Detroit Bike Shorts: July 12, 2010

The Hub of Detroit bike giveaway

Congratulations to the Hub and all their volunteers for giving away 123 kids bicycles! They expect to have another bike giveaway in the future and there’s an opportunity to help.

If you have a youth bike in your basement that isn’t being used anymore, bring it to us so we can help it find a good home. The best times to drop off donations are during our volunteer nights (Wednesdays and Thursday 6pm-8pm). Bring them to our Back Alley Bikes entrance (first alley West of Cass on MLK).

Moving a piano by bike

The Metro Times has an article on the Joybox Express, a band that is traveling across Michigan on bicycle with a piano.

There’s something beautifully old-fashioned about the Joybox Express — it’s more 1910 than 2010. Yet the joy of shaking it to a Jelly Roll Morton stomper — or, hell, the bliss of riding down a country road on a bike — will never be outdated. And let’s face it: A band of bicycling minstrels is pretty awesome. Guitarist Brian Delaney says, “When bicyclists go by, they usually pump their chests or stick their fists up in the air in approval.”

The band is biking to Detroit along Warren Avenue on Tuesday for a show at Cliff Bell’s that evening. They’ll be at the Scarab Club for a show on Wednesday.

Gushing Oil, New Habits

John McCormick is a columnist for Autos Consumer. His recent column in the Detroit News, Gushing oil must finally create some new habits, asks the question, “What does the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico mean to you as an automotive consumer?”

And his answer is soaked in realism.

There are plenty of voices arguing that although this spill was accidental, it’s fair to say that Americans’ greed for oil is at least partly to blame…

But as Jason Henderson, a San Francisco State University geography professor, has suggested, there is now a moral imperative for U.S. consumers to do something meaningful about their fuel consumption habits. In a recently published statement, Henderson argues that the hazards of deepwater oil drilling are too great to continue and that ‘far-off miracles’ in hydrogen, wind, solar or nuclear power will not meet the country’s immediate energy demands.

Instead, Henderson proposes that we, American drivers, reduce our daily gasoline usage by 20 percent.

We agree.

And we also like McCormick’s suggestion that “there are strong arguments for greater use of public transport, more investment in high-speed rail systems and even more prosaic solutions, such as bicycle lanes to encourage Americans to use two wheels rather than four.”

Bike lanes are a prosaic solution? Okay, compared with hydrogen fuel cell magic, bike lanes themselves are a little ordinary and dull, but biking in them? Not always prosaic — especially if you’re pulling a piano.

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