2012 Utility Cycling Year in Review

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.

    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.

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    One thought on “2012 Utility Cycling Year in Review”

    1. I’m trending from car-lite to car-free (especially so after spending $600 for new tires and battery for the car this morning, the car I drive on average, 3000 miles per year).

      For me, I plan 2013 to be about finishing this trend and using my bicycles as follows:

      * Consistently use my nimble and quick Cannondale Hooligan 8 for fifteen mile round trip commutes. Employer doesn’t have a problem with my keeping the bike in the break room as long as “you’re the only one.” Hmmm…

      *Consistently use my cherry/restored/converted to utility 1987 Miyata Trail Runner for short errands and grocery runs, stock up and fill in. With Safeway, Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Sprouts all within a couple miles, that should be easy. I just need to change from one habit to another habit to do it.

      *Actually fold and bring into the bus my Dahon Speed Uno and see how that goes for the first and last mile problem. There’s a hurdle I want to get over. And some social science.

      There’s some chicken and egg going on, obviously, but mostly I’ll be using my bikes to change me in 2013. That’s the trend and the plan.


      p.s. I have even more bikes than the above, but not too many. Maybe.

      p.p.s Better tires on my treasured mint 1991 Raleigh Technium so that I can just recreate out the door and not make a big worry about it.

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