Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shuttle bus

I don't know how many people here ride the Shuttle bus, but Huntsville's transit could use some work. Some of the buses have bicycle racks, so riding the bus could be a helpful part of a long bike commute or one that cannot easily avoid a busy road. Each rack holds 2 bikes, so you may be out of luck even if there is a rack that day. The city is getting ready to spend ~$23k for advice on how to improve the transit system and increase ridership.

Here is the full story in The Huntsville Times.

So I gave them some advice for free. Here are some points from my email:

- post bicycle rack weight limit if not well over 150lb, groceries are heavy
- cyclists don't want to wait for a bus when there's up to a 1/6 chance that the bus won't have a bicycle rack (I was told this would be fixed before the end of the year)
- fix bicycle racks that are messed up
- make the Shuttle system more predictable/dependable before or along with expanding
- is there insurance for a bicycle on the rack if a rack fails or there is a crash?
- what is the new Bridge Street route; it is not posted online

You can send advice to Tommy.Brown@hsvcity.com

Friday, August 29, 2008

Critical Mass this friday!!!!


Friday Night meet @ 6:30 ride @ 7pm SE Corner Of Courthouse

Thursday, August 28, 2008

UAH cycling club

x-posted from SCCC roadies list, there are at least a few people going to UAH reading this

Curtis Grace is trying to revive the UAH Cycling Club. In order to meet the minimum requirements of the SGA to start the organization, 10 students need to sign up to show interest in the club in order for it to be approved. Any full or part-time UAH students are eligible.You do not have to be a racer to support forming the club.

Please let me know if you are interested and will sign the list to support starting a club. Also, please let me know or share my email with anyone you know who might be interested but who isn't on this list.

His email was not on the message; here is a link to his facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6830260

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why Vote and Welcome To America

Police Trap Peaceful Protesters in Denver

Monday, August 25, 2008

Go Vote For Mayor

Tuesday August 26th
* Polls Open - 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM


Where to Vote
Please call the Madison County Board of Registrars at 532-3510 or go to
Madison County-Services-Voting.


Where to Register to Vote
Please call the Madison County Board of Registrars at 532-3510 or go to
Madison County-Services-Voting.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Angry Motorist

This is a response from Jim's Article in the Valley planet. What seems typical is the mentality here. I really don't mind right wing republican fanatics who are mad at the world. My problem is that there is such a majority here. It seems that even the most liberal Alabamians are basically conservatives. It would be nice to at least here another side instead of this incestuous way of "thinking" I would just like to have a little balance.

I read your article about how you hoped that gasoline would reach $10.00 a gallon. According to you, only those people who deserve to make trips in their cars should be paying less. I feel the same way about the morons on their bicycles holding up traffic because you feel like you have as much right on the road as the people who pay gas tax and buy car tags. I personally hope that bicycle tires go to $500.00 a piece and the people who deserve tires like people under the age of 16 could buy them for less. It's morons like you who don't want drilling anywhere thats costs the average person so much more money each month due to inflated gas prices. You and your dirt people friends are going to be the downfall of this country. No doubt you're a Democrat.

NOLAcycle Bike Map Project

NolaCycle Bike Map Project

People working together to benefit their community and each other. Could this happen here? Can the people of Huntsville work together?

Who Will Crash the Democratic and Republican Conventions?

Free Speech..... Hardly

As a new generation of activists gears up to take to the streets in Denver and the Twin Cities, can they create democracy from outside?

At some point during the upcoming Republican National Convention, delegates will look out the windows of the Xcel Energy Center, or down from swank hotels and grand old after-parties, and there, past the security fences and the legions of taser-toting police and private security guards, they will see the other America spilling into the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota.

That is, if the Republicans even make it that far. From September 1-4, the RNC will be besieged by a panoply of protesters -- including antiwar activists, Iraq War veterans, Hurricane Katrina survivors, immigrant workers, labor unionists, anarchists, environmentalists, feminists and queers. At the frontlines will be America's young dissidents who will walk out of class, lock down intersections and dance in the streets to "Funk the War."

The view from Denver at the Democratic National Convention at the end of August will look a little different. That's because in the age of Obama many of these same movements, so united against the RNC, are deeply conflicted over the Democrats and the party system itself -- perhaps none more so than the youth movement. At issue, say organizers across the country, is not only their relationship to the Obama campaign and the presidential elections but the very meaning of democracy in 2008. Is true democracy possible inside the party system and on the campaign trail? Or is democracy to be found and made by the people in the streets outside? Will the two ever meet? read more here

Green Bike Project gets rolling

Program's goal is to reduce number of driving commutes

Giving away bicycles to commuters to get them out of their cars is no longer strictly a private enterprise. The state and King County are trying it as well.

people have signed up.
A new "green bike" program announced Thursday is aimed at getting 300 workers to reduce their commute trips by 60 percent between now and May.

The effort is financed with a $225,000 state trip-reduction grant that will be spent buying 200 bicycles, tuning up 100 more and paying for riding and safety classes. read more here

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Waffle Bike

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Expensive gas fuels bicycle repair boom

From The Montgomery Advertiser

SELMA — With the high price of gas these days, many people have switched to bicycles, especially those who live close to work.
That makes Joe Chapman Jr. very happy because he believes he’s the only bicycle repairman in and around Selma.
“People bring bikes to me from as far away as Demopolis and cities like that,” said Chapman, as he watched cars and trucks whiz by his shop at the corner of Jeff Davis Avenue and Lapsley Street.
His place is hard to miss. It’s the one with the big pile of old and fairly new bikes piled high on the sidewalk, near a fan that blows comforting air toward him on hot, muggy days.
A big sign proclaims, in bright red paint: “Joe’s Bicycle Repair” just above his phone number and hours of operation.read more here

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Bobby Milk Film Society Presents : Free Film Night Under the Stars at Lowe Mill,

Friday, August 15th, Free Film Night Under the Stars at Lowe Mill, 8pm.

Presented by Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, The Dead Workers Party, The Bobby Milk Film Society and Ironweedfilms.com. Prepare to enjoy a great night of film and awesome eats at the newly opened HAPPY TUMMY, located exactly 20 feet to the right of the movie screen (they even make real homemade ice cream.) You will be happy!

Showing:

WAITING TO INHALE: MARIJUANA, MEDICINE AND THE LAW Jed Riffe • • 74 minutes
Despite its use throughout history for recreational, spiritual and medical purposes, marijuana has long been criminalized by many countries. Waiting to Inhale examines the controversial use of medical marijuana in the U.S. and the fight to legalize cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain and illness. This profound film presents fascinating medical research and testimony representing both the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization. The viewer alone must decide if marijuana is a gateway to addictive drugs, or a powerful medical treatment meant to ease suffering.

HEALTH, MONEY AND FEAR, Dr. Paul Hochfeld • • 47 minutes

Watch as Dr. Paul Hochfeld, an experienced emergency room physician, and several other knowledgeable medical professionals diagnose the U.S. health care system as sick, broken and in dire need of repair. These experts reveal the complex contributing factors that have led to a costly system that cares more about profits than efficient, quality health care, and also recommend the prescription for a cure.


COLLATERAL DAMAGE: BAD MEDICINE IN TENNESSEE Julie Winokur • • 24 minutes

In an attempt to curb the high costs of healthcare, Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee carelessly “reformed” the state’s Medicaid program in 2005, swiftly terminating benefits for over 150,000 individuals. This chilling film reveals the immense suffering that took place as a result, along with the shocking disparities in wealth among the rich and the poor of the United States.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Alabama sixth for decrease in number of miles driven

"BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Federal Highway Administration says drivers in Alabama stayed off the road a lot more in June than they did during the same month a year ago.

With gas prices spiking, Alabamians drove 336 million fewer miles in June compared with a year ago.

That 6.4 percent drop was the sixth-largest decrease in miles driven of any state, just as the summer travel season was beginning.

The agency's report Wednesday said Idaho ranked first, followed by Maine, Utah, Washington and Nevada.

The largest decline in Alabama came on state rural roads, with 118 million fewer miles driven, a 7.8 percent drop.

State urban miles declined 5.7 percent, 107 million miles. "


It's nice to see Alabama near the top of the list for something good for a change. Maybe there have been more bike miles too. Even some Hampton Covers are driving less and car pooling more, and gas prices aren't exactly breaking their budget usually. Unfortunately, I've also noticed plenty of new V8 Mercedes and some AMG ones in Huntsville with people who can afford even more expensive gas not caring that it's sort of a limited community resource for the whole world.

The Cyclists and the Police

Well done article from Bill DiPaola Director of Time's Up.


Re “Police and a Cyclists’ Group, and Four Years of Clashes” (news article, Aug. 4), in which I am quoted as the director of Time’s Up, which promotes the Critical Mass rides but is not involved in organizing them:

The function of Critical Mass is to create a safe space where people can ride together. Group rides like Critical Mass play an important role in generating new cyclists, who in turn become everyday bike commuters. The ride grew steadily for a decade until the crackdown after the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.

The article reports that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly “said the Police Department wants to work with the riders.” By no means has the Police Department tried to work with us. Critical Mass riders have been harassed, spied on, beaten, arrested and even sued by the city. Yet we have prevailed in the courtroom — it has been proved over and over that police statements do not match videotaped evidence.

We also contest Mr. Kelly’s claim that Critical Mass riders go against traffic. While it is true that the ride has no set route, under normal circumstances, it does follow the traffic flow.

Most appalling is Mr. Kelly’s and the spokesman’s assertion that the ride was “hijacked” by an “anarchist group” before the Republican convention. This is a baseless scare tactic. Critical Mass has no leaders. The lack of control that Mr. Kelly calls anarchy can be better termed community.

We are aware that the phenomenon of leaderless mass bike rides can be perceived as something different and unusual to the police. But that does not make it provocation or anarchy. It is a celebration of what our streets could look like in a better New York City.

Bill DiPaola
New York, Aug. 5, 2008

The writer is the executive director of Time’s Up, an environmental organization.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Streets 2008 (NYC)


From Street Films

Feeling remarkably similar to Bogota's Ciclovia, the New York City Department of Transportation held its first Summer Streets event on Saturday by opening 7 miles of city streets to pedestrians and bike traffic only. From 7 AM to 1 PM, roads were car-free from 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge with Park Avenue serving as the backbone of the route. Our Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is the real deal - she spent the entire day riding a bike around the course (and even said some nice things about me to my mom.)

We'll spare you the 200 adjectives we could list about how transformational it was, for it was beyond anything on the printed page. The general consensus was that the event succeeded beyond even the most hoped for expectations and would pass even the most pessimistic of measuring sticks. A page has been turned, clearly there is no doubt: the future will hold many more large scale street openings for pedestrians, cyclists, runners, children, dog walkers, dancers, and any other reasonable livable space use.

The swarms of people and happy faces made for much positive energy. Around noon, some blocks were getting very crowded, but there was a general courtesy that existed between pedestrians and cyclists. The city built it - and the people came. And they smiled alot.

Moving Targets


From NY Times

IT seemed like a good idea at the time.

Save gas money, be environmentally correct, lose weight — just by biking to work. And so after two decades, Dan Cooley, 41, saddled up a silver 21-speed Raleigh in April to make the daily two-mile commute to his nursing job at a senior citizen center in Louisville, Ky. In four months, he lost 15 pounds. Way to go, Dan!

Friday morning, July 25, around 6:50 a.m., he was pedaling on a residential street, wearing his green hospital scrubs, when a Volkswagen roared out of a driveway in front of him. Swerving to avoid the car, Mr. Cooley cursed loudly and rode on. read more here

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Film About Richard Sachs and his Bicycles



Imperfection is Perfection
A Film About Richard Sachs and his Bicycles

For nine months in 2007, film maker Des Horsfield made a documentary about bicycle frame builder Richard Sachs.

Horsfield's film takes an intimate look into the life and mind of the bicycle frame builder as Richard Sachs talks about why he does what he does, exactly as he does it.

The story reveals his reasons for entering the frame building trade, how and why he works only with steel, and why the entities of Sport and Bicycle have remained inseparable to him.

Check out the trailer at Des Horsfield Productions.

Saturday

Bike Fixin @ Lowe Mill from 12 - 4
Then More Bike Fixin @ Manna House from 6 til ??????

Come on out have some fun!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPAGNOLA

The Master of Polo Smackdown, Bike Mechanic To the Stars, and All Around Nice Guy. Has a Birthday Today!!! Happy Birthday Jim!

Jalopy Bikes With Techie Tires


From The NY Times

BICYCLE lovers, thrifty as well as trend conscious, are pulling neglected 10-speeds from storage and readying them for the road again. (Let the environmentally aware bragging rights begin.)

These bicycles, made in the 1970s and 80s, used 27-inch wheels, which have been replaced with the smaller 700c wheels by road bike manufacturers. But a recent surge in sales of 27-inch tires suggests that the lowly steeds of yore are gaining new life as commuter bikes and weekend cruisers. read more here

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No Bicycles at the Democratic Convention


From Drunk and in Charge

Although they've made every effort to sell this as the "greenest convention in history" - bicycles are officially banned from the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Citing the ever-present thorn of the New American Dream "Security Concerns" - no bicycle racks will be provided, no bicycle parking will be allowed.

I hope that there are as many protesters at the convention to hold the Democratic party accountable for its inaction as there are inside to cheer, and that the protesters bring lots of bicycles. Lots and lots of bicycles. And it turns out that there's even a bike loan program going into effect during the convention - too bad there won't be anywhere to park them... read more here

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bike Commuting By the Numbers

From US News and World Report

Compared to Americans, Europeans are way out in front
By Adam Voiland
Posted August 4, 2008
Transportation planners in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark have invested heavily in bicycle paths and lanes, discouraged the use of cars, and gone to great efforts to protect the legal rights and safety of cyclists. A few stats:

1 percent of trips in the United States are made on a bicycle. That's 10 percent in Germany, 18 percent in Denmark, and 27 percent in the Netherlands. In Portland, Ore., 3.5 percent of trips to work are made by bike, the highest share among the 50 largest American cities. The lowest: Kansas City, Mo., at a paltry 0.02 percent.

37 percent of short trips (under 2.5 kilometers, or 1.5 miles) are made on a bicycle in the Netherlands, compared with 2 percent in the United States. 1.1 cyclists are killed per 100 million km cycled there; in the United States, 5.8 cyclists are killed per 100 million km.

Motorists are legally responsible for collisions with children and elderly cyclists in the Netherlands and Germany even when cyclists are disobeying traffic rules. (Not generally true here.) However, bicyclists who disobey the rules of the road there are more likely to be ticketed.

Alcohol use, by driver or cyclist, was reported in more than one third of U.S. crashes that resulted in cyclist fatalities in 2006.

Sources: "Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons From the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany" by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, Transport Reviews, 2008; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; U.S. Census

Monday, August 4, 2008

Colnago italy

Food Court Musical

For our latest mission, 16 agents staged a spontaneous musical in the food court of a Los Angeles shopping mall. We used wireless microphones to amplify the vocal performances and mix them together with the music through the mall’s PA system. We filmed the mission with hidden cameras, mostly behind two-way mirrors. Apart from our performers, no one in the food court was aware of what was happening. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report below.

Crazy Bicycle Inventions from the 40's

Saturday, August 2, 2008

If This Animated Video Doesn't Get Us Off Oil, Nothing Will

How To Tell People They Sound Racist

Bike rack Designs


At 1 p.m. today (yeah, I know it was 9 hours ago ... I've been busy), Armory Arts Village unveiled its new bike rack, and I was there. Now, I know what you're saying: "Bill, why would a busy guy like you take time out of your day to view a bike rack of all things?" Well, the answer is because this bike rack is actually a piece of functional sculpture, and Armory Arts Village manager Jane Robinson assured me that it was spectacular. read more here