Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Avoid the door zone at all costs and think twice about a bike lane that puts you in the door zone

This was extremely eye opening for me and I hope that everyone takes this to heart. I never thought about how you fall when "doored". Now we know.

Fort Wayne Bike Commuters and pounds of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere

From fueleconomy.gov

It seems impossible that a gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6.3 pounds, could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. However, most of the weight of the CO2 doesn't come from the gasoline itself, but the oxygen in the air.

When gasoline burns, the carbon and hydrogen separate. The hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water (H2O), and carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

A carbon atom has a weight of 12, and each oxygen atom has a weight of 16, giving each single molecule of CO2 an atomic weight of 44 (12 from carbon and 32 from oxygen).

Therefore, to calculate the amount of CO2 produced from a gallon of gasoline, the weight of the carbon in the gasoline is multiplied by 44/12 or 3.7.

Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the carbon in a gallon of gasoline weighs 5.5 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .87).

We can then multiply the weight of the carbon (5.5 pounds) by 3.7, which equals 20 pounds of CO2!

According to this data, since the Fort Wayne Bike Commuters have biked 7,522 miles as of 9/26/2011 (assuming each of us would have been driving cars that get 20 miles per gallon, this keeps the math easy)as a team we have kept 7,522 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere! (7,522 miles/20 miles per gallon = 376.1 gallons of gas and 1 gallon of gas = 20 pounds of CO2)

With that 7,522 miles traveled we are leading in the miles traveled category and we are also leading the trips category with 1,339 trips by bike!

See all the stats of the 2011 Bicycle Indiana Commuter Challenge HERE.

Way to go everyone! Hats off to the other Fort Wayne teams as well (Summit City Bicycles and Three Rivers Velo Sports)!!

Just a few more days, keep up the good work!

Good stuff from the League of American Bicyclists

Morning coffee

Fall rain. Early morning for a meeting. I didn't melt. Nice ride downtown.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Protection of cyclists law in DC introduced

Uni(cycle) Vision

Commuter Challenge results as of 9/19/2011

Bicycle Indiana (Click to see results)

We are still #1 in trips!
We gotta keep the pedal to the floor though people! There is some guy named John Lynn who made 250 some odd trips in the last two weeks! I don't know what team he is on but its not ours.
We are still second in miles behind indycog but gaining.
Great work! 8 days to go! Would love to see us rack up 1200 trips! Go FWBCs!
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lessons from Amsterdam: How SF Can Bicycle Toward Greatness

Care to get involved?

Once again, I need your help with recruiting volunteers for Bike Valet.

Together with Fort Wayne Trails the city is providing free bike parking for the Regional Maker Faire on Oct. 1 &2. The event is at Headwaters Park East and I need to cover several 2 hr. spots from 8:30 to 6:30. Bike valet is increasingly popular with local cyclists. The service has been provided at Parkview Field, River Fest (IPFW), Taste of the Arts, and Johnny Appleseed Festival. So far, we have parked nearly 700 bikes at these events. That represents a 100% increase over last year... it's catching on. The Regional Maker Faire is the last event of the season for Bike Valet. Please consider helping us finish strong! If you are willing to spend a couple hours interacting with grateful cyclists, parking their bikes and supervising them while they enjoy the event, please give me a call or send me an email with your preferred shift. paul.spoelhof@cityoffortwayne.org

thank you,

Paul Spoelhof
City of Fort Wayne
Senior Planner

Cars allowed in bike lanes, lanes identified as advisory

After reading this over a number of times I have some opinions (surprise) on the subject.
I would appreciate some comments though to get your opinions as well.

Turns from bike lane legal
Benjamin Lanka | The Journal Gazette
FORT WAYNE – An increase of bicycle use in Fort Wayne means drivers and cyclists alike must be more alert when on the streets.
Q. Can we remind people at the corner of East Wayne and Clinton streets the right hand lane is designated as a bike lane only? We have attempted to turn right from the correct lane and see a driver trying to turn right ahead of us using the bike lane. – Sandra Barleben, Fort Wayne
A. Hopefully, we can do a bit of teaching, Sandra, and the answer may surprise you and many other city drivers. It is actually OK to use the bike lane, if just for a short moment.
Shan Gunawardena, city traffic engineer, said with more bike lanes being installed in the city, it is important for both drivers and cyclists to know how to use them.
Drivers wanting to turn right from a road with bike lanes and no right-turn-only lane should line up behind each other and use signals to make their intentions known.
Gunawardena said a good way to alleviate the potential for conflict with cyclists and other drivers is to line up as close to the right curb as possible, even if that means crossing into the bike lane while waiting to turn. This may seem counterintuitive to drive on the bike lane, but he can explain his reasoning.
Marty Bender, deputy Fort Wayne police chief, agreed with Gunawardena that drivers should use the bike lane as a turn lane after first checking to ensure no cyclists are present. Bender, who said the bike lanes are more advisory than anything, said this is a much safer method than having drivers turning from the through lane with bikes or even other drivers trying to get by on the right.
“By all means yield to bicycles,” he said. “If they aren’t there, feel free to use that as a turn lane.”
Using the lane makes it clear the driver intends to turn and prevents other cars from trying to squeeze by on the right. It also makes the road safer for cyclists by eliminating the potential for a “right hook.” This happens when a driver turns right from the travel lane when the signal is green while a cyclists moves through the intersection.
While a cyclist has the right of way in this scenario, that fact won’t help him if the driver doesn’t see him.
This may add some delays to people on bikes downtown, as they should then wait behind the turning vehicle, but that is a worthy sacrifice to ensure everyone remains safe. Of course, drivers making such a maneuver should always check to make sure their path is clear of cyclists.

One of my major concerns is why this wasn't sorted out prior to the bike lanes being installed. Could there been engineered improvements that would make these areas safer to the cyclists? Obviously drivers are going to yield to cyclists in front of them, Right? But what happens when there is a cyclist riding in the bike lane (that according to this article, which are Advisory more than anything? Wait...What???)and a driver remembers that they are allowed in the bike lane, dives into the bike lane and sideswipes me or you.
If the drivers are allowed to be in the lanes then why do we even have them?
I thought that the bike lanes were to protect the cyclists, make them more comfortable, and increase transportation by bike? Wrong again. Won't be the last time.
Lastly, this policy is just that, a policy. There is not a state or local ordinance that governs this policy. If I get hit and killed in a bike lane by someone who remembers reading in the Journal Gazette that the Bike lane isn't just for bikes, watch out for the wrath of my Red Headed Wife!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Geniousity at work

Published: September 10, 2011
From the New York Times

SOMETHING lovely and all too rare happened to Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City’s frequently demonized transportation commissioner, as she and I rode our bikes down Park Avenue South one morning last month: Sadik-Khan got unsolicited, unfettered praise.

It came from a young cyclist who happened to pull up beside us, glanced over at her and suddenly beamed.

“Oh, it’s you!” he stammered, then mentioned that he owned a bicycle shop and had recently placed a newspaper ad publicly thanking her for her cycling advocacy. “You’re going to leave a legacy, you know.”

He’s right. Sadik-Khan and Mayor Bloomberg both. And it’s past time that more than just a passer-by trumpeted it.

Since the mayor appointed her in 2007 and she began to bring her agency’s work more closely in line with his vision of a greener New York, the city has roughly doubled its miles of bike lanes, to about 500. If you did any biking at all in Manhattan or Brooklyn this summer, you may well have noticed the improvements, including protected bike lanes (ones that separate cyclists entirely from street traffic) on such major arteries as Columbus and First Avenues in Manhattan.

The Rest of The Story

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Letter to the Journal Gazette editor

This letter appeared in the Sunday paper.
I just love how positive it is!

City’s bike friendliness a welcome change
People are riding bicycles more and more these days.
The ad for Citilink’s “action day” to reduce the ozone really gets one thinking about the earth’s warming and the greenhouse effect. I choose to ride my bicycle and leave a smaller carbon footprint as often as I can. It is so impressive to see how the city has changed and that more folks are using a self-powered mode of transportation.
The city government is supportive in big way. Boulevards with bike lanes are now open. Bike racks placed strategically throughout the city and sidewalks sloped to street levels make it so convenient to cycle. The Rivergeenway can take a cyclist into other neighborhoods to visit family and friends.
Every day there seem to be more bicycles around town as people get used to the changes and think of ways to move around the city. One can get to downtown for dinner, baseball and the theater (you’ve got to love downtown dining, Parkview Field, the Embassy, Civic, Arena, Cinema Center, museums and the library).
Motorists are getting used to the increase in bicycle traffic and have found the bike lanes make them more aware of “sharing the road.” The cyclists find they are much safer on these city streets.
Bicycles and foot traffic have all increased, which shows how much “greener” Fort Wayne is thinking. We’re catching up to places such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and even Europe. We’re smarter than just a generation ago. Let’s keep the changes coming.
THOMAS A. MAY Fort Wayne

Commuter Challenge results as of 9/12/2011


We are ruling in trips!
Runner up in miles!
Keep it up.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tour De Fashion


Bike by designer Lela Rose Credit: Tour de Fashion

Twice a year, dozens of stone-faced models march down the runways of New York Fashion Week wearing marvelous clothes that very few of us can even begin to afford. Fewer still will be invited to grace the front row seats of the runway spectacles themselves (hint: be rich, powerful, or a Real Housewife). Regular folks need not apply, though there’s usually enough media coverage to tide over most casual observers. Trends may come and go, but Fashion Week remains a high-visibility, low-access affair.

During this year’s Fashion Week, however, all New Yorkers get a front-row seat - a bicycle seat, that is. From September 8 - 15, the Fashion Center Business Improvement District (BID) is sponsoring Tour de Fashion, a limited-time bike share program that makes a fleet of 30 bicycles available to the public for free 90-minute rides around town. The bicycles have been creatively (and in some cases outrageously) customized by some of New York City’s best fashion designers, including industry superstars like Diane Von Furstenburg, Isaac Mizrahi, Betsy Johnson and Elie Tahari as well as up-and-comers like Prabal Gurung and Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones.

The Rest of the Story

Critical Manners Courteous Mass for September 2011

Hey Gang.
Here is the drill.
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

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Number 1 in trips and #2 in miles

You know when this thing started, I would have never thought that the Fort Wayne Bike Commuters could put in 1000 trips in 3 months. That is not going to be a problem, we might be there next week. Thanks to all of you for logging all of the trips and miles! It shows that there is a huge bicycling commuter population here in the Fort.

Congrats to the Summit City and Three Rivers Velo Sports teams as well. They didn't want to be on our team but they are a part of our City so kudos to all of the participants that they have recruited.

Between the 3 Fort Wayne teams we have logged 1,145 trips by bike for a total of 7,200 miles. Ginormous!

From Bicycle Indiana
2011 Bicycle Indiana Commute Challenge
Ride Your Drive and Win
Individual and Team Results as of September 6, 2011

Top 20 Individual Results - High Mileage
Mary Craighead 1351
James Lynn 1322
Chuck Reidy 1191
Rick Cox 1018
Nate Gernert 966
Doreen Crenshaw 964
Dan Atkinson 995
Jeffrey Kenny 951
Doug Wengerd 904
John Marshall 886
Tyler Stambaugh 881
Angel Campos 798
Aaron Hawkins 756
Don Golden 679
John Cook 581
Sam Callaway 542
cam starnes 532
Kurt Weisner 531
James Walter 530
Tom McCain 517

Team Results - High Mileage
INDYCOG Total 5662
Fort Wayne Bike Commuters Total 4860
Bike Richmond Total 2411
CIBA Total 1998
Summit City Bicycles Total 1722
Bike Michiana Total 1419
Lonely Boys Total 1026
Three Rivers Velo Sport Total 798
Bicycle Indiana Total 756
BF&S Total 662
Jeff Kolp State Farm Total 420
Dude, Where's My Car? Total 358
Madison Area Bicycling Club Total 316
Evansville Bicycle Club Total 280
Machismo Cyclismo Total 33
KCV Cycling Club Total 30

Top 30 Individual Results – Most Trips
Wendy Reed Total 196
Alexander Saldivar Total 187
tom mcCain Total 180
Mark Stosberg Total 168
Mary Craighead Total 165
Jeffrey Kenny Total 153
PJ Thuringer Total 140
Tyler Stambaugh Total 120
Doreen Crenshaw Total 117
James Lynn Total 106
Kevin Whited Total 106
Aaron Hawkins Total 102
Matt McKimmy Total 98
Elizabeth Bonney Total 95
Becky McKimmy Total 92
Amy Hartzog Total 87
Jeremy McElroy Total 87
Doug Wengerd Total 85
Angel Campos Total 83
Kyle Baker Total 83
John Dockery Total 81
Paul Taylor Total 78
Dan Atkinson Total 75
John Lynn Total 111
Brian Meeker Total 74
Matt Reed Total 67
Rick Cox Total 60
Don Golden Total 59
Kurt Whited Total 55
Mark Berry Total 55

Fort Wayne Bike Commuters Total 906
INDYCOG Total 792
Bike Richmond Total 753
Dude, Where's My Car? Total 291
CIBA Total 221
Summit City Bicycles Total 156
Bike Michiana Total 144
Bicycle Indiana Total 92
BF&S Total 90
Three Rivers Velo Sport Total 83
Jeff Kolp State Farm Total 38
Lonely Boys Total 31
Madison Area Bicycling Club Total 24
Evansville Bicycle Club Total 13
Machismo Cyclismo Total 4
KCV Cycling Club Total 3