More people on bikes make the streets safer and help us assert our right to the road. Here’s how to entice others to join the pack.
Being an ambassador for cycling goes beyond obeying traffic laws and lobbying elected officials—it also means sharing the joy of two wheels with others. But one stumbling block for would-be riders is the perception that cycling is difficult to fit into daily life. Here are three innovative ideas that could expand our ranks.
The One-Mile Solution Find your home on a map and draw a circle with a radius that represents one mile. Each week, make one trip within the circle by bike instead of driving your car. You may even find that these trips are quicker on the bike, depending on traffic congestion and parking availability in your community. The next steps: Start replacing more car trips within the loop, then increase the radius of your circle.
The Bike Train While some communities are forbidding kids to ride to school (see “Why Johnny Can’t Ride“), cities such as Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco are organizing something called bike trains, where parents and kids pedal to school together along a preplanned route, and meet-up stops allow new riders to join in.
The E-Bike Cycling purists may frown upon electric bicycles, which provide pedaling assistance via a battery-powered motor, but they could help get more people riding. A recent Dutch study found that bike commuters on e-bikes pedal 75 percent more kilometers each week than cyclists on conventional bicycles.
Research and assistance by Rick Bernardi, J.D.
This article, Recruiting Season, was originally published on Bicycling on June 4, 2012.
Now read the fine print:
Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist who represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic games (where he finished fourth in the road race), the 1992 Olympics, as well as winning the 1990 national championship road race.
After retiring from racing in 1993, he coached the Saturn Professional Cycling team for one year before heading off to law school. Mionske’s practice is now split between personal-injury work, representing professional athletes as an agent and other legal issues facing endurance athletes (traffic violations, contract, criminal charges, intellectual property, etc).
Mionske is also the author of Bicycling and the Law, designed to be the primary resource for cyclists to consult when faced with a legal question. It provides readers with the knowledge to avoid many legal problems in the first place, and informs them of their rights, their responsibilities, and what steps they can take if they do encounter a legal problem.
If you have a cycling-related legal question, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Bob will answer as many of these questions privately as he can. He will also select a few questions each week to answer in this column. General bicycle-accident advice can be found at bicyclelaw2.wpengine.com.
The information provided in the “Road Rights” column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public web site is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this web site. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the web site without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.