Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dogwood Bike Ride

Ride the Sequoyah Hills Dogwood Trail.
Saturday, April 11 at 9 am.
Meet at Laurel Church of Christ parking lot (3457 Kingston Pike).
Participation is free. Goody bags will be supplied and information from local bike clubs will be available. Free kids' helmets while supplies last. Approved helmets must be worn at all times. Ride will be supported with a ride leader. No one will be left behind.
Sponsored by Covenant Health.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Leave a trace

Another cool prototype. "Contrail" is a device that applies chalk to the rear tire of your bike, leaving a trail behind you. It leaves trails for motorists and other cyclists to see, enabling bikers to "reclaim this crucial shared space." Anyone want to build it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cause for optimism

The Secretary of Transportation has a blog, where he reported on his appearance at the National Bike Summit. This shows a very, very, very different culture in D.C. than we have had since ....well, maybe ever.

Here are videos of the morning speakers at the National Bike Summit
on Wednesday, March 11.
US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

US Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3rd)

US Representative Daniel Lipinski (IL-3rd)

US Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5th)

How to use the bike rack on the front of buses

Hilarious and informative--what a great combo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Wild Bunch

This means doing things that we, the bikers of New York, would have laughed at just a few years ago. It means getting a little personal, though not that personal. Acting like people means that we have to do things that we frankly don’t want to do and things that we want cars to do, like slow down.

As far as bikers go, I’ve become a kind of laughingstock because I wait at traffic lights. Recently, as I waited in a bike lane at Atlantic Avenue for a light to change, a woman in her 70s, walking hunched with a cane, approached the crosswalk smiling - until she spotted me. Then she began shouting as I waited behind the crosswalk, "Well, are you going to stop?" I assured her I was waiting. She grimaced. "How do I know you’re not going to go?" she asked.

A good point. But I stood my ground, smiled and tried to win the point by not doing anything. Just as she finished crossing, two Lance Armstrong types whipped through the crosswalk and pulled past the red light, waiting to slip through the crossing traffic. The woman who had crossed looked back at me and started shouting again. "See?" she said, proclaiming herself the winner. "You’re going to run me over!"

Which brings me to four sure-to-be-scoffed-at suggestions for better bike P.R.:

# 1: How about we stop at major intersections? Especially where there are school crossing guards, or disabled people crossing, or a lot of people during the morning or evening rush. (I have the law with me on this one.) At minor intersections, on far-from-traffic intersections, let’s at least stop and go.

# 2: How about we ride with traffic as opposed to the wrong way on a one-way street? I know the idea of being told which way to go drives many bikers bonkers. That stuff is for cars, they say. I consider one-way streets anathema - they make for faster car traffic and more difficult crossings. But whenever I see something bad happen to a biker, it’s when the biker is riding the wrong way on a one-way street.
There will be caveats. Perhaps your wife is about to go into labor and you take her to the hospital on your bike; then, yes, sure, go the wrong way in the one-way bike lane. We can handle caveats. We are bikers.

# 3: How about we stay off the sidewalks? Why are bikers so incensed when the police hand out tickets for this? I’m only guessing, but each sidewalk biker must believe that he or she, out of all New York bikers, is the exception, the one careful biker, which is a very car way of thinking.

# 4: How about we signal? Again, I hear the laughter, but the bike gods gave us hands to ring bells and to signal turns. Think of the possible complications: Many of the bikers behind you are wearing headphones, and the family in the minivan has a Disney DVD playing so loudly that it’s rattling your 30-pound Kryptonite chain. Let them know what you are thinking so that you can go on breathing as well as thinking.

Those Nifty Europeans

18 ways to know you have bike culture
(read the comments too--very interesting)

Great ad campaign

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bike Swap

Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Swap Meet
What: Swap Meet for Bicycle Gear
When: Monday March 16th 7 p.m.
Where: Barley's in the Old City

Just in time for spring cleaning! Bring parts, frames, or even cycling clothing you no longer wear down to the meeting room at Barley's next Monday the 16th to sell or trade with other cycle-centric people. Basically anything bicycle related you do not want but feel another might -i.e.- it might be that one last item needed for a restoration project, a "vintage" wool jersey you outgrew in 1980, a roll of Benotto Tape etc. The club will not be charging a fee to sell or swap your gear so it is open to any and all. Please be considerate and make sure items are clean. Barley's has agreed to let folks use their elevator if you need to. Just ask at the front bar if you need to use their ramp access on the side of the building.

This swap meet will be in lieu of our regular business meeting. Remember that March is the time for Club membership renewal. If you are interested in joining we will have all the info needed for you to sign up as well.

Come on down, hang out, and enjoy some lively conversation, cold beverages, pick up some gear, or clean out the parts storage bin!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Draft TPO Mobility Plan

After two rounds of public workshops and much public input, the DRAFT 2009-2034 Regional Mobility Plan is now available for public comment and review. The plan is scheduled for adoption on May 27 by the TPO Executive Board and is available for public review until then. You can download and view the plan as a pdf or view it and comment online. Other comments can be sent via postal mail, email or submitted during our public meetings scheduled between March 23 and April 1.

Public meetings:
All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and should last an hour.
Cedar Bluff Public Library, March 23
Blount County Public Library, March 24
Lenoir City Visitor’s Center, March 25
Halls Public Library, March 26
Burlington Public Library, March 30
Sevierville Civic Center, March 31
City-County Building (Small Assembly Room), April 1
Oak Ridge Civic Center, April 2

Bike Your Drive website

Join the self-propelled revolution! Ease out of your car and onto your bike with ideas, inspiration and how-to advice from REI.

Biking Facts: Did You Know?
5 reasons to bike your drive

--The average person loses 13 pounds their first year of commuting by bike.
--40% of all car trips in the U.S. are made within 2 miles of home.
--60% of the pollution created by autos happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively.
--Just 3 hours of biking per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.
--The U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gas a year by boosting bicycle trips just half a percentage point: from 1% to 1.5% of all trips.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sierra magazine article on bikes

"Everywhere you turn, cyclists are welding pedals, wheels, and frames into a world that's more efficient--and eccentric."