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Saturday, October 31, 2015

GAP/C&O Adventure Ride Recap & Photos - Day 6 Brunswick MD to Washington DC #letsride

Brunswick to Washington DC. 57 miles. Cold in the morning. Mid-morning breakfast at White's Ferry. Stopped and talked to a cyclist who was at the end of his cross country trip. Visited the Great Falls Park to see the whitewater. Made it to the end of the C&O trail and saw the elusive marker. Rode across town to the Amtrak station. Rolled bikes onto the train with only a few minutes to spare. Relaxed on the Amtrak train back to Pittsburgh. Ate late dinner at Primanti Brothers. 

GAP/C&O Adventure Ride Recap & Photos - Day 5 Hancock MD to Brunswick MD #letsride

Hancock to Brunswick. Longest day in the saddle with 72+ miles. 30 degrees in the morning. Started on the Western Maryland Rail Trail and picked up the C&O outside of town. Stopped at a picnic area and had lunch. Saw and explored a number of caves along the way. Passed by Harpers Ferry and stayed in Brunswick at Brunswick Family campground. Since it was end of season there were very few campers around. Hot showers and clean facilities. Small bonfire in the evening.

GAP/C&O Adventure Ride Recap & Photos - Day 4 Cumberland MD to Hancock MD #letsride

Cumberland to Hancock. 60 miles. We said goodbye to Doug in the morning in Cumberland. He headed back to Rockwood. Headed through the Paw Paw Tunnel. I broke a spoke somewhere along the way and we decided to ride the Western Mayland Rail Trail into Hancock to limit any more damage. Stayed at C&O Bicycle Bunkhouse where they repaired my wheel. BBQ dinner in town. Big bonfire in the evening. 

GAP/C&O Adventure Ride Recap & Photos - Day 3 Rockwood PA to Cumberland MD #letsride

Rockwood PA to Cumberland MD. 45 miles. Our friend Doug joined us for the Friday camping and Saturday ride. Lots of train noise at this campsite, otherwise it was decent for the cost. Crossed Salisbury Viaduct and stopped at the Meyersdale train depot museum. Crossed the Eastern Continental Divide and passed through the Savage Mountain Tunnel. Rode up to the depot at Frostburg and watched the train get turned. We stayed at the Ramada in Cumberland and had dinner at Baltimore Street Grille. Toured some architecture and history across the river. Stopped at Curtis Famous Hotdogs for second dinner.

GAP/C&O Adventure Ride Recap & Photos - Day 2 Round Bottom campground to Rockwood PA #letsride

Round Bottom to Rockwood PA. 56 miles. It was chilly and foggy when we started the morning. The sun warmed us up and it was clear by Ohiopyle. Black Hawk helicopter flyover as we stood on the rail bridge. We had lunch and small repair in Ohiopyle. Camped at Husky Haven Campground in Rockwood. Lots of train noise. Campground is trail side and has lots of firewood. Note: Great facilities in town across the river.

GAP/C&O Adventure Ride Recap & Photos - Day 1 Pittsburgh to Round Bottom campground #letsride

Pittsburgh to Round Bottom campground. 49 miles. Lunch in West Newton. Met some other travelers heading south at Roundbottom Campground. Water was non-potable. Rained everytime Phil wanted to setup his tent. Dinner in the shelter. Lots of train noise. Temps were warm.

Morning Ebb And Flow - Copenhagen Rush Hour

Morning Ebb And Flow from jim slade on Vimeo.

Friday, October 30, 2015


bike commuter
Everyone knows there are two kinds of people in this world, but did you know there are 12 types of bike commuters? That’s right. Here they are. You might be, or have been, or know someone who is, one of them. Or more. Or maybe there are more than 12 types.
Apprehensive Neophyte
  • Pedals onward despite visible terror
  • Will evolve to other type of bike commuter after 15-20 more bike commutes
Righteous Indignatius
  • Commute has higher purpose than the standard just-getting-to-work utilitarianism. Is for fitness, for environmental reasons, possibly enlightenment, for avoidance of psychological fatigue that comes from driving in traffic every day. Still every once in a while is affected by traffic or individual drivers who try to kill him/her, must scream or give finger to cabbie/pizza delivery driver/texting driver drifting into bike lane

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bicycle Safety Camp

The story of “ghost bikes”: How a bike memorial in St. Louis sparked a global movement @grist

Valentine Vanesse
You’ve probably seen a ghost bike. Maybe its skeletal white frame, locked to a street sign on a busy corner, blended into the madness of a hustling urban backdrop. Or perhaps the makeshift memorial emanated its phantomly presence chained to a single lamppost along a lonely country highway. No matter the location, ghost bikes turn an indiscriminate patch of road into a solemn reminder: A cyclist was killed here.
These bikes represent a sobering reality. From 2000 to 2013, rates of commuting via bike have increased more than 100 percent in some parts of the country. Fatalities and injuries have increased, too. In 2013, roughly 48,000 cyclists were injured. More than 740 were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. And that’s just accidents reported to the police. Biking, be it in a metropolis or a whistle stop, can be a continuous flirtation with death if you’re not careful. Cities aren’t off the hook when it comes to making streets co-habitable for both bikes and vehicles. Ghost bikes remind city planners as well as cyclists and drivers that simple mistakes can result in dire consequences.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Do cyclists ride in the middle of the road simply to annoy motorists? @bikeroar

Let me start by pointing out the obvious: Cyclists DO block the road. It is also true that many motorists find this extremely frustrating, which has led, unfortunately, to terrible decisions being made and cyclists ending up injured or killed.
Do bike riders do this deliberately to put themselves in harm's way? I can vouch for most road cyclists that one of the main objectives when heading out on a bike is to arrive home firmly in the land of the living, not the realm of the dead.
One popular television journalist likened road cyclists to cockroaches, and we all know what happens to them! (the cockroaches, not the journalists). I implore every road user to ignore this foolish ignorance, but if you wonder, "if it is so important to stay alive, why do so many cyclists seem intent on blocking traffic by riding in the middle of the lane?", then read on...

Ride, hustle, kill, repeat: the underground cycle gangs of Los Angeles @guardian

 Willo, a former gang member who served time in jail, leads the Hope Street race. Photograph: Noah Smith for the Guardian
A golden moon hung over the city, and as night deepened the crowd lounging off Hope Street grew giddy. People swigged beer, marijuana spiced the air, hip-hop streamed from a sound system. It felt like a gritty picnic, minus food.
A yell from a guy with a Hawaiian shirt and a clipboard signalled business, however, and the hundred-strong crowd promptly lined the sidewalk, expectant. The race was about to begin. About two dozen riders, many in Lycra, some in jeans, gathered at a traffic light with their eyes fixed on the race marshal, a ragged figure with a raised baton.
The contest that followed was noteworthy for several reasons. Some competitors had been among the boozers and smokers. The marshal was a homeless man who sleeps under a nearby bush. There were no traffic cones or markings delineating the route. And most striking of all: this guerrilla bicycle event unfolded in the heart of the world’s car capital, Los Angeles.

This Video Will Get You Off Your Ass and On Your Bike

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hunting for Monsters (trailer)

Hunting for Monsters (trailer) from Bjørn on Vimeo.


A buffered bike lane in Chicago, Illinois.
Compared to 100 miles of almost anything else a city can build, 100 miles of buffered and protected bike lanes costs practically nothing to install.
But when you look beyond the budget line items and start to consider what it means to transfer access to part of a city's most valuable asset — physical space — a few stripes painted onto previously car-dominated streets can represent a massive investment.
When it's wide and comfortable, a buffered bike lane is a big improvement over a conventional bike lane that also opens the door to further change in the future: adding the physical protection, such as curbs or posts or parked cars, that is required to make biking relevant to a much larger share of the population.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Should Cyclists Have to Stop at Stop Signs? @citylab

Image jennyrotten / Flickr
jennyrotten / Flickr
San Francisco has a well-deserved reputation as a city that’s willing to experiment with urban policy. Now that reputation is being put to the test, as legislation that would change the way police deal with cyclists and stop signs makes its way through the city’s Board of Supervisors.
The ordinance, known as the Bike Yield Law, would instruct cops to treat cyclists who roll slowly and cautiously through stop signs as their lowest enforcement priority. It would, in essence, permit the so-called Idaho stop, in which a person on a bike is allowed to approach a stop sign, check for conflicts with drivers and people on foot, then roll through without coming to a complete halt—essentially treating it as a yield sign.
The Idaho stop is called that because it’s been the law in that state since 1982. Idaho, including its largest city, Boise (population 214,000), has served as a large, ongoing experiment in how well this practice works, at least in places with relatively low density. The answer is, apparently, quite well.

[Keep reading at CityLab]

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Salt Lake City Cuts Car Parking, Adds Bike Lanes, Sees Retail Boost @StreetsblogUSA

The new 300 South, a.k.a. Broadway. Photos: Salt Lake City.
Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets.
Protected bike lanes require space on the street, and removing curbside auto parking is one of several ways to find it. But whenever cities propose parking removal, retailers understandably worry.
A growing body of evidence suggests that if bike lanes and parking removal contribute to a street with calmer traffic and a better pedestrian environment, everybody can win.
In an in-house study of its new protected bike lane, Salt Lake City found that when parking removal was done as part of a wide-ranging investment in the streetscape — including street planters, better crosswalks, public art, and colored pavement — converting parking spaces to high-quality bike lanes coincided with a jump in retail sales.
On 300 South, a street that’s also known as Broadway, SLC converted six blocks of diagonal parking to parallel parking and also shifted parallel parking away from the curb on three blocks to create nine blocks of protected bike lanes on its historic downtown business corridor.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lack of transport retailers a barrier to everyday biking in Vancouver @vancitybuzz

It may come as a surprise to many, but the North American bicycle retail industry is struggling. Badly. Despite many cities shifting public policy towards establishing the bicycle as a regular, everyday form of transportation, U.S. retailers recently reported a decline in sales for the 14th consecutive year, while the number of bike shops fell by 18%, and the amount of sales floor square footage has remained essentially stagnant.
While many reasons have been given for that falloff, we firmly believe the theory that most manufacturers and retailers are selling “the wrong bikes for the wrong reason.” Nowhere is that more apparent than here in Vancouver, where manufacturers, retailers, advocates, and city officials continue to conflate the worlds of sport and transportation cycling, to the distinct detriment of the latter.

[Keep reading at VancityBuzz]

SEE THE WORLD 5: Where the Mountains go (Trailer)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Leg Work: Cyclists have the right to ‘control the lane’ for safety | Portland Press Herald

I recently saw a man bicycling smack in the middle of the main travel lane on one of Portland’s busiest streets, with a line of cars trailing behind.
In cycling lingo, this is known as “taking the lane” or “controlling the lane.” And it seems to be a growing trend, especially in urban areas.
Bicycle safety experts say that controlling the lane is the safest way for cyclists to position themselves under a variety of scenarios. Some even recommend it as a default position for those riding in city traffic.
This is a controversial idea, because it forces motorists to slow down. It also is counterintuitive to believe that one would be safer riding amid cars and trucks rather than on the road’s edge.
As a slow, cautious cyclist, I often feel scared controlling the lane, even under conditions when I have no choice, such as taking a left turn or continuing straight through an intersection where one lane turns right.

5 Anti-Bike Arguments That Should Be Retired @citylab

Image Jim Pennucci / Flickr
Jim Pennucci / Flickr
It’s time to move beyond the misguided war between bikes and cars. Doing so requires all parties on urban streets to acknowledge that city mobility is a collective problem without an either-or answer. In the spirit of a healthier such discussion, we’ve culled from this excellent list of anti-bike arguments that should be put to rest, compiled by Lindsey Wallace at, as well as a recent longer list from Adam Mann in Wired.

1. Cyclists break the rules

If breaking the law is a knock against cyclists, then it’s a knock against everyone who uses city streets. Some bike riders do run red lights (though it’s often because the signal doesn’t recognize them) or pop onto the sidewalk(though it’s often because they don’t have bike lanes). Then again, drivers are no strangers to blowing lights—one in 10 run reds in New York City—and doing so is the most common cause of crashes in U.S. cities.
So sure, some cyclists are just jerks. That’s true of any group of humans. What must be recognized with regard to bike riders is that much of what’s mistaken for jerky behavior is better attributed to the frustrations of city travelers long denied space on urban streets.

[Keep reading at CityLab]

2015 UCI Road World Championships - Onboard Men's U23

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Make Coffee While Bike Touring -

Inside the Dirty, Dangerous World of Cyclocross @MaximMag

Inside the Dirty, Dangerous World of Cyclocross

It's gnarly, it's muddy, and it's the fastest-growing sport on two wheels. Can you survive cycling's crucible?
On the Sunday afternoon when he should be resting, Jeremy Powers instead takes the road to the left, and soon his bike hums over the gently sloped lane, the stunning but foreboding forests of Western Massachusetts crowding the path and humidity curdling the air, until he sees the pavement rise before him, rise and curve and rise again, epically, endlessly. His pedaling slows and then nearly stops—so steep is the incline—and now he’s up off the saddle and pumping, the bike swaying wildly with each downward stroke. He has already this morning done the lunges and box steps and side crunches that he hates, movements that strengthen his comically slim core but will leave him with a soreness that lasts until Wednesday. He has also already gone on a five-mile run. And yet the notorious King’s Highway—the kind of relatively empty but challenging path that abounds in this region, which is why he chose to live here—seems uniquely torturous today, each push of the legs an attempt to reestablish not so much a good pace as just forward movement. No one has reached Powers’ level in the cycling world, let alone his highly unusual subspecialty, without answering a question he often poses to those who ask his advice: “How much do you want to suffer?”

The Benefits of Slower Traffic, Measured in Money and Lives @citylab

Case Studies on Transport Policy
In May 2014, three school kids in New Brunswick, New Jersey, were hit by a car on Livingston Avenue while in the crosswalk. They were each injured—one seriously—and rushed to the hospital. A cell phone video taken at the scene is pierced with anonymous screams.

Fortunately, according to news reports, the kids recovered. Unfortunately, the trauma they and their families endured is all too common on the streets of U.S. cities. What makes the situation in New Brunswick so much more regrettable is that city leaders knew about the safety hazards on Livingston Avenue but hesitated to change traffic patterns for fear of offending drivers.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Late Late Show's James Corden slams bike lane opponents in 9/29/15 monologue

The Best Ways to Get to Work, According to Science @gizmodo

The Best Ways to Get to Work, According to Science
Commuting affects your mental health, your physical health, and even the way you think about other people. And these changes are more profound than you might think.
The average commuter spends about an hour a day heading to and from work, but plenty spend as much as three hours commuting. Those hours we spend in the car can have profound psychological and physical impacts on us. A growing body of research shows that there are far more nuanced problems with driving than the ones you’ve probably heard about. 
And as a corollary, more scientists are quantifying how “active” commutes, which involve walking, biking, or off-brand hoverboarding can make life better.