We are big fans of Cleverhood -- you can check out their rain capes HERE. Fashionable yet functional, indeed. We are also big fans of biking; road, off-road, urban, etc. Therefore, we thought it would be fitting to ask John from Cleverhood to write a blog post that sums up his take on the evolution of cycling. Enjoy.
In case you haven’t noticed, it looks like bikes are the latest advancement in clean-tech. While they may be a 19th century innovation, the bike is handling some pretty sophisticated problems. Worldwide, there’s a new trend to integrate bikes into our transportation systems.
Cities are growing. Higher bicycle mobility rates reduce traffic, pollution, and infrastructure costs. Portland gets it. Bikes comprise 6.3% of their traffic. Other U.S. cities with relatively high bicycle mobility rates include Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.
Earlier this summer we attended Velo-City Vienna, along with mayors, planners and others from 40 nations. There’s a new culture blooming in Europe that reflects this trend in bicycle mobility in city design and new open spaces. It also affects styles and fashion, particularly in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam with bike mobility rates of 50 and 20 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, this summer New York City kicked off its new bike share program, which will bring 10,000 sturdy, blue bikes to the streets. The City is re-thinking its design and infrastructure. As mayor Bloomberg pointed out: “A third of New Yorkers get around by transit. A third get around by walking. A third get around by driving. And yet, the investment strategy has been very much toward the car. And it’s really been a 1950s view of our streets.”
Bikes mean business too. Research is showing that people on bikes take more interest in their neighborhoods and support small businesses. There are even new advancements in cargo bikes, which open more affordable ways for craftsman and service providers to work. Ironically, or intuitively, more bike lanes mean the cars are moving faster.
The bike is a powerful clean-tech solution with vast ramifications for culture and society. And we are no doubt witnessing a evolution. As the novelist and futurist H.G. Wells said: “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”