Opinion » Note

The Power of the Pedal


About an hour after I'd given this week's collection of bicycle stories a final read and sent it off to press, I found myself enduring the sound of Freddie Mercury and company wailing the well known chorus, "I want to ride my bicycle" while I panted and sweated through a spin class.

Surely the inventor of the first bicycle--a pedal-less wooden contraption powered by a Fred Flinstone-like feet-on-the-ground technique--couldn't have predicted how the hobby horse would become ubiquitous around the world, a mode of transportation found in every country. And, eventually, how it would become such a popular fitness tool some of us would actually pay to ride a stationary version of it.

This week, Boise--one of America's most bike-friendly cities--pays tribute to the bicycle with Boise Bike Week. And we follow suit in Boise Weekly. This week's feature is a collection of stories about the bike--from the city's first steps toward a bike-share program, to an update with a man who gave up his car for a sweet commuter bike and committed to using it for a year, to an overview of a mountain biking race in the Wood River Valley that will see some of the best riders in the country taking to the hills in pursuit of a title.

A bit further back, you'll find a complete list of events for Boise Bike Week, which runs Monday, May 14, through Saturday, May 19. Wedged into various other sections of the paper, you'll find bits and pieces on bikes and the people who dig them. In Citizen, for example, we chatted up a Boise High School student who, for a school project, put together a pamphlet on city ordinances that will be distributed by the Boise Police Department. And if like me, you've been struggling to gracefully get between the coffeeshop and your office on two wheels with most of your purchase still in its cup, Find on Page 21 has a solution.

And because we're never satisfied with squeezing as much into print as possible and calling it good, we've also extended our Bike Week coverage online. Watch a video of what we're loosely calling Boise's Fort Knox for bikes, and find follow-up coverage to this issue at Cobweb and Citydesk. In fact, as this issue hits stands, judges will be at BWHQ to judge the Exergy Tour's T-shirt contest, the results of which you can read about at boiseweekly.com.