Aired: March 21, 2015

Pedal Power

Image via Flickr user Juliancolton

  • Bike Sharing (5 min.)

    With: Eddie Hill and Bridget Nemeth, Old Dominion University

    In an effort to curb pollution and congestion, cities across the U.S. have adopted bike share programs, and now colleges and universities are following suit. Hill and Nemeth started a bike share program on the campus of Old Dominion University, which offers free bikes to students.

  • Pedal Power (11 min.)

    With: Ralph Buehler, Virginia Tech

    Call it affordable, sustainable transportation. Call it public health. In his book City Cycling, Buehler emphasizes that bicycling shouldn’t be limited to those who are trained, fit, and daring enough to battle traffic on busy roads.

  • The World of Electric Bicycles (3 min.)

    With: Jerry Franklin, Danville Community College

    The electric bicycle, or e-bike, is growing in popularity and creating jobs.

  • Minimalist Running (9 min.)

    With: Silvia Blemker and Geoffrey Handsfield, University of Virginia

    Many runners today are taking off their shoes in favor of barefoot running. Blemker and Handsfield are mapping the muscles to learn how running barefoot compares to running with shoes.

  • Who was John Henry? (13 min.)

    With: Scott Reynolds Nelson, College of William and Mary

    The song “John Henry” is one of the most popular in American history, but for years nobody knew whether the legendary railroad tunneler was a real person or simply a tall tale. Nelson discovered a historic record of a railroad worker named John Henry, who was buried secretly by the Richmond Penitentiary.

  • Parking Behavior (10 min.)

    With: Andrew Velkey, Christopher Newport University

    One psychologist is researching the foraging behavior of men and women drivers searching for parking spaces. There are the “perchers” and then there are the “soarers.”

  • Biking in Germany

    When former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled out “Citibike”, it was the largest bike share program in the nation. But American cities still lag behind Europe when it comes to bike infrastructure. Allison Quantz reports.

  • Cash Sings “Legend of John Henry’s Hammer”

    John_Henry-27527Click here to listen to Johnny Cash’s classic version of “Legend of John Henry’s Hammer”.

    To hear more about the real John Henry, listen to our show Pedal Power.


3 Comments on “Pedal Power”

  1. Eberhard Jehle

    Yeah !! Well done!

    Hope you do more programs on improving urban bicycle infrastructure. Protected bike lanes (“cycletracks”) are an important – a vital – element of the proposed improvements to Charlottesville’s West Main Street corridor.. A topic of a future show?

  2. Sarah

    Thank you Eberhard. I was amazed and delighted on a trip to Germany to see how biking can really work for entire cities. I saw investments of real money in bike lanes that were miles long, wide, smooth, completely separated from street traffic, and used by thousands–young and old. Here we often have, at best, a strip of paint on a highway marking where motorists should make room. Yikes.

  3. Boris Starosta

    This report ignores the latest information, which is that many German cities are moving away from “protected” cycle tracks in the city interiors, because these have now been shown to be less safe than bike lanes immediately adjacent to motor lanes. This is primarily because they contribute to accidents at intersections, where motorists will not see the cyclists on the protected cycle track. Numerous studies have shown that at least in dense urban areas, protected cycle tracks will result in more accidents between motorists and cyclists (and cyclists and pedestrians). Granted they appear safer to the inexperienced cyclist, but in fact they are not.

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