Monday, August 29, 2011

Facebook committed to bicycle commuting in expanding its HQ

Facebook is moving to Stanford Research Park, and expanding to accommodate 9,000 employees from the current 1,500. In doing so, Facebook also aims to encourage bicycle commuting, a more pleasant and environmentally-friendly way to get to work. Buildings will have showers with towels, bike storage and lockers and bike lending services. Most of all, an on-site "Bike Doctor" is there to repair and maintain the commuters' bikes in good order.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More women than men commuting by bike in Netherlands, Japan

In Netherlands, Denmark and Japan, women comprise more than 50% of the bike commuters. In other countries, such as Australia, Canada and the US a much smaller proportion cycle.

It is believed that women are more sensitive to safety and convenience issues than men when it comes to bicycling. If cycling is made safe and convenient, as in Europe and Japan, then perhaps more women will participate in North America and Australia.

When cycling is encouraged as an everyday transport, with safe bike lanes and more upright bicycles, with a greater carrying capacity, then it seems more accessible for women of all ages. Sport bikes, common in North America and Australia, have a more bent over posture, which encourages young men and women but not older ones. Read more here. Or contact the author.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Velomobiles are recumbent bicycles with a fairing out of carbon fiber or fiberglass. The wind-cheating designs are intended to allow the rider to travel a longer distance more efficiently. Riders say it doesn't get hot inside, as there are vents spread out over the fairing to provide cooling breezes.

Velomobiles have been around since 1945 and, for a while, were beating the best bicycle racers. So the French outlawed recumbents in favour of the upright bicycle designs that we see today.

Due to the fairing, velomobiles can cost from $8,000 to $13,000. They may, however, be the future of transit with their high-level of efficiency. Velomobiles are gaining in popularity; recently a number of them descended on Ft. Wayne, TX. Read more here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cycling in Tokyo increases since Earthquake

An increased interest in cycling in Tokyo has manifested itself in the wake of the March 11 Earthquake. It is a great way to see the city while getting fitter.

There are a few clubs for cycling in Tokyo: Half-fast is open to everyone and tries to communicate in both Japanese and English. They have two standard eginner routes, one to the beachfront at Odaiba and one to a park near Haneda airport. Any bike is acceptable but the Half-fast club recommends a road bike with a carbon-fibre frame, for ease of carrying on and off trains.

Read more here.