Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Accident Blame Game, Toilets in the Way, and Bike Share Sprawl.







Share:


Chicago's bike share is expanding yet again toward the suburbs.  That means it is expanding every week since this blog began, or faster than Ebola.
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/d6bbca748a234ddba91ee4f5da775659/IL--Bike-Sharing-Chicago-Suburbs


The New York Post claims that Citibike workers are about to unionize, raise costs, and send production to China.  Wait.  China?  They already have a bike share system about 100 times the size of Citibike.  The initial requests by the workers, now in the transit union, are for a $1.50 per hour wage increase, predictability in work hours, and a few other benefits like a 401k program.
http://nypost.com/2014/09/28/citistrikes-bike-rental-company-unionizes/

Ever wonder how to install a bike share dock?  Here is a step-by-step guide from Capital Bike Share.  I hope that Lego will develop a game called "Install the Bike Share Dock Near Mommy's Office."
http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/news/2014/09/30/how-to-install-a-capital-bikeshare-station-in-a-few-easy-steps

Lanes:


Construction work in cities often blocks bike lanes, but portable toilets for construction workers do too.  Call 311 and get DC's Mayor's Response Center.  Report the offending loo, and do your fellow cyclists a favor.  #prettyhighickfactor
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/10/01/the-latest-obstacle-in-d-c-s-bike-wars-a-porta-potty/
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24383/15th-street-cycletrack-gets-s-on-literally/


Policy and Advocacy:


If a cyclist and car collide, DC law presently requires cyclists to show that the car was 100% at fault.  That is a very high bar, maybe impossible, maybe "proof beyond any doubt whether reasonable or not."  A new law being considered by the DC Council may change that.  Which would be good, because it may be hard to prove it was not your fault if you sustain a serious head injury that leaves you unconscious.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-council-weighs-making-it-easier-for-bicyclists-to-collect-insurance-after-a-crash/2014/09/29/b099156c-4806-11e4-a046-120a8a855cca_story.html



Are bike share systems serving only white gentrifiers?  An article in The Atlantic explores the causes and cures of the racial disparity in bike sharing, where just 3% of the users are African-American.  The article gives praise to advocacy groups like Black Women Bike DC, but fails to mention the growing number of docks in African-American neighborhoods.  It also raises the idea that African-Americans in Philadelphia do not have credit cards and therefore lack access to the very expensive bikes.  It leaves me wondering if the authors have ever been to a bike share dock east of the Anacostia River in DC, or realize that many of the people in African-American neighborhoods do have credit cards.  Those neighborhoods have other challenges, like few safe street routes to downtown and very steep hills that can turn a ride to work into a sweat-producing workout.  (Hint: You can take some of the bridges if you want to see Anacostia.  It's nice.  Try it.)
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/is-bike-sharing-just-for-gentrifiers/380827/2/

A reasonable voice emerges in Sacramento in the Bee newspaper.  In another sad story, a cyclist there hit a pedestrian while riding on the sidewalk.  The injuries were severe to say the least.  Seeing both sides of the issue, Breton notes that cyclists sometimes opt for the sidewalk because without bike lanes cyclists feel unsafe in the road.  However, Breton holds tight here, noting that cyclists should be accountable for riding on the sidewalk when they have a choice of a bike lane.
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/28/6741442/marcos-breton-sacramento-cycling.html

In London, cycling advocates are concerned that opposition to a planned bike super highway is actually coming from within the Department of Transportation itself.  Mayor Boris Johnson is the boss of London's transit agency so this would be a sort of mini revolt.  Further, there are reports in certain newspapers that businesses (translate taxis and truck drivers) are highly opposed to Johnson's plan.  Did transit officials undermine their boss by going to the press to claim widespread opposition to the plan?  Hmmm.  I doubt it will slow momentum in London.
http://ibikelondon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/who-is-undermining-plans-to-make.html

Random notes:

Are bike repair co-ops the answer to reduce the cost of repairs and work?  I would be excluded/banned/forced to sign a no more entry agreement since I have no real bike repair talents, but I like the idea of a sharing marketplace.  In the abstract, of course.  For others.  But Bicycling Magazine offers four reasons why they should be fostered.
http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/thehub/4-reasons-to-take-your-bike-to-a-co-op?cid=socBL_20140928_32397786

So, if I see you in the bike lanes, and you are not a portable toilet, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Bikes Equal Less Cars Studies Show. Or "duh."



Share:

Capital Bikeshare is happy to take old share docks from Canada and re-purpose them in DC.  We preach "reduce, reuse and recycle."  So why not?  If it gets more docks out there and saves costs, it is hard to see a downside.  It's not like those great shoes you got on eBay only to discover they had been worn by a chain smoker with foul foot odor and an incontinent cat.  Bike share docks serve a basic purpose and are unlikely to retain smells.
http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/09/capital-bikeshare-expands-with-bikes-stations-from-canada-107119.html



Devolution is not replacing evolution.  Here's the evidence.  Richmond, Virginia, where David O. Selznick filmed parts of Gone With the Wind, where Sherman marched, where a governor recently got convicted of something other than throwing his wife under the bus, that place, is getting bike share in 2015.  So man continues to evolve, not return to a primitive state as low as a mollusk.
http://rvanews.com/features/day-060-bike-share-for-richmond2015/117077

Policy and Advocacy:


People with disabilities often find cycling is easier than other forms of exercise and transportation.  Making cycling more accessible to them is a rocking thing to do.
http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2011/01/cycling-chic-with-injuries-and.html

Apparently men still bike more than women.  But why is this the case?  Are women dropping kids off at school more?  (Hmmm.  Maybe that duty could be shared?)  Are women afraid of messing up their hair.  (Solution:  Put it in a ball on top of your head and then put your helmet on.  You will arrive looking gorgeous.  Short hair?  The issue is hydrogen bonds.  Short hair gals should probably wash it when they arrive, or go without a helmet.)  Afraid of riding in a skirt?  (Try the tried and true Dutch method known as "Knees together a bit."  Or the penny and a rubber band method Canadian women use to turn any skirt into a pair of shorts, except the tightest of pencil skirts.)  Is it that women feel unsafe on the routes they might bike to work?  (Bike with someone.)  Probably all of this and more.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/09/17/gender_gap_alert_men_ride_bikes_way_more_than_women_do.html

Since the launch of bike share, cycling has doubled in Washington, DC, and New York City.  And who said building infrastructure was not in the budget?  But wait, it gets better.  Solo driving has dropped by 9%.  If you think your riding a bike is not having an impact, think again.  As Gandhi said, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/09/18/census-finds-dc-and-nyc-bike-commuting-has-doubled-in-four-years/
http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/09/18/nyc-bike-commuting-has-doubled-since-2009-while-solo-driving-dropped/



The city of New York is auditing the troubled bike share system.  Fear not.  Perhaps they can figure out a better way to run bike share and make it more profitable.
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-city-auditing-citi-bike-program-article-1.1947948

When I think of Nigeria, the last thing that comes to mind is cycling.  Fraudulent faxes, teeming cities, petro dollars, and terrorism borne of corruption, yes.  But electric bikes?  Not so much.  And yet, the government there is promoting the use of electric transport.  Lagos has had a series of bike-a-thons, and has a nice network of cyclists.  So call me "stuck-in-an-image-of-Nigeria-as- a-cesspool."  Go Nigerian cyclists!
http://www.tribune.com.ng/news/news-headlines/item/16386-fg-advised-on-importance-of-electric-transportation



Stuff:



A small group of people in Chicago are trying to build a bike that can perform in winters as bad as last year's.  The bike does not appear to have a removable snow plow, but I would recommend hand heaters or heated bar mitts, studded snow tires and a revolving red light like the ones they put on top of fire department ladder trucks.
http://www.fastcoexist.com/3029069/the-ultimate-urban-utility-bike/building-a-bike-thats-ready-for-anything-even-chicago-weathe


In Canada, Devinci cycles is committed to making bikes in Canada despite the cheap cost of labor elsewhere.  How do such companies hold on when their competition is moving to countries where workers have no choice but to work for peanuts, or maybe just peanut dust?
http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2014/09/16/how-devinci-the-last-canadian-bike-manufacturer-is-thriving-in-a-globalized-world/?__federated=1


Civility:

D.C. police are about to start citing cyclists who use the sidewalk in the central business district of the nation's capital.  This is important news, and not for the reasons you think.  This means the murder rate is so low that D.C. police have the time for enforcement of cycling offenses.  So if you are riding in the central business district, all fourteen blocks of it, use the many bike lanes available to you.  If an officer writes you a ticket, congratulate him/her on having enough time to bother with decent, tax-paying citizens like you.  Surely this is proof that the crack wars are over.
http://wamu.org/news/14/09/19/dc_police_crack_down_on_bicycling_violations

Stating the obvious, here, but do not kill pedestrians.  In fact do not buzz them.  Most cyclists would never do this.  And some pedestrians are a lot like those guys in the grocery store who back up to view the entire shelf in an aisle without bothering to see who is behind them.  However, cyclists tend to be humanists as a group, notwithstanding the occasional juicing tour competitor.  After all, crushed eggs in a grocery cart, or a claim of achilles injuries by shoppers who back-up recklessly are bad, but death is permanent.  Also, let me add this is a very unusual event.  Unlike the killing of over 700 cyclists by motorist last year.  
http://gothamist.com/2014/09/22/jill_tarlov_central_park.php

Random notes:



Here is Bicycling magazine's list of the 10 best car free places to ride.  My friends recently tried the Allegheny Passage Trail and C&O from Pittsburg to D.C.  They had only two flats along the way.  That fact alone is an endorsement of these findings.
http://www.bicycling.com/ride-maps/featured-rides/10-best-car-free-bike-paths-usa?cid=socRM_20140917_31749926

Members of Bikemore can now get a Zipcar discount.  Take advantage of any chance to live car free except for the Target run each quarter.
https://members.zipcar.com/registration/account/user?affiliate_id=968369105&gift_code=#step

Hippie dare-devils invented mountain cycling.  At least that's the claim.
http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/the-hippie-daredevils-who-were-just-crazy-enough-to-invent-mountain-biking/

Could you use your cargo bike during a disaster to help? Absolutely.
http://cargocycling.org



Pryor Dodge has created a museum of cycling.  It features terrific photos of Penny Farthings, golden French tricycles, and more.  Thank God for eccentric collectors with amazing refinement.  Without them, the world would be much more boring.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/15/pryor-dodge-s-two-wheeled-obsession-is-now-a-museum-of-bike-history.html
http://pryordodge.com/Bicycles.html


So if I see you in the bike lane, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This Week's News, and Time-Saving Pre Long Ride Recipes





Lanes:

Bike lanes have become an issue politicians in DC have to address in their campaigns.  This is a welcome development, though if you believe what politicians say, you may qualify for public assistance afforded to people with low intelligence.
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24223/david-catanias-platform-supports-metro-streetcars-bus-lanes-bike-lanes-transit-oriented-development-/

Share:



Capitol Bike Share had a banner year, and now they are expanding.  In a city that is filled with people who have never learned to share, this is great news.
http://dcist.com/2014/09/capital_bikeshare_announces_new_sta.php

Citibike has racked up late fees.  (A lot of puns.  Arguably too many.)  Hey, we have all been there.  So, to the tardy, lingering cyclist, who is keeping the system afloat, thanks.  I'm sure you were warned that your procrastination or indolence would not pay.  But that was wrong.  Your contribution has helped society.  Please keep up the slow, leisurely work.
http://dcist.com/2014/09/capital_bikeshare_announces_new_sta.php

Policy and Advocacy:

You knew it was coming, but here it is.  Of the new DC households, 88% are car free.  Which is great, like being lice free, or drug free, or pox free.  Only better.
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24180/88-of-new-dc-households-are-car-free/

The helmet debate continues.  In Canada, one post argues that scrapping helmet laws is the key to adding cyclists.  The likelihood we will do this in the litigious United States - 0%.
http://www.the-peak.ca/2014/09/we-must-scrap-helmet-laws-to-encourage-and-improve-cycling/

Have bike lanes actually sped up traffic and reduced congestion in New York.  Indeed Grasshopper (or detractors, or Dorothy Rabino'-you-know-who-you-are).
http://www.vox.com/2014/9/8/6121129/bike-lanes-traffic-new-york

The Techonomy Conference is happening in Detroit and Jeff Olson, founder of Alta Bikes, the one that provides the bikes and docks to many bike shares, has written a post about how bike sharing is essential to a sustainable world.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/techonomy/2014/09/14/sharing-bikes-can-lead-to-a-sustainable-world/

The North American Bike Share Association hopes to help bike share programs to avoid problems, like when the San Francisco system discovered its software company had declared bankrupcy.
http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/national-association-may-help-bay-area-bike-share/Content?oid=2898653

Events:



If you love Baltimore, if you love John Waters or Barry Levinson movies, F. Scott Fitzgerald's writings (sober and post success-caused-depression), or those crab cakes they serve at the place nearest third base at the stadium, then you can ride the Charm City Cyclocross on September 20.  It starts at Druid Hill Park, which provides you with an opportunity to use the word "Druid" in a sentence without some wild construct that no one else can follow.
http://charmcitycross.com

Recipes:

Basic French salad dressing
1 cup olive oil
2 table spoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup to 1 cup white wine vinegar  (must be a balance that you like)
Put it in a small glass container, like the one that holds Dijon mustard
Shake until it emulsifies
Store in the fridge
Toss it on mescalin/spring mix/rocket
Add Herbs du Province to taste or not
Shave hard cheese on the salad with a vegetable grater
Put in fridge
Make it Thursday for a Saturday ride
It will last a week

Fast Quiche


Buy an unsweetened pie crust at the store
mix 6 eggs with about a half a cup of half and half or whole milk
take frozen spinach out of freezer
microwave 1 cup frozen spinach until warm, press the spinach with a spoon and drain the water off of the heated spinach
crumble about 1/2 cup of feta cheese into the pie crust
whip the egg and milk mixture with a fork until it looks uniform in color
add salt and pepper (very little)
put the spinach in the pie crust
pour the egg mixture on top, put it in the oven on 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a knife comes out without goopy egg mixture on it when you put it into the quiche
store in fridge and eat after long ride by heating in the microwave for about two minutes
Make Friday night and forget about it until after your long ride when you become ravenous and crazed

So if I see you in the bike lanes, easing traffic, or dilly dallying with a share bike, let's be smug.
Elisa P.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shoddy Data on the Best Bicycling Cities? Bike Thieves Targeting Actresses?





Lanes:

What are the behaviors that have become part of Copenhagen's great bike lanes and cycling civility?  Most cyclists, even there, were described as "anarchistic" for their running of lights and other infractions.  (Sounds a little like "terroristic" to me.)  But somehow the lanes and design help control behavior.  This article discusses exactly how.  #cyclingnerd
http://www.copenhagenize.com/2014/09/the-copenhagenize-desire-lines-analysis.html

Share:



Tampa's bike share program will be up and running soon.  So as we head into fall, and then winter, and you decide to take a short trip to Florida to re-charge your seasonally affective disorderliness, you can possibly (or probably) rent a bike there.
http://www.wfla.com/story/26456796/tampas-bike-share-program-to-get-up-and-running-soon

Want to suggest locations for Orlando's bikes share docks using an app?  Now you can.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/fitness/run-ride-work-out/os-suggest-orlando-bike-share-stations-with-app-20140905,0,6793703.post



Greenville, South Carolina's bike share program is adding locations near the zoo and libraries.  That's great.  Wait a second!  Greenville has bike share?  That's progress.
http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2014/09/05/greenville-bike-share-adds-zoo-library-locations/15118761/

And China's bike share system has hit a terrible road block, Chinese perceptions of status.  Been there, done that China.  Talk to you four decades from now when everyone changes their minds about cars after they get tubby and diabetic.
http://www.todayonline.com/chinaindia/china/wheels-come-chinas-bicycle-sharing-schemes

Policy and Advocacy:



The second best bicycling city is Chicago.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel explains how protected bike lanes bring economic development, world peace, an end to hunger, a cure for cancer, and a Super Bowl win for the Bears.  Okay, maybe he just said bike lanes bring economic development.  I think he could have said that bike encourage people to cycle, which gives them better health.  That would have been well within the bounds of credible predictions.
http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/stride/Chicago-Named-Second-Best-City-for-Cycling-274105961.html

In San Francisco, at least one writer has poked holes in the data that was used to rank cities as bike friendly.  It is pretty persuasive, unless you are the sort of person who really expects to win power ball or see a unicorn on your way to work.  After reading this, you probably won't care which city wins.
http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2014/09/05/san-francisco-gains-a-spot-in-the-best-cities-to-bike-list-but-does-this-list-matter

And following on the theme of questionable data in the ranking, Cincinnati was named among the top 50 cities.  Go figure, or question the figures.  Which ever.
http://www.wlwt.com/news/cincinnati-is-named-one-of-nations-top-50-bikefriendly-cities/27927042#!bSTVmy

If Mayor Bill Di Blasio is more focused on police stop and frisk policies than on bike lanes, that may be okay, according to a Streetsblog post by the former NYDOT head.  That is because the City Council in NYC "gets it." Bikelash is over, and the momentum is in favor of increased cycling.
http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/09/05/one-city-by-bike-getting-it-done-or-why-the-bikelash-is-behind-us/

As the numbers of bikes on the roads increases, should the number of parking spots in a city remain the same or decrease?
Well, despite growing numbers of bikes, the parking spots are still there, taking up, well, space.
http://dandyhorsemagazine.com/blog/2014/09/10/racknroll-bike-parking-in-toronto-not-keeping-pace/

Stuff:


If you like your stuff, you need to make sure you can help the police correctly identify your stuff if they find it.  Bicycling magazine reviews "The Hub."  It was born of the merger between the National Bike Registry and Bike Index.  You can access it on Twitter @IsItStolen.  #bikeindex
http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/thehub/the-best-new-tool-in-the-fight-against-bike-theft?cid=socBL_20140906_31078756

E-bikes:

An electric bike lithium battery caused a serious house fire in Oregon after it exploded.  This was the fifth time this month that a lithium battery caused a fire in Portland.  Read the charging instructions and consider charging these away from flammables, at least until industries experts figure out why this has been happening.  And no, this is not evidence of God's revenge on e-bicyclists, if you are a purist.
http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/09/exploding_battery_on_electric.html


Actress Edie Falco's electric bike was stolen this week for the fourth time after she forgot to lock it.  It is not yet legal to ride e-bikes in NYC, but no one can stop you from owning one, or, apparently, from stealing one.
http://pagesix.com/2014/09/05/sopranos-star-edie-falcos-bike-was-stolen-for-the-fourth-time/

Random Notes:


Cyclists in Denver are becoming sartorialists on two wheels.  They are getting rid of spandex in favor of more fashionable cycle wear.  Now this is important.  Who doesn't want a chic orange shift dress to wear while riding to work?  Okay perhaps someone who does not look good in orange.  But certainly no one else.
http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_26462138/spokes-appeal

You can now use this website to map your cycling route across the entire continent of Europe.
http://www.eurovelo.com/en

In Memoriam:

Virginia Gaddis was bicycling advocate who lived on Capitol Hill in DC.  She was a bike person decades before it became hipster cool.  Although she had lived a long life, her health failed in recent years, but she was delighted to see the introduction of bike lanes and bike share before she passed away.  So light a candle for Ginny.  May she rest in peace.



So if I see you in the bike lane, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bueller Rides High, Portland Sinks, and the Viking of E-Bikes Debuts.


". . . The Holly/Smoot Tariff Act which lowered or raised . . . Anyone? Anyone?"  Bueller is still cool.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhiCFdWeQfA

Share:



Many bike share users in DC ride from the city to Virginia, crossing over the Potomac River.  So bike share is really linking the 'burbs.  Or more people from the suburbs want to go out drinking after work and not ride home drunk.  Somewhere there is an explanation for this, but it's good no matter what the cause.
http://dcist.com/2014/08/how_to_visit_ten_dc_bridges_in_one.php

San Francisco is funded to have 1,000 bikes and 17 new docks in the next year.  New areas include Mission and Castro.  Enjoy, but no butt chaps on the bike without a seat cover.  Not even during pride week.
http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2014/08/29/bay-area-bike-share-expansion-stalls/

Yet another writer wading in to the debate about whether helmet-less bike share riders have created an epidemic of head injuries.  This writer's conclusions?  Absolutely not.
http://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-do-bikeshare-schemes-lead-to-more-head-injuries-among-cyclists-30135

Math can solve the bike share movement problem.  So says Gizmodo India.  Math can solve most things except the inexplicable vicissitudes of courtship.  (I offer other tart observations in exchange for re-tweets and Google +1s.)
http://www.gizmodo.in/Science/Keeping-Bike-Shares-Running-Smoothly-Requires-Seriously-Complex-Math/articleshow/41045580.cms
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/08/balancing-bike-share-stations-has-become-a-serious-scientific-endeavor/379188/

Kansas City is getting a dozen bike share stations.  They will feature docks that sit on top of the Wicked Witch of the East.  The city has employed a number of Munchkins to move the bikes around during peak commuting times.  Bike share riders will be serenaded by a freakishly large-breasted teenager with braids, who will one day become a pill addict, take to wearing heavy make-up, and go completely maudlin whenever she is interviewed for the rest of her life.
http://www.kmbz.com/About-a-dozen-new-bike-share-stations-are-going-up/19776276

Orlando, Florida is getting bike share.  They already have Disney World, Epcot and unattractive suburban sprawl.  Bike share will help a lot.  I look forward to seeing Mickey and the oft-ignored Pluto quarreling over the last bike in the dock.    
http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2014/08/sunrail-connection-orlando-bike-share-program-to.html

Words you never thought you would see in the same sentence:  "founder of Quicken Loans," "bike share," and "Ford Motor Company investing in bike share start-up." Ponder, as you wonder how the movement of the tectonic plates from Iceland to Asia may be influencing corporate America.  Then wonder how a start up and a few CEOs might figure a way to make bike share profitable.
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/aug/28/bike-sharing-is-pricey-can-startup-zagster-make-it-profitable

In the battle of the bike share stations, DC wins with 335.  But if you count numbers of bikes at the stations, NYC wins with 76 at the largest dock.  And even if NYC loses, the mayor will call a press conference, then declare victory and municipal superiority.
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24079/the-biggest-bikeshare-station-in-each-us-city/

Those Chinese.  That wacky human rights record.  That whole weird Mao-smelting-pig iron-in every back yard-forced marches thing.  That gorgeous Yellow Mountain topography.  Well, before you can say "choke me with Beijing's vomit-colored fog," consider this.  They have a bike share system that kind of smokes ours.  Yup.  In the middle of that chartreuse Beijing smog.  Makes the DC/NYC contest seem like child's play.
http://www.vox.com/2014/8/26/6069821/bike-share-china-world-data
http://grist.org/list/china-scoffs-at-our-puny-bikeshare-programs/
http://qz.com/255054/the-world-leader-in-bike-sharing-is-china/




Policy and Advocacy:

Portland, Oregon has lost its place as the number one city for cycling.  Brooowaaaahahahaha.  According to Bicycling Magazine, New York and Minneapolis are ahead now.  Credible claim?  You be the judge.
http://www.opb.org/news/blog/newsblog/portland-knocked-from-top-3-best-bike-cities-in-us/

Suburban businesses are turning to bike share, according to Nasdaq.  Office park owners are sweating. That nervous, smelly kind of sweat, wholly different from the long bike ride good kind of sweat.  That is because they hear a giant sucking sound as businesses relocate to cities where young talented people want to work.  Google and Amex are doing the same thing.  Hey, they don't have walkable locations, but at least it is something.  Perhaps they will ultimately decide walkable and bikable trump manicured lawn and tired fountain off of the interstate.  #bikeshare  #nervousofficeparkowners
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/bikesharing-rolls-into-suburban-workplaces-20140829-00589

Jersey City is adding a car free zone.  Shocking.  And yet pleasing to the brain.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/nyregion/echoing-times-square-downtown-jersey-city-gets-a-no-car-zone.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

So the aloof elites are not just inflicting themselves on the Burrough of Manhattan.  They are creating cycle-blocking ironworks in London.  Really now.  You mustn't block cyclists and wheelchairs as if they were Sherman tanks spewing sewage.  #outoftouch
http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/this-is-wrong-residents-in-exclusive.html?m=1

Former DC Transit Director, Scott Kubly, says that the war on cars does not reflect reality.  Arguably neither does the show "House of Cards," but I choose to believe it.
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/08/25/sdot-director-nominee-scott-kubly-war-on-cars-narrative-doesnt-reflect-reality

In Holland where almost no one wears a helmet, almost no one gets seriously injured.
http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/letters/Bike+helmets+ineffective/10148259/story.html

We are all trying not to be fat.  Even the fat are trying to not be fat.  So riding a bike and taking mass transit apparently helps us all not to be fat.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/19/us-commute-weight-study-idUSKBN0GJ29V20140819

Stuff:

Do you commute in Northern Finland or Alaska?  Do you leave the house when most people are just entering REM sleep, or get home after most social inebriates?  Then perhaps you need more than a bike light.  Perhaps you need a bike that glows in the dark. #e-bike
http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/thehub/the-bike-that-glows?cid=socBL_20140828_30545486

Do you own a bike shop or sell bike-related stuff?  Then perhaps you could use a crash course on how to grow your business.  The European Cycling Federation has such resources for you.  #bike shop  #bike shop owners go to heaven
http://www.ecf.com/news/want-to-boost-bike-sales-advocacy-is-the-answer/

E-Bikes:




Sanibel, Florida.  Playground of the elderly.  White beaches.  Trailers.  Strip malls.  Dinner at 4:30 p.m.     Pants worn high on the rib cage.  But would you think an electric-bike shop that features a Felt e-bike with a Bosch motor?
http://www.news-press.com/story/life/2014/08/27/go-coastal-cycling-spotlight/14680577/

M.A.S.S. e-bikes are like the lice-covered Viking of e-bikes.  Sturdy, strong, and ready for a ride on the Kon Tiki, a slide across a frozen lake, or the celebratory pillaging of a village.  Suitable for mud, asphalt, sand, and snow.  Hence the name.  You can even drape the frame with a gamey smelling pelt.  (Seriously.  You cannot make this stuff up.)  #electricbikes  #bikesforvikings
http://www.designboom.com/technology/m-a-s-s-electric-bikes-philippe-starck-moustache-eurobike-27-08-2014/

In Europe e-bikes now account for over 50% of the market.  Wow.
http://www.bike-eu.com/Home/General/2014/9/Eurobike-Points-to-Huge-Growth-in-e-Bike-Offering-1589443W/

Pizza is good, always.  But pizza delivered by electric cargo bike has got to be even better, always.
http://www.cargobikefestival.com/2014/08/pizza-delivery-by-electric-cargo-bike.html?spref=tw

Lots of 4000 Euro cargo bikes have been sold in Dublin since May.  Is Dublin becoming the new London?
http://irishcycle.com/2014/08/28/four-e4k-electric-assisted-cargo-bicycles-sold-in-dublin-since-may/

Would you buy a electric bicycle from a guy wearing a kilt?  Would that be a selling point?  I know we enjoy the kilt wearers hurling and hoisting heavy things at the Scottish games, preparing single malt scotch, or curing smoked salmon.  But does a heavy wool tartan in the middle of a trade fair really help peddle, well, pedals?  Apparently.
http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/men-in-kilts-showcase-seven-bonny-bike-brands-at-eurobike



Civility:

A few "don'ts" for cyclists.  Do not hit guide dogs.  Just don't.  Do not buzz walkers on the National Mall or sidewalks around the Capitol.  Do not call a nearly blind, octogenarian driver a toad or Mister Magoo when he cannot see you to make a turn.  (Complain, of course, but do not name call.)  And do not, do not, pass another cyclist at the speed of a supersonic jet without saying "on your left however fleetingly."  Shoaling is for the "under-socialized."  Never turn on another cyclist and create a conflict.  If you do it will be like Ancient Rome and the marauders.  The motorists will win and we will lose because of infighting.  #donottakemetotallyseriously  #never  #shoaling  #shoalingisrude
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-28945834
http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2014/08/cyclists-lets-talk-about-shoaling/379232/

Style:

Fancy a man in a well-tailored suit on a bicycle?  Here is a suit designed for the bike commuter.
http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/bikes-and-gear-features/wow-stuff?cid=socBG_20140830_30742866



Random Notes:

You have to love a guy who took up mountain biking at 63 and ended up racing.  If this story does not make you smile then you need to see a doctor and be evaluated for bitterness.  Or ride a bike to treat said condition.
http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/fitchick/dont-look-back?cid=socBL_20140830_30559086

If you are from Minneapolis, chances are pretty good that you are nice.  But are you nice enough to help the city count cyclists?  If you are really, truly that nice, then volunteer.
http://www.startribune.com/blogs/273065641.html

Looking for a job?  Stages Cycling in Portland, Oregon is looking for a tech support/customer service rep.
http://bikeportland.org/2014/08/28/job-customer-servicetech-support-stages-cycling-110488

Cyprus, the country, is planning an annual cycling day.  If you needed an excuse to go to the Mediterranean, you now have one.
http://www.ecf.com/news/cypriot-cycling-club-plans-annual-cycling-day-for-move-week/

The data support forcing drivers of cars and pedestrians wear helmets.  #no hate mail please  #mandatory helmet law
https://twitter.com/modacitylife/status/504725132271976448

And in Australia, there is a place where most cyclists ignore a mandatory helmet law.
http://road.cc/content/news/128546-byron-bay-–-non-formist’-australian-town-where-4-5-cyclists-ignore-compulsory



So if I see you in the bike lane, let's be smug.

Elisa P.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hollywood Writers and General Motors Employees on Bikes? Whaaaaattt?





It has been a week of strange changes in the world of cycling.  Good things are happening.  Really good things.  Which is a little anxiety-provoking.  After all, I am used to playing the cycling underdog.   About what will I complain?  Yikes.

For example:

In Hollywood, people drive around in cars.  Expensive cars, weird cars, but cars.  Enter Tom Smuts, Mad Men Writer.  He biked to the Emmy Awards.  (How many reasons do you really need to love this guy?)  I hope that he does not fall victim to some Hollywood mob like the one in Nathaniel West's The Day of the Locusts.  The idea of someone biking down Wilshire or Sunset boulevards during evening traffic to accept an award from possibly the most shallow of industries is too much to conceive.  #tomsmutsrocks
http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/08/26/eyes-on-the-street-mad-men-writer-tom-smuts-bicycles-to-the-emmys/

Lanes:

Some people worry about how to keep cyclists off the sidewalk.  I do not.  But how do you keep them off if you care about that?  According to a note in the Sacramento Bee newspaper - the one started by a skeptic named Twain- the answer is to Improvise.
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/24/6647726/editorial-an-improved-biking-network.html



Then there is this story which must be a gag:

Houston is getting its first protected bike lanes.  Isn't that an oil, cattle, feedlot big enough to ruin the ozone kind of state?  Why are all my belief being attacked by facts?
http://streetsblog.net/2014/08/27/downtown-houston-will-get-its-first-protected-bike-lane/

Share:



If I told you that General Motors had started a bike share program on its campus in Warren, Michigan, would you think I had lost my gourd?  Me too.
http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-general-motors-bicycle-sharing-20140826-story.html

Seattle's bike share system is up and running.  And guess who is moving back to town to take advantage of a talent pool?  Yup a big company that might have something to do with lumber and stuff.
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/08/26/seattles-brand-new-bike-share-program-welcomes-its-first-members

Policy and Advocacy:

If the draft rules pass, construction companies is DC will have to make accommodations to cyclists when they block the bike lanes.  This is unsettling.  Now what will I have to complain about? #developersthatcomplywillnotsuck
http://www.waba.org/blog/2014/08/ddots-safe-accommodation-rules-are-pretty-good/

If General Motors wants about 19,000 of its employees to ride around on bicycles, and this is not a happy dream, what does that mean for other large companies?  What will it mean to the automotive sector?
http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-general-motors-bicycle-sharing-20140826-story.html

Yup, Weyerhaeuser is moving from its remote suburban campus to downtown Seattle to attract a more talented people who ride bikes.  Wait?  Is that exactly what they said at the press conference?  #weyerhaeuser  #bikesandsmartpeople  #whythehelldidthesepeopleevermoveanyway
http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2024394215_pioneersquarexml.html

Safety:

LAPD is backing a hit and run alert system that may tag motorists that hit cyclists and then speed away.   #surveillancewecanalllove
http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/-603960--.html

Random Notes:


A Vimeo on the global BMX project that is worth a 31 minute view.  I know you might think BMX is for exploitive parents and tattooed 'tweens who are just a few short years from developing a life-destroying meth habit, but that is not necessarily true.  #BMX
http://theradavist.com/2014/08/make-happen/

Great News:

Momentum Magazine has voted Bicycle Space, a great little shop in DC where I have spent a ton of money with consistently good results, one of the five best.  #bicyclespace
https://twitter.com/bicyclespace/status/504661685081485313?refsrc=email

So if I see you in the bike lanes, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Electric BIkes Being Made In Washington, D.C. Even If Laws Are Not.



Lanes:





Protected bike lanes debuted this week in Pentagon City.  Yup.  The mall place.  The Pentagon place.  The place you never thought protected bike lanes would appear.  You imagined tank traps, yes.  But bike lanes, no.  And yet here they are.  Challenging your urbanite, smartphone toting, Twitter clever beliefs.  As a great philosopher once stated, go figure.
http://www.arlnow.com/2014/08/19/protected-bike-lane-open-in-pentagon-city/
#bikelanes  #protectedbikelanes  #crapweshouldhavedonedecadesago

Ward 8 is now getting 7.5 miles of bike lanes.  This community has been underserved for years.  It even went without a decent grocery store for decades.  This is a terribly hopeful sign.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/08/20/7-5-miles-of-bike-lanes-built-this-year-in-d-c-ward-8-gets-first-bike-lanes/
#Ward8
#bikelanes  #finally

Seattle's bike lanes along Broadway are really pretty amazing to see.  Green markings let people coming out of driveways know where the bike lanes begin.  Inflatable, decorative bollards help separate motorists and cyclists with good modern art.  Not that iffy modern art that makes you feel slightly belittled for regarding it.  More like a serious Mondrian than that stained, beige carpet sample someone hung in MOMO falsely claiming it captured the essence of man's inhumanity to man.  Check it out.
http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/08/19/6-things-to-like-and-one-to-fix-about-seattles-new-broadway-bike-lanes/
#seattlecycling

London gets its first bike lanes in a roundabout. Let's see if cars can comply.
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/road-users-split-over-magic-roundabout-which-separates-bikes-from-cars-9680178.html

The headline is quite silly: "Some Say that Bike Lane May Have Added to Confusion in Bicyclist's Death."  Hmm.  Well, some say the earth is flat.  Some say that Jimmy Hoffa is buried in their backyard.  Some say they can see the Virgin of Guadalupe in their toast.  This reporter said it was a "freak accident."  Very simply, he was doored.  Some who say otherwise are silly.
http://www.wmur.com/news/some-say-bike-lane-may-have-added-to-confusion-in-bicyclists-death/27619320#!bGvwy3
#skeptical
#reporternotthesharpestknifeinthedrawer

Share:



There have been over 23 million rides on bike share.  And there have been zero deaths from bike share in the United States.  Zero.  4700 people died last year from choking.  But none of them were on bike share when they choked.
http://www.care2.com/causes/number-of-deaths-caused-by-bike-share-0.html
http://news.discovery.com/earth/23-million-rides-later-no-us-bike-share-deaths-140813.htm
http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_26331360/bike-sharings-impeccable-safety-record
http://www.bayoubuzz.com/top-stories/item/723799-after-23-million-rides-no-deaths-in-us-bike-share-programs
http://grist.org/list/u-s-bikeshares-have-killed-a-shocking-amount-of-people/

Strange data since The Washington Post wrote a story insinuating that head injuries were on the rise from bike shares being used by non-helmet-wearing riders.  (I was always skeptical about this.  Instead I blame distracted tourists who like to point at monuments and talk over their shoulder to their family members while crossing busy intersections.  But I have no data to support this.)
http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/bike-share-helmets-bicycle-safety
#bikehelmets

Want the City of Los Angeles to place a bike share dock near a particular Metro stop?  Then vote on where you want it to go.  Or don't and grouse later.  As they say in LA, whatever.
http://laist.com/2014/08/19/metro_wants_you_to_vote_on_where_th.php

Bixi is facing a repair problem, and so is the program in Toronto.  Complaints are surfacing that the share bikes are in a state of deterioration.  Since it is a public service, the Canadians are trying to figure out how to save it.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Editorial+question+whether+save+Bixi/10122105/story.html?__federated=1
http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=199261
#bixi
#impulsepurchasesofsofamagnates

CNNMoney reports on a new program to reduce the cost of bike share programs by eliminating the kiosk and adding interactive screens on individual share bikes.
Given that the kiosks in DC are solar powered, it seems unclear how this would cut costs to municipalities.
http://money.cnn.com/gallery/smallbusiness/2014/08/15/commuting-transportation-startups/

Bike share is good for the environment, that is, if people use it.  For every mile travelled on a bike and not in a car, about a pound of carbon dioxide is saved.  However, hard data on how much carbon bike sharing is really saving is not available yet.  Depending upon which share system you are talking about, between 20 and 53% of share users report using their car less.  The bottom line?  Bike share systems have saved over 2900 metric tons of carbon since 2009.  A little harder to heat your planet with those stats, eh?
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/17/6629069/the-conversation-on-a-mission.html

The College of William and Mary is adding bike racks, bike share, and more.
http://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2014/bike-initiative-pushes-off-to-a-strong-start-123.php

Bike share started in downtown Cincinnati this month.
http://www.fox19.com/story/26259866/red-bike-city-unveils-new-bike-share-program-downtown
http://www.wlwt.com/news/city-unveils-first-station-for-bikesharing-system/27426064#!bGuOn8
#bikeshare
#bikeshareinOhio
#thingsIneverthoughtIwouldsee

Events and Charities:



BoBikesBama is Bo Johnson's organization that raises money to help disaster victims in the State of Alabama, voted the least bike-friendly state in the country.  It seems to me that every able-bodied cycling advocate should participate in this ride - held annually in April - for a good cause, for good exercise, and to show all Alabamans that cyclists are great people.
https://bobikesbama.com/the-ride/#.U_KUUkvgXwI
#bobikesbama  #don'tbeabamajustshowup

The Ride to Victory is coming up in less than a month.  You can support this cancer charity by riding.
http://www.ridetovictory.org/dclandingpage/index2.html?s_src=OAD_RCDC14_DC_GoogleAdwords&gclid=CPj6pu7WoMACFQwV7AodJjoAcw


Show up between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of 14th and Q Northwest on Wednesday to receive free Peregrine Coffee thanks to The Bike Rack.
#onlyweirdosrefusefreePeregrinecoffee
#Peregrinecoffee
#TheBikeRack

Policy and Advocacy:

Effective in September, California motorists will have to give a three foot berth to cyclists.  I hereby name this the "duh" statute.
https://calbike.org/3footeducation/

Home in Washington, bike riding in lanes jumped over 40% upon the installation of the L street lanes.  Cycling on the sidewalk (by non-celebrities) dropped by 27%.  As Diane Keaton stated in Woody Allen's Sleeper, "Makes you think."
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/17/6629016/a-solution-for-bikes-and-pedestrians.html
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/17/6629069/the-conversation-on-a-mission.html

#bikeshare
#smarterthandriving
#burnsmorecaloriesthanbeingagrump

Want to know how the Netherlands designed those terrific bike intersection junctions?  Here's a lovely video that breaks it down for you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpQMgbDJPok&app=desktop

How you present a policy issue can often determine whether you can build consensus for change.  So if you itemize the number of parking spots lost to bike lanes, you lose.  If you emphasize how small the percentage of spaces will be lost, you just might win.  See how it worked in one jurisdiction.
http://www.planetizen.com/node/68554

Civility:



If you insist on participating in World Naked Bike Ride Day, against my very sage advice, please follow these etiquette tips from Bicycling Magazine.  My favorite is" "[F]or the love of all humanity," if you ride a share bike, sanitize the seat.  Indeed.  And use some e-coli killing product.  I should also add that you might want to cover your face with something like a bag to prevent people who might hire you from knowing that you were there in the buff.
http://www.bicycling.com/ride-maps/featured-rides/keep-it-clean
#eventsidonotget

So if you are the Chief of Police at NYPD, you get a full waiver and may park in any bike lanes with your ear-piece-wearing security detail.  Wait a second!  I do not recall that law or that waiver.
http://gothamist.com/2014/08/14/nypd_loves_bike_lane_parking.php#photo-1
#bikelane
#naughty
#youregoshouldneverbesobigthatyouparkinthebikelane

Travel:

Bicycling Magazine offer tips on how to travel with your bike.
http://www.bicycling.com/ride-maps/featured-rides/have-bike-will-travel?cid=social_20140820_30044596

E-Bikes:


Electric bikes made in the District of Columbia?  Yup.  Well at least something's getting done in this city!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2014/08/15/riide-plans-to-make-d-c-a-hub-for-electric-bikes-so-we-gave-one-a-spin/

Electric bike sales are surging across Europe.   Now mail carriers in some areas are using e-bikes to deliver the mail.  I guess this is in lieu of parking in the bike lane or folding and shoving photos in the mail slots of decent tax paying Americans.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/business/e-bike-sales-are-surging-in-europe.html?_r=0

But electric mountain bikes?  This, I do not understand.
http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2014/08/15/new-brain-issue-looks-electric-mountain-bikes#.U_FMWUvgXwI

That old stalwart, Popular Mechanics, the magazine your father, or grandfather had on his work bench next to his Heathkit junk, covers a new electric bike that might be ideal thing for urban commuters.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/sports/technology/this-just-might-be-the-perfect-commuting-e-bike-17113876
#electric bikes
#popularmechanics
#OMGhowcool

Cargoes with electric engines are replacing sedans.  Maybe not overnight, but in time.  If this trend is nothing more than a trend, as the author suggests, it is just capturing the zeitgeist.  Beware.  The zeitgeist changes by definition, and cycling needs to become a lifestyle for Americans, not a trend that passes.
http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20140815-rise-of-the-short-haul-truckers

Schadenfreude:

Although he was nabbed in Cheltenham, an ocean away, I feel fiendish delight in the arrest, conviction and sentencing of a bike thief who got three years in the clink.  Jolly, jolly good show crown court.
http://road.cc/content/news/126721-cheltenham-thief-who-stole-bikes-order-and-sold-them-online-jailed-32-months

James May of Top Gear seems ready to embrace bike lanes.  Compare that with his irascible colleague.
http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-gears-james-may-im-bicycles-cities-133048



Bike porn:

A great video of Copenhagen's bike culture where bikes are thought of as utilitarian transport items, like vacuum cleaners.  Yes, the woman who drives the sperm bank bike that holds the frozen sperm is featured.  Enjoy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAr5sB6aivk&app=desktop
#cyclingcopenhagen

CNN Travel covered the world's best bicycling cities.  Berlin was at the top.  Perhaps Angela rides a bit herself.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/17/travel/best-cycling-cities/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter
#angelamerkelbikes



Random notes:

Honestly.  I know the USA Pro Challenge started today, and I am really trying to care.  Really.  But I guess I have evolved sufficiently to think bikes are just fun transportation, and not objects for competition amongst the juiced.  In case you do care though, here is a link to Bicycling's blog.
http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/boulderreport/2014-usa-pro-challenge-preview?cid=socNews_20140818_29817046
#USAprochallenge

In watching Bob the Builder with my four-year-old tonight, I learned Bob was on a bike lane project.  Who is the saint who writes this stuff???
#bobthebuilder
#bobthebuilderbikelanes
#indoctrinateyourweeones

So if I see you in the bike lane, creating no carbon, dressed (please!), and being mannerly, let's be smug.
Elisa P.