Recycled Cycles

Keeping Seattle Rolling Since 1994

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Seattle Ranks #4 in Bicycling and Walking Study

The Alliance for Biking & Walking just released a report that ranks all 50 states and the 51 largest cities in the U.S. on bicycling and walking levels as well as safety, funding and more. Here are the top 10 cities:

  1. Boston
  2. Washington, DC
  3. San Francisco
  4. Seattle
  5. New York 
  6. Portland, OR 
  7. Minneapolis 
  8. Philadelphia 
  9. Honolulu 
  10. New Orleans

I wasn’t surprised to learn that Seattle ranked #4 on the list, and Washington state #15 – those numbers bear out what we’ve always known, that this is a great place for cyclists. I did find some of the statistics they mentioned (below) interesting. Do any of them surprise you?

  • In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles.
  • Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
  • Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
  • Bicycling and walking projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, compared to just 7 jobs created per $1 million spent on highway projects 
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Snowcycling…

Photo Credit: xJason.Rogersx

Ah, our first Snowmaggedon of the year! Considering the way many people drive in the snow around here, pedaling around town might be your best bet. Plus, it can be fun! Watch out for ice, and use common sense in the snow. Here are a few tips to keep you upright:

  • Tires with treads are your friends. If you have studded tires, all the better. You can even make your own, in a pinch, though we make no claims to the wisdom in that.
  • Brake early and gently, as you would in a car. Be cautious with the front brake.
  • Watch out for ruts caused by refrozen slush – they’re like train tracks and can put you on your backside in a flash.
  • There’s no shame in walking over the icy parts. Leave the ego at home!
  • Going downhill can be sketchy. Use caution.
  • Turns too – especially if you’re transitioning from a cleared main street to a snowy/icy side street.

Enjoy the snow! We don’t get much of it at sea level, so it seems only right to get out and play while it lasts.

Bike Your Way Back to Good Health

Photo Credit: Flowizm

Let’s face it – many of us are feeling a little sluggish after the excesses of the holiday season. If getting (or staying) fit is among your New Year’s Resolutions, bicycling is a great way to make it happen. Cycling is a great aerobic workout that doesn’t hammer the joints the way running can, can help you lose weight, reduces stress and builds strength. And in our climate, you truly can ride year-round.

 Here are a few statistics from Bikes Belong that might help you stay motivated!

For more health related statistics from Bikes Belong, click here.

Happy New Year From Recycled Cycles

Photo Credit: AntwerpenR

We hope you all had a Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Now that we’re back into the routine, it’s resolution time. At our house, we’ll be cutting back on the bad stuff (beer, wine, ice cream) and increasing the good stuff (exercise, regular sleep, veggies). And of course, we hope to spend a few more hours in the saddle this year than we did last year. To that end, here are some tips to help with cycling-related resolutions.

  • Be specific. Set intentions that you can quantify. Instead of the vague “I want to ride my bike more in 2012,” resolve to ride three times a week or 50 miles on the weekends – or whatever amount appeals to you.
  • Set goals. It always helps to have something to work for. If you race, take a look at last year’s times and figure out what you can aim for. If you’re a recreational cyclist, sign up for a group ride like the STP (registration opens Jan. 10 for Cascade members) or BikeMS. If you keep your eye on the prize it will be easier to get out and ride week in and week out.
  • Grab a friend. Or several friends! In many ways, cycling is a social activity. Find friends with similar goals and keep each other accountable. It’s more fun, and you’ll be more successful.
  • Plan for success. Let’s face it, we’ve got a few more months of rain to look forward to around here. If you let a little wet weather keep you indoors, it will be a long winter. Prepare to deal with the weather so that it’s a non-issue: fenders and rain gear are your friends!

Here’s to all of us rolling through 2012 healthy and happy!

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