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BIKE-O-RAMA: A Roundup of the Best in New Bikes, Bike Infrastructure, Blogs, Books and More

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For decades, citizens and officials have been working together to create the infrastructure necessary to change mindsets about who gets to use the roads and why. It's no secret that bicycling is the most eco-friendly, inexpensive and efficient means of going about daily business in your dense community. Still, particularly in North America, it's clear that "streets are for cars" is a meme that won't die without a fight.

But good leadership is proving that it's possible -- even in cities that developed around the automobile -- to reclaim the streets. By gradually establishing separate bike amenities and protective laws, leaders in cities like Copenhagen, Portland, Ore., and Amsterdam have helped bikers and drivers learn how to share the road.

Seeing how this has worked for and benefited the people in these model cities, many leaders and activists in the Global North and South are looking to follow suit to help residents improve their health, decrease air pollution and lower their carbon emissions. Now, new bike infrastructure and bike-sharing systems seem to be appearing almost daily on city streets throughout the world -- signaling to many that the bicycling-as-transportation movement might be on the brink of reaching a much anticipated critical mass.

This weekend, we are highlighting these signals in our Bike-o-rama Roundup, in the hopes of showing just how strong the movement has grown. What you'll find in this collection is a guide to the new and time-tested tools, ideas, infrastructure and resources shaping this revolution. These are the established and emerging voices, efforts and innovations that we believe to be Worldchanging; helping us to grab ahold of our future by the handlebars, and pedal down the path toward a bright green tomorrow.

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Though the simple mechanics of the modern bicycle seem to leave little room for improvement, new materials and technologies continue to refine this human-powered machine. Click here to find our suggestions for your next zero-gallons-per-mile vehicle are functional, socially responsible and sustainable.

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Increasing the number of bikes on the road is becoming a serious goal for forward-thinking leaders. As Elisabeth Rosenthal recently wrote in the New York Times, there will soon be only two kinds of city leaders: those who are implementing bike amenities and bike-sharing programs, and those who plan to do so soon. But it's about more than just announcing a mission, or even making bikes available for free. A lack of bike infrastructure plagues many cities, causing would-be cyclists to shy away from congested, potentially dangerous roads. City leaders are finding that adding bike amenities, such as sharrows, separate lanes and on-street bike parking to the streetscape works well to encourage residents to use their pedal power.

Click here to find out what some of these infrastructure improvements are, how they work, and what they mean for cyclists and drivers alike.


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Interested in learning more about biking or bike culture? Click here to see a list of thought-inspiring books and blogs that will prepare you for the roads, keep you informed of urban cycling achievements and challenges, and give you a glimpse into the minds behind the movement.


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Probably the most fascinating part about the bicycle revolution is the people behind the movement. Ideas to Roll With is a collection of innovations from the bicycling community that we'd like to see succeed and spread. Click here to find out more on bicycle film festivals, collective action, online communities and more.


This piece was created by Sean Conroe, Sarah Kuck, Christa Morris and Kamal Patel


Image credits:
Feature image: ginnerobot; Bike Rack/Light Rail: IrishFireside, CC License; Traffic Sign: Bfick, CC License; Books: SleepyNeko, CC License; Bike Rack: MoBikeFed, CC License
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Comments

A wonderful resource — thank you. I really value these kinds of posts; the sort that collate so much interesting, valuable and entertaining information.


Posted by: pohanginapete on 29 Aug 09

there will soon be only two kinds of city leaders: those who are implementing bike amenities and bike-sharing programs, and those who plan to do so soon. But it's about more than just announcing a mission, or even making bikes available for free. A lack of bike infrastructure plagues many cities, causing would-be cyclists to shy away from congested, potentially dangerous roads. City leaders are finding that adding bike amenities, such as sharrows, separate lanes and on-street bike parking to the street scape works well to encourage residents to use their pedal power.
Alice- Blogs about Water Cooler


Posted by: casey on 2 Nov 10

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