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The Absurdity of Stationary Bikes

Cong. Earl Blumenauer, speaking at an event with David Byrne and Janette Sadik-Khan, points out the absurdity of people driving to gyms to hop on stationary bikes. Lack of bicycle infrastructure is to blame, he says.

"New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan revealed one of the most vexing absurdities of all: federal rules that make it extremely difficult if not impossible to build good bicycle infrastructure. For a city to build a bicycle lane requires a detailed air quality conformity analysis and a long checklist of approvals, she explained, and requires the involvement of the state DOT. "There are no national street designs that accommodate best practices" in bicycle lane design, she added."

Full Story: Cities and Cycling: Ignoring A Simple Alternative



Yes it is pretty absurd. . .

Yes it is pretty absurd. . . unless you attach a generator to the bicycle which you can use to power the electronic display. That's when it's completely absurd.

Electric bike

Reminds me of this innovation:

"The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real-time."

Improving Bike Infrastructure etc.

There are many areas where enviro. progress is being impeded by lack of good federal regs or cumbersome public admin, both noted problems in this article. It is good to hear that bike advocates are working to change this.

Improving bike infrastructure is definitely an important component. A relative of mine said she would not bike in places like cities because she feels it is "unsafe." But, she has taken part in bike classes in the gym- where it is "safe."

Part of the solution is also a cultural shift. In the Philly region, a group of seniors have started a regular biweekly cycling group. They ride together in local parks on paved paths. What a great model!

We need more of this- people going out to bike together in groups. Part of the reason people prefer gyms is for the social aspect- to exercise with other people.

The absurdity of driving to the gym to exercise on a stationery piece of equipment can also be explained by our general habit of car dependence. A friend commented on his blog about how people will drive around the gym parking lot like hawks to find the parking spot closest to the building, only to go in and workout on the stairmaster for 45 minutes. Why not pick a far away parking spot and get exercise by walking from your spot to the building??

People are stuck in habits and mindsets re transportation and exercise. It's a matter of providing them alternatives.

On the topic of stationery bikes producing energy, I think that is a great idea. All the energy transferred into stationery machines can power the lights for the gyms that they are housed in!

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