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BicycleTransportation

Page history last edited by Charlene 8 years, 3 months ago

p144

Core: ...they stood together at the window, watching the daily bicycle jam turn into a riot on Westminster Bridge.

 

p 156:

Core: Short, but deceptively strong, she took his hand as they left the hospital and rented two cycles from a hire/drop bubble near the bikeway.


Status: Confirmed

 

Reality

Cycling has been growing in popularity for some time, both as a leisure activity and for commuting. In 2007, more than twice as many bicycles were produced as cars.

 

While the idea can be traced back to the sixties, the first serious public bicycle sharing program appeared in LaRochelle, France in 1974. It has been evolving steadily since to cover issues such as theft and reducing administration overheads, the first truly successful system was Lyons Velo'v (2005)

 

While bikes aren't quite the main form of transport yet, authorities are well behind the trend. Shanghai recently sought to ban bicycles from streets, ostensibly to improve public safety in the face of growing car use. This decision was quickly reversed.

In Melbourne, an open day to celebrate the completion of the Eastlink tollway turned into chaos when an estimated 50,000 cyclists turned up. Ironically, three months later, the tollway is struggling to meet budget as the number of vehicles using it are far below predictions.

 

Cycling is cheap, non-polluting and a great way to exercise. However, cycling to work isn't as easy as it sounds when you are in a city that has grown with the easy availability of a car.

 

  • too far?
this is, in part psychological: things seem further when you drive than when you walk/cycle (check it out!)
  • too hilly?
hills can be avoided, for a large part. furthermore, small electric motors are a great assist!
  • too inclement?
While there are times when rain and blistering heat make cycling a chore. These times are not all that frequent.
  • too dangerous?
There is increasingly a willingness to provide for bicycles in road planning. Furthermore, you don't need to follow main roads slavishly.
  • too long?

Time can be an important factor in commuting. While it can't be denied that a bike is slower than a car, they're not *that* much slower, especially in city traffic. A fit cyclist can probably maintain a speed of 25-30km/hr on flat ground. Furthermore, they're not as affected by traffic jams, their smaller profile allowing them to slip between the gaps or take alternate routes.

On the other hand, you may need shower facilities!

 

References

(These are drawn from a rather 'parochial' pool. Does anyone have any other references?)

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