Bike Trains in LA on NPR

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NPR did a profile this past week about LA Bike Trains, a service that helps new cyclists feel more comfortable on the road by arranging commutes in groups. An experienced conductor leads the group along safe roads and the pack of cyclists inherently leads to more comfortable riders and better visibility.

Since launching L.A. Bike Trains in May with just a few routes and no budget, the system has grown to a dozen volunteer leaders, covering Los Angeles by bike by as much as 20 miles per trip each way, like the route from Silver Lake to Santa Monica.

Still, bike trains are far from seeing mass adoption.

Herbie Huff, a policy researcher at UCLA, says there are lots of obstacles to taking part in bike trains. Instead, Huff thinks infrastructure like bike lanes would be a bigger winner, or a concept like bike sharing could be an easier entry point.

“In order to go on the bike train, you need to already have made a commitment,” Huff says. “You need to already have a bike.”

Read more about Bike Trains here

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1,000 cyclists in London stage ‘die-in’ to highlight dangerous streets

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More than 1,000 cyclists clogged the streets in front of the city’s transportation offices last week to highlight the dangerous conditions on the city’s streets. Six cyclists have died in the past two-weeks and tensions are riding high. Organizers are demanding that 10 percent of the city’s transportation budget be spent on cycling infrastructure.

Via streetsblog.org

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Video: Bicycle Anecdotes From Amsterdam

Streetfilms has released it’s latest, and final, dispatch from Amsterdam, and provides a nice cross-section of commentary and how-to from the City of Bikes.

Some of the major themes the film touches on are how the city rejected car culture in the 1970s as traffic deaths were mounting, how the bike system is not a jumbled pile of chaos as it appears to tourists, and how despite all the bikes, the city doesn’t really have much of a “bike culture”.

Streetfilms produces short films showing how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play.

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Bicycle Times named a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business

Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced 91 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) from across the country, extending the program to 43 states and Washington, D.C. Rotating Mass Media, our parent company we share with our mountain bike magazine, Dirt Rag, joins 90 other businesses as 2013 awardees. These new awardees join a trendsetting group of more than 600 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.  Read the full story

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Green Lane Project looking for six more cities to build safer streets

Want more green bicycle lanes in your city? PeopleForBikes is now accepting applications for Green Lane Project Phase 2, a campaign to bring protected bike lanes to city streets. The two-year campaign will choose six cities to collaborate on ways to create better streets.

In early 2012, the first phase of the Green Lane Project selected six U.S. cities — Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. — to form a select partnership of leaders supporting the creation of next-generation protected bike lanes in America. Since the Project launched, green lanes have flourished. In year one of the Project, the number of protected lanes on city streets expanded from 62 to 102. By the end of 2013, the number is expected to double again, to nearly 200.

Only government agencies may apply. Cities are the primary intended applicants. However, PeopleForBikes is considering applications from counties, townships or other local jurisdictions that manage a significant roadway network within urban areas. Applicant agencies must serve a population of at least 80,000 to apply. Want to get involved? Contact your local government or advocacy group and express your support.

To apply, submit a letter of intent by November 15 and a full application by January 14, 2014.

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Too much traffic in Calcutta, so city bans bicycles

nobikesAs one of the largest cities in the world, traffic congestion is nothing new in Calcutta, India. But local authorities put the blame not on the growing numbers of cars on the narrow, centuries-old streets, but rather on bicycles, rickshaws and other non-motorized transportation.

According to the BBC, commuters make 2.5 million trips on bicycles in Calcutta every day, but the new law prohibits them from 174 major roads and thoroughfares.

Signs are popping up across the city announcing the prohibition, as have groups of cycling advocates that are protesting the ban. Many riders are simply ignoring it, and taking the chance of being fined or having their bicycle confiscated.

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Baisikeli – The story of an African cycling team

From the small town of Iten, 2 300m above the Rift Valley in Kenya, to the raw energy of Kigali, Rwanda, this is a story about the potential of African cycling and it’s ability to restore faith to this most beautiful, difficult and enigmatic of sports.

Can Africa be the next cycling powerhouse? What challenges stand in the way? Who are the characters?

Baisikeli follows the Kenyan National Cycling team as they hope to emulate the success of their running brothers and make a career in the sport.

You can rent or purchase the film through Vimeo now.

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