Earlier this week, a cyclist, a bus-rider and a car-driver took off from 45th and Spruce streets, headed for the Frank Rizzo statue across from City Hall. They were in a race sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition.

The plan was to test the assertion that not only is cycling good exercise for the rider, good for the city because it reduces congestion, and good for the planet because it reduces emissions.  The group wanted to show it’s also faster.

The cyclist won – handily – and you can read the story I wrote about it here.

But since then, debate and banter has raged.  Did the cyclist cheat?!! Did he obey traffic laws? (Yes, he says.)  How come they started it at 45th? Why not South Philadelphia? North Philadelphia? Didn’t they know the route was all downhill, favoring the cyclist? Why didn’t the transit rider take the El? The subway?

It’s been fun.

Today is Bike-To-Work day, and I hope the stalwarts didn’t get too soggy in all this rain.

Meanwhile, the coalition has been looking at how to improve parking options for cyclists, announcing the findings of a new report documenting bike parking at major destinations throughout Philadelphia.

The coalition says that Ample bike parking is an essential foundation of a sustainable and bike-friendly city, yet it is in short supply “on city streets, in public garages, lots, buildings and transportation centers, and at major cultural, entertainment and sports destinations,” said the report’s author, Sarah Clark Stuart, in a prepared statement. “Philadelphia needs to ramp up the quantity and quality of bicycle parking throughout the city to encourage more people to use their bikes instead of their cars."

One of the report's recommendations is to convert on-street parking spaces into bike corrals to accommodate bicycle parking.

The coalition, in conjunction with the Streets Department and Neighborhood Bike Works, has transformed on-street parking spaces into “corrals” that can hold eight to ten bikes.  They’re at 16th and Chestnut, plus 40th and Walnut. They’ll be in place until May 30th as a pilot project.

The full report is here.  

Photos of bike racks in Philadelphia can be found here.  

Today is the last day for people to make a “Burn Calories, Not Carbon” pledge on the site of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, a national nonprofit working with communities to preserve unused rail corridors by transforming them into trails.

Citing statistics that show  nearly half of all trips in the United States are three miles or less, they want people to switch from cars (the norm) to walking or cycling. They more pledges they get on their website, the more clout they’ll have in going to U.S. political leaders to ask for funding.

Happy biking, everyone.