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Over the next few weeks, as I dragged Otto to the grocery store, the nearby bike path, or to visit friends, I became more comfortable in traffic fact, people give you so much room when you're towing a trailer that it feels like the safest way to ride I began to notice all the people on bikes around me. There were riders loaded with groceries or dry cleaning or yoga mats. I saw well dressed women rolling along my city's boulevard with what seemed to be a dual purpose: to see what was around them and to be seen. I wove past couples pedaling in wobbly lines of blissful unawareness out on bike path jaunts. I noted the jumble of upright bikes at farmers' markets, looking fashionable but also built to handle loads of fresh basil and organic potatoes.

I thought about it for a second. "Yeah," I said. "Guess it is."

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I agree with you on a lot of the aspects you've "discovered" while working on this article. A few years ago, my wife bought me a trailer. Since then, I've used it quite a bit to take our two youngest children to daycare. That trip is a bit more than a mile, so I then go for a longer trip afterwards, usually still pulling the trailer along. I've even taken the trailer on shopping errands, bringing back probably 60+ pounds of groceries.

huge, even transformative: a return to the days when bikes were a basic component of everyday life, and not just technologically advanced machines reserved for the fit. Think of it as cycling's slow food movement.

Taking the trailer, particularly on some of our really windy days we've had lately (winds 20 30 mph!) makes it that much harder to ride. But it also means a safer trip, generally. My guess is that people don't know if there's children in the trailer or not, so they don't want to take the chance. However, there's also the visibility factor. It never fails to draw attention, with at least a couple of folks looking at me as they go by.

At times, I take off the trailer, though, and then go out. There is invariably a difference in how much respect I seem to get from motorists without the trailer versus with it. When I have the trailer, motorists almost always move over quite a bit, even when I'm riding on the wide shoulder. Much of the time, they'll even wait for room if there's another car keeping them from moving over far enough. I appreciate that. However, when I don't have the trailer, it's a much different story. Recently, I had one older woman go by me twice, once before a red light and once again after we went through the red light, so close that I could've swung out my elbow, without removing my hand from the bar, and hit her car.

Lately, I've been riding with it more than without, as I"m training for the Tour de Cure 100 mile route in September. It's a good training aid, and I feel I'm getting stronger by using it than I would without using. Still, I remove it sometimes and I'm reminded of how many people don't like cyclists. I always wear a helmet, stop at stop signs/red lights, and signal when I'm turning. I also acknowledge when a motorist stops and waits for me to pass instead of pulling out in front of me. I figure these things can only help the image and might possibly mean the difference some day between getting hit or not.

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the car for a crosstown appointment, and Otto had to get home from daycare somehow. So at rush hour Nike Dri Fit Jacket Boys

But really! You are doing a disservice to the health and safety of your readers by not showing attractive smiling people all wearing helmets. In New York City, where cycling truly gets easier every day, there are people who blithely ride by the white painted "ghost bikes" that memorialize a rider who died riding. Nike Sports Jacket From what I have read, most of these people did not wear helmets, yet the number of people who ride by helmet less astounds me. I believe there is something about wearing a helmet that also, subtly, makes the person more aware that there could be trouble from that 8,000 pound monster roaring up next to us. And that little bit of awareness saves lives. Bicycling Magazine, owned by the very health conscious Rodale Company, can lead the way by making a policy that only helmeted riders will be shown.

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A Revolutionary American Model of Cycling

WELCOME TO URBAN CYCLING'S NEWEST WAVE, in which riding moves beyond infrastructure and advocacy to a whole new set of criteria for what constitutes a good bike, and a good bike ride. The days are early, and clues to the phenomenon can be obscure, appearing in unexpected places: in the pages of Martha Stewart Living or Dwell magazines, for example. Or on websites that celebrate bikes not just as objects of function, but also fashion and fun.

It seemed like more bikes were being ridden more than I'd ever noticed, and in more places than ever. But this wasn't about bike riding as we often think of it race, or to get fit, or to get to work.

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I couldn't wait because the bike couldn't wait.

I COULDN'T WAIT FOR MY SON TO TURN SIX MONTHS OLD. Not because his smile became more infectious, even as his stream of conscious babbling seemed to edge closer to real vocabulary. Definitely not because he'd stop spitting up. (He didn't.) And to hell with early crawling.

I was sweating as I buckled Otto, just rising from a nap, into the carrier. One of the little girls from the center watched from the front yard as I put my helmet on. "Is that Baby Otto's bike?"

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Thank you. Sign me "friend of a tragic encounter with a car." Yes, his helmet saved his life.

The streets of Los Angeles may not seem an intuitive choice for a first ride, or maybe any ride involving an overly eager dad and his baby. But my wife needed Nike Men Sweatshirts

But the end result of this latest wave could be Nike Running Jackets

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I was expecting to feel nervous, maybe scared, as I merged with traffic. be too rough? As I started off, though, I quieted my worries and listened. Otto was making what I call his "remarkable" sound, an astonished gasp he'd previously summoned around our cat or a bunch of helium balloons that floated by. The sound soon gave way to giggling. The girl was right: This was cool.

on an chilly April afternoon, I pedaled onto Figueroa Street, passing gas stations and markets and a local bottle shop whose neon sign boasted the Coldest Beer in Town, pulling a fancy new trailer behind my definitely not fancy converted touring bike.

Some of these slow speed, short hop riders saddled up on department store bikes; others pedaled barely refurbished 1970s tourers. The young ones often rode colorful fixies, while the older cyclists favored three speeds, in basic hues that were almost generic but somehow still stylish.

My garage reflects this shift. It stores a lovely carbon fiber race bike, a second, custom built titanium road bike, and a mountain bike laden with top of the line parts. Tucked amid them, used least of all pre Otto, is my green Bianchi with full fenders and sturdy rear rack. Ditto the hot guy. Helmets save lives. Period. Please keep hammering that point home by including HELMETS on pictures of your riders!!!

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