Better World Club

Monday, August 2, 2010

Better World Club Now Offering Free Bike Maps

We're Empowering Cyclists to be too Proud to Ask for Directions, Too

You're constantly stuck in traffic in Los Angeles and think it might be time to ditch the car and find a more relaxing way around the gridlock. While visiting Portland, you rent bicycles for your family to see the sights from a local's perspective. Or, you need to get away from the family reunion in Albuquerque but can't find any other transportation than your old ten speed. We're there for you!

Not only does Better World Club offer the nation's only nationwide roadside assistance for bicycles, we're now also offering our members free bike maps. Our current stock covers more than a dozen of North America's most bicycle friendly cities as well as select regions and states. Check out a complete list of available maps here. If you're already a member and see something you like, you can order maps at the member section of our website. Not a member? Join now!

Our bike maps cover the safest/most bike friendly routes and fold up for convenient portage. Now you can rest easy knowing that your next human powered commute or vacation will run as smoothly as that newly installed drivetrain.

Of course, we're always working to expand our membership benefits and look forward to being able to offer our members an even wider selection of bike maps in the future. Don't see a bike map of your home city or of your next destination? Know of a good source for reliable bike maps of your area? Contact us and let us know. Together we can continue to make the streets safer and more traversible for cyclists everywhere...or at least give you a better reason not to stop and ask for directions.

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Got Lost on Your Bicycle Anyway?

...We Told You to Follow the Map

Adventure Cycling Association’s nonprofit mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle for fitness, fun, and self-discovery. Founded in 1974 as Bikecentennial, Adventure Cycling is the premier bicycle travel organization in North America with 44,500 members nationwide.

If Better World Club doesn't have the bike map you're looking for, you'll probably find something useful through the Adventure Cycling Route Network. The Adventure Cycling website also connects you to guided cycling tours, the latest news on the U.S. Bike Route System, and to the detailed Cyclists' Yellow Pages. Members of Adventure Cycling not only help support the association's nonprofit mission, but also have access to exclusive content at the Adventure Cycling website.

Plan your next (or first) cycling adventure now!

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ColumbiaCare Services

ColumbiaCare Services is a nonprofit founded in 2003 that designs, develops, builds, and operates residential treatment facilities in locations in Oregon and Idaho. These facilities provide residential services, comprehensive mental health treatment, and short term crisis stabilization services to the individuals referred to them by state, regional, and county agencies. ColumbiaCare also designs, develops, builds, and manages supportive housing apartments for other citizens with mental illness and offers general design, construction, and operating consulting services for all types of mental health residential facilities.

ColumbiaCare is now covered by Better World Club roadside assistance as the newest member of our fleet program.

Looking for coverage for your company's or organization's fleet? Contact us!

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Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Remember to Whitelist BWC Email Adresses to Keep Up to Date on Your Membership Status

We love our members and want to keep in touch. Sure, everyone's busy these days, and we all get thousands upon thousands of emails every day; but if you're not ever going to call, at least let us tell you how we've been...and how your membership is doing. Emails from Better World Club can sometimes get caught in spam filters, so it's important that our members whitelist renew@, members@, and, especially if they want to receive notifications about the expirations of their memberships. We'll snail mail something, too, but just want to give you as many opportunities to renew as possible. Just don't say we didn't warn you.

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“Cap and Trade?"

Is That the Best Framing Environmentalists Can Come Up With?

How Much Does it Cost to Hire Conservative Word Guru Frank Luntz?

In late July, Democratic leadership in the Senate deferred the “cap and trade” provisions of its energy bill. (Perhaps quotation marks should also be placed around “deferred” as it’s not clear if this proposal will be considered again.)

“Cap and trade” is environmental language that would finally enable a price to be established for carbon. Progressives and environmentalists need to examine this setback, which is teetering on becoming a failure, even though these provisions had already been weakened significantly. (The program was already limited to the utility industry in the Kerry-Lieberman bill before the Senate.)

Now let’s be clear: the Democrats actually have a clear majority for passing this legislation. Part of the problem is nothing more than the Senate rules that permit small minorities to dominate the majority of the country. Health care would not have passed if Ted Kennedy had died a few months earlier. And Wall Street reform was only enacted only through the support of three New England Republicans.

So the Senate rules are a key part of the problem, but still just a part. A larger concern involves the framing of this issue (and the inability of Democrats to frame issues in general).

“Cap and trade.” The Democrats selected this wording, which the Republicans have reframed into “cap and tax.” Guess what: the former trumps the latter.

A flaw in the marketplace allows companies to externalize their costs onto third parties, i.e. consumers. “Cap and trade” is an attempt to force fossil fuel companies, some of the most profitable companies in history, to internalize these costs. That would lead to a more “market-oriented” result: less use of fossil fuels and less pollution (and a bonus: decreased dependence on other oil-producing countries).

Don’t think these externalities are expensive? Then look at the BP oil spill, which is a tiny piece of the overall external costs being imposed on the American people by the fossil fuel industry, even with the $20 billion BP compensation fund negotiated by the Obama Administration.

The Democrats have done a weak job of explaining how putting a price on these externalities will ultimately permit the marketplace to reduce them -- both the externalities and the cost -- through competition and a shift away from fossil fuels. They have failed to articulate how higher costs can ultimately lead to greater benefit.

And they have failed to acknowledge that when public assets are used (i.e. the sky) the public should be compensated. The Alaska Oil Fund could be a model for liberalism (although a trust fund for each American might be preferable to an immediate check). Then, “cap and tax” might not stick; maybe “cap and dividend” would. (And it could go well beyond the sky: waterways, public land, the broadcast spectrum are all public assets for which there should be market compensation that could build financial assets for all Americans.)

Or to put it another way: substantial revenues would be derived, revenues that should go back to reducing costs, i.e. for environmental cleanup, the medical costs incurred by those made ill by pollution, etc. These funds should not be used to cover ordinary government expenses. They should go directly to American consumers.

If the program was structured this way, then our hope would be for “cap and trade dividend” to be as prized as the BP Compensation Fund, so if a Republican criticized it, he would be forced to apologize.

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Hey AAA, N1 on Txt Bans

And Thx 4 the Referral

AAA Campaign to Ban Texting While Driving in All 50 States Now Counts 30

No, it's not the heat getting to your head, but you might want to sit down anyway. Better World Club is, in fact, congratulating AAA on its continuing success in campaigning to prohibit text messaging while driving in all 50 states by 2013.

AAA launched its campaign in September of 2009 and has since been lobbying for federal and state laws that ban texting by drivers in places where such laws don't exist and to strengthen existing laws where they do. Granted, Better World Club had come out in support of a texting ban for drivers as early as February of 2007, at which time a AAA spokesperson in Florida didn't think that cell phone use by drivers posed a specific danger. AND, 18 states and the District of Columbia had already enacted "drexting bans" when AAA made its announcement. We're still happy that AAA came around to our side on the issue.

A study done in southern California before the campaign began found a 70 percent decline in texting by drivers after a texting ban was passed there.

On July 1, Delaware became the 30th state to enact a texting ban, joining a growing list that includes Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The new law in Delaware also makes it illegal for drivers to talk on handheld cell phones. California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington have similar laws that permit drivers to talk on cell phones only with a hands free device.

AAA commends Delaware in a press release at PR Newswire, and Better World Club commends AAA for its efforts in helping to get the law passed. (We'll commend them, but we won't send you directly to their website.)

AAA Oregon/Idaho was recently kind enough to give us a referral. AAA Oregon/Idaho doesn't offer fleet services, so when a potential customer called them to inquire about that coverage, the AAA representative suggested she might check out Better World. If AAA Oregon/Idaho hadn't already aped our Bicycle coverage, we'd suggest they refer us all the cyclists that call as well. LOL.

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