Bicycle Societal Issue

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Cycling for a Better Future: Bike & Build

Although bicycles are often used for transportation or pleasure, they are also used for charity. A nonprofit organization called Bike & Build organizes 8-11 week long spring/summer cross-country cycling trips that benefit affordable housing projects in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, Bike & Build has raised over $4 million for its cause, with over $600,000 alone coming from the 2012 year. Bike & Build grows each year and continues to foster community development and better affordable homes throughout the United States.

Website: [1] -Nick Treser

Cycling in the Netherlands

While cycling was extremely popular in the USA and UK in the 1800 it has seen a rapid decline in popularity. Where as in the Netherlands biking has continued to maintain popularity. In the Netherlands it is estimated that almost 27% of all trips are made by biking. Compared to the 1.3 and .9% in the USA and UK respectively( The reason for this huge popularity is that the Netherlands has created it's infrastructure around making bicycling safe, convenient, and cost effective. They have increased safety by keeping the speed limits around 30km/hr or about 19 mph thus encouraging people to use bikes. Also to increase bike usage and decrease the dependence on oil the Netherlands has imposed a tax of about $4.40 per gallon according to the OECD. ( This has also lead to the country being much greener and enviornmentally stable. Another contributing factor to the popularity of biking in the Netherlands is that there is more parking for bikes than there is cars further encouraging the country to use this mode of transportation. One possible impact of this huge popularity of biking in the Netherlands besides being more oil independent is that the obesity rate in the Netherlands is about 12% where as in the USA the obesity rate is around 33% according to OED (
"But the one thing they forgot to tell is that one of the main reasons why cycling is so popular in The Netherlands and so easy to do is because: . THE COUNTRY IS AS VLAK AS A GROOT PANCAKE!"(
Created by: Anthony B, John N, Rich M, Joe C, Lauren R., Kristen M.

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. [3] Created by: Team PhSU

Bicycle Impact on Society

The ancestor of todays motors

The profession of improving bicycle designs has altered the course of transportation toward where we are today. The modern technology of today's motorized vehicles stemmed from the the initial technology used for designing bicycles. The quadricycle, the first internal-combustion powered vehicle, and motorcycles are clear evidence of bicycle's influence on the development of today's vehicles. [4]

--Creater by M. O. Al Ganber--

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.[5]

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.[6]
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.[7] 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.[8] 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). An example of the movement towards women liberty can be seen in a well-known country: Iran! Iran or Saudi Arabia or any Islamic country in general prohibit the females from exposing specific parts of the body such as the hair, the legs, and the arms. Iran, however, at the very beginning of the twenty first century, invented a bicycle that has a cabin which conceals those parts. A picture of such bike can be found on the following url Not only that, they produced a movie called The Day I Became a Woman that depicts a woman who chooses to be a cyclist although her husband threatened her by divorce. Another effect was that 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. [9] [10]

Created by Team Discovery Channel Edited by M. O. Al Ganber

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.

The Lance Armstrong Effect

The Tour de France Boom

It is unquestioned that the bicycle industry received a boost from Armstrong's victories in the Tour de France from 1999 through 2005. Armstrong was an American hero, who elevated cycling into the mainstream of sports after beating testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. His foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, raised hundreds of millions of dollars for people affected by cancer. [11]

Tim Blumenthal, President of the Bikes Belong Foundation believes that Armstrong's fame and commercial endorsements turned cycling into "a central theme or backdrop" in print and electronic advertising, making "bicycling more mainstream (and) less of a quirky, European subculture." "We started selling more $5,000, $6,000, $7,000 and $8,000 bikes during Lance's heyday, and that has endured past Lance," Blumenthal said. In fact, U.S. sales of road bikes, the type ridden in races such as the Tour de France, surpassed mountain bike sales in 2010. [12] This shows the Lance Armstrong effect, even after his initial retirement in 2005 and subsequent return from 2009-2011, before calling it quits for good on February 16, 2011.

Armstrong's Admission

For years, Lance Armstrong denied allegations of doping. In June 2012, United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged Armstrong with having used peformance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). On August 24, 2012 it announced a lifetime ban from competition in all sports. Armstrong chose not to appeal the decision. [13] After the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued its 1,000-page report on Armstrong's cheating in October 2012, sponsors dropped Armstrong. The cyclist told Oprah Winfrey that the lost sponsors cost him $75 million of income in one day.

How deeply the truth will hurt the businesses and careers nurtured by Armstrong's fame is beginning to come into focus. While the cycling boom over the past decade is likely to continue, products directly tied to Armstrong are on closeout. Cycling tours of Europe are suffering, and prospects for ratings and advertising gains on televised cycling races look slim, buyers say. "The sport continues to lose a significant portion of the limited credibility it has," said Greg Janetos, a former currency and carbon-credit trader in Mill Valley, Calif., who rides his $3,000 bike more than 100 miles a week. "You have to start from the assumption that the field is juicing." [14] With Armstrong's admission still fresh in people's mind, the effect on the bicycle industry is hard to predict. Armstrong was an American hero, an inspiration and role model to many so it is hard to imagine the bicycle industry not taking a hit after its lone superstar fell from grace.

The full article can be found here:

Team: Doug D, Hudson R, Megan B, Lauren M, Brittany M,

Societal Impact of the Bicycle in Colombia

The Bicycle: Vehicle to Health and Social Equality

This article, written by Paul K. Simpson, M.D., explores the effect of transportation on social equality. Specifically, on page 4, Simpson discusses the impact of bicycles on social inequality in Bogota, Colombia. People who owned cars were seen as more important socially than people who used other forms of transportation, such as bicycles. When Enrique Penalosa became mayor of Bogota in 1995, he established over 300 kilometers of bikeways. He announced, "These bike paths are a declaration that a citizen riding a $30 bicycle is equally as important as a citizen driving a $30,000 car." As a result of the new bikeways, the city's murder rate dropped two thirds, the violent crime rate decreased significantly, and the general quality of life improved.

By Ryan Klosterman

Police Bikes

In many cases police bicycles are not considered very intimidating, especially when compared with high speed cars and motorcycles. However, these devices are very useful for police officers in urban areas. In places like New York City where traffic makes a high speed chase almost impossible, police bicycles are an invaluable asset. If a criminal attempts to escape arrest on foot, a bike officer has the upper hand. Also, since bicycles make very little noise and look relatively inconspicuous, bicycle officers have an easier time with stealth pursuit.[15]

Police officers started using bicycles as early as 1896 [16] and their usefulness has only grown since. Today,LEBA, or the Law Enforcement Bicycling Association, trains these officers for duty [17]. In addition, the IPMBA (International Police Mountain Bike Association) is one of the many organizations that supplies bikes and assists with the aforementioned training. A link to their website can be found below:

By Garrett Kline (gtk5020)


See individual footnotes.