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Two Link Tuesday

September 30, 2014

 

A lot of people will tell you that biking is”the most environmental and economic way to travel.” Felix Starck is one of those people. But unlike most, he’s really put his money where his mouth his.

The German 20-something set off in June, 2013 to bike across 17,930 KM (11,141 Miles) and into 22 countries. His bike ride ended in June of this year but his work is only just starting. Starck filmed his entire journey and has released it as a documentary titled “Pedal the World”.

In addition to enduring some incredible obstacles himself, he also witnessed the abuse of animals throughout his trip and decided to dedicate a portion of all his profits to aid in that cause.

Take a minute to watch a preview of his documentary. Maybe his trip can inspire similar commitments in our communities to change the way we look at travel.

Cyclists riding past a field at sunset.

Maybe you’re reading this, watching Felix’s video and finding yourself surprised at the inspiration you’re feeling. Well, if you’re ready to get on your bike and out of your comfort zone (but not quite ready for a global trip) you should look at doing a Bike and Build trip.

Bike and Build is an organization that uses grants and donations to fund affordable housing construction and awareness across the country. If you join their team, you’ll bike from coast to coast and work on these sites along the way.

Could you trade your days in the office, riding a desk, to days atop your bike?

 

 

Transit Thursday: How I Felt Riding the Bus for the First Time… In GIFS

September 25, 2014

This past Friday my car was put out of commission with a flat. My weekend plans weren’t disrupted because my awesome friends are fine dragging me to and from events.

It was commuting to work on Monday that put me in a bit of a pickle. I was stuck.

Monsters' University character stuck on the sidewalk

So I decided it was as good a time as any to learn to navigate the bus system in the Triangle… something I’d never done before.

It was, in fact, really simple and I’m sure I’ll continue commuting this way even after I have my car again, but I wanted to share my thoughts on my afternoon ride from the Regional Transit Center to Durham Station.

Beware, these thoughts are derived from the inner monologue of a somewhat rambunctious 25-year old woman.


4:15 Feeling kinda nervous while I’m waiting for my bus to get here. I’m also embarrassingly early. Nervous sweating a bit.

cartoon character impatiently waiting on a bench

4:18 Oh man. Why didn’t I bring headphones?

4:19 OH MAN. WHY DIDNT I GO TO THE BATHROOM FIRST?!

4:22 The driver didn’t look at me like an idiot. I must look like I know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I’m doing.

confused flamingo turning in circles

4:23 Oooh! I should use our 4g WiFi! (This is not a plug. My mom called me yesterday saying I use too much data. Yea, I’m a 25-year old that’s on her parents phone plan. Unashamed.)

4:29 I’m sitting on the aisle part of this seat. No one else is doing that. Am I breaking some unwritten rule of bus etiquette? I’m such a rookie.

Nervous Bugs Bunny

4:30 Pulling out of the station right on time!

4:33 Kinda wish I had my headphones so I could be listening to Groove Line by Heatwave. Don’t know it? Listen to it here: (Shameless plug for our rider appreciation video!)

4:35 Watching all these jokers text and drive. I CAN SEE YOU SO CLEARLY FROM THIS VANTAGE POINT.

Rihanna shaking her head

4:36 I know what this yellow cord is for. It’s to pull when I want to stop but do I need to pull it for a main station? I think not. I’m not going to. I’m going to play it cool. Playing it cool, guys.

4:37 Oh were stopping at Durham Tech. Didn’t know where this was. Probably a good thing considering I’m taking a class here next semester. How convenient!

4:38 I spot a guy with a bike! Watched him put his bike on the rack. Seemed quick and easy.

4:40 Sexy guy on an even sexier motorcycle just went by and I was able to ogle him without the guilt of being an irresponsible driver. Maybe he likes public transit and would want to carpool with me. Aka take me to work on the back of your bike, baby.

Koala saying "hey baby, ready for a little Koala-ty time?"

4:43 I do kinda miss the music of the drive at 5 thing. I heard a DJ do a mix of ONLY Beyoncé the other day.

4:44 My phone just auto-corrected beyonce to Beyoncé. She really does own it all, ya’ll.

Video of Beyonce

4:45 Just became necessary for me to slide in. Yup. Rookie mistake.

4:48 I just saw a girl rollerblading on the sidewalk! Is my childhood love for sick wheels losing its social stigma?!

man roller-skating

5:00 Got to Durham Station and realized the bus I planned to hop on won’t be here for…25 minutes. Learning curves, y’all. Learning curves.

5:04 Durham Station has quite the hustle and bustle going on. So many people bee-bopping around.

5:09 I wish Chirba Chirba was here. I could demolish some dumplings right now.

cat eating pizza

 

5:11 Train just went by. Lots of noise from all over. Durham has never felt more like a city to me than in this moment. Love it.

5:17 I probably could have walked from Durham Station to my house by now. I need to time this better.

5:17 Monuts Donuts is also in walking distance from here. I wonder if there’s a bus stop near there. (Turns out both are good options.)

5:18 I want a Monuts Donut so bad right now.

5:19 My phone is about to die. Live tweeting this experience is killing my battery.

5:20 I lied. I wasn’t just tweeting. I was looking at guys on an online dating site. My battery dying is probably my phone’s way of telling me to stop.

5:36 The little girl sitting next to me just offered to give up her seat to someone that’s having to stand. I love people sometimes.

5:44 I pulled the cord for my stop at the right time. Immensely proud of myself.

Saved by the Bell characters patting themselves on the back

5:45 Dang. My stop is surprisingly convenient to my house!

5:47 Made it home and into my yoga pants successfully!!

Macklemore sitting down on his couch

Day 1 commuting on the bus : finished.

Becoming a smart commuter : only the beginning.

Share your experiences and thoughts of riding on the bus in the comments!

Two Link Tuesday

September 23, 2014

From bikes to cars… is shareable transportation the next wave of public transit?

Toyota Electric Car Share

 

You’re probably well aware of bike sharing programs that are run in conjunction with other public transit services. Though this is only just catching on in major cities in the US, Toyota is taking an interesting stab at this sharing side of transit. Their recent project has been tested out in places like Tokyo and aims to apply the ease and convenience of bike sharing to small, electric vehicles.

 

Toyota Electric Car Share 3

 

It’s not surprising to see a Smart car or other small electric vehicle plugged in for a charge. We think it would be pretty great if those small cars were ones that people were able to use and pay for as-needed. There’s a good argument for promoting the use of electric vehicles without making it necessary that individuals purchase them. Potentially, this type of service could convince car-owners to get rid of their vehicles while also enabling those without cars to increase where and when they’re able to travel. Sounds like a win-win.

Gizmodo’s article gives you the full take on Toyota’s 3-wheeled, electric vehicles. Make sure to read more about the project and check out their video. They actually look like a fun ride.

Would you be excited to see a service like this come to the Triangle?

New York City Exteriors And Landmarks

…And speaking of bike shares… have you heard that NYC’s Citi Bike Workers may be joining the union that serves the subway and bus workers of New York? As far as bike sharing programs go, NYC’s is one of the most well-known and utilized. It’s exciting to see the program gaining recognition and it being brought into the city’s union marks a level of acceptance for the service that says it’s here to stay.

Have you ever used a bike sharing system? What was your experience like? Share it with us in the comments!

Fortify Friday: Poole Road Detour

September 19, 2014

Fortify Work Closes Ramp to Poole Road This Weekend

Work on the I-440 interchange at Poole Road will require the closure of the ramp from I-440 West onto Poole Road this weekend. The closure will be in place from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 a.m. on Monday, weather permitting. The closure is needed so crews can safely complete the section of the rebuilt ramp that merges onto Poole Road.

Take extra care when driving through the project zone, and keep it at the posted speed of 55 mph.

 Poole Ramp C Detour

Transit Thursday: A Big Transit Thank You

September 18, 2014

Happy Rider Appreciation Day!

The staff here at Go Triangle is so thrilled to celebrate our fantastic riders today! We’re incredibly grateful for our great ridership everyday, not just Rider Appreciation Day, but we couldn’t miss a chance to shout it from the rooftops (or sing it from a bus).

Thank you for your part in making transit in our area so great!

 

Two Link Tuesday

September 16, 2014

Shaping Clouds

One of my favorite things about this time of the year, the transition from summer into fall, are the storms and clouds that roll through. I’ve always enjoyed looking to the sky and daydreaming.

This obviously isn’t a unique indulgence, but one artist is taking it to a whole new level. Martin Feijoó is “proving” that shapes are residing in the clouds with his creative endeavor, “Shaping Clouds Project“. I hope you’re inspired to take a break on your next walk or even while you’re riding the bus to look at the sky and let your mind wander a bit. Who knows what it’ll come up with when you give it the room.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cloud watching isn’t the only way to channel your inner child’s imagination. If you’re willing to take this childlike attitude and renewed commitment to play more seriously, you can always hop across the pond to London. Here, you can find a creative, playful bus stop put together by UK’s Certified LEGO Professional using 100,000 bricks. It just might make you feel as if you’re waiting for the bus inside something you would have dreamed of as a child.

Share in the comments what you’re doing to keep yourself young. We can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Transit Thursday: Challenging Car Culture

September 11, 2014


The automobile industry has a rich history of developing and implementing great technology and design. It’s why the cars in the Bond movies are so iconic and why many of us dream of owning specific makes and models that we love. (My personal dream is a right-hand drive Mini Cooper from the 60’s. No matter how unsafe a car that is, I would look so cool driving it.) But what if that ingenuity was utilized in a better way?

In California and London, premier schools known for turning out great car designers are now implementing programs geared towards something larger:  transferring the focus from individual automobile design to one centered on the systems level.

The hope is, if we can get people past their infatuation with driving cars, to create and utilize systems that serve the needs of communities while also being really beautiful and technologically groundbreaking. Instead of working around the existing transit structure and creating cars that are more efficient, designers are starting to think about what whole new systems could enable people and communities to do if they are given room to change. What kind of system could be created if it didn’t have to cater to cars?

Read The Guardian’s article “Redesigning transportation: can drivers end their love affair with cars?” and tell us what you think. Is it time for the automobile industry to end and come back to life as something new?

 

 

 

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