bike advocacy, bicycle tour, bicycle safety




April 2012
(roughly semi-annual)

A non-governmental, nonprofit organization promoting bicycle transport, economic development, international understanding and safety education.

Inside this issue:

2012 Student Bicycle Essay Contest

Notes from

Upcoming Travel Program Highlights

Samples From Our Twitter Posts

IBF Publications

IBF is supported by donations. Your contribution is always welcome. Contributions and donations are U.S. tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


We hope that the weather and road conditions around you are conducive for you to do all the bicycling that you desire.  Meanwhile we continue to help individuals and organizations to promote sustainable transport and understanding, worldwide.

As always, a giant “thank you” to everyone who has donated to us recently; participants on our travel program, purchasers of publications, volunteers and those who in any other way supported IBF.  There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved so we look forward to hearing from the rest of you.

Here is a program update:


International Bicycle Fund Student Essay Contest is open to anyone 16 years old or under.  For more information see  There are cash prizes for the winners in age group categories:  Essay may be on any aspect of bicycling (history, touring, racing, commuting, role in society, learning, teaching, etc.)  Girls and boys from all countries are encouraged to participate.  You need not be a bicyclist.  The deadline for entries is every year on May 1st (mailed entry must be postmarked by 1 May and arrive by 10 May.)  Entries can be submitted by email. Please share this information with teachers, parents and students in your circles.

The essay program takes a surprisingly large number of hours to administer.  If you would like to support this and other IBF programs, it can easily be done online at


Bicycle Month
Many areas celebrate May as Bicycle Month.  We hope that you will get involved in activities in your area.  If the local program is thin on substance there are a couple resources on the IBF website which should facilitate enhancing the program:

New Or Substantial Edited Photo Essays
Salish Sea,
Korea: Cultural Heartland, ibike\korea\essay\central\index.htm
Korea Non-Motorized Infrastructure,


One of the goals of our travel program is to help people get out of the travel ruts – heading to the tourism destination enclaves.  We do this by offering programs to really interesting places that are not mainstream destinations, and by giving people an opportunity to see a mainstream destination through a different and more interesting lens.  The full schedule is posted at  We hope you will take on one of these opportunities.

Our cultural travel programs are our main source of revenue.  We hope you will support IBF by joining one of these programs:  These may not be mainstream destinations, but that is part of their value.

Hidden Gems in Up-coming Cultural Bike Tour Programs Include:

West Africa: We to offer a sampling of West Africa. In 2007, we were Cameroon. In 2008, we were in Togo and Benin. In 2009, we were in Mali. In 2010, we were in Sierra Leone. In 2011, we toured in Ghana. Each country is distinct and interesting. If you would like to get a flavor of the tours check out the photo essays linked from

Ghana: June 20 – July 11, for more details see The cultural density of Ghana is legendary. Highlights of the tour include visits the sprawling Kumasi market, the National Culture Center, historic museums, a national park, and historic slave forts along the coast, and the joy of experiencing the rural life-styles of multi-cultural Ghana (Ewe, Fanti, Ashanti, Wa). English is widely spoken, and Ghanaians are renowned for there outgoing personalities so "communications" can be almost non-stop. While the villages are serene, and reflect traditional values and lifestyle, including wonderful hospitality, Accra has many modern conveniences and an active scene that sets it apart. This program is an engaging mélange traditional and modern.

Ecuador: Andes to Amazon: June 29 – July 12, for more details see Bicycle along the Avenue of Volcanoes to the upper tributaries of the Amazon; featuring extraordinary and diverse scenery, delicious food, friendly people, fascinating visits to indigenous communities, over-night stays at former hasiendas and more.

USA / CANADA: Rolling the Islands of the Salish Sea: July 14-26, for more details see  For bicyclists who already love the northwest USA and southwest Canada, or for those who are willing to fall in love with this region, your imaginings will be will come to life on this tour. The program highlights the cultural heritage and history, the economical and environmental diversity, and the geological complexity.  Our program is very different from any other tour in the area.  With our carefully selected route across eight islands from Seattle to Victoria, interpretive programs, and off-bike activities, we bike and eat our way through the rich history and heritage, the geographical and environmental diversity, and the economic, geological and cultural complexity of the Salish Sea. Program participants have opportunities to: meet Suquamish, Swinomish and other indigenous people; learn how Hawaiians were early foreign trappers and traders here, Chinese built the infrastructure, Japanese fed the people, Blacks and Jews outfitted the gold rushers and other ethnic groups transformed the land, culture and economy. We visit local markets; wander in historic towns, examine art and architecture, identify flora and fauna and enjoy the extraordinary friendliness of the people and inspirational beauty of the Salish Sea.  Dinner menus include Japanese, Greek, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Southern, and more.

Uganda: August 7-21, for more details see  Do you like blue sky, green forests & fresh pineapple? Consider a bike tour in Uganda.  Yes, it is safe, friendly and very welcoming.  Our rural oriented itinerary covers a slice of the country and visits a variety of villages, social programs, development projects, schools, national parks and historic sites.  The program offers a great opportunity to get an introduction to East African culture, plus the pleasing and relatively rare opportunity to see a good variety of wildlife from a bicycle -- with a back-drop of gorgeous scenery.

South Korea: September 8-21, for more details see  Half of South Korea in pretty industrial, and the other half in scenic rural, riverine, forested, coastal and mountainous landscapes, dotted with inspiring temples and quaint villages -- it is the latter half that we explore!  Given the unremitting culturally richness and dazzling beauty of rural South Korea and thoroughly heartwarming hospitality, we can’t understand why touring cyclists are not swarming all over the back roads of the country.  Come be the first on your block to discover the elation of bicycle touring in Korea.

Ethiopia: November 4-17, for more details see Explore some of Africa's most rugged and spectacular countryside by bike. Ethiopia is mélanges of industrious cities and vast rural populations that reflect traditional culture and values. Program participants will have opportunities to meet rural villagers, craftsmen, educators and officials; to learn about the day-to-day life and the changing role of women; to shop in local markets and to enjoy the extraordinary friendliness of the people and inspirational beauty of the Abysinnian highlands. This awe-inspiring corner of Africa is virtually undiscovered by Westerners.

Seattle: Year around, if you visiting Seattle please consider on of our custom Seattle Heritage Bicycle Tours.  For more details see and a photo essay at


Twitter is the primer social media we use to keep you current with develops at IBF/Ibike.  We tend to post a short message a couple times a week.  The following are messages that we have posted recently on Twitter that aren’t covered elsewhere in this Update.  To follow our Twitter posts in real time visit

Good video on women and biking, and more women and more bicycling. (July 19)

Green "Yellow Bikes" at Burning Man, (Aug 5)

Don't park in the bike lane, , awesome video. (Aug 9)

For Zimbabwe's women, a bicycle can be a tool of liberation, (Aug 9)

OBIS,, has published a comprehensive study/ handbook on optimizing bike sharing schemes, (large PDF file) (Aug 13)

Slideshow of classic bike designs from the end of the last century, Vanity Fair website (Aug 15, 2012)

"Assessment of the Village Bicycle Project's One-Day Workshops in the Upper West Region of Ghana", (Aug 30)

Dramatic bicycle dooring video,, not for the faint of heart. (Oct 21)

Rwanda: bicycle transformations,, bikes are more than transportation, recreation, and sports. (Nov 23)

Bicycling to political power in DR Congo, (Nov 25)

UN climate conference delegates DON"T choose bikes, (Dec 2)

Does big box retail kill bicycle culture? Case study in Japan, (Jan 2)

Recycling old bicycle wheels ... (Jan 20)

Top 10 Countries With The Most Bicycles Per Capita (Jan 26)

You’re safer on the bicycle than on the sofa! - (Feb 2)


To continue our work we depend on donation from people like you who support promoting sustainable transportation.  You can now donate online through a secure link.  Go to

IBF Publications

Bicycling In Africa
Comprehensive how-to book if you are planning to travel to Africa or other less developed regions. 192 pages of information. US$14.95. Please include postage and handling for mail orders (North America US$2, to other continents US$5)

Bicycling In Africa Country Supplements
Supplements cover cycling season, routes, getting maps and spare parts, accommodations in rural areas & special comments for cycling.
Bicycle Touring In Kenya. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Ethiopia/Eritrea. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Zimbabwe/Botswana. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Malawi/Tanzania/Uganda. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Ghana/Togo/Benin. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Tunisia/Algeria. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Senegal/Gambia/Guinea. US$10 *
Bicycle Touring In Mali/Burkina Faso/Niger. US$5 *
Bicycle Touring In Cameroon. US$5 *

IBF Trailer: Assembly Instructions
Plans & instructions for building an IBF Bike Trailer. US$5.00 * (free to development workers in "less developed countries.")

The Bicyclist's Dilemma In African Cities
Impact on individuals, society & the environment of not accommodating & encouraging bicycle use in African cities. 26 pages US$3.00 *

Transportation, Bicycles And Development In Africa: Progression or Regression
Transportation in Africa is primarily by foot. Is encouraging bicycles progressive or regressive? 18 pages, US$2.00 *

Transportation Patterns In Nairobi
The history of transport in Nairobi that has led to traffic jams and filthy air. With strategies for encouraging bikes. 17 pages, US$2.00 *

Flying With Your Bicycles (1996)
Summary of baggage regulations for bicycles on 40 major airlines. Hints and strategies for packing and flying with a bike. US$4.00 *

Selecting & Preparing A Bicycle For Travel In Remote Areas / Annotated Detailed Packing List
A comprehensive how­to essay on special considerations. US$4.00 *

Language In Cross­Cultural Understanding
Essay on cultural bias in language. A must for travelers who want to see different cultures with a clearer vision. US$2.00 *

* Suggested donation. On mail orders, please include additional payment for postage & handling: North America; US$1 for 1st item and US$0.50 for each additional. Beyond North America US$2 for 1st item and US$1 for each additional (US$5 minimum). Quantity discounts are available. We accept payment by check, credit card and through Paypal (direct payment to "ibike@" our domain name).

IBF News Back Issues
Hard copies: US$1 each. Older issues also available.

IBF News '91/2: Tips on Responsible Travel.
IBF News '93/1: Trans: Who Pays? / Sustainable Tourism.
IBF News '93/2: Sustainable Access.
IBF News '94/1: Least Cost Planning.
IBF News '94/2: Land Use Planning.
IBF News '95/1: Multi-mode Level-of-Service.
IBF News '95/2: Promoting Bicycle Tourism.
IBF News '96/1: Bicycling In India And Eritrea.
IBF News '96/2: Free bike programs / Social attitudes.
IBF News '97/1: 15 Myths On Bicycling in Africa.
IBF News '97/2: Bike decline in Asia / Bike history.
IBF News '98/1: Policies: Cuba, Poland & Honduras.
IBF News '98/2: Critical Mass.
IBF News '99/1: Bike to Work / Tanzania Cultural Tourism.
IBF News '99/2: Women In Tunisia
IBF News '01/1: Biking with Infants
IBF News '01/2: Impact of Sept 11, 2001
IBF News '02/1: Pan-Africa Bicycle Information Network
IBF News '02/2: Student Bicycle Essay Contest 2002 Winners
IBF News '03/1: Bicycle Messenger and Activism in San Francisco
IBF News '03/2: Student Bicycle Essay Contest 2003 Winners

Editor: David Mozer
IBF News is published semiannually by the International Bicycle Fund, 4887 Columbia Drive South., Seattle, WA 98108­1919 USA. Tel & Fax: 1­206­767-0848. Email: "ibike@" our domain name. Internet:

IBF is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, promoting sustainable transport and international understanding. Coverage of an event does not constitute an endorsement by IBF. Material in IBF News, developed by IBF, may be reproduced in whole or in part, provided prominent credit is given to the International Bicycle Fund.

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