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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Motorist Rules for a Bicycle-Friendly Community

What can the motorist do to avoid car/bike crashes?
Some recommendations:

1. Be aware that when a traffic lane is too narrow for cars and bikes to ride side by side, bicyclists should "take the lane", which means riding in or near the center of the lane.
2. Maintain a safety zone of approximately three feet between the car and the bicyclist. Consider the car`s right outside mirror when maintaining this safety zone.
3. Pass a bicyclist only when it can be done safely. Do not blast your horn when passing a bicyclist - this could startle the bicyclist and cause a crash.
4. A motorist may cross a double yellow line to pass a bicycle (or other slower vehicle) as long as the faster vehicle is capable of passing without exceeding the speed limit and as long as there is sufficient clear space in which to do so.
5. Leave ample room when merging or turning right after passing a bicyclist so the bicyclist is not cut off when the motorist merges or slows for the turn. A strong bicyclist may ride 25 mph, and downhill, bicyclists may go much faster.
6. In inclement weather, give bicyclists extra trailing and passing room, just as you would other motorists.
7. Be aware that when a bicyclist must make an emergency stop, that they may be unable to signal their stop because they may need to use both hands to brake.
8. Learn to recognize situations and obstacles that may be hazardous to bicyclists, such as railroad tracks, potholes, debris, and drain grates - then give them adequate space to maneuver.
9. When parked at the side of the road, check your rearview mirror before opening your car door to make sure there are no bicyclists or other traffic approaching. Suddenly opening car doors is a major cause of bicycle accidents.
10. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable in their actions. Expect the unexpected.

Sources: Ohio Revised Code, League of American Bicyclists

Editor's Note: Thanks Tricia for sending this over.

From the mailbag: A Children Services Holiday Bike-A-Thon

THE BACKGROUND: My husband Brian and I are foster parents with
Franklin County Children Services. While we aren't currently
fostering a child, we are involved as volunteers. There are over
5,000 local children under FCCS care. It's an astounding number. Most
have been neglected or abused at some point in their short lives.

Public funds cannot be used for foster children's gifts. The majority
of these children depend on community generosity to receive even one
holiday gift. Through the FCCS Holiday Wish campaign, you can
brighten the holidays for these children in need. You can provide
new, unwrapped toys of any kind, donate gift cards or contribute
cash. But, I'm asking for something more, something special. We have
organized an impromptu "bike-a-thon".

THE PHILOSOPHY: Think back to some of your favorite childhood
activities. I bet riding your bike is one that comes to mind. Your
bike allowed you to visit friends, go to the pool, the park, school,
a part-time job or just enjoy the sense of independence it provided.
It's clear that many families are facing tough economic times this
year. Yet, you would probably agree that every kid should have a
bike. Every kid should experience the fun and freedom a bike
provides. And every kid should experience the thrill of getting a
shiny brand new set of two wheels at least once during their

THE PITCH: I am asking you to consider donating a new bike for a
local foster child, individually or as part of a group, to the FCCS
Holiday Wish program. Imagine the excitement and thrill you will make
possible. Imagine the freedom and fun the bike will provide for
several years to come. Imagine making this holiday season truly
unforgettable for a few foster kids. They will always remember 2008
as the year they received a brand new bike!

Little bikes. Big bikes. Girl's bikes. Boy's bikes. One-speed. Ten-
speed. Bikes for all kinds of teens and tykes!

THE PROCESS: It's simple.

1. Know that you can purchase a pre-assembled quality bike for under
$100 at discount stores
2. Know that your donation if fully tax deductible
3. Times are tight for some. Consider pooling resources with a few
friends, neighbors or co- workers to purchase a bike
4. Consider asking your employer, church or civic organization to
also donate a bike
5. Purchase the bike(s) and then
a. Deliver to FCCS main lobby at 855 West Mound Street
b. Or contact me to pick up at your home and deliver on your behalf
c. Or drop off at our home
6. Bikes must be received by December 14th
7. Include a helmet if at all possible

Remember, cash, gift cards and any new unwrapped toys are also
greatly needed. Additional Holiday Wish information can be found at Please contact me
with any questions and thank you for considering this appeal.

Will you participate in some way? Will you give a kid a bike?


Katherine Gatch

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Want to bike the Most Dangerous Road?

Mountain Biking Down The World's Most Dangerous Road.

Quite deservedly, this mountain bike ride is our most popular and World famous. Featured in more than 60 magazine and newspaper articles, (as well as six television shows and on the lips and Blogs of almost every backpacker and adventure traveler in South America), this ride is not only famous, but so is GRAVITY!.

CUT TO THE CHASE: Show me the photo slideshow of The World's Most Dangerous Road!!!

The previews you've all been looking for...

The Gravity Video Disco Mix: The World's Most Dangerous Road in 3 minutes 15 seconds. Download it here (it's 64 meg, so it will take a while) by right clicking HERE and choosing 'save as'.
The Gravity BEST OF WMDR Photo Gallery. Take a moment to check out a slide show of our photos HERE.
Check it out today so you know what you are getting yourself in for when you do our world-famous ride... Or if you have already done it tell your friends and relatives to check these out so they can see what you survived!! If you were brave enough to do the ride... are you now brave enough to let mum see what you did?!?!

Gravity and the World's Most Dangerous Road: AS SEEN ON TV:- ABC's Nightline features Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking... check it out on YouTube here!
Please Note: The dates of December 10, 2007 until March 1, 2008 are rainy season in Bolivia, and we do NOT encourage people to do The World's Most Dangerous Road ride during this time. To put it simply, we believe the risks are slightly higher, and that the experience is not as enjoyable due to the very high probability of thick cloud, torrential rain during most of the day, freezing snow at the top, tons of mud, etc. However, if you absolutely MUST do it, then for those exact reasons, Gravity has set up a super-duper, reinforced, masochists-only package for the rainy season to minimize risk and improve comfort and safety.

This rainy season package has a whole lot of very important extras to deal with the frequently brutal conditions, to make it safer, and to make it as comfortable and fun as possible. These extras include more warm clothing and wet weather gear, kits for the support vehicles to deal with landslides, more guides, smaller groups, etc., etc. There’s even a SPECIAL-EDITION FREE T-SHIRT to show how crazy you are. This, plus the destruction to the bikes in these conditions and the extra maintenance needed, is why the cost is nominally higher than during the normal season. Click here to check out the Rainy Season schedule and find a trip that still has space.

During the normal season we are happy to have all levels of riders on the ride; over the rainy season, however, we discourage anyone who is nervous, scared, unfit or a beginner. It is going to be tougher than ever, rougher and scarier, and the group cannot spend too much time hanging around for really slow people (they’ll freeze and get hypothermia while they’re waiting!), so slow riders will be put in the bus for some sections to save the rest of the group.

The site...

Casualties of the economy... UPDATE

I read a comment on another blog that indicated Devore Bicycles is closed. I wanted to verify this and gave them a call. They are operating on winter hours for service only. The person I spoke with on the phone said they are not selling new bicycles at this time. So if you need service on your bike please patronize the locally owned bicycle shops.

Their site...

World's Most Dangerous Road Video

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Casualties of the economy...

A Gear Higher bicycle shop is closing...

Super Micro Bike

At our passion is bicycles and we enjoy what we do. Our bikes were originally designed for racing, but our ultimate goal is to produce a bike that is safe on city streets and country roads. See our “New Developments” section below. SuperMicroBike is owned and operated by Jeffrey-James who has been riding bike since age five.

A simultaneous goal is to provide the opportunity for anyone to reduce their impact footprint on the world. The average American throws over 600 lbs of pollutants into the air each year driving an automobile. Combined, cars, SUV’s and light trucks contribute more than 300 million tons of carbon dioxide (the dominant greenhouse gas) each year to the atmosphere. Here at Super Micro Bike, we encourage commuting and everyday travel by bike rather than motorized vehicle to reduce your overall impact. We also are minimizing our manufacturing impact by using environmentally friendly materials and processes as well as recycled materials whenever feasible.

The site...

B O N E S H A K E R: A Bicycling Almanac

The editors of Boneshaker believe that the bicycle, when conceived of and used appropriately, can become a tool for social change and community building. And though bicycling has become, for better or worse, an activity tied to radical undertones and bohemian implications, we are less interested in those types of categorizations and more so with simply riding bicycles to get where we are going.

This almanac is, therefore, a collective ode to the ride itself, that fundamentally lonesome experience one has in the saddle, and the results of repeating that ride over and over in different directions on different days with different destinations in each instance. Boneshaker is not, however, anti-car; it’s just thoroughly pro-bike in heart and mind.

With interviews of respected members of the bicycling community, as well as profiles of bike-related grassroots organizations and individuals, not to mention essays, graphs, lists, letters, and stories, Bonesheker attempts to shine light on utilitarian bicycling.

Modeled loosely after the War Department’s 1941 Soldier’s Basic Field Manual, Boneshaker fashions itself to be the practical bicyclist’s periodical-style handbook.

Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac is published two and a half times a year by WFP with the intent of providing relevant, interesting, and useful considerations of bicycle commuting. Geared towards anyone even remotely interested in going by bike, the pocket-sized collection gathers news, information, facts, figures, and fictions for the common cyclist.

Boneshaker is available for $5, at bookstores, online, bike shops, and cafes in various parts of the country, or via subscription, and always, by asking the editors nicely.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Public Hearing Announcement - Columbus Bicycle Law

Subject: Public Hearing on Bicycle Law

As you've read in the past two newsletters, Consider Biking was invited to participate as a stakeholder in revising/enhancing the Columbus Traffic Code as it relates to bicycles. This project was one of the first recomendations from the recently adopted Bicentennial Bikeways PLAN.

Many of you raised your hand, and channeled great feedback to the City staff. I'm most excited that we've engaged 20+ EVERYDAY cyclists in reviewing the proposed law. And, let me tell you...that's probably 20+ more than would have been engaged in years past! And, I was most amazed that of the 20+ cyclists, almost all caught different mistakes in the draft legislation, or had different suggestions. It took that many people to thoroughly review and comment on this massive undertaking with unique perspectives.

The proposal has been through several revisions, and is on track to be introduced to City Council on December 15th. There will be two more chances for public testimony. The first, and most critical, is listed below. If you have any questions...feel free to contact me.

Public Hearing Announcement
Columbus Bicycle Law

Thursday, December 4, 2008
5:30 PM

City Council Chambers
City Hall 2nd Floor
90 W. Broad Street

Columbus City Council member Maryellen O’Shaughnessy will convene a meeting to discuss the proposed new bike laws. The code proposal would bring Columbus bike law into compliance with the recently adopted Bicentennial Bikeways Plan and the Ohio Revised Code. The new draft law should be available online December 1 at

City Engineer Randall J. Bowman will present the new law and interested citizens may offer testimony. Speaker slips will be accepted the day of the hearing at city hall’s Front Street security desk.

Parking for bikes is available at the entrance to the building and free parking for cars is available after 5:00 PM in the city hall surface lot at Front/Gay Streets

WAD Squad official parade video

When your bike is stolen with a Zoombak, track it with GPS

The Zoombak™ Universal A-GPS Locator is a simple and ingenious way to keep track of anything that needs keeping track of — including bicycles, backpacks and more!


Scratch it up to deter theft?

Temporary stickers on clear paper

These rust and scratch stickers are designed to make your beautiful bike/car look rusted and scratched so that passing thieves assume it's not worth stealing due to its apparent shabbyness.
Note. This anti-theft device is not guaranteed to work in any way.
However I have stuck them to my shiney new red bike and can confirm it hasn't been stolen yet. 13 days of not being stolen in London probably equates to 7 years of non-stealing in the friendly countryside.

Inventor's website

Beat the system... Change the light, don't run it.

Bike Gadget Turns Red Lights Green, from Wired.

Getting stuck at a red light that won't change sucks. It's even worse when you're on a bicycle because you'll never see green until a car rolls up and trips the sensor. That's never seemed fair to Ed Richley, so he's invented a gadget that tricks red lights into turning green.
"About 10 years ago, when I lived in California, a colleague told me about a particularly obstinate (light) on his commute, and asked me to build something to force a detection," Richley told
What he's built is a gadget he calls a Traffic Loop Sensor Activator, and it does exactly what the name suggests — it trips the sensor that tells signal lights traffic is waiting. The bike commuter and engineer from Maryland has patented (.pdf) the device and is looking for someone to mass produce it. It doesn't look like much — in fact, it's pretty clunky, and the gram-conscious crowd will recoil in horror at its size — but Richley swears it works.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Isotruss Bicycle

Arantix by Delta 7 Sports
The only bike in the world built with IsoTruss technology.

Limited production
Carbon fiber and Kevlar frames
Extremely durable
Frame weight 2.6 lbs
No rider weight limitations

Delta 7 Sports website...

Honjo Fenders available at Velo Orange

Honjo-Koken, Tokyo makes the very best fenders in the world. They are a stunning reproduction of classic French aluminum fenders, but with better quality control and workmanship. The 43mm width is the most popular, but we also stock the 35mm and 45mm widths. They are available in smooth, fluted, and hammered finish.

Velo Orange, VO, brand fenders are a less expensive, but still very high quality, alternative to Honjos. The main difference is that VO aluminum fenders are not polished, but have a matte finish.

Both Honjo and VO fenders are lighter and provide far more spray protection than equivalent plastic fenders. All our fenders are sold as pairs only and include hardware and stays.

The site is here...

Cool shoe design from Vibram

barefooting (bare•foot•n) n. 1. The exhilarating joy of going barefoot without leaving yourself exposed; 2. any activity requiring unconventional footwear offering the protection of a thin, flexible Vibram skin; 3. an intelligent way to deepen your connection with your natural surroundings.

The site...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

chris d's single speed

chris d's single speed
Originally uploaded by natearm
Freak single speed bike. Check it out

WTB tires for winter

USAGE:Cyclocross / Dual Sport
CONDITIONS:Dry / Hardpack
The Interwolf features a low profile, double-fin central tread that provides nimble, swift-rolling attributes and predictable cornering on pavement and hardpack. Its wide 38c casing absorbs trail chatter and provides a smooth, stable ride. If you can get 38's on your bike they are great tires.

Their site...

WAD Bikeway Association Annual Meeting

The WAD Bikeway Association Annual Meeting will be held tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm. Location: Linden Branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Exit I-71 at Hudson St
Go east
RON Cleveland - go one block
RON Kohr
Library parking lot on left

Friday Night Ride Follow-up

Over the Thanksgiving Day holiday I wanted to get out on the bike. Kevin, Ashley and I decided to hit a couple gravel roads. The evening started out with a catastrophic blowout. I changed over my tires to the WTB knobbies, but didn't inflate them until I got to Wheeling. I pumped them up and in haste did not check to see if the tube was pinched. It was, and it sounded like a gunshot when it blew out.

We started in Woodsdale and headed over to Washington Ave. Up to the trail. Of course they are rebuilding the bridge and it is chaos to cross the road and get back on the trail. Down to Elm Grove and we wound through the parking lots and back streets to the plaza and onto National Road. Then we turned up Peters Run. Lots of traffic on Friday night. We then hit Stewart's Hill which is gravel and ice, and fresh loose gravel. We climbed up to the top and turned onto Chapel Hill. At that point Ashley realized that the cold, about 30 degrees at the time, makes bike light batteries go wonky. And by Wonky I mean drain. So Kevin loaned a light to Ashley and halfway out Chapel realized his battery was showing that it needed recharging. I have found that wrapping my battery in a wool sock and putting it in my rear bag keeps it from draining so quickly from the cold.

We turned onto Dement(ed) Road and ended up at 88 in front of monster house. I have heard that the square footage of the house is anywhere from 18,000 to 24,000 square feet. From there we rode to Speidel Golf Course and found the access road to the cabins. We proceeded to ride through the Festival of Lights (see video below).

We rode up 88 to Caddy Camp. Caddy Camp was clear and a great ride down into the heart of Oglebay. At the bottom of the hill the gravel road turned icy and we rode cautiously. When we reached the main road from the pool we stopped for a second to let Ashley catch up. I took the opportunity to do my best Sloth imitation by yelling "Baby Ruth" down the valley. It echoed. Someone responded. We laughed. Then we headed toward the Lodge and Kevin almost got hit by someone in a truck mesmerized by the Christmas lights.

Down Falls Drive to Waddles and back home. Kevin and I traded drafting on Waddles and hit 30mph with knobbies into the cold wind.

21 miles of fun.

Friday Night Ride 11/28/08

Wild and Wonderful

As soon as I came off the ramp of the Oglebay exit in Wheeling I pulled up behind this. Classic West Virginia vehicle with hand painted message on wheel cover, "Earl and Robin." The truck itself looked like someone had pushed it off a cliff.