Welcome to our new site! We’ve been champing at the bit for a new online home since setting up shop in late-summer of 2010. With betterbike.org we’re better able to build in the functionality we need and we think it’s a significant improvement. We hope you’ll agree. It’s certaintly easier to post, and tweak the user experience, which in turn should mean more frequent posting. For you at home, our site should be more intuitive and overall provide a better reading experience.
The changes are not about the backend, though. We’ve reorganized our new site around a conventional blog format with latest posts on the main page, plus static pages that describe our mission & vision. You’ll find a calendar and comments will allow you to become involved in the conversation.
Please take advantage of comments! Get involved in the discussion! Use our stable of sharing tools (twitter, tumblr, digg, etc.) to circulate posts that you find worthy to cyclists…and to policymakers. BetterBike.org now makes all of that easier than ever before.
If you prefer your content pushed to you, we have a companion Twitter feed @BetterBike and we can syndicate content if you subscribe to our RSS feed. These options are one click away – can’t miss the icons – in order to make receiving Better Bike updates easy.
Perhaps the biggest advance is the comments. We not only invite comments on substance, we bid your comments on form too. What needs to change to make it even more useful? To make it more of a pleasure to read? We’ve put much of our energy into creating an online home that is useful, usable, and attractive, but it will continue to evolve.
More functionality is on the way. Under development are a bike safety/riding tips page; an online hazards reporting form; and a policy documents library. The field is ours: unlike every other Westside city, the Beverly Hills city website features no cycling content whatsoever.
Also in the works is a community survey to assess your needs as cyclists. Don’t wait for an invitation: tell us where you like to bike, what impediments currently keep you from cycling more; and how policymakers can improve your cycling experience. Most of all, tell us how we’re doing. Is there a problem you’d like profiled? An official who should get a ring from us? We’re all ears.
Last, we’ve improved the site because it’s critical we reach beyond our backyard to talk to other cyclists in the Southland and beyond. We tend to get our cycling news from non-traditional sources these days – think blogs and twitter – and more non-bike topic sites touch on cycling issues, especially from the environmental angle.
The bike news landscape is pretty fragmented. I read more than a dozen bike blogs and subscribe to a dozen Twitter feeds, but I’m a slouch compared to master link-maker Ted Rogers at Biking in LA. He keeps me informed, but it seems to be a full-time job. Or he’s superhuman.
I’m merely Clark Kent with a humble bike blog, but nevertheless Better Bike wants to be a part of the larger discussion. You can do your part: get the word out to other cyclists; pass on BetterBike.org to your friends; replying to our tweets if they speak to you; and comment in the media (include our link!).
We see Beverly Hills in particular as a great test case for leaping ahead of the municipal pack. Our civic leaders will find the political will and vision when the public brings them along. We welcome your ideas!