Thursday, July 31, 2008

Doylestown Considers Bike Parking Ordinance

According to the July 28 Intelligencer the Borough of Doylestown is considering an ordinance to require the inclusion of bicycle racks for all new commercial buildings or an existing building that changes its use (i.e. store to restaurant).

Full bike racks at Doylestown Station

The article also mentions that the borough will continue to encourage bicycling in its quest to earn a Bicycle Friendly Community designation. Plans include "Share the Road" signs, a youth cycling education program, a “Bike to Work” day event and an annual community bike ride.

New Bike Racks at Parking Authority Garages

At today's press conference held at 2nd and Sansom, next to the Ritz East, the Philadelphia Parking Authority showed off a newly installed bicycle rack that they installed at several garages today in response to the Bicycle Coalition's call for more racks to alleviate Philadelphia's bicycle parking shortage.

Press conference with PPA's Vincent Fernety Jr. and
Bicycle Coalition's Sarah Clark Stuart

Bike rack installation by PPA at Old City Autopark

Racks are being installed at:
1) AutoPark @ Olde City Garage 125 S. 2nd Street
2) AutoPark @ Gallery Garage 44 N. 10th Street
3) AutoPark @ Jefferson Garage 14-18 S. 10th Street
The Parking Authority also has "ball" racks at its 15th & Arch Street Parking Lot 1501 Arch Street (Northwest Corner).
Read more in stories by the Inquirer's Joe Gambardello and KYW's Steve Tawa

Today's step by the Parking Authority to provide these new bike racks is great news and an outcome of the Bicycle Coalition's advocacy for more bike racks to be installed throughout the City at garages, commercial corridors, cultural and entertainment venues and office buildings. We tip our helmets to the Parking Authority for being the first agency out of the block in responding to the current bike parking shortage.

Parking Authority Debuts Bike Racks at PPA Garages


For Immediate Release: Wednesday - July 30, 2008
Contact: Linda Miller @ 267.784.7610 (c) or 215.683.9675 (o)
Marty O'Rourke @ 215.882.2658

Parking Authority to Announce Installation
of Bicycle Racks At Key PPA Garages

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will join the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia in holding a press conference on Thursday - July 31st, 2008 at 12:00 noon at the PPA garage located at 2nd and Sansom Streets to announce the installation of bicycle racks in key PPA garages.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a non-profit advocacy organization with 1200 members in the Delaware Valley region. The Bicycle Coalition works to make bicycling better through advocacy and education by promoting biking as a healthy, low-cost, environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NJ - Contact Senator Lautenberg to Support the National Bike Bill

Bicycle Resolution
Recognizing the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation

Take Action!

Contact Senator Lautenberg on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee

House Congressional Resolution 305 (H.CON.RES. 305), dubbed the National Bike Bill sponsored by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), which passed the House of Representatives on May 21, 2008, is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, this Thursday, July 31, 2008, at 10am. Please take a moment to contact your Senator on the Committee to thank them in advance for their support of this resolution which recognizes the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation.

Click here to Take Action

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BCGP Executive Director Alex Doty on WHYY

WHYY News Reports

Wheels turning in Nutter administration on choice of bike czar

July 29, 2008

With gas prices rising, the idea of traveling on two wheels may be tempting for some Philadelphians. Once Mayor Michael Nutter appoints a bike and pedestrian coordinator, they may find the streets even more inviting. The mayor's office says negotiations are ongoing and the mayor hopes to fill the position by the fall. Bike and pedestrian advocates are already making a to do list. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bikes on Buses - The Alternative to Regional Rail Hassles

Here is a great secret, while gaining popularity SEPTA's bus bike racks are still well underused.

SEPTA tells us that the bike racks are only used 100 to 200 times per day. That is only about one bus in six which will see a bike each day.

So if you are tired of rush hour restrictions, hour long waits, smart-alec conductors and trudging your bike up the rail car steps, give the bus a try.

Going to and from the NW neighborhoods and suburbs work best for those who still want a one seat ride into town. Try Routes 9 ,27,124 and 125 which use the Schuylkill Expressway. From Northeast Philly the appropriately named Route 1 travels as an express down Roosevelt Boulevard to East Falls where you can connect directly with the Schuylkill River Trail for a 20-30 minute ride into Center City.

Two videos aimed at different audiences show you how to use the racks

This pragmatic video by the Maine DOT walks you through it, even showing how to load a second bike on the bus.

And TARC in Louisville Kentucky hits a demographic target with it's hip hop bus demo

Conservative Journalists And Bikes Parts 2 and 3

OK less than a week after I commented on the David Brooks negative bicycle comment, Washington Post columnist Robert Novak hits a pedestrian, takes off and get's chased down by a bicyclist. For this Novak got a slap on the wrist, a $50 fine for failing to yield the right of way.

But finally we got some equal time with conservative columnist/talk show host Michael Smerconish fighting for bicyclists rights. He rode in the Tour De Shore Irish Pub Ride on Saturday benefitting various Philadelphia Police charities.

You may remember that DRPA forced Tour De Shore riders onto the bridge walkway and closed it to other bike ped traffic for three hours. According to the Daily News Smerconish apparently argued with DRPA officials s that the 8oo plus riders should be "allowed to ride on the bridge where cars travel and not 'funneled into a bike path'. The DRPA disagreed and before things got worse, a Camden police officer intervened and drove Smerconish over the bridge with his bike in the trunk."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Road Violence in New Jersey

Fatality in Pennsauken, a bicyclist was killed trying to cross Route 130. Update: 6 ABC identified the victim as 47 YO Chris Bender of Cherry Hill.

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75 YO female bicyclist run over by a NJ TRANSIT bus, ironically this crash happened on 9th St in broad daylight just 1 block from the press conference less than two weeks ago.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Attention Metal Fabricator's and Other Artists

The Center for Architecture at 1218 Arch is looking for some cool bike racks to adorn Arch Street and achieve LEED credit.

Chainring Bike Rack in Palmer Park

If you are interested in making an artrack for them for a reduced rate (they are non-profit) please contact Beth Miller at 215.587.9290.

Of course there is more to a bike rack than simply looking cool, the critical issue is that the rack element supports the bike in two places and allows the bicycle to be securely locked. Before laying out the design of your rack read the APBP Bicycle Parking Guidelines.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Newtown Branch to Become Pennypack Trail

News of the long awaited (and somewhat controversial) extension of the Pennypack Trail from onto the SEPTA Newtown Branch Right of Way.

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From the Times Herald:

Business to remove railroad tracks to make way for trail
By: Margaret Gibbons,

The Montgomery County commissioners normally are spending money when they award contracts.

However, a contract recently awarded by the commissioners will put money into its coffers.

The county contracted with Railroad Resources and Recovery of Bethlehem to remove 2.4 miles of railroad track materials, including wooden ties and steel tracks, along the western border of the county's Lorimer Park in Abington.

The company will pay the county $205,100 for the job and materials it removes.
"With the price of steel these days..." said county regional trails manager Rich Wood, explaining why the company would pay the county for the work.

The county has entered into a nominal lease with SEPTA to use the land for a hiking and biking trail.

SEPTA in 1983 "temporarily suspended" commuter rail traffic on the line, which extends from Fox Chase to Newtown in Bucks County. Since that time, despite pleas from some to reactivate the line, parts of the rail line have been paved over.
The section of the rail line that involves the county contract begins on the Rockledge border and extends to Huntingdon Pike.

This will be the first phase of the proposed Pennypack Trail, which eventually will extend farther north into Upper Moreland and Bryn Athyn where it will link with the county's Cross County Trail as well as trails in Bucks County, according to Wood. The company will have 90 days to complete its work, Wood said.

The final design and engineering work for the trail should wrap up by the end of the year. Construction of the crushed stone trail will get under way in the spring. "I am hoping that the trail will be operating next summer," said Wood.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Google Walking Directions Needs Some Work

Google has rolled out walking directions, can bicycling directions be far behind?

That being said there are a lot of nuances to walking as demonstrated with this walk from Philadelphia to Camden.

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With the use of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge it's obvious that Google has done some extensive research. I would suggest that Google provide some sort of some feedback formto improve the usability of this excellent service.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chester County DA To Review Paul Hally Case

The Chester County Daily Local Reports that the District Attorney is reviewing charges against a motorist that killed Paul Hally on May 28 on West Chester Pike. The Driver Mark Delguzzo had a blood alcohol content of 0.26 — more than three times the legal limit.

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Petition To Ban Rush Hour Bicycles on RiverLINE Trains

I had a chilling experience on the 5:14 northbound RiverLINE train this evening.

Per my normal routine I boarded with my bicycle a Cooper St/Rutgers Station in Camden. I board there due to the proximity of the BF Bridge and to avoid the awaiting crowd at Walter Rand Transportation Center where PATCO riders from Philadelphia board.

Approximately 150 passengers including two bicyclists boarded the train at Walter Rand, amid the crowd I heard that there was a petition circulating to ban bicycles on rush hour RiverLINE trains. About 20 people signed the petition, most of them standees! There was another bicyclist in the car was in the middle of this petition melee, I felt real sorry for him.

Furious and feeling a bit like a target I managed to give the petition author my card. I said "call my office" he said "Oh yeah you know I will".

I want to lay out the real problem here, NJ TRANSIT assigns a 2 car train to this train which carries a huge chunk of 5 PM Philadelphia workers. Why is this not a 4 car train?

A 4 car train would solve the problem, the petition guy wants outside bike racks which are not permitted by the Federal RR Administration because he feels that NJT would never hook on two more cars.

Banning bikes is a scapegoat solution, let's head the petition off at the pass, I urge everyone to contact NJ TRANSIT customer service saying that you greatly appreciate rush hour bicycle access to the RiverLINE.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Conservative Pans Bicycles

Another negative comment by a conservative on the bicycle movement.

NY Times David Brooks wrote today about John McCain and his energy policy "The high point of his campaign, so far, has been his energy policy, which is comprehensive and bold, but does not try to turn us into a nation of bicyclists. It does not view America's energy-intense economy as a sign of sinfulness..."

David Brooks is hardly the inflammatory type but it is just one of series of statements by conservative columnists, pundits and some elected officials that for some reason tag bicycling as a liberal issue.

We at the Bicycle Coalition consider ourselves "bike-partisan" in fact our membership data indicates that about 50% of our members who registered to vote are Republican.
In Washington the
Congessional Bike Caucuses were established and are led by Republican and Democratic Members of Congress.

An Odd Sign Shows Up on the Ben Franklin Bridge Entrance

Huh, so the bridge walkway is closed on Saturday morning for a bike event?

We'll try to get a response from DRPA and post it here.

Update: The event is the Irish Pub Tour De Shore. 700 Bicyclists will be using the bridge walkway (apparently not enough for the DRPA to close down a lane of traffic).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Man Bites Dog - Bicyclist Struck from Behind Loses License

The local news has been reporting for a couple of days now of the DUI conviction of a Delaware County bicyclist named Evan Burke, whom according to one report was struck last year while waiting to cross the street in the center median, like a pedestrian. Another report stated that Burke was weaving in and out of the center "safety zone" on East Wynnewood Rd.

A judge ruled to surrender his PA Drivers License for 18 months because he was bicycling under the influence.

No doubt that this guy was soused, a prosecutor is quoted as saying "Burke's blood-alcohol level measured 0.155 — about twice the legal limit — and that he sported dark clothing on the rainy night."


I realize it's OK to wear white before Labor Day, but the prosecuter must have read about bicycle safety on a cereal box in the 1970's. Last time I checked there is nothing in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes about the color of clothing. I am surprised that he didn't say "and he wasn't wearing a helmet either".

One thing is for sure, East Wynnewood Rd. needs to be put on a "road diet" (reducing the number of lanes from 4 to 3 with bike lanes).

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I did see a silver lining in this story, that the press actually acknowledged that bicycles are vehicles.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rating The Bike Locking Talents of New Yorkers

Watch Hal Ruzal of Bicycle Habitat and WalkBikeJersey founder Kerri Martin critique bikes locked to anything in Soho. Great advice and very entertaining.

A Snapshot of Bicycle Traffic at Broad and Chestnut

It's just a snapshot but a count conducted yesterday afternoon showed a significant increase of bicycle traffic at the intersection of Broad and Chestnut.

222 bikes or 148 bikes per hour were counted in a 90 minute period between 4:30 and 6:00 PM, up from 154 bikes or 102 bikes per hour on July 19, 2006 a 44% increase.

A stronger increase was noted going east on Chestnut St with 67% increase. North and South Broad St traffic increased by 25%

22% rode on the sidewalk and 1% rode the wrong way on the street. As far as helmet use goes 34% of the females while only 22% of the males did. Additionally 2 bikes were being carried on SEPTA buses.

Look for a comprehensive count on the Schuylkill River Bridges and the Ben Franklin Bridge, 38th and Spruce and Broad and Spruce in September.

Centennial and Parkway Plans Lack Bicycle Design Details

Two major Park Initiatives have been announced in the past weeks the Centennial District Master Plan and the Ben Franklin Parkway Plan. Other than bike lanes being mentioned as part of the Ben Franklin Parkway (lanes that by the way already exist) there are no specific details on the actual road configuration and it is unclear if bicycle access is really being improved in the plans.

With the exception of the Free Library Bike Parking is scattershot on the Parkway, with most of it away from the institutions that so desperately need it. The Academy of Natural Sciences is exploring the installation of bike racks but what about the Franklin Institute, Moore, Rodin, or Barnes?

The Centennial District is already undergoing changes with the imminent arrival of the Please Touch Museum. We have noticed they're installing curbs that extend across the width of the parking lane... the same parking lane that usually functions as a nice wide bicycle shoulder. It remains to be seen if bike racks are added at the new location.

One of the biggest challenges is getting to the Centennial District from the River Drive paths, Sweetbriar is a bicycle and pedestrian unfriendly connection, one has to cross two unprotected intersections to access the bike path to Memorial Hall, which itself is in less than stellar condition.

Clearly the devil is in details and we at the Bicycle Coalition have our work cut out for us.

Suburban Philadelphia Bicycle Commuters Featured on the CBS Evening News

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Social History of the Bicycle - Exhibit Debut Tonight!

Tonight, Rittenhouse Square’s most extensive print gallery opens Velo+City – The Social History of the Bicycle. Presenting a stylistically diverse and graphically compelling collection of original prints, vintage posters, and ephemera, this exhibition visually details the rise of the bicycle over its 150-year history. The works follow the bicycle’s development from a dangerous object of ridicule and plaything of aristocrats to a democratized form of leisure and transportation for all.

Historical information will be presented, providing context for the images. All artwork is available for purchase. A special opening featuring live music from The Extraordinaires and Tavo Carbone and refreshments will be held from 6-9pm.

Lisa Reisman et cie LTD
1714 Rittenhouse Square

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

OC1 - Ocean City's First Bicycle Boulevard

Congratulations Ocean City. NJ's first bicycle boulevard is open for business. A ten block stretch of Haven avenue that connects to a half mile multi-use trail offers a quiet north south route.

The improvements are simple, speed limit reduced to 15mph, some cross streets now prevent cut through traffic and of course shared lane markings and route signage.

Shared Lane Marking or sharrows on Haven Avenue, also a New Jersey first. Note the young cyclist on the right who still chooses the sidewalk

Bike Route OC1

Bicycle Ambassador Director Breen Goodwin poses in front of the new sculpture at the Ocean City Transportation Center that marks the gateway to the Haven Avenue Bike Route. Kokopelli on a bike?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Velib Turns One in Paris

July 15th marks the one year anniversary of Velib, Paris' wildly successful public use bicycle program.

On Saturday the New York Times A New Fashion Catches On in Paris: Cheap Bicycle Rentals

And it was chock full of statistics :
  • About 20,600 VĂ©lib’ bicycles are in service at 1,450 self-service rental stations.
  • There are 4X as many as there are subway stations as Metro stations
  • 27.5 Million Trips or about 120,000 per day
  • 3 Fatalities about one per 9 million trips
  • Bike crashes up 7% but bicycle trips up 24%
  • 15,000 stolen bikes (no word on the recovery rate of the GPS enabled bikes)
  • $142 Million to set up the system including 1500 advertising kiosks
  • 1500 Bike repairs a day
  • Each bike averages 124 miles a year

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Sampling of Bicycle Routes to the Jersey Shore

Our top request in the summer months is how to get to the shore via bicycle. Thanks to some amateur cartographers at we were able to download a few routes that others have suggested.

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To find out more details about these rides go to the Bikely website where you can search for specific rides and you can print out cue sheets for these routes (if the author bothered to create one).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter Votes Yes on Bicycling Resolution

Mayor Nutter joined numerous other mayors on June 23 at the Conference of Mayors meeting in Miami in voting yes on an adopted resolution “Ensuring Bicycling Is Integrated into National Transportation, Climate, Energy and Health Policy Initiatives” as Conference policy. Thank you Mayor Nutter!

Smug Alert - Bridge Toll Hike Threatens Modest NJ Cyclists

Yesterday's Delaware River Port Authority toll hike proposal may be the final straw for NJ bicycle bridge commuters who have been secretly elated by the increased cost of driving into Philadelphia.

Consider the following -
  • Gas Prices
  • Toll Free - good thing too as DRPA closes the Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway at the sign of the first snow flurry.
  • NJ Transit Fares - Transit is much cheaper to NJ if you leave from Camden. Ex: One way fare to Wildwood from Philadelphia $14, one way from Camden $8.15. To Trenton via the RiverLINE $1.35, via SEPTA R7 $8
  • Parking Tax - The city approved a small increase in the parking tax that will increase the budget for street maintenance and help revitalize Fairmount Park.
  • Wage taxes - Most NJ residents that work in Philadelphia don't pay NJ or PA state income taxes. The Philadelphia Commuter Tax is credited toward the smaller NJ State tax. For many the tax savings are sucked up by bridge tolls and gas consumption.
Recently the DRPA began keeping the walkway open one hour later to 8PM for the summer. The Bicycle Coalition will continue to work with the Port Authority efforts with improve bike/ped access to the bridge.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

NBC News Parts 2 and 3

Part 2 talks about the health benefits of cycling and Part 3 talks about bicycle commuting and how easy it can be. Watch for Philadelphia's statistics.

Chief's Town Hall Sessions Offer An Opportunity For Traffic Safety

Chief Ramsey's Town Hall Session will offer an opportunity for Philadelphians to tell the Police to enforce traffic safety laws. Motorists routinely threaten bicyclists and pedestrians, drag race, run red lights, talk freely on the phone and speed without any fear of being caught. Chief Ramsey has set a goal of a reduction of 100 murders in 2008. How about setting a modest goal of reducing 50 traffic deaths in 2009?

The schedule:

Northwest Division: 7 p.m., July 10, Arthur Ashe Tennis Center, 4842 Ridge Ave., for residents of the Fifth, 14th, 35th and 39th Districts.

Central Division: 7 p.m. July 15, 6, Philadelphia Community College Bonnell Building, 1600 Spring Garden St., for residents of the Sixth, Ninth, 22d and 23d Districts.

East Division: 7 p.m., July 17, St. Anne's Parrish Hall, 2nd Floor, Memphis & Tucker Streets, for residents of the 24th, 25th, 26th Districts

South Division: 7 p.m., July 22, Penn's Landing Catering, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd., for residents of the First, Third, Fourth and 17th Districts.

Northeast Division: 7 p.m., July 24, John Perzel Center, 2990 St. Vincent St., for residents of the Second, Seventh, Eighth and 15th Districts.

Portland and Bicycling Featured on NBC Nightly News

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Second Moorestown Bicycle Crash Results in Hospital Airlift

Details are sketchy from NBC 10 but at around 6PM last night a cyclist was struck on East Camden Ave (The popular RT 537) in Moorestown. The victim was airlifted to an unknown hospital (Cooper?) with severe head trauma. UPDATE - The 17 YO Moorestown High School Student died of his injuries at 2:30 PM on Tuesday.

The crash comes less than a month after Comcast General Counsel Stanley Wang was killed on Route 537 in Moorestown.

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Marker on left indicates where Monday's fatal crash occurred, the marker on the right shows where Stanley Wang was fatally struck.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sign the Petition for a Scudder Falls Bridge Pathway

Please sign the petition for the inclusion of a non-motorized pathway on the new I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) remains uncommitted to the inclusion of the path, citing that the extra cost which will add about 7% to the projected total cost of the project. The pathway has emerged as the top request from the public involvement process.

The petition is the launching of the final push to ensure that the DRJTBC designs a 21st Century Bridge that is accessible to all users of the transportation system, not just diminishing motor vehicle traffic.

The Commission is building the bridge on the basis of an anticipated 28% increase in traffic by 2030. As we have been reporting the $4 gas threshold is driving VMT (vehicle miles traveled) down, already to 2004 levels. Can we really depend on our traffic models at all?

To learn more about the project go to -

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence from Oil Day!

The Bike Coalition of Greater Philadelphia wishes you a happy, safe and gas-free Independence Day!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

PENNDOT Completing Towpath to Washington Crossing State Park Connection



The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation today announced that Upper
Makefield Township will close and detour westbound Route 532 between Route
32 and Taylorsville Road starting Monday (July 7) in Bucks County for
construction of a pedestrian improvement project.

Beginning 9 a.m. Monday, westbound Route 532 will be closed around the
clock until approximately July 28.  During construction, through traffic will be
detoured over Route 32 and Taylorsville Road.  Local access will be maintained
up to the construction area.

The roadwork is part of the Washington Crossing Gateway Park project, which
is a federally and locally funded project approved by PennDOT.  The project
will provide pedestrian connections between the Delaware Canal State Park, the
Washington Crossing historic site and nearby business and residential
areas. It includes walking and bicycle paths, sidewalks, landscaping and
crosswalks,and roadway rehabilitation.  Work began in April of this year and is
expected to be completed by the end of September, under a $1.9 million dollar
contract with Road-Con, Inc. of West Chester, Pa.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

12 YO Struck by Automobile - The Internet Trolls Spew More Vermin

A 12 Year Old suffered head injuries after being struck by a car in bicycle unfriendly Bensalem Township. According to the newspaper article the motorist claimed that he tried to pass when the cyclist veered left into the path of the car. It is unclear if the motorist was passing at a safe distance. View Larger Map As usual the comments section of bicycle crash stories are always filled with blame the victim comments. I wonder if these trolls would react the same if it was there own kid. They should do us all a favor and log off, maybe pay attention to their own kids.

Bicyclist Killed in Wayne

 An obituary in the Philadelphia Daily News revealed another bicyclist killed

"20 Year Old Max Brindle was killed on June 18 on Bloomingdale Avenue in Wayne, when his bike rammed the back of a parked car. He was rushed to Bryn Mawr Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a neck injury a short time later.

He was on his way to his home in Wayne from a cousin's house.
Max was a freshman in the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University, where he played football and lacrosse, was a high academic achiever and a young man with the world at his feet."

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Tips For Locking Your Bicycle

1. Use a flat key U-Lock to secure the frame and rear wheel to the rack or other fixed object.
2. Use a cable lock to secure the front wheel.
3. Alternatively you can use a U-Lock with a cable loop.
4. Two different types of locks require different tools to defeat and therefore make it a smaller target.