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Friday, September 16, 2011

Rediscovering The Bicycle 17 Years Later

“Generally speaking, I think my daily riding would be much more comfortable if motorists were better educated about the rules of the road pertaining to cycling and, in particular, safely sharing space with cyclists. Too many drivers convince themselves that cyclists have no right to be on city streets and, therefore, have no qualms about abusing them (verbally or physically) when they feel inconvenienced by or annoyed with cyclists.”

In closing, Robert offers the following advice:

“More than anything else, I would like motorists to consider and appreciate the fact that human beings with families are riding bicycles. We shouldn’t have to fear for our lives simply because we’ve made a decision to get to work, school, or social activities by means other than a motor vehicle.”

Read the full article at The Urban Country Bicycle

The World’s 5 Greenest Bikes

Looking for a great bike without the accompanying eco-guilt? Check out these 5 planet-friendly models.

When it comes to getting around, bikes are the right compromise between speed and sustainability. But while there’s no question that biking is better for the planet than, say, driving a Hummer, there’s a lot left to be desired by today’s bike production, 95 percent of which takes place in China and often with very unsustainable methods.

With these bikes, however, green is part of the design. Utilizing wood, secondhand parts, and local builders whenever possible, these green machines are beyond reproach from even the haughtiest of eco-snobs (unless they’re on foot, in which case they’ll be moving far too slowly to give you a hard time).

Continue reading...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Classic 2011 in Burlington, VT - This looks like a good one!

Fall Classic 2011

The Fall Classic takes in the best of Vermont dirt road cycling in the northern Champlain Valley. 114k and 200k riders share a mix of paved and dirt roads from Burlington to the shoulders of Mt. Mansfield. Both routes head into Jericho with a stop at the popular and delicious Village Cup. Populaire and Brevet Riders then part ways – the 114k rolls back into Burlington on a mix of dirt and paved roads and the 200k turns south towards Bolton Notch to the shoulders of Camel’s Hump into Huntington. 200k riders will tackle a final climb over Shaker Mt. Rd. and enjoy the descent through Big Hollow into Starksboro, VT, where dirt and paved roads bring us back to the Champlain Valley. A well earned respite from the climbing is had on the quiet dirt roads of Hinesburg, Charlotte, and Shelburne as the route makes its way to the shores of Lake Champlain and back to Burlington. The 200k includes 5 major climbs and 5 covered bridges. Both routes enjoy quiet paved roads connecting many of our favorite (and scenic) dirt roads. Fast fun descending. Rewarding climbing, scenic views, and the chance to see early fall color at the higher elevations. Quintessential early fall Vermont riding.

October 1, 2011
6am start, Old Spokes Home
114k / 71mi ~35 mi dirt, gravel, ~5600' climbing, 7:30 time limit
200k / 127mi ~ 65mi dirt, gravel, ~9600' climbing, 13:30 time limit

Registration and details.

Angry in Seattle - Okay, Fine, It's War [via The Stranger]

A Manifesto: We Fight Because We Must

Okay, Fine, It's War

Cyclists are dying, collisions are rising, and people who claim that there is a "War on Cars" are out of control—it's time for a reality check and an action plan.

Okay, Fine, It's War
JAMES YAMASAKIAspecter is haunting Seattle—the specter of a War on Cars. All the powers of Old Seattle have entered into a "holy" alliance to win this war: Seattle Timespublisher and city council president, columnist Joni Balter and developer Kemper Freeman, Rainier Club regulars and suburban slobs.
Where is the advocate for increased bike and pedestrian safety who has not been branded an anti-car "militant"? Where is the politico who has not used the "War on Cars" rubric as a tool for demonizing the nondriving classes, for marginalizing our city's walkers, bike riders, and mass transit users?
The mindless repetition of this "War on Cars" falsehood—by car advocates harboring a phony, self-serving sense of victimhood—has led to a situation in which this "War on Cars" is acknowledged by most Seattleites to be real. Because of this regrettable specter, it is high time that cyclists, pedestrians, and their transit-­riding comrades openly publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of a "War on Cars" with a manifesto of and by the nondrivers themselves:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fastfood, an alley cat is Saturday, October 1

A lil bit about the race.

So the idea is that the race will themed around food and or places that serve it. There will be 5 or 6 check points at some of those check points there will surprises.I would like it to be around 15 to 20 miles. That, I hope will allow for a quick race so we can move on to the other events. There will be sprint race for sure afterward. I am working with Sarah from Columbus Bike Polo to procure the rewards for jobs well done. I am working on the fliers as we speak and as I get conformation from sponsors they too will be added to the list. 
Righteous Mother Bike Club and Columbus Bike Polo are hosting both events and the after party.
Thanks and stay tuned for more, Andy

Leaf Peepers 2011 is Saturday, October 15th

Metric+ Century – Beautiful long route for the 2011 Leaf Peeper Tour keeps all of the parts that got rave reviews and we made changes based on rider feedback ($35 per-registration, $45 day of event)
Low traffic route out of Nelsonville, leads to the gradual climb up to Murrey City, then into the Wayne forest over to Glouster, at Glouster your will be on the long and winding ride up to the Burr Oak rest stop. From Burr Oak the road rolls to Route 595, a left turn puts you on a very low traffic state highway where there are a few steep parts. After a short distance on 37 the you turn onto Portie Flamingo that winds through the back country and takes you to the Moxahala rest stop. A short downhill and back up onto Portie Flamingo and again rolling across the back country and a turn onto 93 and you are in Shawnee. A left turn, over a hill and the New Straitsville rest stop is waiting on you. A short section of 93 to Gore takes you to Gore-Greendale road and back into the forest. The rest of the ride is on great roads with low traffic over the last couple scenic miles and you will be back at Hocking College with home made Bean Soup, Cornbread and more treats for your end of ride meal.
Metric Century – Shorter option allows riders enjoy the peak leaf season with less miles and a less hills. ($25 per-registration, $35 day of event) 
Low traffic route out of Nelsonville, leads to the gradual climb up to Murrey City. The route splits with a left turn, you are in the forest for the next 6 miles gradually climbing over a hill and the New Straitsville rest stop is waiting on you. A short section of 93 to Gore takes you to Gore-Greendale road and back into the forest. The rest of the ride is on great roads with low traffic over the last couple scenic miles and you will be back at Hocking College with home made Bean Soup, Cornbread and more treats for your end of ride meal.

Granville man pleads guilty in death of bicyclist [Dispatch]

Edward Scott Miller
Edward Scott Miller pleaded guilty today to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated in the death of a bicyclist on a Hilliard road.
The guilty pleas averted a second trial. A jury had been selected and opening statements were set to begin this afternoon in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Miller, 30, of Granville in Licking County, will be sentenced Nov. 8. The maximum prison term would be five years, six months. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MORPC seeks volunteers for bicycle, pedestrian study - via Columbus Messenger

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) seeks volunteers to assist with bicycle and pedestrian counts at selected locations on Sept. 28.

The counts will take place from 7–9 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. MORPC encourages any community interested in conducting their own counts to do so during the same time frame.

Volunteers are needed to fill nearly 50 time slots.

One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on how many people are cycling and walking.

Without accurate and consistent figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of bicycle and pedestrian investments, especially when compared to other types of transportation such as the automobile and transit.

Once registered, volunteers will receive a map of their specific location as well as forms and instructions to be used for the count. First-time volunteers will attend a training session Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the MORPC office, 111 Liberty St., Suite 100 in Columbus. Volunteers from other communities are welcome to attend the training as well.

“The counts are an important aspect of our ongoing effort to understand bicycling and walking trends in the Mid-Ohio region and nationally,” MORPC Associate Planner Joe Fish said.

A map of the locations can be found at

Volunteers are asked to register either online at or by contacting Joe Fish at or 233-4123.

Columbus Messenger

Destroy your bike to keep thieves away? [via Wired]

The StayLocked Bicycle is unridable when the locking mechanism is broken. Photo courtesy of Andrew Leinonen.
No matter the gauge of the U-lock or the metallurgy of the chain looped around your frame, the lock securing that vintage Miyata to the parking meter will not stop a determined thief with the right tools. Enter the StayLocked Bicycle.
The StayLocked secures the bike by making the lock part of the bike. If it’s broken, the bike is unridable and, parts aside, valueless. Andrew Leinonen, a Toronto-based industrial designer and cyclist, created the prototype bike after years of the security anxiety that comes with being an urban rider.
“A few weeks ago, my girlfriend’s bike was stolen,” he says. “Out of our own alleyway.”
The locking mechanism comprises a section of the seatstays — the two tubes that extend up to the seat from the rear wheel. Leinonen installed a universal joint at the junction of the tube and latches in the stays to secure it to the frame.

[continue reading at Wired]


Volagi: Combines high performance carbon road frames and disk brakes.

Volagi is the first cycling company to create a high performance carbon road bike with disk brakes.
High performance bikes capable of descending at 60 mph are currently inept at braking with any control. Imagine a sports car still using rubber pads on the rim for braking. Disk brakes perform consistently in wet, dry, hot and cold conditions; even with bent rims and broken spokes. Without rim calipers, you have the freedom to put on 28C tires and fenders for the rough conditions during those long winter months.
• Fully adjustable Avid BB7 road disk brakes
• Stainless Steel superlight weight AirRotor®, 160mm (f), 140mm (r)
We didn’t just slap on the disk brakes. We carefully engineered the hubs, rims, rotors and calipers to provide the best braking system without compromising weight and performance.

RideKick Review and Ride Test

Editor's Note: This product looks interesting, but expensive. The storage capacity doesn't look big enough for all the hassle of installation for around town. For longer trips it may be nice for a little pickup.

Monday, September 12, 2011

House and Senate Agree on 6-Month Transpo Extension [via Streetsblog]

Monday, September 12, 2011

House and Senate Agree on 6-Month Transpo Extension
by Tanya Snyder on September 12, 2011

Just days after a Senate committee asked the full chamber to consider a four-month extension of SAFETEA-LU, new negotiations have replaced that idea with a six-month extension at current spending levels. The bill also extends the gas tax.

Over the weekend, the House and Senate decided to combine the long-overdue FAA reauthorization with the pending surface transportation bill, considering them together as one uniform transportation extension [PDF]. The FAA bill will be extended for four months, while SAFETEA-LU will be extended for six, with an expiration date of March 31.

As an added bonus, combining the bill with the FAA means that Congress can’t keep us in suspense until the last possible moment, as they’ve been prone to do lately. (Remember the debt ceiling? Remember the narrowly-averted government shutdown last spring?) The FAA extension expires September 16, so if Congress is to extend them together, they’ll have to act by the end of this week, instead of waiting till the end of next week, when they leave for another recess. The House is tentatively planning to vote on the bill tomorrow.

The extension is a clean one, with no changes in policy. That means bike/ped funding, which has been under threat over the last week, will remain for the next six months, at least. And the extension will be funded by the same 18.4 cent federal gas tax the U.S. has had since 1993, which was also due to expire September 30 and which is also renewed by this action.

The extension will stick to current funding levels, authorizing $24.78 billion in spending from the Highway Trust Fund for the first half of FY2012 (which begins October 1). That’s almost $19.8 billion for highways and $4.2 billion for transit.

That’s far more than the FY2012 budget just passed by the Transportation and HUD Appropriations subcommittee in the House, which agreed to $27.7 billion for highways and $5.2 billion for transit for the entire year. Although this extension can authorize more spending than that, actual spending levels are up to the appropriators, according to Jeff Davis at Transportation Weekly. Experts say that at this level, most of the money would go to pay states back for projects already built, and new highway project funding could be cut by as much as 75 percent.

But higher spending levels also have their down side. “Maintaining current highway and transit spending levels for any period of time deepens the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue hole,” writes Jeff Davis, noting that according to the CBO, “the Highway Account of the Trust Fund will run out of cash at these spending levels in the first few months of calendar year 2013, with the Mass Transit Account running dry a year or so behind that).”

Davis also notes that “bringing the extension bill to a vote in the House will require the House to vote to waive the budget totals in the Ryan budget plan, which will likely bring some opposition from conservative Republicans.”

The extension bill the EPW Committee passed last week included a $3.13 billion rescission, meaning that even though it provided $43 billion, more than $3 billion of that would need to be returned by the states. This new extension bill takes that “rescission” out of the total up front, lowering the $43 billion to just under $40 billion for the year.

Senator Boxer has raised an objection to the $3 billion cut, even though the front-end budget cut isn’t much different from her own back-end rescission. Davis speculates that this is because the EPW two-year bill seeks to hold current spending levels, but if current spending levels are lowered in this way, the EPW bill would actually represent an increase.

In Boxer’s statement, she also expressed her pleasure that the House is moving forward with an extension with current spending levels, which is what she has supported for both the extension and the full reauthorizations. “The original House proposal would have cut spending by more than 30 percent, which would threaten hundreds of thousands of construction workers’ jobs and thousands of businesses,” she said.

She also said she welcomes the longer extension “because it gives more certainty to the private sector and to states and local governments in their plans for road and transportation projects.”

However, pushing the expiration so far into next year makes it even more likely it will be followed by nothing but another extension, not an actual reauthorization. Both parties will be loath to pass a big spending bill so close to a presidential election.

[Original Article]

Under the Weather Metric Century Ride Recap - 09112011

66 miles
Averaged 15.9mph
Dawes Arboretum - Buckeye Lake
1200 ft climbing
Headwind for 30 miles
Rain for last 2.5 miles
Slight head cold, hence "under the weather"

Bike to Oink 2011 Ride Recap - 09052011

Goodale Park start, Hills Market lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and coleslaw.
Dessert provided by John
26 miles
20+ riders
1 flat by Adam.

COP 21st Annual Tour of Hocking Hills is Saturday September 17, 2011

Date: Saturday September 17, 2011
Time: 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Location: Circleville High School
City State Zip: Roundtown, O
Notes: Roads will be marked and maps provided.
50, 75, 100 miles. All options are hilly. Tune-up for Columbus Fall Challenge
$4 member, $7 non-member.
Peggie Shaw
Mitch O’Donnell goodjohan

PawPaw Double Nickel Ride is Sat., Sept. 17

Athens Bicycle sponsors this 55-mile road ride that starts and ends at the 13th Ohio Pawpaw Festival near Athens, Ohio, on Sat., Sept. 17. Enjoy a circle tour around Zaleski State Forest, featuring challenging climbs, ridgetop views and sweet downhills, all along the Raccoon Creek Watershed. A rest stop awaits you at the halfway point. There is also a shorter 20-mile loop option.

On-site rider registration will be at the festival from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – get started on the ride any time during those hours. The rest stop will be set up until 2 p.m.

The self-guided, self-paced ride is included in the price of the festival admission fee, and includes a map of the ride, marked turns on the roads and the aid station.

Visit the festival website ( to learn more about the 13th Ohio Pawpaw Festival. Visit Athens Bicycle's website for more details about the ride.

Here is my review from last year.

When Wheels Pile Up: Plant a Bike; Save the City [via NYT]

Editor's Note: I think Columbus is a different situation than NYC. I don't see a lot of bikes abandoned around the city and they would be better served to be donated to one of the co-ops in town, Third Hand or Franklinton Cycleworks. I do like it when people create artwork from cycling equipment though, as seen at Pedal Instead events.

From NYT

Eric Michael Johnson for The New York Times
Bernard Klevickas with his "twisted bicycle planter."

“In 1880, New York City removed 15,000 dead horses from its streets,” the historians Joel Tarr and Clay McShane wrote in an essaycalled “The Centrality of the Horse to the Nineteenth-Century American City.” Horse carcasses, they added, “were sometimes dumped with garbage into the bays or the rivers, often floating there or washing up on the beaches.”

“In the late 1860s, an ‘offal dock’ stood at the foot of West 38th Street,” the essay continued. “From there, the carcasses of horses as well as other dead animals and offal from the city’s slaughter houses was either dumped in the bay or sent to a rendering plant.”
I bring this to your attention because of the bicycle mania that is sweeping this town. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been on a personal mission to push bike ridership. Bike lanes have sprung up where none were before. 

Tern Eclipse P24H - Folder with interesting drivetrain.

Ultra-wide Gear Range
Getting proper gearing on a small-wheeled folding bike can be tricky. The Neos Triniti drivetrain solves that, and then some, by combining an internally geared 3-speed hub with an external rear derailleur –- for 24-, 27- and 30-speed systems. The Neos Triniti drivetrain delivers a 578% range of gears. In real world terms it means that the Neos delivers a low gear as low as a mountain bike and a high gear as high as a road bike, with a better chainline. Another benefit is that the hub can be easily downshifted when you stop for a light (you do stop right?). The Neos Triniti hub is paired with the low-profile Neos 3.0 rear derailleur, which delivers fast, precise shifts. Custom for Tern.

Rumble Strip Update - Adventure Cycling Association

Could things be looking up for bicyclists on rumble strips?

Last month, I wrote that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had issued an important new technical advisory (TA) on rumble strips for the first time in 10 years. From a bicyclist's perspective, it was a disaster -- and I write this as someone who fully understands that rumble strips can be effective safety devices, when properly used. However, the new TA encouraged the irresponsible and even dangerous use of rumbles on a number of secondary and country roads that are important for traveling and recreational cyclists.

With our partners, the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking, we have worked very hard over the last few months to change the TA and develop a much better federal guidance on rumbles. We started with detailed analyses of the deficiencies in the new TA (encapsulated in this pdf document) and have held lengthy meetings with FHWA's director of safety and technology, Michael Griffith, plus many of his staff and also officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

[continue reading at Adventure Cycling Association]

Here is how Ohio is handling rumble strips.

1) Adopted policy calls for installation only when there are 4’ paved shoulders.
2) Plan to install rumble “stripes” (under shoulder line) on 3’ shoulders on 1,650 miles of two-lane highways. The plan for these stripes has reportedly been approved by the MPO for Northern Ohio. The most recent crash data (2008) on secondary roads indicates that rumbles would prevent very few driver-related crashes.
3) General view that cyclists prefer to ride in traffic lanes, not on shoulder. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award

Are you kidding? No one has advocated bicycling in Columbus, Ohio more since Charlie Pace or any of the other fine founders at Adventure Cycling! Ray George started Bike the Cbus (now going into it's 5th year), dedicated to discovering Columbus neighborhoods by bicycle at He also leads the famous Tuesday Night Rides as seen on Facebook and Twitter or his Flickr feed AND he posts to the highly influential Columbus Rides Bikes blog at Seriously, Ray's grass roots efforts for bicycle advocacy, I nominate Raymond George for the 2011 Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award.

Help me nominate Ray at Thank you! -Bill

COP 36th Columbus Fall Challenge (Pre-register to save on fees)

Date: Thursday September 15, 2011
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Next reminder: The next reminder for this event will be sent in 3 days, 23 hours, 3 minutes.
Location: Registration on Oct 1 LIMITED to first 25 registrants
Notes: 36th Columbus Fall Challenge
-Sat. and Sun. Oct. 1st & 2nd
Full Service Tour.
7-8:30 a.m. Berne Union High School, Sugar Grove, OH. Roads will be marked. CFC is a challenging ride, for the rider who likes steep climbs, swift descents, and breathtaking (if you even have any left) views from the hills of Southeastern Ohio. It is a strenuous, two-day ride that covers over 200 miles, starting and ending at Sugar Grove. 110 miles each day.
$45 COP members. $55 non-COP members. $70 day of ride (limited to first 25 registrants).
Frank Seebode