Bicycle Societal Issue

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Marguerite Wilson, Bicycle Racer

Starting in the 1920s, women began to have multiple bicycling accomplishments. The problem that had to be overcome, which took many years until 1934, was that no official record was being kept of their times and distances. This did seem unfair since women were beginning to take a much bigger interest in bicycles. So problem resulted in many efforts to change the mind of the Roads Records Association officials to allow women the opportunity to ride for records. This resulted in the Women’s Road Records Association in 1934 which verified the accomplishments of women riders and one member of this group stood out whose name was Marguerite Wilson. In 1938, she had split this division into two classes of amateur and professional of which Marguerite won over 50 awards. This information can be found at this..

Created By: C. Mack, E. Soring, D. Jarrett, A. Ritchey

Bendable Bike

This is a crazy new design, and it is not just a concept it is a real bike. Invented by Kevin Scott it is a bike that using a ratchet system it is able to bend. The purpose of having a bike with this capability is so that you can wrap it around a pole and it acts as its own lock. It is able to lock to itself. Not just the able to lock to itself but another advantage is that it can fit into smaller spaces. The wheels would not be locked but you could always use your own lock for that. That is just one of the trade-offs to make it fit into smaller spaces.


Team Bike Riders

Bicycle Cafes

Societal issue related to a bicycle or components in a bicycle

This article discusses proposals for bike-sharing programs in the US. These programs encourage people to ride bikes by allowing them to share bikes with others rather than go out and purchase their own. There is also a proposal to develop a rewards-based incentive system to encourage people to move away from their cars and ride their bike more often.

Bicycle sharing is already found in many cities through out the world, but Nick Lesniak has a new spin to put on it in the United States. He entered into a commuter bike design competition dealing with ideas of how to get more people to ride bikes as a from of transportation.

His concept was chosen because he looked at the bigger picture not just improving a bicycle, but making a place where people could enjoy everything about biking. What he wants create is a “ReCycle Café.” His idea is to have a place where people can borrow a bike to ride to work and then return it later that day. The café will also have healthy, locally grown and organic foods and beverages. The idea is to have a place where the everyday biker and person can hang out. The store wouldn’t sell or fix bikes, but it would be kept as a social meeting place.

-ARCH Rivals

Men's vs. Women's Bicycles

Until recently, the only difference between a womens bike and a mens bike was a step through frame that allowed for a woman to mount a bike while wearing a dress. The bike's frame and structure was the exact same size as a mens bike, and this made for an uncomfortable ride for women due to bodily differences such as narrower shoulders, and shorter arms and legs. Only six or seven years ago did bike manufactures realize this was a problem and addressed it. The top tube was raised(for road and mountain bikes) like a mens bicycle because previously the positioning of the top tube made for a harder ride. The top tube was then shortened, allowing women to be closer to the handlebars, which makes for a more comfortable and biomechanical efficient ride. The handlebars were brought closer together to accommodated a womens narrower shoulders. For women that are particularly very small, the crank arms are shortened as well as using 650c wheels. Womens bicycles are still seen with the step through frame primarily on leisure bicycles as apposed to bicycles with a specific purpose. [2] Created by: Team PhSU

Bicycle Impact on Society

A Personal Bike Story

Trevor Reichman tells of the many side effects of riding a bicycle opposed to driving a car. In his story, he describes the truth of biking and how it is related to his life. Society as a whole would benefit from replacing shorter distance drives with bicycle rides. The effects range from a health perspective to a self esteem perspective. All of the side effects from replacing a car ride with a bike ride are positive except for the fact that with all the enjoyment and smiling one will start to form lines on their faces prematurely. And as one might be able to tell Trevor is a happy cyclist with quite a sense of humor.[3]

Bicycle Feud at Iowa

Bicycles are great for transporting people from place to place, but what most people do not know is the danger that lies within biking. In Iowa, there is a constant turmoil between cyclists and motorists on the road. A petition has started with the desire to illegalize the uses of bicycles on Iowa's Farm-to-Market roads. Farm-to-Market routes are paved roads that connects rural agricultural areas to urban areas. Statistics from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2006 show that over 400 accidents occur yearly, resulting in injuries for 43 percent of the people under the age of 14.[4]
Infuriated with the increasing numbers of bicycle-related accidents, an organized group known as the Citizens for Safety Coalition of Iowa (CFSC) is ready to take actions against bicycles' uses on the road. To achieve the goal of banning bicycles from the busy roads, CFSC had started a petition to attract attentions from neighbors all across the state. Opposing CFSC are the members of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition (IBC). They argued that the overall numbers of cyclists have indeed increased, but the relative number of related crashes has not increased according to the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau.[5] To counteract the group from banning bikes on the roads, they have formed another petition to protect the rights of bicyclists. IBC also has a different mission at hand and that is the educate and raise awareness of safety procedures while biking on roads. Despite the efforts of IBC, the CFSC simply wants to ban people from the Farm-to-Market routes altogether. With the ongoing debate, both of the groups simply hope that the issue will stir people into action and prevent future bicycle accidents. In the society, bicycles are self-powered vehicles that help transport people to places, but when motors and bicycles share the same road, problems will occasionally erupt.

New Innovation, New Lifestyle

Imagine riding a bicycle on a line, tens of feet above the ground. Is such feat possible? Surely many people would regard it as a ridiculous dream that only occurs in a fantasy, but that does not stop
Martin Angelov, a Bulgarian architect, from pursuing after the impossibility. Though nonexistent in real life yet, Angelov desires to create a separate bike traffic lane away from the danger of biking near cars. To date, Angelov named this bike lane in the sky as “Kolelinia” in hopes that it will become a possibility in the future.[6] Due to the compacted space in urban areas, Angelov created his sophisticated design specifically for the busy environment. His system consists of series of steel towers connected by steel wires that would operate without using electricity. Using this new transportation system, people will be able to enjoy a new style of bike commuting in the near future. His idea won international recognition when he was awarded the winner of City Transportation during a competition in architecture. With new innovations in the future, people's lives are constantly changing, and perhaps bring about a new bicycle experience.

Contributed by Group Bicycle

The Bicycle's Social Impact

Social Impact of Bicycle

This list, created by Professor Ross D. Petty of Babson College, explains some of the social impacts the bicycle has had since its existence. Some of the highlights of this list include:

- The bicycle advanced human evolution by preventing inbreeding.  People were more easily able to travel outside the rural areas they grew up in.
- Doctors discovered that cycling is great exercise that is healthful to both men and women.
- Before he created the Model T, Henry Ford worked as a bicycle mechanic.  He developed mass production by observing assembly lines in bicycle factories.
- The Wright brothers used lightweight steel bicycle tubing and other bicycle materials to produce an airplane light enough to lift off the ground.


Team Team

Tandem Communication in Society


The above article is about the impact of tandem bikes on society and how they have attracted so many people to cycling. The author describes how popular they are fast becoming and statistics from tandem manufactures. Although tandem bikes cost more than traditional bikes, couples are buying them because they are a "social instrument." Tandem bikes are also faster than regular bikes because they have twice the horse power and the same resistance. But all that aside, the biggest attraction of tandems is the ability to communicate with your fellow rider.

-team B.A.B.C.


Fixed-Gear Bikes an Urban Fixture


In the above article Jim Wirtanen talks about his 12 years as a bike messenger and why he first started riding fixies.

Other topics in the article include:

▼ What is a fixed-gear bicycle
▼ Why people ride fixed gear bicycles
▼ The growing trend of fixed gear riders

Here is a picture of a fixed-gear bicycle


Mitch McCracken Team Awesome

Bicycles and European Society

Bicycles became popular in the 1800's. Several new designs were being made, each with advantages over the previous. They influenced dress reformation, and allowed workers to travel farther away from home. Later, in the 1900's, bicycle racing became a popular sport, and bicycle use was attempted during the world wars.

Source: WHKMLA

Bicycles and the Women's Emancipation Movement

Believe it or not, the advent of bicycles actually helped lead to the emancipation of women from the strict gender roles of old. This was caused by a combination of effects, such as the fact that they allowed women to travel greater distances under their own power (i.e. without male assistance). Also, bicycles were a primary catalyst for the "rational dress" movement, which fought "against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movement of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health", such as tight corsets and similar articles of clothing. [7]

Created by Team Discovery Channel

Specialized Bicycles and Engineering Education

Riding bicycles is simple activity that many children enjoy. For 9 year old Josiah, however, this was not so easy. Born without arms, Josiah had difficulty riding a traditional bicycle.

The Dreamfit Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in Perth, Australia, which works with engineering students and companies to provide engineering solutions for people with disabilities. In 2009, Dreamfit held a competition in which six teams of engineering students each designed and built a bicycle for Josiah. From the final products, Josiah was allowed to choose one to keep. The results of the project were a safe, easy-to-use bicycle for Josiah; the benefits of hands-on experience for the students; and even contributions to modern bicycle design.

The modifications that the students developed may one day prove very useful in common bicycles. The students analyzed balance, braking and steering during their research and testing. They then developed their own steering and braking mechanisms that were more suitable to a person with limited or no arm function. Each team had limited funds to complete the project, from testing to final production, which resulted in these modifications being inexpensive.

The project was very beneficial for the students’ learning. In adapting a bicycle the students were given practical experience in manufacturing and design, and also a good understanding of common mechanisms such as gears. Many of the students completed the project not only for the competition, but also for a university project. They documented all testing and produced a report after completion (similar to a practice thesis).

More information can be found at these websites.

Created by Team Awesomer

Bamboo Bike Project: Moving Beyond Donations

In the recent past, there has been a movement of the World Relief Initiative to distribute donated bikes to people of nations which could greatly benefit from cheap and compact transportation.

One of these locations, Ghana, is discussed in the following entry: World Relief Initiatives

A New Project, The Bamboo Bike Project, aims to bring bicycle manufacturing to many places throughout Africa, using Bamboo as the primary frame component.

A 2008 Article in the Economist highlights the potential benefits of such a plan, as well as the reasons why Bicycle popularity in the region is not as high as some might expect. Using locally available Bamboo as opposed to heavy and expensive steel could greatly increase people's access to this efficient and potentially life-changing form of transportation. Strong, light, and easy to put together, there is definitely great potential in regions where Bamboo occurs naturally and in large amounts. Enabling large segments of the population to travel greater distances without much infrastructure investment, perhaps most importantly, creates a great new opportunity for job creation.

The Project has seen much success so far, though its future is far from certain. One of the largest successes so far the is the attempt to create a factory in Ghana specializing in the production of these bamboo bicycles. A Picture of the workstations at this site can be seen below.


The Bamboo Bike Project maintains a blog which keeps a more up to date account of their progress, available via this link: Bamboo Bike Project Wordpress Blog

Created by Dongao, Andrew, Ken, Mike, Jordan

The International Police Mountain Bike Association

In 1991 the International Police Mountain Bike Association was formed by the League of American Bicyclists, which is widely recognized as the grandparent of all cycling organizations. The purpose of the IPMBA was to establish a training method and equipment standards for bicycle mounted police. The IPMBA still exists today, helping to make sure that bicycle mounted police are well versed in the field of bicycle safety, including traffic rules and regulations. Bicycle mounted police are able to bridge the gap between officers on foot and those in automobiles. This is very effective in heavily populated areas where traffic is often slow moving as well as in areas where automobiles can't go. Another purpose that bicycle mounted police find themselves fulfilling is patrolling parking lot areas, where a car would be inefficient and unnecessary.

Sources: The International Police Mountain Bike Association (

Brought to you by the partners Dave and Kevin

Battling Diseases


The American Cancer Society has an annual Bike-a-thon. The ride is a fund raiser that raises money for education, research and advocacy for cancer while also supporting family and friends. The proceeds also help cancer patients with the challenges they overcome by helping support them on travel for treatments, new treatments, etc. The ride brings together family, friends, and the community.

The race has three starting points at different mile distances. The first startpoint is a 61 mile course, second startpoint is 49 miles, and third startpoint is 16 miles. There is also a ‘Century’ option which is barely less than 100 miles.

Tour de Cure

Tour de Cure is another event where bicycle riders join together to help a good cause. It is a ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association. It is a fundraising event held in 43 states nationwide. In 2010, over 50,000 cyclists rode in the event and raised almost 17 million dollars.


Team: Amy, Jason, Josh

Population density vs. cycling rate for some major cities around the world


This graph shows the population density versus the cycling rate for different urban. In addition, there is no strong connection between the population and density cycling rate. Therefore, it is not a fact that higher population cities have higher cycling rates. source:[ Team: Hussen, Joe, Joseph, Jeffrey, Zach,Christopher, Aaron. ==References==