A Whole New Urban Transport Paradigm

It’s starting to happen already. In economics, a principle called “creative destruction” describes how some entities fail (or are destroyed) to enable new and better ones to take their place. In business, organizations denominated as “social enterprises” are operated with less focus on the profit line and more on the community-benefit component — so as to allow for a more benign context in which to test new concepts, and move the development process forward.

In the past few days we have watched the Montréal-based Bixi bike program enter a form of operation that protects it from creditor claims while its finances are addressed.

Does this mean that bike sharing in Bixi client cities dead? Is the whole concept discredited? Are there no alternatives? No, no, and no. Just the opposite. Some form of creative destruction of Bixi (a social enterprise) is serving to stimulate a multitude of new ideas from, and opportunities for, numerous groups that can step in an take bike sharing to new levels.

Enter City CarShare, a non-profit car-sharing program in the SF Bay Area. They’ve just announced a pre-pilot phase of a new program where participants can have a choice of a rental car, OR E-BIKE.

What an awesome mashup of some of today’s most interesting topics: sustainable urban transportation, social enterprise, public-private partnerships, and electric vehicles. The bicycle is deep in the mix of solving some of the most critical problems of cities, through the monetization of “everyday cycling” — not sport, not recreation, but rather a daily task-based tool equal to (or better than) a car.

Shared bikes (of all stripes) on our streets have suddenly achieved a whole new status, and municipal bike sharing programs need never again all look alike.

An exciting time.

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/want-test-drive-electric-bike-san-francisco-shares-e-bikes-through-car-share.html

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Trikes. Fattrikes. Fattrike Adventures.

There’s a vibrant community of recumbent makers and riders, and new ideas abound. Like, for instance, fattrikes and polar adventure. Here’s a great starting spot: http://www.icetrikes.co/home

Addendum 28 Dec:  She made it – http://road.cc/content/news/104976-britains-maria-leijerstram-becomes-first-person-cycle-south-pole#comment-219253

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New Sportive Grading System

ROAD.CC has reported that British Cycling is introducing a grading system for sportives:

“Cyclists entering sportives will next year have a way of judging their relative degrees of difficulty – at least, the ones registered with British Cycling – with the governing body today announcing British Cycling Grading (BCG), which will be based on a 1 to 5 scale of difficulty.

“The scale, devised with the help of Marie Curie Etape Series organisers IMG Challenger World will allow prospective entrants to gauge the scale of the challenge facing them and compare events against one another.”

More at: http://road.cc/content/news/100195-british-cycling-introduces-grading-system-sportives

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Les Trois Etapes Pro-Am Concludes

The Trois Etapes Cycling Pro-Am has concluded its 2103 event, providing a significant fundraising platform for 15 charity teams. It has raised $2.2m for its partners, and in the last 12 months, the total is $4m.

“The event included a 5km Prologue and two timed high mountain stages, including Col de l’Iseran, the highest mountain pass in the Alps. Due to extreme weather conditions, the final stage, which was due to tackle the Col du Chaussy and Col de la Madeleine, was cancelled.

“The event is designed to incentivise tactical team riding. Each team of 8 riders (7 amateurs and 1 pro) has its own team car and Directeur Sportif. Every rider has a radio link with their team car and the Race Director.

“As well as using the event as a fundraising platform, charities have the opportunity to win money for their charity through the event’s prize fund, which is provided by Goldman Sachs Gives. “$1m was raised through Goldman Sachs Gives for the event’s 15 charity teams, with $250,000 being specifically allocated to the prize fund.”

More at: http://hereisthecity.com/2013/07/31/trois-etapes-cycling-pro-am-raises-22-million-for-charity/

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ACA – An Organization in Tune With the Times

Biking is booming all over the world, with adventure-based activities showing dramatic levels of participation and growth. A few organizations are in the forefront of the movement, and one that should be on the scope of riders everywhere is the Adventure Cycling Association.

This note goes out to alert everyone that the ACA is doubling down for their exciting future, with a new magazine format, an a newly constituted Web site and blog. Check in with their outreach programs and enjoy the ride.

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Source: Adventure Cycling Association