Chicago’s Bike the Drive not dampened by the rains

I’m back from a long weekend of being out on my bike — and away from my computer. Hope you enjoyed some riding (maybe a ride-a-day – non-commuter type rides – weekend like I did) this Memorial Day weekend.

Despite the rains and storms that blew over the midwest on Saturday and Sunday, the mornings remained dry enough.

Even the fog over Chicago couldn’t keep 20,000 bicyclists from riding along a car-free Lake Shore Drive on Sunday morning for the Active Transportation Alliance’s annual fundraiser Bike the Drive. The rains held out until just after the ride concluded and completely dampened the post-ride festival. But the spirits of all who came out were not dampened. In fact, everyone just seemed happy. Must be all the bikes. Seeing so many bikes – all kinds ridden by all ages and all types of bicyclists – is such a wonder for me still. Who needs the views of Chicago’s skyline or of Lake Michigan when you can just watch all the beautiful bikes “biking the drive”?

I’ll share a few of the scenic photos captured during the 2011 Bike the Drive. See my post from last year to compare the weather conditions and see what you can’t see in this year’s photos.

People came – by bike and by car – despite the low-lying morning fog
arriving

Chopper bikes:
chopper bikes

Hi-vis clothing definitely stands out in this fog!
hi-vis

Despite the chill and fog, I always enjoy this annual event
me at btd

Cargo bike
cargo

Sharing the ride:
kids

kid-pink

dino helmet

tandem

Chicago’s Bike Patrol Officers along for the ride, too:
bike patrol

The Schwinntonations provided unforgettable music at the Museum of Science and Industry Rest Stop:
schwinntonations
Check out their music videos.

Riding over the Chicago River:
chicago river

Our Chicago skyline:
city

After the rain – the festival area was just a wet soppy mess.
rain soaked

Thank you, Active Trans, for organizing another great Bike the Drive! Here’s to a great summer of biking for everyone.

A Hat Tip from The Greenists

Here’s something to share — our site was featured on the excellent “The Greenists” online magazine. I was able to answer some general bike-commuting questions for the author, Jacob Johnston, and his article “Pedal Power to the Rescue”. Jacob is a new commuter, and seems very excited by the prospects of riding two wheels instead of four.

Spin on over to The Greenists to take a look at the article…a nice roundup of tips and observations for the first-time or newish bicycle commuter. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Thanks to Jacob for a very pleasant interviewing experience and for being eager to learn and share tips with his readers at The Greenist. Enjoy yourself out there; get on that bike and ride!

States Move to Make Biking Safer

I just spotted this article in my daily Google News feed…a great roundup of states’ legislation toward making bicycling safer…from the folks at USA Today.

States are moving to make the roads safer for bicyclists as more Americans hit the road on two wheels.

“It is increasingly important for policymakers to find ways to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe on the road,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says. “In the last 20 years, walking and biking trips have more than doubled as more people look for opportunities to leave the car at home, reduce their impact on the environment and stay in shape.”

Bicyclists are demanding safer roads.

“We are moving to a multimodal society,” says Tennessee state Sen. Andy Berke, a Democrat, who recently co-sponsored legislation designed to improve conditions and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. “Everyone has a right to be safe on our streets, whether they’re traveling by foot, bicycle or car.”

Take a look at the rest of the article by visiting the USA Today site. It makes me quite happy to see some states that aren’t on the usual “bike friendly” lists making positive steps to increasing safety and really hammering home the whole “share the road with cars AND bikes” message. Things are steaming along slowly but surely here in the U.S., and every step in the right direction is helping!

E-Bikes On the Rise (Again)

We just got this tidbit from one of our PR industry friends…an article from a new digital magazine put out by GE called The Txchnologist. The following article is on the continued rise of electric and electric-assist bicycles in the U.S. market:

No news story or movie about China is complete, it seems, without images of throngs of people riding two, three and four abreast down the street on bicycles, both manual and electric. This latter type, known as the e-bike, has seen exponential growth in recent years; one estimate had 100 million e-bikes plying China’s roads in 2009.

Now Americans, prompted by high gas prices and growing eco-consciousness, are slowly embracing the e-bike, too. E-bike sales in the U.S. have been growing at a 21 percent annual clip – albeit from a modest base – and could reach 785,000 a year by 2016, according to Pike Research, a clean energy market research firm.

Read the rest of the article by visiting the Txchnologist site. We’ve been talking about the rise of e-bikes here for a while now, especially the past year or so. Still, I haven’t seen too many “in the wild” — and absolutely ZERO since I moved to Ohio. Have any of you noticed more e-bikes on the streets where YOU live?