Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bike world news

Ron in Cincinnati, Ohio publishes Bike World News. Ron focuses mainly on UCI Pro Tour racing, but he also look at cycling culture, technology and new products. His latest post, for example, is on one of my favorite road bikes, the Specialized Roubaix SL2. He even writes of the Roubaix that it has that "perfect balance of stiffness and vertical compliance." What else do you need to know about a bike?

Bike World News.

David Byrne's bike racks

Ride along with former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne as he bikes across Brooklyn to show off his whimsical bike rack designs.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Traffic safety: If you can't see, the speed limit is zero

Two children in a marked crosswalk were hit by an SUV at Portola and 30th in Live Oak, California. The driver told officers she couldn't see the children because she was blinded by the sun. "It's the driver's responsibility to make sure they can safely drive without any obstruction," California Highway Patrol officer Grant Boles said. "Don't just drive blind into the sun."

Officer Dave Reed adds, "If you can't see, the speed limit is zero."

It seems self-evident, but *doh*. More at the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Criminal complaint against Christopher Long

Update 7/7/2009: Christopher Long sues NYPD.

You've seen the video of New York Police officer Patrick Pogan tackling bike rider Chris Long during the Critical Mass bicycle ride through Times Square last week. If you haven't seen the video, it clearly shows Pogan targeting a cyclist then tackling him to the ground with a violent body check. The video shows Long riding and steering away from Pogan when Pogan runs directly at the cyclist and knocks him hard to the ground.

The Smoking Gun posted Pogan's sworn statement in which he says he arrested Long because Long "steered the ... bicycle in the direction of [Pogan] and drove the bicycle directly into [Pogan]'s body, causing [Pogan] to fall to the ground and causing [Pogan] to suffer lacerations on [his] forearms." The Manhattan attorney's office filed charges of "attempted assault in the 3rd Degree" against Chris Long as a result of Pogan's statement. Chris Long spent 26 hours in jail after his arrest.

All I can say of Pogan is "Liar Liar Pants on Fire."

Pogan played high school football and was chosen as an offensive lineman for the 2003 Long Island all stars team.


Bicycle camping at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

I've recently learned of a new blog, "Post Car Adventuring," which is reminding me to post some of my own suggestions for car-free camping convenient to San Francisco Bay Area bicyclists. The Santa Cruz area has a host of options for bicycling and camping.

Henry Cowell State Park Bicycle Camping

I almost don't want to mention this because I want to keep it a secret -- very few people seem to know about the bicycle camping area at Henry Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz. This campground featuring hiking trails that wind through majestic coast redwood trees is only three miles from my front door.

Bicycle Camping Only

From Thursday through the weekends, the car camping spots are almost always filled to capacity. Car campers pay $25 per night in addition to the $6 entry fee, while bicycle campers only pay $3 per night to stay. Every time I've gone, the bicycle camping area has always been open. Important note: The Henry Cowell Campground is not open in the winter.

Biking from Santa Cruz
From my home it's a fairly quick bike ride to the Henry Cowell campground. From Santa Cruz, you can ride your bike up Graham Hill Road to the campground entrance. Graham Hill Road is fairly narrow, so if you don't like traffic another option is to ride along the Roaring Camp railroad tracks to the Henry Cowell Park visitor center, then use park trails to get to the camping area. Bikes are permitted only on certain trails so consult the park map.

Bus from Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Metro route #35 runs from the Metro Center on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz up through Scotts Valley and Felton. From Felton Faire (the Safeway parking lot), turn left on Graham Hill Road, then turn right into the Roaring Camp Railroad parking lot. At the end of the parking lot, cut all the way right until you're immediately alongside the tracks. Continue south along the tracks, pass the employee parking area, and you'll reach Roaring Camp's picnic area. Henry Cowell State Park is accessible through the fence to the right. Follow Pipeline Road (the paved trail) and turn left on Ridge Fire Road (a steep and sandy uphill) or Powder Mill Fire Road (still sandy, but not quite as steep). Follow signs to get to the campground.

Bus #31 from the downtown Metro Center runs during the week and stops very near the campground entrance on Graham Hill Road.

From the Bay Area - Bike
State Route 17 (aka Highway 17) is technically county expressway
between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley; bicycles are legal but not recommended. Instead, take the Los Gatos Creek Trail and make your way to Lexington Reservoir. Get on Alma Bridge Road and go south toward the Santa Cruz Mountains. Just before Alma Bridge Road intersects with Highway 17, there's a dirt social trail adjacent to the northbound side of the highway. Follow this dirt path until you can get on Old Santa Cruz Highway. You'll cross over the San Andreas Fault immediately after the CDF fire station.

Old Santa Cruz Highway winds up the Santa Cruz Mountains. Watch for a right turn to Mountain Charlie Road -- a sign indicates this road is for local traffic only. Turn right on Mountain Charlie -- this is an extremely steep and narrow grade. Turn right on Summit Road, cross over Highway 17, then turn left from Summit onto the other side of Mountain Charlie Road. Again, this is a steep and narrow grade, except now you're going downhill -- CONTROL YOUR SPEED AND STAY TO THE RIGHT!

Eventually, Mountain Charlie ends at Glenwood Drive. Turn right on Glenwood and follow it into Scotts Valley. Turn onto Scotts Valley Drive and cycle through town on the bike laned street. Cross Mount Hermon Road and follow Whispering Pines Drive around to Lockwood Lane, where you turn left, then left again onto Graham Hill Road. From there it's about a half mile to the campground entrance. Los Gatos to Henry Cowell is about 20 miles, and you'll climb to an elevation of about 1900 feet at the Santa Cruz Mountains summit.

From the Bay Area - Public transportation
Take any of myriad options to get to San Jose Diridon Station. Caltrain, ACE Train, Amtrak, VTA Light Rail and numerous VTA buses all stop at San Jose Diridon. From the East Bay you can either take BART around to Millbrae and hop on Caltrain; or go down to Fremont BART, take AC Transit bus #217 to the Great Mall Light Rail Station, connect to VTA light rail to either Tasman or Convention Center, transfer to the Winchester Light Rail line and get off at Diridon Station. Bikes are allowed on all of these transit systems, though there are some restrictions on BART.

From Diridon Station, the Highway 17 Express Bus makes numerous runs daily from San Jose to Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz. Ride the bus either to Scotts Valley and bike the rest of the way to the campground from there, or take the bus into Santa Cruz and follow the "Bus from Santa Cruz" directions above. Note that the bike racks on the Highway 17 buses and all Santa Cruz Metro buses are often fully utilized, so be prepared to wait for the next bus. Fare from San Jose to Santa Cruz is $4.

Don't forget to visit "Post Car Adventuring for more car free adventuring inspiration.

Next up: The time I attempted to ride my bike up to the Long's Peak Trailhead for a two day backpacking trip to the summit of a Colorado 14er.

Assaulted cyclist chases down attacker

Props to Paul M for this news from Boulder, Colorado: a freakazoid pulls up alongside 23 year old cyclist Danika Bueno, grabs her left breast and tries to pedal away. Danika, who's biked across the United States twice, gave chase while calling 911 on her cell phone. The perverted perp is caught.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sky Yeager interview

Sky Yaeger is the designer behind the bikes at Swobo. Before going to Swobo, Sky worked for Bianchi USA for 17 years where we she the product manager responsible for bikes like San Jose.

Forbes of Cycloculture, "a journal for real world cyclists," interviewed Sky and asked about her design influences. See the interview here. He kindly used one of my photos of Sky, which is a sure way of getting a link from me.

Related: Swobo Del Norte and Shout out to bike nerds.

Bicycle Leadership Conference during Sea Otter Festival

Bicycle Leadership Conference to be held in conjunction with Sea Otter Classic

In an effort to better leverage networking opportunities and industry leadership attendance, the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) today announced it signed a three-year agreement with the Sea Otter Classic to host its annual Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC) in conjunction with the cycling festival through 2011.

The 2009 BLC will be held April 15-17, 2009 at the Sea Otter host hotel, the Embassy Suites in Seaside, Calif. The 2009 Sea Otter Classic will be held April 16-19 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey Calif.

"Aligning ourselves with the Sea Otter Classic, a well-attended and highly relevant cycling-focused event, is one way we can further support our attending membership and improve the effectiveness of our conference," said John Nedeau, president of the BPSA and vice president of global sales for SRAM. "Because many of our members also attend the Sea Otter Classic, we are confident that by combining the two events we will boost attendance from manufacturers and suppliers alike."

In addition to discussion on growing the bicycle industry, BLC 2009 will focus on improving communication about the growing number of industry organizations and advocacy groups, their individual missions and how manufacturers can better work with these groups to support the broader goals of the industry.

In addition to research results, panel discussions, breakout groups and networking opportunities, the conference will again offer improved bike rides and the industry's most prestigious golf tournament. The BLC will again host the BRAINy awards dinner presentation.

"The Bicycle Leadership Conference is important to the future of our industry," said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. "Only through strong leadership can we identify our challenges and plan a strategy of growth and expansion. All of us at the Sea Otter Classic welcome the opportunity to support this event and further grow the sport of cycling."

While the BPSA will continue to determine the conference topic and content, the Sea Otter Classic has retained the services of Lifeboat Solutions' Lance Camisasca as conference director for the event. Camisasca's experience in the cycling industry as Interbike show director for ten years and his industry contacts will be invaluable in managing the registration, logistics and marketing for the conference.

"The idea for Sea Otter to host the 2009 BLC is brilliant," Camisasca said. "I look forward to helping shape a memorable and purposeful BLC event by integrating the conference components with Sea Otter Classic's activities and events."

Manufacture of guns, bicycles booming in UK

The century-old dilemma facing economists seeking to strike the right balance between guns and butter receives a new twist on Monday with figures showing Britain enjoying booming production of guns – and bicycles.

Guns and Bikes
The fastest growing segments of UK manufacturing are weapons, followed by the bicycles and motorbikes.

Large UK weapons companies include divisions of BAE Systems and the missile maker MBDA, as well as smaller groups such as BSA Guns, based in Birmingham. In fact, BSA successfully combined both weapon and bicycle production until 1957, and continued making motorcycles until the early 1970s.

Among the groups in the second best performing business area – motorbikes and cycles – are the Triumph motorcycle company and the bicycle producer Pashley, both based in the Midlands.

Read more in the Financial Times. Props to my co-worker Mike H.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Portland traffic count: 18% of vehicles are bikes

In this news story about the recent spate of bad attitudes and violence between cyclists and motorists in Portland, Oregon, is this fun little quote. "Eighteen percent of the vehicles that crossed the Hawthorne Bridge last year were bicycles."

The city of Portland, OR counts traffic on the four bridges that cross the Williamette River. That 18% figure for the Hawthorne Bridge is last year's (2007) number.

On San Francisco Market Street, the Municipal Transportation Agency counted twice as many bikes as private automobiles on Bike To Work Day last May!

Sports headlines

Some of the sports headlines I saw today and yesterday...

I have't listened to it yet, but David promised to rant about this on today's edition of The Spokesmen cycling podcast. In my view, the fact that three people were caught doping and ejected during the race is evidence that the system is working. When was the last time a ball player was shadowed by chaperons and marched into a locker room for a surprise drug test immediately prior to a game?

Full lockers at work

I've chronicled how the local trains and buses have maxed out on bicycle capacity. I've encountered another bicycling infrastructure capacity issue on my commute. The shower lockers are now all in use.

We don't have assigned lockers at my work -- the cyclists and joggers and others who use the showers just hang our sweaty clothes and towels in the small individual lockers for the day. We're required to remove our belongings when we leave in the evening. It used to be that only two or three lockers were used during the day. Now I see that the dozen lockers in my building's shower room are fully utilized almost every day.

I'm seeing more bikes around the building, too. People are leaving them in the stairways, the hallway, and in their offices. The outside bike cage is many bikes I haven't seen in previous months, many of them obviously brand new.

Even people I *never* expected to see on a bike are riding their bikes to work on occasion, and all of them come to me like excited little children bragging about their accomplishment. I say good for you. I should probably get some gold stars to pass out to everybody who does this.

It used to be when I searched for bicycling news article in July, the news was dominated by the Tour de France and headlines like "Bicyclist killed in car crash." These days I'm seeing more stories like this: Do you see more cyclists on the road where you live and work?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Zippered bike sorts

Happy Sunday evening. Here are a couple of quick links for you:
  • First, the zippered bike shorts mentioned in the title of this post are from Selle SMP. They're to facilitate nature breaks. I'm not going to post the "how to use" illustrations here, so I'll just point you to Carlton's post.
  • See Brother Ed's Guide to Buying Hot Merchandise

Friday, July 25, 2008

The winner is Bikesgonewild

Bikesgonewild wins the leather toe clip sew kit. He plans to use it on an old 70s Colnago bike that he's restoring.

Tour de France Stage 19

I found another blog with Tour de France recaps: Velonoise reports on Chavanel's win today in Stage 19.

KWC is traveling and doesn't have his own report, but his Stage 19 robot automatically collected the links for you.

If it's good enough for Bike Snob...

First of all, I've notified the winner of the leather toe clip sew kit. I'll let you know who it is as soon as I've heard from him.

James @ Bicycle Design tagged me. Don't fear -- I won't tag you -- but since Bike Snob answered the call, I might as well do so also.

The questions:

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be? I'd have the bike I'm riding today. I'm easy to please that way.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not? I'm satisfied with what I have. If I got something newer and better I sure wouldn't complain, but I don't covet somebody else's ultimate or perfect bike.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why? That's the Greek story of Sisyphus, who was cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down. He was cursed to do this in Tartarus (the Greek underworld, their version of Hell) through eternity.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to to do for the rest of her / his life? That would be Zeus, because Sisyphus tattled on him.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded? I'm an open minded guy who rides all kinds of bikes. The only thing I probably won't try is extreme freeride.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent. I've tried recumbent bicycles. I think they're fun, kind of like the bumper cars at an amusement park.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss? I can swim decently enough, but I got into cycling because running hurts too much. No pain, all gain.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why? WWFCD: What would Fat Cyclist do?

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it?

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do? I'd pull my camera out and start snapping photos, of course. Just like I didn't do when I've encountered other wildlife in the middle of the road or trail like a bobcat (Santa Cruz), a whole herd of mule deer that I had to slalom through at 40 mph (yikes! Rocky Mountain National Park), American bison (Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK), elk (Estes Park, CO) and several moose (near Grand Lake, CO).

Bikeosphere video

Momentum Magazine hosted the BIKEOSPHERE Art and Fashion bike show last week in Vancouver, BC. Here's a short highlights video.

View the full version here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

San Francisco Film Festival

The San Francisco Bicycle Film Festival started yesterday. It continues through Saturday. Visit the Bicycle Film Festival site for schedule, locations, and other details. More Bay Area news below...

About 100 San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members held a rally on Monday at city hall, demanding activity on the court-mandated environmental review process. The SF City bike plan was stalled when Judge James Warren ruled that it must go through the same environmental impact reviews required of other transportation projects, but the perception of many cyclists is that the City has not put any priority on doing the work necessary to advance the project. More at KTVU and the Chronicle.

A car free Market Street?
Supervisor Chris Daly asked the city attorney to draft legislation to permanently ban cars on Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and the Embarcadero, an idea that has been floated by various city leaders, including former Mayor Willie Brown, for more than a decade.

Daly said discussion of a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom to close portions of city streets, including a large stretch of the Embarcadero, on two Sundays this year prompted his action.

"It's the city's grand boulevard," Daly said. "Why don't we go for the gold?"

Sunday Streets is a proposal to close 4½ miles of streets San Francisco to motor vehicle traffic and open them up to physical activity and play. Some city supervisors, however, have introduced legislation that would require an economic and traffic study before streets can be closed, in addition to approval from the Board of Supervisors.

San Jose says they'll extend Los Gatos Creek Trail to connect Campbell and Los Campbell with downtown San Jose. Currently, the Los Gatos Creek trail stops at Meridian Avenue in San Jose. There's also a small half mile stretch of trail along Los Gatos Creek underneath I-280 and at Azurais Street. There are no plans to connect these two discontiguous stretches of the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

The next San Jose Bike Party: August 15. The theme: Lord of the Flies. The last ride got a little bit of attention from the San Jose Police. More participation in the San Jose Bike Party means more attention and some growing pains. The organizers, for example, are talking about how to limit the involvement of belligerent drunks on the ride.

Other bicycle news

You've probably seen this story: Political columnist Robert Novak, known for his aggressive driving in DC, runs a red light and hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The pedestrian goes up and over the hood into Novak's windshield before sliding off, according to witnesses. Novak zooms off, making this a hit and run. Attorney David Bono was biking to work when he saw this hit and run and chased Novak down. Bono called 911 and blocked Novak's car. Bono's a hero.

David Cameron's bike stolen

British Member of Parliament and Conservative Party head David Cameron had his bicycle stolen. Cameron, who regularly bikes to his office at the House of Commons, stopped at a grocery store on his way home from work. He locked his bike around a bollard, which is a post set in the ground. Witnesses say some kids lifted the bike up and carried it away, presumably so they could cut the lock off later.

Of his bike, Cameron told reporters, “If anyone has seen it I would very much like it back. To me it was absolutely priceless.”

The Dutch Tourist Board, who completely missed the part of the news that said Cameron locked his bike up inadequately, offered a free self-locking Dutch bicycle. The self-locking feature of many Dutch bikes is often a wheel lock of some kind, which does not prevent the kind of theft Cameron was a victim of. Dutch bikes are often very heavy, though, which itself can be a theft deterrent.

A hat tip to Jerry for this news.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2009 Tour of California cities announced

2009 Tour of California to cross Golden Gate Bridge

Amgen Tour of California race organizer AEG announced the 16 start and finish cities for the 2009 edition of the Tour of California today.

Eight new locations have been added to the list of host cities. The new cities -- Davis, Santa Cruz, Merced, Clovis, Visalia, Paso Robles, Rancho Bernardo and Escondido -- join Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Sausalito, San Jose, Modesto, Solvang, Santa Clarita and Pasadena as host cities along the route.

“Each year, we strive to make the Amgen Tour of California better,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “And after getting input from riders and fans last year, we decided to expand the race to better showcase the great state of California. We are delighted to have such a great overall mix of cities partnering with us for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California and are pleased to include the eight new stops, along with so many of our old friends.”

“This year is a year of exciting firsts for us,” Messick continued. “For the first time, the Amgen Tour of California will take place over nine days, we will make our first visit to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and visit San Diego County for what promises to be another exciting conclusion to the race.”

Beginning with a road stage (a first for the race), which both starts and ends in Sacramento, through the grand finale in Escondido, the 2009 race will visit 16 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, while other cities along the route also will have the opportunity to witness the excitement of elite professional cycling. Stages for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California include:

* Stage 1: Saturday, Feb. 14 – Sacramento
* Stage 2: Sunday, Feb. 15 – Davis to Santa Rosa
* Stage 3: Monday, Feb. 16 – Sausalito to Santa Cruz via the Golden Gate Bridge
* Stage 4: Tuesday, Feb. 17 – San Jose to Modesto
* Stage 5: Wednesday, Feb. 18 – Merced to Clovis
* Stage 6: Thursday, Feb. 19 – Visalia to Paso Robles
* Stage 7: Friday, Feb. 20 – Solvang (individual time trial)
* Stage 8: Saturday, Feb. 21 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
* Stage 9: Sunday, Feb. 22 – Rancho Bernardo to Escondido

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Electra recalls Amsterdam bicycles

Electra has recalled some models of their popular "Amsterdam" bicycle after receiving reports that the chain can derail and cause riders to fall. The affected models, which are equipped with chainguards, are the Amsterdam Classic 3, Original 3, Royal 8, and Sport 3 styles. Bicycles with frame numbers beginning with “F06” or “EL” or bicycles with chainguards marked “06/08” are not included in this recall. Frame numbers can be on the bottom of the bottom bracket.

Consumers should bring their Amsterdam bicycles to their Electra Bicycle dealer for a free inspection and replacement chainguard part. More info in this recall notice PDF.

Stage 17: Visit the l'Alpe d'Huez

Stage 17 of the Tour de France tomorrow will feature the famous Alpe de Wheeze. You can visit this alpine meadow virtually through Google Streetview.

The Alpe d'Huez, which has hosted a Tour de France stage almost every year since 1976, is probably the most famous mountain climb of the Tour de France, which large and enthusiastic crowds of fans crowding along the hairpin turns that lead to the ski resort in the French Alps.

A Frenchman gets his stage win

French cyclist Cyril Dessel got his stage win today, in Stage 16 that started in Italy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mississippi River bike / pedestrian bridge imperiled

Roger Kramer, the Missouri Bicycle Federation, and others report that the local non-profit that operates the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis does not have funding to keep the bridge open.

The Chain of Rocks bridge used to be part of the old U.S. Route 66. The bridge was closed in 1970, and after almost three decades of disrepair was renovated and reopened as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge for a regional bike trail. At 5,348 feet, it's considered the longest bike / pedestrian bridge in the world.

Read more. I foresee more news of trail closures and delayed facilities construction as governments struggle to allocate funds in tough economic times.

Palo Alto to consider bike share program

Bike Library on Palo Alto city council agenda tonight

The Palo Alto city council will discuss a proposal to ask city staff to study the feasibility of a bike sharing system for Palo Alto.

Several councilors and the mayor of Palo Alto recently sat in on a presentation about the Library Bike system in place in Arcata, California. Councilors Yoriko Kishimoto and Sid Espinosa propose a library bike program with 20 bicycles available from kiosks in a trial program. Bikes would be loaned to library members on as as-needed basis.

In the proposed trial program, Bill Burton of Library Bikes in Arcata will administer the program for the city, providing used bicycles from the Roue Libre bike share in Paris. (Roue Libre preceded the well known Velib bike share.) People pay a nominal fee to join the program and receive an electronic Library Bike card. The card is used for entry to the enclosed bike kiosk. Bike use is free for the first two hours after which an hourly charge applies. Bike check out will only be during daylight hours.

In the proposal, Library Bikes proposes charging $11 per month for Libary Bikes membership. After the initial two free hours, bikes are $2 per hour. These rates are comparable to that charged by the Velib program in Paris. Unlike Velib, the proposed Palo Alto Bike Library will not be advertising supported.

The city council meeting begins with a closed session tonight at 6 PM in Council Chambers on Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA. After the closed session ends, the regular city council meeting begins. Members of the public can speak near the beginning of the meeting.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Crazy urban cyclists sell soft drinks in Japan

Stunt cyclists in San Francisco in a Japanese soft drink commercial for Kirin Beverage's Millenium METs soda.

METs is a grapefruit flavored beverage. I'll need to run to my local Japanese supermarket and see if they carry it. Urban Velo.

Urban Velo and Streetsblog also mentioned this old news about the proposed "Idaho stop law" for the state of California. I seem to recall hearing that the MTA BPAC already gave up on looking at this after a flood of negative input from both cyclists and the general public.

I imagine the news that the MTA BPAC was taking a preliminary look at the Idaho stop law was probably released prematurely. For those who want to advocate for this law, I have a couple of ideas:
  • Get motorcyclists on board. I frequently see motorcycles who are stuck *forever* at a red light. It's a fairly common problem for them. I believe the Idaho law came about from the efforts of groups like ABATE, and bicyclists in the state just happened to sign on and asked to have the law amended for their benefit as well. In California, the motorcycle lobby is fairly influential and well connected.

  • As a result of a new law that passed last year, Caltrans is required to develop standards to ensure that all new and replaced traffic actuated signal lights are able to detect bicycles and motorcycles. (Though CABO was influential in getting this law passed, the motorcycle lobby was vital in getting this pushed through.) Caltrans is still working on developing these standards, but the fiscal impact of requiring signal actuators that can detect bikes will be extreme -- there's an order of magnitude difference, for example, in the cost of installing loop detectors versus video detectors. If the law was changed to allow cyclists to street red lights as stop signs, I imagine many municipalities would sign on to promote an Idaho stop law, especially if the Caltrans stop light requirement was written to take traffic volumes into account. Bike detecting actuators, for example, might only be required for certain traffic volumes (i.e. high volume throughways like ECR where it's impossible to cross without a light).
I pointed to it before, but this article about the scofflaw cyclist is an excellent discussion about the "taboo" of running a red light. It's good, thoughtful stuff.

Finally, here's yet some more discussion on can't we all just get along.

Remember the contest! Only another 2 days to enter.

Cyclodrome Beta

KWC has grabbed the domain name for his robotic Tour de France link harvester that currently resides at He intends eventually to expand his application to collect links for other bike races. It's already wonderfully useful, especially if you don't have cable TV.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

San Jose Bike Party photos

Team Abercrombie

I've uploaded photos from the July "Beach Party" Ride to Flickr. Enjoy!. Ahpook was there with his son, along with a couple other people I see around town and about a hundred other people I met for the first time last night.

San Jose Bike Party July 18 2008 Cute Cruiser and Hot Felt Bag Matcher - Green San Jose Bike Party

Tour de France 2008 Stage 14

Mark Cavendish is pooped after his spectacular 4 stage wins this week, so he took it easy and finished towards the end of the pack on Stage 14 today. Oscar Freire wins the Stage today, Cadel Evans still has the yellow jersey, Garmin-Chipotle/H30's Christian Vande Velde is on the GC podium, Colubmia's Kim Kirchen is still in the top 10.

It's the weekend, I've got things to do and people to see, so I'll point you to KWC's Stage 14 link robot for more news and commentary.

But quickly before I go:
  • "I am God and I am Santa Claus. I own a car."
  • Why no outrage on Wall Street's recklessness?
  • A test of the OHM Cycles electic bicycle, in which the Wall Street Journal asks if electric bikes can take the place of cars.
And don't forget about the contest!

Trick cyclist Ines Brunn in Palo Alto

Ines Brun trick cyclist

Track trick cyclist Ines Brunn will be in Palo Alto for the Tuesday night Bus Cycle ride. She'll join the 15 person crew pedaling the Bus Cycle from the garage across town to the Palo Alto Summer Concert Series at Bol Park. They'll meet at the Bus Cycle Garage at 5:15 PM.

Ines Brunn videos

San Jose Fixed Gear

I met some of these cats tonight. Good times. They have a regular Tuesday night ride around downtown San Jose, California.

Somebody was joking tonight about a fixed gear tandem bicycle and that it would be impossible to ride one. I mentioned that I recall seeing somebody somewhere has one, but I couldn't remember who or where. I just searched on the web, and I should have known that Sheldon Brown and his wife used to ride a fixed gear tandem bicycle.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Scofflaw cyclists!

WashCycle has a great post on the myth of the scofflaw cyclist. It's a good read -- go check it out.

Nun riding bicycle, Florence, Italy.
"Nun on her bicycle" by Πλάτων.

There's stuff besides the Tour de France going on: Tyler Hamilton won a race. Via Tyler's biggest fan.

CycleDog posts a Trail Etiquette Primer. A must read for those using multiuse paths.

Alaska bicycle forum. Go here if you need tips on deep snow bike riding.

KWC gets a hot new ride: Storck Absolutist 0.9.

James has his old Pinarello track bike for sale. Wow, that thing is a beauty.

So I wanna know: What are SpokeLits, and when will Sioux post some photos of this thing and let us know how to order them?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy 100th Birthday Model T

Up to 150 Model T cars per day to drive on Wayne County Greenway

The first Ford Model T rolled off of the production line in September 1908. The Model T Ford Club of America will hold a 100th birthday bash in Richmond, Indiana from July 21 to July 26. 900 Model T's from around the world will visit, with up to 40,000 visitors expected this weekend for the century celebration.

Of the Model T, Henry Ford famously said, "It will be low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."

Model T on Cardinal Greenway, Wayne County, Indiana.

Just as the original Model T's took over roads that were originally paved for bicyclists, the century celebration Model Ts will ironically cruise the only bicycle / pedestrian path in Richmond, the Whitewater Gorge - Cardinal Greenway in Wayne County on tours offered all next week. Up to 150 cars will be allowed on the Greenway on each of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Says the Model T tour brochure:
Nature Lover’s Tour of Wayne County

This tour will be a real treat for the Model T nature lovers! Thanks to the generosity of the City of Richmond and the Parks & Recreation Department, Model Ts are being permitted to drive the Whitewater Gorge-Cardinal Greenway trail. Normally only open to hikers and bikers, this will be a real treat to drive, as well as a test of your driving skills!

It is a dramatic, beautiful trail through deep woods with great views of the river gorge and the towering G Street bridge. There are quite a few steep hills and 9 bridges.

Thistlethwaite Falls is one remnant of an ancient waterfall which has been migrating upstream for thousands of years, deepening the Gorge as it went. The Niagara Gorge was formed in a similar manner by the backward movement of Niagara Falls. A dozen Potawatami Indiana teepees were seen near Thistlethwaite Falls by one of the first white settlers. Later, a mill was built nearby and the falls became a popular picnic spot for early residents of Richmond. About twenty acres of flood plain and wooded hillside owned by Friends United Meeting are being managed as a bird sanctuary here. The Gorge presents favorable nesting conditions for about fifty species of native birds - from house wren to green heron. How many will you see? How many more will you hear? North and south of where Bridge Avenue crosses the river, the bedrock of limestone and shale is exposed in nearly vertical cliffs. These layers of rock ere deposited by an ancient sea about 450 million years ago and contain one of the world's best fossil records of the primitive animals that lived in that period. So valuable are the examples of rock strata exposed here and elsewhere in the Gorge that "Richmond Group" and "Whitewater Formation" are recognized categories in geologists' system of classification.

Hayes Arboretum
is a 466-acre nature preserve with 60 acres of old growth beech-maple forest. The Arboretum provides environmental education to adults and children through summer classes, workshops, exhibits and tours. Take time to stretch your legs on a hiking trail, enjoy a 4-mile auto nature drive, tour the Hayes History Museum, explore hands-on exhibits and visit the bird viewing room located in a 1833 dairy barn that has been converted into a Nature Center. Adena and Hopewell Indian mounds, ponds, field and two new man made wetlands are also on site.

A visit to Richmond wouldn’t be complete without a drive through Glen Miller Park and a walk through the Rose Gardens. Centered by a fountain, and dedicated in 1937, the E.G. Hill Memorial Rose Garden honors Richmond’s famed Rosarian, Gurney Hill. The All America Garden, with more than 16,000 rose bushes, hundreds of colorful annuals and perennials and a lacy Victorian gazebo, has been awarded the A.A.R.S. Display Garden designation. The German Friendship Garden is in honor of our friendship with Zweibrucken Germany.

Stop at Cope Environmental to see over 100 acres of natural and developed wildlife habitats including wetlands, ponds, wooded ravines and a native Indiana prairie. The Jim Cope Conifer Trail features 55 species of pines, spruces, larches and firs from around the world. Over three miles of hiking trails are available.
Photo Credit: Diana Pappin.

Mark Cavendish woo hoo!

The boy from Britain can go go go!

Mark Cavendish wins Tour de France 2008 Stage 13

I called Cavendish as the winner on a Tweet I sent at 8:02 this morning while sitting on the train, about a half hour before he actually won.

For Stage 13 summaries, visit:
Speaking of Frank Steele of TdFBlog, hinted at some anti-Americanism by the TdF web team when he tweeted the lack of the American flag on the Tour de France website. In years past, the button for the English version of the site was a split UK/USA flag, while this year it's a UK flag only. Still, if you look at the English language link URL, the page is listed under "US", not "UK."

Is Cavendish clean?

Some of my friends look at the news of Ricco, Beltran and Duenas as proof that pro cycling and the Tour de France is awash in doping. Many people are asking the question of Cavendish: Are you really clean? Can we trust that your wins are real?

Agency for Cycling Ethics PURE Sport

Cavendish's Team Columbia uses the same "bio passport" system from the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE) that Team Garmin-Chipotle uses. While the T-Mobile cycling team had its share of doping scandals when Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Patrick Sinkewitz were expelled from the team, Bob Stapleton worked to clean house when he took over management of the team in 2007. Team High Road began the ACE biological passport testing last October.

"Passports" are created for each cyclist participating in the program. Changes in blood and urine chemistry are measured and noted over time. Instead of measuring for specific banned substances or looking at absolute blood chemistry values that can vary greatly between individual like current doping protocols do, the biological passport instead detects the body's reaction to performance enhancing drugs over time.

Under standard doping tests, some athletes can dope and still remain under the official threshold for that measurement. According to ACE, the biological parameters they measure can vary greatly between individuals, but within an individual these measurements don't change much over time.

ACE bio passports cannot detect specifically which drug was used to, for example, enhance the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, but they trade this lack of specificity with sensitivity. EPO, for example, can only be detected in the urine for up to four days at the most, but with the passport the effect of EPO can be detected for weeks afterwards.

To detect blood doping, ACE’s PURE Sport program measures Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Recticulocyte count and MCV as its main biological markers. ACE also measures for various steroid markers in the blood and urine to test for steroid use. When an athelete takes an anabolic androgenic steroid that person immediately alters his body’s steroid profile. LH and FSH are immediately suppressed. This in turn suppresses the body’s own steroid production, altering the biological markers listed above for a substantial time and in a predictable manner. Because of the frequency of testing, ACE claims they can even detect human growth hormone use, which is currently considered undetectable.

I look at Cavendish's amazing fourth stage win today as evidence that you can ride clean and win.

More on this topic:
Photo: PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Win a free bike from Trek

Trek Bicycle today announced the "Go By Bike Challenge," a national pledge campaign sponsored by 1 World 2 Wheels -- Trek's cycling advocacy initiative -- that challenges people to put down the car keys and instead go by bike.

“The momentum for going by bike is undeniable,” noted Trek’s Director of Advocacy, Rebecca Anderson. “Growing traffic congestion; skyrocketing gas prices; alarming obesity rates; concerns about global climate change as the result of greenhouse gas emissions; there is interest all over the country for transportation alternatives. The bicycle — as arguably the most efficient mode of transportation on the planet — represents a simple solution to some of the toughest problems; and tons of communities are recognizing this fact by taking steps to become bike-friendly. There has never been a better time to go by bike!”

From July 17th through August 31st, will accept “Go By Bike” mileage pledges online, displaying a homepage ticker that tracks total miles pledged, money saved, calories burned, and pounds of carbon offset accumulated. Visitors to will also be presented with the “Go By Bike” ticker and invited to visit to take the “Go By Bike Challenge.”

To promote the challenge nationally, Trek will take out two full-page print ads in USA Today, and Trek’s network of independent bicycle dealers will ask customers to make in-store pledges. Each day of the campaign, one lucky pledger will also be selected at random to receive a brand new Trek 7.2 FX fitness hybrid bike, valued at $519.99.

According to a National Personal Transportation Survey, nearly 40% of all trips taken by car are two miles or less. Whether it’s to work, to school, to the park, store, or gym, the “Go By Bike Challenge” asks individuals to think about all the short trips they take by car and instead pledge to go by bike.

San Jose Bike Party: Beach Party Ride!

This Friday the San Jose Bike Party is having a beach party ride. The ride starts under the Campbell water tower at 8:30 PM and will end at Santa Clara Central Park. Click here for the map.

Caltrain renames Bicycle Master Plan

Caltrain listens to your input!

In response to intense public criticism about a "Bicycle Master Plan" that does not address bicycles on board the trains, Caltrain has acted and yesterday renamed the plan. Caltrain's plan is now called the "Bicycle Parking and Access Plan." According to a planning consultant working on the plan, "It's a mouthful, but more accurate."

Tour de France 2008 Stage 12 *SPOILERS*

Don't read this if you're waiting for the highlights video later tonight.

First the fun news: Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish sprinted for his third stage win today in the 105 mile 12th Stage from Lavelanet to Narbonne, showing that a team with a strong bio passport anti-drug program can still win and beat the cheaters. Silence Lotto's Cadel Evans retains the overall lead in spite of getting hung out to dry by his teammates who couldn't hang with the peloton towards the end of the stage. Julian Dean of Garmin-Chipotle/H30 -- another team with a bio passport program -- placed 9th in the field of 158 finishers. Team Columbia, Silence-Lotto, and Garmin-Chipotle are in first, second and third places respectively.

Some more commentary on today's stage and Ricco's bust:

Reminder: Don't forget the contest!!!

TdF: Another one bites the dust

Maybe not too unbelievable, but disappointing none the less: Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco of Team Saunier Duval tested positive for synthetic EPO and CERA before the start of today's 12th Stage of the Tour de France. Saunier Duval has pulled out of the Tour de France.

Before he was pulled from the race this morning, Ricco was in the top 10 of the GC and points and led in the mountains. His team, Saunier Duval - Scott, was in third place when Stage 11 concluded yesterday.

As I write this, Stage 12 is almost concluded in Narbonne. Watch for complete updates.

EPO is a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator (CERA) is a new drug still undergoing FDA review that's used to enhance the effect of EPO on red blood cell production.

Trust But Verify plenty of commentary on how this story is breaking. The comments there at TBV are interesting, too. Among the tidbits there:
  • A comment from a drug expert who says there's no test for CERA.
  • ASO isn't testing French team riders: "Of the Crédit Agricole riders, only stage winner Thor Hushovd was tested since the start of the race."
  • "L'Equipe...has become the ersatz source of doping announcements for the ASO."

The comments about "il Cobra" coming out of Italian blogs are fascinating:
  • L’onestà è una speculazione (saying of l’ex maglia gialla Kim Kirchen's skepticism of Ricco): "Che smacco."
  • From a comment at the Italian Motor Sports blog: "As always when an Italian is likely to dominate in cycling come the doping allegations."
  • Oops, it looks like Ricco was on the Italian Olympic squad. His positive test puts his participation in question.
  • Finally, Diego @ Sui Pedali expresses his extreme disappointment:
    The disappointment is indescribably immense because of this new betrayal. Here on Sui Pedali I always focus on the sport of cycling and don't emphasize the problem of doping. We don't do this because of disinterest or because I'm convinced the problem doesn't exist, but because there are so many other beautiful stories to tell. Faced with this case, however, I cannot remain vague or leave this as a footnote of another article.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Brevet: SF - Tamalpais - Fairfax - Mill Valley - Marin Headlands

Visit Jim G for the details of this mixed terrain brevet this weekend.

CABO co-chair Dan Gutierrez posted his "bikes eye view" video of Motorist / Cyclist cooperation in Mandeville Canyon. That's the road in Los Angeles where Dr. Christopher Thompson sent two cyclists to the hospital.

In this other video, a road raging Portlander runs over a cyclist and gives him a ride on the hood of his car.

DIY: Cadence meter for your bike.

Not so DIY: Chico Gino worked with Paul Component Engineering to create this light mount. You crew these in to any place on your bike that takes those 5mm allen bolt mounts and you have a space to connect your handlebar mount light. Click on the photo for details and discussion.

Several people sent me email about Chris Horner's rescue of a disabled rider at the Cascade Cycling Classic. Seen also at Velo News. Props to Murph, Michael, who were first to send me these.

Lego Andy rides the famous Death Ride.

Yahoo! gives out free Bay Area Commuter Checks to random people.

Citizen: Fixed gear fashion arrives in his far off corner of the USA.

BoingBoing's "directory of wonderful things" talks about a cell phone stun gun to punish bike thieves.

Don't forget the contest!

Northbound and Southbound Caltrain delayed today

Northbound. A broken rail near Morgan Hill, California delayed northbound Caltrain service this morning, with trains originating in Gilroy delayed up to an hour as passengers were bused around the breakage. Passengers crowded onto unfamiliar trains as dispatchers combined multiple routes into single trains. The break, which is also holding up freight rail traffic, was discovered early this morning by Union Pacific.

Fritz of Cyclelicious was among the first to tweet the breakage to the Caltrain Twitter feed and providing train delay information even before the platform announcements were made.

Today also marks the first time I've heard reasonably accurate delay announcements over the PA speakers at the train stations. In the past, the delays have always been very vague such as "expect delays of up to an hour." This morning, the announcer actually announced train numbers and approximate delays in minutes! Kudos to Caltrain for this.

Southbound. Some southbound trains were also delayed after the engine on train 324 quit working. Southbound trains behind #24 were forced to wait while train number 226 coupled up to the disabled train to push it out of the way. Caltrain Tweeters report southbound trains are running as much as an hour late. If somebody has photos of the two trains #24 & #26 coupled together I'd love to see those pictures; please leave a link in the comments.

To receive real time updates on Caltrain issues on your phone, sign up to Twitter and "follow" Twitter Caltrain. Be sure also to set up Twitter and your mobile device to send and receive these updates from Twitter. An analogous bike car info service is Twitter Bike Car. Click here for information on how to contribute to these Twitter feeds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UCI ProTour implodes, Film at 11

On this Tour de France rest day, David, Carlton and Tim Jackson got together for a new episode of The Spokesmen podcast. Tim had hardware removed from his hand, Carlton wants to wait before passing judgement on Beltran and talks about his new "Bike To Work" book. They admire the performance of the two American teams in this year's tour and make fun of Team Columbia's (nee High Road) team kit.

There's more at The Spokesmen Podcast.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: 17 UCI ProTour teams announced they would not renew their ProTour licenses for 2009.

Cranky Bike T-shirts

Your friend and mine uncadan has some fun bicycle t-shirts for you to buy and wear.
bicycle t-shirt

Go to Cranky Apparel for prices and other details. These are high quality District T threads in men's and women's styles.

DIY no weld tandem bicycle

DIY tandem bicycle

It's pretty simple really, but see the step-by-step instructions at Instructables.

Basically, you do this:
  • Find two cheap bikes you don't mind sacrificing.
  • Secure the front fork by drilling holes through the headtube and sticking bolts through so the steerer doesn't move.
  • Cold set the rear bike's front forks by spreading them out so they fit over the front bike's rear forks/dropouts, then put the "middle" wheel in and use the rear wheel axle to hold the whole thing together.
  • Run a drive-side timing chain from the front bike to rear bike's crankset. The front derailleur is removed, of course, as are both derailleur's from the captain's bike.
  • The drive chain is run from the rear bike's other chainring to the rear bike's rear derailleur.
  • Cable up shifters and brakes.
  • Ride it and have fun.

Details at Instructables.

Bike by shooting

A more earth friendly biker gang: Two men on bicycles opened fire on a man and woman in front of a South Los Angeles house late Monday.

Via Bicycle Notes.

21.6% inflation

The U.S. Labor Department reports that whiolesale prices jumped 1.8 percent in June. I expect the increase to level out a little, but if you maintained 1.8 over an entire year that annualizes to an inflation rate of nearly 22%. Most of this increase is due to the large jump in the price of fuel and food, in case you haven't noticed.

The "core inflation" rate went up a more reasonable 0.2%. This is the price increase of things at the retail level and excludes food and fuel. This means that manufacturers and retailers are really eating their cost increases right now.

Some predictions from me:
  • I think off shore drilling is inevitable.
  • Alaska, too.
  • California voters will approve funding for the LA to SF high speed rail line.
  • Earlier I would have said Obama will win in November, but right now I think McCain is saying the things that most voters now want to hear. That is, "drill, drill, drill."
  • Interbike will be huge this year.
  • Voters will increase calls for mass transit and bike facilities.
  • Unprecedented job losses, either this year or the next.
  • More bicycling all around. More golf carts and other electric mobility devices -- scooters and e-bikes and so forth, too.
Don't forget the contest!

Win this leather toe clip sewing kit

Update July 22 2008: This contest is closed. I'll select a winner later today!

I have a leather toe clip sewing clip to give away. It's a kit with two strips of leather, some string, a needle and instructions to customize the look of your MKS toe clips. Akihiro aka "swamp" in Japan creates these kits for sale in Japan for fixed gear cyclists. Read more about this kind of leathercraft (in Japanese) here and here. Contest details are below.

First of all, I was tagged by Ron. I'm supposed to write six things about me, then like Amish Friendship Bread I'm supposed to pass the love by "tagging" six more people. Pay attention so you'll know how to win the toe clip sewing kit. Here goes:
  • My paternal grandmother was a Mississippi Choctaw who walked the Trail of Tears to "Indian Territory" in the mid 19th century. Most of my family on my dad's family have Bureau of Indian Affairs "Indian Cards" that qualify them to receive huge chunks of cheese for free.
  • My maternal grandfather was some semi-famous shogun in northern Japan who killed a lot of people with his sword. I show the same samurai spirit by relentlessly pursuing arcane bike facts across the blogosophere. Banzai!
  • I was born overseas at a former U.S. military base that is now Showa Kinen Park at Tachikawa, Japan. The park was established to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the late Emperor Showa's reign. "Showa" is Hirohito's "death name" or the name by which Hirohito is known after his death. The current Emperor of Japan, Akihito, has the death name "Heisei." This name is also used for the Japanese official calendar. Since this is the 20th year of Akihito's reign, this is the year Heisei 20 or 平成 20 if you have Japanese fonts installed.
  • I'm a graduate of the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools system. The U.S. Department of Defense operates schools for military dependents who live overseas. We're called military brats. Instruction is in English with (mostly) American school teachers. Expatriots who couldn't afford to pay tuition at the International schools could also send their children to DoDDS schools; they still paid tuition but it was cheaper than places like the American School in Japan (ASIJ). My classmate Sara Kaalkinen, for example, was the daughter of a Lutheran missionary to Japan from Finland (if I recall). We flew on military airplanes for band trips, debate contests and sports events at other military schools. I or my classmates, for example, flew on C-130 and C-141 transport aircraft from Tokyo to Okinawa, Korea, and the Philipines to compete with other schools.
  • Part of my college tuition was paid for with an athletic scholarship. I ran cross country for Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. MSU started a collegiate cycling team the year before I left in 1989, and they now have one of the strongest cycling programs in the nation.
  • This year my wife and I will have been married 18 years. She's currently attending Bethany University in Santa Cruz working on her Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. She's interning at a rehab center counseling drug addicts.

How to win the leather toe clip

I'm supposed to tag six other people, but instead I am tagging you. There are two ways to win:
  • If you have a blog or other website, link to this post and write at least one thing about yourself. Optionally tag somebody else. If you're not sure trackbacks work properly, be sure to leave a comment here also with a link to your post.
  • If you don't have a blog or website, feel free to write one thing about yourself in the comments to this post. Optionally tag another person.
On July 22 (next Tuesday) morning at about 8 AM Pacific Time, I will randomly select a winner from among the entries.

Contest rules

  • Contest open only to residents of the United States and Canada. It's up to you to figure out if you owe taxes or if this contest is legal in your area.
  • If you're in the habit of commenting anonymously, you'll need to figure out a way to uniquely identify your comment. BGW and Jack in St. Louis, for example, I already know how to ID.
  • If technical issues keep you from posting the winning entry, too bad so sad.
  • I'm the final judge on who the winner is.
  • If you win, you agree to have your name or your Internet blogging "handle" or nickname posted as the winner.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Private Joker to bike through Brooklyn

Meet Matthew Modine (Private Joker in "Full Metal Jacket") as he rides his bike on Tuesday, July 15 through Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. He'll stop at a number of local bike shops to spread awareness about his September 20th event - Bicycle for a Day.

Matthew Modine as Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket

Bicycle For A Day (BFAD) takes place September 20, 2008 and is:

• a fun, open and proactive invitation designed to inspire individuals, communities, governments and corporations to take a step towards solving the current environmental issues.

• a global initiative bringing together people who choose to ride a bicycle rather than use gas-powered motor vehicles, immediately reducing their carbon footprint.

• supports organizations that restore and protect our environment and make biking safer and more accessible for everyone.

Modine will start the ride on Tuesday at 4:30 PM and stop at these locations:
  • DUMBO, 35 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
  • Bay Ridge Bicycle World, 8916 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11209.
  • B's Bikes, 262 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11222.
  • Nelson's Bicycle Shop, 251 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11206.
  • Continuum Cycles, 199 Ave B, New York, NY, 10009.
  • Frank's Bike Shop, 553 Grand St, New York, NY, 10002
  • Track Star, 231 Eldridge St, New York, NY, 10002
  • NYC Velo, 64 2nd Ave, New York, NY, 10003
Matt Modine's ride concludes with an Art Show to support BFAD at Phebe's Tavern, 361 Bowery, New York, NY 10003.

Dan Burden speaking TONIGHT in San Jose

Dan Burden is director of Walkable Communities, a non profit organization dedicated to helping communities become more pedestrian friendly. Dan took a walking audit of the downtown San Jose area, and he'll talk about his findings tonight at 6 PM at the San Jose Repertory Theater on Paseo de San Antonio as part of the city Great Cities Speaker Series.

The premise of Dan Burden's organization is that Walkability is the cornerstone and key to an urban area's efficient ground transportation. Every trip begins and ends with walking. Walking remains the cheapest form of transport for all people, and the construction of a walkable community provides the most affordable transportation system any community can plan, design, construct and maintain. Walkable communities put urban environments back on a scale for sustainability of resources (both natural and economic) and lead to more social interaction, physical fitness and diminished crime and other social problems. Walkable communities are more liveable communities and lead to whole, happy, healthy lives for the people who live in them.

I've worked with Dan before on a traffic calming committee that I participated with in Colorado. He's a very engaging speaker with wonderfully creative and bold (some would say "crazy") proposals. He's very positive and does a great job helping people to see the possibilities.

Dan Burden favors some traffic calming engineering that are not popular with many cyclists. He likes traffic circles, for example. While many cyclists like to promote wider lanes, Burden believes streets should be made narrower for enhanced safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Tonight's talk is free; show up expecting to learn quite a bit about traffic calming.

Tour de France Stage 10

KWC really should consider a career in sports writing, although his current profession pays much better I'm sure. Check this out:
We get a rock 'em sock 'em mountain stage with carnage spread over two giant mountains. The race was blown up like a pinata by CSC and Saunier Duval swept in to pick up the candy.
The only thing missing was a metaphor about storming the gates of Bastille on this French national holiday in which French cyclist Rémy Di Grégorio of Française des Jeux win Most Aggressive Rider. Compare against this humdrum "just the facts" reporting from Velo News:
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) seized the yellow jersey atop Hautacam on Monday as Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) won the mountainous stage 10 of the Tour de France.

Alistair at Pez Cycling shows some enthusiasm about today's mountain stage, and Bike Hiker is camping in the woods so he's following and covering le Tour through his cell phone which sounds either abusive or dedicated. More also from TdF Blog, and the other usual suspects.

Who will win le Tour? Masiguy has a poll up at his site where most voters now are picking Cadel Evans. Before today's stage I would have picked Valverde but he's toast now.

Happy Birthday, Sheldon Brown

Happy Birthday, Sheldon, wherever you may be on your eternal bike tour.

I'll ride my bike today in your honor :-)

Sheldon Brown 1944 - 2008

Benefits of higher gasoline prices

Like Brian says, always look at the bright side of life.
With public transit use nationally at a 50-year high, traffic dropped 2.1% in the first four months of this year across the country. That mileage reduction -- along with people driving smaller cars, and more slowly, to save gas -- could mean that 12,000 fewer people will die in traffic accidents this year, according to a study by professors Michael Morrisey at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and David C. Grabowski at Harvard Medical School. Air pollution has been reduced enough, according to UC Davis economics professor J. Paul Leigh, to prevent 2,200 respiratory-related deaths over the last year. Less eating out and more walking and biking could mean a 10% reduction in obesity, according to Charles Courtemanche, an assistant economics professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. And, apparently, higher gas prices also keep econ professors employed.
Read more in the Los Angeles Times: "The Joy of $8 gas."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal takes another look at the old national 55 mph speed limit. While Pelosi asks Bush to open up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Democratic lawmakers are now joining Republicans writing up bills to open up drilling in Alaska and offshore, Senator John Warner (R-Va) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy and the GAO asking them to look at dropping the speed limit as part of the debate on an energy policy. The WSJ also looks at other impacts of speeding besides energy costs: a $40.4 billion cost to society (way more than those bicycling scofflaws who run lights and ride without helmets!) and 13,000 fatalities, according to the NHTSA.

Back to Los Angeles: the importance of reporting road harassment to the police.

As usual, thanks to Jack for the WSJ article!

Bike to work book

From Carlton Reid...

Sign up for the free newsletter for the Bike to Work Book, and click through to listen to the podcast, too. Or peruse a PDF for the book from here (the PDF is viewable online, no need to download it).
The Bike to Work Book is to be co-published in November by myself here at Towers and Tim Grahl's of the US. We met through membership of the Spokesmen bike industry roundtable podcast.
The Bike to Work Book is a print title but it will also leverage the internet to reach a larger audience than possible through traditional book publishing. The print version will be available on and other booksellers from mid-November but the book will also be available as a paid-for rich-media e-book and there will be a free, cut-down version of the book available as a PDF, sent via iTunes. The e-formats will be available earlier than the printed book.
The health and economic benefits of cycling are flagged on the book's back cover.
Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett said: “This book could save you $3500 a year. And you’ll be lighter and stronger into the bargain.”
Transport psychologist Dr Ian Walker of the University of Bath said: “Cycling is an important life expectancy predictor. Because it becomes part of your daily routine, cycling to work helps you live longer. This book could be the most important you ever read.”
The 200-page, full-colour book will be available in the world's biggest book shop.
"The book available on Amazon is kinda fixed, but the electronic formats will be made country-specific so readers downloading the US version will get a book produced just for the US," said Tim Grahl.
This flexibility allows for country-specific spellings and riding advice, too.
The print book is set in stone and will be mostly US in tone and spelling,. But the downloadable formats will be regionalised. Where Americans say 'gas', Brits say 'petrol'. And the UK version will say 'colour', not 'color'. The localisation of the e-book and PDFs also allows us to modify comments about riding on the left or the right of the road.
Check out the new podcast. The first show was recorded on Thursday and featured me and Tim talking with two of Europe's top bike bloggers. Mikael Colville-Anderson produces the Copenhagen Cycle Chic blog ("bicycle advocacy in high heels"); Mark Woudenberg produces
Colville-Anderson and Woudenberg are to write a chapter in the Bike to Work Book: 'The Future is Already Here', a description of what US and UK cities can look forward to when they embrace bicycling.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A critical mass of folding bikes

Look at all of them folding bikes at the San Francisco Bay Area Folder Fest! The bike owners are all geeking out over all the different kinds of folding bikes.

The FolderFest took place today. More at

Friday, July 11, 2008

Highway 17 Bikes on Board -- no changes

Bikes on Board the Highway 17 Express bus service was on the agenda this morning at the Santa Cruz Metro Board meeting. People Power director Micah Posner attended the meeting and spoke on behalf of cyclists who use the Highway 17 service.

Five bikes on the bus / Highway 17 Express San Jose to Santa Cruz
Because of input from cyclists as well as the drivers' representative, Bonnie Moore, and Metro General Manager Les White, several board members asserted their commitment to allowing bikes on board when it's reasonable to allow them on board.

Because of capacity issues, the board and others attending also discussed ways to mitigate the problems that are now occurring with crowding on the Highway 17 service. In addition to the existing folding bike subsidy in Santa Cruz County, the board also talked about things like a bike sharing program and additional bike storage capacity at the Santa Cruz Metro.

Les White mentioned that there are currently three openings on the citizen Metro Advisory Committee, and that cyclists are not currently represented on that committee. MAC meetings are one Wednesday a month at 6 PM. Contact People Power in Santa Cruz if you want to be on that committee.

LED Headlights for your bicycle

Leather toe clip sewing kit. Photo by Yohei Morita
NOTE: Watch for a contest this next week. The prize will be one of these leather toe clip sewing kits from "Swamp" in Tokyo.

Jim G writes about his next LED bike light project. There's a ton of LED lighting technology available now and Jim writes his thoughts on what he'll with some of the new super bright LEDs and a dynohub front wheel.

Meanwhile over in the state Capital, Doc Logan wants to escape the smoke from the 1,781 wild fires in the Golden State.

Ron of Cozy Beehive writes his thoughts on Ridley Dean's fastest bike in the world. And I still owe Ron a tagged post.

This is about as ridiculous as it gets: a drunk cyclist attacks a motorist, and the next thing you know a whole mob of cyclists gangs up on the motorist. The motorist, Colin Yates, turns out to be a long time cycling advocate. Jonathan writes more about it here and here.

Olympics: Final 3 members of the US Cycling team are named. Road cyclists Amber Neben and Christine Thorburn and mountain biker Mary McConneloug will represent the United States in China next month.

Backlog of bicycle stuff

Treadly and me calls it Speedlinking. Cycle Pig has his Weekly Oink. Freewheeling calls it his Freewheeling Roundup. Copenhagenize calls it various things. I just call it trying to catch up. Here are some several quick links for your weekend reading pleasure:
Have a great weekend!