Pedal Power
Innovations in bike commuting hit the streets
Life / 28 Jul 2011
Cyclists in cities like New York and Portland have made biking to work a growing cultural phenomenon that is both green and stylish. However, despite the cool cred that now accompanies bike commuting, a few persistent challenges are keeping pedal pushing from becoming a more widespread commuting option than it is. Perhaps these innovations will push it over the hump.
Levi’s Commuter Series
: Levi’s aims to clothe the urban workforce with this new collection designed for those who shuttle to and from the workplace on bikes. The Commuter Series consists of two garments: 511 Commuter Skinny Jeans and the Commuter Trucker Jacket. On the former, a high waistband prevents rear end exposure and special belt loops are designed for U-lock storage. The latter has a slight tail as well as functional touring pockets in the back. Both items are coated in NanoSphere, a new fabric treatment that repels water and dirt, and odor protector Sanitized, which combine to keep wearers clean, dry, and smelling good.
H2 Soho
: London’s latest private club is not a place to rub elbows, but rather a place to rub with soap. Like a cyclist-targeted version of Tokyo’s Adidas Runbase, H2 gives athletic commuters an oasis at which to shower and freshen up after a sweaty ride. Though runners are welcome, the club is ideal for cyclists, as it offers secure bike storage, a rarity in highly congested Soho, along with an onsite bike repair shop at which maintenance can be completed while one is at work. There’s also a spin room and an extensive selection of cardio machines...not to mention an in-house masseuse for working out the kinks before hitting the road again.
Fietsenpakhuis
: Regardless of the soaring popularity of bike commuting, advancement in bike parking systems has been slow to keep up. Thus, it’s no surprise that the Dutch, always a leader in bike trends, are the first to establish a dedicated bike parking lot. Fietsenpakhuis is a warehouse in Zaanstadt that has been converted into a bike ‘parkplace.’ The garage, located in the city center and intended to relieve congestion, is a two-story architectural wonder that houses up to 700 bicycles, public toilets, bike repair facilities, bike rentals, and lockers. Though some of the amenities do come at a cost, a parking space at Fietsenpakhuis is, remarkably, free of charge.
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