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


Photo courtesy of Angela Thuringer


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.