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20 blogs
  • 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
    3 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 3
  • 09 May 2017
    MLive.com, Amy Biolchini Grand Rapids city officials are working to make sure the next generation of motorists understand local bicycle safety laws. The city's education materials on local laws are being included in the curriculum at 11 driver's education schools in West Michigan in 2017, officials announced Monday May 8th. "It's vital to help new student-drivers grow their understanding of the proper interactions and responsibilities between motorists and bicyclists in traffic, as well as to help Grand Rapids build a culture of mutual respect between bicyclists and motorists that, ultimately, reduces crashes," said the city's Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull of the driver's education schools. City officials are hoping educating new drivers about local laws - especially the city's five-foot passing rule for bicycles - will help reduce future crashes. Grand Rapids passed a law in 2015 to that requires drivers keep at least five feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist they are passing. Bicyclists in Grand Rapids are also required to have a white light on the front of their bike and red reflector or light on the back of their bike if riding at night. The lights must be visible from a distance of 500 feet, or the length of a city block. Kalamazoo adopted a similar five-foot law in September 2016, and Ann Arbor followed suit in December 2016. This year, Grand Rapids law enforcement officials are focusing their efforts on the danger that comes with bicyclists riding on the sidewalk - a practice that's illegal in most parts of downtown Grand Rapids. Police say bicyclists are more visible when they ride in the street with the flow of traffic, as opposed to riding on the sidewalks or against the flow of traffic.
    24 Posted by Systems Admin
  • MLive.com, Amy Biolchini Grand Rapids city officials are working to make sure the next generation of motorists understand local bicycle safety laws. The city's education materials on local laws are being included in the curriculum at 11 driver's education schools in West Michigan in 2017, officials announced Monday May 8th. "It's vital to help new student-drivers grow their understanding of the proper interactions and responsibilities between motorists and bicyclists in traffic, as well as to help Grand Rapids build a culture of mutual respect between bicyclists and motorists that, ultimately, reduces crashes," said the city's Traffic Safety Manager Chris Zull of the driver's education schools. City officials are hoping educating new drivers about local laws - especially the city's five-foot passing rule for bicycles - will help reduce future crashes. Grand Rapids passed a law in 2015 to that requires drivers keep at least five feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist they are passing. Bicyclists in Grand Rapids are also required to have a white light on the front of their bike and red reflector or light on the back of their bike if riding at night. The lights must be visible from a distance of 500 feet, or the length of a city block. Kalamazoo adopted a similar five-foot law in September 2016, and Ann Arbor followed suit in December 2016. This year, Grand Rapids law enforcement officials are focusing their efforts on the danger that comes with bicyclists riding on the sidewalk - a practice that's illegal in most parts of downtown Grand Rapids. Police say bicyclists are more visible when they ride in the street with the flow of traffic, as opposed to riding on the sidewalks or against the flow of traffic.
    May 09, 2017 24
  • 06 May 2017
    Business Insider, Matthew DeBord ― When I learned to drive, cars were pretty easy to understand: they ran on gas, which was fairly cheap, and they had radios.  Other transportation options were limited to boats, buses, trains, planes, and motorcycles. If you lived in a big city, you got around using mass transit and your feet. Fast forward a few decades and the types of transportation are essentially the same, but the automobile has been radically remade by technology and the auto industry is being roiled by everything from electric vehicles and self-driving cars to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The biggest change to air travel has been the cost, which has come way down since I was 16. Obviously, I cover transportation and have had a front-row seat for the last decade as a deluge of change has arrived. You might think that if I were to look back, I'd say that the electric car is the biggest change I've seen. Tesla is a $50-billion-market-cap company after all — larger by that measure that Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles! But you'd be wrong. By far the biggest transportation change I've seen is the explosion in bicycle riding. I lived away from the New York area over a decade ago, and while I rode a bike when I lived in NYC, I was unprepared for the proliferation of bikes on my return. Bikes, bikes, everywhere Bike-sharing schemes like CitiBike have two-wheeled conveyances scattered throughout Manhattan. And although everybody in the 1990s got used to dodging bike messengers, nowadays we dodge commuters — or folks who just want to ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. There are bike lanes everywhere — and bike-oriented traffic signals. People ride their bikes year round, rain, shine, sleet, or snow.  I feel as if there are now as many bike shops as there once were Greek coffee shops and dive bars.  This change isn't limited to New York. Cycling has boomed in many other American cities. Whole new genres of bicycles have arrived: bikes with electric-assist motors, bikes with extra carrying capacity (the SUVs of bikes), sleek fixies, fat-tired cruisers, throwback hybrid bikes. This has quietly become a big deal. Whereas 20 years ago, you took your life into your own hands if you tried to ride from New York's Upper East Side to Midtown, these days a vast flotilla of bikes has been integrated into the city's transportation ecosystem. "More than three-quarters of a million New Yorkers ride a bike regularly—250,000 more than just five years ago." the NYC Department of Transportation said in its "Cycling in the City" report. It is estimated that over 450,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—triple the amount taken 15 years ago." Honestly, I didn't see this coming, but I'm glad it did. Some changes on transportation are disorienting. But this one is welcome.
    47 Posted by Systems Admin
  • Business Insider, Matthew DeBord ― When I learned to drive, cars were pretty easy to understand: they ran on gas, which was fairly cheap, and they had radios.  Other transportation options were limited to boats, buses, trains, planes, and motorcycles. If you lived in a big city, you got around using mass transit and your feet. Fast forward a few decades and the types of transportation are essentially the same, but the automobile has been radically remade by technology and the auto industry is being roiled by everything from electric vehicles and self-driving cars to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. The biggest change to air travel has been the cost, which has come way down since I was 16. Obviously, I cover transportation and have had a front-row seat for the last decade as a deluge of change has arrived. You might think that if I were to look back, I'd say that the electric car is the biggest change I've seen. Tesla is a $50-billion-market-cap company after all — larger by that measure that Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles! But you'd be wrong. By far the biggest transportation change I've seen is the explosion in bicycle riding. I lived away from the New York area over a decade ago, and while I rode a bike when I lived in NYC, I was unprepared for the proliferation of bikes on my return. Bikes, bikes, everywhere Bike-sharing schemes like CitiBike have two-wheeled conveyances scattered throughout Manhattan. And although everybody in the 1990s got used to dodging bike messengers, nowadays we dodge commuters — or folks who just want to ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. There are bike lanes everywhere — and bike-oriented traffic signals. People ride their bikes year round, rain, shine, sleet, or snow.  I feel as if there are now as many bike shops as there once were Greek coffee shops and dive bars.  This change isn't limited to New York. Cycling has boomed in many other American cities. Whole new genres of bicycles have arrived: bikes with electric-assist motors, bikes with extra carrying capacity (the SUVs of bikes), sleek fixies, fat-tired cruisers, throwback hybrid bikes. This has quietly become a big deal. Whereas 20 years ago, you took your life into your own hands if you tried to ride from New York's Upper East Side to Midtown, these days a vast flotilla of bikes has been integrated into the city's transportation ecosystem. "More than three-quarters of a million New Yorkers ride a bike regularly—250,000 more than just five years ago." the NYC Department of Transportation said in its "Cycling in the City" report. It is estimated that over 450,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—triple the amount taken 15 years ago." Honestly, I didn't see this coming, but I'm glad it did. Some changes on transportation are disorienting. But this one is welcome.
    May 06, 2017 47
  • 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.
    24 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 24
  • 24 Apr 2017
    LMB.com — The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) is thrilled to announce a new Micro-Grant Program. The Micro-Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals and organizations that are activly implementing and driving creative projects that promote bicycling and safety for cyclists on the Michigan transit landscape. Micro-Grant funds will be awarded annually in May in celebration of National Bike Month. Grants range from $200 to $2000. The Micro-Grants are small by design in order to support innovation and encourage groups who may have limited resources to dedicate towards development. Micro-Grant funds can be used to support start-up projects or to help existing efforts reach their next milestone. The application and reporting processes are designed to be short, simple, and unintimidating. In 2017, LMB will grant up to $12,000 in Micro-Grants. The Micro-Grants are funded by the proceeds of LMB Tours. Micro-grant funds are open to all Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Individuals, clubs, or other entities without an official 501(c)(3) designation will be considered if accompanied by a fiscal sponsorship agreement with an established nonprofit. Grant applications from LMB members are given highest priority. If you or your organization are not currently a member, please consider joining in conjunction with your application or at www.LMB.org/join. How To Apply: To apply, please download and complete a LMB Micro-Grant Application. Completed applications must be forwarded via email to aneta@LMB.org with a copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter or fiscal sponsorship agreement letter. Optional additional documents, such as letters of support, may also be submitted via email. Grant applications will be accepted until May 5th, 2017. Micro-Grant awardees will be notified by May 12. Micro-Grant funds will be distributed at a ceremony during LMB’s Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 24th at the State Capitol. Read More about the Grant Opportunity @ LMB.org
    23 Posted by Systems Admin
  • LMB.com — The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) is thrilled to announce a new Micro-Grant Program. The Micro-Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals and organizations that are activly implementing and driving creative projects that promote bicycling and safety for cyclists on the Michigan transit landscape. Micro-Grant funds will be awarded annually in May in celebration of National Bike Month. Grants range from $200 to $2000. The Micro-Grants are small by design in order to support innovation and encourage groups who may have limited resources to dedicate towards development. Micro-Grant funds can be used to support start-up projects or to help existing efforts reach their next milestone. The application and reporting processes are designed to be short, simple, and unintimidating. In 2017, LMB will grant up to $12,000 in Micro-Grants. The Micro-Grants are funded by the proceeds of LMB Tours. Micro-grant funds are open to all Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Individuals, clubs, or other entities without an official 501(c)(3) designation will be considered if accompanied by a fiscal sponsorship agreement with an established nonprofit. Grant applications from LMB members are given highest priority. If you or your organization are not currently a member, please consider joining in conjunction with your application or at www.LMB.org/join. How To Apply: To apply, please download and complete a LMB Micro-Grant Application. Completed applications must be forwarded via email to aneta@LMB.org with a copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter or fiscal sponsorship agreement letter. Optional additional documents, such as letters of support, may also be submitted via email. Grant applications will be accepted until May 5th, 2017. Micro-Grant awardees will be notified by May 12. Micro-Grant funds will be distributed at a ceremony during LMB’s Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day on May 24th at the State Capitol. Read More about the Grant Opportunity @ LMB.org
    Apr 24, 2017 23
  • 05 Apr 2017
    The Fisher Halfpipe is concept art installment curated by Everard Findlay, the project delves into the ideal of how sports such as skateboarding and bmx can transcend social barriers such as race, class or culture. The Halfpipe currently sits in the main arcade of the Fisher Building Lobby. The Fisher Halfpipe opened for public viewing on Monday night. Professional and semi-professional skateboarders, inline-skaters and BMX bikers will be performing on the Halfpipe April 3rd through the 6th. It's open to the public 6pm to 9pm each evening. The event includes live music and stuff to eat. The 26-foot, 16-foot wide halfpipe was built by Ramped Construction. The artwork on the Halfpipe was painted by local artists Hillary Butterworth, Miranda Wedge, and Brian Oscar; their instagrams show the progress as they painted the halfpipe start to finish. The ramp is part of an ongoing project called, “The Fisher Beacon Project.” The campaign aims at drawing-in visitors to the historic building through performance art and interesting exhibitions.
    94 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • The Fisher Halfpipe is concept art installment curated by Everard Findlay, the project delves into the ideal of how sports such as skateboarding and bmx can transcend social barriers such as race, class or culture. The Halfpipe currently sits in the main arcade of the Fisher Building Lobby. The Fisher Halfpipe opened for public viewing on Monday night. Professional and semi-professional skateboarders, inline-skaters and BMX bikers will be performing on the Halfpipe April 3rd through the 6th. It's open to the public 6pm to 9pm each evening. The event includes live music and stuff to eat. The 26-foot, 16-foot wide halfpipe was built by Ramped Construction. The artwork on the Halfpipe was painted by local artists Hillary Butterworth, Miranda Wedge, and Brian Oscar; their instagrams show the progress as they painted the halfpipe start to finish. The ramp is part of an ongoing project called, “The Fisher Beacon Project.” The campaign aims at drawing-in visitors to the historic building through performance art and interesting exhibitions.
    Apr 05, 2017 94
  • 04 Apr 2017
    Registration for Wayne State's cycling event, "The Baroudeur" is now open! The Baroudeur is a fun, noncompetitive event that gives riders of all abilities an opportunity to explore Detroit and surrounding area on two wheels while helping economically disadvantaged students pursue higher education. The Baroudeur offers three routes to accommodate riders of all experience levels. Ranging from 20 miles all the way up to the 100 mile century ride, The Baroudeur will take you to some of Detroit and Southeast Michigan's most iconic sights and landmarks. Baroudeur means fighter or warrior in French. It is a term used in cycling for riders not afraid to break away from the peloton and do things on their own, even if they might be an underdog. In Paul Fournel's collection of cycling essays, Vélo, he describes baroudeurs as "adventurers, opportunists and chancers. They do not seek the love of their colleagues in the peloton, but strain at the leash, pushing against convention, experimenting and taking risks. They are generalists and polymaths, adept at multiple disciplines." Read more about The Baroudeur in the directory.
    93 Posted by Systems Admin
  • Registration for Wayne State's cycling event, "The Baroudeur" is now open! The Baroudeur is a fun, noncompetitive event that gives riders of all abilities an opportunity to explore Detroit and surrounding area on two wheels while helping economically disadvantaged students pursue higher education. The Baroudeur offers three routes to accommodate riders of all experience levels. Ranging from 20 miles all the way up to the 100 mile century ride, The Baroudeur will take you to some of Detroit and Southeast Michigan's most iconic sights and landmarks. Baroudeur means fighter or warrior in French. It is a term used in cycling for riders not afraid to break away from the peloton and do things on their own, even if they might be an underdog. In Paul Fournel's collection of cycling essays, Vélo, he describes baroudeurs as "adventurers, opportunists and chancers. They do not seek the love of their colleagues in the peloton, but strain at the leash, pushing against convention, experimenting and taking risks. They are generalists and polymaths, adept at multiple disciplines." Read more about The Baroudeur in the directory.
    Apr 04, 2017 93
  • 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
    200 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 200
  • 14 Mar 2017
    Pedal to porch is a neighborhood bike ride that includes stops along the route where residents of the neighborhood use their front porch as a space to tell a story. Porch stories sometimes are entertaining, educational, socially or politically charged, and sometimes the porch stories are history lessons about the neighborhoods themselves. Cornetta Lane, the founder of Pedal to Porch, focuses on civic engagement. “Pedal to Porch helps neighbors engage in conversations that they may not have otherwise.” She goes on to say, “Folks don’t know their neighbors anymore; their stories. The best way to bring neighbors together is to host a bike ride that allows neighbors to be introduced to each other.” Pedal to Porch recently received a Knight City Challenge grant which Cornetta plans to use to expand her project beyond this season’s 3-neighborhood route, perhaps into other cities including Washington D.C. and the Boston area. Pedal to Porch has introduced a docu-series, “Pedaler.” It’s a story about the neighborhoods of Detroit from the voices of its residents.  Watch the preview:
    167 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Pedal to porch is a neighborhood bike ride that includes stops along the route where residents of the neighborhood use their front porch as a space to tell a story. Porch stories sometimes are entertaining, educational, socially or politically charged, and sometimes the porch stories are history lessons about the neighborhoods themselves. Cornetta Lane, the founder of Pedal to Porch, focuses on civic engagement. “Pedal to Porch helps neighbors engage in conversations that they may not have otherwise.” She goes on to say, “Folks don’t know their neighbors anymore; their stories. The best way to bring neighbors together is to host a bike ride that allows neighbors to be introduced to each other.” Pedal to Porch recently received a Knight City Challenge grant which Cornetta plans to use to expand her project beyond this season’s 3-neighborhood route, perhaps into other cities including Washington D.C. and the Boston area. Pedal to Porch has introduced a docu-series, “Pedaler.” It’s a story about the neighborhoods of Detroit from the voices of its residents.  Watch the preview:
    Mar 14, 2017 167
  • 13 Mar 2017
    Momentum Magazine — US cities are undergoing rapid changes. The rising costs of road building and maintenance, combined with out-of-control congestion and urban pollution, are forcing many cities to rethink the way they allocate space on the roads. Where 10, even five years ago, widening or expanding driving lanes seemed like an economically feasible and practical solution to urban transportation demands, the tide is beginning to change. Cities are beginning to realize that prioritizing cars in transportation planning is not only expensive in the short term, but comes with a whole whack of externalities such as lost productivity due to time spent in traffic, decreasing mental and physical health of residents, and a compromised environment. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that, in the recently released 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors, a full 70% of mayors surveyed responded “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” when presented with the idea, “Cities should make their roads more accessible to bicycles even if it means sacrificing driving lanes and/ or parking.” The Menino Survey – a project of the US Conference of Mayors and the Boston University Initiative on Cities– interviewed 89 mayors from 31 different states on a wide range of issues affecting urban policy in the US. Of those surveyed, 63 were mayors of cities with over 100,000 residents, and the demographics of each city on indicators such as population density, racial demographics, and economic characteristics represent the diversity of the nation as a whole. See the full article and surveys @ Momentum Magazine
    86 Posted by Aaron Lad
  • Momentum Magazine — US cities are undergoing rapid changes. The rising costs of road building and maintenance, combined with out-of-control congestion and urban pollution, are forcing many cities to rethink the way they allocate space on the roads. Where 10, even five years ago, widening or expanding driving lanes seemed like an economically feasible and practical solution to urban transportation demands, the tide is beginning to change. Cities are beginning to realize that prioritizing cars in transportation planning is not only expensive in the short term, but comes with a whole whack of externalities such as lost productivity due to time spent in traffic, decreasing mental and physical health of residents, and a compromised environment. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that, in the recently released 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors, a full 70% of mayors surveyed responded “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” when presented with the idea, “Cities should make their roads more accessible to bicycles even if it means sacrificing driving lanes and/ or parking.” The Menino Survey – a project of the US Conference of Mayors and the Boston University Initiative on Cities– interviewed 89 mayors from 31 different states on a wide range of issues affecting urban policy in the US. Of those surveyed, 63 were mayors of cities with over 100,000 residents, and the demographics of each city on indicators such as population density, racial demographics, and economic characteristics represent the diversity of the nation as a whole. See the full article and surveys @ Momentum Magazine
    Mar 13, 2017 86