Between now and the onset of winter, several weeks of great biking weather are ahead. Regardless of whether road biking or mountain biking is your preference, StowAway2.com is all about making it easier for you to enjoy your bike. Same, too, if you commute to work by bike.
Trends in Cycling
Biking is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and is gaining more recognition as an alternative form of transportation in the U.S. Bicyclists seem to be gaining more perks in many natural areas and parks. Last year, the Virginia State Park System announced a policy to give touring cyclists designated camping spots even when campgrounds are full. The Virginia Bicycling Federation helped promote the new idea.
Joe Elton, Virginia’s State Parks Director, was quoted on the federation’s website as stating: “I credit the Virginia Bicycling Federation with helping us understand the special circumstances that long-distance touring cyclists can find themselves in when the campgrounds are full and there is no reasonable alternative place to overnight.”
Along with this trend, many cities are bolstering infrastructure to support the biking lifestyle.
A recent study released by the University of Massachusetts shows that bicycle project spending creates jobs and supports the economy. In this study, on average, every $1 million spent on cycling related infrastructure projects creates nine jobs within the state. If you add interstate employment through the supply chain, another three jobs are added per $1 million spent.
One bike blogger, Elly Blue, who wrote Bikenomics, says that bicycle infrastructure can be an economic, social, and public health boon for cities. Blue writes: “Bike lanes cost anywhere from $5,000 to $60,000 per mile to add to an existing road … Freeway construction in Michigan’s countryside clocks in at $8 million per mile.” That’s a lot of taxpayer money.
Some cities have successfully removed old highways from downtown areas in favor of smaller roads and bike commuters. It’s happened in Seoul, which tore down the Cheonggyecheon Freeway; in San Francisco, which decided not to replace the Embarcadero Freeway after the 1989 earthquake; and in Milwaukee, which replaced its aging Past East Freeway with a boulevard.
Commuting by Bike? What to Know
If you are commuting by bike, here are some things to remember:
- You don’t need the most expensive bike on the market.
- Make sure you are comfortable with the equipment you have and take it to a shop for a quick tune-up.
- Scope out your route. Take traffic under consideration.
- Carry spare tools: a tube, patch kit, pump, and tools to make a quick tire repair.
- Consult local traffic rules and wear the proper protective equipment.
- Secure front and rear flashing lights to your bike for cycling after dark. Reflective clothing also is a good idea.
- Have Fun! Unlike your job, commuting by bike shouldn’t be stressful.
Be Prepared with a Car Rack
StowAway has many bike rack options for your other mode of transportation — your vehicle. Our racks are rear-mounted and are available on fixed or swinging frames, which make them much easier to load up when distance is an issue. Our racks also are available with a cargo rack to carry your helmets and other biking gear.
Cycling benefits your health, the environment and even the economy. So give cycling a try, whether it’s commuting to work or taking your bike to your city’s new trail. You’ll love it.