PeopleForBikes rates 480 US cities to determine the best places for bikes

INDIANAPOLIS (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes recognized and awarded several cities at the second annual PlacesForBikes conference, which wraps up today in this Midwestern city. Through its new program, City Rankings, PeopleForBikes takes a data-driven approach to determine which cities are best for biking, and those that are improving the fastest

SRAM mourns death of front derailleur – do you?

SRAM has just released a video mourning the passing of the front derailleur on modern mountain bikes. 

“Though not a sudden departure, the weight of finality is heavy…it’s time to say goodbye to the mountain bike front derailleur forever,” the narrator solemnly states. 

This video eulogy could be more proof that SRAM’s rumored wide-range 1×12 will be released very soon. Click here to read our analysis of how this 1×12 drivetrain could stack up against the competition and what it might mean for you.   


This video also begs the question: is the front derailleur really dead? Sure, SRAM might not plan to include front derailleurs and multiple chainrings in its future drivetrains, but is that what the majority of mountain bikers want? 

Share your opinion in this survey and sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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Women in the bike industry: leading the way at Trek

Things are changing in the bike industry. Ever-increasing numbers of women are bringing their expertise and experience to a variety of roles. Some are behind the scenes, some in the public eye, but all of them are blazing a trail not only for other women within the industry, but also in how the cycling industry itself caters to women riders.

We spoke to three women holding key roles at Trek about how they’re making their mark. We asked them for their views on the changing world of cycling, and their hopes for the future.

Related: Jessica Klodnicki ‘We wanted to reset’: Bell Helmets on remodelling a ‘masculine’ cycling brand


Mio Suzuki, Aerodynamics Analysis Engineer, Trek

“I’m responsible for providing data and insights on aerodynamics of cycling, including elements like helmets and wheels. My two main tasks are running computational analysis (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD) to virtually optimise designs, and coordinating wind tunnel tests to test physical prototypes. 

“My portion of analysis figures out how to make the top riders go even faster. Typically, my analysis results are combined with the structural analysis, lots of fine detailed engineering, and industrial designing efforts to make a final product.”

What is your background and how did you come to work at Trek? 

How did you get into cycling?

The bike industry has traditionally had a very male-dominated workforce. Do you think this is changing? 

Do you think more could be done to encourage women into the industry?

The theme of International Women’s Day 2016 is ‘pledge for parity’ – what is the one most important thing that needs to be done or to happen for parity within cycling?

Emily Bremer, Women’s Marketing Manager, Trek

What is your background and how did you come to work at Trek? 

How did you get into cycling?

The bike industry has traditionally had a very male-dominated workforce. Do you think this is changing?

Do you think more could be done to encourage women into the industry?

What is the one most important thing that needs to be done or to happen for parity within cycling?

Jenn Campbell, Design Engineer, Mountain Bike Department, Trek

What is your background and how did you come to work at Trek?

The bike industry has traditionally had a very male-dominated workforce. Do you think this is changing? 

What is the one most important thing that needs happen for parity within cycling?

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Cargo Bike Nation – Copenhagen

Long John

Cargo Bike Nation – Copenhagen
We are in the process of working on our newest Desire Line Analysis here at Copenhagenize Design Company. As mentioned in the previous post, we harvest all manner of data out of our many hours of direct observation. It is well known that Copenhagen is a cargo bike city. We know that there are 40,000 cargo bikes in Greater Copenhagen. Copenhagenize moved office by cargo bike. We have this film about cargo bikes in the city for your perusal.?We even have a book featuring over 700 photos of cargo bikes and how they are used.

Nevertheless, we were curious and wanted some more data about cargo bikes in Copenhagen. Soo… we counted them. Over ten hours on May 6, 2015, we counted every cyclist going through the Søtorvet intersection in Copenhagen in order to study their desire lines. Then we went back and counted cargo bikes. Because we can. And because we wanted some numbers.

One important detail about this count is that most cargo bike traffic in the city is in the neighbourhoods. Parents dropping off their kids at school. These ‘hoods are prime cargo bike territory. On the route we observed, most people are heading to work or education or running errands in the city. We knew that the number of cargo bikes would be lower than in the densely-populated neighbourhoods but we still ended up surprised.

Out of over 35,000 cyclists between 8AM and 6PM, there were 718 cargo bikes. That is 2% of the total number of bicycles. In the City of Copenhagen alone, 6% of all bicycles are cargo bikes. So that number is lower, for the reason outlined above.

The cargo bikes and bikes with trailers were being used for a variety of reasons. Just as a bicycle, to transport goods, to transport kids and there were also five rickshaws and 15 Post Danmark cargo bikes.

We observed them all and started to record data about them and their riders.

Cargo Bike Nation - by Copenhagenize Design Co.
Yep. Here is the established number of cargo bikes in Greater Copenhagen.

Cargo Bike Nation - by Copenhagenize Design Co. Cargo Bike Nation - by Copenhagenize Design Co.
The City of Copenhagen has determined that 26% of all families in the City of Copenhagen with two or more kids own a cargo bike. This is the primary use of cargo bikes in Copenhagen – getting kids around. The cargo bike is the SUV in this city.

There are over 30 brands of cargo bikes available to consumers in Denmark. More than 25 of them are Danish and others are from the Netherlands and Germany.

Cargo Bike Nation - by Copenhagenize Design Co.
Here are the numbers we crunched based on 10 hours of direct observation at Søtorvet intersection on May 6, 2015. The majority of cargo bikes are the Copenhagen standard – three wheelers in a wide variety of brands, although Christiania Bikes and Nihola have the largest market share by far.

14% were two wheelers – a style rapidly rising on the market here largely thanks to the Bullitt by Larry vs Harry, which made up over 30% of all the two wheelers. There are still a few trailers around – 4% of the total. In Copenhagen trailers are retro and remind us of Germans or Swedes in the 1980s.

Men dominate the ridership of cargo bikes as you can see in the graph at bottom right, above. Ask anyone who sells cargo bikes in Copenhagen and they’ll tell you that the woman decides the brand that the family will buy. In the neighbourhoods, this gender split is more equal. In the commuting equation, the balance shifts.

Cargo Bike Nation - by Copenhagenize Design Co.

Just out of interest we divided up the gender based on time of day, from 8AM to 6PM.

Cargo Bike Nation - by Copenhagenize Design Co.
Yep. You know you’re in Copenhagen when…

Below is a large infographic if you fancy sharing it.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Bike Helmet Wearing Rates in Copenhagen in 2015

Copenhagen Bike Helmet Usage 2015
We like data at Copenhagenize Design Company. It’s a major part of our work, not least in our Desire Line Analyses of cyclist behaviour that we have done in Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and planning to do on a global scale. We film an intersection for 10-12 hours and spending a couple hundred hours analysing the behaviour, doing counts of everything we can and producing solutions for modernising intersections to priortise cycling and pedestrians.

In association with the current Desire Line Analysis we are working on, on Søtorvet intersection in Copenhagen, we have added some data sets. Including performing a bike helmet count.

The reason is simple. There is no reliable data. The numbers we have seen are from the Danish Road Safety Council – Rådet for Sikker Trafik – and we are sceptical about them.

They claim that the helmet wearing rate is 26%.

Their random counts during rush hour and some telephone surveys do not, however, provide reliable data. Especially considering that this car-centric NGO is desperate to brand cycling as dangerous and they do everything they can to prove that their helmet campaigns have been successful. When you work with an idealogy, you often skim over reliable data in order to get the result you want.

What we did was simple. We looked at our 10 hours of footage from the intersection – the busiest in Denmark for cyclists. We studied all the cyclists on one specific Desire Line, heading into the city centre, between 8 AM and 6 PM on May 6, 2015. The best way to determine a number is to see what the regular citizens are doing. They, and they alone, are the main indicator of safety and perception of safety.

10,734 cyclists in all, throughout the day. That is good, solid number to base some data on. Not just the morning commuters, but all the different types of people using the bicycle infrastructure throughout a typical day in Copenhagen.

As you can see, the data provides us with a very different number than the Danish Road Safety Council’s exaggerated number.

11% of cyclists were wearing helmets. Safe to say that the vast majority feel safe and they have rejected the emotional propaganda from the Danish Road Safety Council. Using instead, their own rationality.

Copenhagen Bike Helmet Usage 2015

Because we found it interesting, we divided the helmet wearing rate up into hours between 8AM and 6PM. Just to see if there were variations.

Ideally, a city has suceeded in keeping cyclists safe when helmet rates are low. Infrastructure is the key. A rejection of ideological campaigns is also important.

Last week I addressed the 28 Transport Ministers of the European Union, telling them why they should take cycling seriously as transport. 40 minutes of positive messaging of cycling in Luxembourg. I also, however, mentioned that many safety organisations – and I used the Danish Road Safety Council as a prime example – often choose statistics that support their goal – and leave out an ocean of stats and studies that don’t.

Data. Always data. Data forever.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Amercian Students Rethink Copenhagen Neighbourhood Part 02

Mikael, on behalf of Copenhagenize Design Co., is a teacher in the Bicycle Urbanism Studio led by urban liveability expert Bianca Hermansen at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS). Since 1959, DIS has given American students the chance to study in Denmark. Our Bicycle Urbanism Studio features American architecture students.

Mikael led a portion of the course involving a massive Desire Lines analysis of two intersections at either end of the Dybbøls Bridge in the Vesterbro neighbourhood. The students’ final project was broader than that. They were given the task of rethinking the entire area. The wide swathe of unused railyards, access to the harbour and bicycle traffic through the area.?

Working with the students was brilliant and inspiring. Mikael was also an external examiner on the final projects at DIS. We thought it worthwhile to get the students to present their projects in short form. Showing off their abilities, ideas and visions. We’ll divide them up into two articles. Here’s the second one.?

Many of the students mention “Bicycle Snake – Cykelslangen”. This refers to the coming elevated cycle track in the area. Here’s a map of the area in question.


Our Urban Design Studio features the analysis of the existing bicycle infrastructure connecting Vesterbro, Fisketorvet Mall and the Fisketorvet Bridge and a proposal based on the information documented in our research. ?The research component of the studio consisted of video taping bicycle behavior (monumentalists, recklists, and conformists), counting the number of parked bicycles by the hour, and documenting conflict zones. ?These details, which are so often overlooked by the every day user, are the components that we, as designers, used to design. ?This form of development is called “fact-based decision making” and is a form of research that I found to be enlightening. ?At a personal level, I chose to focus on how to best resolve areas of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, reduce automobile traffic, and facilitate the needs of families living in Vesterbro. ?
A whopping twenty-four percent of residents in Vesterbro own cargo bikes. ?This means that these people have found an environmentally friendly way to not only travel, but perform errands, whether that be grocery shopping, dropping off kids at friends’ houses, or picking up flowers. ?Improving safety conditions for these travelers is the driving factor behind my design. ?Also, a statistically significant aspect of the project is how many users per day currently use the inconvenient staircase depicted below. ?A staggering 4,700 users on the day of our observation. ?And, with the installation of the snake, we can expect travelers between Vesterbro and the bridge to increase.
Nearly 5,000 travelers use this staircase to get to their final destination, daily. ?Proposing a convenient and safe alternative to this is one of the demands of the project.
The plan proposed is meant to be a realistic reconfiguration of the site. ?The bridge, which currently has a large void ought be filled. ?With the creation of new space I propose a walking promenade with a series of overlook and nodal spaces which allows for people to sit and watch pedestrians go along to either the mall or Vesterbro. ?Beneath the bridge, and expanding northeast and southwest is a park which connects with the larger context of Amagerfaelled. ?Access would be gained from the s-tog platform or ramps descending from the bridge.?
Riders ascending to the level of the shopping mall are greeted by a bi-directional bike path, with distinguishable paving patterns, to clearly delineate spatial usage. ?By combining the bike lanes, pedestrians are no longer at risk of accidents by bikers. ?I have proposed to close down one of the ramps curving up to the plaza level and be replaced by a department store and a series of mom and pa shops which align the northeastern edge of the street. ??
A section of spatial types along the proposed bridge shows which type of users are being provided for; green= pedestrian, yellow= bicycle, red= automobile, blue= bio-swale, and orange= nodal space. ?This section cut goes through two nodal spaces, the larger of which overlooks green space to the northeast.


The area surrounding the Fisketorvet shopping center consists of zones of extremely high and extremely low use.? While the bridge crossing over the Dybbølsbro S-Tog station experiences such high pedestrian usage during afternoon and evening hours that people overflow sidewalks and crowd the cycling lane, the unused land below the bridge is left completely vacant for the majority of the day.? Additionally, most road space leading up to Fisketorvet is allocated to cars, even though car traffic falls far behind cyclist and pedestrian traffic during all hours of the day.

The Cykelslangen, or “Bicycle Snake,” is the current solution supported by Copenhagen municipality to improve cyclist flow through the Fisketorvet-Dybbølsbro area, yet this design fails to improve the livability of the neighborhood, nor does it increase resources for pedestrians who pass through the area.
Instead, the Inhabit—Habitat proposal seeks to remedy the Fisketorvet-Dybbølsbro area by creating accessible connections between retail, the harborfront, and open green space, while also improving storm water management and the natural habitats of the site.? Instead of simply remedying the cyclist route through the area, this proposal calls for a complete restructuring of the traffic hierarchy of the site.
First, by transforming the Dybbølsbro Bridge into a gradual ramp rising from the ground level of the Fisketorvet mall to cross over the S-Tog stop, cyclists could remain at ground level while traveling past the mall from Brygge Broen.? This, in turn, would eliminate the need for the Cycle Snake to be elevated.
Next, the car entrance to Fisketorvet would be relocated to the southwest side of the mall and the freeway along Kalvebod Brygge would be simplified and narrowed, making the northern side of Fisketorvet available for additional retail space reflecting a typical Copenhagen streetscape.

Finally, the unused land adjacent to the S-Tog stop would be allowed to return to a natural habitat, with inlets from the harbor uniting the park to the new retail development and the waterfront.? Through these measures, the disjointed spaces of the Fisketorvet-Dybbølsbro zone would be refitted to form a cohesive, environmentally conscious, accessible, and livable neighborhood center.


Urban Current: a surge of life through Dybbølsbro

With 26 total hours of recorded video footage made up of 13 hours of documentation at the Fisketorvet Shopping Center intersection and 13 hours at the Dybbølsbro intersection, a large amount of data and insight into how cyclists move through and within our site was observed.

First Impressions

From on-site observations and viewing of the video footage, the first thing I thought of was how this site did not seem to reflect the values of Copenhagen.? Cars and other vehicular traffic are placed ahead of cyclists and pedestrians. The infrastructure allows for easy and flowing car movement, while cyclists and pedestrians face crowded spaces, stairs, and other obstacles throughout the site.

The site also creates a large disconnect between the vibrant neighborhood of Vesterbro and the harborfront. While walking across the Dybbølsbro bridge, there seems to be no presence or atmosphere. The punctuation of the bridge in the Fisketorvet mall also does not add much to the site.

Proposed Solution

A 20 year plan that restructures the site will help to bring life back to the area.?

The first proposed action would be to make a huge infrastructural change. A bridge with infrastructure of separated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians should be built on both sides of the car lanes. Eliminating the bridge and flattening the infrastructure by Fisketorvet would result in a ramped structure that would curve to connect cyclists and pedestrians directly into the ground level next to the mall, creating a smooth connection. A new, normal intersection would be created. This change places the needs of cyclists and pedestrians ahead of that of cars and stays in line with the values of Copenhagen.

The next step in this plan would be to develop the empty land beneath the current bridge. Having a development of mixed-use buildings and great public streets and gathering spaces can bring a new vibrancy to the site. This development would also be able to pay for the large infrastructural changes that would occur prior to this.?

Although a large and ambitious plan, I think that this restructuring and development of the entire site would in the long run bring a new and exciting life to the site that would celebrate the everyday cyclists and pedestrians.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Islands Brygge – Application of the "Desire lines" tool – Part one: the study

Islands Brygge - Stones

By applying the Copenhagenize Design Company?concept of “Desire Lines” to an urban space, we were able to observe behaviours of cyclists, as shown in our latest research about?the Bicycle Choreography of an Urban Intersection. We used the idea of “Desire Lines”?to observe cyclists at Islands Brygge moving through a space shared with pedestrians, and we assessed the ways in which geography impacted movement.?

Recently, the municipality decided to divide this space by placing stones in the middle of it, with the intention of using the stones to channel the flow of cyclists. When looking at this new layout, we immediately noticed that this remodelling did not respect instinctive human desires. Our philosophy suggests that infrastructure should cater to the desires of cyclists and pedestrians as much as possible. The following illustrates what we observed in Islands Brygge, close to Bryggebroen – the cyclist/pedestrian bridge which is being used everyday by thousands of people. Here is a quick analysis that demonstrates the ways in which “Desire Lines” can be applied in order to better understand public space. ?

The increasing number of cyclists who use Bryggebroen
Approximately 8.000 bicycles cross Bryggebroen every day, as it is one of the best short-cuts joining the southern districts of Copenhagen. The elevated bike track called “the Bicycle Snake – Cykelslangen?will be launched in the near future,?and the Municipality expects that its?opening will encourage at?least twice as many bikes to cross the bridge each day. Cyclists will join Dybbølsbro without carrying their bike down the stairs. What a relief!

Although Bryggebroen is a fantastic example of bicycle infrastructure, the spatial layout on either side of it does not effectively cater to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians when they continue their journeys after they have crossed the bridge.?So far, the number of users creates a comfortable flow, and ensures safe interactions between cyclists and pedestrians. However, with the rising of cyclists using the bridge, this shared space will see a more complicated relationship between those who travel by foot and by bike.?

It is likely that the use of stones was an attempt to organise pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The Municipality first placed stones in between the Gemini Residence and the Wennberg Silo in June. The stones were put in the middle of the shared space between cyclists and pedestrians in order to channel the different flows. Anticipating an increased flow was the right approach, but placing stones in the middle of a bike path is clearly not the ideal solution. Does this solution deliver the right results?

Islands Brygge - the stones

Islands Brygge - the stones

These stones force cyclists who are coming from the right side of the bike path and heading to the left, to perform a wide bend on the right before turning left. This means that cyclists are redirected away from their desired path, and are pulled in the opposite direction.

As for the pedestrians, they are invited to walk only in-between the stones. This is a strange way to divide the spaces allocated to each group. At first sight, it seems unnatural for a cyclist not to take the shorter way.

That’s why Copenhagenize Design Co. has decided to apply its «?Desire Lines?» tool to this shared space in order to analyze the behavior of cyclists and the pedestrians.

We observed the space for two hours during a single day (one hour in the morning rush hour, and one in the afternoon rush hour) on July the 3rd. To cross this space, the cyclists followed no less than 14 different trajectories. Here are the results.

The cyclists follow 14 different desire lines
ISLANDS BRYGGE - desire lines - different colors - all lines

ISLANDS BRYGGE - desire lines - different colors - all lines

Looking at the cyclists’ behavior, 14 different lines were observed: 11 in the morning, when most cyclists were heading to work, and 14 in the afternoon, including some very unique desire lines. ?

In total, we counted:
- from 8 to 9 o’clock: 876 cyclists going through the public space + 43 cycling along the water;
- from 4 to 5 o’clock: 835 cyclists going through the public space + 60 cycling along the water.

Even if most of the cyclists follow the new lines that are organised by the stones, they will not be taking routes that are particularly suited to their behaviour. We can?sum up the consequences of the stones on the cyclists’ trajectories:
    - In the morning, when cyclists were heading to work, 5% of them keep on using the shortest possible way to go through this space even if they risked bumping into the cyclists coming the other way (line G);
    - 6% of cyclists took a short-cut even if the sidewalk is not lowered, ?therefore risking to damage their tires (line H);
    - as in the Choreography of an Urban Intersection, 1% in the morning and 2% in the afternoon of the cyclists rode where they want (lines I, J, K, L);
    In the morning:
    - 87% of the cyclists followed the new rules driven by the stones (lines A, B, C, D, E, F);
    - However, 26% did not have to adapt their behavior as they were riding straight (lines C, F, E);
    - 73% have to start turning right when they want to head left (lines A, B) + (lines D, H, G);
A cyclist generally chooses his or her route in a way that guarantees the shortest distance. For instance, 77% take a bend as short as possible when they turn (line A). The ones who take a large bend, do it in order to avoid a pedestrian, or a cyclist coming in the opposite direction. A few cyclists do it without specific reason.

As many desire lines as the number of pedestrians
In general, fewer pedestrians (71 in the morning, 127 in the afternoon) than cyclists use this space, but our analysis did not include the pedestrians walking on the private ramp of the Gemini residence.?Compared to cyclists, there are almost as many desire lines as pedestrians (or runners) walking in this space.?That is why we have divided the pedestrians into 4 groups:
    - The pedestrians walking in the gravel (not encountering the cyclists’ path) – line A;
    - The pedestrians using the space in between the stones (interacting with the cyclists to reach this zone) – line B;
    - The pedestrians sharing the same zone as the cyclists – line C;
    - The pedestrians crossing the stones and walking both in the pedestrian and cyclist zones – line D.


Print Thus, we can draw the following conclusions:

    - The pedestrians do not use the space dedicated to them in between the stones. Approximately 6% of them used it from the beginning to the end in the morning, and 15% in the afternoon – line B;
    - 76% (morning) and 72% (afternoon) of the pedestrians kept on using the space shared with the cyclists (walking a few meters away from the pedestrian space or even right into their trajectories) – line C and line D;
    - 8% (morning) and 13% (afternoon) walked on the gravel – line A.
To sump up, the new layout does not fit the pedestrians’ behavior. The flows are not completely divided and the pedestrians and cyclists keep on sharing the space. The majority of the pedestrians weave through the stones, which is quite a nuisance for them. Moreover, there is no crosswalk in the continuity of the pedestrian area.
To conclude, this remodeling of the public space around Bryggebroen does not follow the basic behavior of the cyclists and does not bring obvious and relevant solutions for the pedestrians. That’s why we would like to present a number of suggestions for a new layout (part two).

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

A-Team update: Enthusiasts drive U.S. market

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) Mar 8 2012 3:00 PM MT— Change is afoot in the U.S. market, and a statistical analysis prepared for the annual A-Team meeting during the Taipei Cycle show Thursday offered a hint of what suppliers and retailers should consider over the next few years. (Click on link above to download the PDF newsletter with more coverage from the Taipei Cycle show.) Specialized’s Bob Margevicius, asked to prepare the analysis, sorted through a variety of statistical reports to paint a picture of the changes the U.S

Norco finds new home for eastern HQ

ETOBICOKE, Ontario (BRAIN)—Norco announced plans on Thursday to build a new eastern Canadian warehouse to support growing sales in the region.