Thursday, July 16, 2009

Final thoughts....

I was riding home last week during the "rush hour" going north on Florida.
As I approach the stop sign next to Forest Park Elementary school I slow down because I plan on stopping at the stop sign. I know, I am such a god boy aren't I?
I notice another cyclist traveling southbound on Florida. He too is approaching the stop sign. But he has no hands on the brakes, or the handlebars for that matter! Well, Fort Wayne Bike Commuter, how was he planning on stopping you ask? He wasn't planning on stopping I answer with a confused look on my face.
He was too busy texting on his phone! While he was listening to his Ipod.
I quickly looked both ways and saw that he was not in danger of dying at the hands of a driver who probably had similar things going on while he was driving. No cars.
This story had a happy careful out there Fort Wayne Bike Commuters!

Groups plan pedal power for the homeless

By: Adam Crisp

Homeless people spend so much of their days walking that foot-related health problems rank among their chief complaints, advocates say.

And all that time spent hoofing it from one service to another means less time spent on searching for jobs or housing.

That's why the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and Outdoor Chattanooga teamed up to give the homeless some pedal power.

"A bicycle is just a very efficient means of transportation," said Philip Pugliese, bicycle coordinator for Outdoor Chattanooga. "If it can enable someone to make it to another business, another place of employment, or another service, that can help them better themselves."

Homeless advocates long have said many homeless people spend all day walking from one kitchen to another just so they can be sure to get enough food. Diverting from a kitchen stop to a job interview perhaps would mean the person would go hungry.

The rest of the story

I always knew Summit City bikes was awesome...

Congrats to Summit City Bikes.
Official bike shop of the Fort Wayne Bike Commuter (i.e. That's where I go to buy bike stuff, unless of course I am downtown or it's Sunday. Then I head over to the The Bike Depot). Interesting to me that in a town this size that there are only two bike shops? Is that true?

Portland to experiment with rental bike system

by Mark Larabee
Saturday July 04, 2009

Think of it as a Zipcar with pedals.

Need to rent a bike quick? Walk up to a kiosk, swipe a credit or membership card and ride away. Just return it there or at another station, kind of like renting a luggage cart at the airport.

That's a far cry from the now-infamous yellow bikes -- the 1990s community bike program that died because of theft and vandalism. Those were free, unreliable and mostly clunkers.

Portland transportation officials are eying about 100 high-tech bike-sharing systems worldwide to see if an investment in public bicycles could be successful in what's already considered a world-class bike city.

The rest of the story

That sucks or Let the cross training begin!

July 1, 2009, 11:15 am
Is Bicycling Bad for Your Bones?
By Gretchen Reynolds

In 2006, Aaron Smathers, then 29, was a graduate student in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the University of Oklahoma, gathering data for a study of brittle bones in cyclists. One of his subjects was himself, since he’s been a bike racer for years. A recent scan had revealed that his bones were less dense than usual for a man his age. Not long after those results came in, he crashed during a race, snapping his collarbone. Six weeks later, in his first post-injury race, he was engulfed by a multi-rider pile-up, crashed again, and re-broke his collarbone. Worse, he fractured his hip so badly that the ball of the ball-and-socket joint broke off. “Later I thought, well, this reinforces my study,” he says.

The rest of the story

I knew there were a lot more bikes out there but...

Bicycle Production Reaches 130 Million Units
by Gary Gardner

Bicycle production was up 3.2 percent in 2007 to 130 million units, a continuation of the upward trend that has characterized production for most of this decade. Global output continued to be largely a Chinese affair, as China produced two of every three bikes made worldwide. India, the European Union, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Brazil were the next five largest producers, accounting together for about a quarter of the total.

Cycling is potentially an important mode of sustainable transport: it is non-polluting, inexpensive, and good for users' health and the quality of urban life. But the amount of cycling in most cities worldwide remains well below its potential.

The share of all trips made by bike varies greatly among countries. Chinese cities still register some of the highest cycling rates in the world, despite growing consumer interest in private automobiles. In the most cycled cities, such as Tianjin, Xi'an, and Shijiazhuang, the bicycle accounts for more than half of all trips. In the west, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany have the highest rates of cycling, ranging from 10 to 27 percent of all trips. This compares with about 1 percent of trips in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

The rest of the story

Bike Among the Ruins?

Not exactly what the Detroit Chamber of Commerce had in mind but it is a very interesting concept for those cities that are experiencing negative growth.

Published: July 4, 2009
One night a little over a year ago, crossing Woodward Avenue, I crashed my bicycle. As I flew head over heels across Detroit’s main boulevard, I thought, well, in any other town, I’d be hitting a car right about now. But this being the Motor City, the street was deserted, completely motor-free.

While bike enthusiasts in most urban areas continue to have to fight for their place on the streets, Detroit has the potential to become a new bicycle utopia. It’s a town just waiting to be taken. With well less than half its peak population, and free of anything resembling a hill, the city and its miles and miles of streets lie open and empty, beckoning. And lately, whether it’s because of the economy or the price of gas or just because it’s a nice thing to do, there are a lot more bikers out riding.

The rest of the story

Wisconsin passes complete streets!

Complete Streets Legislation
Wisconsin now joins only a few states to have passed Complete Streets legislation. This important legislation provides for accommodation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in new or reconstruction road projects.

What are Complete Streets?
Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

What do Complete Streets policies do?
Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

The Many Types of Complete Streets.
There is no one design prescription for complete streets. Ingredients that may be found on a complete street include: sidewalks, bike lanes (or wide paved shoulders), special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, and more. A complete street in a rural area will look quite different from a complete street in a highly urban area. But both are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road. Below, we showcase the variety of options in creating roads that are safe for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation.

The Wisconsin Complete Streets law:
SECTION 1918gr. 84.01 (35) of the statutes is created to read: 84.01 (35) (a) In this subsection:
1. "Bikeway" has the meaning given in s. 84.60 (1)(a).
2. "Pedestrian way" has the meaning given in s.346.02 (8) (a).
(b) Except as provided in par. (c), and notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or ch. 82, 83, or 85, the department shall ensure that bikeways and pedestrian ways are established in all new highway construction and reconstruction projects funded in whole or in part from state funds or federal funds appropriated under s. 20.395 or 20.866.
(c) The department shall promulgate rules identifying exceptions to the requirement under par. (b), but these rules may provide for an exception only if any of the following apply:
1. Bicyclists or pedestrians are prohibited by law from using the highway that is the subject of the project.
2. The cost of establishing bikeways or pedestrian ways would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use of the bikeways or pedestrian ways. For purposes of this subdivision, cost is excessively disproportionate if it exceeds 20 percent of the total project cost. The rules may not allow an exception under this subdivision to be applied unless the secretary of transportation, or a designee of the secretary who has knowledge of the purpose and value of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, reviews the applicability of the exception under this subdivision to the particular project at issue.
3. Establishing bikeways or pedestrian ways would have excessive negative impacts in a constrained environment.
4. There is an absence of need for the bikeways or pedestrian ways, as indicated by sparsity of population, traffic volume, or other factors.
5. The community where pedestrian ways are to be located refuses to accept an agreement to maintain them.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

California Cycleway 1900

California Cycleway....huh

So you want to be a Bike Commuter

Well here are a couple of thoughts regarding that:
1. Get a bike. It doesn't have to be expensive or a certain brand, it doesn't have to be pretty, it's just gotta work.
2. Get on your bike. Get the bike that you have out of the garage, or basement, and get on your bike. Start Pedaling!! Stop making excuses that prevent you from doing so.
3. Have something to carry stuff. Put a backpack on yourself, or a basket on your bike. Again, looks are nothing but as you know you carry a lot of stuff with you in your car and if you are commuting on your bike then you need to have at least a couple things with you. Like a change of clothes, or rain gear, or some water.
4. Choose a destination. Work, the store.
5. Choose a route. I know that for many of you this may be the hardest part. If you truly want to be a bike commuter though, guess what, you must play nice with cars and hope and pray to God that they will play nice with you.
6. So you have a problem with #5? Well, here is another piece of advice. Move back into town to a neighborhood that would allow you to commute to everything using residential streets. I recommend the Northside Neighborhood. It has been a great choice for us. I am sure that I have made mention of this before but we drew a 3 mile circle around downtown where I work and bought a house in there.
7. Repeat as often as you can. I prefer daily but start with one or two trips per week and work your way up! You can do it.

Just click on the link!

Just check out this link
It has a video on it that is truly amazing.
I know it is in Amsterdam, I know fort Wayne is not like any other place on earth and everyone knows that but this is just unreal!!

Mobility Coordinator....huh? Wouldn't have thought of that.

This is a great story about a different way to attempt to get things working. Granted it is California but it is nice to see that Fort Wayne is not the only community that has challenges with regard to biking and more specifically bike commuting.

Jennifer Stockdale
Wed. June 10

Can Long Beach’s newly appointed mobility coordinator Charlie Gandy patch up the city’s busted bike infrastructure?

On a recent rainy Wednesday, Charlie Gandy breezes into new East Village coffee spot Sipology, shuffling his well-worn Chuck Taylors across the floor, slightly beat-up bike helmet in hand, right khaki pant leg folded up to his shin.

Well, he certainly looks the part of the city’s new mobility coordinator—aka, the guy who’s supposed to know how to build a functioning bicycle infrastructure into our overcrowded grid system and around our dysfunctional city government. And his palpable charisma and expert tutelage might just be enough to ease the peculiar aggression found among Long Beach’s cyclists, motorists and law enforcement.

The rest of the story

Create Bike Only Roads

I gotta tell you I love this line of thinking even though I think that it is a long way off for here in Fort Wayne.

Create Bike-Only Roads

by Max Fisher
Citing a need to alleviate motor traffic, reduce air pollution, and increase general health, cities are carving out more bike lanes. But bike lanes simply don't work. Maybe something about America's competitive cowboy culture means drivers just can't bring themselves to share the road, frequently parking in bike lanes, turning across bike lanes without warning, and colliding with bikes.

In 2007, car-on-bike accidents killed 698 cyclists and injured 45,000, including me, courtesy of a Washington, D.C., minivan driver who, unsatisfied with my 22-mph pace at the height of rush hour, decided she had more of a right to the stretch of road I was occupying. With law enforcement often unwilling to enforce bikers' claims to the road, it's hard to see behavior changing. Take the much-publicized case of the driver who crippled a 14-year-old cyclist by dragging him under her SUV for 131 feet and got a $500 ticket. Not much of a disincentive.

The Rest of the Story

Bicycle Indiana Survey

Check out What's Going Downtown
It is a fairly extensive survey about biking and bikers habits in order to help them to understand the cycling community here in Indiana.
Thanks Michael K and Scott.