Advent of the bike cafe…

Milan, Barcelona, Paris and soon London (and of course Montreal) all have great bike-share programs – along with fabulous bicycles that you just want to ride.   Was reminded of the long-ago UBC attempt at a bike share – came out of the 1990s bike co-op with old bikes painted a mustard yellow.  Perhaps the time has come at UBC to get a 2010+ bike share happening.  And rumour has it there is one coming in the City of Vancouver — we tried out “Bixi” from Montreal — here is the Greenest City site:  http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/transport/cycling/plans/publicbikeshare.htm

A few days ago I noted a piece in the New York Times that indicated that the “cycle culture” has reached critical mass in London and there has been an economic ripple into the café scene.  http://www.lookmumnohands.com/

A recent addition is Look Mum No Hands a bar, café and workshop on Old Street in Shoreditch that functions as a kind of cyclists’ salon.  Serious riders bring in expensive racing bikes for repairs, bike messengers sit in the attached courtyard fueling up with quinoa salads and curious commuters come in to use the free Wi-Fi or study on of the giant cycling maps. Rocky Casale

The new bike-sharing service in London is called Barclays Cycle Hire and it will add 6,000 new bikes at 400 docking stations around London on July 30.

In mid-May there was a piece in the Guardian “Cyclists unimpressed as Boris paints the town blue”.  The new routes are supposed to make cycling safer in London but apparently it is mainly a paint-job – painting the existing bike lanes blue.   The other complaint is that the 1.5 m wide lanes aren’t wide enough to pass other cyclists – causing safety issues.  Also sounds like the collision (word used advisedly) of the cycle path and traffic lights hasn’t quite been sorted out.  Sharing the road continues to challenge use from a design and policy perspective.

But it was hard not to be impressed in Barcelona as cyclists on the beautifully designed red bike-share bicycles leisurely passed us from our sidewalk cafe vantage point.

Bicing Bike Sharing Program in Barcelona PHOTO

Image credit: CESAR RANGEL/AFP/Getty Images

Hoping to hear a definitive time for the Vancouver bike share so we can join the ranks of the bike-share cities in the world.

Share Bikes and Tram in Milan

Share Bikes and Tram in Milan

And this bicycle carries people...

And this bicycle carries more than one person...

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One Response to Advent of the bike cafe…

  1. Peder Sane says:

    I think Bike shares are an amazing idea! I was in BCN a couple months ago and the ability to get on and drop off a bike whenever you wanted seemed to streamline the city for pedestrians.

    I’m sure with the cities green goals there will be a grant given to a bike share program soon.

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