David DesRoches / WNPR

A group of teenage boys hoist a red Columbia racing bike into the air, and lock it into place on a bike lift. They’re replacing the brake hoods – devices that house the thing you squeeze when you want to stop.

Patrick / Creative Commons

A new section of a proposed multi-state bike and walking trail opened earlier this week in Manchester. The state Department of Transportation took the occasion to outline the governor's five-year strategy for Connecticut's trail system.

More than 125 cyclists are making their way across Massachusetts on a two-wheeled trek known as the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour.

More adults across the country are strapping on helmets and hopping on bikes to get to work. That's good news for people's hearts and waistlines, but it also means more visits to the emergency room.

Hospital admissions because of bike injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013, doctors reported Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. And the rise was the biggest with bikers ages 45 and over.

Azri / Creative Commons

This month brings a few changes to bicycling laws in Connecticut, which will impact both cyclists and drivers. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When Alice Shea decided to start biking to work, it wasn’t easy at first. The ride from her house in East Windsor to her job at Travelers Insurance in Hartford was about 17 miles, and at the time, she wasn’t an active cyclist. 

Shea thought that taking a local bus line part of the way until she built up her stamina would be the easiest solution. There was only one complication: in 2006, there was no place for Shea to put her bike on the bus. 

Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

Twenty-six cyclists who set out from Newtown Saturday are headed to Washington, D.C. They’re riding to honor those lost at Sandy Hook, and to raise awareness about gun violence prevention.

Fat Bikes: The Winter Sport Of The Future?

Jan 24, 2015

On a snowy December afternoon, I dropped by the Onion River Sports shop in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. Kip Roberts, who  manages the store, said that two years ago, fat bikes went from an oddity to a hot item.

“It exploded, and we couldn’t get our hands on them quick enough,” Roberts said. “And that growth happened all across the country. Almost everyone that’s a major bicycle company has a fat bike now. And some of them have multiple models.”

When upscale food trucks roared into popularity a few years ago, the folks running them praised their rolling operations as far cheaper and simpler to launch than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

Now, entrepreneurs are finding similar advantages in food bikes.

Brewers, chefs, baristas and even farmers are turning to pedal-powered vehicles to bring their goods to consumers — and, sometimes, actually produce them on the street.

Paul Kimo McGregor / Creative Commons

Metro-North Railroad is launching a pilot program to offer its broadest tryout yet of bicycle racks on trains.

Judd Everhart, spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, said Metro-North will install two racks apiece on 50 cars by November.

These are not good days to be a former Tour de France champion on the roads of France. Spain's Alberto Contador left the race after suffering a heavy crash in a wet and foggy portion of Monday's mountain stage, five days after defending champion Chris Froome abandoned the race.

Chris Froome, who raced to the top of the podium in Paris last July, is out of this year's Tour de France after falling in treacherous conditions on today's stage of the bicycle race.

Today's stage had been predicted to be harrowing, owing to the course's inclusion of cobblestones. But Froome went down twice before the race even reached that point, leaving his riding kit torn on both thighs and one shoulder, where a bloody wound could be seen.

Editors' Note: This post has been revised to clarify and correct reporting on the findings of the bike helmet study. The researchers looked at head injuries, not just brain injuries, so the descriptions have been changed to head injuries throughout. The lead researcher said in response to follow-up questions that the study was designed to look at the risk of head injuries as a proportion of all injuries related to bicycling, so the headline and descriptions of the work have been changed to reflect that distinction.

A Revolution On Two Wheels: Columbia Bicycles

May 23, 2014
Gift of Aetna / Connecticut Historical Society, 1994.204.3

The return of spring weather has prompted a marked increase in bicycle traffic all over Connecticut. Country roads, city streets, and scenic rail trails are filled with cyclists of all ages. But how many know that Connecticut played a prominent role in developing not just bicycles, but the market for them?

As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.

In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.

It's not going to change its name anytime soon, but auto membership club AAA is increasingly in the business of fixing bikes and giving rides to cyclists who run into trouble. AAA clubs in Colorado and Southern New England announced the new service in time for this week's Bike to Work Day, following the lead of other regional auto clubs.

London's colorful mayor, Boris Johnson, has made it a priority to get more of his constituents on two wheels. But a series of deaths on the city's roads have shaken cyclists and noncyclists alike.

The number of Londoners cycling to work has more than doubled in the past decade. On some roads, cyclists now make up more than half the rush hour traffic.

And for years, Johnson has been among them. Many think the London mayor has his eye on Prime Minister David Cameron's job.

Melissa Bailey /

You may have noticed this morning that I-84 near the Connecticut-New York border will be shut down temporarily this weekend, while a bridge is repaired. That got us thinking at The Wheelhouse Digest about other ways to get around. What you need to know now is a little bit of transportation news from around the state.

Earlier this week, former World Time Trial Champion Emma Pooley (who won a silver medal in 2008) explained why the women's Tour de France failed on the BBC Radio 4 show, Woman's Hour.

"There used to be the 'Tour de France Feminin' in the 1980s that was two weeks long, with proper mountain stages, but it eventually fizzled out because of a lack of sponsorship," said Ms. Pooley.

zoonabar / Flickr Creative Commons

Here are some ways to think about the Tour de France. 

When I'm out on my road bike and I head down a very steep hill, it starts to feel pretty damn scary if my speed creeps up over 30 miles an hour. That means I'm zooming down a steep grade and the bike feels right on the verge of being out of control.

Tour de France riders go much faster than that on a flat terrain, generating their own power. Speeds of 35 miles per hour are common. Bursts of 40 are not uncommon. Going downhill, they're up over 50 miles per hour. I get anxious just typing that.

Flickr Creative Commons, zoonabar

jurvetson, Flickr Creative Commons

jurvetson, Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend -- and maybe sooner -- a lot of us will buckle on bike helmets which, we hope, will protect if we topple. One the show today, we'll look a little closer at that plastic and polystryrene bubble on your noggin. The truth about it may be more complicated that you dreamed.

Flickr Creative Commons, margaretglin

Do you give up on Lance Armstrong? Earlier today, Armstrong announced he has given up the fight against the US Anti-Doping Agency's charge that he used steroids and performance enhancing drugs.

L to R: Jenn Durfey, Nate Steiner, Ralph Hockens – Flickr CC

My name is Colin McEnroe and I can't skate -- ice or roller.

Courtesy City of New Haven

On August 6, New Haven's Board of Aldermen gave final approval to a major project that will remove highway 34, and replace the open land with biotech and medical facilities. It will also open up a part of the city that has been closed off to downtown by the highway since the 1950s.

Bikers Beware

Aug 2, 2012
Seabamirium, Flickr Creative Commons

In 1896 -- a time when Scientifc American ran a regular "Cycling notes" column -- the following item appeared. "Count Leo Tolstoi, the Russian novelist, now rides the wheel, much to the astonishment of the peasants on his estate."

Courtesy of Flickr CC by JMC Photos

More and more people are choosing to bike to work instead of drive but cars still far outnumber bicyclists in most places. But how safe is it to share the road with dozens of cars and what happens if a motorist causes an accident?

A bicyclist in New Haven is asking the city to do a better job citing drivers in those instances.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Juli Stupakevich who wrote a letter to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano about the cycling community's concerns.

Her letter is below:


Sporting Women, What to Wear?

Aug 19, 2011
The Connecticut Historical Society. X.1953.2.5

The cycling craze of the 1880s provided women with independence that was unfamiliar to them.  Once women were able to ride about town unchaperoned and accountable to no one but themselves, they also began experiencing freedom in the way they dressed.  Although this freedom of dress did not begin with the cycling craze of the 1880s, the cycling craze certainly helped to propel dress reform into its next phase of acceptance.

Flickr Creative Commons, Håkan Dahlström

What's the hardest and scariest sports event in the world?