Search This Blog

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Armstrong says French may ban him from the Tour - AP

AP Sports Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Lance Armstrong believes French doping officials may ban him from riding in this summer's Tour de France over a report that he violated protocols during a recent drug test.

"There's a very high likelihood that they prohibit me from riding in the Tour," a somber Armstrong said Friday in a video statement posted on his Web site. "It's too bad. The tour is something I love dearly."

France's anti-doping agency, known as AFLD, has said the American did not fully cooperate with a drug tester when he showed up at Armstrong's home in France to collect blood, urine and hair samples from the cyclist on March 17.

Although no banned substances were found, the dispute revolves around a 20-minute delay when Armstrong went inside the house and took a shower while his assistants checked the tester's credentials.

The seven-time Tour winner said he asked the tester for permission to go inside and it was granted. The AFLD says Armstrong "did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation" of the tester.

According to Armstrong, the tester wrote "no" on the section of the official paperwork that asks if there was anything irregular about the test.more here...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Some Reasons the Bike Always Wins - NYTimes

A bicyclist, a driver and a subway rider walked into a bar.

No, actually they didn’t. The three actually raced from Fort Greene to Union Square during today’s morning commute to see who got there fastest in Seventh Annual Great NYC Commuter Race, held by Transportation Alternatives (essentially an anti-car lobbying group). Think of it as a more modest version of a planes, trains and automobiles race from New York to Washington.

The race started at 7:40 a.m. at Connecticut Muffin, 423 Myrtle Avenue, at Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, and finished at the corner of 14th Street and Union Square East.

The results: bicyclist wins at 16.5 minutes; the driver gets in at 22 minutes; and the subway rider transit was last with 29 minutes. That’s an intriguing result. (We’d thought the subway would have come earlier than the car given morning traffic.)

“New Yorkers care about the environment, but what New Yorkers really care about is their time,” said Wiley Norvell, the spokesman. “For a huge number of New Yorkers, bicycle commuting is the fastest way to get to work. If you have more than one train for your commute. Chances are a bicycle is going to get there faster.”

But then City Room learned something that raised eyebrows.

“The bicyclist has always won,” Mr. Norvell said.

As in seven out of seven times? It was like one of those to-good-to-be-true records like when a dictator of a developing nation wins election with like 95 percent of the vote (or multinational banks publicly report suspiciously clustered borrowing rates).

Mr. Norvell tried to explain the bike’s dominance. “It’s the fastest way between any two points in New York City,” he said.

That seemed a bit of an aggressive claim. What about from the far flung corners of Flushing, Queens? Biking from way out there didn’t seem like it would be practical compared to an express train.

“You could hypothetically speaking, find a faster transit commute, like from one side of the Long Island Rail Road to the other,” he said, but he tried to argue again that the bike was the fastest — in general. “The average New York City commute is 45 minutes. It’s the longest commute of anyone in the United States. The average bicycle commute in New York City is 30 minutes.”

This City Room reporter, who has taken a few statistics courses in her time, pointed out that while this may be true, it does not necessarily mean the bike is faster. (After all, people who live closer may simply prefer to bike. There are all kinds of biases that could explain that statistic. The Department of Transportation’s not-particularly-scientific annual bicycle survey from 2007 shows a dead zone in Queens in terms of bicycle commuting).

That’s true, Mr. Norvell conceded.

So how is the contest route chosen? Do they vary the type of routes? Mr. Norvell said the race is generally from another borough into Manhattan, paralleling most commuters’ routes. The last two race routes were from Williamsburg to Bellevue Hospital and from Juniors on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to Columbus Circle. At which point City Room pointed out, it seems like the only other borough in Transportation Alternative’s world is Brooklyn. (Not so, he said before that, they had used points in Queens for the starting line. And next year they might move it out of Brooklyn). Either way, we perceive an anti-Queens bias despite the fact that the Queens population is 2.2 million, about comparable to Brooklyn’s 2.4 million.

There were also some other factors in the race to consider: it was a sidewalk-to-sidewalk race, meaning that the bicyclist did not have to lock up the bike and the driver did not have to look for parking — which is biased against straphangers.

Anyway, Mr. Norvell finally acknowledged, “The purpose was to showcase the time competitiveness of the bicycle.”

Right, that’s what we thought.

the site...

Transportation Alternatives

Your Advocate for Bicycling, Walking and Public Transit

Our Mission is to reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.
Transportation Alternatives was founded in 1973 during the explosion of environmental consciousness that also produced the Clean Air and Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. Since our founding, T.A. has helped win numerous improvements for cyclists and pedestrians and has been the leading voice for reducing car use in the city. T.A.'s roots are in bicycling, and many of our members are everyday cyclists. But winning a cycling-friendly city means changing the overall transportation system, which, even in mass transit-centered New York City, is still dominated by the private automobile.

T.A. seeks to change New York City's transportation priorities to encourage and increase non-polluting, quiet, city-friendly travel and decrease--not ban--private car use. We seek a rational transportation system based on a "Green Transportation Hierarchy," which gives preference to modes of travel based on their benefits and costs to society. To achieve our goals, T.A. works in five areas: Bicycling, Walking and Traffic Calming, Car-Free Parks, Safe Streets and Sensible Transportation.

the site is here...

Study Links Alcohol and Bicycle Deaths - NYTimes

Don’t drink and drive? What about “don’t drink and bike?”

Some 21 percent of autopsies for New York City bicyclists who died within three hours of their accidents detected alcohol in the body, according to a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene study that examined fatal bicycling accidents in New York City from 1996 to 2005.

“It’s something we have to call attention to,” said Catherine Stayton, director of the health department’s injury epidemiology unit. “To learn this is new for us. We want to get that information out there.”

She said the study raises a lot of more of questions for researchers. “It makes you want to ask a lot more about the circumstances before the crash,” she said. The study also found that alcohol was detected in 6 percent of the drivers involved in bicycle crashes.

The study, which was published in the April issue of Traffic Injury Prevention, extended on research that had been released in a 2006 city report on bicycle accidents [pdf]. The studies drew data from the Police Department, the transportation department, the health department and the medical examiner’s office.

“We were able to look more closely at the injury and the alcohol,” said Ms. Stayton, explaining the new information in this study.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How do I get a bicycle rack installed at my business in Columbus, OH?

To request a bike rack please call the city at 614-645-3111 and request a bike rack. Your request will then be routed to Steven Tweed and he will begin to investigate and work with you on installation. The city installs at most 2 bike racks per request.

Steven will contact you to work out the details. His contact information is as follows.

Steve Tweed
Engineer Associate III
Bikeways and Community Mobility Services
City of Columbus
Department of Public Service
Division of Mobility Options
109 N. Front Street, 2nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215- 9024
Work: (614) 645 - 5236
Fax: (614) 645 – 7921


1. Receive and record the request for racks. Get a contact for the request. Often the request is clear, but sometimes additional information is needed. For example, who owns the building?
2. First site investigation: generally examine the site. Where exactly is it? Where is there room to place racks? What are the site constraints at each potential location? What types of racks will fit in these locations? What kind of rack mounting might be needed? Select a particular location. Use the "Bike Rack Placement Guidelines" to layout the site. Paint two black spots (four to six inches in diameter) to mark the exact location of the bicycle racks' feet.
3. Contact the building owner. Inform them of the proposed installation. Generally discuss locations. On public property there is no need to get permission to install the rack. However, negotiations about the exact location and other issues may be necessary. Would the rack block a loading zone? Would it obscure a window display?
If the rack will be installed on private property, get a letter allowing permission to install the rack. The letter must also acknowledge that this is a public rack. Members of the public are allowed to use the rack (and not just to park for the owner's building). The City remains owner of the rack, it must be returned to the City (in good condition), if there is ever a need to remove it. The City would maintain the rack.
4. Contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS) and provide details of the proposed location. Present the proposal to OUPS as if it were a certainty (otherwise they may refuse to mark the locations of utilities). Note that not all utilities are members of OUPS. Historically, Municipal Electric Light and Power (MELP), Sewers and Drains, Water and Traffic Signals had to be contacted separately. Contacts are: OUPS - 800-362-2764, MELP - Chip Jakeway 5-7627, Sewers & Drains - dispatcher 5-7102, Water – 5-7788, Signals - Steve Striker 5-8199. Gas and electrical lines seem the most crucial, because someone could be killed.
Note that utility marking is not an exact science. Actual utility locations may be several feet from the markings. Depths, if known, may also be off. If you find that you are only a few feet from a gas line, you may want to relocate the rack. Depth to conflict may control the type of rack mounting to be used. A flanged mounting needs bolts at least four inches deep. In ground mounts (straight pipe) requires approximately a ten to twelve inch depth.
5. Second site investigation: Chose a final location. Use the "Bike Rack Placement Guidelines" to check the site layout. Paint two green spots (four to six inches in diameter) to mark the exact location of the bicycle racks' feet (paint over the black spots?).
6. Show the final location to the building owner.
7. Prepare a work order for installation of the rack(s). This should detail the: exact location of each rack, number of racks (of each type), types of racks to use, types of mountings to use. Also warn of any utility conflicts. Historically, bicycle racks were installed by the Parking Meter Crew (Mike Herold). Instruct them to install on the GREEN spots.

or, start here...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brita Climate Ride

Do you want meaningful action on climate change and renewable energy? Do you want it now? Don’t miss the 2nd annual Brita Climate Ride, the fully-supported, 5-day bike ride from NYC to DC where you pedal to raise money and awareness of climate change and hope for a future powered by renewable energy and a green economy. This September, more than 200 Climate Riders will cycle beautiful country roads, meet fun and fascinating people, and experience the exhilaration of pedaling to the steps of the US Capitol.

This is your chance to get out on the road and drive the ultimate carbon-free machine: the bicycle.

Join us today for a bike ride you will never forget.

the website

Pedal Instead factoids...

2008 pedal instead statistics

3871 bikes
41,173 miles ridden
39,345 pounds co2 prevented
2,081 pounds other emissions prevented
287 volunteers
1420 volunteer shifts
The number of bikes we parked in 2008 was up 32% over the number in 2007. And ‘09 promises to be even better…

we won! international wts award

The mission of WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) is to “transform the transportation industry through the advancement of women”. Pedal Instead and its director Catherine Girves were nominated for the Columbus chapter’s annual award and won. They then automatically entered the running for the international Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, and WON THAT AS WELL! Stay tune for details as we approach the May 20-22 Conference and Award Ceremony in Seattle.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Bike to Work Week website is live!

the website...

Maggie's Marauders

My friends from Pittsburgh started a team for the MS150 to raise money for MS. Our friend Maggie was diagnosed with MS awhile back.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

COP 37th Woodstock - Saturday April 4, 2009 - Ride Report

Brrrr. Cold at the start. I headed over to the start a little before nine. I wanted to ride with Tricia and David who organized this year's Woodstock. Woodstock's route heads northwest from New Albany through Galena, good diner, through Sunbury, Easter egg hunts in full action and back toward Johnstown and back to the start. It was windy and clear to start and as the day went on it warmed up a bit. We took our time though. Sharon was riding with us and she had not been out on the bike all year. 52 miles under the belt. Good conversations. Great day on the bike.

New Pedal Instead website

It's here...