Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
But know who/what you're voting for and why. Here is a Madison County sample ballot:
If you plan to vote on any of those constitutional amendments, please read the full text. The sentence or 2 is often insufficient to know what's going on. Only the 1st amendment deals with the whole state. The full text for all 6 are linked below in order.
There is more info to these amendments here
Posted by clintpatty at 2:33 PM
States start work on interstate routes * New system could eventually become largest in the world Missoula, Montana —The United States is on a path to creating what could become the largest official bicycle route network in the world, thanks to the approval of a new plan by America's leading authority on national route designations. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has just approved a National Corridor Plan laying out the framework and guidelines for the development of this system.
The plan identifies corridors connecting America's urban, rural, and suburban areas. The corridors cover well over 50,000 miles, which, if transformed into routes along roads and trails, would create the largest official bicycle route network in any country or on any continent. By comparison, the planned Euro-Vélo network in Europe is projected to be 60,000 kilometers or 36,000 miles. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:04 AM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I have been riding fixie predominantly for a while now. Of course, there's an ongoing discussion about whether a fixie should or should not have a brake. I have run with and without a brake on the hack-together Motobecane. I can ride either way, with reasonable control without a brake.
I do, however, refute the argument that one can stop faster by skidding the back tire. This is patently false. Stopping with traction is considerably faster and more controllable than losing all traction. Anyone who has ever raced an automobile can affirm that locking up the tires isn't much of a way to control the car, and the same is true for a bicycle. In short, it's possible to ride the city streets without a brake, but it is not the safest way to go. A decently set up front brake will stop the bike way faster, and in a more controlled matter. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 4:00 PM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Here's a really ingenious way to record your cycling stunts. All you need is the old school bicycle bell that you use to warn pedestrians or irritate cats.
Jens Almstrom has found out that by removing the upper casing of the bell, there is usually a screw at the bottom chassis which has the same dimensions used for most tripod sockets. What he simply did was to mount the camera onto that screw, and there you have it--a simple fix to record your journey or stunts with your BMX.
Our advice is to not fumble with the controls while you're on the road, lest you cause any accident, or worst, damage your shooter. Keep to point-and-shoots for this experiment as a dSLR may make your ride unstable. If you've survived the experience, tell us about it below.
Posted by Bello Velo at 6:00 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
As we all bicker over the election, vegetarian or omnivore diets and bike tires keep this in mind:
Eight thousand Africans dying every day of AIDS, TB and malaria -- preventable, treatable diseases -- dying for lack of drugs we can buy at any drugstore. Twelve million AIDS orphans in Africa, 18 million by the end of the decade. A whole generation of active adults wiped out, children bringing up children.
That's not a cause, that's an emergency.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Volunteers for Obama present The Manifest Hope Arts Festival, 3pm, 2nd Floor, Lowe Mill. Join us on Sunday, October 26th, for our MANIFEST HOPE ARTS FESTIVAL, a fund-raiser for the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign. This will be a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon and early evening, and a great opportunity to support Barack's Get Out the Vote efforts in the final push of this historic campaign. We will have drum corps, working street artists, a live art auction of work by our BEST local artists, superb performing arts, and delicious food. All money will go directly to the Chicago Obama for America office. Be a part of this movement, have a great afternoon, and take home a warm feeling of community - and maybe a new piece of art. You won't want to miss this one! Admission $15. Buy your ticket and get updates at manifesthopeartsfest.com.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:40 PM
Jamie is looking for volunteers email her here jamorgan10 (at) comcast.net
Kid's Walk n Roll Oct 27-31
October is International “Walk to School Month”
Jamie has arranged with three Huntsville elementary schools to hold an event the last week in October. We are promoting “Safe Routes to School” (SRTS) to encourage kids to walk or ride bikes to school. Oct 27-31 will be a challenge or opportunity for kids to walk or ride to school that week. On Monday, Oct 27, kids can bring their bikes to school to get them “tuned –up“ for riding that week. (This means pumping tires, lubing, adjusting seats and helmets, and tightening them up) I have 30 helmets and 10 locks, for kids who need these things to ride to school. They can “borrow” them all week and keep them, too. I’ll have big maps at each school so kids can see/learn the best way to walk or ride to school. There will also be “meet-up” locations, where kids who really live too far can get dropped off/picked up and still participate. I think I’ll have at least one teacher at each school to meet kids at the meet- up spots every day, and hopefully, some parents, too.
Then, on Friday, kids will be encouraged to decorate their bikes for Halloween! (Children aren’t allowed to dress in costume for school, but they can decorate their bikes!) There will be goody bags for all participants, early Friday morning before school (those who rode or walked during the week) and lots of congratulations for all the kids!
1. Chapman Elementary (near Maysville Rd and Oakwood, 2006 Reuben Dr 35811)
2. Jones Valley Elementary (On Garth Rd between Drake and Carl T Jones, 4908 Garth Rd SE 35802)
3. McDonnell Elementary (between Triana and Patton Rd, about as far south as Airport/Johnson Rd, 4010 Binderton Pl SW 35805)
Monday: 7:00 to 8 am - Bike “tune-up” at school. Some helmets and locks available for “rental”/give-away
Also, hand out Walk n Roll cards for kids to get stamped each day.
Special Meet-up locations at each school being arranged for parent and teacher volunteers to lead “bike trains” and “walking school buses” to schools
***Goody Bag prep one day next week.
Friday: 7:00 to 8 am - “Bike Decoration” for Halloween and a BIG Celebration Party with Goody bags for all walking and riding participants and a visit by the Bike Cops.
Bike Shops can donate lights, helmets and gift certificates too!
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:33 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY) - Huntsville City Council members plan to discuss a ban on handheld cell phones for drivers in the city Tuesday evening.
The cell phone ban is one major issue that councilman Glenn Watson is bringing to the forefront before he leaves office. He told WAAY-31 that seeing people run red lights or causing accidents while talking or texting on cell phones is common in Huntsville.
Huntsville would be far from the first city to enact a ban on handheld phones while driving. Dozens of cities and several states have already banned the use of handheld devices while driving.
Alabama's legislature tried to enact a statewide ban several times in the last couple years, but measures have failed each time it's come up.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:29 AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A few days ago my 13-year old son excitedly showed me the new bumpersticker he got for this bike. It’s a picture of Barack Obama with the word “believe,” designed to stick in the spokes. Cool!
A few days later I read in my local alternative weekly here in Minneapolis that a local right wing website announced that an increase in bike deaths on the streets might mean fewer Obama voters come election day. Cruel!
A bad joke, I thought, until I looked up the blog and saw that it was illustrated with photos of cars plowing into and presumably killing a group of bicyclists. The photos look authentic (even if they were faked), which makes this more than a sick joke. It’s almost a provocation for motorists to mow down bicyclists, since they are a no-good bunch of liberals anyway.
Thinking about this, on top of the shouts of "Kill Obama" and "Off with his head" heard at recent Sarah Palin rallies, worries me. There’s an element in American society -- even here in Minnesota, which has the longest record of voting Democratic for president of any state -- that can’t seem to accept most of their fellow citizens no longer share their right-wing views. And perhaps never did.
What will they do if Obama wins on November 4? I hope that it’s nothing more than mean-spirited humor.
Posted by Bello Velo at 8:55 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
SICK of sitting in peak-hour traffic with your life in neutral and your brain fit to blow a gasket? Nauseated by the thought of yet another morning crammed into the sweaty armpit of a fellow train commuter? The Sunday Age feels your pain, and has three words of advice: On yer bike.
An experiment using four modes of transport — a car, a motorbike, a bicycle and a train — has revealed that the quickest way to get from bayside Sandringham to the central city is by cycling. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:35 PM
Caution the word subsidy is used in this article which may freak some people out. I would suggest doing the following
2: Close you eyes
3: Repeat the following: "it's ok it is a socialist idea and I will be ok and so will my country".
The University of New England bikes are personalized. Free or subsidized bike programs at colleges have had mixed success.
BIDDEFORD, Me. — When Kylie Galliani started at the University of New England in August, she was given a key to her dorm, a class schedule and something more unusual: a $480 bicycle.
“I was like, ‘A free bike, no catch?’ ” Ms. Galliani, 17, a freshman from Fort Bragg, Calif., asked. “It’s really an ideal way to get around the campus.”
University administrators and students nationwide are increasingly feeling that way too.
The University of New England and Ripon College in Wisconsin are giving free bikes to freshmen who promise to leave their cars at home. Other colleges are setting up free bike sharing or rental programs, and some universities are partnering with bike shops to offer discounts on purchases.
The goal, college and university officials said, is to ease critical shortages of parking and to change the car culture that clogs campus roadways and erodes the community feel that comes with walking or biking around campus. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:30 PM
Dear Sarah, the earth is older than 4000 years old.
More than 1,000 dinosaur footprints along with tail-drag marks have been discovered along the Arizona-Utah border. The incredibly rare concentration of beastly tracks likely belonged to at least four different species of dinosaurs, ranging from youngsters to adults.
The tracks range in length from 1 to 20 inches (2.5 to 51 centimeters).
"The different size tracks may tell us that we are seeing mothers walking around with babies," said researcher Winston Seiler, a geologist at the University of Utah.
The tracks were laid about 190 million years ago in what is now the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
"There must have been more than one kind of dinosaur there," said researcher Marjorie Chan, professor and chair of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah. "It was a place that attracted a crowd, kind of like a dance floor."
While the site is covered in sand dunes now, the researchers say the tracks are within what was a network of wet, low watering holes between the dunes. In fact, the tracks provide more evidence of wet intervals during the Early Jurassic Period, when the U.S. Southwest was covered with a field of sand dunes larger than the Sahara Desert.
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:29 PM
Sunday, October 19, 2008
RollerTime Skate Center
707 Arcadia Cir.
Doors open at 6:30pm
Bout starts at 7:30pm
Admission is $10
Kids 6 and Under are Free!
First 50 students with college ID get in FREE!
BUY TICKETS NOW!!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Some months ago, (and perhaps still now) one of the buzzwords bringing good fortune in the bicycle industry was 'high gas prices'. While the automobile industry was faring badly, the bicycle business was booming. Most prayed for lower gas prices, but the diametrically opposite people in the bicycle business secretly wished that it kept increasing. That seems like a cunning way of thinking, but in the end, business is business.
Now a bigger calamity might put all that to rest. Of course, you all know what I'm talking about! Just open the front pages of your newspaper. read more here
Friday, October 17, 2008
- Friday - 17th - Anti-Fashion Show, Admission $10 (9pm)
The Anti-Fashion Show is a collaboration between Iris Billiter of Irisewn Design and Cheryl Carlson of Karma Rags, both located here at The Flying Monkey Arts Center. The show takes place on Friday, October 17th at 9 PM at The Flying Monkey Arts Center Theatre. A reception will follow where guests can relax and see featured work up close, select items to purchase, and place orders with designers.
- Saturday 12pm Filming for the PSA's start at Lowe Mill Rex Reynolds, Bill Kling and the whole gang will be there to help. Dead Workers are Filming. Bring your bike and helmet and be an extra!!
- Saturday 12 - 4 Bike Fixin on the dock at Lowe Mill
- Saturday 6 till ??? Bike Fixin at Manna House
- Sunday Recording PSA's @ WLRH
- Sunday 5pm Bike Polo @ Optimist Park
- Monday Night Japanther and Taco Ride 7:30 pm meet downtown at the bike rack @ The Klatsch ride to La Michoacana then to the show.
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:24 AM
Morning Edition, October 16, 2008 · Drivers seem pretty comfortable chatting on their cell phones while navigating the streets. But brain researchers say it's a terrible idea, even with a hands-free device.
"If you're driving while cell-phoning, then your performance is going to be as poor as if you were legally drunk," says David Meyer, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:22 AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
From Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips
GETTING STARTED: THE BIKE
Just about any bicycle will work for commuting. I've traveled to work on a mountain bike, a road bike, a hybrid, and even a fat-tired cruiser. The important thing is to get a bike you feel comfortable on. Find a reputable bike shop, consult with the sales staff, think about how you might use the bike, how far you'll be going, what you might need to carry, what conditions you'll be riding in, and so on. My present commuting bike is a hybrid, which I'd recommend for most everyday urban riding needs.
In much of the world -- in such countries as Japan, Denmark, France or Holland -- the bicycle is valued as a utilitarian vehicle. And bikes sold in those countries come equipped with fenders, bells, lights, kickstands, racks, and, very important, chainguards.
In the US the bicycle is generally considered a toy, a recreational device, or as exercise equipment. Something you load on top of your car, like skis or a surfboard, and travel to some remote area to "play." That's why bike shops are filled with mountain bikes. They thrive on selling the "sport" of cycling. Travel they leave to other vehicle retailers, i.e. auto dealerships. This is a big mistake.
read more tips here
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:42 AM
Monday, October 13, 2008
Seems we have a lot of confusion when it comes to this here.
And the situation can only get worse as more people turn to cycling to save money and the environment
Few people would argue that bicycles and people on foot are not a dangerous mix – except those cyclists who apparently believe city sidewalks intended for pedestrians also belong to them.
And not without reason; cyclists never finish first in collisions with vehicles and are justifiably fearful of a fast-moving truck, inches from their handlebars. They are run down, maimed and killed with frightening efficiency.
Sidewalks amount to a safety zone for cyclists, offering a buffer from menacing traffic.
But after a Sept. 22 Fixer column about a 69-year-old "raging granny" who refuses to yield the sidewalk to cyclists who won't ride in bike lanes created for them, we've been deluged with comments, many from seniors who feel equally menaced by fast-moving handlebars just inches from their elbows. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 12:15 PM
Sunday, October 12, 2008
A year ago, Natalie Feliciano couldn’t tell the difference between a derailleur and a bottom bracket. A bike was a thing, made up of other shiny things, all of which churned together in some strange, magical concert. Sometimes she’d walk the streets of her East Village neighborhood and see rusty frames jammed into trash cans. “I’d think, you know, what a waste,” she grimaces. “All that garbage for someone else to clean up. But I never knew how much went into a bike.” read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:21 AM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
By VICTORIA CUMBOW
Times Staff Writer email@example.com
Five Points of Life tour to go to 6 states on 2,000 mile ride
A group of cyclists rolled though town this week looking for donations - but not for normal monetary handouts.
The cyclists hoped to entice people to give blood and related donations: blood, apheresis, marrow, cord blood, organs and tissue. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:22 AM
PORTLAND, Ore. — People who pedal to work each day have long sought a kind of commuter equality: a federal tax break for biking similar to those given for parking or riding public transit. Last week, after years of rejection, the credit suddenly became law.
Enlarge This Image
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
Representative Earl Blumenauer founded the Congressional Bike Caucus.
Scheduled to take effect in January, the credit was among a range of energy and tax provisions quickly added to the $700 billion financial rescue. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:01 AM
Thursday, October 9, 2008
From The Huntsville Times
By BUDD MCLAUGHLIN
Times Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Oluwoye says many drivers don't know road rules
While city officials work with local bicycling enthusiasts to make the streets safe for cyclists, an Alabama A&M professor stresses research is needed on motorists' attitudes and their knowledge of highway safety.
"It's a very good plan," Dr. Jacob Oluwoye of A&M's department of Community Planning and Urban Studies said Wednesday of the city's proposal. "It's a very good concept - we need it - but something is still missing: research of drivers' behavior."
Oluwoye, who did graduate work in Australia and has published several papers on the subject, said his research shows a lot of drivers believe the roads are for them and not to be shared with bicyclists or pedestrians. He also said drivers' lack of knowledge on road rules often contributes to accidents.
"Don't put the cyclists on the road at risk until we provide the drivers what they are supposed to know," he said. Oluwoye said his proposal is, basically, the "four e's: education, engineering, enforcement and encouragement."
"As it is now," he said. "I would not encourage my own kids to ride."
Recently, Huntsville Transportation Planner James Moore said he's been working on a map of the city's 158 miles of bicycle paths and greenways for the past two or three years.
Diamond-shaped road signs featuring a bicycle and the words, "Share the road," are expected to be placed around the city in the next couple of months. The city is also planning to televise public service announcements on its cable channels (Comcast 16 and Knology 42).
If cyclists are to share the road with cars and trucks, Oluwoye said there should be a clear separation.
"We should demarcate the bicycle lanes," he said. Solid white lines should be used to separate motor vehicle traffic from bicycles, he said, "so drivers won't go into the bicycle lanes and bicyclists won't go onto their lanes."
Oluwoye also suggests that six months after the cyclist plan has been implemented, there should be an assessment "to help give the cyclists' confidence."
He is seeking funding to aid his research and for an educational campaign.
"My dream is to carry out the research," he said. "To keep bicyclists safe."
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:29 AM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Since I wrote about local bicycle safety issues in last Sunday's column, some things have changed - and all for the better. But there's a lot of work to be done.
In the wake of the bicycling death of a 20-year-old University of Alabama in Huntsville student on Sept. 15, Mayor Loretta Spencer held a news conference last week. She announced that several city initiatives on bicycling and bicycling safety are being speeded up.
The city is rushing into production a new bikeways-greenways map. It's adding more bike-route and bike-safety signs. It's preparing a series of public service announcements. And it's adding bike racks (those, too, tell motorists that cyclists are in the area) downtown and in Five Points, the latter the home to three of the city's four bicycle shops.
Most important to me is the formation of a committee of bicyclists that will work with city departments, including the police, on safety issues.
In the long run, the work of that committee could determine the success of the whole effort.
As a bicyclist, I have a few recommendations for the committee and for others who might be interested:
Bicyclists are riding the public roads and will do so far into the future. The new committee should recognize that the issue is communitywide, not just confined to Huntsville. The May 2007 death of a young woman engineering student occurred outside the city limits. The new committee should include a representative of the Madison County sheriff's office.
The public, cycling and noncycling, must be informed about traffic laws and dealing with bicyclists and safety issues in general, and that information must be widely disseminated: on any Web site appropriate and in the form of easy-to-read brochures distributed to bicycle shops, car dealerships, high-school driver's education classes, county license department offices, automobile insurers and the like.
The dangers inherent in bicyclists and cars sharing the same road are not confined to North Alabama. I suggest the governor create a statewide task force that would include the Huntsville-based bicycling advocacy group the Alabama Bicycle Coalition (alabike.org) and the state departments of public safety, transportation and travel and tourism, among others.
Any and all efforts to raise public awareness should recognize that the world is not divided into two camps - motorists and bicyclists. The vast majority of cyclists also drive cars, and a lot of drivers have bikes in their garages even if they don't ride them often. That can always change.
My ideas aren't necessarily new. But I'm pleased that - with the exception of the brochures - they can be implemented at little or no cost. It just takes the will.
To repeat, bicyclists will use the public roads. Their safety affects the safety of everyone. Bicycling is healthful, energy efficient and nonpolluting. If it's promoted properly, it can be a significant source of tourist dollars.
In other words, something that the Huntsville area and the state as a whole view as a problem can be converted into an advantage - and even as a reason people might visit (or even move to) Alabama from other parts of the country.
It's happened elsewhere. It can happen here.
John Ehinger's e-mail: email@example.com
Posted by Bello Velo at 7:47 PM
Friday, October 3, 2008
The City has finished the first 3 bike racks around downtown.
South Side of Courthouse in front of Voodoo and Papous
Across the street from Hunphrey's
You can also send a thank you to the city here. They need your encouragement so please send them a thank you.
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:26 AM
Thursday, October 2, 2008
If you don't think job number one is to change peoples attitudes and perceptions then read some of these forum comments here
There seems to be a lot of public anger towards SCCC also. We all need to look at ourselves too to improve this. Start waving to cars, smile, or....?
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:28 AM
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Q. How much money would it take to build 3-foot bicycle lanes on any new roads or roads that are to be repaired, and why doesn't the city or state do that instead of allowing cyclists in roadways?
A. Steve Dinges from the City Planning department said the standard for bike lanes is 4 feet. Adding bike lanes to most existing roads would require additional right of way and would damage the value of adjoining property, he said. The cost of these bike lanes would be approximately $650,000 per mile.
Dinges said the city is planning to include bike lanes on new construction of city projects in the future, including Old Monrovia Road, Meridian Street, Church Street and Slaughter Road. Any roads built with shoulders will have pavement to allow bikes.
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:22 AM
Thursday, October 02, 2008
By NIKI DOYLE
Times Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
As mayor touts efforts, bicyclist nearly struck
Little could distract Mayor Loretta Spencer from her discussion about bicycle safety and education Tuesday - except for the sound of squealing tires and groaning brakes.
In the middle of a meeting at Big Spring Park to unveil the city's plans to improve bicycle lanes and signs, a cyclist crossed Church Street. The oncoming truck saw the bicycle; the next car didn't. The car skidded. A cloud of brake dust settled into the street, leaving both vehicles and the bicyclist unharmed.
read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:20 AM