Advocacy


Just got an inquiry from an AMAZING artist in Sweden, Anders Jakobsen aka Lagombra, who has built this truly spectacular bicycle rollercoaster in Eindhoven at the MU Art Foundation for an exhibition about the Dutch bicycle.  Sadly, it’s long gone, as one can tell by reading between the lines of the exhibitor’s (designhuis) website.  However, I was so blown away, I thought I’d share for you all to writhe jealously about.  I know I did.  Read more here, here, and here.

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I’ve actually been making use out of my Twitter account lately.  Mainly, it’s to watch every move of Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman (the illustrator and author respectively of the original BOOK form of Coraline.. P. Craig Russell was the artist for the graphic novel).  Just kidding, though those two are Twitter-sluts, I swear!

Anyways, I digress.  I was paging through various updates and came upon one very interesting one from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance that simply asked “Would you trade in your car for a fully-loaded, hand-crafted, Fort Collins-built commuter bike and trailer?” and sure enough, those great beer-brewing bike bums New Belgium (founded bike a Bike Friday owner, no less!) are offering a free (and rather stylish-looking) bike outfit to anyone willing to simply let go of those blasted cars.  Sure, if you’re carting around a buncha kids, you might have a good excuse, but you single folks got nothing. 😀

If you still think I’m nuts, consider this great calculator that can help you really look at the TRUE costs of car ownership.. and what you could do with the money you save.  It’s really startling.  If it surprises you, think about the majority of your rides.  Could you car share or bus instead if you’re not into getting wet or being cold?  Are some of your trips within walking distance (many are– to the corner store, for example).  Review the National Household Travel Survey and you’l find the car’s value begins to wane a bit.

But hey, if a cool free bike won’t convince you, I certainly won’t.  Just wait until we get to Europe’s gas prices.  According to one source, out of 141 countries, we were 101 in gas prices which means that 100 were worse.  This means the majority of the world is trending towards higher prices.  Have we any reason to think this won’t be the case?

As far as I’m concerned, having Hanz and Alan on the front cover of Time as the world’s most influential people, seeing Sylar and Luke Campbell from Heroes continue their journey on a Family Tandem, or having U2 do a continental tour on a fleet of Pocket Rocket Pros equipped with Shimano’s new electronic shifting Dura-Ace 7970 Di2 wouldn’t be half as cool as this.

Nope, the Bike Friday has made it to the big time:  on the greatest (cycling) comic strip of all time, Yehuda Moon. of which I have blogged around at least once.  Anyways, marvel at the profound glory of the tikit sandwiched neatly between witty word-balloons and careful caricatures of cyclists we surely know:

What a perfect bike the tikit is for this subject of drivers’ attitudes towards cyclists.  Indeed, though the law extends cylists the right to ride, it doesn’t not give us the right to respect and certainly does not demand drivers’ to give it to us.  No matter how much we have tried to follow the rules of the road (hopefully we are) and tried to act calmly when the poor sap getting 10mpg yelled at you for being on his road, we have not yet got to the point where there is mutual respect among different forms of transportation.

There is a solution though:  fold it up and stick it on the bus.  Bring your iPod and enjoy some good tunes while you catch up on your reading.  And get some fresh air, too.  You may think this can be done with a normal bike and the answer is just– in some places at some times.  Even in sleepy Eugene, though, the busses are getting crowded and bikes are getting turned away.  Every bike except folders.

Indeed, there’s a reason we made it to the Big Time, folks. 😀

Walk, bike, drive, fly, carpool, take the train or bus, just get your buns down to Eugene, specifically Hutch’s Bicycles at Charnelton and 10th (by the downtown library) on March 6th from 5:30-9:00 p.m. and you can get yourself, among a slew of great offers, 15% off  Bike Fridays!!!

In addition to that, you’ll be able to check out some of the finest manufacturers of bicycles and bicycle accessories in the Northwest, including Chris King, Burley, Co-Motion, Rolf, Castelli, Detours, Redline, Yakima, and Showers Pass.

The local bicycle club, GEARs (run by our very own Paul) will be there, as will Lee Shoemaker, representing the city of Eugene, and one of two certified bicycle schools in the country, from Ashland, Oregon, the United Bicycle Institute.

William L. Sullivan, author of THE BEST guidebooks about the wonderful state of Oregon, will be there as Oregon Adventures.  I’m still bummed I missed his workshop on car free recreation at the Eugene Walking/Biking Summit.

edit 2/24/9: Oops on the above.  Turns out this is the other Oregon Adventures, from Oakridge, Oregon.  They do guided bicycle adventures.  Cool stuff, but not William L. Sullivan, who still is the best. 😀

Music will be provided by Skip Jones, a local boogie piano man, who calls on the likes of Otis Spann, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Fats Domino, Leon Russell, and James Booker for inspiration.  Ought to keep it lively.

You can meet the mayor of Eugene, Kitty Piercy, who has pushed through resistance from the community (which, despite its hippie/anarchist reputation, is surprisingly about half right-wing) to try to make Eugene a more fun, sustainable, livable space.  She deserves your thanks as it much of our success can be attributed to her support.

There’ll be door prizes and contests.  They’ve got wine tastings, too!

All of this is free!  Seriously, this cannot be missed.

Mike and I should be there to represent Bike Friday so come say hi!

scan0001Seriously, it may happen.  Sure, we’ve joked that we should send Obama a tikit, what with him being a cyclist anyways, but a tikit may find its way there in a totally different way.  It turns out that one of the people rumored to have a place in the seat of Secretary of Transportation is none other than Peter DeFazio, Bike Fridays’ own Congressman.

Being a supporter of local business (and subsequently NOT a supporter of the economic bailout), and a serious bike advocate (he’s got a bike/ped-only bridge in Eugene named after him!), Peter toured our factory two years ago.  Since, he’s been seen doing his commute on a custom built, all-American just the tikit.  Here you can see him with Alan and our dealer development dude, Michael Bennett, in front of the new Eugene courthouse with his favourite ride.

But hopefully soon you’ll see him in the White House. 😀

Whether we have McCain or Obama leading the future of America, I certainly hope that they’re leading it towards this prophetic display in Christchurch, New Zealand, that a couple good friends found:

rip-car

I am hopeful that both would move us in this necessary direction.  I just have a sneaking suspicion one of the two will get us there quicker.  Here’s hoping for the best.

ambiguity sign
Let’s imagine a new tikit model.  We’ll call it the Not The tikit.  It comes in 5 varieties:

  1. The one from Malawi.
  2. The word for stitches or tricks in Finland.
  3. The DJ from Istanbul.
  4. The London company that provides IT consulting to legal and accounting firms.  These are the nasty folks that stole our domain name!  Boycott them now!
  5. The Massachusetts record label Northeast, which once labeled itself Tikit (thanks, Malcolm).
First person to take their Bike Friday tikit to all of the above locations will get a special prize.
By the way, the other Bike Friday continues to get tons of press, yet I don’t think I’ve heard of a Bike Friday bike on a Bike Friday ride.  Another prize for the first one of those.
Lastly, how about a third prize to anyone that sneaks their Pocket Crusoe onto the set of the new TV series Crusoe.
Don’t forget the proof!
That ought to get us some good stories!

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