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Bikes go mainstream with Today Show coverage

Posted by on June 3rd, 2008 at 8:09 am

Still from Today Show.

In recent weeks, there’s been an unprecedented barrage of bike-related news stories in the mainstream media.

A few days ago, the trend reached what might be considered its apex when bikes got their 15 minutes of fame on America’s most popular morning show — The Today Show.

The segment (watch it below) featured a Today Show reporter (Kerry Sanders) riding a bike and reporting live from the Pinellas Trail in Florida — a trail he said people are “increasingly now using to commute to work.”

The three-minute story covers a lot of ground, including the bike capacity crunch on transit that I covered last week. A TriMet MAX train makes a cameo as the reporter says, “In Portland, 1 in 10 transit riders bring their bike.”

My favorite part of the story came at the end, when anchor Matt Lauer makes a joke and reporter Kerry Sanders laughs, takes his hands off the handlebars, and is clearly having a great time.

Watch the segment below:

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  • Robin June 3, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Thanks for sharing Jonathan! It\’s always encouraging to see this kind of story.

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  • joeb June 3, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Eat that Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) you forward thinker you!

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  • btodd June 3, 2008 at 8:30 am

    The Pinellas Trail is a godsend in that area. They actually constructed bridges over the busy intersections. A nice byproduct of that is locals have \”hills\” to climb.

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  • K-Man June 3, 2008 at 8:50 am

    That was awesome. Thanks for sharing Jonathan!

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  • BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com June 3, 2008 at 9:02 am

    WHAT next? Santa rolling the BA during RUSH!

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  • Alison June 3, 2008 at 9:07 am

    That is so cool! My parents live in Dunedin, along the Pinellas Trail, and when we visit we ride to Tarpon Sprins (my favorite Greek community ever) and to Honeymoon Island (my favorite place to ride my beach cruiser ever). Thanks for reminding me of a sunny place on this rainy (argh!) day.

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  • Michael Downes June 3, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Who said the revolution will not be televised?

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  • toddistic June 3, 2008 at 9:23 am

    haha no hands! lol that was awesome – more pro bike coverage.

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  • tonyt June 3, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Let\’s certainly hope that it wasn\’t the apex. Perhaps years from now, this will be seen as merely the first signs that we are awaking from our oil stupor and beginning our climb out of the car culture nadir.

    I\’d love to see more and more, culminating perhaps in that arbiter of all things mainstream, Oprah, getting her audience onto bikes.

    Perhaps she\’ll have Oprah\’s Bike Club.

    Yeah, I know, be careful of what you wish for.

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  • toddistic June 3, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Oprah can\’t do that, she wont sell any books on how to lose weight.

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  • KT June 3, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Toddistic, of course she\’ll sell books on how to lose weight– there\’ll be a chapter on riding a bike.

    🙂 Great to see this kind of media coverage! Now if we could get the media to run stories on the rules of the road for bikes…. in as positive a manner….

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  • Lesa June 3, 2008 at 10:08 am

    As a Florida ex-pat who worked in Pinellas County, I will say this is a HUGE thing. Floridians LOVE their cars – and the bigger the better! When I worked there 25 years ago, it wasn\’t uncommon for a 30 mile car commute to take 3 hours. Now you can get on Craigslist in FL and see a long list of trucks and SUVs for sale.

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  • Ray June 3, 2008 at 10:13 am

    The \”guy on the bike\” who won the commute challenge in New York City was a woman.

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  • […] If you bike to work you are now cool Posted in June 3rd, 2008 by Zak in Advocacy, Bike Commuting On the Today Show from Bikeportland.org […]

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  • Russell June 3, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Oprah and her fans on bikes would, possibly, mean lower weight-loss book sales for her, but she could delve into a new market: \”Basic Commuting Skills\” by Oprah Winfrey or \”Chic on the Bike\” by Oprah Winfrey.

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  • Dabby June 3, 2008 at 11:25 am

    While I am not into Oprah at all, ( I really wish she would drop off the face of the television), I must add that:

    John Benenatti (ex PSU racer/ old school messenger) was given an award (money +) for his work here in Portland while on the Oprah show. I think he may have been on the show twice now.

    She also had Travis Culley on there, as his messenger book was on her list for people to read or whatever. I won\’t tell you the title as I would rather you didn\’t buy it.

    Sadly the book and Travis were a sham. He reportedly stole the stories from a essay contest he threw…. I am sure the Oprah coverage sold a lot of them though.

    I tried to read it once, don\’t bother.

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  • Pete June 3, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Good segment! I\’m glad they pointed out increased police patrols, but I\’m disappointed they didn\’t discuss other benefits of bicycling (and police patrolling) than just saving gas money. Loved the observation that as they\’re driving more in China we\’re biking more in the USA. The (bike) shoe\’s on the other foot…

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  • Dabby June 3, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Channel 8 news at noon today has some story about a ORBEA bike, and something about a million dollars.
    I haven\’t seen it yet, comes on in a few minutes.

    Will probably replay tonight I bet.

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  • Moo June 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Oprah on a bike?..please! That would be way too painful to watch. Especilly when the Rachel Ray syruppy concoction starts dripping from her pores.

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  • Tom K June 3, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Accessible to women and older people (not just lycra-clad men…

    They missed a couple of angles, but great to see some positive national press for bikes!

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  • Pete June 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Just found this video clip on KATU (channel 2) titled \”Biking to Work – How to Get Started\” with Karl Rohde of the BTA:


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  • T.C. O'Rourke June 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    The name of Travis Culley\’s book is \”The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power\”

    ISBN-13: 978-0375760242

    Many people love it and many love to hate it.


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  • John S. Allen June 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    MSNBC could use a reporter with better bicycling skills, or Sanders needs to take a BikeEd class. Matt Lauer may have been joking when he said that Sanders looked like he was about to ride the bike off the trail, but that was an accurate observation. Also 20 RPM cadence, trouser cuff hanging out to get dirtied or caught in the chain — ouch!

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  • Paolo June 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Just as I heard today they will dicontinue the Hummer, great news Jonathan. Thanks.

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  • Joe Adamski June 3, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Incrementaly. We didn\’t get where we are today with the auto overnight. We aren\’t going to break free of it overnight either. But when media shows regular folks in a positive light, as opposed to more \’colorful\’ riders, one large step is made. I would love to see more stories like that, in spite of those criticisms about skills,etc

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  • adams June 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    this article ran in my (very conservative) hometown newspaper today as well:


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  • Dabby June 3, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I believe they are looking to sell the Hummer line, not discontinue it, by the way.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 4, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Dabby is correct:


    They are moving into the H4 – an electric Towne bicycle. 😉

    Imagine spending $128 per tank of fuel…that is like going to Target and buying a bicycle for a week then throwing it away…or better yet a night on the town or a free plane ticket to Hawaii every month or so.

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  • Michael June 4, 2008 at 7:02 am

    It is really great to know that Travis Culley (and his amazing book) were on Oprah. My already high regard for both those individuals just climbed even higher.

    Oprah channels lots of money into a multitude of good causes, and she is very often ahead of the curve on many important social issues. Having such an outspoken advocate of cycling as Culley on her show demonstrates how forward-thinking she really is.

    Having been a bike messenger in Chicago at approximately the same time as Culley, I can attest that his book is an accurate portrayal of the gritty world of bicycle messengering in the early \’90s. Culley is also a fine wordsmith and the book is an entertaining read in its own right. I agree with Mr. O\’Rourke\’s assessment that not everyone will like it, but still it is a worthwhile document.

    Good to see cycling getting the long overdue mainstream coverage it deserves.

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  • Dabby June 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm


    That is \”if\” he wrote most of it….

    Either way, I didn\’t like it. It sounded very contrived, unrealistic, and way too full of the little nuggets that would come out of a career of messaging. All from someone who didn\’t ride very long at all.

    I decided I didn\’t like it long before discovering the truth about it..

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