Learning From the Best – Innovations in Cycling Infrastructure

It’s morning in Madison, an hour of orange light and long shadows. Lake Monona shimmers, the grass along the embankment sparkling with dew, and there’s a chill in the air that marks the looming autumn. With each passing moment, as the bright sun burns away patches of fog, cyclists around the city click into pedals, preparing for the morning commute.

The scene is much the same in other cities across the country, as urban dwellers are choosing bikes over cars at an astounding rate. In the last ten years, bike commuting has increased 47% nationwide and up to 73% in the largest cities. With this surge, forward-thinking cities and organizations are embracing the developing national cycling community and looking for innovative ways to capitalize on its growing populace.

Five years ago, Saris Cycling Group solidified its status as the industry leader in cycling infrastructure innovation by sponsoring a first-of-its-kind study of urban bicycling facilities in Germany and the Netherlands. Representatives from Saris, along with delegates from the City of Madison, spent seven days with European planning engineers and design experts, identifying best practices in alternate transportation modes and determining how these practices could be put in place at home. It has been said that in order to be the best, you have to learn from the best. And that’s just what we did.

20 by 2020

We brought a lot back to Madison, including a cache of inspiration, a powerful sense of excitement and possibility, and the cutting-edge technology in our new Cycle Guide, a flush-mounted solar-powered LED lighting system designed to enhance a cyclist’s experience and safety by providing visual delineation on roads and bike paths. We’re also proud to now offer the Cycle Aid and Cycle Air, bicycle repair stations that put the tools where commuters need them — right on the path — to get you home in the event of an equipment failure.

Since that first trip, we’ve returned to Europe again and again for research with the Green Lanes Project, accruing an industry-leading catalog of knowledge that makes us an outstanding partner for your community. We understand that each city has different needs and different goals, so we’ve traveled with representatives from urban centers around the country, we’ve listened to them, and we’ve designed our products based on these unique experiences.

Fostering relationships is a central facet of our mission, because we know great work is done in collaboration. 

“Saris is a leader in providing innovative products that help cities increase their bike culture and has shown themselves to be a partner to communities to pilot new ideas and implement new programs. When I was in Chicago, the City of Chicago was able to take advantage of their ingenuity and generosity, greatly enhancing the impact we could make on our own,”  said Gabe Klein, Former Commissioner Chicago/DC DOT and Senior Visiting Fellow at ULI.

Gabe Klein and Saris Rack
Gabe Klein, Former Commissioner Chicago/DC DOT and Senior Visiting Fellow at ULI

From September 8th through 11th, we’ll be celebrating our continued commitment to the development of cycling infrastructure at the 2014 Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Whether you’re looking for layout recommendations from our bike parking experts, interested in learning more about how Saris can help your community, or just want to check out our exciting new products, we hope you’ll visit us at Booth 400.

See you in Pittsburgh!

- Andrew Dutton, Saris Parking Sales Representative

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