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2012: A Year Of Adventures 1

James on a paddle boat in Hubei Province, China (April 2012) Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Like all good things, 2012 has now come to an end. 2012 was a year full of adventures and many “firsts” for me. I spent the first four months of the year living in China, on ...

2012 Year End Blog Summary 1

Amsterdam – March 2012 – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country The following is a chronological summary of select content that we published to this blog throughout 2012. In January while I was pedaling on a bike in China we reported that Apple’s Macintosh computer almost became known as the “Bicycle”. Meanwhile, 81-year-old ...

2012: Year End Blog Statistics

Highlights 135,452 visits 103,455 unique visitors 220,074 page views Most popular articles of 2012 10 Observations About Bicycling in Amsterdam (March)- 4,165 views, 16 comments 81-Year-Old Gene Hackman Hit On His Bike (January) – 3,393 views, 52 comments Dear Bicycle Helmet (June) – 3,340 views, 25 comments When School’s Out In Amsterdam (March) – 2,587 ...

Happy Holidays Friends!

Christmas Tree ornament – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country I wanted to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas, for those who celebrate Christmas, and Happy Holidays to everyone else! I hope you all are enjoying some quality time with your family and friends over the holidays. The Christmas Tree ornament ...

Beijing Woman Dies Because Ambulance Stuck in Traffic 1

Beijing Traffic – Photo by Safia Osman Unlike in North America, when the siren from an ambulance is wailing, drivers in China do not move over to let the ambulance past. Ambulances literally sit in traffic with everybody else – with their sirens on and lights flashing. I had witnessed this countless times while living ...

Ignoring Careless, Dangerous Driving 6

Pedestrian Crossing Lights – Photo courtesy of Dave Delaney On Monday morning, nine pedestrians were hit by cars in Toronto in under an hour – between 6:41AM and 7:24AM, according to the Toronto Star. These incidents triggered an infuriating PR campaign by Constable Client Stibbe on Twitter where he tore the victims a new one ...

Russia’s 200KM, 3-day Traffic Jam

Photo from video provided by 3news.co.nz In Russia, a 200KM mega traffic jam has stranded drivers for several days. The backlog on this highway that runs between Moscow and St. Petersberg was intensified by heavy snow last week. From Time.com: “A 125-mile long queue of vehicles spanned the roadway, which connects Moscow and St. Petersburg. ...

How Bicycles Can Boost Commerce 5

Photo from Shopping by bike YouTube film by Mike Rubbo – Footage by Violeta Braña-Lafourcade My filmmaker friend Mike Rubbo over in Australia has put together a nice film about shopping by bike. In his film, Rubbo uncovers the opportunities that bicycles present to small businesses. Rubbo talks to shoppers and merchants about shopping by ...

Bicycle Commuting In Sandy’s Aftermath

“I Bike Sandy” – Photo courtesy of Transportation Alternatives In the 1980’s, in another life, Thomas Jarrels, 46, had been a bike messenger. But he had never considered using a bicycle to commute to his job as a sous-chef at a Midtown law firm in New York City. That is until Sandy hit New York ...

China Building New Eco City 14

Photo courtesy of Business Insider Imagine a city of 80,000 people where the nearest park is only a two minute walk from every home in the city. A city where public transit is only a few steps away, bicycling is convenient and comfortable, and where urban sprawl is against the law. Where cars are allowed, ...