Archive for July, 2009

Saftey In Numbers

From today’s Star Tribune:

Although recent fatalities highlight the risks of sharing the road, statistics show there have actually been fewer bicycle crashes and injuries in Minnesota — at a time when more people are riding bikes.

By BILL McAULIFFE, Star Tribune

A string of recent bicycle deaths may make Minnesota seem like a dangerous place for cyclists. But in fact, the safety trend is going the other way as more Minnesotans take to their bikes.

How could that be when the number of deaths this year from bicycle crashes is on pace to supersede the toll in 2008 — when 14 deaths were the most in eight years?

A closer look reveals that the numbers of both bicycle crashes and injuries are down statewide, even as the number of bicyclists is increasing.

There’s safety in those numbers, some say, because it makes drivers constantly aware they’re sharing the road with bicyclists.

“I believe we’re in a state of rapid change, with the number of people using bikes for transportation,” said Tim Springer, executive director for the Midtown Greenway, likely the most popular bicycle commuter corridor in Minnesota.

“Everybody’s on a learning curve — bicyclists and motorists. Fast-forward 10 years and we’ll have a lot more of it figured out. Laws will be different, and behaviors will be different on all sides,” Springer said.

“But it means that in the meantime, we all need to be really careful,” he added. “Things are unclear.”

Cycling swells in Minneapolis

Crashes and injuries are down markedly in Minneapolis, where the number of people who use bikes for transportation continues to swell.

The Midtown Greenway saw a 24 percent increase in ridership in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period of 2008. Ridership from March through December last year was up 32 percent over the same period the year before, said Shaun Murphy, coordinator of a nonmotorized transportation pilot program for the city.

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Another Happy Buyer

Another recipient of funds from the Minneapolis Advantage Program.

Sweet house.

Great Rate.

$10,000 toward downpayment and closing costs.

Life Is Good.

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Big Sale News-Shameless Plug

During the Tour de France, The Hub Bike Co-Op is having a sale on some excellent bikes, accessories and key components.

– 10% or more off road bikes (includes special orders and custom builds)

Civia, Orbea, and Vicious bikes on sale

– 15% off shoe pedal combos

– Tons of apparel discounted

But here’s my favorite part;

Broken?…….FIXED!

For the duration of the sale, all of our track/singlespeed wheelsets are 10-40% off!!!!!

DP18 wheels, in all colors (normally $199-$220) are now $179.99!

All Velocity Deep-V wheels (normally$299-$420) are now $250.00!

To make things even better, The Hub has just acquired every Dia-Compe MX-806 brake that we could get our hands on, I’m willing to bet we’re the only shop in the Midwest that has ’em!

These are the ONLY long reach, dual-pivot calipers that work on bikes with forks on older 27″ wheeled bikes (these usually cannot accept modern brakes with recessed bolts, unless you drill out the fork, sketchy). Now you can finally convert the old 27″ wheels to those pimp 700c wheels you’ve had your eyes on, save a bunch of $$$, AND be able to actually stop!

We have these brakes in silver and black for $28.99.

Time to take that old road frame and give it a second life as your new fixed gear/commuter/hipster/cool cat about town bike.

I’ll be there all weekend, just ask for Christopher.

Do It! Then go watch the Tour at the Riverview Theater (how cool is that?).


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Is This Heaven?

No, It’s Vauban, Germany

From The New York Times

Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor.

Be still my heart.

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