Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anyone doing the Chili Challenge?

Well, last year it was chilly to say the least but I hear that it will be in the 40s this year. Starts at 1pm at the Psi Ote pavilion at Northside Park.
Last year's highlight was watching everyone eat it on the ice and the crazies jumping into the river. There won't be any ice on the greenway this year but there figures to still be crazies jumping in the river.
You don't have to ride the whole thing either. C'Mon out and start off the new year right.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Dark Helmet

Helmet Wars: A gripping account of the great bicycle helmet campaigns | Grist

I wear a helmet and don't plan on not wearing one for a while.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

That's really all I have for you. Thanks for reading and be safe out there.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, December 20, 2010

I think the real reason bike sharing isn't taking off everywhere is because gas is still cheap



"The biggest reason bike sharing is not really happening in the U.S. is the dire need to find additional revenue streams to fund programs." - Jason Meinzer, CityRyde


The rest of the post

"New-car smell" cited in Edwards hit-and-run case By Randy Wyrick Vail Daily

EAGLE—"New-car smell" might have contributed to a driver losing consciousness in a July hit-and-run accident, his lawyers claim.

Martin Erzinger was driving a new 2010 Mercedes sedan when he rear-ended bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo, about 1:30 p.m. July 3.

Erzinger's attorneys say their client suffers from sleep apnea and fell asleep at the wheel before driving off U.S. Highway 6 and onto the shoulder near Miller Ranch Road, hitting Milo, who sustained injuries, from behind.

Erzinger had purchased the car about a month before the accident. Accident reconstructionist John Koziol found in his investigation the sedan was emitting new car fumes, court documents said. It might have been a contributing factor, documents said.


Now that is a good lawyer, I'll tell you what.

From the other day.

I posted this the other day on Twitter. But thought I would throw it up here on the blog as well. The advice for you today regarding winter commuting? Layers. Layer your clothes. It is so much more effective. When it is 8 degrees out I will have on: a base layer, a micro fleece layer, a long sleeve t shirt and my gore tex shell. Try it out. Thanks for reading and take care out.there.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Sunday, December 19, 2010

cold weather bike commuter has warm heart

It has been really nice to see more than a couple of hearty souls out there braving the busier plowed streets lately. I love to see it! The more the better.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hello Winter and December CM2 this Friday

Last week in a scramble I ran my bike to the shop to put on the Schwalbe Marathon Snow tires that I received in the mail a few days ago and am I glad I did.

It has been cold and snowy and actually, pretty nice. For me it has been a nice change because I was able to be prepared for it. Knowing that I cannot wear too much clothing I believe is the most important lesson that I have learned over the last couple winters that I have been commuting.

Don't forget that we have our Critical Manners/Courteous Mass ride this Friday, Lawton Park at 6:30. It promises to be: dark (bring lights and wear light colored clothing) and cold (wear enough but wear it in layers in case you start to perspire).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Expansion of Bike Lanes in City Brings Backlash

By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Published: November 22, 2010
Over the last four years, the streets of New York City have undergone a transformation: More than 250 miles of traffic lanes dedicated for bicycles have been created, and several laws intended to promote cycling have been passed.

The efforts by the Bloomberg administration have placed the city at the forefront of a national trend to make bicycling viable and safe even in the most urban of settings. Yet over the last year, a backlash has taken hold.

Bowing to vocal opposition from drivers and elected officials, the city last week began removing a 2.35-mile painted bike lane along Father Capodanno Boulevard on Staten Island. In Manhattan, a community board held a special hearing this month for business owners to vent about problems posed by a new protected bicycle lane on Columbus Avenue — in particular, the removal of parking spaces and the difficulty of getting truck deliveries.


Kinda similar to all of the hubbub I have been hearing from folks about the Rudisill bike lane project! With change comes time for adjustment, mainly for the automobile operators but we have to remember that while gas is still cheap, that they are the majority.

The Rest of the story

National Public Radio giving the bike commuters some love

November 29, 2010

One way National Geographic staffers in Washington, D.C., can get to know their company's CEO is to take him up on his long-standing offer: to go for a lunchtime bike ride.

"Anyone still downstairs? OK, so we ready to go, guys?" National Geographic Society CEO John Fahey asks a group of about 20 employees

Fahey, an avid biker, says he's just trying to encourage a little exercise — and he wants the opportunity to get to know folks informally. As the group makes the 15-mile trek to Hains Point along the Potomac River and back, Fahey makes a point of chatting with everyone, staffers say.

At National Geographic — which is a hub of outdoorsy, adventure-seeking types who think nothing of biking busy city streets — lots of the staffers who join Fahey for the lunchtime rides also use their bikes to get to and from work every day.

"I've been riding in for 19 years," says senior photo editor Dan Westergren, adding that he has definitely noticed the boom — especially as bike paths and bike lanes along city streets have improved.

Westergren's commute is a combined 12 miles to and from home. And he says, given all the biking he does, he doesn't need a gym membership to stay fit.

"Really, to build it into your daily routine by commuting for me has just been the best thing," he says.


The Rest of the story

Monday, November 15, 2010

I would bet that the same three groups exist in the same proportions here in Fort Wayne

Study identifies three different types of cyclists
City officials hope improvements will encourage more people to bike


By Hannah Guzik
Ashland Daily Tidings
Posted: 2:00 AM November 06, 2010

Only about 7.5 percent of Ashland's population is comfortable with the current bicycle network, but if bike routes were improved, about 60 percent of residents might take to cycling regularly, a Portland engineering firm estimates in a recent study.

The researchers found there are three types of cyclists in Ashland, as in Portland and many other cities nationwide, according to the Oct. 14 study by Kittelson & Associates Inc.

The first type, which makes up only about .5 percent of the population, is "strong and fearless," and will bike regardless of road conditions. Then there are "enthused and confident" bikers, about 7 percent of residents, who are comfortable with the current bike network.

The largest group of cyclists, about 60 percent of the population, are "interested but concerned" about the safety of the existing bike network.

"There appears to be a need to provide a multi-level cycling system that caters to multiple types of cyclists, if there is to be a significant change in shifting more people to cycling," the report states.

The study lists several ways the city can cater to the concerned group of cyclists, and city officials plan to heed the advice, in order to encourage more people to bike, said Ashland Planning Commission Chairwoman Pam Marsh.

"Many residents are really wanting to bicycle, but are aware of safety issues, especially those people who are parents," she said. "A lot of traffic we generate in the city is from parents ferrying their kids around, so if we can begin to address their concerns, hopefully we can get more people bicycling."

The study recommends creating buffered, protected or separated bike lanes on busy streets and providing more cross-town bike routes that don't involve cycling on Main Street, Siskiyou Boulevard or Ashland Street.


The rest of the story

I think that I fit in the "enthused and confident" group. What about you?
Walkers and cars clash on Brickell

On booming Brickell Avenue, pedestrians must dodge cars to get across the street, but a big state resurfacing project contemplates few improvements for them.

BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI
aviglucci@MiamiHerald.com

Along Miami's Brickell Avenue, a tower-lined urban boulevard booming with thousands of new office workers and condo residents, jaywalking and car-dodging is the order of the day -- and often the only convenient way to get across the busy street on foot.

The sight of people in business attire bushwhacking through the thickly planted median in the city's premier commercial district has become commonplace. Women pushing baby strollers must break into a jog to avoid onrushing autos. To get from bus stop to work, transit riders are often forced into the Brickell four-lane dash.

Don't blame the pedestrians, though.

According to city planners and elected officials, residents and activists, the reason is simple: Brickell Avenue, the spine of Miami's densest pedestrian district, lacks sufficient marked crosswalks and traffic signals.

But according to the Florida Department of Transportation and its traffic-engineering manuals, that's not reason enough to undertake substantial pedestrian-friendly changes on Brickell.


The rest of the story

People and most important, COMPANIES, look at livability when deciding where to locate their operations. Livability means having alternate forms of transportation. Good grief, especially in a climate that allows those alternate forms of transport to be utilized throughout the year! At some point, economic development folks should chime in on these types of issues.

Great article that, if correct, would increase the number of bike commuters by 700%

Weeden’s Maxwell: Brace For $300/Barrel Oil
By Olivier Ludwig | November 03, 2010


When IndexUniverse.com Managing Editor Olivier Ludwig caught up with Charles Maxwell, Weeden & Co.’s senior energy analyst, it was to talk about so-called “peak oil,” the theory that holds that the day when oil production around the planet is no longer sufficient to meet demand is nearly upon us. Maxwell, who has been involved in the oil industry for more than half a century, speaks with the slow cadence and easy charm of a man who has mastered his subject. The problem is that if you take his message seriously—and there are plenty of reasons to believe it unreservedly—it can pretty much ruin your day. From having to eat more root vegetables in winter instead of enjoying oranges from Chile, to watching oil prices spike to $300 a barrel by 2020, a world of slowly but steadily dwindling supplies of petroleum would be very different indeed. But there is an upside, once the shock of it sets in: Peak oil will undoubtedly unleash a wave of technological innovation, most importantly in energy efficiency.


The rest of the story

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free to go Car-less?

Carmakers' next problem: Generation Y
People in their teens and twenties are more interested in gadgets than cars


By Allison Linn Senior writer

Meet Natalie McVeigh, the auto industry’s latest headache.

At 25 years old, McVeigh lives in Denver and has two good jobs, as a research analyst and an adjunct professor of philosophy. What she doesn’t have — or want — is a car.

A confluence of events — environmental worries, a preference for gadgets over wheels and the yearslong economic doldrums — is pushing some teens and twentysomethings to opt out of what has traditionally been considered an American rite of passage: Owning a car.

“There’s kind of almost every force working against the young driver right now,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst and editor-at-large at Edmunds.com, an automotive research website.

That could be a problem for automakers, which are still reeling from the Great Recession that sorely damaged their industry. Now, they may find that their youngest generation of potential customers will either purchase fewer cars, put off buying cars until later in life — or they won’t end up buying cars at all.

“That’s definitely a concern,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, an automotive market research firm that has been tracking young car buyers for 20 years. “They are not as engaged with cars and trucks as Gen X or Boomers before them.”

The percentage of new cars sold to 21- to 34-year-olds hit a high of nearly 38 percent in 1985 but stands at around 27 percent today, according to CNW research. Over that same period, the percentage of new car buyers who are 55 or older has generally been trending up, according to the vehicle research group.


The rest of the story

So what do you think the ramifications of this will be for a city like Fort Wayne? Are there other adequate transportation options for this generation who doesn't want a car? I think that there is already evidence of this. Neighborhoods such as West Central and Northside are at an advantage because they are more walkable. No offense to Citilink, but it does not make transportation as easy as it needs to be for more mass appeal. Citilink is a slave to budget cuts just like other government-type organizations. With the tax cap that was just passed, it will only get worse. Will lack of alternative transportation infrastructure cause the young people to move to places that will allow them to be car-less? Ask your favorite Generation Yer, if you can find one.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Critical Manners/Courteous Mass for November 2010

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field. We meet at 6:15 and ride at 6:30 (thanks Don).

Weather should be nice.
Bring your headlights/tail lights and wear light colored clothing. It'll be dark!
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood talks about livable communities

From: Grist

by Sarah Goodyear

When Ray LaHood was nominated by President Obama to be the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), it seemed like an afterthought. The selection of LaHood, a Republican Congressman from Illinois with a reputation for political pragmatism, was seen by many as a gesture at bipartisanship that indicated just how little the administration cared about possible innovations at the DOT.

Over at Worldchanging, Alex Steffen called the appointment "a profoundly uninspiring vote for business as usual," and at Streetsblog, where I worked at the time, Aaron Naparstek wrote this:

The selection of a downstate Illinois Republican with close ties to highway lobby stalwart Caterpillar Inc. is being taken by many as a clear sign that progressive transportation policy is, for now, nowhere near the top of the Obama's agenda.

What a difference 20 months makes.

LaHood has proven to be much more than a roads-and-bridges secretary. He's been an outspoken and articulate proponent of high-speed rail. He's mounted an aggressive campaign against distracted driving. He's jumped up on a table to address the National Bike Summit, saying that, "I really came here just to say thank you to all of you for hanging in there with us. You all have made a big difference."


The Rest of the story

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New bike lanes on Rudisill



This was taken Friday Morning somewhere on West Rudisill.

Seriously though. From what I understand, the Traffic Engineering Dept has been taking a lot of heat about the road diet on Rudisill. There is always a period after change has occurred, when what was once familiar has become not so familiar, and people don't like that. But they will get used to it and the people on their bikes will find the sweet new bike lanes, and all will be right with the world. Kudos to Mayor Henry for supporting this kind of positive change that makes Fort Wayne an even better town to live in.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I actually am surprised that this doesn't happen more

Angry Man Runs Over Biker, Police Say
Cyclist Unharmed; $5,000 Bicycle Destroyed In Crash

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- An Albuquerque cyclist said he was obeying all traffic laws when an angry man plowed him over with a truck.

Steve McCampbell said he walked away with only a few bruises after the incident that destroyed his $5,000 bicycle.

Police said McCampbell and a group of others were cycling near Constitution Avenue and San Mateo Boulevard last month when an angry Joe Ackley started screaming at them.

“He pulled up behind us and that was when I was like, 'What's your problem?'” McCampbell said.

The cyclist said Ackley pulled up next to the pack and tried to run over him.


The Rest from KOAT in Albuquerque

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Could it come to this?

An Alternative to Congestion Pricing: Roadway Traffic Restraint
Yonah Freemark
October 6th, 2010

When it comes to transportation economists, there’s pretty much one answer to every problem: Equate pricing of all modes with their greater societal impacts. In general, this means that we (in the U.S.) ought to be charging drivers more to make up for the negative effects they have on the environment and the roadway infrastructure, and that we ought to be increasing subsidies to encourage people to take transit.

This approach could be implemented in a variety of ways depending on location, but one model that has been particularly appealing to planners interested in reducing the perceived negative economic and social effects of traffic has been that of London, which in 2003 implemented a congestion charge on drivers entering its central business district. Revenues from the program went to increasing transit service. The method, unsurprisingly, has been a major success in terms of reducing traffic: Between 2002 and 2007, overall car movements in the district decreased by 39%. Meanwhile, travel on public transportation increased correspondingly over the same time period: By 24% on commuter railways, 16% on the Underground, and 18% on buses.

The rest of the story

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Our Time!

Why an additional road tax for bicyclists would be unfair

by Elly Blue

In tight economic times, when it's hard to scrape together the cash to fill potholes, even this low level of bicycle spending is often put on hold. But what if, instead, the road tax overpaid by bicyclists were invested into making city streets safer, more comfortable, and more convenient for bicycling? New York City has been doing just that, resulting in tens of thousands of people taking to the streets on two wheels and -- if those people would otherwise be making those trips by car -- saving the city a whole hell of a lot of cash.

Yet the myth of bicyclists as freeloaders is gaining ground. Proposals for bicycle registration schemes crop up every few months, usually from conservative politicians looking for someone to blame, but also at times from well-meaning bicycle advocates. Never mind that no such program has ever managed to pay for its own administrative costs. Nothing is accomplished by putting up barriers to active transportation. Instead, these barriers need to be removed.

Cities -- and taxpayers -- can't afford not to invest in bicycling.


The Rest of the Story

Sunday, October 10, 2010

There those Danes go again...

Be a Hero, Commute By Bike



Comic by Andy Singer

Nothin' Beats A Warm Fall Day!

Sweet weather we've been having, huh?
We had a great ride on Friday night with the Critical/Courteous and as Vince predicted, a good turnout.
I think that there were somewhere between 12 and 14 of us.
Good route, great weather, thanks for coming out everyone.
We'll see you in November!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

(CM)2 a.k.a. Courteous Mass, Critical Manners

It is supposed to be in the mid 70's!
Hope to see you there! This Friday the 8th!

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Good Stuff

My Car, My Crutch (Editorial) from Planning Pool
Recently I read an outline for a friend’s thesis on the use of vehicles as a prosthetic component of the human body. Her argument, still in development, is predicated on Rebecca Solnit’s belief that “the car has become a prosthetic… for a conceptually impaired body or a body impaired by the creation of a world that is no longer human in scale” and that walking has become an “indicator species for various kinds of freedom and pleasures”.

My experience with my car merges comfortably with the typical negative statements made about vehicles, such as disassociation with community and the natural world, and increased material consumption. However, life with my car has also been reflective of the many freedoms it allows me: escape for the weekend or access to nearby cities or other areas to which transit does not provide admission, to name a few.


The Rest of the Story

Thursday, September 30, 2010

South Bend

From the Bicycle Indiana E Newsletter

Bicycle Friendly Communities

Bicycle Indiana is excited to share that South Bend has joined Bloomington, Carmel and Indianapolis as a Bicycle Friendly Community! After working hard on this goal, advocates in South Bend and Michiana have achieved the first milestone with a Bronze BFC designation. With a recently completed riverside trail as his backdrop, South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke announced the good news to the citizens of South Bend during a press conference that included members of Bike Michiana Coalition, Michiana Bicycle Association and Bike the Bend. The cycling groups explained how Chris Dressel, South Bend's bike/ped coordinator, submitted the application for the city in tandem with the Michiana Bicycle Coalition and Bike Michiana. Bicycle Indiana is proud to see another city join the prestigious ranks of bicycle-friendly communities. For more information about South Bend

A bicycle-friendly community since 2003, this fall, Bloomington became one of only 28 communities nationally to earn the silver BFC designation. But that doesn't mean the Bloomington team considers their work to be done. Raymond Hess, Senior Planner for the City of Bloomington, told Bicycle Indiana the city has developed a "Platinum" task force. For more information on Bloomington


I lived in South Bend for a couple of years prior to moving to Fort Wayne and it is great to see all the the Mayor has done. I also know Chris Dressel, the bike/ped coordinator there and he is a great guy. I started commuting by bike when I lived there actually. Congratulations South Bend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MEMORANDUM


Photo courtesy of Angela Thuringer

TO: THOSE OF YOU WHO COMMUTE BY BIKE TO: THE STORE, THE BAR, A FRIEND'S HOUSE...

FROM: Fort Wayne Bike Commuter

RE: The Season

As the weather changes (Like two days ago! Wasn't it 90 some odd degrees the other day?) the inevitable question arises in everyone's head. "I don't know how much longer I'm going to ride this year, it's getting cold." To this question I have an answer. Well, not really an answer but more of a suggestion.
Toughen up!
You can do it.
Here's how:
1. Get a good long sleeve shirt. I like to use the "technical fabric". Actually I use long sleeve running shirts that I get from doing races. You know the petroleum based garments. They work great and if you don't want to run a race to get one you could always go buy one.
2. If you start off cold that is good. Regulate your temperature with your pace. If you are cold, pedal faster and change gears. I get to work so much faster when it's cool.
3. Set a goal like, "I am going to ride until December 1st." It is always nice to challenge yourself.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

They'll find any reason to get mad

"You need to get on the F%&king Sidewalk!"

It has been a while since this type of lovely language has been directed toward me in a threatening manner. That is until last Friday as I pedaled home from work.
I was riding on a residential street. The birds were chirping, it was a lovely afternoon. My neighbors were walking their grandchild down the sidewalk.
I approached my house and passed it so I could go around the block to put my bike on the garage. I then came upon the Yield sign on the corner of Curdes. I looked left and no cars were coming so I began to pedal again only to have to swerve and slam on the breaks as a car traveling so fast down Curdes that,to make a left onto West drive, had to hug the inside corner. I stopped. Got off my bike. He slammed on the breaks and got out of his car. He was a big kid, probably 19 or so. I had my U-lock in my hand. He screamed the above quote at me to which I stated, "Sidewalks are for pedestrians, roads are for vehicles." I said that he should slow down in this neighborhood due to the fact that there is a large population of children that play here. He said that it was his neighborhood to and repeated the above stated language. I got hs plate number as he drove off. But there is nothing that can be done.
This is just one of the thousands of stories that those of us that commute by bike could and would retell if anyone would listen.
I hope that the educational and legislative portions of the Bike Fort Wayne plan attack this sentiment that we all have been feeling from the people in cars who Think that they know the rules of the road.
Be safe out there everyone.

Who doesn't like a good fight?

This is some good stuff. Of course it is more on a national level but that means that eventually it will filter down to lil' ol' Fort Wayne (hopefully).

Transportation is about more than mode choice, it can be a nasty fight to the death. The winning technology or manufacturer stands to make millions–even billions–while the losers often slink away into obscurity. As America gears up for a transportation revolution, a future in which renewable energy takes center stage, a pit fight is already underway.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants to give bikes the same rights as cars, Senate Republicans will fight any climate bill legislation that comes their way, electric cars attempt to squeeze out their gas counterparts and Michael Bloomberg will do everything in his power to give New York back to its pedestrians. While the fights aren’t always evenly-matched, they’re always entertaining. Here is our Alt8 Top Transportation Showdowns of 2010.

Ray Lahood vs. Gas-Fueled Cars: President Obama’s Transportation Secretary has been one of the biggest proponents of alternative transit. In fact, LaHood famously said that the government was going to give bicycling and walking the same importance as automobiles in transportation planning and federal funds. While announcing nearly $300 million in federal money that would go towards building streetcars, bus rapid transit, bike projects and other initiatives, LaHood said, “This investment by the Obama Administration in our nation’s communities will create jobs, boost economic development and recovery, and further reduce our dependence on oil. Our goals are to provide cleaner, safer, and more efficient ways to get around.” Of course, truckers yelled in protest. Rep. Steve LaTourette, (R-OH) mockingly asked, “So is it his thought that perhaps we’re going to have, like, rickshaws carrying cargo from state to state, or people with backpacks?”

Advantage: Ray LaHood

The rest of the story

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Courteous Mass/Critical Manners (CM2)

The weather is gorgeous!
Hope to see you there! Friday the 10th!

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time traveled. Does that matter to those of us who commute by bike?

Hi Folks.
I have been on this time tip of late. I think that I have been paying more attention to it because due to some changes around the homestead, my schedule has tightened up a bit. It is not that I am stressed for time, it is just that I have needed to be more efficient. Biking does take longer then getting there by car. We all understand that, especially when you make every attempt to follow the laws of the road. (Courteous Mass/Critical Manners or as I like to incorrectly refer to it as, CM2, is a week from tomorrow!) Anyway, back to the subject at hand. So what is the most efficient path on which to travel? How much time are you willing to sacrifice to be on a safer path I guess would be a better way to ask that question. I have been pushing it of late and the mechanized vehicles have been none too kind to me on the busier roads unfortunately. Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lower speed limits are safer for pedestrians and cyclists


Groundbreaking NYCDOT Pedestrian Study Recommends Testing 20 mph Limit for Neighborhoods

by Michelle Ernst


Citing even one crash as “one crash too many,” New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on Monday released the city’s “roadmap for safety strategies.” The study recommends four specific engineering and design strategies to improve pedestrian safety:

* 20 mph zone pilot program in at least 75 residential neighborhoods;
* dangerous corridor re-engineering on 60 miles of street per year;
* dangerous intersection re-engineering at 20 intersections along major two-way Manhattan streets); and,
* improving left-turn visibility by removing curb parking near intersections of targeted Manhattan avenues.


The rest of the Story Here

I grew up in Phoenix where every residential street had a speed limit of 25mph. I was amazed that once we moved to Indiana that traffic engineers think that 30 mph is safe for a narrow residential street where kids are. I was very proud of Karen Goldner, 2nd District Councilperson (My Councilperson, yea!) when she was traveling around to all of the Neighborhood partnership meetings trying to get buy in on an ordinance that she wanted to sponsor to drop all of the residential limits down to 25. Oh you never knew that? Oh, that is because everyone thought that it was a waste of money. They had arguments that it would cost too much for the signs to be changed, and that most of the people who speed live in the neighborhood, and (this one is classic!) that when people have snow tires on their car that they can't tell how fast they are going, among others. That 30 was safe enough even though they don't give tickets if you are going 7-9 mph over that.
Kudos NYC. I am a little envious.
Thanks for caring about the citizens of your city enough to do something to make them safer. I can't wait to visit!

Random thoughts.....



I found this image on the Real Geeks Ride site. They were here last summer as some of you recall.

Our man Vince is there leading the pack and there's Joe, who I just ran into in the elevator of the City County building the other day, right behind him. I know Eric is in there somewhere on his Fixie among others.

I have no idea why I am reminiscing about that ride other than the fact that lately I have been getting a little more cross than usual with regard to cars. It might have something to do with me getting buzzed the other day on Spy Run. Which then begins this cycle of me getting further into the road in an effort to protect myself, thereby pissing more drivers off, and then they buzz me (I am totally exaggerating, I only get buzzed a few times a year)
Maybe it is the weather or the time of year but almost every driver that I see looks so unhappy and I am paranoid that they are going to flex their mechanized muscle onto me in order to prove their dominance. The worst is when they do it just to do it. It helps to remind me that there are douche bags everywhere. I digress.
It is paranoia I know but still, you don't see a smile on the faces of people in a car like you do on the folks in this picture.

Later

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The key to cycling safety? More cyclists




Traffic-calming measures and bike lanes increase the number of cyclists and decrease the risk of collisions: study

By Michelle Lalonde, The Gazette August 1, 2010


MONTREAL - The 2010 cycling season was just getting under way when the horrific news hit that three female cyclists had been killed, plowed down by a pickup truck on a dangerous stretch of Highway 112 near Rougemont.

That high-profile collision focused the public eye on the vulnerability of cyclists for the first half of this summer, as for several weeks every collision involving the serious injury or death of a cyclist in or near Montreal got more than the usual share of media attention.

But every year, three or four cyclists are killed on average on the island of Montreal and another 757 are injured, according to Montreal police. And that tally underestimates injuries, since some collisions are not reported to police. Urgences Santé statistics show that over the last decade, 967 cyclists per year on average were injured to the point that they required an ambulance.


The Rest of the story

The Copenhagen Wheel?



Thanks to the Wife for this one.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

CM2 Tomorrow! See you all there!


Critical Manners Courteous Mass
Friday the 13th


Lawton Park
6:15 for a 6:30 departure.
We are not going to kill ourselves so come on out!

No, this isn't a story from The Onion



Neighbors say "no" to Goshen bike path
By Clifton French (cfrench@wsbt.com)


GOSHEN — A plan for a bike path in Goshen has some people very angry. Now, one family is trying to stop it.

The family has been in front of their house picketing since Monday and they don't plan to stop until plans for the path are called off. The path has been in the planning along Wilden Avenue for 10 years. The Moreland family bought their home 3 years ago and say they had never heard about the plans until July.

"We're going to have bicycles zooming through here," Tracy Moreland said. "I can't even have my babies playing in the front yard anymore because I'm afraid they're going to get hit by a bicycle."

The rest of this amazingly screwed up story

I love it, "we're going to have bicycles zooming through here". Classic.
A good lesson, research your future real estate property thoroughly, you never know what might be planned for your area.

This OpEd piece from the Charlotte Observer nails it!

Cyclists, motorists alike should chill, obey laws
Why such rage toward cyclists? More cycling saves us all money.
Posted: Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010

When you're driving somewhere in a hurry - and who isn't in a hurry these days? - having to slow down for a bicyclist can be as annoying as ...

As annoying as having to slow down to let a frail elderly person or a mother with a stroller cross the street.

As annoying as having to repeat something to a deaf grandfather.

As annoying as waiting in line at the movies or to get into a popular restaurant.

Yes, some things are annoying. But in a civilized community we take a deep breath, look at the big picture and cultivate some compassionate patience.

So why, after articles in Monday's Observer about tension between bicyclists and motorists, were online comments at CharlotteObserver.com so venom-filled they had to be cut off? Why do bicyclists make so many motorists' blood boil?

We don't know. (Is it the spandex?) If we knew the answer, we'd be out on the consultant circuit making millions selling it to people trying to tame the rage. Here's what we do know:

Bicycles are legal on city streets and the state's roads. Bicycles have every right to share the pavement and to expect courteous treatment.

Jerks can be found behind the wheel, pedaling cycles, even in wheelchairs and on foot. You can be a jerk anywhere. So while that means motorists shouldn't honk at cyclists or swerve at them, it also means bicyclists have no more right to deliberately clog travel lanes than SUVs or tractor-trailers do.

More education is needed for motorists (see first item) - and cyclists. They aren't exempt from traffic laws such as stopping at signs and lights, going the right way on one-way streets and - many motorists don't realize this is a law either - stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Now that you've taken that deep, breath, consider the larger picture:

More and more Americans are getting diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure from being overweight. Anything that gets people outdoors and exercising will be good for all of us, since health care costs (and our insurance rates) go up when more people are sicker.

Our country's oil habit is expensive (think of those Persian Gulf wars), politically treacherous (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela), despoiling the environment (Gulf spill, air pollution) and cooking our planet. With less oil-fueled travel, we all gain.

Local and state governments are sinking under infrastructure costs for streets, highways and bridges built to accommodate ever-expanding traffic. Whatever encourages travel on low-cost bike lanes, not expensive interstate lanes, helps all of us.

Given all that, maybe the next time you're slowed by a cyclist in traffic, instead of getting angry, you take a deep breath, and consider the kind of salute that does not involve only your middle finger.

How timing of traffic lights affect vehicular cyclists

A couple weeks ago I was downtown and on my way home. I was riding east on Wayne. I was stopped at every single light for very long light cycles all the way through downtown. As I was sitting waiting for the light at Clinton to turn a group of 4 cyclists came up behind me, yielded at the red light, and went through the intersection. I watched as they continued this behavior all the way to Clay St. By this time they were 3 blocks ahead of me since I got stopped at the light at Barr St.

It got me thinking. Should cyclists be allowed to treat red lights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs? What do you think? Let me know. Or should I just get over it and risk getting a ticket because I guarantee you all, I would be the one that would.

So yesterday, I rode from a friend’s house in the Williams-Woodland neighborhood to my house. I took Harrison North from Creighton (which by the way, was awesome, there is hardly any traffic on that road) to Baker and then to Calhoun. I took Calhoun to Jefferson. At Jefferson I decided to test out the light timing heading east toward Clay. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone riding on Jefferson, but I took my lane and was confident. It turns out that the lights were all timed perfectly for a bicycle! I know! I was just as surprised.

So let’s review. I was on a minor street, Wayne, that has a bike lane (therefore encouraging cyclist to ride on it) and was stopped at every light. Then I am on a major arterial, Jefferson, with no bicycle infrastructure and four lanes of traffic, and I get green all the way through 3 or 4 lights (significant). Where would you ride? Just like other people in cars, I am always looking for the path of least resistance. It would just be kind of funny if, by the light cycle timing, the transportation folks were indirectly encouraging cyclists to ride on busier streets that lack bike facilities.

Infrastructure a comin’

Well, as a person who works and rides downtown seeing the resurfacing of Superior Street is bad and good. The bad part has been riding on the ground up road and having to dodge the manholes and water boxes that now stick up a couple inches above the pavement. The good part is not here yet. That will be once the sharrows or bike lanes (or whatever the City decides to put down) are complete!

This is according to the Bike Fort Wayne Plan under the designing and building a bikeway network section. It can be viewed here

That is exciting stuff considering this road is where many of the trails dump out into the downtown! Kudos to the Bike Task Force for seeing that this is an area that is important to the overall network to connect the City by bikers.

The Fort Wayne Bike Commuter is stoked! (I use it twice daily)

Monday, August 9, 2010

CM2 - Critical Manners Courteous Mass Friday the 13th Bwaaahaaahaaaa

Let's keep it rockin' this month.
It promises to be hot so we will shorten it a bit.
You know the drill? Well if not here it is.

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Ruling paves way for San Francisco bike lanes

Rachel Gordon,Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writers
San Francisco Chronicle August 6, 2010 10:28 PM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco streets could see new bike lanes as early as next week after a Superior Court ruling Friday that ended a four-year legal battle over the city's plans to make the streets safer and more convenient for cyclists.

Judge Peter J. Busch found the city in compliance with court-required environmental reviews of traffic and parking issues.

The decision lifts a 2006 court ban against implementation of the San Francisco Bicycle Plan and allows the city to move forward immediately on 35 bike projects.

Striping could start as early as Monday, city officials said.

"Today is the beginning of a new era for bicycling in San Francisco," Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said Friday. "The SFMTA bike program staff has been working tirelessly to prepare for this day and we are committed to doing the work needed to keep the number of bicyclists growing in the years ahead."

"We are completely thrilled," said Andy Thornley, program director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "This really is a green light for the city to go ahead with the whole bike plan."


The rest of the story HERE

It's funny because when I think San Francisco and California I think of people supporting this kind of thing. It is hard to believe that bike lanes were locked up in a legal battle for so long. Nice thing about it is it gave staff plenty of time to plan for when they won! Go San Francisco.

We're Gonna do it, or something like it




Thousands Play in Oakland’s Streets at the First-Ever ‘Oaklavia’
by John Hamilton on July 7, 2010 | 3,172 Plays

On Sunday, June 27th, Downtown Oakland opened two miles of its streets to fun and activities—zumba dancing, circus arts, BMX bike competitions and performances from local musicians. Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) partnered with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Oaklandish, Oakland YMCA, Cycles of Change, SPOKES, and other civic organizations to create the East Bay's first “Sunday Streets” style event. Preparations are in the works for another Oaklavia in the coming months.

I had a couple goals internally that I wanted to advocate for and the CM2 (Courteous Manners/Critical Mass) was one of them. Thanks to Vince for all his help with this one.
Next thing I would like to do is somehow convince some folks that closing off traffic downtown on a Sunday for Bikes and pedestrian only would be a good idea. I don't see it happening until next year but I will begin to light the fire to work on it. Yes Vince, you will be helping. Might be nice to have during Busker Fest! We were there last week and it was pretty cool.
Later

Monday, July 26, 2010

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Protect Bicyclists on Illinois Roadways New Laws Urge Drivers and Bicyclists to Share the Road



Sorry, this might be old news to some of you but I find this to be very encouraging especially since the Indiana Legislature is more worried about people being able to bring their guns to work!



Kudos to Illinois!

One of the few downfalls of riding your bike to work

Bikes taking over parking spaces? What's next? Cats and Dogs living together!



Don't know if we need this just yet here in Fort Wayne but it is something to keep on the back burner if there is continued interest in downtown redevelopment. Of course it would be a fight due to the fact that for some reason parking is such a premium in the downtown (perceived not necessarily reality) Might be used in front of JK's or something.
Read the whole story here

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This is awesome!



My fellow Fort Wayne Bike Commuter, Vince, sent this to me and I think that it is about the best way of explaining how commuters, or any cyclist for that matter, should ride when sharing the road with cars! This is how I ride since taking the class from the League of American Bicyclist. I ride this way and feel much safer doing it.
It was produced by someone in Orlando but it is applicable everywhere.
Click in this LINK to view it
Enjoy and share it with your friends!
FWBC

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Critcal Manners/Couteous Mass July Recap

What a success!
By far our biggest turnout with 25 or so riders. And most of them first timers which is terrific. Hopefully you all come back for more!
Thanks to all who came out.
The route wasn't the best but we are still trying to perfect the art of riding in a group while not breaking any laws while staying safe (we had some kids this month).
So next month we might be on some busier roads. Although traffic was heavy downtown with 3 rivers fest going on.
Forgot my camera again though so no photographic evidence of the ride.
later
FWBC

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are Blue Bikelanes Better than Black? by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 06.30.10



A recent study in the UK, reported in the Guardian, showed that drivers give less room to cyclists when there is a bike lane than when there isn't. Graduate student Ciaran Meyers attached a special camera to his bike and found that motorists gave him an extra 18.1 cm (7.12 inches) when there was no marked cycle lane than they did when there was a lane.

I think they do but think about how much all that paint would cost! I am kidding...paint is cheap!
The rest of the story Here

Critcal Manners/Courteous Mass

Yeah, it is still going on.
Lat month we had a bit of bad weather that limited our numbers but we are looking for a monster comeback and the weather is supposed to be pretty nice so come on out!
From the Critical Manners Facebook page:

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Follow up on the San Francisco story

Hit-and-Run Rampage Suspect Arrested After Reporting Vehicle Carjacked

by Matthew Roth on June 4, 2010

Investigators from the San Francisco and Albany police departments have arrested the suspected driver of an SUV who went on a rampage and targeted four cyclists in San Francisco Wednesday night.

The unidentified man, described only as a 40-year-old white male, was taken into custody in Albany at around 1 p.m. today after he showed up at the Albany Police Department to report his vehicle had been carjacked.

"We have significant evidence to lead us to believe this suspect was involved in the incident," said San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón. But he cautioned they had not established a motive nor would they divulge too much information about the ongoing investigation.

At a press conference this afternoon, Gascón described the case as being "of great significance" to his department. "We had an individual who went around the city and basically mowed down four cyclists," he said.

According to the SFPD, because the suspect still has to be medically cleared and completely booked, the SFPD is withholding his name and many details about him, but police said he is a likely resident of Albany.

"We don't want to do anything today to jeopardize the case," Gascón said.

SFPD Sgt. Jon Kasper, who led the investigation, gave a summary of the 36 hour investigation, saying his department worked closely with the Albany PD.

Kasper said the registered owner of a 2008 blue Nissan Rogue SUV had fled the scene after driving into the fourth cyclist and managed to evade the police until today.

During the investigation the SFPD went to the home where the suspect's car had been registered, only to find out he had moved. They tracked him to his new address, but he wasn't there either. The SFPD conducted joint surveillance with the Albany PD, but the suspect continued to evade them.

The suspect will be charged with one count of attempted murder, one count of assault with a deadly weapon with attempt to cause body harm, and one count of felony hit and run for each of the victims, bringing his total charges to 12.

Beyond the injuries to the cyclists, there were no other reported injuries. Several cars sustained damage in the series of events.
The SFPD wouldn't elaborate on the reasons for the medical screening during booking, but didn't rule out physical injuries or mental instability. Gascón said more information will likely be released today and over the weekend.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm the A$$hole? or I am so proud



So the Bike free guys, Adam and Paul, my buddy Mike and I just got through enjoying Germany kicking the tuna salad out of England. We had put down a couple beers and decided that we were going to ride our bikes down to Don Chavez for some Chimichangas.
As is the usual custom when I leave my house to go downtown, we take the Reed Rd bike route toward Downtown. We got stopped at the light at St. Joe and Tennessee.
There are four of us, and we are taking up the entire lane. It is a double yellow line over the bridge anyway so a car cannot legally or safely pass a cyclist.
(Keep in mind, these guys are from out of town and have had very few run ins with cars on their entire journey up until this point.)
Paul and I are out front and Adam and Mike are bringing up the rear. We are all slowing down to make a left turn onto the Rivergreenway from Tennessee when we begin to hear some loud talking. It begins to get louder and as I make the left I hear, "Get out of the road, it isn't a bike lane (I am paraphrasing)." The I hear Adam say to the lady (60 years old, gray hair, driving a 1987ish Ford Astrovan), "What do you think this bike painted on the road means? This is a bike lane!" Adam, you rock, I thought to myself.
Anyway the shouting continued and as she made her turn onto Griswald and headed south she shut up long enough to hear me shout,"Patience!" To which she clearly replied so all could hear.
"You're an Asshole!"
I couldn't be more proud. Sniffle..Sniffle...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Alarming

SAN FRANCISCO -- The grim numbers for the car-vs.-bicycles rampage in San Francisco tell only part of the story.

Three neighborhoods invaded by one car Wednesday night with a driver bent on mowing people down. Four bicyclists left sprawled on the pavement. Six minutes from start to finish, from first victim to last.

The rest of the story could be found Thursday in the three victims still recovering at San Francisco General Hospital, in the manhunt for the driver, and in the sense of disbelief among residents and workers that such random hostility could shatter their corners of the city.

"It's always very calm here, lots of bicyclists and lots of quiet," Okell's Fireplace salesman Heath McGrail said, shaking his head as he looked out the window toward the scene of the last hit-and-run, at 17th and Missouri streets. "We never have any trouble - unless, I guess, you've got someone hunting those bicyclists down to run them over. It's shocking."

Investigators said the driver had carried out the assaults in a blue Nissan Rogue crossover sport utility vehicle. They said it was registered in Berkeley and was not believed to be stolen, but by late Thursday, there were still no arrests.

The victims, hit at four locations as their attacker wove wildly through traffic, sometimes down the wrong side of the road, were described as men ranging in age from their 20s to their 40s.

One victim was treated at the scene and released. The three at San Francisco General - one in critical condition, one in serious and one in fair - are expected to survive, said hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan.

"The two who aren't critical are alert and awake, but they're very shook up," Kagan said. "They are puzzled, certainly perplexed at what happened, and right now they are just focused on healing."
Terror in the dark

The rampage began at 9:43 p.m. in the Mission District, on a quiet stretch of Harrison Street near 23rd Street where houses overlook strips of well-tended flowers and a bike path.

"I heard this big bang and ran outside, and there was a man on the street moaning and curled up in pain and his bicycle on the ground," said Ramon Fernandez, 66. "There were many police who came in about a minute, and then all of us were standing around wondering how such a thing could happen here."

As luck would have it, two San Francisco General emergency nurses were in a house on the block and came out to help.

Melissa Pitts, 31, and Rich Nepomuceno, 33, immediately stabilized the victim, who appeared to be in his 30s, and waited for the ambulances to arrive. His bicycle was in two pieces a few feet away.

"We cut off his clothes to see the extent of his injuries, and it appeared the main injuries were to his face," Pitts said. "He was groggy but conscious."

Nepomuceno, who had bicycled over to Pitts' house just a few minutes before the attack, said he was happy they could serve as first responders, "but it was an awful circumstance."
Speeding along street

Two minutes after the first hit-and-run, the driver mowed down his second bicyclist about a half-block south on Harrison, at a corner with a gourmet coffee shop and other neighborhood stores. This time, resident Aurora Marina tore out of her house in time to see the driver - briefly.

"I saw that this car had hit someone and was going very fast up the street - very fast," said Marina, 56. "There was a man on the ground with blood all over his face and a lot of people coming to help.

"We could tell that the car hit this bicyclist with blood on his face head-on, and then took off. It was crazy."

A couple of minutes later and about 1 mile east, the third victim was struck at 23rd and Pennsylvania streets - a windswept, industrial block practically beneath Interstate 280 that is dominated by stretches of dirt and a Muni bus yard. This victim was only slightly injured and was treated at the scene.
The final crash

The driver then sped several blocks north to the heart of Potrero Hill where, at the corner of 17th and Missouri, he hit his fourth rider at 9:49 p.m., police said. Immediately after the impact, the driver smashed his Rogue into a light pole and a parked Jeep Cherokee at the corner - and then he fled. Police provided only a minimal description, saying he was a white man.

Thursday, there were fragments of glass and blue chunks of car fender strewn on the street.

Police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said all the victims "do appear to be targeted. We don't know if they were known victims, or if it's because they were on bicycles or what the issue was."
Advocates alarmed

Mayor Gavin Newsom released a statement saying the attacks should not shake anyone's faith in the safety of bicycling in San Francisco.

"I'm proud that San Francisco is one of the bike-friendliest cities in the nation," he said. "We will not tolerate violence or rage against cyclists or pedestrians."

Renee Rivera, acting executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, called the rampage "a shocking anomaly." The last time a hit-and-run assault garnered this much notoriety was in 2006, when a driver killed a pedestrian in Fremont and drove to San Francisco, where he injured 16 more people from downtown to the Richmond District.

According to the coalition, the number of bicycling injuries in the city dropped 19.3 percent from 1998 to 2006, even as the number of riders increased.

"We want people to know that our streets are normally safe places to ride and getting safer all the time," Rivera said.

BikeFree guys in town this weekend



They are staying at my place and are out for a great cause.
Check out their site Here

Bike Free guys get some local press

Cyclists share coast-to-coast cause
Two Baltimore waiters are raising money for bikes and helmets for kids in military families

By Ellie Bogue
of The News-Sentinel

What started as a love of cycling and the desire to share that joy has become a coast-to-coast charity bike ride for two Baltimore waiters.

More than a year ago on a late-night ride through the streets of Baltimore, Adam Burkowske, 29, and Paul Lebelle, 34, came up with a plan to share their love of cycling with those less fortunate. Together they formed a nonprofit organization, Bike Free, which raises money to give the children of military personnel a new bike and helmet.

“We are passionate about passing the joy of riding along to others,” Lebelle said.

Both Burkowske and Lebelle have had family in the military. Burkowske's brother, Timothy, served in the Navy in the Iraq War and is currently serving in Bahrain. Burkowske knows how difficult it can be for the children whom military personnel leave behind during their tours of duty. Sometimes their parents never return, or return so injured they can no longer work in their former civilian profession.

“A bike can't make up for that,” said Burkowske, “but it can help.”


The Whole story Here

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That's all, spokes

Colorado town of Black Hawk bans cyclists

American gold rush town argues that cars and bikes don't mix safely on its 19th century streets

by Helen Pidd and agencies

A town in the US has banned cyclists on most of its streets, punishing anyone who gets caught with a $68 (£46) fine. Black Hawk in Colorado, which has a population of just above 100, is thought to be the first town in the US to make cycling illegal after a change in civic law.

The curious decree has been introduced for "health and safety" reasons, said administrators of the former goldmining town, which in the 1990s decided to develop gambling to prevent the place vanishing altogether.

Michael Copp, Black Hawk's city manager, the equivalent of chief executive of a local council in the UK, admitted there had not been any accidents to prompt the ban, just concern over potential collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles on 19th-century streets that were designed for horses and carriages.

The town started enforcing the ban on 5 June, five months after it passed the law requiring cyclists to dismount and wheel their bikes through the town. So far eight tickets have been issued, said Copp.


The rest of the story

Some bike sharing action, Midwest style

So both Minneapolis is doing it and Chicago is planning to do it. Pretty sweet I say. I know it would never work in Fort Wayne but I still think that it is a wonderful idea for places that have the density and mix of uses within bike-able distance.


'Nice Ride' bike sharing program gets rolling today in Minneapolis
By Joe Kimball | Published Thu, Jun 10 2010 10:26 am

A new bike-sharing program kicks off today in Minneapolis, when Nice Ride begins offering greenish and blue bikes for short jaunts around the city.

Hundreds of the bikes are available at 60 kiosks around the downtown Minneapolis area through the nonprofit program. To ride you need a subscription, available online. The cost ranges from $5 for 24 hours to $60 a year. Then the first half hour of riding is always free; the next half hour costs $1.50, and the next half hour is $3. Riders use a credit card to pay at the kiosk pay station.


The Whole story

And now, the Chicago part

New bike program is sharing on two wheels

Leonor Vivanco


Think of it as an I-GO for bikes.
Chicago B-cycle will be the city's first bike-sharing system for residents when it launches in July with 100 bikes at six stations throughout Chicago. It's a program that was unveiled at the Bike to Work rally Friday at Daley Plaza. Mayor Daley has been interested in bike-sharing since he saw it in Paris in 2007. Loyola University has a similar program for its students.

"The idea was to bring European-style bike-sharing to the United States. Bike-sharing is an alternative form of urban transportation," said Bob Burns, president of B-cycle.

B-cycle, a partnership of Humana, Trek Bicycle and ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky and owned and operated by Bike & Roll Chicago, launched Denver's citywide bike-sharing program with 500 bicycles on Earth Day in April. So far, there have been more than 18,000 rides through the program, Burns said.


The Whole story

Monday, June 14, 2010

July Critical Manners/Courteous Mass


Turnout was kind of light this month due to the massive rain storm and all so next month we are going to bring this out in order to increase ridership.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hang Up and Drive!

The Indiana Legislature had a distracted driving law up this last session and I believe that they let it die in committee. Regardless, just because our elected officials don't think that it is a problem doesn't mean that it isn't. As a daily cyclist, I do have some concern that someone will be checking their email or texting and prevent me from going home that day. We have the responsibility to get the word out to all elected officials and to our friends and coworkers that this behavior is unacceptable.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants you to concentrate on your driving. Don’t answer that cell phone call. Don’t check your e-mail. And don’t even think about sending a text. Just drive.

In an interview for the POLITICO video series “The Politics of America’s Youth,” LaHood laid out his argument: “If you have an emergency in your car, pull over, grab your cell phone, talk to whoever you have to talk to,” he said. “But when you’re driving from one place to another, there is no message, either text or phone, that’s important until you get to your destination.”

And no, just checking your e-mails at a red light doesn’t count as safe. LaHood says electronic devices should be stashed in the glove compartment where they can’t wink, blink or ring their way into your brain.


The Rest of the Story

June Critical Manners/Courteous Mass This Friday!

You know the drill!

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Monday, May 31, 2010

H.G. Wells was awesome




Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

Ponder that for a minute people.

Another Frank Gray Article

Some great press for the Critical Manners/Courteous Mass. Frank contacted me after I sent him an email after his last article on biking.
What failed to come out in the article is that I understand why people do Critical Mass. Riding your bike is fun. I just personally feel that it is counterproductive for bike commuters.
Also, after some discussion with Vince, we will continue to start from Lawton until further notice.

Published: May 27, 2010 3:00 a.m.
Honking off drivers silly, cyclist says
Frank Gray

FORT WAYNE – Something called Critical Mass made its debut in Fort Wayne about two years ago, and it hasn’t set well with P.J. Thuringer.

Thuringer has been a bicycle commuter for five years. Time was he’d take the bus to work in the winter, but two years ago he decided to ride his bike year-round, rain or shine. In fact, he was probably about the only guy out on a bike during bike-to-work day last week when a storm hit just about quitting time, pounding everything with torrential rain and hail.

By and large, he says, motorists have been pretty nice to him. There have been some run-ins with unhappy motorists, but so few that it’s negligible.

Critical Mass, though, threatens to undo a lot of that goodwill.

Critical Mass involves getting as many riders to gather in a single spot and go for a spontaneous ride as a group. The concept sounds like fun, and the attitude that the pack doesn’t stop when a light turns red seems a little defiant, but harmless.

But the slow-moving packs have gotten so strung out in some past rides that traffic was getting blocked for several traffic light cycles. If you miss one light, at least you can entertain yourself watching all the people ride by. But when cars are forced to sit through several lights, it gets irritating.

“It gives us a terrible name,” Thuringer said. It emphasizes the attitude that people on bikes don’t obey traffic laws, makes bicycle haters hate cyclists more, and strains the patience of even bicycle lovers.

So not long ago, Thuringer said, “Me and a buddy decided to try something different.”

They started a ride called Critical Manners. A group of riders get together at 6:30 p.m. at Lawton Park on the second Friday of each month and ride through town, obeying all the laws, stopping at stop signs and red lights and signaling turns and that.

The rides aren’t that long, only about eight miles, but it takes a lot of time to cover eight miles on a bike when you’re stopping at every traffic light and stop sign.

They’ve had only two rides so far. Only six people joined in on the first ride, and only nine the second time, but it will grow, Thuringer said.

The group stays off major roads, such as Clinton Street, but they have ridden Fairfield Avenue to Rudisill Boulevard and taken Calhoun Street back downtown.

“We want to be seen obeying the laws,” he said.

Thuringer hopes it pays off. More people are riding bikes for fun, for basic transportation and for little trips to places like the grocery.

“I see more people with bicycles with baskets on front going to Scott’s to buy a bottle of milk,” Thuringer said. “We don’t need for them to catch heat” because of other riders who cause problems.

Thuringer has written about his ride in a personal blog, but he hasn’t promoted his alternative ride too much. He doesn’t want it to get too big. “We’re just trying to keep it positive.”

Lawton Park is also where Critical Mass rides have started, but Thuringer wants to distance himself from that event, so he’s looking for a new place for the ride to start. So far he doesn’t have one.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Frank Gray article

Published: May 18, 2010 3:00 a.m.
Ignorance of bicyclists nears critical mass
Frank Gray

A few months ago the city painted nice bicycle lanes on some of the streets downtown.

The lanes are marked with bright white lines with drawings of bicycles every so often. You can’t miss them.

Or can you? I haven’t seen that many people on bicycles using them. Most of the cyclists I’ve seen use Main Street or Broadway, and once in a while I see people riding the wrong way on Ewing Street, which irritates me. People on bikes need to obey the rules, too.

What I have noticed is that cars driving down Wayne Street, which has one of the bike lanes, don’t seem to notice the lanes. They drive right down the middle of them.

One could ask, “What difference does it make?” There weren’t any bicycles there, so no harm done.


The Rest of the story HERE

I do appreciate that Mr. Gray wrote the article.
So much so that here is the email that I sent him.

Mr. Gray,
I would like to thank you for bringing light to some of the positive and also some negatives of the bicycling effort.
I too get annoyed when cyclists don't ride with traffic, don't use hand signals, and fail to stop at stop signs or red lights.
I myself am a bicycle commuter. I have ridden to work every day since February of 2008 (yes, even in the winter). I agree with you that Fort Wayne is not one of the most bicycle friendly cities but I believe that the situation is improving. I think that the education portion of the City's Bike Fort Wayne plan is one of its most important aspects. Recently some like minded individuals and I decided to organize Critical Manners/Courteous Mass. We ride downtown and around the core of the city while following all traffic laws in an effort to educate the riders on the way that we need to ride in order to garner the respect of people driving cars. We have had three rides and are numbers are still growing but hopefully this small step can help the cause.
Kindest Regards,

P.J. Thuringer
Fort Wayne

fwbikecommuter@gmail.com
www.fwbikecommuter.blogspot.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

Critical Manners/Courteous Mass for May 2010

Hey there kids!
Sorry about the ate notice but....

Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you want to meet other people who ride bikes? Would you like to reduce the level of antagonism between bicycles and cars? Then join Critical Manners/Courteous Mass on the second Friday of the month. Riders should gather around 6:15 at Lawton Park so the ride can begin at 6:30.

All parties are welcome to join and help bring common courtesy back to the streets. For those who need a refresher on what Critical Manners/Courteous Mass is, here is the deal:
• The ride will respect and abide the city’s traffic laws.
• Rides will be on the slow side to ensure no one is dropped and that the Mass stays a mass.
• The Mass will only take up one lane, two when necessary for safety.
• The ride will stop at red lights and stop signs. If a light turns red mid-mass, the riders who made the light should safely pull over to wait for those who were caught by the light.
• Riders are asked to signal turns, call out danger, and communicate their intentions to other riders.

The goal of these rides is to be a visible and positive example of the cooperation that can exist between cars and bicycles when people respect the laws and each other. So join the Mass and help make Fort Wayne a better place for bicycles.This Friday at Lawton Park by the Softball Field.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Want to Prevent Oil Spill Disasters? Stop Driving

AlterNet / By Jason Henderson


A submerged oil well is spewing a river of oil toward Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Birds and fish will die, wetlands and beaches will be ruined -- all because we drive cars.
But comrades, seriously, consider how you could make modest changes toward a lifestyle centered on walking, bicycling and transit. Imagine if we used less oil, and used it more wisely. Even in the lowest density suburbs in America, 40 percent of car trips are under five miles, within a comfortable spatial range of bicycling. Grocery shopping does not require a car. One can simply walk, bike or take transit, and either come up with creative ways to carry the load, or have a jitney service take care of the delivery. Consider the physical activity and health benefits for your children from walking and bicycling. And consider how un-progressive it is to use oil to make short trips, or to waste billions of barrels to make disposable plastic bags or other throwaway commodities, when we need to save it.

Imagine if we used less, and used it more wisely. We could set most oil aside for the switch to other energy sources, which will require a huge infrastructure program -- high speed rail, transmission systems, urban infill projects, new bicycle networks, light rail systems, new electric or hybrid buses, and new ways of organizing work and shopping spaces.


The rest of this timely article is available HERE

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bike Summit!

MEDIA ALERT: SECOND ANNUAL BIKE SUMMIT AT LIBRARY SATURDAY MORNING

WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday with free vendor expo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and free post-summit bike rides from 3 Rivers Velo Sport at 12:30 and 1

WHAT: Free bike summit with keynote speaker, updates on Fort Wayne Trails and the Bike Fort Wayne plan plus workshops on bikes as transportation, sharing the road for drivers and bicyclists, grassroots advocacy and details about trails and the bike plan.

WHERE: Allen County Public Library downtown. Keynote address will be in auditorium. Vendor expo will be in the Great Hall. The bike rides will depart from the east plaza at the library.

WHO: Offered by the City of Fort Wayne, the summit is open to the public featuring keynote speaker Randy Neufeld, a Chicago area cycling advocate. The vendor expo is open to all summit participant and library patrons.

Summit sponsors are Summit City Bicycles and Fitness, Trek Bicycles, the Ronald G. Repka Foundation Inc., Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot, Carson Boxberger Attorneys, the Downtown Improvement District, Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Engineering Resources Inc.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Little help please from the Roadies....

Hey everyone.
I received this email a few weeks ago and told Joe that I would put the word out to the Fort Wayne contingent in order to try to solicit help that I myself can not provide.
His email is listed below so give him a shout please if you have any great ideas for him. Or email me and I will be sure to get it to him.
Thank You.
FWBC

Hi
I’ll try to make a long story short.
I was just researching via the Internet if you bike legally and safely from the intersection of the 69 and 24 on the south side of FW to the Carmel area near Indianapolis.
A little history/background
I love biking.
Graduated of IU in 88 and 92. I’m 42
I have worked in FW
I have family and friends up and down all of Indiana but my wife and family live in Thousand Oaks, CA.
I’m a decent endurance MTB.
This summer I'm flying out to Indiana to visit my parents in Bloomington, my brother in Fort Wayne and several friends in Indianapolis. I'm also bringing my MT bike to ride BCSP and race in the Super D race in Aug.
In a nutshell, as I map out my travel plans from city to city, it's turning out that it will be very inconvenient for my brother to shuttle me back to Indy to the Carmel area on the day I want to travel (Aug 11th). I was somewhat serious when I suggested to him that I wouldn't mind biking from the intersections of 69 and 24, through Huntington, through Marian, through Elwood to Carmel. route 24, 9 and 37. It's just under 100 miles.

Question: Have you ever tried to bike along those roads to Indy? Is it legal? I don't remember any biking lanes but the shoulder lanes are wide but a little rough. Do you know of anyone who has ever made the trip along those roads?

Overall, the distance and elevation wouldn't be an issue for me. Yesterday, I did a MTB training ride here in southern CA of 57.5 miles and 8,200 feet of ascent. (Next week is my first endurance race of the season, 86 miles and 12,000+ feet of ascent.)
I'm just concerned about the safety and legal stuff of riding on those roads. Should I be concerned about anything else?

Thanks for your advice

I tried the new Google Maps Bike feature but it takes me off 24,9,37 on a few places to hit the back roads. I'm not 100% why it allows me to ride on the state highways at times and takes me past the corn fields on some other miles.

Joe

jkeays@roadrunner.com