Photo via midnightridazz.
This new 30-page booklet, Bicycle Lifestyle Guide, takes just an hour to read, and it is an inspiring and cheerful general audience guide to urban biking from the non-profit C.I.C.L.E. organization. If you thought bike commuting just wasn't possible for you, the BLG just might change your mind. What is great about the booklet, in addition to the lively, varied graphics, is that the BLG isn't preachy. It doesn't exhort you to fully embrace the bike commuting lifestyle, or necessarily give up your other forms of commuter transportation, or feel guilty when you leave the bike at home. Instead, the BLG is all about creating more opportunities to bike. Just like meatless Mondays, a one-day-a-week bike commute can be a good way to ease into a practice that eventually just might provide a lot of joy.
All the fun, none of the emissions
One of the interesting facts in the BLG was the statistic about emissions from car trips. Ninety percent of the emissions in a 7-mile trip, the book says, occur in the very first mile driven. That's in addition to the well-known fact that about 40% of car trips are of under 4 miles.
C.I.C.L.E. is ready to get new bikers started. The BLG includes some basics of things to remember when cycling, and while the really are the basics, they are good to review. Things like getting a good bike bell, a sturdy lock, and a bike mirror. Eventually, if you really love commuting, you can add the rain gear and the good night lights.
Moms on bikes
Though the BLG is a great place to start your bike commuting life, it could have used a bit more help for that under-service portion of the urban biking world - moms on bikes and of course, dads on bikes. BLG does mention both the Xtracycle and bakfiets as bikes that help if you are going to be moving a lot of stuff on your bike, but doesn't get into the question of what you should do if you have a little one to haul around.
In any case, the BLG guide in available for free download, and C.I.C.L.E. will have some printed copies of the guide as well. Check out the web site for information on their workshops - held in southern California.
Read more about urban city biking at TreeHugger:
Where Cyclists Dare: Right the Streets of Istanbul
Five Cool Cargo Bikes and the Return of the Long John
Virtuous Cycle Video Hightlights
One Swedish Cyclist's Lament: How Hard Should it Be to Bike to Work?