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Choose. Bike. Be Happy.

Choose. Bike. Be Happy.

 

Written by Kyle Boelte, a Sierra Club blogger

Something’s changing. I’ve been a cyclist for years, but in the past couple I’ve seen a dramatic change most everywhere I go. Tons of people are riding bikes to get around — and many of them don’t look like classic cyclists. And they don’t necessarily ride racing bikes, either.

All over San Francisco, I’ve been seeing these beautiful, colorful Dutch-style bikes. Women ride down Market Street in stylish dresses and heels. Men in jeans and sneakers or pin-striped suits pedal to the office. All on classy orange or blue or white Dutch bikes.

Turns out they were riding bikes made by a local company — PUBLIC Bikes — that was launched just last year by Rob Forbes, who also founded Design Within Reach. When I visited their website, I found this inspiring mission:

Our vision is for a time when we think as carefully about the way we get around every day as we do about what we eat, how we dress, and how we furnish our homes. Itís not a utopian or unrealistic vision…there is dramatic change afoot, and bikes are playing a part. Why? Because there is simply no smarter solution to helping people move around quickly and economically.

Like I said, itís not just “bike people” who are riding — all sorts of people are riding these bikes to get around. I work at the Sierra Club, and thatís exactly how we think it should be. Sure, biking is great for the environment, but it also makes your life better. Thatís what we believe.

We wanted to make a beautiful video that demonstrated that idea. Filmed in San Francisco along The Wiggle — a bike route familiar to local cyclists — the video was conceived as a tribute to the notion that bike commuting can be a more elegant, stylish, fun, and ultimately more human way to get around.

But you donít just have to look at these beautiful bikes and lust — we want to see more on the road, so we’re giving away a few this week!

Choose. Bike. Be happy.

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Photo used with permission from Sierra Club

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72 comments

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5:24PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

The poll is ridiculous! I chose the NO option, for several very valid reasons - there was no other choice on the poll to state this. Like "I cannot physically ride", etc.
For myself, and my husband, we don't ride bikes for several reasons. We couldn't afford them, are both of an age that it could be injurious to our health, there are no safe places near our home to ride, and we aren't about to go buy a truck to cart them to a safe place. We do, however, frequently walk (with our dog) along the road we live on.. VERY carefully, since many who drive seem to not think the speed limit pertains to them.

3:52AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

I choose bike, everyday without snow.

12:03PM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Sue T - perhaps you have only noticed the bad cyclists and overlooked all the good ones? Law-abiding drivers and cyclists often escape notice and only the miscreants are remembered.

I commute by bike 9 months out of the year - 25kms each way, and I follow all the rules. Be Predictable is my motto as it is the safest way to be. You are less likely to get hit when other road users can know what you are going to do.

People-powered transit is harmless to the environment, promotes better health, costs less, and is sustainable. Other fuel consumers should be charged for their actual cost to the world as a dis-incentive to using polluting means of transport. We can do much better than we have done. Let's make the next 150 years better than the last 150 since the Industrial Age began.

2:23AM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Oh and taxes should not pay for this

2:22AM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Are you serious and is this realistic? The rudest and most non traffis law compliant people in my city Mpls, MN are bicyclists. Not only do I have to watch for them when I am driving to work, some ride in the traffic lanes, slowing all of us down but then when we have to STOP for a red light they just ride on through.

don't cry me a river when you get hit when you want the same rights as drivers and then you get hit because you do not follow the RULES. whenever I see someone riding in traffic when they could be on the bike path I think "pretentious"

I am always courteous, but my patience is wearing thin.

12:54PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

I don't own a bike. I walk most places I go.

12:31PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Bikes rock! In my country (Venezuela) is very dangerous to drive a bike, but we are still fighting!

7:58AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

i do need to start using my bike more often, and my boyfriend needs to get his bike repaired, then i will make him bike to work every day

6:25AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

I would love to ride a bike regularly. But where I live, there is no safe place. We have to pack them up and take them to a bike trail a good 20 minutes drive away and make biking a special event. Very little time for that. We used to do it as a family thing, but no more.
I hope to someday move someplace where I could use the bike for little errands or even commuting. Don't know that it will ever happen.
By the way, those bikes are wicked expensive for what they are. Good Lord, I could get a bottom of the line Specialized and slap a couple of baskets on it and still come out money ahead. I'm sure glad at least you people can afford them.

2:21AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

These bicycles look great. Mass production of something like a recliner tricycle would really help those who for valid reason do not ride a bicycle.

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