Paul Andrews

Archive for the ‘Bicycle advocacy’ Category

News Cycle: Crashed bike, e-bike, Lance’s bike, stolen bike & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on February 1, 2010 at 1:54 am

So we have a question here. Exactly how cautious does a cyclist have to be to prevent a driver from turning left in front of him or her? We almost got run down today in Aptos in that very scenario, so we’d like, really, we’d love to know. You wonder if this cop would tell a gunshot victim to be especially careful not to get in the way of bullets.

In Idaho they’re still cranking along on the “Preserve Our Trails” mountain-biking license plate. Good on ’em!

Pinarello Dogma worth “thousands and thousands” brazenly stolen from an Issaquah bike shop that should have known better.

BikingBis, who’s been on the case since the start, updates the 3-feet-please movement for 2010.

Jacquie Phelan: The A Side and the B Side of the “Modern San Franciscan”…aboard a bike of course. But first look at the photo.

Commute Seattle off and running…er carpooling…and biking!

What about Ennnn Ohhhhh don’t you understand?

Even with this on his side, the answer is still the same.

On the rise: The electric bike! I think of e-bikes the way I think of e-books: Nice implementation but Old School is better. Still, there’s no denying e-bikes are on the upswing. Battery technology is getting so insanely light and malleable that you can barely find the batteries on the bike any more. It’s only going to get better. In my dotage I may come to actually appreciate the things.


News Cycle: Protection for cyclists — is strangulation covered? Dirt Bowl, Women of Dirt, all the best dirt & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on January 29, 2010 at 2:17 am

If you try to run down a cyclist in your car but somehow miss, never fear. You can always go for strangulation.

In L.A., a booming promise that “The culture of the car ends now!” No throwing projectiles, no verbal abuse, no cutting within 3 feet … and yes! No strangulation! “(No) making physical contact with a bicyclist from a moving vehicle on the roadway either by physical person or use of an implement.” Yay!

I remember when I was this anal about my ride logs…but it was a long time ago.

Reminder that the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s “Dirt Bowl” fundraiser is Sunday, Feb. 7.

(Two) wheels ‘n feet account for 9.6 percent of all trips, but just 1.2 percent of federal funding. Other goodies as well in the Alliance for Biking & Walking “Benchmarking” report.

Add mtbchick to the growing list of hosts for “Awesome Land: Women of Dirt” showings .

Alan at EcoVelo looks at the iPad’s potential for mobile blogging.

Nothing to do with cycling, other than Yokota’s involvement, but a wild story nonetheless. So wild that the Man Himself, Gary Fisher, retweeted it.

Have a great weekend! Winter’s on the decline, time to get out ‘n RIDE!

“Vulnerable User” legislation gets a hearing

In Bicycle advocacy, Obama Bikes on January 28, 2010 at 6:50 am

Seattle Times: ” ‘There are cases where a driver is not filled with criminal intent but truly does cause death or serious injury to a biker, to a walker,’ state Sen. Joe McDermott, D-West Seattle, a sponsor of the bill, said at Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing.”

You can still make a difference.

Interesting discussion of the legislation in Cascade Bicycle Club forum.

Insight into why cyclists may “waffle” on bike safety legislation

In Bicycle advocacy, Obama Bikes on January 26, 2010 at 1:35 am

Interesting take from Cathy Tuttle of Spokespeople on “Why I Waffled” re Washington State’s proposed “vulnerable user” legislation. From a note Cathy sent out to an email list, by way of explaining why she delayed acting on the issue:

“Right now, if a driver is speeding, or runs a light, or makes an illegal u-turn and mows down my child walking to school or maims my husband biking to work, that driver most likely will be given nothing more than a $42 traffic ticket. There are drunk driving and vehicular homicide laws that are more aggressive, but if a driver is breaking the law and kills or maims a pedestrian or bicyclist, Washington State laws favor the driver. So what caused my reluctance to support this bill?
I support all sorts of good causes these days, some quite controversial, with no qualms at all: 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, SCALLOPS, Sustainable Food Systems, Transition Towns.  And I don’t like the idea that a distracted, incompetent driver can mow down walkers and bikers with impunity. It hearkens back to the Middle Ages when lords could run over peasants and not look back.
And then I realized why I waffled. It is because I could be that distracted driver. I speed (just a little). I talk on the phone in the car (only in rare cases). I have been known to catch just the tail end of a green (well, yellow) light. My car. My weapon.

I have an obligation not to cause great harm in everything I do. I would want the redemption of punishment, more than a $42 ticket, if I killed a cyclist while I was running a red light. That is exactly what the Vulnerable User Bill does. It fills the gap between a simple traffic ticket and more serious offenses. It requires a court appearance and possible community service for drivers who kill or gravely injure pedestrians, bicyclists or other vulnerable road users. It is a deterrent to negligent driving and will encourage us to focus our attention as we negotiate the urban streets more and more filled with our friends, children, and neighbors.
Please choose to fill out the quick on-line form supporting the Vulnerable User Bill. Now.”

News Cycle: Zoic resuscitates, Top bike-club names, Bike rear-view mirror safety sticker & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on January 26, 2010 at 1:32 am

BikingBis: Top bike-club names. Can’t argue with Gene on these. We did have the privilege of serving with a 1980s club founded by the estimable epicure, Bradford O’Connor, in celebration of one of his favorite beverages. It was called Team Green Death, in reference to the suitably toxic Rainier Brewery product, which served as official libation for all team meetings, gatherings and functions, including the annual sponsored Century Ride. TGD served its purpose and passed on, but the audacious team jersey lives in our attic somewhere.

Trial starts tomorrow of woman accused of mowing down cyclists while on her cell phone.

Lance says he thinks he can win the Tour de France again. “I might be a fool,” he acknowledges. While we chuckle at the thought Lance might be a fool, and especially at the notion he might really think that, we also know he has almost no chance to win another Tour. But as we’ve said, till someone else with a scintilla of charisma steps forward to lead the sport, Lance might as well chat up his chances.

Early Zoic (circa 2004) clothing was trend-setting and cool. Then the parent company lost interest and Zoic got expensive and precious. Now Eric Swenson and Paul Wyandt have bought Zoic, and we’re expecting great things.

BikePortland has report on a clever bike safety sticker.

News Cycle: Justice for cyclist killed by texting driver, Helmets and youth, Bike light prompts evacuation & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Rider Down on January 25, 2010 at 3:26 am

Justice Rising: Guy gets 5-year sentence for killing a cyclist while texting.

Does requiring helmets reduce cycling among youth?

Bicycle light leads to evacuation of downtown homes and businesses in Arcata. What were they smoking???

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan is lagging.

Let’s see now. 19.7 percent of city’s population rides bikes. Cars banned from driving 1 day a week. Yet in Beijing, officials want to do more to encourage cycling.

Same goes for San Francisco, where a long-standing court injunction against the S.F. Bicycle Plan is easing even as ridership jumped 8.5 percent last year and 53 percent since 2006. SF.Streetsblog has the full rundown.

Buzz continues to grow for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show starting Feb. 26.

iPhone apps keep getting better all the time. Here’s Cyclemeter 2.0. (Hat tip to Eric Stobin.)

BikeHugger: Providing peace of mind on the bike commute home thru Google Latitude.

The Problem with a Virtual Protest

In Bicycle advocacy, Obama Bikes on January 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Is that it undermines a real-life protest. After weeks of buildup, the big protest at Facebook headquarters against an anti-cycling hate page drew two people — the organizer, Carson Blume, and BikeIntelligencer.

From a selfish standpoint it was a great success. I got to meet and chat with Carson, who has an amazing history aboard two wheels, including a head-on crash that flipped him into the air for 3 somersaults and a shattered kneecap, among other injuries. He’s also had a gun pulled on him while riding … twice! All by way of explaining why he is so passionate about equal access for bikes on the road, and why hate pages seem so irresponsible to him.

Carson got 125 RSVPs and “maybes” to the Facebook rally. Normally you expect some dropoff, but this was pretty stark. We speculated that a break in the miserable weather may have hurt the cause. Given the chance to get out and ride after a week of slop, cyclists chose to exercise their quads rather than their right to assembly.

I also think the Twitter generation may believe that email and online petitions and a coupla tweets get the job done just as well as in person. They may be right. It does seem a tall challenge in this day and age to get people to commit and show up.

Maybe the solution is to do the Lance thing and combine the two. His latest Twitter ride (in Australia) drew 5,000 cyclists! If it’s impromptu and uses cool tech, it may have a far greater chance of succeeding than the old school sign up and show up approach. Saul Alinsky would understand.

Thanks in any case to Carson for organizing the page and drawing attention to the misbegotten hate every cyclist has faced on the road.

News Cycle: Facebook protest tomorrow, How you can help, Discriminatory Portland cyclists & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes on January 22, 2010 at 2:13 am

Reminder: Facebook anti-cycling hate page protest is tomorrow at FB headquarters near the foot of California Street (and Bowdoin) in Palo Alto. Gets rolling at noon.

Protests are good. Action is even better. What you can do today to actually combat anti-cycling mentality is to click on over to Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy page and contact your legislative representative re Washington State’s proposed “vulnerable user” law (SB 5838). It’s a nicely automated system that takes mere seconds. I know. I timed myself.

BTW, New York state is considering similar legislation.

Have bike riders in Portland become so intimidating that they scare automobile drivers? A new report says the “biking community is so strong that motorists sometimes feel discriminated against.” Yes, it’s a real problem, how bikes hold up cars, even extremely busy and important Bimmers and Mercedes, on uphills, and how they take up valuable parking space with bike racks and oh, don’t forget, cause the dreaded “driver squint” at night with their blinkies and bike lights. But the worst is, bikes leave scratch marks on car paint when motorists run them over. Yeah, we feel real sorry for that most persecuted of all minorities, Portland motorists. Next thing you know bike riders will be demanding use of the full lane! (On a serious note, congrats to for topping the list of local blogs.)

And hey, Portland isn’t the only place where motorists feel discriminated against. From Florida:

Who are you honking at? from Keri Caffrey on Vimeo.

Jacquie Phelan unearths one of her earliest bike writings, an essay in the not forgotten and still lamented Bike Tech. Interesting that she cites the Gary Klein piece, one of the ones I most remember. I also remember riding one of the earliest aluminum road frames from France — and yes, thinking Budweiser. The thing was actually glued together. I purchased one of Gary’s first road frames, which I still have, and was a big Klein fan back then so naturally assumed he was right to sue. Oh the stories the old guard can tell. And how they pale compared to the backstories.

And how far we’ve come. The latest issue of Mountain Bike Action magazine, drawing from its annual reader survey, notes that “a staggering 86 percent” own aluminum bikes. Carbon fiber at 6 percent and steel at 5 are distant trailers, as well as ti at 3. Quick calculations tell me that of the 32 bikes I own or have owned, 6 were steel, three carbon and 1 ti, so my ratio is not too far off.

Cozy Beehive takes a detailed look at the Kolelinia, which we derisively thought was the scientific term for temporary insanity.

Top 11 Bike-Friendly Cities: America does better!

In Bicycle advocacy on January 21, 2010 at 1:10 am

We kvetched recently about how only one American city, Portland, made the Top 10 bike-friendly cities in the world list compiled by that paragon of velo-ology, Now in the spirit of Spinal Tap, Virgin Vacations has gone one notch further up with the 11 Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities in the World. And guess what: There’s FOUR from the U.S. — San Francisco, Portland, Boulder and Davis. We love you Virgin Vacations, even if you sound like an oxymoron.

OK, fair enough. Anyone gets to name their Top 10, so why not Virgin Vacations, one of the world’s leading authorities on getaways? There’s no disputing that all four American destinations, which we’ve spent time in, are eminently bike-friendly. We can quibble whether Boulder and Davis are really cities — I mean, is there any other possible compilation where you’d find Davis alongside Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Copenhagen? But what the heck. We’re hard at work tracking down a list of the 12 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the World. Is there an Or maybe Carnal Vacations?

News Cycle: More on Mark Weir’s home, SF Bike Plan, Bike commuting trends & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes on January 21, 2010 at 1:00 am

Mark Weir’s tragic house fire has a lot of the bike community stepping forward offering help. We continue to wish him and his family the best.

The legal woes blocking the San Francisco Bicycle Plan are finally ebbing, and work is getting under way.

I’m having trouble getting worked up about the Tour Down Under, but here‘s Day Three results.

Bike commuting increases over past decade

EcoVelo has a report on the League of American Bicyclists’ study of “Bicycle Commuting Trends, 2000 to 2008.” In a nutshell, bike commuting keeps going up, even though it’s far below 1 percent of the working population nationally. In “bike-friendly” cities those percentages are higher, although not yet into two digits in metros. Still, progress keeps happening.