Utility Cycling Year in Review

Truth be told, Utility Cycling.org is only 1/2 year old, but we thought it would be fun to do a year in review post (excuse me, half year in review) nonetheless. It has been an exciting first half year and we hope you enjoy looking back on it with us. We are definitely looking forward to an exciting year of utility cycling in 2010, as well. Header photo credit: Chloe Forsman.

Utility Cycling Events

Globe Cycle – This August, the crew at Campfire Cycling and Utility Cycling.org had the pleasure of hosting James Bowthorpe of Globe Cycle as he made his way through Flagstaff, AZ, during his successful record-breaking attempt to circumnavigate the world by bike. Despite the fact that James was on a world-record-breaking mission, his main goal was to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research. James completed his journey by beating the previous world record by nearly three weeks, and he has so far raised 115,142 of his 1.8m goal.

james-uphill-flagJames Bowthorpe departs from Flagstaff, AZ.

Interbike – The crew also went to Interbike in September and then hosted the first annual Utility Cycling Interbike Awards. The Burley Travoy Bike Commuting Trailer won the award for the best-of-Interbike from a utility cycling perspective. The Burley Trailer will be available sometime in 2010. We also pondered the idea of Interbike’s role in utility cycling, which we feel could definitely be emphasized in the future and to the bike industry’s benefit.

Burley-Commuter-Tester-TrailerSanta and Mrs. Clause arrive on Christmas morning riding a tandem with their test version of the Burley Travoy Bike Commuter Trailer.

PARKing Day – We also celebrated PARKing Day 2009 in Tucson, AZ, with the University of Arizona Cycling Club, offering free bike tunes and lube for squeaky chains.

PARKing-Day-Tucson-Zen-Garden2A Zen Garden at Tucson PARKing Day.

World Carfree Day – Ok, so most days are car-free days here at Utility Cycling, but we certainly did celebrate 2009 World Carfree Day by doing what we do best: riding our bikes!

Bike Movies

Who doesn’t like to take a little break every now and then and watch a bike movie or two? That’s why we have been posting utility cycling focused movies in the video section of our site throughout each week. In the video section, you can find a wide range of films from music videos to documentaries to news to races to art projects and much, much more. Have a video you want to share? Let us know about it!

Here is one of my favorites:

Defining Utility Cycling

Our first major post here at Utility Cycling was an attempt to start defining utility cycling. The idea of “utility cycling” has been starting to appear in many places including bike blogs, the bike industry, the media, policy-making, and more. For the most part, utility cycling refers to using a bicycle in ways that are not centered around sport or recreation purposes. In this sense, utility cycling is not about bike racing, bike touring, or bike recreating. Utility cycling means cycling with a purpose. However, we found that it was somewhat difficult to narrow the definition of utility cycling down to a single word such as “purpose” or phrase such as “goal-oriented” because sport and recreational cycling often have these traits, as well. So we made it our challenge to find out what sets utility cycling apart while also appreciating the similarities. The purpose of defining utility cycling was certainly not to start any kind of cycling border war or reinforce stereotypes or subcultures, we mainly want to make the idea of utility cycling more concrete in an attempt to make it more accessible and possible. In short, by defining utility cycling, we hoped to help the idea grow and gain momentum.

The term utility cycling covers a wide swath of different uses, so in our post about defining utility cycling, we attempted to identify all of the major categories and subcategories of utility cycling that we could think of, which are listed below. Then, we began the project of writing dedicated posts to each of the different categories and subcategories, which are about 50% completed. We look forward to completing the rest in early 2010, and let us know if you think of any we have forgotten.

Utility Cycling in 2010

For 2010, we look forward to completing the posts for the list above and further improving our understanding of utility cycling. We hope to make the idea of utility cycling more feasible for people who want to take more trips by bike, so by writing about it, doing it, and generally having fun with it, we hope to encourage more people to join in the fun. We are also look forward to communicating and collaborating with other utility cycling-minded folks on the web and on the road. If you have an idea for a post topic, a story to share, or opinions to add to a discussion, we would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and have a very happy new year!

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