Here’s the bike news from around the world that caught our eyes this week:
Broke mechanics: Why do bike mechanics make so little money? Here’s a pretty depressing slideshow that details the situation state by state.
Bad politician: After a Long Island teen had two classmates killed by cars while walking and then his mother was hit by a car while biking, he wrote his state legislator asking for more bike lanes. The legislator responded in a letter saying that “no one” in Suffolk County “should ever ride a bicycle” and that of those who do, “90 percent” get hit by cars. (If you’re not on Facebook you can read the news coverage.)
Commutes and happiness: Every additional minute of your commute makes you less happy, a British study found, and the nicer home or higher income many people trade that time for doesn’t seem to offset the damage — though biking to work seems to help.
Wheeled snow shovel: A bike and a shovel got snowed in for a few days and a few months later this ingenious device appeared.
Olympic commute: On a whim, Finland’s Olympic hockey team rode to work together on bikes in Sochi last week. “It was kinda nice, actually,” forward Olli Jokinen said.
Jan Gehl speaks: If you haven’t checked out Streetsblog’s new podcast yet, their interview with the man who reversed Copenhagen’s slide into motordom makes a good introduction.
Bike parking triumph: The capital city of Swedish biking has a very impressive new bike-and-ride parking station.
E-bike skepticism: In Denmark, one in 10 bike fatalities happen on electric bikes, and Mikael Colville-Andersen is questioning the “Hype Cloud” that he says surrounds them.
Hope for suburbs: “Intensely urban” after 40 years of working to create its own identity, downtown Bellevue has become an anti-sprawl asset to the Seattle region, the Seattle Times says.
Muddy singletrack: The Bend Bulletin has some tips for mountain biking on muddy trails.
Ergonomic bike racks: A San Francisco design firm thinks urban bike racks should have built-in shelves to set your laptop bag on while you lock up.
Carsharing impact: Every shared car displaces 32 privately owned cars, according to surveys of licenced drivers in Portland and nine other U.S. cities. It’s added up to half a million reduced car sales since Portland introduced carsharing to the country in 1998.
Honor among thieves: “I stole your Trek Madone near 33rd and Vine,” someone wrote in the best Craigslist post you’re going to read this week.
Fat bike regulation: The rise of fat biking and ski biking is raising unfamiliar questions on snowmobile and cross-country routes in the nation’s parks.
Central Eastside boom: A group of out-of-town planners and developers predicts that Portland’s Central Eastside is in for big and rapid changes but worries that “makers and doers” could be “priced out.”
Jaywalking history: The BBC casts an outsider’s eye at a peculiarly American institution: criminalizing walking across the street. The story starts in 1913 with a department store Santa Claus.