Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Buzz is very active in local and statewide bike advocacy, winning Bicycle Colorado's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Shortly after he became a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor he taught the Road 1 class to his entire ship staff. He gives tremendously to the local community in time, cash and supplies. He's in charge of the local Safe Routes to School Program. For over 20 years Buzz collected old bikes, reconditioned them and donated them to children for Christmas.
Read about it in the Longmont Times Call. And here's a picture of Beau, the shop dog.
Besides the flap that comes with every bike trailer I've seen, an obvious solution is a fender. So Ms Ulrey, who owns a welding business, built a bicycle sidecar to carry her granddaughter.
According to this news article, Ulrey hopes to sell her sidecars and even patented the idea of attaching a sidecar to a bicycle.
More. Props to Warren, who now publishes a "Bicycle News" daily podcast.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
LVMH worked with the New York City Department of Transportation and the Fashion Institute of Technology to create the "Bike In Style Challenge." In this Challenge, FIT students competed to design stylish bike-wear and accessories for New Yorkers who bike to work.
LVMH owned Donna Karan New York worked with FIT students, providing creative direction as they competed in designing a set of biking essentials: a poncho, a jacket and a travel bag. DKNY is also developing the prototypes of the winning designs.
Watch this space for news and photos from the awards ceremony next week.
California State Parks has announced a proposal to open a singletrack trail for mountain biking in Marin County, on the shoulders of Mt. Tamalpais. The agency plans to allow bicycle use on the 4-mile Bill’s Trail segment, and is soliciting public comments on the project. The commentary period ends on 6-26.
"I'm urging mountain bikers across the country to send comments in support of this project," says Mike Van Abel, executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). "It's hard to imagine a more important location than Marin, where mountain bikers have worked incredibly hard to regain access to the very trails that helped bring our sport into the world."
This landmark opportunity is the direct result of more than three years of partnership building with the parks department by IMBA California, Access4Bikes and the Bicycle Trails Council of Marin. A successful opening of Bill's Trail will set the stage for bicycle access to several other singletrack trails in Marin, which is widely considered to be one of the birthplaces of modern mountain biking. Despite its historic role, Marin has seen precious few opportunities for mountain biking open to the public in recent years.
IMBA issued a call to action, asking mountain bikers to tell California State Parks that they support the decision to open Bill’s Trail to bicycles.Within 24 hours of posting the alert, IMBA has recorded nearly 1,000 comments that have been submitted in favor of mountain bike access.
A small number of local hiking and equestrian groups have vowed to fight against any new access for mountain biking in Marin County, despite plentiful evidence that well-designed trails can be successfully shared by various user groups, and that mountain biking is a sustainable, low-impact form of recreation.
"I think that, broadly speaking, the community of trail users in Marin is ready for this," says IMBA California Policy Advisor Tom Ward. "We have seen great success with our volunteer mountain bike patrol program there. Mountain bikers care deeply about protecting the gorgeous trails and natural areas in Marin, and we will continue working with like-minded groups." According to Ward, outreach programs such as Share the Trail are creating stronger relations between user groups, and the outlook for increased mountain bike access in Marin has never been brighter.
Located within the Mt. Tamaplais watershed in Samuel Taylor State Park, Bill’s Trail winds through native ferns, wildflowers and hazelnut trees. It averages a reasonable 7-percent grade, and its six switchbacks provide riders with multiple views of the surrounding landscapes. While it is expected that bike access on Bill’s Trail will be limited to alternate days at first, the parks department states that this stipulation will be open to further review.
California State Parks is expected to announce opportunities for bicycling on other nearby routes in upcoming months. The Diaz Ridge Trail, which runs through Mt. Tamalpais State Park and Golden Gate National Recreation Area property, is scheduled to receive a major reroute this summer. This project could produce shared-use singletrack joining State Parks and National Park Service properties.
Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Burr (R-NC) , Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined together to introduce the Safe Routes to School Program Reauthorization Act (S. 1156). This bill is currently in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The League of American Bicyclists has set up a web form to help you contact your Senators asking them to support the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program by co-sponsoring the legislation. Just type in your zip code to be directed to the appropriate message-either a thank you if your Senator(s) is already a cosponsor or a "please co-sponsor" message if they are not. A sample message is provided, but you're encouraged to personalize it with a sentence or two about your local SRTS needs and interests.
Federal Safe Routes to School background
S. 1156 expands funding for SRTS to $600 million per year, include high schools, simplify regulatory compliance to improve project delivery, and strengthen research and evaluation. All of these changes will make SRTS grants more widely available, and help more schools and communities across the country make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school and get into healthier, greener habits.
Click here for more information.
The carbon fiber bikes, which will reportedly be available at Mercedes Benz dealerships, are built up with SRAM Red components and DT Mon Chasseral wheels.
More at Bike Europe.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Don't forget: Sunglasses giveaway.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson was cycling with the UK transport minister Baron Andrew Adonis when a truck passed them and nearly killed them. Dramatic CCTV video shows a truck passing Mayor of London Boris Johnson around a blind corner, sideswiping a parked vehicle and catapulting it into the group of cyclists.
And wouldn't it be cool to have a name like Lord Adonis?
Self locking bicycle. And another interesting design in this shape shifting Transformer bike.
Long commutes are a status symbol.
Last week, Jym Dyer stopped an attempted bike theft from Caltrain. He saw the bike thief again today and snapped some photos.
San Francisco Bike To School Day is Thursday.
Milan cycling fashion show, May 30 in Amsterdam.
More bike fashion: Bikes are the new black.
Propellor head. Really.
Engadget reviews the Schwinn Tailwind. I wrote the review for Momentum Magazine.
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, for example, inherited the PenBiPed's incident report tracker. This tracker has been used in the past to track behavior patterns of aggressive motorists. If multiple incidents are logged against a single vehicle, local law enforcement is contacted.
The Missouri Bicycle Federation has a motorist contact letter. Mo Bike Fed will look up and contact the motorist on behalf of cyclists.
In Colorado, you can dial "*CSP" (*277 for Colorado State Patrol) on your cell phone to report aggressive drivers. Motorists who are identified three times through the hotline receive a warning letter and any additional complaints result in a personal visit from a uniformed officer. You need a license plate number for this to work.
Joe Mizereck has recently created a worldwide incident tracker at Road Guardian. This is a tool cyclists can use to report, mark and share cycling incidents and trouble spots. This site’s value and benefit to the cycling world is dependent upon cyclists taking the time to report their cycling experiences: close calls, collisions, deaths, pot holes, harassment, doorings, etc. Joe is the guy who also created the yellow 3 Feet Please (Warning: Obnoxious audio starts automatically on site load) bicycle jersey with huge block letters asking for "3 FEET PLEASE IT'S THE LAW."
The only things wrong with it are the obviously ruined fork and a shot front hub. My guess is bike on car roof met a garage opening.
Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with this bike, and it doesn't even look like it's been ridden. The frame is tiny -- only 47 cm -- otherwise it's a great looking bike.
Should I give this away before or after replacing the fork?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This video is a parody, but it reminds me a lot of an interview I saw of gas price analyst Trilby Lundberg.
The American River Parkway is a marvelous paved multipurpose trail that follows the lower American River from Folsom Lake 32 miles down to its confluence with the Sacramento River. Mile markers every half mile let you know how far along the trail you are, with mile 0 at Discovery Park just north of downtown Sacramento.
Ideas and tips
We brought our bikes to Sacramento on Amtrak Capitol Corridor, which has very convenient bike storage. For the Memorial Day weekend, the bike areas were all full but we were able to get our four bikes on board.
In the Sacramento Amtrak parking lot there's a sign pointing cyclists to the American River Parkway. It directs you up and over a bridge with narrow lanes you're sharing with lots of traffic over the railroad tracks and, if you're not paying attention, you might end up in West Sacramento on the wrong side of the Sacramento River. A better way to the Path: Ride west across the Amtrak parking lot so you're going underneath all of the freeway interchanges. You're headed to 2nd Street at I Street and Old Sacramento. Google Maps for this location just shows a mess of freeway interchanges, but it's all paved underneath and bike accessible. Go South on 2nd (low traffic and bike friendly), right on J into Old Sacramento, visit the rail museum and history museum, then walk your bike across the tracks to the bike path along the Sacramento River. Turn right (north) to get to the American River Path.
Old Sacramento and downtown Sacramento are bicycle friendly, so if you're doing a car-free trip, get your room there if you can. I'm a cheapskate and got a room way out by the Cal Expo / Arden Fair area, which is a pain in the neck to navigate by bike. I paid a local homeless guy to be our guide -- Bobby showed us all the back alleys and parking lot cut throughs, which helped a lot.
The American River Path follows both shores of the American River from the Sacramento River east to 16th Street. The southern path, though, stops abruptly at 16th, and bikes are not allowed on the 16th Street bridge crossing the river. Some route finding is necessary to pick up the trail by cutting across dead-end residential streets to get the SNRR bike bridge to cross to the north side of the river and to pick up the trail again. If you intend to go east of 16th Street, it might be easier for you to cross to the north shore of the American River at Discovery Park, crossing on the Jibboon Street bridge where bicycles are permitted.
At mile 20 is the popular American River Raft Rentals concession on Sunrise Boulevard. You can lock up your bikes and gear, rent a raft for about $50, float down the river and take a shuttle back up to Sunrise Blvd. They quit renting rafts after 1:30 PM, and reservations are recommended for holiday weekends.
The posted speed limit is 15 mph on the path, but that's a lie. Many cyclists also think of "On Your Left" as completely optional. Ride single file, check back before passing, and move completely off of the path when you stop.
Besides the occasional water fountain with metallic tasting water and a portable john, there are no services, concessions or vending machines on the path, even at the numerous parks and boat launches that line the parkway. Bring your food and drink. Sacramento gets very hot in the summertime, so bring plenty of water. Be sure to apply sunscreen, also -- you'll need it in Sacramento.
Bring a camera. You'll see egrets, coyotes, snakes, lizards, turkeys and other critters along and on the trail.
Sacramento Transit runs a Light Rail route that runs all the way from Sacramento Amtrak to near the American River Trail terminus at Folsom Lake. You could take Light Rail to Folsom Lake and then ride your bike down stream back to Sacramento if you want for only $2. Paul Dorn calls this the best deal in transit.
Get a trail map online from the American River Parkway Foundation for only $5.50. This map lets you know where you are in relation with civilization. I have the copy Paul Dorn gave to me, and I'll pay it forward and pass it along to the first person who asks for it -- leave a comment here if you think you'll visit Sacramento in the near future.
Do you believe eye protection is important while cycling? For a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from Sunglass Warehouse, post a comment below with one reason why (or why not) eye protection should be worn while cycling. Two winners will be selected at random from everybody who enters.
I do not have access to your Blogger.com account information (including your email address), so unless you know I already have your contact information, please give me some way to contact you either in your comment or by sending me a quick note. If you have a website or blog I can track you down that way also.
Winner will be selected this Friday. A big thanks to Sunglass Warehouse for sponsoring this giveaway. They were mentioned yesterday in the Memorial Day edition of the Today show. Sunglasses shipped free inside the USA, you pay for shipping for International orders. I will pass winners' email address along to Sunglass Warehouse.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Like Randy the Caltrain Conductor says, "Have a wonderful wonderful!"
Top Gear featured the Peel P50 micro mini car a couple of years ago. Its 49cc motor generates 4.5 HP for a top speed in the 30s. The Peel P50 was the smallest car ever manufactured.
In the video, Jeremy Clarkson shows his audience that you can drive the P50 between bollards, on sidewalks, through doors, into elevators, and through office building hallways.
H/T Paul Swansen in Denver, who drives a large luxury automobile for a living.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Should the city of San Jose host a Ciclovia? I filled out the survey and voted for Downtown as the best location.
Santa Cruz transportation columnist Ramona Turner tried a bike to get to work and discovered it's faster than driving!
San Francisco bike plan almost ready to roll.
San Francisco: Ban cars on Market Street?
Nice Bike To Work Day photos and video from the SF Bay Area MTC. The video features cycling Santa Clara County supervisor Ken Yeager.
About Montreal's bike share.
A thought on epidemics.
This absolutely deserves its own post.
Budapest traffic calming.
Traffic and noise.
Kansas City: Intexticated driver sends two cops to the hospital.
Coming off a successful inaugural year, registration is now open for the 2010 San Diego Custom Bicyle Show. The show will be bigger and better and will now be a 3 day event running from April 9-11, 2010. The Town & Country Resort will once again be the host hotel, with a floorspace twice the size of this year's event.
Exhibitor fees will not change from 2009's prices. With 2010 looking like it will be filled with shows across the country, plan out your year and decide on whether the San Diego Custom Bicycle Show would be a good fit for you.
More information and registration forms can be downloaded at www.sandiegocustombicycleshow.com
Sean Chon's Flickr set.
Bike World News.
Holier Than You.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Current state law doesn't specifically exclude bicycles from stopping for school buses, and Maine's bicycle statutes note that "a person riding a bicycle or scooter on a way has the rights and is subject to the duties applicable to the operator of a vehicle," so I'm puzzled why lawmakers feel like they need to write a law just for cyclists for something that's already covered.
Hat tip to Chris in Maine.
Larsen raced with Lance Armstrong on the Motorola team in the 90s, he won the NORBA National Cross Country title in 1998 and 2000, and competed in world class triathlon events in 2001, finishing well.
Steve Larsen owned WorldTri.com and was a regular contributor to Xtri.com, where he did product reviews.
This reminds me of runner Jim Fixx the runner and author of The Complete Book of Running who died of a heart attack after his daily run in 1984. I was a runner back then and I followed his running advice in his book religiously.
The cause of Larsen's death has not been determined.
I'm saddened at the loss of Larsen, who leaves behind five children and his wife Carrie. More at Bike Radar.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It's an obvious tip, but for whatever reason latex gloves often don't work for me. They disintegrate over time. In hot weather, the gloves get sticky, especially when they're scrunched up inside of my saddle bag.
A few weeks ago I stuffed a few packets of Grease Monkey Wipes into my saddle bag. I haven't flatted since I installed the Kevlar belted Hutchinson Fusion 2 tires on my bike, but I did snap my chain near the California Avenue Caltrain Station just as a train was (fortuitously) pulling into the station.
I ran into the train, found my chain tool and removed the damaged link. Because 10 speed chains aren't easy to link together without a master link (bah!), I gave up after a few minutes of wrestling with the chain. I keep my chain fairly clean but grease and grime is still a fact of life when handling the chain.
At this point I usually ruin my pants by wiping my hands on them, but on this day I had Grease Monkey wipes. They're small wipes in single wipe packages with a citrus degreaser (to remove the grease) and aloe, lanolin and Vitamin E to temper the harshness of the degreaser on my skin. My hands smell like oranges instead of petroleum distillates, and the wipes effectively remove the grime from my hands.
They work as expected, the packaging is handy and I can stuff several into my saddle bag. Grease Monkey Wipes are available at some local bikes shop or online.
- Norco full suspension mountain bike frames can crack. The recalled bicycle frames include the following model year and model names: 2007 Team DH, 2008 Team DH, Aline Park, Aline, Atomik, Shore 1,2,3, 2009 Atomik (without gussets). These are some of Norco's higher end full suspension mountain bikes. Norco is kind of weaseling by claiming that the product is not defective because the frames only crack when the bike is abused, like when you jump the bike without using a "down ramp [that] must be properly designed, in height and length, to absorb the landing from the jump." Of course anybody who ever jumps their full suspension mountain bike always uses properly designed ramps. More here at Norco USA.
- Trek comfort bikes with suspension forks. The "JD" fork used on some of Trek's comfort bikes are sprung below the head tube but above the fork crown. Apparently, something can come lose, resulting in the front tire turning on its own. "This," claims the CPSC, "can cause the rider to lose control of the bicycle and crash." More at Trek's safety & recall information page.
- Cannondale comfort bikes with suspension forks. Hey look! Cannondale got their "JD" forks from the same supplier that Trek did. The recall involves model year 2008 Cannondale Adventure 2, Adventure 3, Adventure 2 Feminine and Adventure 3 Feminine bicycles. Cannondale recall information page.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu is back on his beloved bike.
Pro photographer Dustin explores San Francisco bicycle culture at SF Wiggle. Many excellent photos of people riding their bikes up in The City.
There are now so many people riding bicycles in Portland that we have bike traffic jams on the city’s bridges. And statistics suggest that the handlebar-to-handlebar congestion is growing faster than the bumper-to-bumper varietyRead more.
Dan and I stopped at these Energizer Stations:
San Jose Plant 51 @ Alameda & Cahill, San Jose.
City of Santa Clara in front of Santa Clara Caltrain on El Camino Real.
Applied Materials on Central Expressway at San Tomas Expressway, Sunnyvale.
SVBC, Mountain View Caltrain.
Fenwick & West, California Street & Castro, Mountain View.
Some neighborhood people, Wilkie Way Bridge, Mountain View.
California Avenue Caltrain, Palo Alto.
Palo Alto City Hall, Palo Alto.
Team in Training on Bryant by University, Palo Alto.
Willow Road bike bridge, Menlo Park.
Sun Microsystems, Dumbarton Bridge, Menlo Park.
That evening, Barry and I rode from Mountain View to downtown San Jose. Here we are going that 13 miles in 38 seconds.
Monday, May 18, 2009
It was pretty warm this past weekend in northern California, with high temperatures in the 90s F / low 30s C. Heat radiating from the road surface quickly warms any beverage sitting in a bottle just 20 inches from the ground in a bicycle bottle cage.
Enter CamelBak's Podium ChillJacket water bottle. When I saw the thin foam insulation built into this bottle I was skeptical, but it kept my water cool for most of my two hour ride in Santa Cruz County last Saturday. The polypropylene plastic (unlike the low density polyethylene used in almost every other bottles) doesn't impart that icky plastic taste to my water.
CamelBak brags about their no bite valve -- you just squeeze and the water comes out. I kept finding myself biting the valve and trying to pull it out. I suppose I'll get used to it.
CamelBak Podium ChilJacket water bottle.
While I have CLIF on my mind, go visit CLIF's CLIF BAR 2 Mile Challenge. CLIF BAR urges people to leave your cars at home and use a bicycle for trips of two miles or less. You can use their handy 2 Mile Challenge Map to locate destinations within two miles of your location.
The law would make it a illegal for car and truck drivers to get closer than three feet from a biker or any other “vulnerable road user,” like a runner, child, disabled person, or highway construction worker.In fact, lawmakers sponsoring this bill aren't calling it a bicycle safety bill; they're calling it the "Safe Passing Bill," and oh by the way it benefits cyclists as well. For those having difficulty passing this type of law, can you imagine rewriting just a little to include construction workers and the campaign ads you can do with that? "Representative Smith voted NO on a law that would improve safety for highway workers."
Back to Houston Chronicle column, in which Carolynn Feibel discovers the reality of bike commuting in the American South --
As your transportation columnist, I felt obligated to accept the Bike To Work challenge. First I had to buy a bike. Then I had a wonderful and amusing week dodging potholes, feeling a virtuous burn in my quads, and arriving at work looking like a wet, bedraggled chicken.After college, I used to bike commute 20 miles from Forth Worth to Irving, Texas. In the Texas heat there is absolutely no way you can do a 'stylish' commute in your work clothes, even if you ride slowly for short distances.
My one-way ride took about 15 minutes. So yes, it is possible. But is it desirable? I still say yes, though tentatively. But that has far less to do with traffic and distance than with, well, showers. I mean, it’s Houston. We should call it “National Bike to Work and Shower at Work Week.”
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I biked around Santa Cruz yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours. Here's two minutes of my ride down West Cliff Drive and past the Boardwalk. Temperatures were in the 90s on Saturday, making for a very busy day at the beaches and the Boardwalk.
In this video I'm mostly riding in a two way bike-only sidepath adjacent to a one way street. How many bikes do you count in this video? How many cars and trucks do I pass?
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I hooked up a GoPro HERO Wide Camera to my bicycle handlebar, put my bike on the Highway 17 commuter express bus and turned the camera on. Partly because of the image stabilization software but mostly because of the wide angle view, the bus's bouncing up and down on the highway isn't too bad. Music by Santa Cruz singer Michael Gaither.
Because SR17 is designated a County Expressway between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley, bicycles are technically permitted on this highway. Except for a short stretch near Lexington Reservoir, I always take an alternate route and I don't recommend biking on Highway 17.
The Plant 51 residential development near downtown San Jose has its grand opening this weekend. Those who ride Caltrain from San Jose have watched its construction over the past four or five years or so.
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition held its San Jose Bike Away From Work Bash in the Plant 51 courtyard on Thursday night. I wish I had a little more time to look around and take photos, but the little bit I saw seemed positively lovely.
Plant 51 is an historic Del Monte cannery near downtown San Jose that Centex converted over the past four years or so into 1 and 2 bedroom flats and lofts. Plant 51 is immediately adjacent to San Jose Diridon Station with Caltrain, ACE Rail, Amtrak, VTA light rail, the free DASH shuttles to downtown, about a dozen or more VTA bus lines and at least that many employee shuttles. When / If BART and HSR comes to Silicon Valley, they will both stop at Diridon Station. There's a Longs Drugs (soon to be CVS) just a block away on The Alameda; a Safeway grocery store will open soon on San Fernando at 3rd. A bus stop for VTA 22 (service all up and down Santa Clara Street / The Alameda / El Camino Real) is directly in front of Plant 51 on The Alameda; the #22 bus get students to within about 150 yards of the schools that serve this area.
The coolest amenity? The Bicycle Kitchen is an on site bicycle workshop and storage area. The Plant 51 BIcycle Kitchen "has everything you need to store, repair and maintain your bike," according to the Plant 51 website. "Pumps, tools, clamps at your disposal."
Some of the negatives? Though Centex has dropped the price at least 25%, these units still seem a little pricey starting at something around $350,000 for a one bedroom. I'd like to know how soundproof the units are: Caltrain immediate adjacent is attractive to me as a daily Caltrain rider, but that also means Caltrain big engine noise for about 18 hours a day. San Jose airport traffic flies low directly over downtown. The two bedroom units may be a limitation for those of us with families.
Still, I think it's worth taking a look for anybody planning to buy in San Jose. Plant 51 grand opening today and Sunday, downtown San Jose at The Alameda and Bush Street. You can easily walk there from Diridon Station, especially from the Diridon Light Rail Station.
Friday, May 15, 2009
She's a perennial presence at the Palo Alto City Hall Energizer Station on Bike To Work Day. She rides her Breezer bike there in spite of her advanced age and recently poor health. She was at City Hall handing out maps, talking to people and encouraging them that they, too, can ride a bike to get around.
Ms Fletcher was instrumental in getting Caltrain's bikes on board program years ago, and before that she pushed for Southern Pacific to allow bikes on board, and she still actively participates in Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition discussion on how Caltain can improve the service for bicyclists. She also pushed for converting Bryant Street in Palo Alto into a bicycle boulevard, which is now named in her honor.
Ms Fletcher began riding a bicycle to get to her job as a teen in World War 2 England, and she's never stopped. Ellen Fletcher is totally an inspiration.
Here's a slideshow of my Bike To Work Day 2009 photos from yesterday.
Don't miss San Francisco State of Cycling.
- From 2006 to 2008, the number of cyclists counted increased by 43% in San Francisco.
- The number of female cyclists increased slightly from 25% to 27% from 2006 to 2008 after a slight dip in 2007.
- Six percent of all trips in San Francisco are made by bicycle.
- In San Francisco, over 60% of bike trips are for utilitarian purposes rather than leisure or fitness rides. Nationally, this figure is only 5%.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I followed the lead of Bike Hugger and Bicycle Design which are also available to read on Kindle (for a price).
Ride with me in the Mountain View to San Jose bike convoy this evening and get free stuff (while supplies last).
The best (IMO) prize is the "Roadie" mirror for drop bars from CycleAware. I have one to give away. If you want it, be the first one I hear say "Cyclelicious rocks!" (or something to that effect).
The other stuff will be some Action Wipes body wipes (handy for the after ride bash at Plant 51) and degreaser wipes from Grease Monkey (handy for cleaning up after a tire or chain repair). I might have a couple of other goodies. I'll hand these out until I run out.
The plan is to start from Mountain View Caltrain after 5:30 PM. We'll wait for southbound Caltrain #266 (scheduled arrival 5:36 PM, though you can count on it being about two minutes late). Meet at the north end of the parking lot on the southbound platform side of the Castro Street train station.
I'll be on a gray Specialized Roubaix with red tires and a little GoPro HERO cam mounted somewhere on the bike.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Morning: This one's a little iffy because it depends on my arrival time in San Jose. I plan to be at San Jose Diridon Station about 7 AM or a little before, so I'll catch one of Caltrain 313, 215, 217 or 319 depending on when I arrive. I'll then detrain in Mountain View or (if necessary) Sunnyvale. Follow me on Twitter if you'd like to meet up with me, and send me a @reply message so I know to look for you.
After I detrain, I plan to hit the Energizer Stations at Mountain View Castro Street Caltrain; Castro & California; Wilkie Way bike bridge; California Avenue Caltrain; Palo Alto City Hall; Palo Alto Bike Station; EPA Community Church; and Dumbarton Bridge.
Evening: I'll be in the evening Mountain View to San Jose commuter convoy meeting at 5:30 PM at Mountain View Caltrain in the parking lot at the north of the southbound platform (next to Aki & Sho's "Cafe Maison" hot dog stand). We'll go down Evelyn -> Monroe -> Park before cutting across to the Alameda toward the "Bike Away from Work Bash" at Plan 51.
[An analysis of road building and maintenance costs] revealed that no road pays for itself in gas taxes and fees. For example, in Houston, the 15 miles of SH 99 from I-10 to US 290 will cost $1 billion to build and maintain over its lifetime, while only generating $162 million in gas taxes. That gives a tax gap ratio of .16, which means that the real gas tax rate people would need to pay on this segment of road to completely pay for it would be $2.22 per gallon.Props to Bicycle Fixation.
This is just one example, but there is not one road in Texas that pays for itself based on the tax system of today. Some roads pay for about half their true cost, but most roads we have analyzed pay for considerably less.
1. ABC Quick Check! Air, brakes, cranks and quick releases. Check the air in your tires, ensure your brakes work, make sure the moving parts such as the cranks, chainring, chain and cogs won't fall off, and be certain your tires are attached tightly to the bike. More here on things to check quickly on your bike. Be sure the bike fits approximately correctly, too: your knees, butt, back and arms will thank you for it.
2. Follow the rules of the road. That means ride right, signal turns, avoid sidewalks, stop at stop signs and red lights, and yield the right of way where appropriate.
3. Ride defensively. If you drive, you know by experience how other drivers will behave. Watch for potential right hooks, left crosses, the 'door prize' and other surprises. Bicycle Safe has specifics on the types of collisions and bone headed moves to watch for.
4. It's not a race. If you're not conditioned for that 10 mile commute to the office, you'll poop yourself out after mile two if you push yourself to go too far too fast. It's okay to take it easy, go slowly and enjoy the ride. I know in the San Francisco Bay Area nobody gives a flying patootie how fast you are.
5. Clean up tips. If you don't have shower at work, shower before your ride and wipe down after you arrive at the office. In spite of what some people tell Mr Roadshow, a shower isn't really necessary. When I bike commuted across Fort Worth, TX, I used a washcloth, some soap and a sink in the men's room. Action Wipes are handy, too. The Bay Area is mild enough right now that you can get away with wearing your office clothes if your commute is short. You may need to change your clothing in warmer and more humid climates.
Don't forget to enjoy the ride! For more good information on biking to work, check out Robert Hurst's The Art of Cycling.
What are your tips for the bike commuter?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
About 11,500 model year folding bicycles are affected by the recall. Dahon models affected are Ciao P8, Curve D3, Curve SL, Glide P8, Jetstream P8, Mu P8, Mu P24, MU SL, Mu XL Sport, Vitesse D7 HG, Speed D7, Speed P8, Speed TR, Speed Pro TT, and Mariner D7. Novara Buzz FlyBy and FlyBy Shuttle branded bikes sold through REI are also recalled.
Consumers with these bicycles should contact their Dahon dealer or REI store for a free inspection and repair.
Almost overshadowed by the cover story & photo spread of Megan Fox was an article "The End of Car Culture."More at Bike Rumor.
There was no “?” after it the title. It was, in fact, a statement. And it was backed up with actual numbers and charts.
I was unable to locate any photos of Megan Fox riding a bicycle to illustrate this post.
Do you know of areas in your US city that promotes bike use in a language other than English? I know Denver & Boulder published Spanish language Bike To Work Day ads for at least a couple of years because I was on the DRCOG BTWD committee at the time. What other cities do this?
Don't forget -> you can't win if you don't enter.
Carl Guardino to keynote
Public invited - No charge to attend
The Mineta Transportation Institute will hold a panel discussion on first- and last-mile issues for bike commuters who also use public transit. Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and a cycling enthusiast, will keynote. The panel is still in planning but so far it appears the panel will include a University of Colorado professor doing a research report on the topic; a representative from the Federal Transportation Administration, who will discuss lesser-known funding sources for bike trails; a transportation planner from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission; a yet-to-be-named bicycle commuting advocate; and someone from the Federal Highway Administration. There will be time for Q&A.
The audience will include bicycle commuters, transit agency representatives, corporate people in charge of encouraging employees to use alternative transportation, municipal leaders, and anyone else who wants to attend.
The event will be co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Club; Commonwealth Club events are often recorded for broadcasting by NPR.
All this will happen at the Le Petit Trianon in San Jose. The date is Wednesday, June 3, from 8am - noon, including continental breakfast. There is no charge, but please contact maurillo AT mti DOT sjsu DOT edu to RSVP so MTI can have an idea of how many to prepare for.
Monday, May 11, 2009
CNN's iReport website has an assignment for you: Show us how you bike to work. Maybe I'll post a video or three.
Okay, I know it's not quite Bike to Work Month in Colorado (they do it in June), but Colorado Governor Ritter will sign the the Bicycle Safety Bill this evening. Good work, Colorado.
SF Chron on BTWD.
East Bay bike commuters.
It's Bike Week in Santa Cruz.
Bike to Work in Richmond, VA.
They even bike to work in Motor City.
Quad City: 'Week' aims to inspire outside-the-car thinking.
I'm sure there's plenty more! Is it bike to work week in your area?
P.S. Don't forget about the Custom Bicycles book contest.
PRIZE: One of THREE copies of the hardcover book Custom Bicycles A Passionate Pursuit. This hardcover book -- a $60 value of hardcore bike p0rn will satisfy the urges and desires of any discriminating lover of custom bikes.
Update: The contest ended Saturday, May 16, 2009. Winners will be announced after Memorial Day.
HOW TO WIN: You must be a resident of the USA or Canada with a USA or Canada shipping address. Follow the checkpoints -- website links -- that start here, and follow the trail until you get to the contest entry form after the final checkpoint. Some web searching and Internet browsing skills are required, and bike knowledge may be helpful (but facts should be easily web searchable). After you reach the final checkpoint, enter valid contact information, and THREE WINNERS will be selected among those who enter. YOU MUST SUBMIT THE ENTRY FORM BY MIDNIGHT, SATURDAY MAY 16 (US Pacific Time).
SMALL PRINT: This contest is open only to residents of the USA and Canada, and only where it's legal for you. Sorry to those elsewhere. I won't share your contact information except I will pass along the winners' contact information to the publisher's USA publicity agent, who needs the info to ship you the prize. Winner is responsible for any taxes. Odds of winning are dependent on how many entries I receive.
Each checkpoint is a blog or other social media website. I've received permission from each blog owner to post the checkpoints. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO THOSE WHO AGREED TO PARTICIPATE AS CHECKPOINTS IN THIS VIRTUAL ALLEYCAT!
You MAY need to hunt through recent blog entries to find the next checkpoint. For example, if I point you to FOO.COM, look for comments on blog entries dated May 9 through May 11. If you get lost, please feel free to come back here and ask for a hint. Keep in mind also that some blogs moderate their comments and there may be a delay in comment posting.
The race is not to the swift -- you only need to make it to the finish -- and I encourage you to "check in" at each checkpoint by leaving your own comment then exploring the blog or website if you're not familiar with it.
BONUS PRIZE: I'll have at least ONE CHECKPOINT where the first person checking in gets a small prize. Some of the other checkpoints may also elect to give their own little bonus prizes -- you never know!
On your mark, get set and look for the first checkpoint at Urban Velo and look for a mention of the book Custom Bicycles! Be sure to check in there and say hello to those urban bikers in Pittsburgh.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Champe Burnley, president of the Richmond Area Bicycling Association, is a big fan of custom bikes and is thrilled that the show is coming to his area for two years. Although Richmond doesn't get the attention received by cities like Portland, OR; Davis, CA; or Boulder, CO, Burnley says Richmond has a strong cycling culture with a reasonable climate for bicycling for most of the year. Burnley also notes the large number of cyclists with a public university and three private universities along with two community colleges in the region.
In addition to a large number of cyclists riding on tallbikes and other frankenbike creations in Richmond, the area supports an active community bike shop, RVA Bike Polo, fixed gear hipsters, and enthusiast level road cycling.
Because two major bike touring routes intersect in Richmond, Burnley says his city has a constant stream of touring cyclists coming through on their loaded bikes. US Bicycle Route 1 runs the length of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, while U.S. Bicycle Route 76 -- Adventure Cycling's Transamerica Trail -- passes nearby.
According to Burnley, weather in Richmond at the end of February is variable. It can be either gorgeous for riding bikes, or it might be perfect for staying indoors at a convention center. :-)
Richmond -- located 110 miles from Washington, DC; a nice road trip away from New York City and 400 miles from Greenville, SC -- is within a day's drive of half of the US population. Amtrak's Northeast Regional train passes through Richmond's Main Street train station with several trains from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington. The Carolinian / Piedmont train with service to and from Charlotte, DC and New York stops at Richmond's Staple Mills Road Station. Amtrak Silver Service Palmetto services Richmond Staple Mills Road from Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Charleston, DC and New York City.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Menlo Park Willow Road across Highway 101.
Palo Alto to the Caltrain station.
De Anza Boulevard across I-280.
Saratoga Avenue (near Stevens Creek) across I-280.
That hot red tire is the Hutchinson Fusion2 Pro. The red color makes me go faster. It also has a Kevlar belt for puncture resistance.
The video was shot with the Gopro HERO WIDE Camera mounted to my seat post. GoPro makes a huge variety of mounting options, allowing me to strap the camera to my chest, my back, or almost anyplace to my bike.
Don't forget: The 2nd Virtual Alleycat begins this next Monday! Have a great weekend, all!
The UCI's application of the 3:1 ratio rules is on the agenda for the next issue of The Spokesmen cycling podcast that I'm recording tomorrow with David Bernstein, Carlton Reid, Donna Tocci and Tim Jackson. Oh, and we have a special guest: Bob Roll. Let's see if we actually get to it since we never really get around to everything by the time our hour is up.
Cyclists in the blogosphere are all atwitter about this rule application, most of them coming out against it. I like Bicycle Design's take on it:
So, lets get the pros out there and see who can reach the finish line fastest while hobby horsing along on a vintage boneshaker with wooden wheels.Bike Rumor has the coolest illustration in UCI is smackin' this upside yo' head!
This week's episode of CSI New York once again features New York bike culture. This time the cyclist is the victim who is hit and killed (apparently) by a texting motorist. They even have a white painted ghost bike in this episode.
Click here to view.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
- Fare hikes.
- Eliminate weekend service (!)
- $1 surcharge for bicycles.
If Caltrain charges $1 per bike per trip, that's an extra $40 per month for me. It's likely I would just stop riding the train for nine or ten months out of the year and bike the whole distance, so they lose the $112.75 per month they currently get from me. Penny wise and pound foolish.
If you can wait a week or so, though, I will give you an opportunity to win this book for free. We'll call it the Custom Bikes Virtual Alleycat 2009, and the prize is this beautiful coffee table book of Bike Porn. The race begins this Monday, so get your whip ready and pray for good weather. There are three books available for this giveaway so you have three chances to win!
Like the last virtual alleycat, this race will be a coast to coast tour of cycling blogs, with each checkpoint giving directions to the next checkpoint. A winner will be selected from among all those who win.
Watch for the contest on Monday morning!
[ A couple of people previously told me they would like to be a checkpoint on this alleycat, but I, umm, lost that list. Please contact me privately to ensure you make it on the list! Sorry and thank you! ]
Side note: Custom Bicycles: A Passionate Pursuit is not available on Amazon's Kindle. Is a coffee table book with full color photos appropriate for a black and white electronic device like this?
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The Santa Cruz Sentinel, which describes Posner as "outspoken" (hah! He's a mild mannered family guy who generally prefers diplomacy over confrontation), reports that the police claim the bike parade was 'counter intuitive' because (get this) "He's inviting families to come out, with their kids, to ride in the street." The horror! We can't have families riding their bikes in the street in Santa Cruz!
The city attorney of this Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community backed up Santa Cruz police captain Steve "Because I Can" Clark by filing the paperwork.
Other parades, such as the huge parade of cars every summer weekend into Santa Cruz or the daily parade to 9-to-5 work sites, remain unpermitted, with police refusing to cite the organizers of these parades.
People Power Santa Cruz advocate converting King Street into a bicycle boulevard, using bike-traversable diverters to limit through traffic on King. King Street parallels Mission Street in Santa Cruz and is favored as a bike route to get across town. The bicycle boulevard concept for King Street is supported by People Power, Greenways to School, King Street Neighbors, Lower Escalona Neighborhood, the Community Traffic Safety Coalition, the Greater Santa Cruz Federation of Teachers, the Campaign for Sensible Transportation and Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning.
Read more in the Sentinel. I've asked Micah if he can have the LAB revoke Santa Cruz's "Bicycle Friendly Community" status.
Micah has also asked cyclists to write a letter to the editor explaining why a bike boulevard on King Street is a good idea. Read background on the King Street proposal in this PDF.
Please send to Twitter.