Monday, February 18, 2008

Armstrong starts bike shop for commuters

Lance Armstrong has figured out the next stage of his life. He is busily preparing to open a bike shop in May that will cater to commuters in downtown Austin, Texas.
Armstrong said he'd like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, Ore., where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. "Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes — because they have a safe place to ride," Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.

So how does Austin get to that point?

"The (Lance Armstrong Bikeway) is a big start," he said. Armstrong and his general partner in the project, Bart Knaggs, said they'd like to see Austin create bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic and a system like a new one in Paris where people can use a credit card to rent a bicycle from a bike rack station and return it at any of the dozens of other stations around the city.

"There are times I ride in Austin, and I'm afraid of cars," Armstrong said. "Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like? I think (Mayor) Will Wynn's dream was this whole revitalization of downtown, which we're getting, but it's going to make it a lot easier if people can get around on bikes."
The shop will be called Mellow Johnny's, for the nickname Armstrong earned in the Tour de France, wearing the leader's yellow jersey, the maillot jaune. The commuter-friendliness of the shop will be not just in the gear it sells or its location near Austin's gleaming new high-rises. There will be showers and locker rooms, so road warriors from the sprocket set can show up at work looking just as sharp as the dude in the next cubicle.

There's lots more to read in the Austin American Statesman. The news gets a hearty hurrah from DutchBikes in Seattle, another bike-friendly city.

No comments: