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Friday, February 6, 2009

WAD Bikeway - Light Rail and Bike Trail - A true RAIL-TRAIL

I think I talked with Brett about this particular subject on a ride not too long ago. We joked about pushing the WAD trail as a light rail solution and have the bike trail off to the side. Well, Charlotte has done exactly what we were talking about.

From the RTC website

Trail of the Month: February 2009
North Carolina's Charlotte Trolley Trail

Charlotte's new light rail transit line purrs right alongside it. Apartment complexes and condominiums have opened up within feet of its pavement. Famous restaurants and stores are right across the street. North Carolina's professional sports stadiums and arenas are only a few wheel turns away. In fact, about the only convenience the Queen City's newest 3.3-mile rail-with-trail doesn't offer yet is an official name. But this oversight is not for lack of love.

In designing and building this complex urban trail, the city drew on the efforts and insights of numerous agencies, including Charlotte's planning, engineering and transportation departments, says Jim Keenan, program manager for the city's Engineering and Property Management Department. Keenan credits these dedicated partners with the pathway's great success; ironically, he also says the trail probably remains nameless because so many different people contributed.

"Part of collaboration means that no one really owns it entirely," he says. "The trail wasn't one person's focus. A couple people had the idea, and then a lot of people helped develop it."

Some folks call it the "station-access trail," except the pathway does far more than connect transit hubs. Others refer to it simply as the "multi-use path," which is certainly accurate yet doesn't capture the trail's history and unique rail-with-trail personality. Perhaps the most evocative potential name is the "Charlotte Trolley Trail," which best reflects the pathway's origins and original use.

In the early 1990s, the city of Charlotte purchased several miles of unused right-of-way from Norfolk Southern that stretched into downtown from the southeast. Planners wanted to restore some vintage trolleys to run along the corridor, says Keenan. As they developed the trolley system, they decided to put wide sidewalks on both sides of the tracks over a two-mile section (occasionally, the sidewalks are on only one side). Safe, well-lit and landscaped, the paths were eight-feet-wide and open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Completed in 2002, those first two miles passed through uptown Charlotte and the South End, a turn-of-the-century industrial area that quickly welcomed the new greenway. "We had people out walking even before construction was complete," says Keenan.

The city then decided to extend the trail another 1.3 miles south along the brand-new light rail transit corridor, called the LYNX Blue Line, which is open to bicycles during all service hours. Keenan says the city wanted the extension—funded entirely by voter-approved bonds—to connect to more transit stations and provide an alternative transportation and recreational outlet. Four feet wider than the northern sidewalk section, the southern 1.3 miles are better tailored to cycle traffic.

At both ends, though, the pathway now seamlessly plugs into its surrounding neighborhoods, from 9th Street in the heart of Charlotte all the way south to Clanton Road and the Clanton Road LYNX station. "It basically bisects downtown," says Keenan.

During rush hour and on weekends, the trail is often flowing with users of all kinds and with all sorts of destinations—whether to get to work, out for a run, walking to dinner or ice cream at an old-fashioned soda shop, or heading to a Charlotte Bobcats game (the arena's parking lot abuts the trail). "It is truly a mixed-use facility," Keenan says.

At any station along the route, trail users can load up on the LYNX line and zip into points across Charlotte, and all while avoiding on-road congestion. This off-road connectivity has noticeably enhanced Charlotte's transportation landscape, says North Carolina native Katie Test. She grew up in the city's Elizabeth neighborhood and says much of Charlotte has a suburban feel; many people routinely drive 30-40 minutes to commute into downtown. Yet Test recently re-visited the South End after the trail and LYNX were developed. The Trolley Trail, she says, has really brought together the communities along its route, where folks can leave their cars behind and share a walk with neighbors. "It's become a great lifeline for the city, because it connects residential areas, restaurants, downtown and sports areas. It's like an active transportation dream."

She calls the Trolley Trail "walking and biking remediation" for Charlotte. Locals and visitors to the pathway now have an off-road thoroughfare—with only a few small interruptions—to get outside and navigate the city.

And judging from turnout on the trail, Test is not the only Charlotte denizen excited about the new possibilities. New apartment and business developments are popping up all along the corridor, and activities abound on all sides. Just walk out on the Trolley Trail any day, says Keenan, and you'll see the city at play. "In the end, we've got something the public really embraces."

For more information, photos and user reviews of the trail, or to post your own comments, please visit

Thursday, February 5, 2009

STOP, SWAP AND SAVE - Bike swap coming to Washington, PA February 22nd

IT'S ALMOST HERE!! Once again we’re gearing up for the STOP, SWAP AND SAVE, the mid-Atlantic’s largest indoor bicycle swap and consumer expo series! If you’ve never made it to the SWAP don’t miss out in 2009! This year we’re thrilled to announce our new event in Chesterfield, VA along with our Westminster, MD SWAP that started it all! Click here for complete event info.

The site...

Trashing the Fridge - Columbus-ite in the NYT - Go Duncan!

Duncan Campbell was highlighted in the New York Times in a story about living without refrigeration. You may know him from his business or from seeing him out on the streets of Columbus on his bike. I met Duncan on a night ride.

The story...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Critical Mass Bangalore

The blog...

Amsterdam to Vladivostok

A bicycle ride across Eurasia

Why a bicycle ride across Russia?
I have enjoyed bicycle touring over the past 25 years and done a variety of tours. Touring is the right mix of pre-planned activity and day to day adventure. Touring is an interesting way to experience a country and meet locals.

In the early 1990s, like some other US bicyclists I had dreams of cycling all the way across the USA. I had an opportunity to bicycle across the USA in 1992. I really enjoyed that trip, and particularly the chance to ride from day to day combined with the accomplishment of making it all the way across a continent. I enjoyed it so much that five years later, in 1997 I took three months off in order to bicycle across Canada. On the Canada trip, I felt like I learned a little more about the variety of the country by seeing the different provinces, reading history and following daily news and events. It was another great trip.

After Canada, I took a many smaller trips but also was hooked enough to start planning the next adventure. In 2001 it was one year by bicycle. Eight months of the ride was a circumnavigation of Australia. Two months was another ride across the USA and the remaining time was split between India and New Zealand. In the epilogue of my journal, I wrote that I expected to “have shorter week or two rides for a while and then perhaps sometime another long adventure.” I knew I wanted to make another longer trip but where?

In 2002, I hadn’t necessarily expected to make that long ride across Eurasia. For one thing, more of my other touring had been in English speaking countries. I’m sure I could learn enough language to get by, but there is also some experience lost by not being able to communicate beyond the basics. Another reason I couldn’t see myself making a Eurasian trip was the political and visa situation. In 2002 there were a number of countries along the classical route that seemed dangerous (e.g. Afghanistan, Pakistan) closed to foreigners (e.g. Mynamar, parts of China) and getting all the logistics settled was daunting. So, I expected to make a longer ride sometime but wasn’t quite sure where.

In February 2004, the news reported that Putin opens major highway across Russia. It would now be possible to take one road all the way across Russia, and by 2008 it might even be paved! Skeptics pointed out that the announcement was in middle of the Russian presidential campaign and also winter, so no one could see for sure the conditions of the road. However, reports from travelers such as motorcyclists in 2004 indicated it was passable. I was intrigued. This simplified a Eurasian crossing to largely going through one country with one language. I had cycled across other historic roads such as Alaska Highway and roads around Australia. I am sure opening of the Amur Highway would change Eurasian travels, and here might be a chance to see it at the early stages before being entirely paved. I started dreaming and scheming about a possible Russian trip.

I also started some informal preparations. I asked around on net forums. I took Russian language classes at Front Range Community College in 2005 and 2006. My brother Bert was interested in parts of the trip as well, and so together we did two preparatory bicycle tours: Dalton Highway in 2005 and Ukraine and Russia in 2006. I’ve been studying others trip reports and otherwise learning about the area, Russian history and culture in preparation for this trip.

The site...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Motorbicycling law for Ohio...

Ohio Motorized Bicycle law (2nd try)

It appears that Ohio does not at this time have any State laws covering Electric Assisted Power Bicycle. The only problem may be with local laws . They may not allow an Electric Assisted Power Bicycle to be operated as a bicycle. Ohio moped laws do not qualify because the electric bicycle does not meet the qualifications of a motorized bicycle.

The following is an itemized listing of E-Mails that were sent to Mr. Carl Lynch, Public Inquiries Officer, Deputy Registrar and Title Support Services , Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles , Columbus, Ohio. The E-Mails are listed in ascend order by date and time. (first/first)

First E-Mail to Lynch 1/23/09 8:35PM
What paper work do I need, to legally operate an electric assisted powered bicycle on public roads? Also what is the maximum power (watts) that I can have and what is the maximum speed that a electric assisted power bicycle can go. I am assuming that the same safety equipment that is required for a bicycle would apply.

Response from Lynch 1/26/09 10:25 AM
Unfortunately , there are no laws in the Ohio Revised Code regarding electric bicycles, only motorized bicycles or moped. Here is a link for information regarding mopeds. http:bmv.ohio,gov/misc/moped info.htm.
You may want to check with your local law enforcement to determine whether the vehicle can be operated in your area.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Thank you

Second E-Mail to Lynch 1/26/09 8:27 PM
Thank you for your prompt response to my E-Mail of 1-23. After reviewing the Ohio Moped laws I question if the State of Ohio moped laws would apply to a electric assisted powered bicycle. Also do I need to register am electric bicycle with the state.

Thank you for all your helpful information

Response from Lynch 1/27/09 8:24 AM
The moped laws would not qualify because the electric bicycle does not meet the qualifications of a motorized bicycle. Again, I would check with your local law enforcement to determine whether the vehicle can be operated as bicycle.
Thank you.

New Electric Bicycle law in the USA (SR1156 &HR727 )
A new US law states that electric bicycles with fully function pedals, no more than 750 watts of motor power output, and a top speed of 20 mph on motor power only, are to be treated as “bicycles “, and are not subject to motorized vehicle laws. Electric bicycles that fall under this category are not required to be registered or licensed, and no drivers license is required to drive them. They may however to subject to local laws.

From the above discussion it would appear that to be legally operated in the State of Ohio an electric assisted bicycle with less than 750 watts of motor power and a top speed of less than 20 MPH is classed the same as a bicycle, provided no local laws say differently . You can contact Mr. Carl Lynch at for any other questions .

the forum page


They say there is a website for everything. And now the motorbicycling forum.

This Motorized Bicycle Forum Community offers the latest information, guides and tips for motorized bicycle engines.

the site...

Chicago Cycle Center - Wow! Did I say wow?

McDonald's Cycle Center offers the following services:

Secure Bicycle Parking
The Cycle Center offers 300 secure bicycle parking spaces.

Lockers, Showers and Towel Service
To make your bicycle commute comfortable we provide lockers and showers so you may refresh before you go to work. Click Memberships for details.

Bicycle Rental
Bikes are available for rent by the hour, day, or week. Click Rentals for more details.

Bicycle Repair Shop
Professional bicycle mechanics are available full time at the bicycle station during the summer from 10am to 6pm and part time during the winter.

Guided Bicycle Tours
Memorial Day to Labor Day, guided bicycle tours are offered daily at 10:00Am and 1:00PM. Click Tours for more details.

Bicycle Camp
June-August, Ages 9-14. Join us for a 2 hour lakefront fun ride. Call 888-BIKE-WAY for details.

IGO Car Sharing
IGO cars are available for rent from Millennium Park. IGO is a non for profit car sharing program, developed by the Center. Visit:

If your city or company would like to open a Cycle Center, we would love to help. Please call us at: 888-BIKE-WAY.

The site is here so we can all drool...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Update: Cyclist Struck, Killed By Van

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man riding a three-wheeled bicycle was killed Sunday evening after he was struck by a car on the city's north side.
Dave Hines, 70, died at Riverside Methodist Hospital as a result of the collision that occurred shortly before 5 p.m. near the corner of Karl Road and Sandlewood Boulevard, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

According to police, Hines was riding his three-wheeler southbound on Karl Road when he was struck by a van.

The driver stopped after the crash and was cooperating with investigators, police said.

Neighbors said Hines relied on his three-wheeler for transportation.

"It was his life because he couldn't drive," Mary Vaccariello told 10TV News. Vaccariello said Hines peddled everyday for coffee to a nearby White Castle.

Vaccariello said Hines usually traveled on the sidewalks. The icy conditions may have caused Hines to use the road.

"I'd tell him, 'Don't bike in the street. Be careful where you cross,' " Vaccariello said.

Police told 10TV News charges against the driver of the van are pending.

Stay with 10TV News and refresh for additional information.

ECT Pedicabs

Our mission at ECT is to provide Environmentally Conscious Transportation. We plan to achieve this by operating an emissions free, human powered, short-haul taxi service that is unlike anything currently available in the capitol city. We strive to create a safe and efficient means of transportation while emphasizing the fun and novelty of a pedicab. Through the hard work of our drivers and staff we hope to create a service that will benefit downtown Columbus for years to come!


Phil Wood Hubs - Mmmmm Hubs!

Phil Wood site is here

Keyless Wheel Locks from Zefal

Keyless antitheft system for wheels and saddle
Easy and quick mounting, no tool required.
The wheel antitheft substitutes the quick-release of the wheels
The saddle antitheft substitutes the quick-release of saddle clamp

Patent concept : in the horizontal position, the quick release lever is automatically locked, to unlock the bike has to be lifted-up to the vertical position. A special washer makes the unscrewing impossible even with a tool.

The bike must be turned upside down to unlock the wheels!

Set Wheels & Saddle: 156 g
Set Wheels: 116 g
Saddle: 40 g

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bicyclist Critical After Being Struck By Van

Sunday, February 1, 2009 6:02 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man was in critical condition Sunday evening after he was struck by a car on the city's north side, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.
The crash occurred shortly before 5 p.m. near the corner of Karl Road and Sandlewood Boulevard.

According to police, the man was riding a bicycle southbound on Karl Road when he was struck by a van, Landers reported.

The driver stopped after the crash and was cooperating with investigators, police said.

Neighbors said they ran out of their homes after the crash and found the man lying face down in the road, Landers reported.

No other information was immediately released by police.

Stay with 10TV News and refresh for additional information.

SINGLE SPEED Coaster Brake Bike

Sizes are 52cm (inseam 31" ht. 5' 6'; 54cm (inseam 32" ht 5' 8"); and 56cm (inseam 33" ht 5' 10"). The price is $595 plus $40 shipping. You may also purchase an optional front brake for $38. The brake must be purchased with a bike and will come inserted into the same box as the bike. Bikes can only be shipped to the 48 continental states. For more information on front brake point mouse

The Osobike is equipped with a Shimano coaster brake which is easy to use and almost maintenance free. This brake is intended for use on fairly flat terrain with occasional small hills. If you are intending to go down a lot of long downgrades that require frequent or constant braking for extended periods of time, you should purchase a bike with caliper brakes because in these situations, a coaster brake may overheat and seize or fail. Having said this, in all my years of riding bikes with coaster brakes, I have never had one fail.
The Osobike requires the rider to be in a slight leaning position. This has several advantages including less wind resistance, better leverage on the pedals and an arched back. An arched back forms a bridge and is less susceptible to being racked when going over bumps. However, if you are used to riding a bike in the upright position, riding in the leaning position may take a little getting used to.
If you are not satisfied with your Osobike please return within thirty days in good condition in original packing for a full refund less shipping. You will be required to pay return shipping costs. If you have any problems or questions, call Shane at 956 645 5813.

The website...

Ruff Family Bike

We ran into the Ruff family as we neared the end of TOSRV 08. They took the mechanical issues and sicknesses with their family members in stride. They were what I consider hardcore cyclists and were very inspirational.

Got an update about their bike recently.

We will for sure be in TOSRV 2009. The Quad will be customized so the 2nd seat(right behind me) will have a kiddie crank installed so my 5 year old daughter can ride/pedal. The third seat will continue to be my 9 year old son's spot, and the stoker(4th seat) will be my 13 year old's. My wife will be riding a single bike for the first time, and if she can't complete the entire ride by herself will jump on the back of the quad and my 13 year old will ride the single bike. It will, God willing, be my 30th TOSRV, my 13 year olds and my Wife's 7th one, 9 year olds 3rd one, and daughters 3rd one but 1st one riding.(will still pull the Burley Trailer just in case needed for at least a year or two more.

Artbike is in Indy!

Where is ArtBike!?
ArtBike! is in galleries in the Mass. Ave. area; and in galleries and on the streets around Fountain Square.

Each participating gallery will receive one handmade, custom painted bicycle from a North American Handmade Bicycle Show exhibitor.

Fountain Square is the headquarters and focus point for the installation art, and we encourage artists to decorate the area with attractive and fun bicycle-themed exhibits. That's right: all art has to have a cycling theme. We rather liked Picasso's Bulls Head.

Then at the NAHBS there will be a 20' x 20' display area for selected contributing artists to show their art in a commercial setting in front of a crowd numbering in the thousands.

Website is here...

Thanks Dylan for pointing this out...