Blogs

The blogs are good way to keep track of local riders, regional bike news and events.

Writers will often do write-ups about local biking events, new routes, views, bike-checks or demonstrations.

User's Tags

Aaron Lad 's Entries

13 blogs
  • 11 Oct 2017
    StreetFilms.org, Clarence Eckerson Jr. ― More than 300 volunteers organized by Transportation Alternatives formed a six-block-long “human-protected bike lane” on Fifth Avenue last night, calling on the de Blasio administration to extend the protected bike lane network through Midtown’s busiest streets. Fifth Avenue has no bike infrastructure above 26th Street, leaving a large void in the bicycle network where there’s huge travel demand. Protected bike lanes can’t come soon enough: Through the first eight months of this year drivers injured 15 people biking and 28 people walking on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, according to city data. Last month, DOT presented a plan to add a second bus lane on this part of Fifth Avenue, but a bikeway was not included. To date, the agency has hesitated to claim street space for biking and walking on these busy Midtown avenues. DOT has stated a vague intention to extend protected bike lanes through the busiest blocks of Fifth and Sixth Avenues but never backed that up with specific commitments, timetables, or designs. The hundreds of people taking action yesterday were saying that’s not good enough and took matters into their own hands. The human-protected bike lane occupied two lanes, from 50th Street to 44th Street. Fifth Avenue functioned perfectly well while the impromptu bike lane was in effect. People biking quickly gravitated to the new space set aside for them, while car and bus traffic continued apace in the remaining three lanes. In a written response posted on DOT’s Twitter feed, Commissioner Polly Trottenberg framed the campaign for a bike lane as being in conflict with the second bus lane for Fifth Avenue. “We did not want to postpone what we see as a reasonably straightforward improvement for buses,” she wrote.
    22 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • StreetFilms.org, Clarence Eckerson Jr. ― More than 300 volunteers organized by Transportation Alternatives formed a six-block-long “human-protected bike lane” on Fifth Avenue last night, calling on the de Blasio administration to extend the protected bike lane network through Midtown’s busiest streets. Fifth Avenue has no bike infrastructure above 26th Street, leaving a large void in the bicycle network where there’s huge travel demand. Protected bike lanes can’t come soon enough: Through the first eight months of this year drivers injured 15 people biking and 28 people walking on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, according to city data. Last month, DOT presented a plan to add a second bus lane on this part of Fifth Avenue, but a bikeway was not included. To date, the agency has hesitated to claim street space for biking and walking on these busy Midtown avenues. DOT has stated a vague intention to extend protected bike lanes through the busiest blocks of Fifth and Sixth Avenues but never backed that up with specific commitments, timetables, or designs. The hundreds of people taking action yesterday were saying that’s not good enough and took matters into their own hands. The human-protected bike lane occupied two lanes, from 50th Street to 44th Street. Fifth Avenue functioned perfectly well while the impromptu bike lane was in effect. People biking quickly gravitated to the new space set aside for them, while car and bus traffic continued apace in the remaining three lanes. In a written response posted on DOT’s Twitter feed, Commissioner Polly Trottenberg framed the campaign for a bike lane as being in conflict with the second bus lane for Fifth Avenue. “We did not want to postpone what we see as a reasonably straightforward improvement for buses,” she wrote.
    Oct 11, 2017 22
  • 29 Oct 2017
    curbed.com — The Inner Circle Greenway has been in the works for years, and now, as the 26-mile non-motorized trail gets closer to reality, it has a new name. The trail will be named after Detroit boxing legend Joe Louis. This comes as we inch closer to the demolition of the Joe Louis Arena along the Riverfront. Planning, design, and construction of the trail will all be happening in the next few years. Courtesy of the City of Detroit & curbed.com The trail will connect many neighborhoods and communities in the city, from the East Riverfront up through Hamtramck, over to the University District, Ferndale, and Highland Park, and back down to Southwest Detroit. The planning of the trail has been a collaboration between the city, Detroit Greenways Coalition, the Kresge Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan. A request for proposals for framework consultants will be released in early 2018. According to a city press release, “The Framework Plan will include recommendations for land use and zoning, green infrastructure, connections to public assets such as parks, wayfinding, and thoughtful intersection with local and regional multimodal transportation routes such as the Iron Belle Trail, SMART bus network, and the new Gordie Howe Bridge.” The process will include community engagement throughout. Plans to honor Joe Louis could include murals and art installations along the route.
    29 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • curbed.com — The Inner Circle Greenway has been in the works for years, and now, as the 26-mile non-motorized trail gets closer to reality, it has a new name. The trail will be named after Detroit boxing legend Joe Louis. This comes as we inch closer to the demolition of the Joe Louis Arena along the Riverfront. Planning, design, and construction of the trail will all be happening in the next few years. Courtesy of the City of Detroit & curbed.com The trail will connect many neighborhoods and communities in the city, from the East Riverfront up through Hamtramck, over to the University District, Ferndale, and Highland Park, and back down to Southwest Detroit. The planning of the trail has been a collaboration between the city, Detroit Greenways Coalition, the Kresge Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan. A request for proposals for framework consultants will be released in early 2018. According to a city press release, “The Framework Plan will include recommendations for land use and zoning, green infrastructure, connections to public assets such as parks, wayfinding, and thoughtful intersection with local and regional multimodal transportation routes such as the Iron Belle Trail, SMART bus network, and the new Gordie Howe Bridge.” The process will include community engagement throughout. Plans to honor Joe Louis could include murals and art installations along the route.
    Oct 29, 2017 29
  • 09 Sep 2017
    Crains Detroit — Detroit is set to become home to only the second indoor cycling velodrome in the U.S. in December as part of a new multisport complex from the Detroit Fitness Foundation. A bright white air dome sprang up Wednesday at I-75 and Mack Avenue. The complex, first announced in January, will be part of the city's planned improvements to Tolan Playfield there. The $4 million complex, funded by non-profit DFF through an "angel" donor, is on track for a soft opening in December, said Dale Hughes, the foundation's executive director. It also has a 12-year agreement with the city of Detroit to provide it's programming. The facility features the air dome structure built by Hughes, who is also a velodrome developer. He has designed more than 20 velodromes worldwide, including the 1996 Olympic Velodrome in Atlanta. Photo by Keith Stone The complex will include a 10th-of-a-mile-long cycling track; a concrete eighth-of-a-mile oval track for running, walking and inline skating; and a multipurpose infield for exercises classes, Hughes said. It will offer free access, equipment and programs for youth and seniors in the mornings and after school. The complex will include a cycling track, lanes for running, walking and skating, and a multipurpose infield. It will offer free access and programs for youth and seniors. The city and DFF committed $250,000 and $125,000 respectively to improve the park's environment with a playground, picnic space, a skateboard ramp and horseshoe pits. Read full article @ Crains Detroit
    31 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Crains Detroit — Detroit is set to become home to only the second indoor cycling velodrome in the U.S. in December as part of a new multisport complex from the Detroit Fitness Foundation. A bright white air dome sprang up Wednesday at I-75 and Mack Avenue. The complex, first announced in January, will be part of the city's planned improvements to Tolan Playfield there. The $4 million complex, funded by non-profit DFF through an "angel" donor, is on track for a soft opening in December, said Dale Hughes, the foundation's executive director. It also has a 12-year agreement with the city of Detroit to provide it's programming. The facility features the air dome structure built by Hughes, who is also a velodrome developer. He has designed more than 20 velodromes worldwide, including the 1996 Olympic Velodrome in Atlanta. Photo by Keith Stone The complex will include a 10th-of-a-mile-long cycling track; a concrete eighth-of-a-mile oval track for running, walking and inline skating; and a multipurpose infield for exercises classes, Hughes said. It will offer free access, equipment and programs for youth and seniors in the mornings and after school. The complex will include a cycling track, lanes for running, walking and skating, and a multipurpose infield. It will offer free access and programs for youth and seniors. The city and DFF committed $250,000 and $125,000 respectively to improve the park's environment with a playground, picnic space, a skateboard ramp and horseshoe pits. Read full article @ Crains Detroit
    Sep 09, 2017 31
  • 05 Oct 2017
    ROCHESTER — Second Annual “Cruisin’ for the Trails” Charity Ride Raises $2,500 for Friends of the Clinton River Trail Over 100 riders endured the near 90 degree temperature to participate in the second annual “Cruisin’ for the Trails” fall ride to benefit the Clinton River Trail. Hosted by Motor City Brew Tours, and sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company, the event raised $2,500 to be used by the Friends of the Clinton River Trail for trail improvements. The route took riders about nine miles along the trail, from Clubhouse BFD in Rochester Hills to the Filmore 13 Brewery in downtown Pontiac, and then back. In addition to a t-shirt and bike related SWAG, adult riders were provided with lots of water, KIND snacks and selected New Belgium beverages. As part of the event festivities, New Belgium Brewing donated a custom designed bicycle for Friends of the Clinton River Trail (FCRT) to raffle at the end of the ride.Each year New Belgium contracts to have several unique designed bicycles built exclusively for them. The bikes are used to recognize employee milestones and for charitable causes. In this case the bike was hand-built by Detroit Bikes in their west-side Detroit factory. Sweet! Source: Rochester Media
    33 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • ROCHESTER — Second Annual “Cruisin’ for the Trails” Charity Ride Raises $2,500 for Friends of the Clinton River Trail Over 100 riders endured the near 90 degree temperature to participate in the second annual “Cruisin’ for the Trails” fall ride to benefit the Clinton River Trail. Hosted by Motor City Brew Tours, and sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company, the event raised $2,500 to be used by the Friends of the Clinton River Trail for trail improvements. The route took riders about nine miles along the trail, from Clubhouse BFD in Rochester Hills to the Filmore 13 Brewery in downtown Pontiac, and then back. In addition to a t-shirt and bike related SWAG, adult riders were provided with lots of water, KIND snacks and selected New Belgium beverages. As part of the event festivities, New Belgium Brewing donated a custom designed bicycle for Friends of the Clinton River Trail (FCRT) to raffle at the end of the ride.Each year New Belgium contracts to have several unique designed bicycles built exclusively for them. The bikes are used to recognize employee milestones and for charitable causes. In this case the bike was hand-built by Detroit Bikes in their west-side Detroit factory. Sweet! Source: Rochester Media
    Oct 05, 2017 33
  • 26 Sep 2017
    ROYAL OAK, MI — A bike share system for Royal Oak could be in the works. City Commissioners directed staff to gather public input on the idea after a preliminary study found that programs have been successfully started in other nearby communities. “Dearborn residents and visitors have embraced our bike share program with enthusiasm,” said Mary Laundroche, a spokeswoman for the city. “In the first two months of operation, the number of rides surpassed expectations, and the bikes just keep getting used more and more in our downtown areas and beyond. It’s been especially appealing to Millenials.” The MoGo bike share in the greater downtown Detroit area has 430 bikes at 43 stations and started up in May. In Port Huron four bike share stations with 20 bicycles were rolled out in July and are operated by Zagster. The cost of the program was about $36,000. The Michigan Department of Transportation kicked in a $12,00 grant and other costs are shared by the city’s Downtown Development Authority and partnerships with the St. Clair Community College, the Blue Water Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and a law firm in the city, according to the report provided to Royal Oak officials. “Port Huron has a very effective program and is about half the size in population as Royal Oak,” said Royal Oak City Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle. “I know Oakland County is (also) interested in investing in countywide bike-share programs.” James Krizan, assistant to City Manager Don Johnson, outlined some of the benefits and challenges of launching a bike-share rental program for city commissioners this week. “We’re definitely on our way to creating a robust bicycle culture here,” Krizan said of city plans to create more bike lanes. “I think it’s pretty cool and we should be exploring it,” said Mayor Michael Fournier. Royal Oak plans to add bike lanes on Campbell Road from 10 Mile to Fourth Street, which already has lanes from Campbell to the downtown. The main north-south bike route would start on Washington Avenue and run to Euclid Avenue, just north of Crooks Road. The route would then run east and west on Euclid to Main Street, which would have lanes leading to Normandy at the city’s border with Clawson. City commissioners voted Monday to have the Royal Oak’s traffic committee conduct public discussions on bicycle sharing and come back with a recommendation for commissioners. Source: Mike McConnell, The Daily Tribune
    41 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • ROYAL OAK, MI — A bike share system for Royal Oak could be in the works. City Commissioners directed staff to gather public input on the idea after a preliminary study found that programs have been successfully started in other nearby communities. “Dearborn residents and visitors have embraced our bike share program with enthusiasm,” said Mary Laundroche, a spokeswoman for the city. “In the first two months of operation, the number of rides surpassed expectations, and the bikes just keep getting used more and more in our downtown areas and beyond. It’s been especially appealing to Millenials.” The MoGo bike share in the greater downtown Detroit area has 430 bikes at 43 stations and started up in May. In Port Huron four bike share stations with 20 bicycles were rolled out in July and are operated by Zagster. The cost of the program was about $36,000. The Michigan Department of Transportation kicked in a $12,00 grant and other costs are shared by the city’s Downtown Development Authority and partnerships with the St. Clair Community College, the Blue Water Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and a law firm in the city, according to the report provided to Royal Oak officials. “Port Huron has a very effective program and is about half the size in population as Royal Oak,” said Royal Oak City Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle. “I know Oakland County is (also) interested in investing in countywide bike-share programs.” James Krizan, assistant to City Manager Don Johnson, outlined some of the benefits and challenges of launching a bike-share rental program for city commissioners this week. “We’re definitely on our way to creating a robust bicycle culture here,” Krizan said of city plans to create more bike lanes. “I think it’s pretty cool and we should be exploring it,” said Mayor Michael Fournier. Royal Oak plans to add bike lanes on Campbell Road from 10 Mile to Fourth Street, which already has lanes from Campbell to the downtown. The main north-south bike route would start on Washington Avenue and run to Euclid Avenue, just north of Crooks Road. The route would then run east and west on Euclid to Main Street, which would have lanes leading to Normandy at the city’s border with Clawson. City commissioners voted Monday to have the Royal Oak’s traffic committee conduct public discussions on bicycle sharing and come back with a recommendation for commissioners. Source: Mike McConnell, The Daily Tribune
    Sep 26, 2017 41
  • 22 May 2017
    Troy Times, Terry Oparka ― The Troy trails and pathways program will move forward as work continues on the first segment. The first segment will begin at Troy City Hall, on Big Beaver Road, and will proceed north on Livernois Road through the new P. Terry and Barbara Knight Park, then along Wattles, ending at Livernois Road. Troy's city council unanimously approved the $157 million 2017-18 and three-year city budget May 8, which includes stipends of $750,000 each year for the Troy trails and pathways program. The plan for a non-motorized pathway throughout the city stalled in 2015 when the state withdrew a $600,000 grant for a proposed trails and pathways system when residents in the Hills of Charnwood subdivision, located west of Coolidge Highway and north of Square Lake Road, objected to the pathway going through their subdivision. The plan aims to connect the trails and pathways along major roadways to "nodes" — identified in that plan as parks, city destinations such as the Troy Historical Museum and the Stage Nature Center, and places of worship. These nodes are different than the neighborhood nodes defined in the city’s current master plan. Read the full article @ Troy Times, C&G News
    100 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Troy Times, Terry Oparka ― The Troy trails and pathways program will move forward as work continues on the first segment. The first segment will begin at Troy City Hall, on Big Beaver Road, and will proceed north on Livernois Road through the new P. Terry and Barbara Knight Park, then along Wattles, ending at Livernois Road. Troy's city council unanimously approved the $157 million 2017-18 and three-year city budget May 8, which includes stipends of $750,000 each year for the Troy trails and pathways program. The plan for a non-motorized pathway throughout the city stalled in 2015 when the state withdrew a $600,000 grant for a proposed trails and pathways system when residents in the Hills of Charnwood subdivision, located west of Coolidge Highway and north of Square Lake Road, objected to the pathway going through their subdivision. The plan aims to connect the trails and pathways along major roadways to "nodes" — identified in that plan as parks, city destinations such as the Troy Historical Museum and the Stage Nature Center, and places of worship. These nodes are different than the neighborhood nodes defined in the city’s current master plan. Read the full article @ Troy Times, C&G News
    May 22, 2017 100
  • 02 May 2017
    Detroit Bike Share, an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DPP), in collaboration with the City of Detroit, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), and Health Alliance Plan (HAP) announced today Detroit’s first public bike share system will be named MoGo. "We are thrilled to introduce Detroit to MoGo,” says Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of MoGo, Detroit Bike Share. “Today’s announcement continues the city’s mobility evolution, providing Detroiters and visitors alike with more accessible options to move around the city." In May, MoGo will offer 430 bikes at 43 stations throughout 10 neighborhoods. Pass and pricing options include a daily pass and unlimited 30-minute trips for $8 per day, a monthly pass for $18, and an $80-per-year annual pass that gives riders the option to pay the total upfront or $8 per month, and offers unlimited 30-minute trips for a full year. "Bike share has been proven to be an invaluable addition to public transit in cities across the country," says Dan Dirks, director of the Detroit Department of Transportation. "We are very excited about this addition to Detroit’s transit system and look forward to its success." MoGo’s 10,000-square foot warehouse, located in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, currently houses 18 seasonal and permanent employees. More information can be found on MoGo’s website.
    95 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Detroit Bike Share, an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DPP), in collaboration with the City of Detroit, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), and Health Alliance Plan (HAP) announced today Detroit’s first public bike share system will be named MoGo. "We are thrilled to introduce Detroit to MoGo,” says Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of MoGo, Detroit Bike Share. “Today’s announcement continues the city’s mobility evolution, providing Detroiters and visitors alike with more accessible options to move around the city." In May, MoGo will offer 430 bikes at 43 stations throughout 10 neighborhoods. Pass and pricing options include a daily pass and unlimited 30-minute trips for $8 per day, a monthly pass for $18, and an $80-per-year annual pass that gives riders the option to pay the total upfront or $8 per month, and offers unlimited 30-minute trips for a full year. "Bike share has been proven to be an invaluable addition to public transit in cities across the country," says Dan Dirks, director of the Detroit Department of Transportation. "We are very excited about this addition to Detroit’s transit system and look forward to its success." MoGo’s 10,000-square foot warehouse, located in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, currently houses 18 seasonal and permanent employees. More information can be found on MoGo’s website.
    May 02, 2017 95
  • 01 Apr 2017
    IndustryWeek.com ― After decades of off-shoring and outsourcing established big name bike brands to other countries, the American made industry is now bringing the art of bicycle manufacturing back into the United States. This is happening as oversea trading costs continue to rise and as companies are now realizing the value of local win-win business models. A sign of things to come This shift is happening across the entire spectrum of cycling, from high-end boutique racing bikes, to 3-wheeled trikes, to high-volume manufacturing & assembly; dedicated American biking entrepreneurs are now beginning to reshore bike production into the United States. There is a perfect convergence of factors is happening in the United States these days; rising offshore trading costs, young entrepreneurs seeking bicycle-driven win-win business models, there’s a huge increase of people seeking healthier lifestyle choices, there’s a growing popularity of urban biking with biking-infrastructure interest taking root across the nation like never before, and there’s a new-found patriotism for more robust local biking-driven economies and it’s happening everywhere you look. Domestic production The outsourcing began sometime in the 1980s when Schwinn began shifting its manufacturing to Asia in an effort to take advantage of low working wages; other high-volume manufacturers like Huffy and Trek soon began to follow. By 2015 only 2.5% of the estimated 12.6 million bikes (not including kid’s bikes) that were sold in the U.S. were made in America. In 1990 the United States was one of the top five highest producing bike manufacturing countries on the planet at around 5.5 million units per year. As more outsourcing occurred, the bike production decreased to around 200k. But in 2015 the trend-line began to swiftly take a new direction. In 2015 when offshore wages began to increase, bike manufacturers started to rethink their offshore manufacturing and their material source decisions. Driven by the increasing offshore costs, the savings in automation, and the benefits of having “Made in USA” branding, reshoring bike manufacturing in the states began to make really good sense. Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) a Division of Kent International Arnold Kamler’s family had been in the bicycle business for a century when, in 1991, he regretfully shuttered his New Jersey bicycle plant, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA), and moved all of their production offshore. The USA factory had been producing 30% of their bicycles. However, offshore costs began rising enough to make Kamler, now the chairman and CEO of Kent International, begin to consider reshoring some bike manufacturing to the U.S. In 2008, Arnold said, “It was a perfect storm. You had steel, aluminum, oil, plastics, ocean freight and currency – everything at one time going up. I spent about six weeks traveling all over Asia, asking myself, ‘If not China, then where?’ The answer seemed to be nowhere for bicycles. The idea in the back of my mind was that maybe one day we could do it here in the U.S.” Then, in March 2013, at the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Suppliers Summit for the Walmart 'Made in America' initiative, Arnold met with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and began discussing the possibility of Kent opening a factory in South Carolina, but the numbers had to make sense. With an annual employee turnover rate of 120% at his Shanghai factory and offshore costs soaring, Kamler turned to innovation and automation to close the total cost gap and return work to the U.S. It would take innovative ideas like thousands of feet of overhead conveyors, the latest wheel-building equipment and other process improvements for the reshoring transition to make economic sense. Kamler’s multi-dimensional approach also included a guarantee from Gov. Haley that Kent’s energy needs and training requirements would be filled. Today, Kent International, Inc. is a high-volume, mass-market bike supplier to Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target and other retailers. This year they will roll out approximately 350,000 bikes produced in the Manning, S.C. factory, operating with 115 employees and assembling bikes at a rate that would require twice as many workers offshore. Kent has no plans to stop importing and proudly proclaims that they are not trying to reshore their business, they are trying to reshore their competitors’ business. He explained, “We sold 49% of our company to our major bicycle supplier from China in 2010.  When we decided to go forward with our USA production, I pledged to them that the idea was not to replace our import bikes with USA bikes but instead to try to continue to grow our import business and by growing our USA business, this would be stealing market share from other importers.” Americans want to buy more “Made in USA” products American made, locally sourced preference can be an important cornerstone for bringing U.S. manufacturing jobs back home. Recent consumer preference surveys, show there is a definitive preference for American-made goods: 97% have a positive view of the goods manufactured in the U.S. Americans on the whole believe it is important to manufacture in the U.S., and think it is wise to take steps to support American manufacturing, particularly bicycle manufacturing. The Motor City Turns to Bike City In the past several years at least seven bike brands have chosen Detroit as the place to manufacture and assemble bikes. Some brands are classically inspired handcrafted bikes like the Detroit Bicycle Company, some are super cool unique trail bikes like the Slingshot Bikes brand. A local Detroit firefighter founded the locally sourced 313 Bicycle Works. The fancy baggage suitcase and watch maker, Shinola, is now assembling high-end commuter bikes in their Detroit location with forks and frames coming from their partner, Waterford Precision Cycles. Detroit’s largest bike manufacturer Detroit Bikes has plans to produce as many as 50,000 bikes this year; they also won a high-stakes bid with the city that will produce bikes for the new Detroit Bike Sharing Program. Detroit Bikes Wins Bike Sharing Contract When Detroit Bikes first opened the doors in 2013, a lot of people “thought it was really goofy,” says founder Zak Pashak, who chose Detroit because it was “a good spot for urban revitalization to take hold.” Despite the fact that bicycle manufacturing had been disappearing as bike companies followed each other offshore to low cost countries, Pashak, a Canadian transplant, was fascinated with Detroit from childhood through popular TV shows and wanted to be part of its economic rebound. He thought a basic bike, perfect for urban areas, might have potential in the U.S. market. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Production began slowly until Pashak got his first big order from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. The company was having trouble finding a U.S.-made bike. Pashak won the 2,500 bike order and was on his way. In the spring of 2016 Pashak won a contract with Motivate, a company that runs bike-sharing programs in 12 metro areas, and uses Detroit Bikes’ assembled bicycles in New York, Boston, and Jersey City. A domestically produced bike gave Motivate a pivotal negotiating advantage when dealing with city governments, yet until finding Detroit Bikes, they struggled to find a U.S. manufacturer that could handle the quantity and specifications they needed. The bikes are assembled in Detroit but the aluminum frames come from Asia. However, Detroit Bikes makes the wheels in-house because they are expensive to transport. According to Motivate’s CEO Jay Walder, manufacturing the wheels domestically enabled the company to reduce the number of shipping containers by two-thirds. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Ford Rolls Into the San Francisco Area on a “New” Mode of Transportation In an effort to rework their business strategy for a future where fewer people own cars and shared transportation is commonplace, Ford recently announced it would be collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate in San Francisco. “Cities globally are dealing with increased congestion, a growing middle class and environmental issues,” says Jim Hackett, head of the new Ford Smart Mobility unit. “By expanding our business model to include new forms of transportation -- from bikes to dynamic shuttles and more -- we are introducing new customers to Ford and creating new revenue and profit opportunities for the future.” Ford and Motivate are working to add new stations across the Bay Area and expect to expand the network by 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018. Read the Full Article @ IndustryWeekly.com Trunicated and edited, original article by Harry Moser @ IndustryWeek.com
    291 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • IndustryWeek.com ― After decades of off-shoring and outsourcing established big name bike brands to other countries, the American made industry is now bringing the art of bicycle manufacturing back into the United States. This is happening as oversea trading costs continue to rise and as companies are now realizing the value of local win-win business models. A sign of things to come This shift is happening across the entire spectrum of cycling, from high-end boutique racing bikes, to 3-wheeled trikes, to high-volume manufacturing & assembly; dedicated American biking entrepreneurs are now beginning to reshore bike production into the United States. There is a perfect convergence of factors is happening in the United States these days; rising offshore trading costs, young entrepreneurs seeking bicycle-driven win-win business models, there’s a huge increase of people seeking healthier lifestyle choices, there’s a growing popularity of urban biking with biking-infrastructure interest taking root across the nation like never before, and there’s a new-found patriotism for more robust local biking-driven economies and it’s happening everywhere you look. Domestic production The outsourcing began sometime in the 1980s when Schwinn began shifting its manufacturing to Asia in an effort to take advantage of low working wages; other high-volume manufacturers like Huffy and Trek soon began to follow. By 2015 only 2.5% of the estimated 12.6 million bikes (not including kid’s bikes) that were sold in the U.S. were made in America. In 1990 the United States was one of the top five highest producing bike manufacturing countries on the planet at around 5.5 million units per year. As more outsourcing occurred, the bike production decreased to around 200k. But in 2015 the trend-line began to swiftly take a new direction. In 2015 when offshore wages began to increase, bike manufacturers started to rethink their offshore manufacturing and their material source decisions. Driven by the increasing offshore costs, the savings in automation, and the benefits of having “Made in USA” branding, reshoring bike manufacturing in the states began to make really good sense. Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) a Division of Kent International Arnold Kamler’s family had been in the bicycle business for a century when, in 1991, he regretfully shuttered his New Jersey bicycle plant, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA), and moved all of their production offshore. The USA factory had been producing 30% of their bicycles. However, offshore costs began rising enough to make Kamler, now the chairman and CEO of Kent International, begin to consider reshoring some bike manufacturing to the U.S. In 2008, Arnold said, “It was a perfect storm. You had steel, aluminum, oil, plastics, ocean freight and currency – everything at one time going up. I spent about six weeks traveling all over Asia, asking myself, ‘If not China, then where?’ The answer seemed to be nowhere for bicycles. The idea in the back of my mind was that maybe one day we could do it here in the U.S.” Then, in March 2013, at the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Suppliers Summit for the Walmart 'Made in America' initiative, Arnold met with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and began discussing the possibility of Kent opening a factory in South Carolina, but the numbers had to make sense. With an annual employee turnover rate of 120% at his Shanghai factory and offshore costs soaring, Kamler turned to innovation and automation to close the total cost gap and return work to the U.S. It would take innovative ideas like thousands of feet of overhead conveyors, the latest wheel-building equipment and other process improvements for the reshoring transition to make economic sense. Kamler’s multi-dimensional approach also included a guarantee from Gov. Haley that Kent’s energy needs and training requirements would be filled. Today, Kent International, Inc. is a high-volume, mass-market bike supplier to Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target and other retailers. This year they will roll out approximately 350,000 bikes produced in the Manning, S.C. factory, operating with 115 employees and assembling bikes at a rate that would require twice as many workers offshore. Kent has no plans to stop importing and proudly proclaims that they are not trying to reshore their business, they are trying to reshore their competitors’ business. He explained, “We sold 49% of our company to our major bicycle supplier from China in 2010.  When we decided to go forward with our USA production, I pledged to them that the idea was not to replace our import bikes with USA bikes but instead to try to continue to grow our import business and by growing our USA business, this would be stealing market share from other importers.” Americans want to buy more “Made in USA” products American made, locally sourced preference can be an important cornerstone for bringing U.S. manufacturing jobs back home. Recent consumer preference surveys, show there is a definitive preference for American-made goods: 97% have a positive view of the goods manufactured in the U.S. Americans on the whole believe it is important to manufacture in the U.S., and think it is wise to take steps to support American manufacturing, particularly bicycle manufacturing. The Motor City Turns to Bike City In the past several years at least seven bike brands have chosen Detroit as the place to manufacture and assemble bikes. Some brands are classically inspired handcrafted bikes like the Detroit Bicycle Company, some are super cool unique trail bikes like the Slingshot Bikes brand. A local Detroit firefighter founded the locally sourced 313 Bicycle Works. The fancy baggage suitcase and watch maker, Shinola, is now assembling high-end commuter bikes in their Detroit location with forks and frames coming from their partner, Waterford Precision Cycles. Detroit’s largest bike manufacturer Detroit Bikes has plans to produce as many as 50,000 bikes this year; they also won a high-stakes bid with the city that will produce bikes for the new Detroit Bike Sharing Program. Detroit Bikes Wins Bike Sharing Contract When Detroit Bikes first opened the doors in 2013, a lot of people “thought it was really goofy,” says founder Zak Pashak, who chose Detroit because it was “a good spot for urban revitalization to take hold.” Despite the fact that bicycle manufacturing had been disappearing as bike companies followed each other offshore to low cost countries, Pashak, a Canadian transplant, was fascinated with Detroit from childhood through popular TV shows and wanted to be part of its economic rebound. He thought a basic bike, perfect for urban areas, might have potential in the U.S. market. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Production began slowly until Pashak got his first big order from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. The company was having trouble finding a U.S.-made bike. Pashak won the 2,500 bike order and was on his way. In the spring of 2016 Pashak won a contract with Motivate, a company that runs bike-sharing programs in 12 metro areas, and uses Detroit Bikes’ assembled bicycles in New York, Boston, and Jersey City. A domestically produced bike gave Motivate a pivotal negotiating advantage when dealing with city governments, yet until finding Detroit Bikes, they struggled to find a U.S. manufacturer that could handle the quantity and specifications they needed. The bikes are assembled in Detroit but the aluminum frames come from Asia. However, Detroit Bikes makes the wheels in-house because they are expensive to transport. According to Motivate’s CEO Jay Walder, manufacturing the wheels domestically enabled the company to reduce the number of shipping containers by two-thirds. Detroit Bikes’ is set to produce 10,000 bikes this year and in doing so will create 50 jobs in a city with high unemployment. Ford Rolls Into the San Francisco Area on a “New” Mode of Transportation In an effort to rework their business strategy for a future where fewer people own cars and shared transportation is commonplace, Ford recently announced it would be collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate in San Francisco. “Cities globally are dealing with increased congestion, a growing middle class and environmental issues,” says Jim Hackett, head of the new Ford Smart Mobility unit. “By expanding our business model to include new forms of transportation -- from bikes to dynamic shuttles and more -- we are introducing new customers to Ford and creating new revenue and profit opportunities for the future.” Ford and Motivate are working to add new stations across the Bay Area and expect to expand the network by 7,000 bikes by the end of 2018. Read the Full Article @ IndustryWeekly.com Trunicated and edited, original article by Harry Moser @ IndustryWeek.com
    Apr 01, 2017 291
  • 07 Mar 2017
    A new plan by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy calls for the creation of two new pathways to the river similar to the Dequindre Cut. The project plans to expand the decade long transformation of the riverfront district from an industrial sector to public, recreational-use center, which will spur new people-friendly developments in the district. The framework plan also envisions added preservation of about 8 acres of land for public use, particularly from Atwater Street south to the river, and Stroh River Place and Rivard Plaza; an eastward expansion of the Detroit RiverWalk; safety improvements along East Jefferson Avenue. The Joseph Campau Greenway plans to run from East Vernor Highway south to the river, while the Beltline Greenway, between Belleview and Beaufait streets, runs from Kercheval Street to the river. Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, said that the construction on the nearly 2-mile Joseph Campau Greenway is expected to begin next year, while the 1.5-mile Beltline Greenway should begin construction toward the end of this year or early into next year. Three sites previously expected to be privately developed are now planned for public use. The property was previously planned as a site for former mayor Dave Bing's  $60 million Watermark residential development. A groundbreaking is expected this year on the promenade linking the Detroit RiverWalk from Mt. Elliott Park to the Douglas MacArthur Bridge running along the Uniroyal Tire Co. site. In addition to the new pathways, things like improved crosswalks and new bike lanes are expected as part of the plan. The overall improvement program is expected to be jointly funded by the conservancy of Detroit and the Economic Development Corp. The total cost of the improvements was not available. Source: Crains Detroit
    198 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • A new plan by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy calls for the creation of two new pathways to the river similar to the Dequindre Cut. The project plans to expand the decade long transformation of the riverfront district from an industrial sector to public, recreational-use center, which will spur new people-friendly developments in the district. The framework plan also envisions added preservation of about 8 acres of land for public use, particularly from Atwater Street south to the river, and Stroh River Place and Rivard Plaza; an eastward expansion of the Detroit RiverWalk; safety improvements along East Jefferson Avenue. The Joseph Campau Greenway plans to run from East Vernor Highway south to the river, while the Beltline Greenway, between Belleview and Beaufait streets, runs from Kercheval Street to the river. Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, said that the construction on the nearly 2-mile Joseph Campau Greenway is expected to begin next year, while the 1.5-mile Beltline Greenway should begin construction toward the end of this year or early into next year. Three sites previously expected to be privately developed are now planned for public use. The property was previously planned as a site for former mayor Dave Bing's  $60 million Watermark residential development. A groundbreaking is expected this year on the promenade linking the Detroit RiverWalk from Mt. Elliott Park to the Douglas MacArthur Bridge running along the Uniroyal Tire Co. site. In addition to the new pathways, things like improved crosswalks and new bike lanes are expected as part of the plan. The overall improvement program is expected to be jointly funded by the conservancy of Detroit and the Economic Development Corp. The total cost of the improvements was not available. Source: Crains Detroit
    Mar 07, 2017 198
  • 04 Mar 2017
    The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) recently announced that pedestrian foot-paths and protected bike lanes will be included on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The 12-foot-wide path will be on the east side of the bridge with concrete barriers separating pedestrians and cyclists from motorists, the lanes will accommodate two-way traffic for pedestrians and cyclists, and the routes will connect to local throughfares. "Today's announcement is an example of how WDBA responds to opportunities our communities bring to our attention," said Dwight Duncan, chair of the bridge authority. "We have heard you loud and clear that the ability to cross the Gordie Howe International Bridge by bike or by foot is important to you. They say that a vision needs a plan, otherwise it's a dream and I am pleased to say that dreams do come true. The integration of a multi-use path will benefit the communities, as it will support active transportation, a healthy lifestyle as well as enhance cycle tourism across the border." Canada plans to cover the cost of the $2.1 billion bridge, plus a $250 million customs plaza on the U.S. side. Michigan's share of the cost is to be repaid in the form of toll collections. No word on toll prices or restrictions for cyclists and pedestrians.  (Source MLive.com)
    137 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) recently announced that pedestrian foot-paths and protected bike lanes will be included on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The 12-foot-wide path will be on the east side of the bridge with concrete barriers separating pedestrians and cyclists from motorists, the lanes will accommodate two-way traffic for pedestrians and cyclists, and the routes will connect to local throughfares. "Today's announcement is an example of how WDBA responds to opportunities our communities bring to our attention," said Dwight Duncan, chair of the bridge authority. "We have heard you loud and clear that the ability to cross the Gordie Howe International Bridge by bike or by foot is important to you. They say that a vision needs a plan, otherwise it's a dream and I am pleased to say that dreams do come true. The integration of a multi-use path will benefit the communities, as it will support active transportation, a healthy lifestyle as well as enhance cycle tourism across the border." Canada plans to cover the cost of the $2.1 billion bridge, plus a $250 million customs plaza on the U.S. side. Michigan's share of the cost is to be repaid in the form of toll collections. No word on toll prices or restrictions for cyclists and pedestrians.  (Source MLive.com)
    Mar 04, 2017 137