13 Backpacks for Bike Commuters That Aren’t Embarrassing to Lug to Work

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Shutterstock

Now that spring has sprung, many of us are trading in our morning SEPTA commute for a commuter bike. This is both a blessing and a curse: On one hand, biking to work means you get to soak up some sun, see the city and get a workout in, all before 9 a.m. Talk about a productive morning, huh? On the other hand, it also means you have to find a backpack that fits all your crap and doesn’t scream Hi, I think I’m lost. Can you point me to the nearest high school? when you walk into the office. If you’ve ever tried to find said backpack, you know: It’s a truly miserable task.

But don’t give up and resort to your so-old-it’s-probably-vintage monogrammed L.L. Bean backpack quite yet. We did some hunting and found the 13 chicest commuter-friendly backpacks for men and women. (Some of them are so chic, they don’t even remotely resemble a backpack. See slide number six.) Now all you’ve got to do is pick one.

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PPA Has Issued Over 260 Tickets for Cars Parked in Bike Lanes Since January

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Shutterstock

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia posted an update today on its joint #unblockbikelanes Twitter campaign with the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Between January and March, the campaign, which launched in December, generated 55 complaints, and PPA reports that it doled out 264 tickets to cars illegally parked in bike lanes; the bulk of the tickets were issued on Spruce and Pine streets.

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To Do This Weekend: Philadelphia Endurance Sports Expo

eseThis weekend, Oaks will host what claims to be the biggest, baddest, raddest running, cycling and triathlon expo in the country: the fifth annual Endurance Sports Expo.

Presented by Competitor and produced by two Philly-area business owners, this year’s ESE will host over 200 brands and vendors and 4,000 attendees. It’s a great place to research event information and plan your race schedule for the year (yes, you should try a triathlon!). You can also meet local and nationally recognized fitness experts, Olympic athletes, authors, coaches and industry insiders at the expo’s 60 hours of “Endurance University” seminars. Also on site: an extensive outdoor demo area where you’ll find the latest road, mountain and tri bikes—with access to the Perkiomen Trail for test rides.

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Philly Is Getting New Art-Inspired Bike Racks This Summer

This is one of the design finalists, from Peter Everett Brown and Barbara Ann Sprague.

This is one of the design finalists, from Peter Everett Brown and Barbara Ann Sprague.

Plan Philly has the skinny on the eight finalists for Philly’s design-a-bike-rack competition, which launched last summer. One of the art-inspired designs will be deployed to sidewalks this summer as a way to add much needed bike parking to high-demand areas in Center City and to add some, well, much needed prettiness to the streetscape.

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PPA Turns to Twitter to Ticket Cars Parked in Bike Lanes

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If you’re a driver who frequently parks in bike lanes (tsk tsk), take note: The Philadelphia Parking Authority has taken to Twitter to stop bike-lane-blocking drivers everywhere. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in an effort to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, the PPA is now monitoring the Twitter hashtag #unblockbikelanes to find and ticket offenders.

Here’s how it works: If you see a car parked in a bike lane, just tweet the location of the car to @PhilaParking along with #unblockbikelanes. If a PPA officer happens to be in the area, they’ll teach that driver a lesson by slapping a ticket on their windshield. As the PPA stated on their blog, “While we can’t promise that enforcement can be dispatched to every single tweet we receive…we are committed to working closely with the cycling community on this issue.”

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To Do: Shake Shack’s 40-Mile Bike Ride This Weekend

shake shackNope, you didn’t read the headline wrong. Shake Shack Center City, the über-popular burger and milkshake joint, is teaming up with Breakaway Bikes on Saturday for a 40-mile out-and-back bike ride to Ambler. Actually, it’s not that far-fetched, when you consider that Shake Shack Philly’s Shack Track and Field running club has become so popular, it’s now being replicated in other cities across the country.

Anyway. The ride starts at Breakaway at 8:30 a.m. You’ll be back in the city around 11, ending at Shake Shack, where you’ll celebrate with burgers, fries and Victory beer floats. And if you’re not up for the ride, no worries—you should still bring your wheels to Shake Shack between 11 and 1 because Breakaway will be doing free bike checks, and one lucky raffle winner will receive a basket stuffed with goodies from Shake Shack, Breakaway Bikes and Victory Beer.

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Could a LEGO Bike Lane Be Our Gateway Drug?

copenhagen flow

Via Copenhagenize Design Co.

Philly is ranked pretty highly as a bike-friendly city: No. 4 among large U.S. cities. But for those who regularly travel on two wheels, there’s no question more bike lanes would be welcome — especially if they could be realized without ribbons of red tape.

A design company in Copenhagen has invented something call the Copenhagenize Flow, which is a system of interlocking recycled tiles that can be placed on a street as easily as modular flooring or DIY backsplashes — or a stretch of LEGOs, which is what Fast Company compares it to. It could be especially useful to clarify implications to community members. There’s so much speculation about what might happen as a result a new bike lane, but the Flow provides the opportunity for a short-term test run — click it into place for however long and then unclick it and try it somewhere else.

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“Is It Okay to Kill Cyclists?”: Reactions to the New York Times Op-Ed

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Shutterstock

This weekend, The New York Times published a controversial op-ed and, boy, did it have people talking. In lieu of an online-comments section, which is suspiciously absent on the Times site, readers sounded off via opinionated tweets and heated Reddit comments.

In case you missed the article, here’s a recap: Daniel Duane, a newbie to biking the San Francisco streets, decided to investigate what legal consequences befall a driver who kills a cyclist. What he found is this: In most states, and in almost all reported instances, there are almost no consequences. Unless you are driving drunk or completely recklessly, the punishment for killing a cyclist with your car often amounts to a slap on the wrist (often nothing happens, but sometimes drivers are fined or receive community service). Makes you think twice about wearing a helmet, huh? The central question the op-ed aims to answer is this: “Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?” According to Duane, our justice system and the people who enforce its laws are giving everyone the impression that it is.

As you can imagine, the piece made the Internet explode with reactions from bike-lovers to bike-haters to bike-fearers to everyone in between. Here’s what they had to say:

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