Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bicycles Made in Washington and Traffic News Turns to Cycling News

Local explosive bombshell of the week:

Erik Kugler, co-founder of Bicycle Space, is now making bikes in Washington, D.C.  Really making them.  Not taking the frames made elsewhere and adding some jazzy features.  Wow.  Pause.  Picture the factory filled with local bike artisans and mechanics.  And some people say nothing gets done in Washington.  Well, now it does.   #custombicycles #buycourtlandmiloyakuglerbike


Cyclists, sometimes your need to give your spouses a good reason for your long rides. Otherwise, those half days away can cause resentment.  Here are some really good excuses for your ride and ways to include your bike widow or widower.

Chances are pretty good that you know someone with an autistic child.  Bike to the Beach is an autism benefit ride that will take place on August 1, 2014.  Ride from Washington, D.C. to Dewey Beach because you love to ride and it is a wonderful thing to do.  #bicycleridesinwashingtondc

Join the Tour de Frederick (Maryland, that is) on August 15, 2014.  Have the long-suffering wife meet you there for a nice dinner.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is about to close registration for their September 13, 2014 event in Maryland.  "But Honey, it's a cancer benefit."

The Potomac Pedalers is holding a 115 mile ride that takes you through Amish country and to the Allenberry Report on August 15, 2014.  I like long rides that end with decent wine, a shower and access to a blow dryer.  Consider taking your partner.

Traffic and Weather to Bikes and Bikes:

Washington's local traffic radio station, WTOP, began broadcasting stories about cycling over recent weeks.  This is remarkable because WTOP is known for traffic and weather every 10 minutes, sports coverage, and an imaginary "glass-enclosed nerve center."  Correspondents in the FATA, not so much.  This sudden coverage of cycling suggests the tectonic plates are shifting pretty dramatically.  Here's a sample of WTOP's coverage in a single month:
Hagerstown bike shop closing after decades.  (Who the heck knew Hagerstown even had a bike shop?)
Kidical mass movement gains momentum.
Ten year old cyclist struck by a driver.
And shockingly hipster-ish: Capital Bikeshare is more expensive than the fine for pot possession.
T-shirt created for a bicycle ride to honor Nelson Mandela has offensive typographical error.
People in NYC have been placed in chokeholds for offenses as minor as riding a bike on the sidewalk.
And in response to that dreadful Post column, a little bicycle etiquette.
Not to mention a helpful guide to cycling in DC.
Well our little radio station might have traded in the Dodge Dart with the push button transmission for a Tesla fixed-gear e-bike with a nice seat.


Spoiler alert!  People are still parking in bike lanes in Washington, D.C.

Bike share:

Capital Bikeshare has expanded its docks in a lot of locations and is seeking crowd sourcing suggestions for other locations.  They cannot place a dock on the lawn of the White House or the floor of the Senate yet.

There's a new Capital Bikeshare dock in Georgetown at 34th and Water Streets, NW.  Great access to the movie theaters, and you don't have to ride up that steep hill to get to shopping and restaurants.

But Capital Bikeshare's wider expansion is less likely this year since Alta and Bixi are in a corporate state of flux.  Bixi is in the hands of a sofa magnate named Bruno.  Alta is in the hands of D.C.'s former transit guy, Scott Kubly.

Arlington Now reports that Arlington's board has voted to allow a boring office building in Crystal City to be converted into micro apartments.  A key feature of the building's conversion to less than 400 square ft. units will be large common spaces, loads of bike share docks, and walkability to Metro.

The University of Virginia is rolling out a bike share program.  Jefferson is smiling somewhere right now.

Austin's B-cycle saw its use double in the last six months.  This may rival Citibike's and is all good news for an oil producing state.

Bike share for Jacksonville, Florida is on its way at last.

Bike shares' problem of missing bikes will always be there as commuter follow the same directional travel.  Is there an algorithm that can solve the problem?


Want a Google glass version of Spotcycle?  Now you can have it.  Or I should say, "There's a glass for that."

Martha's Vineyard may ban e-bikes from the island.  Several people who vacation there could probably use an e-bike, but the local politicians think e-bikes pose a safety hazard.  Heck, cotton balls pose a safety hazard if you do not handle them properly.

If you live in the U.K., Cyclotricity sells an e-bike add-on for less than 700 pounds sterling.

Interbike, the bike manufacturers convention in Las Vegas in September, will feature new technologies in e-bikes.

A town in the U.K. is planning E-bikes for beat cops.  As long as it helps officers get into tight areas, and keep off the donut pounds, I am in favor of it.

Citibike's mobile app in NYC may undercount the number of bikes.  It's annoying to have an app tell you there are four bikes in a dock that was picked clean hours earlier.  This developer needs a patch and a fix pronto.

Here's a sweet profile of woman who rides her e-bike around a California seaside town.

Mountain Bike Magazine's editor quit over the magazine's increasing coverage of electric mountain bikes.  He was a purist, I suppose.  Now he is an unemployed purist.

Advocacy and policy:

Bicyclists believe that cycling improves life for everyone.  Apparently we are right, according this piece in the Huffington Post.

MPs in the UK seek 600 million pounds for cycling infrastructure.  Keep an eye on this trend.  It may be a sign of what will follow in the colonies.

Cities and businesses are collaborating to deal with climate change.  Hmmmm.  I am racking my brain trying to figure out what could help them along.  Oh, I know.  How about expanded cycling?

These businesses are smart because studies show investing in cycling pays off, globally, says the European Cycling Federation.

Policy makers need to address the fact that poor people spend more time commuting than wealthy people.  Lower income people also want to attain car ownership more than people in higher income brackets.  Worse, cycling is not popular among the urban poor despite the fact it makes greater financial sense than car ownership.

U.S. cities trying to attract young people are now seeking bike lanes, not more bars carrying cheap draft beer and H&M stores.

The new bike czar in Dallas looks a lot like a perfectly normal, very nice woman.  Should she watch her back in a state where oil is king and the pick-up truck is ubiquitous?  (A state where one of those drivers clipped a cyclist seemingly on purpose this week.  But I shall not generalize, for it is the province of a weak mind.)

What can other cities can learn about cycling infrastructure from Indianapolis?  A lot.  The mayor there ignored partisan politics and created a sustainable city by adding bike lanes, bike share, and more.

This wonderful video from Canada encourages drivers to see cyclists as people: loving fathers, devoted mothers, and strong brothers.  Those Canadians are so good at sending messages without antagonizing people.  How annoying.  I feel antagonized.

People living near bicycle paths get 45 more minutes of exercise a week.  What is the impact of an extra 45 minutes on prevention of heart disease and type-2 diabetes?


Want to take a fun ride around Montevideo, Uruguay?  Here's a short video of the cycling features of that city.  They include the cycle tracks, bike share, clear bike/car parking instructions and a view of signs showing where bikes have "prioridad."

An old railway station was converted to a bike hotel in Drammer, Norway.  It would be nice to see more bike-centric hotels stateside.  Perhaps Paris Hilton can take her considerable talents and build a new short-stay empire in this sustainable direction.  Right now she is probably seeking a way to remain relevant.

Random notes:

What role did Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein - as in the guy who broke Watergate - play in getting new bike laws in Washington?  Well, he helped the other Carl, whose job it was to write such laws.  The Post's Jack Kelly writes:

I can’t help but ponder the karmic coincidences. Richard Nixon appoints John Volpe to be secretary of transportation. Volpe lets it be known that he wants Washington to be a more bikeable city. Carl Bernstein gets a ticket for running a red light on his bike. Carl Bernstein sticks it to Richard Nixon.

Are you a woman looking for a book to tell you how to take care of your nether regions when you ride a bike?  You know you are.  I thought it only fair I told you about this book to protect your "down there-ness."  Of course I learned this from an Ellie Blue tweet.  Where else?  (Don't answer that.  It was rhetorical for crying out loud.)

Apparently the New York Daily News did not understand the humor behind @bicyclelobby, a comedic bike Tweeter that is never serious.  Wow.  Somebody at the Daily News should be embarrassed.

A driver ended up on the W&OD Trail after making a wrong turn.  This is a reminder that you must always keep your idiot radar functioning properly.

It is smart to travel with others on bike paths in the woods.  Seriously.  A woman was attacked last week while jogging on a path in Fairfax.  The assailant was a man on a bicycle.  If you are a woman, take off your ear buds, find a riding partner, and learn self-defense.  Momentum cannot always be your best defense.

Florida is cracking down on hit and run drivers.

While in the U.K. fewer than half of the drivers who kill cyclists are ever punished.

In California, a reserve police officer was disciplined for posting an "I hate cyclists" video.  The secondary basis for the disciplinary action was the discovery of her low I.Q.”

In a world of cycling dangers, one cyclist avoided death twice aboard Maylasian Airlines flights

Here's a nice video about a pizza delivery man who has been bringing you warm pies from his bike for 30 years.

New Yorkers are turning to cargo bikes, especially long tails.

So, if I see you in the bike lane and you are atop a Kugler Bike, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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