Please pardon my going a bit off topic again, but I've been thinking about the commute. You see, I'm a bit of a news addict and often skim the online editions of a couple of dozen foreign newspapers and blogs each morning; it's important to have a balanced worldview. A couple of things have jumped out at me these past couple of days; one is obvious; the other is the number of articles about commuting on bikes and about city bike programs. This is a topic that really seems to be on the public's mind.
The Catalan newspaper El Periódico has an article comparing public bike rental programs in Lyons and Barcelona. Be sure to click on the graphic. If you prefer your news in English, autobloggreen.com has a nice summery of the piece. I find this sort of bicycle program fascinating and can't wait to use the new rental bikes next time I'm in Paris.
I'm not sure if this piece in USA Today about an "Islamic Bicycle" (USA Today is a rag I rarely read) is a distasteful joke, or serious. But it tells of an Iranian bike designed to preserve a women's modesty. Here's a quote:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has devised an "Islamic bicycle." This new vehicle comes fully equipped with a cabin to conceal parts of a female cyclist's body.
The new technology is less about the bike and more about suppressing women. Iran, unlike Saudi Arabia, allows women to drive cars. In fact, Iran's top race car driver, Laleh Seddigh, is a woman. Women also ride motorcycles, although they must be accompanied by a man (and must sit behind him).
But Iran forbids women from riding bicycles (thus, the newly designed bike). The belief is that sexuality is easily stimulated in both sexes. The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced in 1999 that "women must avoid anything that attracts strangers, so riding bicycles or motorcycles by women in public places causes corruption and is thus forbidden."
Wired has just reviewed the Bridy folding bike. Now I want one.Treehugger has a post about the success of bike travel in Berlin.
Several papers have had articles about Mexico City's biking mayor and his pro-bike initiatives. Here is one from Sand Diego.
Monocle, a really superb magazine, had a bicycle wheel on it's last cover and featured "A global survey of bicycle culture and and commerce". The newest issue features a survey of the most livable cities and bicycle infrastructure features prominently. Here's the list:
Monocle's Top Ten livable cities
Finally, how about this short piece about a plan to use more cargo bikes in the Netherlands.