Posted recently on the CM-Melb list was this great idea which is getting some Sydney media: The Bike Bus. It seems to be a particularly Australian and even more Sydney-centric idea, which is understandable as Melbourne does tend to have much better bike lanes than Sydney so the need would not be as great. In the US and the UK, the term seems only to refer to a bus that takes bicycles, which is cool, but I like the bikebus concept here: it means a scheduled group bicycle commute.
One particularly strident argument I hear against cycle commuting is the danger inherent in riding in heavy traffic during rush hour on roads with no bike lanes in areas where traffic is not friendly towards bicycles. I am thinking of some major arterial roads in my own city, but even more so in many parts of the USA. Safetly in numbers is definitely improved, and taking up a full lane, while it does slow down traffic to a degree, is something traffic other than bicycles should be getting more accustomed to, because research has proven [pdfs] that the more cyclists there are on the road, the less accidents happen.
I would love to see this idea grow. If you are in an area where you think you might want to start one, there’s some guidelines on how to over here. I’m lucky, I live along a rail line with an excellent bicycle path for 90% of my commute, but many people are not so fortunate, and this could be a great way for individual cyclists to ride more safely and also more socially. And with ebikes, the weaker riders can easily keep up with the stronger ones, keeping the overall speed higher and more competitive time wise for those who don’t want to ride at a slower “social” pace to get to work.1 comment