Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump Said He Will Never Ride a Bicycle: Get Him On One Now!

WHAT DOES A TRUMP PRESIDENCY MEAN TO CYCLING?



Cyclists everywhere may be a little freaked out by the election results.  After all, Donald Trump has been quoted as saying, "I swear I will never ride a bicycle."
https://twitter.com/mviser/status/634897358694797312  (Apparently he did hold one up at least once, unless this image is shopped.)
This is something we have to change or he will never understand the pure joy that is riding.

To this community: I will buy a drink for the first man, woman or child to get Trump up and riding around.

I wonder if he can ride a bike.  Maybe he was never taught, which may explain everything.

He has sworn to do, or not do, a lot of other things he later abandoned (wedding vows, going after political rivals like a Banana Republic dictator, etc.).

He criticized John Kerry for riding a bicycle, though Trump himself sponsored the largest bike ride in America, Tour de Trump, from 89-90.  http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-criticizes-john-kerry-for-cycling-2015-6 

Cyclists finishing the Tour de Trump were greeted by protestors holding signs directed at Trump himself, some of which said "Eat the Rich."

Trump's criticism focused on Kerry's bike "racing" - though Kerry was not racing, but was riding - which Trump suggested was undignified for a man of Kerry's 72 years of age.  (Not to be confused with the indignity of chasing much younger women who could not possibly be genuinely attracted to you, but may instead have their eyes fixed on your wallet, or talking like the crudest adolescent boy in the world at least five decades after anyone can beg to be excused, or revealing that you think women the spoils of wealth.  Which does not exactly show the best of a 70 year old man.)

I think Kerry was doing what he should do at his age.


Photo from tec-market.info

It's hard to anticipate how a new administration in Washington will affect the development of bike lanes since my colleagues in transportation policy tell me "it's about to be four long years of roads."

Maybe.  Maybe not.  The Chicago Reader is already analyzing what the future holds for bike lanes: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/trump-transportation-infrastructure-future/Content?oid=24430854

If you are a true conservative, don't you care about costs?
Like public healthcare costs and costs to businesses?  (The same businesses who have experienced increased healthcare costs as the obesity epidemic and American sedentariness say an escalation in Type-2 diabetes that was unprecedented in any nation.)

Rumor afoot is that Trump ate fast food the entire time he was traveling on the campaign and never exercised.  Hmmm.  Time to get on a bike.  Right now, actually.  Today.  Age be damned.

Trump may not have considered the practicality of cycling infrastructure in cities, or it impact of the environment.  After all, Trump's statements denying climate change suggest that he may not understand the global movement away from fossil fuel driven modes and to sustainable transport will not be on his immediate agenda.  Polar icecaps are melting.  That is not a myth or propaganda.  Those photos from space are not shopped.  Even Republican Hank Paulson has staked his business on getting companies to see the real risk to the financial sector that his posed by climate change.

Deducing Trump's priorities from this behavior we might conclude that he will not care about bike paths, bike lanes or cycling safety.  So let's make him care.

To you my fellow cyclists:  Pick yourselves up.  Brush yourselves off.

Donate to any bike advocacy group you can.  (Even a small amount.) Volunteer.  Model good cycling behavior. (Don't threatened the fat guy in the black SUV who cut you off.  Just shake your head and ride on.)  Show off your awesome lean form as you ride.  Talk up cycling at the water cooler.

Start a"Get Trump Riding" petition.  Lobby Congress.
Never give up.  NEVER GIVE UP.  #nevergiveup.
Waba.org  (For Washington locals.)
bikeleague.org (Nationwide)
And here is a list in . . . Wikipedia?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_bicycle_advocacy_organizations

Ride on.

Contact me via Google+ if you get him up and on a bicycle.  (Golf carts, quad and tricycles do not count.  Photos must be capable of authentication through metadata.)

So if I see you, or even Donald Trump, in the bike lanes, let's be smug, though we will certainly be smugger, and he will be thinner and healthier.

Elisa P.

PS:  In other news:

Community meeting in Pittsburg on bike lanes Dec. 14.  Live there?  Go.  http://www.bikepgh.org/2016/11/22/dec-14-public-meeting-expanding-connecting-downtown-bike-lanes-trails/

Hearing on expanding bike lanes in Chicago suburbs, Cook County this coming Tuesday, November 29.  Live there?  Go.   http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/news/ct-lns-skokie-valley-bike-extension-st-1122-20161123-story.html

Saturday, November 12, 2016

And Perhaps We Were Too Dear

As we rode our bikes in our diverse cities, with our jobs, our clean desk jobs.  Jobs where we didn't need to bathe and scrub to get them off of us at night because we had choices, options, education.

With our access to information, and broadband, and noises and smells that forced us to face those not like us, and see them.

Seeing those maligned immigrants daily, up close, holding onto the poles of the subway when the seats were full, mowing lawns, our lawns, washing dishes, washing cars, washing our homes and our children, passing us helmet-less on bikes we discarded, riding from need, riding quietly, riding home in darkness, dirty and tired from the day.

With our intellectual curiosity, and our interests in other cultures, without fear and hatred we could not imagine thinking otherwise, or understand those that did.

With our world travels, with our degrees, our four dollar coffees, and our farmer's markets.

With our algorithms linking us to other like-thinkers where we could make team huddles, mental high-fives, and like, like, like, and like each other's thoughts, as if we were looking into a mirror showing our own brains.  That metal echo chamber.

With our love of international aid projects that encourage extractions abroad without irony, while our coal mines closed at home.

With our knowledge of how government really works and the vacant, gaping blindness to where it was not serving.

With our love of volunteering, of public health, of things bespoke.

As civics classes died without shuddering first.

As cable networks took over, as people stopped reading and stared at the screen, alone, at night, when the gremlin thoughts emerge.

As the free network news, that thing you could watch when the bills could not be paid, moved under the entertainment wing of networks and away from truth.  As medicine ads sustained the news that the old and sick who watched, the watchers who depend on the very public assistance that paid for the very medicines being advertised.  And those watching felt the money in the government was being spent badly and elsewhere.

As maps of heroin addiction and despair appeared like ink blots atop shuttered factory towns, we forgot or merely read about it.

As people hunted for a bad guy, for a place, a face, a single target for blame for a loss of manufacturing jobs that technology and progress would insure never returned, no matter the promises, no matter the diplomacy, the threats.

As we all bought piles and heaps of cheap things made elsewhere without fleeting thought to the consequences, to the harm to the damage, real and psychological.

As we walked over decaying leaves while the sunlight shined in our eyes, wearing our custom Red Wing Shoes and our turned-up jeans, thinking we are nice, we do not judge.

As we voted for candidates that raised millions of dollars from those placing a bet, those gambling that the fate of the greatest nation in the world could really ever be put in the hands of a single person, a person who would think themselves capable to running the greatest power.

As we sat dismayed to find that elsewhere, the pain is so deep, the anger so diffuse.
And we saw, at last, faces contorted with anger and fear.

Elsewhere minds so willing to buy that lottery ticket, that statistically improbable chance that may change the loss of face, the loss of place, the loss of identity.

We stood uncertain of everything we knew about us, uncertain that were as kind, as sure-footed, as special, as great.

And a few wondered if that shock was what the Romans felt right before it ended, right as they realized what was happening outside the city.


And Perhaps We Were Too Dear

As we rode our bikes in our diverse cities, with our jobs, our clean desk jobs.  Jobs where we didn't need to bath and scrub to get them off of us at night.
With our access to information and broadband and noises and smells that forced us to face those not like us and see them.

Those maligned immigrants, holding onto the poles of the subway when the seats were full, mowing lawns, washing dishes, washing cars, washing our homes and our children, passing us helmet-less on bikes we discarded, riding from need, riding quietly, riding home in darkness, dirty and tired from the day.

With our intellectual curiosity, and our interests in other cultures, without fear and hatred.

With our world travels, with our degrees, our four dollar coffees, and our farmer's markets.

With our algorithms linking us to other like thinkers where we could make team huddles, mental high-fives, and like, like, like, and like each other's thoughts as if we were looking into a mirror showing our own.

With our love of international aid projects that encourage extractions abroad without irony, while our coal mines closed at home.

With our knowledge of how government really works and the vacant, gaping blindness to where it was not serving.

With our love of volunteering, of public health, of things bespoke.  

As civics classes died without shuddering first.

As cable networks took over, as people stopped reading and stared at the screen, alone, at night, when the gremlin thoughts emerge.  

As the free, the network news, moved under the entertainment wing of networks.  As medicine ads sustained the old and sick who watch television network news and receive the very public assistance that paid for the very medicines being advertised.

As maps of heroin addiction and despair appear like ink blots atop shuttered factory towns.

As people hunted for a bad guy, for a place, a face, a single target for blame for a loss of manufacturing jobs that technology and progress would insure never returned.

As we all bought piles and heaps of cheap things made elsewhere without only fleeting thought to consequences to harm to damage, real and psychological.

As we walked over decaying leaves while the sunlight shined in our eyes, wearing our custom Red Wing Shoes and our turned up jeans.

As we voted for candidates that raised millions of dollars from those placing a bet, those gambling that the fate of the greatest nation in the world could really ever be put in the hands of single person, a person who would think themselves capable to running the greatest power.

As we sat dismayed to find that elsewhere, the pain is so deep, the anger so diffuse, and we saw, at last, faces contorted with anger and fear.

Elsewhere minds so willing to buy that lottery ticket, that statistically improbable chance that may change the loss of face, the loos of place.

We stood uncertain of everything we knew about us, uncertain that were as kind, as sure-footed, as special, as great.

And a few wondered if that was what the Romans thought right before it ended, right as they realized what was happening outside the city.


And Perhaps We Were Too Dear

As we rode our bikes in our diverse cities, with our jobs, our clean desk jobs.  Jobs where we didn't need to bath and scrub to get them off of us at night.  With our access to information and broadband and noises and smells that forced us to face those not like us and see them.  Those maligned immigrants, holding onto the poles of the subway when the seats were full, mowing lawns, washing dishes, washing cars, washing our homes and our children, passing us helmet-less on bikes we discarded, riding from need to affordable transit and not from desire to achieve.  With our intellectual curiosity, and our interests in other cultures, without fear and hatred.  With our world travels, with our degrees, our four dollar coffees, and our farmer's markets.

With our algorithms linking us to other like thinkers.

With our love of international aid projects that encourage extractions abroad without irony, while our coal mines closed at home.  With our knowledge of how government really works and the vacant, gaping blindness to where it was not felt.  With our love of volunteering, of public health, of things bespoke.  

As civics classes died, as cable networks took over, as people stopped reading and stared at the screen, alone, at night, when the gremlin thoughts emerge.   As the free, the network news, moved under the entertainment wing of networks.  As medicine ads sustained the old and sick who watch television network news and receive the very public assistance that paid for the very medicines being advertised.  As maps of heroin addiction and despair appear like ink blots atop shuttered factory towns.  As people hunted for a bad guy, for a place, a face, a single target for blame for a loss of manufacturing jobs that technology and progress would insure never returned.  And the same of us bought piles and heaps of cheap things made elsewhere without any thought to consequences to harm to damage, real and psychological.

As we walked over decaying leaves while the sunlight shined in our eyes, wearing our custom Red Wing Shoes and our turned up jeans.  As we voted for candidates that raised millions of dollars from those placing a bet, gambling that we could put the faith of the greatest nation in the world in the hands of single person who would think themselves capable to running the greatest power.

As we sat dismayed to find that elsewhere, the pain is so deep, the minds so willing to buy that lottery ticket that may change the loss of face and esteem, even when all logic says that dollar would be best sent elsewhere.

We stood uncertain of everything we knew about us, uncertain that were as kind, as sure-footed, as special, as great.  And a few wondered if that was what the Romans thought right before it ended, right as they realized what was happening outside the city.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bike Lane to Mexico and Make Your Bike an E-Bike in 60 Seconds.



I am sure you have heard about the proposal to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to prevent immigration.  Have you ever thought that we needed a bike lane instead?  Large numbers of people actually cross the border each day to work legally.  Yup, really.  And so the newest proposal is to build a bike lane.  #buildabikelane #wallwithMexico  Perhaps we could also have cycling border guards, and acceptable vendors who could offer mango slices with lime and salt to the weary riders.  An espresso bar?  Cafe con leche?
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/05/us-mexico-border-bike-lane/481515/



Various communities in the Mid-Atlantic region are celebrating bike month with events and the citing of irrefutable statistics that should persuade event the grumpiest of able-bodied motorists to rise off of their posteriors: Last year riders burned over 16  million calories and saved 16,000 pounds of CO2.  Drivers . . . well, they experienced bottom spread and polluted.  If they had a safe place to ride . . . maybe the world would start to right itself.  Just sayin'.



Detroit!  What's up?  I love that Detroit, Motor City, is building share bikes.  Let's take that market back, expand it and thrive.
http://www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2016/05/06/detroit-bikes-assemble-3-000-share-bikes-motivate#.Vy8c9dT3aK1


Park City is co-sponsoring a showing of Bikes vs. Cars, the documentary.  If you can possibly show up to this, do.  #Bikesvscars


Innovation.  It's a great thing.  Are there days when you could use an electric bike?  Now this new invention can help you make your bike into an e-bike in 60 seconds.  Take a look at this one.  I know my new commute will have a killer hill in the last stretch.  This may be a great solution for me on certain nights.
https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/tags/50
http://www.sporttechie.com/2016/05/04/startup-makes-traditional-bike-electric-60-seconds/


Note:
This humble blog will be posted less often in the next six months.  For my few readers I offer an explanation.  I am writing a legal reference book right now, moving to another bike-able neighborhood, working as a lawyer and keeping our young son on course to become an intelligent, ethical, and strong adult.  Ride on brave forward thinkers.  And may the force of cycling be with you.  Or as Yoda would say, on you must ride.  The force strong will be.

[This blog is never written for profit, except perhaps in the afterlife.]

So if I see you in the bike lanes, and you are burning calories and saving CO2, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

30% Of Car Trips In Los Angeles Are For Less Than Three Miles, and Alibaba CEO Bans Employees From Living More than 15 Minutes From Work - Cycling Rising


#PCworld calls the #Zeitgeist electric bike one that was made for storm troopers.  It is a lighter-weight e-bike than most, and boasts a traveling distance of 100 miles between charges.  And I guess if you put on your Lucas glasses you could say it looks like it is designed for an evil fighting force from the Imperial Army.  I think of it as a sleek bike, a sort of Jil Sander-come-Narciso Rodriquez type of bike.  It wouldn't work for the person who likes paisley and plaid, but for the person who loves a simple black cashmere sweater and a pair of Chuck Taylors, it looks great.  Has anyone tried it yet to report in?
http://www.pcworld.com/article/3058237/hardware/this-electric-bike-is-made-for-imperial-stormtroopers.html



Momentum Mag has some ideas for the person looking to start a bike to work program.  My personal belief is that, if you ride a bike to work, you look reasonably good doing it, you drop a few casual lines here and there about how great you feel when you ride, others will follow.  That said, if you can also rustle up a shower and Friday morning coffee club for cyclists, you have a movement, maybe even a revolution.

BTW, if you are a city rider and you have not subscribed to #Momentummag, please explain why not!  This is a great little publication and it needs the support of this community, at least the non-spandex, maybe-a-little-fred-but-more-high-heels-than-fred members.
https://momentummag.com/start-bike-work-program/



Did you know that 30% of car trips in Los Angeles are less then three miles long?  It's like latter day Rome, isn't it?  The gorging, the waste, the lack of foresight.

If ever a city was crying out for greater cycling infrastructure, the City of Angels is it.  Safety has been cited my many Angelinos as a reason why they tend to stick to four wheels and fossil fuels.  I know that some may see LA as a place where priorities are, well, askew.  This sort of madness does not improve that image.  The ride from Santa Monica to Downtown is about 10 miles.  The drive along the freeway and surface streets can take an eternity.  Then, later, you will need to work out.  Blink, honk, your day is over, and the air is just a little bit yellower.  What will the historians and anthropologists of the future say about our culture?  That were nuts to act this way and should have tried harder to make cycling more appealing.
http://orange20bikes.com/index.php/1386-the-strange-case-of-the-missing-mixing-zones.html



I cannot stop smiling when I think of this Swedish pod bike/car.  Will someone please sponsor this man on Indiegogo so he can move past his little prototype to real manufacturing?   #podride
http://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/say-hello-to-the-podride-a-swedish-all-weather-electric-bike-car-ar173045.html



Looking for a tracker for your bicycle?  Kind of like that Tile thing you put on your keys the exact moment when you stopped misplacing them?  Well, here it is.  Not sure how it will be missed by seasoned thieves, but assume most people who choose to work as bike thieves are not the sharpest tacks in the box.  I'd buy it.  Would you?  If might be worth it to recover your bike.


The CEO of Alibaba recently banned his employees from living more than 15 minutes from the office because they lost too much time commuting.  Wow.  In Washington, DC, many people sit in traffic for an hour or an hour and half.  What is left after that?

What if US CEOs did the same thing?  The truth is that they probably already do this through online applications that run algorithms designed to detect and eliminate from the stack occupants of the x-urbs who will be late when the I-95 backs up or the MARC train has a rail problem.

I got some insight into this recently when a small business owner told me that she was going through a stack of resumes and eliminating people who lived in remote suburbs because: "They will hate their commute, and their attitude at work will be bad and tired."  This raises important questions about what the American Dream will look like in the future.  Is a lawn important?  If so, can you really afford a lawn?  Or is living smaller, more sustainably the answer to health, success and employment? It all means that, in time, more people will cycle, and smaller spaces, closer in will increasingly be the norm.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2016/04/22/this-ceo-banned-his-first-employees-from-living-more-than-15-minutes-from-work/

So, if I see you in the bike lane, and you are atop a #Zeitgeist, and you recognize that we cannot afford to have cycling characterized as merely the symbol of the zeitgeist, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Smartphone E-Bikes, Smarter Bike Share, and Not So Smart in Seattle.



Why haven't e-bicycles completely caught on here in the U.S.?
Could it be that greater connectivity might make e-bikes more attractive?  Dutch manufacturer Vanmoof thinks a smartphone connected e-bike could bring more users.  I also think that Americans can be a bit dear about cleanliness.  Or prissy, as my mother would have said.  Don't get me wrong, when you need strong soldiers to save your island nation from an occupying foreign military, you don't immediately think of calling the Dutch.  You want to call the Americans.  But on e-bikes, we can be a little prissy, sweat perhaps a little less, and still be doing something positive.  That and use Twitch while we are waiting at the light.  Right?
http://www.designboom.com/technology/vanmoof-electrified-s-connected-bicycle-04-04-2016/


It seems that bicycle shop owners may not always have the right insurance.  In the U.K. one company is trying to create products tailored to the business needs of individual shops.  It would be interesting to see if U.S. underwriters had given any thought to this sort of business-specific policy.  I mean when they aren't lobbying Congress with their incredible girth.
http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/cycleguard-on-its-new-bike-shop-and-demo-cover/019366



And now it seems bike sharing is getting smarter and more flexible.   I mentioned bike libraries last blog, and now there are longterm bike rentals, which may work better for some people, particularly those on vacation.
http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/articles/4-smarter-bike-share-programs-coming-to-a-town-near-you-w201732

peopleforbikes.org

A lot of business owners have complained about bike lanes harming their bottom line.  Overwhelmingly, the data suggest that bike lanes do the opposite.  In Memphis . . . yup, Memphis . . . bike lanes gave birth to an arts center.  Businesses were spawned.  Wait, Memphis?  Okay fine, but where is Stax Music in all of this?  If they linked bicycling in some direct or indirect way to the likes of Mavis Staples or Sam and Dave that would basically be like heaven on earth.  No?
https://momentummag.com/bike-infrastructure-business-impacts/


seattlegreenways.org
I find it interesting that Seattle has apparently just figured out that Scott Kubly, DC's former transit Czar, was previously working for bike share manufacturer Alta before he was hired by Seattle to be its transit Czar.  Did they look at his resume?  How would the transit Czar serve the city without participating in what were the then-already-ongoing negotiations for the system.  Their surprise is a bit odd.  Discuss amongst yourselves.
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/documents-detail-kublys-talks-with-ex-employer-over-bike-sharing-system/


washingtonpost.com
Do you have an immediate, irrational interest in transit planners?  I do.  Our transit planner is also a cyclist.  Which makes him a little closer to perfect than the rest of us, I think.  Nice piece.  Read it. Be wise and thoughtful.  Or as Yoda would say, "Thoughtful and wise you will be."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/a-dc-transportation-planner-on-bikers-rights-and-getting-around-safely/2016/04/12/fc9041da-f105-11e5-89c3-a647fcce95e0_story.html

So if I see you in the bike lane, whether you are a professional planner, or a parent, which means you are a SUPER PLANNER, let's be smug.
Elisa P.