The days are shorter. The breezes less refreshing, more chill-enducing. The trees lining our Lady (and Lady-lover) rides are increasing bespeckled with chromatic variation.
It is officially Fall, and as my dear readers know: A Lady is always prepared.
In several upcoming posts I will be detailing some fabulous Lady gear for the chilled eves and showers-of-the-non-hygenic-kind that accompany the transitional season of Autumn.
Most important tenants for a Lady this time of year? Visibility and layering.
Check out these lovely-meets-functional bow reflectors for helmets from OneTwoSpeed, a Lady-run company operating out of Brooklyn, NY. As I’ve mentioned before, reflectors > neon fabric, so add an accessory and another visual cue for our steel-enclosed counterparts.
A great, waterproof coat is a must, but what is a Lady to do about her shoes? The traditionally obnoxious and often-useless “booties” sold in outdoors stores and cycle shops quite frankly blow, but a soggy sole is entirely unfabulous. Problem solved! Leggits from Georgia in Dublin, a small company in the UK, protect your shoes, look stylish, and actually stay in place well enough to keep out the Fall rain and street schmutz.
With the right gear, the joys of riding can extend into all four seasons. Huzzah!
Check back in the upcoming weeks for more info on how to chicly layer your bike and your wardrobe (including cost-friendly coats and skirts) for Fall and Winter.
Keep riding stylishly, Ladies!
Communities with less walkability and ride-ability? Yep. Those people have more diabetes.
Forgive my lack of surprise.
More on the recent study from TreeHugger.com, highlights my own:
Newly developed areas characterized by urban sprawl are wreaking havoc on the environment by any number of reasons, one of which is an integral piece of suburban design – a reliance on cars. But neighborhood design also influences the health of human populations, according to a new study from St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
The researchers found that the less walkable one’s neighborhood is, the higher risk its inhabitants have of developing diabetes.
[...] The results were surprising, with up to a 50 percent increase in the risk of developing diabetes for those living in a less walkable neighborhood, when compared to long-term residents living in the most walkable areas, results were regardless of neighborhood income.
[...] ”Although diabetes can be prevented through physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss, we found the environment in which one lives is also an important indicator for determining risk,” said Dr. Gillian Booth, an endocrinologist and researcher at St. Michael’s and lead author.
Active transportation not only saves lovely Lady waistlines, spreads smiles, love, and human connection, but it also saves citizens’ lives and community healthcare expenses.
So Ladies: lay off the doughnuts and keep. on. riding.
Lovely Ladies who want to see more space for our joyous adventures atop two wheels: turns out we’re not alone.
In fact, we’re in the 83% majority of Americans from a Princeton-conducted survey who support federal funding for active transportation, with 47% reporting a desire for INCREASED financial allocations. Fabulous!
With more of the public on our side of the issue, we’re in a better position to change the debate locally and in Washington.
More on the study from pegasusnews.com, the highlights are my own:
Getting Democrats and Republicans to find political harmony on any issue is no easy task, but according to a recent poll, there’s one thing almost everyone can agree on: bikes.
The national Princeton-conducted survey, commissioned by the advocacy group America Bikes, found that 80 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats, as well as 83 percent of all respondents, supported maintaining or increasing federal funding for bike paths, bike lanes and sidewalks.
“What I found most significant from the survey was that 12 percent of all trips [Americans take] are either biking or walking, but only 2 percent of the Congress budget for transportation goes to bicyclists and pedestrians,” said music composition senior Christopher Walker, who writes for the bicycle advocacy group Bike Denton.
In July, the U.S. Congress passed a transportation bill that cut federal funding for bike and pedestrian paths by about 30 percent, according to America Bikes. How the funds are used is left mostly in the hands of local and statewide policymakers.
After federal cuts and alterations to Lady-happiness-increasing bike and pedestrian funding, more power has been handed over to states. Translation: local elections are molto molto importante, Ladies (and Lady-lovers)!
So get out and vote in November!
And till then: keep riding, Ladies!
Lovely, cycling Ladies (plus handsome Lady-lovers) coupled with efficient, expanded public transit? A match made in urban planning heaven!
And despite the car-loving American stereotype, a recent study shows that more Americans want expanded public transit, not additional lanes for their steel-boxes.
The study, conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, polled over 800 likely voters across the country following extensive focus groups in select cities. And the researchers? Bipartisan. A solid study.
Some of the results:
- Most citizens would like to drive less, but believe it is not a realistic option for them
- Americans clearly think that our current transportation infrastructure is outdated, and want improved public transportation
- Only one in five Americans backs building new roads as a solution to traffic congestion
- Americans of all ideological backgrounds favor public transportation
- Americans over-estimate what their state spend on public transportation… and would still like that proportion nearly doubled
They also noted that people are extremely cost driven, so avoiding fare increases and keeping public transit affordable is key to increasing ridership.
The more public transit citizens utilize, the fewer steel-coffins travel our roads, and the more enjoyable our rides. In cities like Bogota, Columbia, advanced bus and bike infrastructure went hand-in-hand. This fabulous model is just as applicable, and apparently popular, in the United States.
So keep on pushing your representatives to prioritize accessible, expanded public transit and bike infrastructure. And as always: remember to enjoy your life atop two wheels, Ladies!
Any Lady who’s ridden over, near, or within ear shot of the cocophonous, desolate, off-gassing, anxiety-producing congestion of a freeway knows that these eyesores divide and damage the cohesiveness of our cities (all while encouraging segregating sprawl).
A recent conference in Bellagio, Italy examined the idea of creating livable cities, particularly places free of the detriment of highways. Speakers included Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Coumbia, and fervent proponent of active and public transportation, and Peter Calthorpe, a renound American architect and proponent of sustainable building and planning.
World cities (especially those of Asia, Africa and Latin America) will grow a stunning 72 percent by 2050, from today’s 3.6 billion to 6.3 billion people, more than the total world population in 2002.
The task of creating livable environments for the newcomers will be made even tougher by freeways that consume big chunks of cityscape, cut through and often isolate poor neighborhoods, and pollute at prodigious levels. Sold as congestion relief, freeways encourage more and more auto use and end up triggering some of the most massive traffic snarls known to man.
Second, and sadly, limited-access super-roads, with their extraordinarily high construction costs, soak up public revenue that could be going into schools, housing, libraries and public health to improve the lives of millions of poor families scraping through at mere subsistence levels.
Instead, those who gain in the developing world are most often the affluent classes, using the roadways to commute between city centers and their gated communities miles away. The super-roads end up triggering waves of sprawl and chiefly benefit the international consultants and construction firms that push them.
[...] Calthorpe, for example, suggests that freeway-free cities could be planned with a broad network of car-less avenues, each offering generous space for walking, biking and exclusive bus lanes, an environment perfect for apartments and shops. Each such avenue would be separated a few hundred yards in each direction from parallel one-way streets that accommodate cars and trucks.
[...] So what’s the secret to creating such a freeway-free, democratic vision of the future city for all? It’s clearly to get ahead of the private sector land-grab game that so frequently accompanies rapid-growth cities.
And that’s the rub. The only way to ensure against land speculation and bad use, says Penalosa, “is government control of expanding land use to prevent crazy sprawl.”
In Portland, OR, the urban growth boundary has reduced the extent of sprawl and need for highway access, but the city is still separated into isolated quadrants by major highways. These walls of metal and pavement degrade the air and water quality of the entire city and make travel to and from different neighborhoods more challenging.
Despite advances made in other cities, projects like the Columbia River Crossing (a 10 lane, mega-highway expansion from north Portland to Vancouver, WA with token “bike access & light rail” thrown in to appease less-educated-and-engaged Ladies) continue to be proposed and built at price tags that are beyond sustainable budgeting. These projects and our current stretches of city highway encourage sprawl and single-occupancy steel-box travel, whose effects on cities are the exact problems being addressed at this conference and by urban planners worldwide.
Removing highways from within city limits, rather than adding or expanding them, is infrastructure policy that Ladies (and Lady-lovers) can get behind.
Imagine riding on neighborhood and city streets without having to plan your route around vast expanses of high-speed asphalt. If there weren’t highways in our cities, how much would this improve our two-wheel travel? Our air? Our quality of life? These are the kinds of questions we should be raising to our elected officials, fabulous Ladies (and Lady-lovers).
Keep riding and thinking outside the car, Ladies!