How do you ride your bicycle: Transportation? Recreation? Competition?
The Cascade Bicycle Club made sure all types of bicycling got plenty of treatment at the 2012 Seattle Bicycle Expo this weekend.
Another aspect of two-wheeled fun greeted me on Saturday every time I walked down another aisle at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal venue or attended another presentation at one of three stages.
For instance, BMX freestylers flying through the air, above, shared one section of the lower level with a display of nearly a dozen family and cargo bicycles designed more much less radical movement.
Kids and cargo
The Family and Cargo bike group is affiliated with Cascade. You’ll often see them at the Bicycle Sunday events at Seward Park during the summer.
Family and cargo bicycling “is exploding” in interest, said John Foster, one of the volunteers at the booth.
The popularity of family biking is on the rise as parents search for healthier ways to get their kids around.
“Everyone gets to cooperate, instead of being cooped up in a car,” Foster says. A family trip engages the kids who can signal for turns from their seats, or help pedal the rig along. “Riding in the ‘bucket’ primes the pump for pedaling later on.”
Brynnen Ford says she wanted to exercise while she took her kids on errands. Walking was too slow, so she researched on the Internet and found blogs — such as Totcycle.com — that gave her guidance on how to use a bicycle.
Bicycle companies recognize this trend, she said, and are offering more products for bicycling families.
Women and cycling
In this same vein, it was heartening to see so many women among the presenters. While women represent half or more of cyclists in some European countries, they’re less than a quarter share of the two-wheeled population here.
Authors and editors Amy Walker (listening above, “On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life”), Elly Blue (speaking above, TakingtheLane.com) , and Ulrike Rodrigues (www.ulrike.ca) talked about women on bicycles and in the bike shop and what might be keeping them off the saddle — the perception of unsafe streets, both real and imagined.
In that same vein, former Portland bicycle coordinator Mia Birk spoke to improving road safety for bicycles. She’s President and Principal at Alta Planning + Design, which works with local governments to make bicycling and walking safer and more fun. She’s also a principal at Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., which is designing, among others, the bike share program for New York City.
“Public bike sharing puts so many bikes on the road that you can’t ignore them as a force in transportation,” she says.
Bike traveler and noted travel writer Willie Weir was on hand for a stirring multi-media presentation about how bicycle touring awakens all your senses.
For hardcore racing fans, cycling author Geoff Drake was scheduled to talk about his book “7-Eleven: How a Band of Unsung American Cyclists Took on the World — And Won.”
Another cycling author, Mark Johnson, was to speak Saturday and Sunday about his year embedded with Garmin-Cervelo — “Argyle Armada – Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life.”
Here are some photos from this year’s show, which ends today (Sunday) at 5 p.m. Click on the photo to see the cutline.
(I’ll being doing a few pieces in the coming week on bike caps, recreational bicycling opportunities in Idaho, some upcoming bike rides and some local artisans based on interviews I conducted at the expo.)
See all the photos from 2012 Seattle Bike Expo.