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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lance wants more bike commuters

Image of Lance Armstrong in his new Austin bike shop
From the Austin American Statesman, 02.14.08:

Lance Armstrong unveils his new commuting bike shop
Cyclist hopes to encourage bike use in downtown

It's not about the bike sales. That from Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who plans in May to open a bike shop, commuting center, training facility and cafe in a 1950s-era building at the northwest corner of Fourth and Nueces streets.

"This city is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting," Armstrong said Wednesday, gazing up at the towering 360 condos rising next to the site of his new shop. "This can be a hub for that."

Mellow Johnny's, named for the nickname Armstrong earned while wearing the Tour de France leader's "maillot jaune," or yellow jersey, will be housed in a yellow- and red-brick building next to the music venue La Zona Rosa. It is a block north of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a path that will cut east-west through downtown Austin.

Armstrong said he'd like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, Ore., where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. "Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes--because they have a safe place to ride," Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.

"There are times I ride in Austin, and I'm afraid of cars," Armstrong said. "Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like? I think (the mayor's) dream was this whole revitalization of downtown, which we're getting, but it's going to make it a lot easier if people can get around on bikes." (Read more.)
Exciting news from Austin, where the only seven-time Tour de France champion is opening a bike shop and commuter center. Armstrong's new downtown store will feature showers and lockers. This article features a video with Armstrong sharing his vision for this new enterprise.

Image: Austin American Statesman.
Visit: Lance Armstrong: Secret Weapon to Fight Global Warming?, New York Times
Visit: Lance Armstrong: More bike commuters please, Grist
Visit Austin working on bike-friendly improvements, Austin Statesman
Visit: Austin becomes more bike-friendly,
Visit: Bicyclists call for safer roads in city council forum,
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


dr2chase said...

Seeing as how it is Texas, where everything is bigger, one hopes that they will stock cargo bikes (whether Big Dummy, Yuba Mundo, Bakfiets, or something Xtracyclish). Can't have a bunch of weenies from the northeast and northwest riding bigger bikes than Texans.

Semi-seriously, we've got to get away from the idea that "a bike" is either for racing or for "mountains". A good commuting bike is (usually) neither.

clark said...

don't they have a thriving pedicab biz in austin?

Anonymous said...

I agree a good commmuting bike is different than what usually gets sold here. Fenders, lights, locks, etc. make a big difference.