WHEELS 2, The Copenhagen Wheel

This is a fascinating wheel developed by MIT in conjunction with the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. I still haven’t figured out how the brakes work. Applying brakes by iPhone? No thanks.

The personal trainer info does interest me. I already do that with my Garmin. But I don’t get road conditions in real time. I’ve been doing fine without it. And I have no problem with the effort required to pedal, but that could change over the next 30 years. Until then, I enjoy the exercise and simplicity of riding a singlespeed where I do the work.

Copenhagen Wheel:

This isn’t something I would need, but I can imagine it becoming popular for occasional cyclists and those not very fit, yet. It might be great for hills.

Anything that gets more people out enjoying cycling is fine in my books.

There is no question the number one reason more people don’t commute to work by bike is perceived danger. The current infrastructure, when maintained, works great for me. I’m experienced, and I know how to do it. But I’m under no illusion that I’m in the norm, at work. I’ve been approached by quite a few people who’d love to try to commute by bike, at least in summer, but don’t want to ride in traffic. Especially along routes like 51 ave. Or 75 street, which I always avoid.

If there was a safer alternative, many more people would commute by bike. To make it truly safe, we need to educate cyclists, and motorists, on the rules and best practices regarding cycling in traffic. At some point every cyclist will need to ride in traffic, and they should know how to do it safely. If you do ride safely, it’s no more dangerous than driving.

So the wheels and amazing new technologies can be helpful, but the number one barrier to having more people commute by bike remains the perception cycling is unsafe.

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