Thursday, August 20, 2009

This just rules!

So many of the points that this author touches on are so right on!
I love that he actually calls everyone out: I especially like the developer comments and as all of you know sometimes people can get very upset about us bikers. We did not make this car culture and one of the big reasons that I bike is to fight against it! Enjoy!

A Critical Mess? Yes it is

If we lock up all those responsible for current traffic problems, the traffic jams would be gone

By Gary Engler, Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Sun editorial criticizing the Critical Mass bicycle ride did not go nearly far enough.

While the editorial cited cyclists for breaking the law, everyone knows the real reason for public anger is the traffic jams the rides create.

Well, I say everyone who causes a traffic jam and disrupts the peace of our city should be arrested and sent to jail for a long time. That would send a message and quickly clear our streets for the enjoyment of its citizens.

So, in descending order of responsibility for traffic jams, the following scoundrels should be arrested and locked up by police officers who should refocus away from less important duties, such as catching murderers, busting meth labs and chasing bank robbers. I say arrest and imprison:

All the developers over the years who built the houses which sprawl for scores of kilometres, making it almost inevitable that hundreds of thousands of Lower Mainland residents will use private vehicles to go to work, shop and go about their daily lives.

The rest of the story

Wow, if New York can do it, Can Fort Wayne?

Biking 'Fastest Growing' Way To Get Around NYC

Despite the dangers, biking is New York City's "fastest growing mode of transportation," says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who herself bikes to work in lower Manhattan, about a mile from her Greenwich Village home.

In a metropolis known for its aggressive traffic, noise and fumes, cyclists crisscross New York City on two wheels while dodging cars, trucks, cabs, pedestrians -- and even other bikers tearing around with no hands on the bar.

Despite the dangers, biking is New York City's "fastest growing mode of transportation," says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who herself bikes to work in lower Manhattan, about a mile from her Greenwich Village home.

The number of cyclists has jumped by 80 percent in the past decade -- to 185,000 among the more than 8 million city denizens.

City officials say they've worked to make the city more biker friendly. They note the hundreds of miles of marked bike paths created in recent years, safety awareness campaigns and handouts of free helmets to unprotected cyclists.

The rest of the story

Would decent bike parking get more people biking to work?

I found this article the other day and I think the there are some good points that should probably be explored.
I myself am blessed to have good bike parking (although in the winter a climate controlled environment would be the ideal)at the City/County Building bike lockers.
Check it!
What Would Get Americans Biking to Work?Decent parking.
By Tom VanderbiltMonday, Aug. 17, 2009

When we talk about transportation, we tend to talk about things in motion. What is often left unremarked upon, in conversations about crowded highways, is something without which those crowds would not exist: parking. That humble 9-by-18-foot space (the standard size of a spot) is where traffic begins and ends. It is the fuel to traffic's fire.

Why is it overlooked? One possibility is that parking is more typically treated as real estate, the subject of arcane building codes and zoning regulations, rather than as a part of transportation networks; given that cars spend 95 percent of their time parked, this makes some sense. Another reason may simply be that, in most of America, parking is taken as a given. Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, has estimated that 99 percent of car trips in the United States terminate in a free parking space, which means the nation's drivers don't have much incentive to think about parking—or not driving. In many American places, there are more parking spaces than people.

The rest of the story

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Check it out from I'm in your Fort (killing your dudes)

Thanks to Michael K and Bike Michiana (a terrific resource by the way, mark it I say!)
The new bike bill
Read it here

Smart Cycling: Traffic Skills 101

Dear fellow bike commuters,
I gotta tell you I thought that I knew how to ride a bike.
Here are some highlights from the traffic skills 101 class that I took last month:
1. Take your lane.
You are entitled to take the lane width that you need.
I have been practicing this more since the class and it has been successful. I have been riding about 3 to 4 feet from the curb or parked cars. A good rule of thumb is in the right hand tire tracks of cars.
2. Don't cut through traffic on the right at lights.
I realize that that does take some fun out of it when you have to wait for all of the cars in front of you at a stop sign or light but it is safer and further defines your position as a vehicle on the road.
3. Signal.
Pretty self explanatory. Let the other vehicles on the road know what you are doing.
4. Turn like a car.
That means if you are going to turn left then do it from the left hand turn lane. Yes, you can do it. Yield to traffic, signal and change lanes. It really is quite empowering once you start to do it.
5. Ride like you are a car.
Ride with traffic. Sounds simple but now I am actually noticing all of the idiots out there that ride against traffic! 14% of all biking accidents are caused by riders failing to ride with traffic.
6. Learn how to stop on a dime.
Sounds easy but it takes a little practice so you don't launch yourself over the bars.
7. Know your gears.
For good efficiency and lowest impact on the body, most people find a pedaling cadence of 75-95 revolutions per minute to be optimal. I have geared down and it has improved my ride quite a bit.
8. Get some bright lights and clothing.
Be safe, be seen!
In a nutshell, the best thing to do is to act like all the other vehicles on the road.

Helmet Lock

Got this the other day and I think it looks great for the bike commuter.

Hey fwbikecommuter (couldn't find your name.... ;-),

I'm a bike commuter in San Francisco, and I've come up with a clever little device to lock my helmet to my bicycle. It's called theHelmetLock and I'm trying to get the word out. I'd love it if you'd check out my website and let me know what you think.


Check Out My Cool New Invention!
The Bike Helmet Lock
Never Carry Around Your Helmet Again

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Timothy Wegner, local hero

Tim works at Summit City Bikes and he holds the world record for the fastest CO2 tire change! It is crazy and he is a resident of our fine City. I had the pleasure of attending the traffic skills course with him.
Here is the video

It has been too long...

Sorry about the lapse in posts my fellow bike commuters.
My parents were in town for the last week and a half and that is a great excuse to stay the heck off the computer.
I took the traffic skills course a few weekends ago from a representative from Bicycle Indiana and it was quite informative. We had 8 of us in the class and I know that even the most experienced cyclists learned something new. I will get a little more in depth in a later post. I just wanted you all to know that I have not been killed or danaged by a car or sport ute yet.