[INFOGRAPHIC] The top ten bike commuting cities in the US...

An infographic map of the top ten bicycle commuting cities in the US, broken down by population that commute by bicycle to work.
The top ten bicycle commuting cities in the US, broken down by population that commute by bicycle to work.

Not too much of a shocker that the top three are all on the West Coast and top two are in the NorthWest... What is shocking is that Portland(#1) is almost double the percentage of the 2nd highest city. The top ten bike commuting cities in the US by percent of the poputlation that commute to bicycle to work are:

 

10. Philadelphia - 1.8%

9. Tampa - 1.9%

8. Denver - 2.2%

7. Sacramento - 2.5%

6. Tucson - 3%

5. Washington D.C. - 3.1%

4. Minneapolis - 3.5%

3. San Francisco - 3.5%

2. Seattle - 3.6%

1. Portland - 6%

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[INFOGRAPHIC] How does cycling compare to driving a car every year?

An infographic comparing the costs of annual transportation by car vs bicycle.
We put together this little infographic showing some interesting statistics about driving your car compared to riding your bike every year.
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Gifts for Cyclists - The Christmas 2012 Edition

Black Friday has come and gone(thank goodness) and for folks like myself it is now time to really start thinking about Christmas. So if you ventured into the madness of shopping last weekend and still didn’t come out the other side of the rabbit hole with a gift for that special someone, who also happen to be a biker, then this post may make your remaining shopping list a little shorter. We put a little list of goodies together last year and decided to do the same for this holiday season with all new products, since one thing cyclists love is gear…  So in case ‘Santa’ isn’t able to bring a spanking new bike to your cyclist friend on your shopping list this Christmas, we’ve put together a list of much smaller(literally, figuratively, and on your pocket book) bike stuff that we think would make good stocking stuffers and gifts that your bike lover will, well love...:

 

1.      RoadID (~$20) - Back when I was young, dumb, and very clueless I didn’t even think about bike safety.  I have come a long way since then to say the least(I now own this company that promotes bike safety and visibility at night)… Preventing bike accidents is number one but equipping yourself to deal with an accident if it happens is the just as important in my book. That is where RoadID comes in. They make a range of products that that will help to speak for you in the event you unfortunately can’t. Their products have your vital information as well as contact information for emergency contacts so that first responders have something to go by other than the fact that they think you look like a ‘Jim’… This can literally be a life saver.

 

2.      Nutcase (~$60) - I’ve got a strange question for you that will make sense in a minute. Do you care about a friend/family member’s brain? Well maybe you don’t care for what always comes out of their brain, but you still love them anyways? Then the Nutcase is a great gift to protect that brain… This Portland company makes some very stylish helmets that not only look good but have some cool features that distinguish them from other helmets out there. One thing that I like most about my helmet is the non-clip buckle. They have put a very clever little magnet that snaps together in its place which seems much more durable and keeps you from pinching yourself with that plastic clip… They even have helmets for motorcyclists and snow bunnies if your cyclist needs to protect their noggin with their other hobbies too. 

 

3.       Bicycle Dreams ($25)  – Ever wondered what it is like to bike across the country? How about race across it in 10 days??? This is a wonderful little documentary that has won numerous film festival awards and chronicles the RAAM which is an annual bicycle race across the country. As someone that biked across the country…in over two months, this one got me as I could barely relate to the struggles and emotions they were dealing with. Besides the cycling aspect anyone would appreciate it for the way it captures the drama and determination of the human will. Take that Ebert for a movie review…

 

4.       SPINeRVALS (~$30) – Have you caught your cyclist friend staring longingly out the window at the open road with a blank expression on their face this winter? Then it most likely is because they are cooped up inside NOT riding their bike outside… As painful as it is to be off the bike because of the weather, this baby can help out to ease the pain and get them ready to pound the pavement once Spring time rolls around. These are pretty cool training DVD’s that they can put on while riding their trainer to break up the monotony of riding indoors and work towards specific goals at the same time. They have tons of training DVD’s to choose from which can vary with whatever type of training in particular you are looking to do.

 

5.      A Bike Lock: Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock  (~$68)  – As someone that has had multiple bikes stolen from inside a garage even while being locked up too…I know the heartache of having your bicycle stolen. I also know a thing about how easy certain locks are to snip through with a bolt cutter like it is a piece of floss. Hopefully my experience can prevent your bike lover from feeling this same type of pain. With enough determination…and time, the evil bike thief can navigate their way through ANY bike lock, BUT certain locks will cause them to think twice about even trying and move onto the next poor soul’s bike. The Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock is one that does just that and gets great reviews from everyone that has one. Of course it is a pricey lock but you are paying for the quality here. Plus, if you do ever get your bike stolen using it, they have a $4500 antitheft protection warranty that comes with it to basically replace your bike. Now if you want a lock that has a bit more flexibility so you can wrap it around things…and don’t mind carrying around a heavier and bulkier lock, then check out the Kryptonite New York Chain with EV Series Disc Lock ($68, as well)instead.

 

BONUS: Does your bike lover seem to have every possible bike related gear, gadgets, tool, clothing, artwork, or book you can think of? Then don’t buy them anything, rather donate a present for them towards a worthy bike charity instead. There are plenty of very worthy organizations out there but one we like is the World Bicycle Relief. They help to get bicycles to those in need in 12 Africa countries, whether it be school children, entrepreneurs, health care workers, etc. to improve their daily lives through transportation. Not only that, they don’t just take re-cycled or unused donated bikes, which is fine in itself and there are others non-profits that do that, but they manufacture their bikes locally which create local jobs too. 

 

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Make your bike happy with a set of Rainbow BikeWrappers...

A bicycle wearing Rainbow removable wraps on it's frame.
We found this bike at the end of the Rainbow...

I believe you may find either a Leprechaun holding a big bucket of gold OR a Leprechaun riding a mini bicycle sporting a set of our new Rainbow BikeWrappers if you ever do find that mystical end of the rainbow... Give your bicycle plenty of color with these babies that cover the whole ROYGBIV spectrum.

I believe you may find either a Leprechaun holding a big bucket of gold OR a Leprechaun riding a mini bicycle sporting a set of our
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Wear a bike koozie to your picnic...

A bicycle wearing a red and green plaid set of BikeWrappers just like a koozie for your bike.
You can match your bicycle with your actual picnic blanket...or the kilt you wear while riding your bicycle.

Our new Picnic BikeWrappers make your bike feel just like that...a lovely picnic in the park. Well, either that or a kilt wearing Scottish bicycle. Regardless, your bicycle can now wear these plaid bike wraps like a bike coozy and just like your refreshments at your picnic will most likely be wearing a koozy(how do you actually spell this thing anyway; coozie, coozy, cozy, koozy, koozie, who knows?) of their own...  While spelling may not be my forté, I do know that your bicycle will be happy to get the same protective treatment as your precious beer at your picnic.

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Our (new) list of the 5 best free iPhone apps for Biking

A guy with a saw on the back wheel of his bicycle.
Keeping you on the cutting edge of the bike app technology world... (couldn't resist the bad pun)

Well it’s been over a year since we listed our top 5 iPhone apps for cyclists and it seems that that one app year is the equivalent to seven dog years in the tech world with as quickly as things happen and change in the app-o-sphere… So it is already long overdue and time to make a new list with apps that we have come to love, apps that weren't around last time around, just good complementary apps for cyclists, and highlight some companies that are doing new and interesting things for you so you can get even more use our of your iPhone OR Android phone that you have with you on your bike ride. Plus almost all these apps aren't going to cost you a dime because they are all FREE...

                               

1. Strava (FREE) – Our first app that makes the list has got to be Strava, which we hadn’t discovered yet when we made our first list. What makes Strava so cool is that it is just very smart AND social. What do I mean by that? It is so smart that it even breaks down and identifies all the different sections of your ride so you can see how you just for that section, including distance, elev. Gain, avg. grade, and elapsed time. Not only that but it has a very robust community and shows how you ranked just on that section on a leaderboard... Very cool. So you can compare your ride or just a segment against your past rides as well as all the other riders who have ridden the same ride. They also have pretty cool challenges that allow you to compete with and against your fellow riders in specified challenges. An example being, in the middle of July, they have a ‘Circle of Death’ challenge where you rack up 22,575 feet of climbing between July 15-22, which is the equivalent of amount of climbing the pros will be doing just the actual Circle of Death in the Tour de France. All this is just the free version too, in the premium version you have access to more data analytics, a filtered leaderboard, heart rate monitoring abilities, etc. They also have a version specifically for running, but this has stolen my heart for bike rides. (iPhoneAndroid)

 

2. SBS Tour de France Skoda Tour Tracker 2012 (FREE) -  You can’t make a list like this at this time of year and not include this app. With the Tour de France only 3 days away and the buildup leading to the most exciting cycling race, this will keep you up to date with all the action. Now that all the teams have basically finalized their team rosters and Andy Schleck not racing, the stage is set for Cadel Evans to defend his title. This is the official app of the Tour that will give you live video(some countries only), GPS tracking, video recaps, and all the good stuff you would expect to follow the Tour if you can’t watch it yourself on the TV. Or just get you even more into the minutiae of the event for you Tour fanatics. (iPhone - Android)

 

3. Dermandar(FREE) – I know you are saying, how can this possibly be related to a cycling app? But one of the great things about the sport of cycling is that it takes you to some VERY beautiful and picturesque places. When you finally reach the top of that climb you have been huffing and puffing up for the past hour, you may just be rewarded with an awesome panoramic view from the summit… This is a very cool app to capture that view instead of just a small frame of it and allow you to simply make panoramic pictures (an example of one of ours is here).

It is very simple, easy to use, and makes a seamless panoramic shot by putting together several pics you take as your start the shot and turn yourself around. It gives you the two little halves of the yin and yang symbol and you simply turn your camera to connect the two of them until you are done… (iPhone - Android)



4. Endomondo (FREE) – What is Endomondo? It is another app that is designed to track and capture your activity and has been around for a several years now. How come it made our list? Well, they have created a National Bike Challenge that is running from May 1-August 31 with its goal of uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles, which is pretty cool. It is encouraging people to get out there and ride their bikes BUT also are encouraging folks with prizes as well. They are sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and Bikes Belong and have a good amount of prizes that they are giving away. The more you ride, the more points your will accumulate and increase your chances of winning some free stuff. Basically, you can win some free stuff just for riding your bike like you already are this summer. (iPhone - Android)

 

5. Spinlister - While this isn’t necessarily an app per se, more a web service, and not necessarily available everywhere(only New York and San Francisco per se), we did want to include it as a new and interesting service. The service is called Spinlister and is basically a company that is a bicycle rental marketplace for individuals. It allows you to rent out your own bike OR rent a bike from an individual kind of like a bicycle version of Zipcar. It’s a pretty neat idea that you can actually earn some money from renting out your unused bike and let someone else take your sweet ride on an actual ride for a little beer money… They say that the average rental price is $20 a day and they insure your bike up to $5000 too so don’t need to worry too much about someone taking your bike for a ride and never coming back. With more cities implementing bike-share programs of their own, this is a pretty cool alternative to give renters another option to get around town…on a bike. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if they come out with an app in the future.

 

BONUS: Bike Maps($0.99) – I know this one isn't exactly free(99 pennies), but thought it is worth including. If you are someone that travels quite a bit, not too familiar with the city layout that you’re in, and want to navigate the city on two wheels rather than four, this is a pretty useful app. It is a collection of over 400 maps of cities around the US that shows the bike trails or bike friendly routes through the city. (iPhone)

 

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One easy way to improve your(our) life...[INFOGRAPHIC]

Bike more...that is. I came across this and it does a pretty neat job of conveying all the benefits of bike riding in a fun and little mustachioed man way. I would say that even if half the stats listed in this infographic were true...it would still make a pretty convincing argument to ride your bike more.  It's healthy for you, it saves you money, it is good for the environment, and oh yeah riding a bike is just fun. A couple of the key points it lists, if you can't tell from the infographic below:

 

  • the average person will lose 13 lbs in their first year of riding to work.
  • a French study found that bikes are 50% faster than cars during rush hour.
  • 20 bikes can be parked in the same space as a car.
  • adding 30 minutes of daily cycling saves each of us $544 in medical costs annually.
  • across 55 major US cities, commuting by bike rose 70% between 2000-2009.

 

Now it also seems like it says the way to answer all our problems is to just move to Portland and ride our bikes, but don't think the city would quite be able to handle an influx of 310 million people. It is really just a good and simple example of how the US city with the largest ridership of people that commute by bike(6%) effects the community.

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Enter our 'Show us your Ride' Contest

In the Pacific Ocean
In the Pacific Ocean

We are pleased to announce our 'Show us your Ride' contest, pre-BikeWrappers of course. All you have to do is post a picture on our FaceBook Page of your bike. Simple, right? There aren't too many ground rules for this so you can be as creative as you'd like. You can be riding it, racing on it, on it's own, with a beautiful backdrop...you choose. You can be artistic, humorous, simple, you decide... The contest will run from now through 3/17, so you have a week and the winner will get to choose anything that we sell as their prize. The judge will be me with my very subjective and artistically challenged eyes. Then if you want, you can give us a shot of your proud bike with their NEW BikeWrappers on them. Here is one of mine(in the Pacific Ocean) as an example. Good luck.

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