Paul Andrews

Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Daily Roundup: Green bikes, Bellevue racks, BC Bike Race and more…

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm

SeattlePI.com: “With a $225,000 state trips-reduction grant, organizers handed out 200 free bikes, some gear and training lessons. About 265 people, who enlisted through 25 employers from King County, joined the program, which began last August.”

Seattle Times: New bike racks in downtown Bellevue. Believe it or not, bike rack shortages are the single most annoying thing about riding in any downtown.

Bicycle Retailer: REI Awards $10,000 to Adventure Cycling. Onward with the Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route!

Biking Bis: Louisiana governor signs 3-feet-please law, something Washington State, the No. 1 bike friendly state in the union, just can’t quite get done, alas.

Cyclelicio.us: The Bicycle Book is here!

If you don’t cycle, you might not get why bike lanes need to exist on streets paralleling bike paths. Here’s why, from SeattlePI.com and the Seattle Dept. of Transportation.

Bike magazine is covering the epic BC Bike Race

So is the Norona Life blog.

More bikes than cars in Amsterdam.

A cop driving a cruiser hits a cop riding a bike. All I wanna know is, was a citation issued?

SF v. Portland: Who’s the Cyclingest of Them All?

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting on June 29, 2009 at 2:37 am

San Francisco bike policy is picking up momentum. Mayor Gavin Newsom, a true progressive who’s running for governor, is a big bike booster. The city Planning Commission and MTA (Municipal Transportation Agency) just gave thumbs up to the SF Bike Plan, prompting this observation from Newsom:

“Already 6% of our commuters are bicyclists; that’s more than any other city in America. We know when we add a bike lane we see about a 50% increase in use. Fifty-four percent of  greenhouse gases are transportation related, the tailpipes of these cars you see behind you. Even those of us who are not bicyclists will get the benefit of this because of the air we breathe and the benefit of the example that we will leave to our children to get more physically active as well and to look at bicycling not just as recreating but as a pragmatic way of getting to and from places of work, to and from places we need to go.”

So I guess the burning question of the day is: Does SF now trump Portland as the most cycling-centric city in the U.S.? I’m assuming Newsom’s stats are correct but wonder if Portland isn’t actually ahead (here‘s an unsourced citation putting Portland at 6 percent mode share; BikePortland.org cites 8 percent in this post last fall). My home base of Seattle isn’t too shabby in the commute department btw. Cascade Bicycle Club, which it should be noted is the nation’s largest local club, estimates commuting at a respectable 4.2 percent.

Having bike commuted in San Francisco as well and ridden in Portland, my observation is that Portland is by far the easiest to get around in, but it’s also the smallest and most compact. So the stats may not be the whole story.

More SF links from Streetsblog:

Mayor a yay and nay.

Dancing, make that cycling in the streets over MTA vote!

Weekend Roundup: Thrice bummed, Lance’s chances and more

In Bicycle Racing, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Bummed to be missing the Fluidride Cup at Mt. Hood OR this weekend.

Also bummed that I can’t be in B.C. for the start of the fabled, the legendary, the epic, the agonistic and ecstatic BC Bike Race today.

And thirdly bummed that it’s so friggin’ hot out here in NorCal that this pobo can’t ride!!!

Are we hot or not?

Are we hot or not?

In today’s Nod Nod Wink Wink category, we have “Astana Names Contador as Astana Team Leader.” Now we all know who calls the shots on any team Lance Armstrong is on, right? I mean, we just do. So why pretend?

Who can rule Lance Armstrong out (of winning the Tour)? asks Bicycle.Net in an otherwise reality-based rundown of Tour contenders. Me. I do. Um, over here. Lance will not win. Even if he’s still doping. Next question…

I like Race Face. Never had a problem with any of their components. Now they have a new breakout crank line that’s dazzling on the eyes and not too severe on the pocketbook. Full details from Mountain Bike Action.

Finally someone does an unspun, detailed, informative review of Stan’s NoTubes wheels. Talk on the street is that Stan’s rims are soft. Light, yes. Durable, no. MTO (Bill Lobe) gives the full rundown. Some good lines too: “I found them to be stiffer than my in-laws.” More true than the wheels as well…

Daily Roundup: Bus bike rack fails! Return of the L.A. bike fee, Lance does good, London bike planner

In Bicycle advocacy, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 25, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Just the kind of thing we all worry about: A bike rack failure on a bus going 60 mph. Cyclelicio.us dodged the bullet this time, but as we in the Seattle area know, the Sportworks racks have their “issues.”

Los Angeles had a bike license fee, then rescinded it. Now they’re talking reconstituting it. Confusion reigns. From Bike Rumor:

A bike commuter “got a ticket for not having a license on his way home from trying to get a license where he was told they were out of licenses at the moment.”

And BikeRumor riffs on Lance Armstrong’s Twitter call-out re a Texas “3-feet-please” law that the governor may veto.

For the first time since 2005, the World Cup will return to the United States — in Windham, New York, for 2010.

Wonderful informative interview from BikePortland.org with the city of London’s bike planner. Worth reading!

Daily Roundup Returnz!

In Bicycle Racing, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Sorry all…I’ve been traveling, mountain biking, and collecting all sorts of new contacts. More later…but for now, here’s the newZ!

The City of Seattle intends to complete the Burke-Gilman “missing link” for cyclists, as we noted, but it won’t be easy. From the Ballard Tribune:

“Attendees at the meeting claimed that bicyclists do not need a bike lane on Nickerson, or even on Leary Way, because there are off-street bike trails nearby.”

This needs clarifying: The problem being that the trail is available at some points paralleling Leary, but not everywhere. On the Nickerson side, the same thing applies. Not sure what point “attendees” were trying to make, but in general more bike lanes are needed everywhere in the city, especially along east-west corridors. The other factor in play here is that mixing rec trails with commuter trails is increasingly a harrowing proposition. As bike commuting grows, it needs a conduit of its own to flourish.

A $500 billion Transportation Bill has about as much chance as Dick Cheney renouncing torture in this Year of Living Deficitly, but BikePortland.org has a thorough rundown anyway.

I came within a couple of days of seeing the Ashland Super-D mountain bike race. But it was all the talk of the town even in the aftermath. When I rode Ashland, it was sunny and in the high 80s. More on that later.

You can go 50 miles an hour on this bike without pedaling, and not even downhill. It’s the only bike you can get at Best Buy, and here’s why.

The Godz of Klunkerz, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Charlie Kelly and Wende Crage, were on the public radio station KQED. Photo here (guess which one is Gary!), hear here.

Free Missy! Save California! Solve the deficit!

In Bicycle Racing, Mountain Biking, This Day In Doping on June 23, 2009 at 9:33 pm

You hate to see this: Former world downhill champion Missy Giove arrested on pot charges. On the other hand, this is just one more high-profile reason to legalize pot, tax that sucker, and make big bucks for economic stimulus and state budgets, free law enforcement for more serious and pressing matters, end the moronic War on Drugs and start America making sense again…as well as head off senseless tragedies like that of mtb wizard Sam Brown.

No one familiar with the sport of mountain biking in general, and La Missile in particular, can be surprised at Giove’s arrest. But listen: This is a country that smokes dope. Prohibition does not work any better for marijuana than it did for alcohol. When my right-wingnut friends carp about weed I come back with, OK, let’s be consistent then and ban alcohol. People are dying in the streets from DUI.

Here in NorCal, where I’m biking and visiting, all the talk is of the state facing bankruptcy over a $24 billion budget deficit. Legalizing/taxing dope is one of two primary strategies being discussed to ameliorate the shortcoming (a higher gas tax being the other). Even Gov. Schwarzenegger seems receptive to the idea.

At the pinnacle of her sport, Missy was always edgy, funny, outrageous and pharmaceutically aware. Let her out on condition she help lobby for national marijuana legalization. Now there you’d have a loud ‘n proud spokesperson we could get behind!

And in other drug news: Alejandro Valverde is banned from the Tour de France, starting July 4.

Daily Roundup: Livestrong reminder, First person nekkid in Portland, Downieville, Bike mag wins Maggie

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 16, 2009 at 4:12 am

Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Challenge hits Seattle on Sunday. Ride or not, you can help make a difference! Check it out…

Philly cyclists raised a ruckus about speed and unsafe conditions on Martin Luther King Way. Now they’re updating city’s responsiveness.

First person, albeit pseudonymous, report on the World Naked Bike Ride in Portland, from Seattle’s own Publicola.

Downieville: It’s not just for downhillers anymore.

Congrats to Bike magazine, the best-written, most entertaining sports publication available anywhere, for winning a prestigious Maggie award in L.A. Bicycle Retailer has the details:

“This is incredible,” said Bike magazine’s editor Lou Mazzante, who was on hand with fellow staff to accept the award. “To beat magazines like Tennis and Backpacker—magazines that have much larger staffs and budgets—is amazing. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and contributors; this award belongs to them.”

Less Gas, More Ass: World Naked Bike Ride Exposed!

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup on June 15, 2009 at 8:23 am
Jonathan Maus/BikePortland.org

Jonathan Maus/BikePortland.org

World Naked Bike Ride goes off without a stitch!

Yet it remains uncovered by the media!

Portland had to take top honors, although curiously unlinked by Google and Bing, which put Chicago, Sydney and other cities ahead in their queues. According to BikePortland.org, some 5,000 semi-clothed and all-naked (hey, they got photos!) riders showed up. What’s more, the cops went along with the ride.

What I like about Portland: They really ride naked down there. Here in Seattle, cyclists body paint in the annual naked bike ride opening the Fremont Solstice Parade (which is coming up this weekend). I have nothing against body painting, but it’s not really naked. The same for bikini shorts, thongs, g-strings and what have you. But somehow the World Partially Clothed Bike Ride doesn’t carry quite the same cachet.

So today’s burning question is: Will riders really get naked for Seattle’s World Naked Bike Ride on July 11? (Early July can be cold, wet and miserable, so other factors impinge as well.) Or will our image as half-assed and wishy-washy simply be reinforced…

More naked rider news:

In Denver, police warned that participation in the ride could mean arrest and registration as a sex offender. Sheesh, who thinks up this stuff anyway? What’re they worried about? Sex with a bicycle?

But riders covered up just enough to avoid the police blotter.

In New York, they made a cause of it: Get commuters out of cars and onto bikes!

Time Out Chicago has actual video (SFW, hee hee) of the ride there.

In Vermont, the message was peace and love…

Upon reflection, good times were had by all. When you bring people and bikes together, only good can happen.

California State Park closures hit mountain bikers hard

In Mountain Biking, Trail Access on June 12, 2009 at 8:20 am
Whooping it up in Nisene Marks

Whooping it up in Nisene Marks

Wow, these hurt. Some of California’s best close-in mountain biking venues, its State Parks, are under threat of being closed by September due to the state’s onerous budget cuts. On the list:

Mount Tam. It’s hard to believe that this spot, the renowned birthplace of mountain biking and scene of literally thousands of hikers, strollers and riders each weekend, could be gated. But there it is.

Testing skillz in Wilder

Testing skillz in Wilder

China Camp. Eeshhh. Another favorite retreat for mountain bikers just north of San Rafael. Between Tam and China Camp you’ve basically shut down the primary winter routes close to San Francisco.

Samuel B. Taylor. The recent move to add Marin’s first new mountain bike trail in years in Samuel Taylor got a lot of attention. Now they’re planning to shut the whole park!

On top of Tam, where mountain biking was born

On top of Tam, where mountain biking was born

Ford Ord Dunes. Not sure, but isn’t this the site of the annual Sea Otter Classic, the opening U.S. season event? If not the park itself, at least its environs. And lots of folks ride Fort Ord during the four-day bike festival each April.

Henry Coe. Good lord. What can you say — Coe is a mountain biking destination trip for Bay Area riders all over.

Wilder Ranch and Nisene Marks, both in Santa Cruz, both full of prime mountain bike trails. Both are conduits to some of the best riding in the Bay Area as well — Wilder links seaside with UC Santa Cruz, which has abundant technical and freeride trails, while Nisene Marks does the same with Soquel Demonstration Forest along the summit of the Santa Cruz range.

To put the closures in perspective, it’s unclear whether riding would be banned or simply unsupported. If the latter is the case (as has been said), mountain bikers will still be able to ride their favorite haunts. After all, if there’s no money to keep the parks open, there’s hardly budget to police them. Still, you hate to see any public open space go to seed, which is undoubtedly what will happen with no money for maintenance and improvements.

(Thanks to Tom Stienstra and the SF Chronicle for the full list.)

Daily Roundup: 3-feet-please legal test, Texans with broken shoulders, Kidical Mass returns, and more

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycling, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on June 12, 2009 at 7:54 am

DrunkCyclist updates a Biker Down thread and legal test of 3-feet-please in Arizona. This is one to watch. See comments section as well. Key line: “He may not have meant to do what he did, but he is still responsible.”

BikePortland.org riffs on USA Today piece on Google’s move to put bike paths on Streetview. And reports on the Pedalpalooza kickoff.

Why can’t Seattle have something like Pedalpalooza? How come Portland gets all the cool bike events? I’m so jealous…

TechFlash: The cool thing about the iPhone is… if you want to bike it rather than drive it, there’s an app for that!

The Stranger: Dan steps out of his sheltered view of life and discovers what a real bike path looks like (these are coming to Portland as well and should have been on Stone Way North in Seattle before the city caved to business pressure…but I digress).

MyBallard.com: Kidical Mass returns tomorrow!

What you get when you talk trash about Obama: Right winger Texas Gov. Rick Perry broke his collarbone trying to ride a mountain bike. What is it with Texas politicians and mountain bikes? Bush spent 8 years in office riding like a banshee and did squat for the status of bicycling, mountain biking and alternative energy. Perry goes around talking about seceding from the Union and takes a header… wait a minute! Doesn’t Lance live in Texas????

To be fair, Lance supported Obama and still broke his shoulder.

Rick Perry talks about his accident. I have to hand it to him, he did the right thing. He protected his bike with his body.

Some kind words about mountain bikers in The Aspen Times: “Mountain bikers are nearly all courteous, and quietly move through the trail without disturbing other humans, wildlife or the trail itself, under their own power….”

Have a great weekend! Now get out ‘n RIDE!!

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