A year without getting into a car

Andrew Casteel —

Maybe it was the eve of a new year. Maybe it was the Champagne. Maybe it was simply the right time. Whatever it was, Adam Greenfield of San Francisco made a resolution at a party on Dec. 31, 2008: He would not drive, or ride, in an automobile for all of 2009. This futuristic experiment fit in with Greenfield's lifestyle. A 29-year-old single guy who makes community films for City Hall, he was already commuting from the Inner Sunset mainly by bicycle. And he already believed that we're approaching a time in which oil will be so scarce, or expensive, that few of us will be able to power our cars or have access to foods grown from afar.

Don't want to drive? Share a bike!

Andrew Casteel —

A pilot bicycle-sharing program in Silicon Valley will start in March, which feels like it's just around the corner for cycling advocate Joe Walton. "I've been working on getting folks to pedal bikes for a long time," the Cupertino resident said. "I think we're on the right track." He meant that literally. Commuters and even weekend shoppers would be able to check out bikes at Caltrain stations in San Jose, Palo Alto and Mountain View. They could use them for shopping, getting to work or simply riding around for fun, then return them at the end of the day.

Andrew Casteel —

Blake Sessions didn't really even ride bikes much until he moved to Boston for college. The 20-year-old Los Altos resident is a budding entrepreneur and inventor, though, and saw an opportunity. Now, he's launching a business catering to a niche market of bicycle riders, selling customized sprockets for fixed-gear bikes. Sessions is a Gunn High School graduate and a junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying mechanical engineering and physics. Last spring, he wanted to make his bike look more interesting so he carved a design — symbols of seasons, like a leaf and a snowflake — into the metal sprocket, or chainring. He noticed other people seemed to like it.

The Bike Is the Star at This Cafe

Photo inside the Actual Cafe in Oakland, CA.
Andrew Casteel —

Bike culture in the Bay Area may have found its Algonquin. At the Actual Cafe in Oakland, which opened last week on San Pablo Avenue, people can ride their bikes into the cafe and hook them to the wall, the way they might have hitched their horses a century ago. The rail enclosing the bikes even looks like a hitching post. Bicycle protection, without locks or chains. A whole new way of doing business and attracting business, all at one. And it isn’t just about the bike. The rider is treated like royalty here - which is just the way it should be, its patrons believe.

Winter Biking: It's easier than you think

Andrew Casteel —

Winter bike commute tips from a cyclist in Boulder, Colorado. He explains that when you have the right gear and know the best ways to ride in cold wet conditions it isn’t as difficult as it seems. You will even be prepared to bike in the snow for that once in 10-year occasion!