Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nashville parks enforce bicycle speed limit as walkers, cyclists clash

From the Tennessean

So as Cyclist we have it bad and those of us who are pedestrians on a regular basis we have it really bad but, in Nashville it's a different situation completely.

A clash between "Tour de France wannabes" and "iPod-deaf roadblocks" has park police warning cyclists to slow down and walkers to stay in the slow lane on Nashville's greenways.

Park police trained radar guns on cyclists on three greenways Saturday.

They weren't there to write speeding tickets, says Capt. Rich Foley, park police commander.

The aim is to teach riders about the new 15 mph speed limit on the walk/bike paths and encourage riders and walkers to share the space.

read more here

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Busy Sunday

Lifecycles from 8:30am - 2pm Lifecycles @ Lincoln Mill

Vinatage Ride 2pm Huntsville Middle School

Bike Polo 4pm Optimist Park

Or you can sit in your house or on your porch and yap away

Friday, August 28, 2009

Student-Organized Bike Sharing Program Beginning at Ohio Wesleyan

Final work for the Bike Movement in high gear

The tools are out, the bikes are being assembled, and the organizational details are being completed for Ohio Wesleyan’s first bicycle sharing program. It’s a go—OWU students soon will be seen on campus on brightly painted yellow communal bikes.
Last year’s Sagan National Colloquium focused on environmental issues, and students started exploring various ways to promote programs related to sustainability. The student planners wanted to reduce the need for cars on campus, while promoting the health benefits of cycling.

The Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs Environmental Committee has taken on the challenging task of funding and organizing the Bike Movement. Lara Kobelt ’10 and Jack Stenger ’10 are co-chairing the project. “We discovered that four different student groups were exploring the idea of a bike sharing program at OWU,” says Kobelt. “So we think this student-initiated program has wide support on campus.”

Twenty-five new bikes were purchased from Breakaway Cycling in Delaware, and now are being assembled by students. Kobelt says OWU Public Safety may donate additional bikes that were unclaimed on campus at the end of summer. These will be tuned-up, if necessary. All will be painted bright yellow.

WCSA funded the majority of the $10,000 project, with donations from campus supporters.

Many details are being worked out still, Kobelt says, but the students hope to kick off the program by late September. Students will pay a nominal fee to register, and then receive a wrist bracelet with a key attached that will be compatible with the bike locks. Current plans call for bikes to be picked up and dropped off at campus dorms.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Staff will get stake in grocery

From HSV Times, this seems like it might be a good thing!!!!

Food Bank plans worker-owned market for Terry Heights area

A grocery store unlike any other in Huntsville is coming to a vacant lot near the Terry Heights neighborhood.

As part of its mission to stamp out hunger and poverty, the nonprofit Food Bank of North Alabama is leading an effort to build the state's first worker-owned community market on Pulaski Pike.

Unlike chain supermarkets, the 6,000-square-foot Pulaski Pike Market will focus on fruits and vegetables grown in North Alabama using environmentally friendly farm practices.

"Why truck in produce 2,000 miles away from California when we have that ability here?" Kathryn Strickland, the Food Bank's director of community food security, asked Friday.

Along with fresh local produce, the market plans to offer special foods for people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Strickland said a recent study found that 21 percent of Terry Heights residents are diabetic.

The market's 20 or so employees will be owner-operators who share in the profits. That worker-cooperative business model has flourished in parts of Europe and the U.S. for decades but is new to Alabama.

"It gives the workers a chance to build wealth and long-term equity," Strickland said. "No matter what position you have in the store, you have one share and one vote.

"If there are profits generated, the worker-owners would decide how they are distributed."

Scheduled to open in summer 2010, the market will be built on 1.2 acres owned by the city on Pulaski just north of Holmes Avenue.

Under a contract approved Thursday by the City Council, the market will lease the site for $10 a year. It may also qualify for more than $300,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money to buy freezers and other startup equipment.

Strickland said the market is a response to a 2007 "needs assessment" of the blue-collar Terry Heights, Hillandale and Sparkman Homes areas west of downtown....

Car Diet

The results of ZipCar's low-car diet are in.

After being without a car for a month, 25% of Pittsburghers who took the low-car challenge in July said they plan to continue to live without a personally-owned car.

Of those who do not plan to stay car-free, 67% plan to drive less.
This info comes courtesy of Maria Martinez, a ZipCar spokesman.

For some people, the weight loss reported by 38% of the participants might be the most compelling reason to drive less. For others, it would be the savings,

Pittsburgh's participants in this nationwide event walked 128 percent more miles during their month without a personal car, increased their trips on public transit by 102% and biked 2,650 percent more. (Note: this large percentage is due to the local partnership with BikePittsburgh and Car Free Fridays.)

More than 250 people worldwide gave up their personal cars for the month, and 100 of those said they planned to stay car free.


Most exciting to Walkabout is that 59 percent of all participants reported that being without a car also made them more aware. They recycled more, ate foods for better health and rationed lights and air conditioning.

Partipants blogged their experiences at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now it's all starting to make sense

As we talked about this a couple of months ago, now it all seems to be coming together. I can now understand things about Alabamians in a clear light. After all it is your constitutional right to drive your fat car with your refrigerator in it. I wont even go into the Wealthcare debate here:)

Alabama closes in on Mississippi as most obese state

Obese People Have 'Severe Brain Degeneration'

A new study finds obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals, researchers said today.

Those classified as overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years.
The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent "severe brain degeneration," said Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology. read more here

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear Huntsville,

A new study indicates that in most bicycle/motorist accidents, the motorist screwed up:

While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.

The top two most common causes listed above apply to my crash from last year. Improper overtaking and failing to yield at an intersection.

Though I have to quibble with the framing. It should be: 90 percent of all cyclist/motorist collisions are the driver's fault.


HUNTSVILLE, AL -- A bicyclist was hit by a vehicle while riding on Little Cove Road Monday night, according to Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc.

Leslie Collier, 35, who lives in the 200 block of Little Cove Road, was hit by a vehicle at about 9:30 p.m. not far from her home, said Don Webster, chief of operations for HEMSI. She was treated at the scene by HEMSI and taken to Huntsville Hospital Trauma Services by MedFlight helicopter, Webster said.

Hospital officials said this morning that Collier had been discharged from the hospital.
read more and the comments too

Why I bicycle on the sidewalk facing traffic

From The Examiner

Ed Wagner wrote an article entitled “Why do they do that? Wrong way riders”. In the article Wagner lambastes cyclists who ride on sidewalks and ride facing vehicular traffic as opposed to riding with vehicular traffic. I ride with traffic and I also ride against traffic. I tend to ride on sidewalks whenever I can. I rarely see pedestrians on the sidewalks but when I do I always move off the sidewalk onto the roadway or off onto the grass so as to give the walking pedestrian plenty of room.

I decide how to ride according to conditions. I prefer to ride on the sidewalks facing traffic. There have been numerous times I have seen a car in the distance approaching me as the car is weaving erratically as the driver is obviously intoxicated. I know some of these drunk drivers would of hit me if I had been riding with traffic but by facing traffic I can see the cell phone texters not paying attention and the inebriated drivers BEFORE they would of hit me.

Mr. Wagner states that “...let's be very clear - bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.

read more here

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Insanity

On Friday two cyclists state they were sideswipped by a car on the Eastern Bypass near Oakleigh, I don't think either was transported.

On Saturday a car turned into a cyclist on Bankhead near Oak Park causing the cyclist to crash, he was transported by ambulance to the hospital.


I almost got hit on Meridian again today. And the car behind me with a driver that waited way too long to brake did. It's too bad it won't be ruled their fault. I would have liked to stayed until the police got there so I could tell them that and hopefully influence the insurance, but if I was going to get shot, it was going to be in the back before they checked on the other people. No really, getting killed is an actual fear on Meridian. It's past time that the police do something about this. It was just before the traffic island at the 72 intersection. $1 says someone claims a cyclist caused the accident.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Katine, a Coke is easy to buy. Medicine isn't

As the idiots of america disrupt the healthcare debate keep this in perspective. There is also a food crisis there so enjoy your $3 starbucks and your big mac. Not that anyone who reads Bello Velo would go to these places:)

In Uganda and across Africa people are dying of diseases such as malaria and TB because they can't get the drugs to treat them.

Emanuel Opengam has the listless look in his large eyes of the habitually ill. The three-year-old sits passively on his mother's lap, and sometimes his seven-year-old sister's, in a corner of a drug shop in north-eastern Uganda. It's just a small room in a hut, dominated by a table covered with a dirty gingham cloth on which are stacked plastic tubs of pills that are sold loose, in twos and threes or as many as the patient can afford. read more here

What does this remind you of?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gallup Poll: Alabama most conservative state

Alabama is the most conservative state in the nation, according to a Gallup Poll.

The poll says that 49 percent of Alabamians polled identified themselves as conservative. Alabama was followed by Mississippi, where 48 percent identified themselves as conservative, according to the poll released Aug. 14.

Others on the top 10 conservative list are: Utah, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, all at 47 percent; South Carolina, 46 percent; North Dakota, 45 percent; and South Dakota, Idaho, and Wyoming, all at 44 percent.

The District of Columbia, which had the fewest people identifying themselves as conservative, was ranked as the place where the most people identified themselves as liberal. Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Connecticut round out the top 10 liberal states in the poll.

NYC Summer Streets 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cycling numbers are up, accidents way down in NYC

From the

On a weekend when hundreds of bicycle riders took advantage of a car-free Saturday route up the center of Manhattan -- Park Avenue -- to Central Park, the Associated Press reports that cycling numbers have exploded in the Big Apple while accidents are down.

Biking is the city's "fastest growing mode of transportation," says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.The number of cyclists has jumped by 80 percent in the past decade — to 185,000 among the more than 8 million city residents.
With more than 420 miles of bike routes, plus safety awareness campaigns and handouts of free helmets, New York is literally on a roll. During the same period, bicycle accidents have fallen more than 40 percent, says the Department of Transportation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

almost hit

I almost got hit by a red BMW 325i on the way to school today. I was northbound on Meridian going up the little hill past Wholesale. It's kind of tough to judge from a mirror on Meridian since people drive like assholes and get too close for no reason quite often (read: step it up HPD). But I bailed to the gutter for this one when I realized how close the guy was getting with the other lane empty. And shortly after I did he brake locked and swerved. But if I hadn't bailed I would have gotten hit. Or I probably would have gotten hit without the mirror. If you've seen me riding, you know how goofy and bright I look on the way to school. I was wearing an ANSI lime vest with reflective strips over my messenger bag. There is no excuse for not seeing me. Since the guy braked and swerved and waved when I yelled what the hell, I think he was just being inattentive and didn't do it on purpose. I hope I got the plate right. What can I do about this since he didn't actually hit me or harass me? Can the police at least talk to him about starting to give a shit about the lives of others when he's driving?

Monday, August 10, 2009

cool new Huntsville website

This is a new site from Huntsville's GIS department. It has nice aerial imagery, and you can measure lane widths. There are also updated 2 foot topo lines to get an idea of grades. You may find this useful for planning rides.

Bikes Not Bombs

It is great to be back in Talabama