Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Specialized-Globe- Active Globally

The bicycle brand Specialized created a different name for their city and street oriented designs. This brand named Globe had a trailer on it's website that shows people biking around Minneapolis with classic images like that of the Grain Belt sign. 'Inspiring everyone to a cycling lifestyle' is the slogan at the end. I wonder what a cycling lifestyle is? does it propose that everyone should have fit enough legs to propel themselves, or that people should wear pants cut at the calf or rolled up?
The benefits I like from cycling is the improved taste of food when you are famished and the way cold water tastes after the sweat has been dripping off your nose for half an hour.

I don't connect those things to a cycling lifestyle, I do connect them to an active lifestyle. And with the new wordage coming out of bicycling activists being 'active transport' I think activity should be the focus of the future. The industrial revolution was full of men women and children packed into factories, mines, and mills working long laborious days. The post industrial world we have created is full of machines, mainly computers which we sit in front of. Building packed with people sitting in boxes in front of their computer, not the most active of worlds. But in my stint as a delivery man for the U-stores on the U of M campus I saw one such chair that turned my head. In the realm of chair sitting this chair was by far the most active, and good for your posture to boot.
Cycling is just one expression of activity, inactive is the world of sitting, which many people engage in near machines like computers and television sets. But it's not politically agreeable to rail against television, for it is the mouthpiece of politics, sports, cars, fashion, and multinational advertising.
The day I see bicycling advertised on television I will run naked through the streets, the only current company with the kind of dough to do it would be Giant, the biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world, and one of the only bike companies traded above the penny stock level. The also have a line of lifestyle bikes, and their headquarters is in Taiwan, and the city of Taipei is orientating itself more and more to bicycle travel.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

25th Bicycle Corps

In the meanwhile of getting everything set up for the pedicab, the logo is finished but need to get picked up in Shakopee tomorrow. Shakopee which means 'the six'
according to wikipedia is called such because chief Shakopee had a wife who had sextuplets, which back in the day was probably more impressive the octomom.
I also perused a quick search through the American life historical database at the U of M libraries website, and I came across the 25th Bicycle Corps, an all black regiment that used their bicycles to travel through the mountains in Montana and as far as Kansas City. There are photos of them here and there in the record, one guy is retracing their steps and blogging about it on http://followingthelieutenant.blogspot.com/.
It's a pretty good read, for those who wonder about the benefits bicycles gave certain industries that were typically tied to horseback, like the postal worker or the army officer, or policeman.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Day

This pedicab business is about to start, I just put in the permit application at city hall on Friday. ( if you haven't been in Minneapolis City Hall you should check it out just for the amazing father of waters statue)
The rain made me think today about getting the $700 awning with full frontal coverage for the pedicab. I don't mind riding in inclement weather, but I know from driving around my roommates how much chillier it can get back there.
Hopefully the weather will be nice for the Nature Valley Grand Prix. It will be nice to get some business cards done before it to hand out to people there. I just watched the Dauphane Libere on Versus, and it's amazing to see the popularity of bicycle racing on the streets in Europe, maybe someday it will be like that here as well.
I hope that Minneapolis will like a pedicab business on the streets. One of the nights I was out with the roommates a cabbie pulled up next to us and gave us a thumbs up, yelling "I like what your doing". I took that as a good sign.

Bicycling has been getting a lot of push the past couple years. I think the youth of today will help spur the cycling popularity forward, the environment more then Lance Armstrong will give it the popularity it deserves, and might have had continuing the boom of the 1890's. Being a History major I love looking at old pictures of bicycles.
This one is from a bicycle race in Red Wing. circa 1896.
I got it from this article I found on the Minnesota Historical Society Website about the bike boom in the Red River Valley.
The rain is nice, hopefully the food will grow well in the world to feed everyone. Work on the website and logo continues...