Did you know that this coming week May 17 – 21 is Bike to Work Week and May 21 is Bike to Work Day?
I had forgotten, but luckily Bicycling sent me a reminder email filled with some great resources.
|Cyclists vs. Drivers – How to Share the Road Better|
|Bicycling’s 2010 List of Amercia’s “Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities”||
· To view our full rankings and see where your city placed, click here. (If interested, a full PDF of the article is also available)
|From the Editors – Facts and Tips on Bike Commuting||
Additionally I had the opportunity to speak with Bicycling.com editor Christine Mattheis about various biking topics, including the Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities which as you know Minneapolis ranked #1.
Have you always been a biker? At what age did you begin?
I learned to bike when I was a kid, like most kids, but really got into it in college when I bought a road bike.
Are you still an avid biker?
Yeah, I bike commute year around. Probably not as much as I should. I try for three days a week.
I see you were involved with the “top 50 Bike Friendly Cities”? in which Minneapolis placed #1, What was were the main factors in ranking?
There were many studies we used in our research and we talked to leading bicycle advocates. I suggest you check out PeoplePoweredMovement.org and the book Bicycling and Walking in the U.S., 2010 Benchmarking Report is a great resource.
How many of the cities have you biked? Several including Minneapolis, between myself and the other editors that worked on the best biking feature we biked all of the 50 cities.
Of the bikes you’ve tested in the last year what is been your favorite?
I really liked the Breezer. It’s a great commuter bike for a beginner and has everything someone needs to get started.
You may or may not be aware of this, but Minneapolis and Portland (top 50 #2) kind of have an ongoing competition about quality of life. What was the big separator that put Minneapolis as #1?
*laughs* I wasn’t aware of that… I must have missed something. One thing that really separated Minneapolis was it’s growth and it’s extensive network of trails. You can really get from one end of the city to the other without having to deal with much traffic. Also, Portland doesn’t really have the 4 months of extreme winter.
[In Your FACE Portland!]
Biking seems to be making a comeback, how do you see the future of biking unfolding over the next ten years?
I don’t think it’s a fad. It’s a growing trend. People are more concerned with health and when the price of gasoline spiked a few years ago it made a lot of people take notice. Also, city planners and politicians are taking note. It’s a chicken and egg thing, are they taking note because there are more bikers or are there more bikers because they are taking note and building more trails, either way, biking is definantly a growth market.
What is your take on women in biking?
It’s definantly a growing interest. Over the last 10 years women have been given more attention by the major bike manufacturers in everything from the bikes to the equipment. 10 years ago that just didn’t exist, also more women have been interested in triathalon which has exposed them to biking.
Did you hear about or participate in 30 days of biking?
I heard about it, but did not participate. I think it’s a great thing, anything that can get people on their bikes is a positive for their health and the environment.
If you could give any advice to a new biker what would it be?
Get a bike that fits your body, comfort is important and so is avoiding injury. You can go inexpensive as long as it fits you’ll enjoy riding it. Avoid the cheap used bikes as you’ll end up investing money in them on repairs or replacement and way. Go to your local bike shop and have them help.
Thanks to Christine for the great conversation on biking a Bicycling.com for the reminder and resources. Remember people, get out there and bike!