Bicycle Diaries: Rolling 'round the world

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Rolling 'round the world

I just discovered Google News. If you have a Gmail you can access it from your account page. Just like RSS Feeds, you can set it up with your favorite news categories ... like biking!

My first scan produced 209 stories for just yesterday. Here are some of my favorites.

Going Dutch: With 13 million bicycles, the Netherlands -- or Holland, its regional name -- has twice as many bikes as cars and nearly as many bicycles as people. An 11,000-mile system of bike paths, many of which are separate from highways, crisscrosses a nation so small and flat that it's easy to use bicycles to transport people, groceries, even terriers.

Cycling on the rise in Croatia: Lately, Croatia has combined the two most ecologically friendly forms of transportation -- trains and bicycles -- to create a new way of touring the countryside. Bikers can buy a single, affordable daily ticket. The train takes them through part of the countryside as a preview and drops them off at any number of scenic bike trails.

More turning to pedal power: The number of registered bicycles here has topped 12,000, up more than 50 percent in the past five-or-so years. And the number of independent bike stores, in roughly the same period, has jumped from a few to a half-dozen.

Tall bike brothers in charity challenge: Two brothers from north London who are circumnavigating Britain on a pair of 7ft tall bicycles have passed John O'Groats, a major milestone on their record-breaking journey. Will and Ed Stevens, from Highbury, are pedalling 5,500 miles on custom-made tall bikes in aid of three cycling charities Re-Cycle, Sustrans, and Cyclemagic Community Projects.

A celebration of heels and wheels took over downtown Eugene on Thursday. The city celebrated cyclists and pedestrians at the People Powered Festival. The event highlighted some popular non-motorized modes of transportation like bicycles. Everything from two wheelers to bikes powered by hand and foot were on display.

Cycling in Comfort: The bicycle is a silent, slender steed, the perfect companion for the contemplative exploration of Ireland. While dedicated enthusiasts travel with tents and cooking equipment attached – or race through the country enjoying a view of the tarmacadam passing beneath their front wheel – travellers intent on comfort and leisure avail of the services of such wonderful organisations as Celtic Cycling.

Thousands buy cycles to beat the bowser blow-out: Spiralling petrol prices are prompting thousands of commuters to ditch their cars on weekdays and ride to work on bicycles. With the cost of a litre of fuel passing $1.45, cycling groups said the number of riders on some routes had nearly doubled over the past 12 months and bike shops have reported a rise in sales.



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