Paul Andrews

Daily Roundup: SRAM takes hit as well, LA’s ‘Dr. Doomcycle’ is guilty, Paris’ bike-sharing

In Bicycle advocacy, Daily Roundup, Obama Bikes on November 3, 2009 at 1:23 am

SRAM cannot elude the downturn. Doesn’t have to give numbers but says it is “in that same ballpark” as Shimano’s negative 25 percent.

Is the bike biz in Portland defying gravity? Certainly the Rose City tends to look through rose-colored glasses. Latest case in point, from the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show.

What’s the Hippocratic Oath say again? Along the lines of, “First, do no harm.” Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson, the LA wacko who got his kicks door-stopping his car in front of cyclists, gets nailed on all 7 counts by a jury of his peers and now faces as much as 5 years in prison. The good part: When intent can be showed in cycling incidents, the judicial system is finally stepping up to the plate. (We hope we aren’t speaking too soon here; sentencing still to be set.) The bad part: When there’s no intent, the system lets even killers in cars walk free. Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club is trying to change the system.

The Oath’s closing admonition: “If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.”

The Bike-Sharing Blog responds thoughtfully to New York Times story on failure rates for bike sharing in Paris, the highest visibility for sharing in the world. Good point: “Outside of the social unrest factor, bike-sharing is a good value for its expense. If you calculate the cost per trip of moving a person by bike-sharing, foot, transit, and car, I’d put my money on bike-sharing being the most cost efficient at moving a person per mile…”

That said, the real truth is that bike sharing doesn’t work without generous subsidies. Hey, even in rosy Portland the “Yellow Bike” program eventually collapsed. Solutions: Up the deposit and put transponders on the bikes. Just a thought…

  1. Interesting about the SRAM news. When Shimano announced their numbers, one bike industry insider said it’s because “somebody else” (e.g. SRAM) took market share from Shimano, but I guess that’s not the case.

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