May is National Bike Month

Happy National Bike Month! The League of American Bicyclists has a nationwide event guide available to help participants find fun things to do during Bike Month. Check it out by clicking here.

bikes

Florida celebrated Bike Month back in March, so there aren’t any big events going on around here in May. So, we’re depending on YOU for vicarious thrills — if there are cool events happening in your area during Bike Month, please let us know about them in the comments section.

Have fun and be safe out there!

New NHTSA Study — Florida Most Dangerous for Cyclists

A couple of days ago, we discussed bicyclist fatality statistics in the comments section of this article.

Well, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just released the findings of a new study, ranking Florida as the most dangerous place in the nation to be a cyclist. Florida led the nation in bicycle fatalities, with 119 deaths in 2007, followed by California with 109, New York with 51, Texas with 48 and Louisiana with 22.

Statistically, the safest places to be a cyclist are the Dakotas, Wyoming, Vermont and Delaware — none of those five states reported a single fatality during the study period. Any of you Florida folks want to head for safer territory?

This study was covered by The Tampa Tribune, among others. Check out the complete article (including lots of blatantly anti-cyclist comments by Tribune readers) by clicking here.

And, click here to read the entire study summary.

Food for thought…

And the winner is…

We held a contest for the Outlaw Earth Messenger Bag and we finally have a winner.

Steven Jones of Boiling Springs, SC.

He provided the correct answer to the question “Who is Ashley Hudson’s favorite US Pro racer?”

Ryan Trebon

Congrats to Steven! Enjoy your new bag!!!

We’d also like to thank Ashley Hudson of Outlaw Earth for providing the swag for the contest.

Preparing for the Long Commute

Dear BikeCommuters.com readers, Laura and I have decided to go on our Grand Adventure and we hope you will follow along at PathLessPedaled.com. We’re not hitting the road for a while yet, but if you’ve enjoyed my posts about touring in the past, it will give you an interesting glimpse in how we’re preparing (hopefully it will inspire others).

Heck, if you’re already bike commuting, you’re halfway there. Good on ya!

The first few months of the site will be about living simply (something timely in these strange economic times). I’ll still be posting on BikeCommuters.com for a while yet (it might be fun to do interviews with bike commuters around the world and see how they roll!), but I just wanted to let you all know about our next far flung endeavor.


The Path Less Pedaled – Simplify from Russ Roca on Vimeo.


The Path Less Pedaled – Stuff from Russ Roca on Vimeo.

10 Bike Commuting Myths Dispelled

From my friend Alan Snel’s blog…republished from a League of American Bicyclists/Bikingbis tweet:

Busting the 10 bicycling myths:

1. I’m out of shape

— Ride an easy pace, in a few months you will be in great shape
— Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work
— You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter

2. It takes too long

— The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you become
— Trips of less than 3 miles will be quicker by bike
— Trips of 5 to 7 miles in urban areas take the same or less by car

3. It’s too far

— Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day
— Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your route
— Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work

4. No bike parking

— Look around for a storage area in your building or office
— Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office
— Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside

5. My bike is beat up

— Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike
— If you can’t maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route
— Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride

6. No showers

— Most commuters don’t shower at wor; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry
— Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there
— Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only

7. I have to dress up

— Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive
— Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners
— Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding

8. It’s raining

— Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry
— If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day
— Take transit or drive if you don’t have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain

9. The roads aren’t safe

— Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights
— Wear bright clothing
— You are at no greater risk than driving a car
— Wear a helmet everytime you ride

10. I have to run errands

— Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity
— Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building
— Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking
— Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use