Sixty Second Cycling: Bicycling News Recap and Upcoming Events

Transportation Funding Bill

Great news for cyclists and pedestrians - transportation enhancement funds have been added back to Map-21, the Senate's transportation bill!

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid added the Cardin-Cochran Amendment to his manager's amendment for the bill.  While the bill must still be voted on in the Senate and reconciled with the House, this step ensures that the 2% set aside for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure and safety programs remains in the budget.

Thanks to all of you who worked with the League of American Bicyclists and other advocacy groups to make certain our voices were heard on this issue!  Let's keep the pressure on as we follow this bill all the way to the President's desk.

Rising Gas Prices and the Appeal of Bicycling

Earlier in the week, I posted about the appeal of bicycling rising along with the price of gas.  Since then, a couple of really good articles have popped up about gas prices that everyone - cyclist or not - should read.

Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont contributed an op-ed piece to CNN.com this past Tuesday.  Senator Sanders pointed out that despite a higher supply of gasoline than three years ago and with demand for gasoline at its lowest level since 1997, prices at the pump continue to spiral upward.

Speculation - not the economic forces of supply and demand - accounts for 40% of the cost of gas.  The average American is paying $750 per year directly to Wall Street speculators just for the privilege of driving a car.  This is not only a hidden tax, it's more than the price of a very nice bike!

A short video posted yesterday at Momentum Magazine illustrates the true cost to society for a gallon of gasoline.  It's well worth five minutes of your time to get a complete understanding of just how much driving a car costs each and every one of us, even if you don't drive.

Choosing to ride a bike instead of driving - whenever possible - not only saves you money on gas and improves your own health, it benefits everyone in society.  Feel free to call us Patriots...

Four Cycling Sites Every Cyclist Should Bookmark

Each day I peruse my Google Reader news bundle and Facebook news feed for bicycling stories to offer commentary on.  More often than not, I find great articles posted on Grid Chicago, Active Transportation Alliance, League of Illinois Bicyclists, and the chainlink that seldom require additional commentary.  I highly recommend bookmarking these sites and following their respective Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

This past week's posts on Grid Chicago covered sharing the road, pavement markings, ATA's gas tax proposal, Dutch cycling, and a discussion about making cities safe for cyclists.

The Active Transportation Alliance, in addition to its gas tax proposal cited above, blogged about the Skokie Valley Trail and two new bike plans for the Northwest suburbs.

The League of Illinois Bicyclists is best followed on its Facebook page.  New topics are posted daily including links to newly published studies, regional advocacy initiatives, and shares of a variety of interesting cycling-related stories throughout the world.

The chainlink can best be described as a forum for city cyclists.  Topics related to city cycling are discussed and debated daily.  An excellent event calendar is posted to keep you up-to-date on area cycling events.

Upcoming Events

First Friday Ride, tonight, March 2nd, 8pm at Wrigley Field

Chicago Bike Swap, Saturday March 3rd, 10am to 5pm, Pulaski Park Field House

Sweat for Tiny Hearts, Sunday, March 11, Equinox, Highland Park

 

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Keep riding and be safe!

 

 

 

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