Happy New Year! Wow, I must admit, I am somewhat stunned that we are already one week into 2013. I wasn’t quite prepared for 2012 to be over yet. Anyhow, as has been the tradition here at Utility Cycling, I’m doing a “year in review” post, albeit a few days late. But as I looked back over the year 2012, I realized that in addition to reviewing the year past, it is high time to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going here at Utility Cycling.
Where We’ve Been
Utility Cycling was “born” in June 2009, and June 2013 will mark the beginning of our fourth year in existence! We originally set out to “define utility cycling” and emphasize it’s differences from, yet close connections to, sport and recreational cycling. Taking an encyclopedic approach, we meticulously categorized, research, and reported on the numerous types of utility cycling that we identified. Each year the categories and ideas have grown, as has the very nature of utility cycling. This growth is encouraging and inspiring. Clearly, the limits have not been reached.I’ve kept an ongoing list or sitemap of this progress, which I’ve published in the 2009, 2010, and 2011 year in review posts. Here is the updated list for 2012.
- Defining Utility Cycling
- General Bicycle Transportation
- Bike Commuting
- Bicycle Infrastructure
- Family Cycling
- Bicycle Mapping
- Bike Map Projects
- Local Bike Mapping Projects: Univ. of AZ
- National/International Bike Mapping Projects
- Opportunities for Bike Mapping Projects
- Methods of Developing Bike Maps
- Google Bike Maps
- Bike Map Interfaces
- Traditional Maps, Books & Signs
- GPS Devices/Smart Phones
- Mounting GPS & Smart Phones to Bikes
- Desktop & Laptop Computers (Printing or Remembering Routes)
- The Future In Bike Map Interfaces (Glasses, Bike Navigation Systems)
- Bike Map Projects
- Bicycle Delivery
- Cycling Services
- Retail and Commercial Services
- Emergency and Patrol Services
- Bicycle Land Services
- Land Survey
- Research/ Testing
- Community Building
- Cycling Organizations
- Cycling Community Events
- Cycling as Statement
We’ve also kept up with some great “real world” utility cycling examples, including one of my favorites – the Bicycling Park Ranger from this summer. We also got real excited about the new Wandertec Tuba this summer. And of course, we keep a steady stream of videos from around the Interwebs coming your way to highlight the endless ways in which people are using their bikes.
Where We Are
But looking back on the year, I noted that there weren’t as many in-depth, encyclopedic-type posts in 2012 as there were in past years. So I reflected back on the year. Were there too many other commitments? Well, possibly, but that’s never stopped us. Was it a lack of motivation? Exhaustion, maybe. Lack of motivation, no. Was there nothing left to write about? Definitely not. There’s always more to write about.So what was the issue in 2012? So many great things have happened for utility and transportation cycling since the inception of this site, that I began to wonder if it might be time to redefine – no refresh – our definition of utility cycling. We’ve also learned a great deal more about what it means to “use your bicycle” in the last nearly four years that a little refreshing of our goals, purpose, and definition should do the blog good.
Where We Are Going
So as we rush headlong into 2013, I encourage you all to think about what it means to “use your bicycle“. The concept of utility has often been a broad one here, so use can mean anything from hauling yourself and your groceries around by bike, riding for your mind, body, and spirit, riding to build community, and so much more.We’d love to hear from you. If you feel so inclined, go ahead and comment on this post with a statement about what it means to “use your bicycle”, as I’ll be collecting these statements for a “refreshing the definition of utility cycling” post in the coming weeks.And of course, as we start to redefine and refresh, stay tuned for more information, stories, and experiences about utility cycling.I am looking forward to 2013 and hope you are too.