Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
From Huffington Post
I am often asked, "Why do you love bicycles?" For a few reasons, but mostly because I am in love with self-propulsion and self-motivation. I love finding solutions to problems and I want to leave the world in better condition than when I arrived. For too long we've behaved as if the resources of our world are infinite. They are not. They are finite. The disappearing species around the globe should be a canary in the coal mine for all of us.
Have you ever been witness to a baby's first steps? The open mouth smile and the parents, with arms outstretched, as the child wobbles into their waiting arms. With each step the child builds confidence and ventures further out into the world. I don't remember my first steps, but I remember the first time I found my balance and pedaled away from my father as he let go of the seat of my first bike. I remember. My heart seemed to stop and I gasped for breath. Balance. More than just a word, a metaphor. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:29 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Normally I don't condone this kind of behavior but, when it involves getting away on a bike I let it slide.
A man dressed in a sport coat, and who rode a mountain bike, managed to rob a Norton Shores bank Wednesday and get away with an undetermined amount of cash, police said.
read more here
Posted by Tyler Brown at 10:07 PM
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Some people go the beach when they graduate from college.
Phil Nagle is opting instead for a summer of suffering.
Nagle, 23, of Tipp City is graduating next month from the University of Cincinnati’s architectural engineering program. But before he returns to UC in the fall to finish a second major in construction management, he hopes to have done something no one has ever done before.
Nagle is planning to leave July 6 on an epic 8,000-mile bike trip through 48 states in 48 days. He hopes to raise $48,000 for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society and land a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Dayton Daily News
Posted by Tyler Brown at 8:52 AM
Monday, May 25, 2009
Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s Transportation commissioner, manages to be equal parts Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. As she prepares to close swaths of Broadway to cars next week, she is igniting a peculiar new culture war—over the role of the automobile in New York. read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:03 AM
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Halftime will feature bicycle tricks and stunts!
Saturday May 23rd, 2009
Von Braun Center South Hall
Doors Open @ 6:30 pm
Bout Starts @ 7:30pm
Advance Tickets $10
At the Door $12
All Kids 6 and under free
First 50 to arrive on a bicycle get in FREE!
10% of door proceeds to benefit LifeCycles
Posted by Bello Velo at 4:17 PM
From NY Daily News
For the fifth year in a row, cycling ruled the road in Transportation Alternatives' annual commuter race Thursday, with a biker beating a straphanger and a cabbie.
It took librarian Rachel Myers 20 minutes and 15 seconds to pedal 4.2 miles from Sunnyside, Queens, to Columbus Circle during the morning rush.
"Woo hoo!" the 29-year-old Brooklynite shouted, pumping her fist in the air. "Just goes to show that bikes rule this city!"
Subway rider Dan Hendrick - who hopped the No. 7 in Sunnyside and transferred to the No. 1 at Times Square - arrived 15 minutes later.
Hendrick, 38, usually rides the rails to work at the New York League of Conservation Voters, but he may be switching to pedal power.
"Twenty minutes saved is a lot in the morning," he said. "I could really use that time to get a latte or something."
A yellow cab rolled up to the finish line 27 minutes after Myers, costing passenger Willie Thompson $30 and precious commuting time.
Read more here.
Posted by Tyler Brown at 7:16 AM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
City Paper, DC’s alternative weekly, recently published a cover story that chides cyclists for not wearing their helmets.
In between grisly tales of riders’ heads being bumped, dragged, and otherwise mangled, the article reports that only about 36 percent of cyclists in New York City and about half of cyclists in DC wear helmets.
The article has a derisive tone. No helmet, the story implies, and you’re as foolish as the balding man on the front cover riding with his helmet strapped to his jeans rather than his head.
City Paper is right, of course. We’ve all heard the statistics before. Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 85 percent. Two-thirds of cyclists killed in accidents are not wearing helmets.
Helmet skeptics say such statistics are exaggerated, and they’re probably right. Still, you don’t need an advanced degree to recognize that a helmeted head has a far better chance of surviving an accident intact than an unprotected one.
There can, however, be too much of a good thing, and unfortunately that’s what’s happened with bicycles and helmets. At this point, in fact, the discourse on bicycle safety has become dangerously one-dimensional.
Among much of the media and the government organizations that publish information about cycling, the helmet safety message has become something close to gospel. The narrative about bicycle safety in most cases boils down to this:
Helmet = safe and responsible
No helmet = unsafe and irresponsible
That’s it. End of story. The problem: Bicycle safety is far more complicated than this simplistic message suggests. Worse, this helmet-centric public health message probably make the roads less safe for cyclists.
Don’t get me wrong. Helmets are important. Cyclists should wear helmets. I wear a helmet, and I encourage other people to wear them too. But the one-dimensional message that helmet safety advocates push to the exclusion of other key factors is a problem. Here, then, are five things that helmet advocates aren’t talking about but should be:
1) Helmets are a last resort. Helmets don’t prevent accidents; what they do is give riders a somewhat better chance of surviving one. There’s much more, however, that could and should be done in regards to cyclist (and driver) education and infrastructure improvement, for example, that would go a long ways to preventing accidents in the first place.
2) One of the best ways to make the roads safer for cyclists is to get more cyclists on the road. There’s an inverse relationship between the number of cyclists on the road and the accident rate for cyclists. Research shows, for example, that when communities double the number of cyclist the accident rate per cyclist drops by about a third. This is presumably because motorists become more accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists. Some of the safest countries for cyclists--Denmark, for example--don’t promote helmet usage very aggressively and fear that such campaigns might discourage people from cycling, thus making roads less safe for cyclists.
3) There are trade-offs to consider. We hear often that cycling is a dangerous activity because of the risk of traffic accidents. And, yes, there is a certain degree of risk associated with cycling. We hear far less, however, about the risks of not cycling as it relates to obesity, diabetes, and a host of other life-threatening health problems. Death from a heart attack might not be as dramatic as a gory traffic accident, but the loss of life is just as real. When you factor the health benefits in, some researchers estimate the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by nearly twenty-fold.
4) Alcohol is a major cause of accidents. In nearly a third of all fatal accidents involving cyclists either the cyclist or driver is intoxicated, research from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows. This suggests that one of the most powerful ways to make the roads safer for cyclists is to get serious about combating drunken cycling and driving.
5) Expanding the diversity of cyclists will make biking a significantly safer form of transportation. One of the key reasons that cycling appears to be a dangerous form of transportation has to do with the demographics of the people who cycle. Currently, the vast majority of people who cycle as a form of transportation are males below the age of thirty. This particular demographic group, as most people can probably guess, leads the way in nearly every single type of accident regardless of whether it involves automobiles, guns, or bikes. The per capita accident rate among male cyclists is approximately eight times that of females, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thus, increasing the number of women and older riders will significantly reduce the accident rate simply because these groups take far fewer unnecessary risks.
6) Some perspective is in order. Though many people regard bicycling as a particularly dangerous form of transportation, few realize that walking is even worse. One study conducted by a Rutgers University researcher, for example, shows that per kilometer traveled walking is more than 3 times more dangerous than cycling. Makes you wonder why there aren’t stronger public health pushes for walking helmets, say, or safer pedestrian crosswalks, doesn’t it?
7) Pushing helmets can have unintended consequences. Some research, as detailed in this New York Times story, shows that drivers drive more aggressively when passing cyclists wearing helmets. In addition, there’s evidence that extra safety gear can give cyclists a false sense of security that elevates their risk-taking behavior--a phenomenon economists call the Peltzman effect.
The bottom line: helmets are fine, but they’re anything but a panacea. In fact, the emphasis on helmets likely reinforces the myth that cycling is an extremely dangerous activity, which in turn reduces the number of cyclists and makes the roads more dangerous for those cyclists who remain.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:14 AM
Monday, May 18, 2009
We are not going to republish the Huntsville Times or any of the other local news media reports here because they simply under reported the number: I counted over 200 at the ride.
WHNT: Dozens of Cyclist
Huntsville Times: 120 cyclist
The one thing we did notice is the News Media and the Tall Bikes. All the TV channels showed the Tallbikes!!!! It looks like Dustin,Tyler and the Tallbikes were shown much more than the sea of yellow and spandex!!!
So Huntsville may now be known as the Tallbike City instead of the recreational and brightly clad city of cyclist.
This is a good thing:)
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:42 AM
The League of American Bicyclists released their second annual ranking of Bicycle Friendly States, scoring the 50 states on a 75-item questionnaire that evaluates a state's commitment to bicycling within six key areas: legislation, policies and programs, infrastructure, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning, and enforcement.
League President Andy Clarke said that "several states dramatically improved their ranking by updating their traffic codes, increasing the level of funding for bicycle improvements, implementing education programs aimed at cyclists and motorists, getting organized and hosting their first statewide bicycling conferences and events."
For 2009, the top five highest scoring states ranked one through five are: Washington, 1; Wisconsin, 2; Maine, 3; Oregon, 4; and Minnesota, 5. The lowest scoring states ranked 46 through 50 are: New Mexico, 46; Alaska, 47; Oklahoma, 48; Montana, 49; and Alabama, 50. A PDF file with complete list of state rankings is available at this link (40KB).
To learn more about the League's Bicycle Friendly State program, visit www.bicyclefriendlyamerica.org.
The Bicycle Friendly State Program is supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle.
Posted by Bello Velo at 11:19 AM
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Why is this turd of a senator being voted for here again and again? Only comment on this if you contacted him and told him to support to support the transportation bill.
Sessions Amendment Threatens Core Bike Funding
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is offering an amendment today, Monday May 16, which would slash funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Senate transportation bill. Although the measure is not expected to pass, The League of American Bicyclists is urging its supporters to contact their Senators to ask them to oppose the Sessions Amendment (646).
A strong show of support for bicycle and pedestrian project funding will help us in the final stages of negotiation: the conference committee between House and Senate members that will convene after the Senate has passed its bill (SAFETEA). The Senate is expected to end debate on SAFETEA as early as Tuesday.
Contact your senator by e-mail, visit http://www.senate.gov/ and then go to your senator’s individual Web site to find contact information.
Senator Sessions’ amendment seeks to reduce the overall funding level in the Senate transportation bill by $11bn (to bring it in line with the funding level approved by the Budget Committee on which Sessions serves) – and proposes to do it by slashing funding for two of the primary funding sources for bicycling and walking projects.
The amendment will cut funding for public transit by $5 billion, clean air improvements funded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program by $4 billion, community building and transportation options funded under the Transportation Enhancements program by $1.1 billion, and smart transportation strategies funded under the TCSP program by $100 million. These changes and some others total $10.7 billion.
The amendment singles out these funding programs from the dozens of programs in the proposed Senate legislation, and chooses this approach over across the board cuts. This gratuitous attack on some of the core transportation programs established by ISTEA in 1991 must be soundly rejected in order to send a message to members of Congress who will be negotiating the final bill in conference committee. They need to know that cutting these programs is simply not an option.
Posted by Bello Velo at 4:11 PM
From The NY Times
AUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.
Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.
As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor.
Vauban, completed in 2006, is an example of a growing trend in Europe, the United States and elsewhere to separate suburban life from auto use, as a component of a movement called “smart planning.” read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:10 AM
May 15th is National Bike to Work Day.
Here is a blurb from streetfilms:
The League of American Bicyclists started Bike-to-Work Day in 1956 as a part of National Bike-to-Work Week, which in some cities has turned into Bike Month.Bike-to-Work Day is an annual event that promotes and celebrates the bicycle as a viable mode of transportation. On Bike-to-Work Day, national, regional, and local bicycle advocacy groups often organize bicycle-related events.Today’s Streetfilm features Bike-to-Work Day in Austin, San Francisco, New York City and Portland, Oregon.If you haven’t already, check out the Streetsblog open thread from Friday. And, contact us if you would like to participate in next year’s NBTWD film!
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:04 AM
Just got this from the coordinators
The Bicycle Film Festival is coming to Memphis this May 29 - 30! The Bicycle Film Festival is a celebration of bicycles through film, art and music. This is the 9th year and the festival travels all over the world. We have a great line up of films and events this year. We're hoping to bring together cyclists from all over the South for this weekend of amazing bike-related events.
We'd love it if you posted the poster and / or program (attached) on your website and sent it out to your distribution list and to other bicycle and film lovers! Be sure to buy tickets ahead of time online at www.bicyclefilmfestival.com. If you send me your email address I can email you our program and poster -- I can also send you hard copies.
We can help you find accommodations at a fellow bicyclist's home or at an affordable hostel / hotel in the area.
There will be free bike valet at all events.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks!
7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Film Screenings at the Brooks Museum (1934 Poplar Ave)
9 p.m. until late
After Party with Gold Sprints, a DJ and a one hour open bar!
at Nocturnal (1588 Madison Ave)
12 - 4 p.m.
Block Party at Overton Park with food, vendors, bike games / tricks, games for kids -- fun for everyone!
Film Screening at the Brooks Museum, Road to Roubaix
Bikes Rock with River City Tanlines, Magic Kids, The Warble, and Girls of the Gravitron
Murphys (1589 Madison Ave)
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:00 AM
Friday, May 8, 2009
From the ACLU Website
To fight police abuse effectively you need to know your rights. There are some things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do. If you are in the middle of a police encounter, you need a handy and quick reference to remind you what your rights and obligations are.
Print this page and carry it in your wallet, pocket, or glove compartment to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning police encounters.
Download a PDF here
Go to Site for more
Posted by Bello Velo at 2:00 PM
by Peter Walker
York is safest place to ride your bike in Britain, while Calderdale, West Yorkshire is the most dangerous, research finds
A study of the most and least safe places to cycle in Britain, released today, shows that where there are more riders on the roads there is generally a lower accident rate, while in areas less popular for bikes, cycling can be notably more risky.
Contradicting the notion that a mass of inexperienced riders taking to the streets brings a spike in injuries and deaths, the research by the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC), the UK's main cycling organisation, rates local authority areas in England on a scale of A to E according to how safe they are.
The trend is clear, with areas popular for cyclists tending to be safer on average, with the differences sometimes significant. Top of the list is traditionally bike-friendly York, where around one in eight commuters cycle to work and 0.1% are badly hurt in accidents each year. Not far down the road, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, a district centred around Halifax, is at the other end of the scale. Here, fewer than 1 in 120 commuters use bikes, and those that do face a danger level 15 times higher than in York.
read more here
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:32 AM
Thursday, May 7, 2009
At 8:48 AM I was followed and then pulled over by Huntsville Police Car #1819 - Officer Bowles. I ask why are you pulling me over considering he tailed me for 6 blocks and I stopped at all the stop signs and obeyed the traffic laws. He said there have been a lot of burglaries by people on bikes. I said I find that hard to believe and this seemed to be more like harassment. I called Internal Affairs to complain @ 256 427 7012.
I see cops all over the place so it seems to me our little cult here will now be the target of much more police harassment. I know some people who live in constant fear and will welcome this type law and order. I for one see this place becoming more and more like a police state.
FYI: to pull someone over or stop them you need probable cause,which they can make up. So riding a bike is now a crime.
So now I have to worry about cops hassling me on my bike along with all the other shit.
If I drove a car this would not have happened!!!!
If you are pulled over call 256 427 7012 and file a complaint I did.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:12 AM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Sometimes you gotta love technology!!!!!! This site post liscence plates of minivan maniacs and suv slobs all over the country. Guess what it is in Alabama too..... Check it out here....http://www.platewire.com/location/?Alabama I will create a permanent link on the right of the page.
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:10 AM
Monday, May 4, 2009
Less riding Meridian for Leela and I?
From: Brown, Tommy [mailto:Tommy.Brown@hsvcity.com]
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 7:10 AM
To: Marjorie Holderer
Cc: Moore, James; Garrett, Kim; Martin, Teresa
Subject: RE: Buses, racks, tri-folds
We have, or are going to order the racks for the existing back up buses. We have authorized the drivers to allow the bikes on the buses if no rack is available due to backup in use. Please let your group know this. Tommy
From: Marjorie Holderer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2009 6:59 PM
To: Brown, Tommy
Cc: Moore, James
Subject: Buses, racks, tri-folds
Dear Tommy: At the last BASC meeting April 22nd, I took the action item to ask you about the buses with no bike racks on them.
From James, I understand those buses will NOT be outfitted for racks because new buses will be replacing some buses.
I understand that will hopefully happen this fall.
In the meantime we can expect at least one or two buses without racks will be frequently used for regular routes.
Is this correct?
We already have cyclists reporting the random use of bike rack less buses on regular routes pretty much finishes off their desire to use buses to augment their riding commutes. They don’t want to wait around at a bus stop only to find the bus has no rack. They could ‘be there’ by the time all that happens.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Chattanooga To Add More Bicycle Road Facilities, Improve Enforcement
With 2,300 bicyclists in town for the 3 State, 3 Mountain Challenge, Chattanooga goes on the offensive to maintain it's bicycle friendly image. "We are interested in their safety and working to provide that," says Assistant Police Chief Mike Williams.
Discussions about what to do to improve conditions for area cyclists began shortly after the death of David Meek. "The biggest thing that I keep hearing from everyone is enforcing the 3 foot law. And a lot of people and a lot of officers weren't even aware that that law was in existence, but they are now," says Williams.
Officers have already received training bulletins about ordinances and laws concerning bicycles, something that's helped in other communities. "Not really any easy vehicle to teach the public about any new law, as it relates to traffic law, and its definitely an uphill battle to get the word out," says Keith Roth, of the Jeff Roth Bicycle Foundation.
Chattanooga's Mayor says the city will be doing more to promote bikes in the months to come. For example, signage and markings like these will be added to nearly a dozen roads. "We'll be seeing markings around Brainerd, and downtown, and East Brainerd Road, and Hixson and Lookout Valley and many other places," says Mayor Ron Littlefield.
And this summer, officers will institute a special enforcement with plain clothes officers on bikes. Williams says "if they do have someone that comes by and throws something out of the car at them or they swerve over and try to run the biker off the road they will be met with one of our officers," says Williams.
If these efforts prove successful, Chattanooga could move from bronze to silver standing as a bicycle friendly community.
Work on the following roads to add bicycle facilities will begin Monday:
Share the Road bike route on Centraol Ave. from the E 11st St. bike lanes to McCallie Ave.
Share the Road bike route on McCallie Ave. from Central Ave. to the Brainerd tunnel
Share the Road bike route on Brainerd Rd. from the Brainerd tunnel to Belvoir
Bike Lanes on Belvoir from Brainerd Rd. to North Terrace
Share the Road and sections of bike lanes on Brainered Rd. from Belvoir to Moore Rd.
Share the Road and sections of bike lanes on Riverfront Pkwy. from Carter St. to S. River St.
Bike Lanes on Igou Gap Rd. from Gunbarrel Rd. to Jenkins Rd.
Add Share the Road signs and sharrows to Ashland Terrance
Share the Road on Cummings Hwy. from Lilac Ave. to Brown's Ferry Rd.
Posted by Bello Velo at 9:12 AM
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
One of the stated objectives of the New Belgium Urban Assault Ride is to promote bike smarts and street savvy.
"The goal of the ride is to show recreational and fitness riders that bikes are a great choice for transportation, too," event founder Josh Kravets said in a news release.
After reviewing some photos from last year's Seattle ride, I have my doubts. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
I suppose the bike savvy part comes in where teams of two navigate city streets, plotting their own routes to checkpoints around town. The checkpoints are where teams confront obstacles such as riding a big-wheel course, Bike Jousting, the Keg Walk and Inflatable Slides.
The first team to hit all the checkpoints and cross the finish line wins a pair of New Belgium Brewing cruiser bikes.
A solar generator powers the event, a bio-diesel truck delivers gear and nearly all waste is compostable or recyclable.
"This event gives us the chance to promote cycling for transportation and to show people some of the opportunities for sustainable living available in their community," Kravetz said. Sponsor New Belgium is known for being wind-powered, and also boasts of other conservation measures.
Posted by Bello Velo at 10:09 AM