Thursday, October 29, 2009

State Law, Austin don't need no stinking state law

Kudos to Austin, TX for not waiting around for the governor of Texas to sign into law a three feet rule. Can you imagine the legislature passed the law and the governor vetoed it? Unreal. Regardless it was shot down. So what did the City Council of Austin do? They did it themselves! Unanimously I might add. They got it going on and what a great thing for all cyclists within the Austin City Limits. Could it happen here? Sure it could. Can it be enforced? I doubt it. I don't see normal traffic laws enforced. But it could work to at least put it in the minds of drivers that we need and are entitled to a little sliver of the road that we helped to pay for.

Read all abut it here

How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws?

I could say that it starts with education but, maybe for people who aren't old enough to drive it might start with education. For me it started when I realized as a driver that when people don't signal in a car it is annoying. So I started to signal on my bike. It kind of gets back to the vehicular cycling.
When I am riding or driving I get ticked when people don't obey the laws of the road. Running stop signs, or worse, red lights. Then I realized that I do that sometimes on a bike and I am going to get no respect from any vehicle on the road if I don't. So now I obey the laws and I still get yelled at and honked at but now I know they are yelling or honking because their Mommy doesn't love them not because I am breaking traffic laws.

Check out this story I found.

Stop Means Stop
How do we get bikers to obey traffic laws?

By Christopher Beam of

Bikes occupy a gray area of the law. They're neither cars nor pedestrians. Most states do carve out special laws for bikes, but not enough to avoid confusion. Take this scenario: I'm approaching a stop sign on my bike. There are clearly no cars coming from either direction. Do I come to a complete stop? Can I cautiously slide through? The traffic laws say full stop. But in practice, few bikers hit the brake, put their foot on the ground, and then start pedaling again. Are they criminals?

The rest of the story

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Report on Transportation Funding in the City of Fort Wayne

Transportation Funding
This is an interesting study that I happened to find on the interweb the other day.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in Chicago was commissioned by the City of Fort Wayne to do the study.
In a nutshell it talks about how transportation projects are funded and what projects are funded by what source. I found it to be very enlightening. Maybe you will too. I didn't realize how much money we get from the Federal Government for Transportation projects. The most interesting funding source that could be (and should be, according to the report) used for bicycle and pedestrian projects is Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding. The report seems to stress that widening roads to allow for freer flow of automobiles is not exactly the best use of the funds. There are quite a few intersting points that are made.
It's a quick read that I recommend to help all the bikers out there understand transportation funding for our community.
The report from CNT

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recall info that I was just clued into (Thanks Paul)

Bicycles, bicycle tires recalled
Associated Press

The front tray or basket can come loose and come into contact with the front tire, posing a fall hazard to riders

The following recalls have been announced:

* About 6,400 Electra bicycles, 2009 model, because the product's front tray or basket can come loose and come into contact with the front tire, posing a fall hazard to riders. The company received 15 reports of the front tray or basket coming loose, including two reports of minor cuts and bruises. The recalled products include 2009 Delivery 3i, Delivery 8D, Holiday 3i, Holiday 8i and Surf 3i bicycles with front-mounted trays or baskets. They were made in Taiwan and imported by Electra Bicycle Co., of Vista, Calif. They were sold by authorized Electra Bicycle dealers nationwide from October 2008 through August 2009. Details: by phone at 800-261-1644; on the Web at or
* About 5,000 Schwalbe Ultremo R Bicycle Tires, made in Indonesia by Ralf Bohle GmbH of Germany. The tire layers could separate, causing the inner tube to rupture and pose a fall hazard. No injuries have been reported. The recalled products were sold at bicycle specialty stores and online from April through May. Details: by phone at 888-700-5860; on the Web at or

From the League of American Bicyclists...

The numbers don't lie people.
You too can be a part of something big, well .55 percent isn't really that big but heck, a 43% increase in 10 years is pretty cool.

Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000 to 2008

As we reported earlier, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey (ACS), released on September 22, 2009, 0.55 percent of Americans use a bicycle as the primary means of getting to work. This is up 14 percent since 2007, 36 percent from the first ACS in 2005, and 43 percent since the 2000 Census. (Note that the ACS methodology under-counts cycling by not counting bicycle commuters who biked just once or twice the week they were surveyed or most cyclists who bike and use public transportation for their trip to work.)

Click here to view the ACS journey to work results for the 70 largest US cities, including the 23 largest Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs), since 2000. Use the tabs at the bottom of the page to find the share of American workers who bicycle, walk, use public transportation and drive alone. The tables show the share of commuters for 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and the percent they have changed over time.

Click here to view the ACS journey to work results for the 50 US states (and Puerto Rico). Use the tabs at the bottom for bicycle commuters and walking commuters. The sheets also include the amount of federal dollars spent on bicycle and pedestrian project between 2000 and 2008.

Here is a summary of bicycle commuting levels in the US over the past eight years.

On average, the 70 largest cities in the US — from New York City (population eight million) to Plano, Texas (population 259,000) — had higher bicycle commuter levels and larger increases than the national average. The average bicycle commuter share for the largest 70 US cities in 2008 was 0.63 percent, having grown by 50 percent since 2000.

Among the 70 largest cities, the 23 that have been designated by the League of American Bicyclists as Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFCs) for their pro-bicycling policies saw even higher levels of bicycle commuting and greater increases over the past eight years. In 2008, the average BFC bicycle commuter share was 1.63 percent, three times the national average. BFCs also grew 60 percent more than the national average and 40 percent more than the 70 largest city average.

Bicycle Friendly Communities far outpaced the 47 largest non-BFCs, whose average bicycle commuter share is growing slower than even the national average. Between 2000 and 2008, the bicycle commuter share in the 23 largest BFCs increased by nearly 70 percent. In contrast, the share in the non-BFC cities increased only 27 percent, to 0.58 percent. This strongly suggests that the efforts of the BFCs to improve bicycling conditions by investing in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning are paying off with larger increases in bicycle commuters.

Some of the fastest growing communities were those that started with relatively low bicycle commuter shares in 2000. Nashville and Cleveland tripled their share, and Cincinnati doubled its, but all three still have not reached three-quarters of a percent. On the other hand, some the cities with the highest bicycle commuter levels in 2000 also saw some of the largest increases. Platinum BFC Portland, OR saw the largest growth among all 70 large cities, more than tripling their bike share, to nearly 6 percent. See complete summary for more.
~Darren Flusche
League Policy Analyst



Sounds fun. I'm in.


Place: Psi Ote Pavilion North Side Park
705 East State Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

January 1ST 2010 MASS START 1:00 PM

For the last 14 years Three Rivers Velo Sport along with the Fort Wayne Park and Recreation have challenged riders on New Years day to a bicycle tour. When the first tour was organized the expected turn out was to be 10 to 15 riders. After all it was New Years day, who in their right mind would ride a bicycle in the cold? That first year drew over 60 riders and the organizers were overwhelmed to say the least. Last year the tour had 164 registered riders and an estimated 20 non-registered.

So what is it that attracts riders to the Chilly Challenge? It may be boasting rights to say they rode their bicycle in the cold temperature to ring in the New Year. What ever it is your sure to have fun.

The tour has a mass start from the Psi Ote pavilion in North Side Park. Riders wind through the city the first hour and stop at Johnny Appleseed Park where they watch the Polar Bears take their dip into the St Joseph River. Afterwards the tour continues with two routes. A short route that ends back at the starting point for about 15 miles of riding, and a longer route with about 25 miles.

Upon returning the riders are treated to hot chili, hot and cold drinks, snacks, cookies and cakes donated by the Bicycle club.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Tim Claypool, Director

4608 Highwood Drive

Fort Wayne, Indiana 46815-6066


It is truly amazing what the Transportation Commissioner of New York has accomplished

I have been following what the City of New York is doing for a while now and I have to tell all of you bike commuters and future bike commuters out there, if they can do this kind of stuff in New York.....

New York City's transportation commissioner is untangling gridlock.

On a sun-speckled afternoon in late August New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is in Times Square, expounding on the delights of a 2.5-acre pedestrian plaza she created three months ago. It displaces the 53,000 cars that crawled through the area daily with a strangely calm oasis where 356,000 people traipse beneath flashing billboards and jumbotrons.

"Have you sat down in these chairs before?" she asks, smiling, the jacket of her black pantsuit revealing an inch of tan, toned midriff. "You can really see the skyline and the streetscape," she continues. "This precolonial footpath has cut through the heart of New York's grid and created congestion for over 200 years."

The whole story

Great ideas that businesses could implement to increase ridership!

From the Village Voice
As City Grows More Bike-Friendly, Restaurants Consider the Benefits
By Mathew Katz in Featured, Restaurant News and Notes
Thursday, Sep. 17 2009 @ 5:08PM

​By Mathew Katz

When Maury Rubin, owner of The City Bakery, implemented a 50 percent discount for people arriving at his Birdbath Bakery by bike in 2005, it was a bit too popular--and too costly, so he had to reduce it to 25 percent. Still, he wouldn't dream of taking it away: In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, he says it's also helped the reputation of his bakeries.

"It's novel as hell," he says. "People are kind of thrilled by it. It helps create loyalty, and absolutely extended the name of Birdbath fairly deep into the cycling community of New York."

Rubin, who calls himself an "aspiring cyclist", isn't the city's only cycling-cheerleader. The Department of Transportation just finished a project to build 204.5 miles of new bike lanes, and with cycling up 45 percent since 2006, more businesses are embracing a "two-wheels-good" philosophy. Even MoMA offers a discount for people who arrive by bike.

But Rubin's bakeries have long been alone among the food scene in offering a cycling incentive; he says he thinks it would be great for other restaurants to give a similar discount, but that it's an expensive proposition.

"That 25 percent discount pretty much takes away our profit," he says. "It really represents an investment in the mission of the business and forwarding the reputation of the business."

But Wiley Norvell, of cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, says that with the increase in cyclists around the city, the discount could be worth the cost. "If you can build those relationships [with cyclists] now, when there are relatively few people competing for it, it could help business."

A cycling incentive also makes restaurants seem greener, which is one of Birdbath's primary missions. But it doesn't count towards much-desired green restaurant certification. According to Colleen Oteri, of the Green Restaurant Association, cycling incentives don't make it onto the association's criteria for green restaurant certification, though she recommends it as a good management practice. Oteri says the environmental benefit is too hard to quantify, unlike giving a discount for bringing a travel mug to a coffee shop.

Still, some restaurants have been catching on. Village Restaurant, which closed in July, offered a 10 percent discount for cyclists on Sundays. And while he hadn't thought of it before, Alberto Gonzalez, owner of Greenwich Village's hyper-green Gustorganics, will be offering a five percent discount to cyclists starting tonight, after hearing about Birdbath's.

"I didn't think about it," he said. "We should do it! Absolutely, in this tough economic time, it could be a very good incentive."

Rubin still wants Birdbath to be ahead of the competition--so he's currently working on two plans, which he wouldn't give details on, that will closer align Birdbath and the cycling worlds. For now, just take a giant baker's muffin at 25 percent off.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vehicular Cycling

I cannot tell you how much I like that term.
I had never heard it before the other day when I was reading Indycog
They had a great post quoting a guy from Louisville that was making comparisons between the different riding styles of people from Indy and those in Louisville.
Check out the post here
Here in Fort Wayne I would say that we are a lot more like Indy than Louisville when it comes to how people ride.
Columbus had a good number of vehicular cyclists as well.
I am not saying that with any connotation whatsoever.
There just aren't that many vehicular cyclists in the Fort (that I see anyway).
So get out there into traffic! Sounds crazy I know but try it out. It's pretty sweet.


No, I didn't fall off my bike.
Thank goodness.
Fall is here and it has me thinking.
Thinking about how great it is that I don't have to take a sponge bath in the bathroom when I get to work.
It has me thinking about how I need to get my bike prepared for the winter weather onslaught. I got a new chain put on last week. We learned in our traffic safety class that you should get a new chain put on after about 1000 miles. For me that was a couple thousand miles ago and it has been acting all wonky so I went for it. Yeah, Summit City.
It has me thinking about riding in the dark again. I don't mind it so much from my perspective but I am worried about everyone else on the road you know. I need some more reflective or bright clothing. I am having trouble though. It is hard because I am not some super duper road rider. That gear is too streamlined and not for the commuter. I did find a sweet pair of fluorescent orange snowpants for this winter a couple weeks ago in South Bend but the jacket is proving elusive.
It has me thinking about the lights on my bike. The Breezer has a front and rear light that run on a generator but when winter is here they don't work in the snow, they freeze up so I need a backup. The one I bought last year for $35 already broke so I need to do some research. In a hurry.
Fall has me thinking about having to ride on the busy streets because they are the only ones that get plowed in the winter. Soon the days of the mellow, relaxing rides to and from work will be over and the fight for room in my lane will begin.
It has me thinking about the guy last week that laid on his horn from behind me all the way from the Tennessee Bridge to Crescent Ave. Angry white guy in a beat up Ford Truck with scrap metal that he had gathered that day. Keep in mind that that stretch of road will soon be a designated bike route!
Fall has me thinking about Winter and I feel ill prepared.
I hope that you all are well and stay careful out there.

How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road

To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want

By Linda Baker

Getting people out of cars and onto bicycles, a much more sustainable form of transportation, has long vexed environmentally conscious city planners. Although bike lanes painted on streets and automobile-free “greenways” have increased ridership over the past few years, the share of people relying on bikes for transportation is still less than 2 percent, based on various studies. An emerging body of research suggests that a superior strategy to increase pedal pushing could be had by asking the perennial question: What do women want?

Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child ­rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.

Read the rest of this very insightful article here

Copy of Email I sent to Citilink a couple weeks ago

To Whom It May Concern,
I am a bicycle commuter.
I was riding on Spy Run Ave. on Monday (9/21) at about 5:20 PM.
I was taking my lane as I learned that I should do in my bicycle safety course that I took from the League of American Bicyclists. I was 5 feet from the curb in the right hand lane.
One of your buses decided that they should buzz me at a very high rate of speed and continuing to accelerate. The bus and I were the only vehicles on that stretch of road. The driver, should have changed lanes to give me my space on the road. Should there have been other vehicles on the road, that is exactly what they would have done. Should I have been in a small car I do not think that they would have given the vehicle less than three feet and swerved around me while not getting out of my lane.
I expect a written response (sent to the above email) to this hostile action on the part of your employee in a timely manner.
Thank you.

I have since communicated with Citilink to tell them exactly where I was on Spy Run and they said that they are going to pull the tape and review it with the driver.
The nice thing about this situation is that the vehicle that buzzed me had the name of the company on it. There have been too many times where I get buzzed where that is not the case. They have been fairly responsive up until this point so we'll see
I'll keep you all updated.