I rode my bike to work today, so had I not run an errand in China Town, I wouldn’t have noticed that SmartBike DC launched today.
Ironically, I was coming back from the camera shop and had a real camera this time.
According to SmartBike’s website, 10 locations opened today, and the one I visited (Gallery Place) had about 12-15 slots for bikes. This is a far cry from the 750 lockup stations and 10,000 bikes that Paris launched on its opening day (they’ve since doubled both numbers), but still infinitely more than have ever existed anywhere in this country. Continue reading
Mayor Daley is considering a test of 1,500 public rental bikes in a program similar to Paris’ Velib experiment. After visiting Paris this summer, Daley was very impressed with the Paris bike rental program; the Economist reports that Velib has seen daily rides hit 100,000 for its fleet of 10,000 bikes.
This would continue Daley’s long streak to make my hometown one of the greenest in the U.S., and transportation has always been a key component. Though its public transportation authority, the CTA, continues to face financial shortfalls and maintenance issues, Chicago still has one of the nation’s best transportation systems. Millennium Park also offers bike commuters a secure, public bike lock-up facility featuring public lockers and showers.
One of my favorite documentaries is Fire on the Mountain, which follows the creation of the Army’s storied 10th Mountain division.
As part of a series on WWII, All Things Considered is running a program on the 10th Mountain division today. When they returned from the war, 10th Mountain soldiers brought a love of outdoor recreation back home to the states; 10th mountain alumni founded NOLs, and Nike, and in addition to founding many ski resorts they are generally credited with bringing winter mountain sports to the U.S.