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Nov. 27, 2007
For the love of the bicycle…
Whether or not she was inspired by Jessica's record-breaking commute yesterday, Elysa shares some pedal-power factoids.

"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." —H.G. Wells

I love this quote by H.G. Wells. His words embody my own fondness for bikes—not just a love-to-ride-on-two-wheels kind of love, but the sense of hope I get from watching cycling grow as a transportation alternative in our car-dominated nation. 

To do my part to promote more pedal power and less fossil fuels, I've been writing my mayor for the past several years praising the multiple benefits of cycling, and advocating that we become an official "bike friendly community."

I've plied the mayor with facts like: 

  • " In the US, 40% of all trips are 2 miles or less and 90% of those trips are made by car;  (that's the logic behind the two-mile challenge
  • " 12 bicycles can be parked in the space required for one automobile; and
  • " Riding a bike uses the equivalent of about 35 calories of energy per passenger mile, while driving a car uses a whopping 1860.  (source: World Watch Institute)
  • " Cycling is popular and fun, good for people's health, for clean air, and for less-congested roadways.
Maybe letters do have an impact. About a year ago our city council voted to provide the first-ever funds for marked bike routes.  And this fall I was invited to join with other bike-enthusiasts to "test drive" our city's first marked bike trails—about 50 miles of streets designated as official bicycle routes, not dedicated-bikes-only routes, but share-the-road bike routes.

It's a hopeful start.

And, as noted by H.G. Wells, with that small local success, I "despair less for the sake of the human race." Bikes matter.

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Office Life, Sustainability

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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