives alike. This is not a doomsday book, as Jeff has as many examples of positive developments as he does critiques. For instance, there is a provocative section on why much of suburbia might become the next slums, and why “white flight” to the suburbs is now turning into “bright flight” back to the cities by young, educated people.

There are thirty substantive reviews on Amazon where Jeff’s book has a 5 star rating (and a current price of $15.88). Here are a few snippets I have culled from the book.

“The real problem with cars is not that they do not get enough miles per gallon, it’s that they make it too easy for us to spread out (sprawl) and encourage forms of development that are inherently wasteful.” Hybrids are not the solution.

“The average American family spends $14K a year driving multiple cars, about 20% of its income. (This figure was 10% in the 1960’s).” For many working class families more money is spent on cars than on housing.

“In these cities, and in most of our nation, the car is no longer an instrument of freedom, but rather a bulky, expensive, and dangerous prosthetic device, a prerequisite to viable citizenship.”

“It would seem that only one thing is more destructive to the health of our downtowns than welcoming cars unconditionally and that is getting rid of them entirely.  The proper response to obesity is not to stop eating, and most stores need car traffic to survive.”

Most of us like driving but hate commuting. Some polls that show that “a 23-minute commute had the same effect on happiness as a 19 percent reduction in income” and another poll where “5 percent of respondents said that they would be willing to divorce their spouse if that meant they could stop commuting and work from home instead”.

We are the least active generation of Americans in history. “Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the American health-care crisis is largely an urban-design crisis, with walkability at the heart of the cure.”  We are fat because we sit in cars rather than walk.

Car crashes have killed 3.2 million Americans, considerably more than all of our wars combined.  It is the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of 1 and 34.

If you are book phobic, listen to Jeff on NPR Weekend Edition.

His website is also a Speck of Brilliance.

An Urban Cupid?

February 14th, 2013

“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine.” -Mayor Bloomberg comparing plastic foam containers to lead paint. We show love in many ways. This Valentines week, it’s mostly personal, private, and driven by commercial interests (like PUBLIC putting polka dot bikes on SALE!).  When… Read more »

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“We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine.”
-Mayor Bloomberg comparing plastic foam containers to lead paint.

We show love in many ways. This Valentines week, it’s mostly personal, private, and driven by commercial interests (like PUBLIC putting polka dot bikes on SALE!).  When I read in the New York Times that NYC Mayor Bloomberg was taking on the plastic-foam container industry, it reminded me of the exceptional civic love he’s shown for his city, especially for the health and well being of its residents and culture. He does truly embody the “I heart NY“ spirit that Milton Glaser so elegantly gave form to in this iconic logo.

Bloomberg’s other crusades of love have been in the news this past week, and predictably where he has been opposed by strong forces in political battles, many of which he may not win or that may be overturned when he departs office. His bike lanes initiatives made the news this week along with his smart taxi programs. Some of his courageous positions often contrast what we see in Washington, where love seems to be more easily purchased by lobbyists and where acts of genuine civic leadership take a backseat to personal interests.

It might be a stretch to think of any billionaire as a Cupid, but we hope that he can be a realistic role model for other politicians. And some his programs such as stop and frisk are controversial. But we hope that his heartfelt and genuine commitment can be a realistic role model for other politicians.

To Go: Plastic-Foam Containers, if the Mayor Gets His Way
Published by New York Times 2.13.13

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose regulatory lance has slain fatty foods, supersize sodas, and smoking in parks, is now targeting plastic foam, the much-derided polymer that environmentalists have long tried to restrict.

On Thursday, Mr. Bloomberg, in his 12th and final State of the City address, will propose a citywide ban on plastic-foam food packaging, including takeout boxes, cups and trays. Public schools would be instructed to remove plastic-foam trays from their cafeterias. Many restaurants and bodegas would be forced to restock.

In excerpts from his speech released on Wednesday, Mr. Bloomberg rails against plastic foam, even comparing it to lead paint. “We can live without it, we may live longer without it, and the doggie bag will survive just fine,” the mayor plans to say. Read on.

Anxiety Over Future of Bike Lanes
Published by New York Times 2.12.13

During Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure, New York City has become a cycling haven, with sprawling lanes across each borough and a bike-share program set to begin this spring.

But as Mr. Bloomberg is to leave office at year’s end, there is widespread concern among cyclists that a reckoning awaits, and that the city’s next mayor may end this period of bike-friendly programs and policies.

The concern is noted even in the Bloomberg administration, where some speak of invisible countdown clocks in every city office, reminding officials of the dwindling time to complete projects. “Three-hundred and twenty-nine days,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said in a recent interview. “There’s an app where you can have it on your phone.” In a poll by The New York Times in August, 66 percent of New Yorkers said the bike lanes were a good idea; 27 percent called them a bad idea. Read on.

Doubting if Tomorrow Will Ever Come for Taxi
Published by New York Times 2.10.13

New York City’s attempt to reimagine its taxicab experience, perhaps the least divisive of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s legacy-making transportation efforts, now appears to be the most at risk. One measure, creating a vibrant street hail network of livery cabs outside Manhattan, has been mired in court since last June, delaying its implementation indefinitely.

Another, allowing New Yorkers to hail yellow taxis using smartphone apps, was watered down amid heavy lobbying from the livery and black car industries — and will most likely face a legal challenge.Then there was the crown jewel, cast in yellow: the so-called Taxi of Tomorrow, a nearly complete redesign of the modern taxi, the first since the age of the Checker cab. Now, that, too, is imperiled. Read on.

 

Cars. Freedom. Sex. Thanks.

December 28th, 2012

I received an email out of the blue last week from a childhood friend whom I had not heard from since 8th grade. The year was 1967.  We were mid-century modern kids growing up in suburban South Pasadena, right along the Pasadena Freeway (ostensibly the first freeway in the world). His note to me said:… Read more »

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I received an email out of the blue last week from a childhood friend whom I had not heard from since 8th grade. The year was 1967.  We were mid-century modern kids growing up in suburban South Pasadena, right along the Pasadena Freeway (ostensibly the first freeway in the world). His note to me said: “Will never forget going to the beach with your mom in her Volvo.”

I don’t remember that specific beach trip, but I sure remember my Mom’s car: a 1967 Volvo P1800, a sexy red sports car that hauled ass with a “high tech” flip switch overdrive, an elegant dashboard, and a body shaped like a cute rocket. There were not a lot of Swedish cars on the road then, so it probably stood out like a yellow Tesla or Ferrari would today. My mom was a way-left Irish feminist college teacher, hardly a car buff, and had no interest in design or mechanics. To her, the Volvo was a statement of identity and freedom.

My response to Kent was: “I remember riding on the back of your Dad’s Matchless.”

The Matchless was a classic British motorcycle, and Kent’s Dad was a true car and motorcycle buff.  He was a middle class husband and father – not a collector – but the guy had a Jaguar XJ12, a 52 Ford and his wife drove a 58 Thunderbird. He also had several motorcycles.  I remember riding his Honda 50 on his front lawn, going dirt bike riding and flying down the Pasadena Freeway on the back of his Matchless. I don’t think we had even the concept of a helmet then. He gave Kent a 1962 Austin Mini 850 when he turned fifteen. These vehicles are all beloved classic mid century design on a par with Eames chairs or Schindler architecture.  The modern movement was in its infancy and Southern California was the epicenter. Gas was $0.31 a gallon. It was on.

Back then cars were about sex, freedom, style, and independence. They were also about mobility and access. They were our social networking devices. They provided us with what teenagers and youth of today get from their Smartphones and the Web: connectivity.  But you can travel a lot farther, see more, and meet more people, with digital technology than you can with a car, and for a lot less money.

Fast-forward fifty years. Volvos are now about Safety, not Sex.  And we are faced with the problems and challenges that the car’s usurpation of much of our public space (and co-option of our lifestyle) has created.  In the 50’s suburban sprawl had not yet cast its spell all over America. Parking lots surrounded by chain link fences were not common in the hearts of cities.  Streetcar lines had not yet been ripped up by automobile companies. Regional shopping malls had not yet been created to lure people away from Main Street.  Traffic jams were the exception not the rule. We did not know anything about climate change or that cars would become (and still are) the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 34 and responsible for more deaths than all of our wars combined. And, to add insult to injury, cars would eventually all look about the same, getting big and boxy in shades of silver and black. We were asleep at the wheel while all this was going on.

It has not all been a one-way slide downwards since the 1960’s. When Kent and I were kids there was so much smog in LA that we were wheezing all through the summer. Lead was later removed from gas and the air quality improved dramatically. The environmental movement took shape.  A few mass transit systems, e.g. BART in the Bay Area, were funded. But it took decades before it occurred to us that we should try to make our cities amenable to us, not our cars.

Today, the “white flight” to the suburbs has been reversed with “bright flight” back to cities. Many Millennials and the youth are choosing to live without a dependence on cars and are exhibiting a true passion and connection for their communities.* Cities all round the world have radically improved their pedestrian infrastructure in the last few decades. Riding a bike has become mainstream in many cities.  The most recent email I’ve received from Kent is very hopeful:  “My daughter lives in downtown LA and rides her bike everywhere she needs to go.”

You are part of this change.  Thanks.

We have not come full circle, but we are making headway in many of our cities. And you are part of this progressive change. You have helped to make our cities more livable. You have also made us (PUBLIC) more livable – you have kept us in business into what is now our third year.  We feel lucky to be in a business that is predicated on positive social change and improved urban living and one that puts smiles on people’s faces. We hope that our bikes will bring you independence, connectivity, and some of the same sexiness and style that cars did half a century ago.

Thanks,

Rob

* To learn about this subject in detail from an expert, get Jeff Speck’s latest book Walkable City. Jeff is a leading spokesperson for more enlightened urban planning, the co-author of Suburban Nation, and witty and brilliant. We will have a review of this book next week.

Communities in the Saddle

September 6th, 2012

Most of our customers make a personal choice to get around or commute by bicycle. But the growing number of groups, companies, and even neighborhoods that encourage people to rethink how they move around also inspires us. Bikes get us to smile, but they also serve a valuable social function. All of the examples below… Read more »

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Most of our customers make a personal choice to get around or commute by bicycle. But the growing number of groups, companies, and even neighborhoods that encourage people to rethink how they move around also inspires us. Bikes get us to smile, but they also serve a valuable social function.

All of the examples below share one common thread – the bicycle is a simple and cost-effective way to create connections between people and places, while also taking care of the environment.

Some museums, like Masschusetts Museum of Contemporary Art provide bikes for their visitors to connect the museum with the surrounding area. MASS MoCa Jodi Joseph sums it up: “What better way to see the area?  An hour or two on a MASS MoCA bike rental can bring you to three world-class art museums, while you take in stunning Berkshire views, tackle truly accessible urban and rural riding, and you get in some good exercise.  Everyone wins!”

Residential communities are taking bikes seriously as well. For example, Grow Community, a neighborhood on Bainbridge Island, Washington provides a fleet of PUBLIC bikes for residents. Grow Community leaders recognize that a healthy community has sustainable transportation options that are not entirely dependent motor vehicles.

We love to see companies such as Clif Bar, Mozilla, AOL, Williams-Sonoma, Rackspace, and others provide our bikes for their employees. We produced custom bikes for Clif Bar’s 20th Anniversary giveaway to each employee. Mozilla offers fiery custom bikes for employees. Williams-Sonoma employees utilize our bikes to move between offices in San Francisco.  And many hotels, like Tribeca Grand Hotel on the Right Coast and Hotel Healdsburg on the Left Coast offer bikes for guests.

If you have other examples of enlightened groups and companies that are encouraging bicycling, please pass them onto us (or send us a photo as part of our contest). And please refer us to your company or any other groups that might be interested in the PUBLIC option.