Monday, 8 September 2008

A Summer Cycle

This is the first summer since I was about 19 that I decided to give my shoes a break and get a bike for my commuting. Life as a cyclist has been interesting.

Two things that have really stuck out are:

1. Idiot bicyclists are as much a nuisance to other cyclists as they are to drivers. Of the close calls I have had since May, most were due to a-hole cyclists blowing red lights, going the wrong way down the street etc. etc. All the same things that piss me off when I am driving.

2. The incredible lack of bicycle parking, especially at businesses. There have been quite a few places that I have been to where I could have parked my car much closer to the front door than I could find a place to lock my bike up.

On the bike parking front, here's something really cool in Japan - a bike parkade ! The video is from the Washington Post but, I will admit, I first saw it posted at what is becoming one of my favourite urban sites: CoolTown Studios . Check it out for some interesting posts and ideas.


Anonymous said...

Cool video. Thanks for that.

I'm living in Finland now and people ride their bikes everywhere. They've loads of bike parking everywhere you go. Not that many people though, and lots of space, so no need for that high-tech solution.

One thing I'm not looking forward to about coming home is the attitude towards cyclists. Course, here they have bike paths everywhere and where there isn't then bikes go on sidewalks.

jonathan said...

That system sure beats having to remember where you parked your bike if you left it at the Amsterdam Centraal train station.

I've been there and done that, and it's pretty frustrating. On the bright side, most Amsterdammers can park almost anywhere as they don't often lock their bikes to anything, but merely lock a sort of immobilizer that locks the back wheel so it's unrideable.

It's nice to have another commuter cyclist among us.

mrchristian said...

I'm happy I did the cycle thing this summer - moved to the West End, just a little too far from downtown now to make strolling practical. So much of it just comes down to basic respect - on BOTH sides - and I guess basic respect is something society is lacking on many fronts nowadays so the roadways shouldn't be any different.

Wow - Amsterdam Centraal would be a nightmare, especially if you were coming back after a night on the town !! I notice they don't even do the "Blue Buffalo / Red Zebra" system !

Katherine said...

You should check out streetfilms.org, lots of really cool cycling videos there. There's a Bike to the Future fall forum coming up in October at UofW, if you're a commuter cyclist you may want to attend, lots of great stuff and information.