Hipster darlings, The National, will be playing at the Barclay’s Center in New York on June 5th and Transportation Alternatives will be providing secured valet parking for bicycles at the concert. Most bicycle advocacy groups have a bike valet program of some sort, but this one is notable in that it is being hosted by such a massive venue and for a sector of the population who find riding bikes quite enjoyable. I don’t think this would go over as well at a Kenny Chesney concert or something, so it’s nice to see TA servicing events of such a grand scale and focused audience.
One of the stated goals of hosting a bike valet service at such a large venue is to show the growing need for bicycle amenities and accommodations, so it makes perfect sense they would appeal to The National crowd. My town has set up Pedal and Park stations at minor league baseball games, the state fair, and other such events, but this might be a good example for them to reach out to other audiences and set up shop at local concerts.
It would be a true victory if the venues themselves recognized the need for bicycle accommodation and started hosting their own bike valet services. We may get there one day, but this effort is a good start.
Sometimes, if you can’t get to Portland….Portland will come to you. A traveling roadshow of sorts has been traversing the Midwest and East coast since the beginning of May and will continue on, ending in Chicago on June 4th. Titled, Dinner and Bikes, the group consist of Joe Biel of Microcosm Publishing and Cantankerous Titles fame, Joshua Ploeg as The Traveling Vegan Chef, publisher and writer Elly Blue, and independent journalist Aaron Cynic.
Each stop kicks off with a seven course meal (yes, SEVEN) that is entirely vegan and gluten-free, prepared by Joshua Ploeg, followed by a presentation on bicycle economics and transportation equity by Elly Blue. Soon after Joe Biel brings the Portland influence by reading from a coming project called Aftermass, which details the history of cycling in Portland. Once all the presentations have completed, a pop-up bookshop allows attendees to pick up some of their favorite and latest bicycle themed and cooking themed books and literature.
Upcoming stops will include St. Louis, Madison, Iowa City and Chicago, but check the complete list to see if they will be rolling near your town.
The Portland Art Museum has a new bike exhibit running from June 8 through September 8th showing off some 40 bicycles from pivotal points in bicycle design, as selected by collector and designer Michael Embacher. In conjunction with the Cyclepedia exhibit, Portland-based Nutcase Helmets donated 475 helmets to be used as an outdoor display, creating a pretty stunning entrance.
Well, it’s officially official. The Country’s largest bike share program, CitiBike in NYC, has launched to much excitement. The program does have it’s NIMBY’s and naysayers, but given a little time, everyone will surely fall in line as the program expands and succeeds. Proven successful in other cities around the country and world, the CitiBike program will ultimately prove to be no different and for that the whole of NYC will benefit. It’s great to see this continued progress and I look forward to more cities around the country following suit.
First things first. This project has already been funded and it STILL has 23 days left on Kickstarter, which lends great credibility to its desire in the cycling market. It is, undeniably, a well thought out product complete with an extensive list of figurative bells and whistles, offering visibility, security, tracking, and more. The primary function of the Helios handlebars is the illumination, achieved through an integrated front light that boasts 500 lumens, as well as two rear facing LED’s that alert others behind you, but also act as turn signals and a speedometer of sorts. The lights can be activated by the user through phone technology and proximity, meaning the lights turn on and off depending on how close you are to the bike with your phone. It can also be tracked in a similar manner should your bike get stolen. There are other fascinating features you can peruse on their Kickstarter page, but I want to address the one obvious drawback. These bars entail all integrated features, which means the rider will have to adapt to an entirely different hand position while riding (maybe not so much for the bullhorns) on the drop bars. The design creates an awkward placement at the top curve, which may make or break the decision for more picky cyclists. Overall though, these will appeal to the urban rider and there seem to be plenty of varied hand placements for the rider to choose from. I’ll be interested to see how these hold up in real world usage and if the tech features make the riding experience more enjoyable.