Bicycling Downtown

Downtown Springfield is a great bicycling destination. And if you live downtown, or nearby, it’s not that difficult to replace your car with a bicycle for most of your transportation needs. That’s what I did. I live 2.25 miles from my office on the square.

Bicycling downtown is easy because most of the roads are narrow — bicyclists can and should “take the lane.”

One of these days I’ll get around to making a video of bicycling downtown Springfield. For now, however, take a look at this video of Keri Caffrey. She’s one of the authors of the excellent Commute Orlando site. This video demonstrates proper lane positioning in a downtown area.

Keri’s thoughts about bicycling downtown Orlando mirror my own regarding downtown Springfield:

Aside from the lousy pavement, downtown Orlando is an easy and friendly environment for biking. You don’t need special facilities, athletic prowess, a “fast bike” or nerves of steel. Riding in downtown traffic does not require speed or vigilance. All you need are a few simple skills and a calm assertiveness that comes from your belief that you belong on the road.

You can help change the face of our community. Get out there and ride on the roads like you mean it!

I especially like that last part. The most immediate and effective way to make changes in the Springfield transportation system is to get out there and change them ourselves by the choices we make.

One last note: Take a look at that beautiful, simple bicycle she’s “driving.” I like that choice, too 🙂

To watch more videos demonstrating proper bicycle driving in traffic, go to Cyclist View.

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Comments 4

  1. Kevin Love wrote:

    Yes, I like the bike. A good commuter bike. Mudguards, partial chainguard. All it needs is interrnal hub gearing, a full chainguard and skirtguard.

    Interesting hearing a local chime of bells playing J.S. Bach’s “Passion Chorale” at about 4:30. Lent.

    Posted 11 Apr 2009 at 7:32 pm
  2. Keri wrote:

    Kevin, Oh what I would have given for an internal hub! That bike came out of the box needing a serious derailleur adjustment, it threw the chain over the crank twice on our first loop. The second one caused us to miss a priceless traffic interaction. I had them put it on the stand before going out again.

    (chainguards are wonderful, except when you have to get the chain back on the chainring)

    That aside, I really liked riding in that upright, relaxed position. It’s very comfortable and civilized.

    Posted 12 Apr 2009 at 6:13 am
  3. Duncan Watson wrote:

    re: Internal geared hubs. I just got my first bike with an IGH, my raptobike lowracer with a rohloff hub. Shifting is a dream and I love riding my new bike. Being able to delay downshifting for a hill since I don’t have to worry about being able to shift while on the hill is wonderful. I can shift at stop signs with my feet on the ground.

    I can’t say enough good things.

    Posted 12 Apr 2009 at 11:41 am
  4. Kevin Love wrote:

    Ever since I came back from Holland, I’ve been spoiled for both bikes and bells. So I bought a Pashley Sovereign Roadster. It has been zero maintenance with S/A five-speed internal hub and Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture-proof tyres. I’ve got zero dirt on my nice suit while going to work thanks to the mudguards, chainguard and skirtguard. Most important, I’ve been more comfortable than ever, due to the upright position. I like my bike.

    All it took in the video was hearing J.S. Bach on the bells to transport me right back to The Netherlands.

    Posted 13 Apr 2009 at 6:52 am