Syndicate content

I want to ride my bicycle

Flore de Préneuf's picture


"Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like
..."

Earlier today, I was stuck in a herd of slow-moving, smoke-belching traffic (also known as the Beltway in Washington D.C.), when I heard an uplifting feature about electric bikes on the radio. Electric bikes are apparently all the rage at this year’s ongoing bike show in Taipei.

The WDR 2010 described in its chapter on innovation how the electric bike market took off in China over the last 10 years as a result of “technological improvements, faster urbanization, higher gasoline prices, and increases in purchasing power.” Not surprising, in the Kingdom of the Bicycle. But will e-bikes sway car addicts elsewhere?

On today’s “Science Friday” radio show, callers shared their enthusiasm for Do-It-Yourself mitigation. There are now dozens of kits out there to help retrofit ordinary bicycles -- so you can chug up a hill without a sweat. A brother and sister team, 59 and 61, are setting off on Earth Day on an electric bike tour of the United States to show that older people are never too old to pedal.


Read a more lukewarm assessment of e-bicycles My year of E – or Joining the Electric Bike Revolution - (Treehugger.com 03/15/10) and 4 Lessons from Asia’s E-Bike Craze (Treehugger.com 09/08/09) – including a cautionary note about lead…

As for the lyrics of the song above – they are of course from the English rock-band Queen (1978). Tune in to get inspired!

Comments

Submitted by patricio marquez on
To ride bikes and stimulate their use, there is a need to guarantee road safety--the development of structures and a culture-- to prevent injuries and deaths, particularly among children. That is a key challenge Flore!!! The UN General Assembly approved early this month with overwhelming country support 2011-2020 as the Road Safety Decade. An let's not forget the use of helmets!!! A recent report that I prepared describes the challenge in ECA. The full report “Confronting “Death on Wheels”: Making Roads Safe in Europe and Central Asia” can be downloaded here: http://go.worldbank.org/DR6NO0B0P0

Submitted by lorcan on
Patricio, you have it backwards: riding bikes and stimulating their use makes roads safer.

Submitted by patricio marquez on
Your point is valid. However my point is that if car drivers do not respect the right of bike riders or bike paths are not included in road design, people will be afraid to use their bikes as they risk injury and death. So a road safety approach is needed to stimulate the use of bikes.

More bike lanes are apparently in the cards, even in the car-loving United States. US Transportation Secretary announced a sea change in favor of non-motorized transportation: http://www.grist.org/article/2010-03-29-unpacking-the-transportation-secretarys-tabletop-speech/

Interesting factoid in an opinion piece in today's Guardian (Christian Wolmar, Boosting Cycling is Win-Win, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/apr/12/cycling-government-policy): "Investing in cycling typically has a benefit-cost ratio of well over two – in other words, for every pound spent, society benefits to the tune of two or more."

Add new comment