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Published on May 27th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Top 22 Bike Stories Of The Year (… So Far)

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May 27th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
Reposted from sister site Planetsave, below are 22 of the top bike stories of 2013 so far — the 22 biggest ones I could think of or find. For more bicycling stories, check out our bicycling archives.

bike commuting growth

1. Bike Commuting Is Skyrocketing, Especially In Bike-Friendly Communities.

Bicycling is on the rise across the US, but in cities with better bicycle infrastructure, activism, and communities, bicycling is taking off. (Warning: beautiful infographics in link above.)

2-way off-road bike path and speed bumps in Groningen, Netherlands. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / Bikocity

2-way off-road bike path and speed bumps in Groningen, Netherlands. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / Bikocity

2. Off-Road Bike Paths Are Critical To Bike Safety & Adoption.

Another study, this one out of Harvard, finds that we need off-road bicycle paths for safer and more ubiquitous bicycle travel. This piles onto previous research showing the same, including my master’s thesis, which I discuss a bit in the link above. (Warning: bunch of beautiful pictures from the Netherlands there.)

bicycling healthier than gym

Copenhagen bicyclists. Image Credit: Bicycling (some rights reserved)

3. Bike Commuters Are Healthier Than Gym-Goers.

Another study has find that people who bike for transportation are quite fit and healthy — even more so than regular gym attendees!

Minneapolis top bicycle city.

Minneapolis bicyclists. Image Credit: ibikempls (some rights reserved)

4. Walk Score Ranks 36 Cities For Bikeability.

Walk Score, which uses an in-depth methodology for ranking the walkability of cities, expanded into evaluating bikeability of cities, starting with 36 big ones.

Bike paths go through beautiful parks and offer a quicker connection to the city center in Groningen, Netherlands. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / Bikocity

Bike paths go through beautiful parks and offer a quicker connection to the city center in Groningen, Netherlands. Image Credit:  Zachary Shahan / Bikocity

5. Cyclists (& Walkers) Enjoy Their Commutes More.

OK, it’s hard to think this wasn’t already obvious to many people — but the important thing is that it isn’t obvious to many more. A new study can be (carefully) used to make more people aware of the fact that bike commuting is f***ing fun!

lahood jsk

6. The League Of American Cyclists Held Its Super Awesome National Bike Summit.

Yet again, bicycle activists and professionals from around the country swarmed to DC to meet with Congresspeople, their staff, and each other in order to make some big strides forward for bicycling in the US. Muchos details at the link above.

7. BikeSpike Raises Over $150,000 On Kickstarter.

First, what is BikeSpike? It’s basically a bike gadget that let’s you track your bike and detects bike theft or crashes. It connects to a smartphone app that alerts the relevant parties in such cases. Pretty awesome. Article linked above, or Kickstarter page here.

Anthony-Foxx

8. Ray LaHood Out, Anthony Foxx In.

Outgoing US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been an unprecedented leader for advancing bicycling in the US. We’re not yet sure how Anthony Foxx will compare, but there is optimism amongst those at the League of American Bicyclists, Streetsblog, and elsewhere. And there has been some pretty good indication he’ll keep up the bicycling common sense momentum.

obama bike lane dc

9. Obama Is 1st President To Walk Down A Bike Lane On Inauguration Day.

Great catch by DC bike advocates. Commentary & video via the link above.

divvy-bikes

10. Chicago Bike-Sharing Program On Verge Of Debuting.

Chicago’s large bike-sharing program, Divvy, is prepped on set to debut next month.

cycling-ageless


11. Copenhagen’s “Cycling Without Age” Program Absolutely Rocks.

We learned about an awesome program in Copenhagen that you just have to check out. Many more pics and info at the link above.

12. Bike-Sharing Programs Now Exist In Over 500 Cities.

Amazing. I saw this trend coming fast several years ago when I saw presentations about these programs at a couple of bicycling and transit conferences. But I didn’t know it would happen so fast. Aside from the post above documenting the massive growth, you can also check out this wonderifulous world bike-sharing map.

Image Credit: shanerh (some rights reserved)

Bikers outside a bike-friendly business? Image Credit: shanerh (some rights reserved)

13. New Bicycle-Friendly Businesses Announced.

The League of American Bicyclists announced a handful of new “Bicycle-Friendly Businesses” and upgrades in ranking. The post above gets into a bit more detail.

Photo Credit: tq2cute / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Classy university cyclist. Image Credit: tq2cute / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

14. New Bicycle-Friendly Universities.

Same thing for new “Bicycle-Friendly Universities.”

tacoma_1b

15. New Bicycle-Friendly Communities.

I think you get the point. :D

b-cycle

16. B-cycle Bike-Sharing Program Goes Nationwide.

The first nationwide bike-sharing program officially got rolling when B-cycle let its users in various big cities around the country use their membership anywhere. Totally awesome news, imho.

17. H&M Teams Up With Brick Lane Bicycling To Create Menswear Collection.

You know bicycling is hitting the mainstream when H&M is creating a menswear line focused on bicycling!

liquid

18. Liquid Tries To Make Bicycle Rental Easier For Everyone.

This is not new in 2013, but it’s new to us — startup company Liquid is trying to make bicycle rental easier for renters and rental companies. Check out the post for more info.

My Figuero

South LA streetscaping visualization. Image Credit: Concept Design via MyFiguero

19. LA Looking To Streetscape More Bicyclists Into Its Mix.

The city of LA is known for its cars and car-oriented design, but under the dynamic, awesome leadership of Mayor Villaraigosa and a bunch of bicycle advocates, it has been transforming fast. A new streetscaping project in South LA is aiming to keep the momentum up.

map_21_infographic

20. MAP-21 Funding Restored Through 2013.

Basically Map-21 funding is quite important for bicyclists. With the budget mayhem (largely manufactured by Republicans), it got sacrificed for a short time, but it’s back… for now, at least. (Infographic above by the League of American Bicyclists.)

Bike path next to sidewalk and separated from road by a median in the city center of Groningen, Netherlands. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / Bikocity

Bike path next to sidewalk and separated from roadway by a median in the city center of Groningen, Netherlands. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan / Bikocity

21. Bicycling Is Good For Business!

Despite the common myth that bicycle infrastructure and limiting automobile access hurts business, it turns out bicyclists are actually better for business than drivers (and who’s surprised — they see more, it’s much easier to stop and check something out, and they aren’t dumping a huge percentage of their money on the costs of a car — gas, insurance, monthly payments, maintenance, etc). Streetsblog tackles the story in the link above.

copenhagenize index

22. Copenhagenize Unveils The Copenhagenize Index 2013.

Leading bicycle and urban planning consultancy Copenhagenize unveils its ranking of the top bicycle cities of the world.

Did I miss anything? Let me know below!

And don’t forget, we’ve got more bicycling stories, including some really fun and funny videos, in our bicycling archives.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Niels de Wit

    Nice story Zachary. I am from the Netherlands and there are more bicycles than people here. The country is like heaven for cyclists, although the wheater is often not so good. I would like to point you to the fact that we are currently building cycling highways, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands#Cycle_highways
    Pretty sweet, right? It is the expectation that some people will take the bicycle to go to work instead of the car, to avoid traffic jams. It would be nice if the USA could also be transformed to a more bike friendly nation. However, this requires a totally different city planning and some extra space on all the roads for the cyclists.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks! Yes, best quality of life there of any country I’ve visited. Would love to go back or even live there! :D

      I have read and written about Copenhagen’s cycle highways. Don’t think I have about NL’s — but it seemed like there were already cycle highways all over the place when I lived there. :D

    • S.Nkm

      Hehe I appreciate the little jab about the “extra space” required to implement bike highways in the US, coming from an European living in a place where extra space disappeared a long time ago, but has proven that’s not the unsurmontable obstacle it appears to be.

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