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Friday, September 14, 2012

Junction design the Dutch - cycle friendly - way [VIDEO]

Bike messengers: Still rockin’ in the freewheel world [Grist]

Photo by Dave Schlabowske.
Last week, while the world’s finest amateur athletes competed in London, hundreds of poorly paid professional athletes from four continents convened in Chicago for the Olympics of bike messengering. They were here for the 20th annual Cycle Messenger World Championships, the ultimate test of two-wheeled delivery prowess.
It was a long, alcohol-fueled week of events celebrating the courier lifestyle, including the main race simulating a day of work in the Chicago Loop business district, on-street “alleycat” races, a courier-themed film night, track competitions, and the Messenger Prom, where cyclists got dolled up in slinky dresses and ironic tuxedos.
Many pundits have predicted that bike couriers would go the way of the Pony Express, rendered obsolete by digital technology. But the crowd of messengers, who came from as far away as Guatemala, Japan, and Australia, proved that, while email and online file sharing have cut into the messenger business since the salad days of the 1990s, as cities grow more congested, there may always be a place for fast, efficient, environmentally friendly bike delivery.

Democrats And Republicans Both Pedaled Their Own Buses To Their Conventions [FastCompany]

The Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention couldn’t have been more different. But the Democratic and Republican delegates seemed to agree on at least one thing: Pedal-powered buses are an efficient way to get around.
A collaboration between Craftsmen Industries (the bus manufacturers), Humana (a health care company), and International Surrey Company provided 20 pedal buses to both conventions for the delegates. Users simply signed up with a "Freewheelin ambassador," received a card equipped with a QR code, and scanned it for free rides. The 525-pound buses each carry eight passengers and a driver---everyone pedals, but the driver steers.

The buses were a resounding success at both conventions, where they gave 1,250 ridesin Tampa for the RNC and 1,333 rides in Charlotte at the DNC. The buses didn’t mill around aimlessly, though; they operated on loops around the convention centers.

The conventions are over, but the buses live on--Tampa and Charlotte will each get to keep five of them for public use. And while we can’t exactly say that pedal-powered buses are growing in popularity, we’ve seen at least one other example (Dutch kids pedaling to school) of their use.

Bicyclist shot after colliding with pickup truck in Taylor; later dies during surgery [Click On Detroit]

TAYLOR, Mich. -
Taylor bike crash shooting 2A bicyclist who was shot after being involved in a traffic accident with a pickup driver in Taylor has died.
Taylor police say the bicyclist died during surgery after the Wednesday night incident with a 46-year-old driver. Police have identified the 42-year-old man as Henry Enoch, of Taylor. The pickup driver, who police say is the suspected shooter, was arrested but released Thursday.
Police said the two began arguing after the bicyclist disregarded a "Do Not Cross" signal at Telegraph and Northline roads, causing the driver to hit him. Witnesses said the bicyclist got up and confronted the driver.
"The pedestrian light was red. He wasn't supposed to be crossing and ran into the side of the truck," said witness Michelle Noffsinger. "He jumped up, he got up, and he ran around the front of the truck to the driver's side and he just started pounding on this guy. He hit him ... maybe seven times or so, and then the driver shot him and he fell to the ground. It was just really crazy."

Thurber House hosts Chris Cleave on October 4th

Chris Cleave, author of the #1 New York Timesbestseller, Little Bee, is back with another extraordinary novel reflecting his telltale gift of creating characters who linger in the reader’s heart and mind long after the last page has been turned. This time the setting is the world of Olympic speed cycling, but far more it is the story of two young women, very complex, competitive women who must decide whether their enduring and valuable friendship is worth sacrificing for winning. Chris Cleave lives in England.

Tickets are available here

Yay Bikes! September Year of Yay ride is September 22nd

YEAR OF YAY! is a series of 12 rides to celebrate our city and promote membership in Yay Bikes!. Everyone who rides with us will receive an exclusive button designed by Bandito Design Co, as well as other goodies TBA. 

September's theme is Back to School. Meet at 9:30AM at the open air shelter in Goodale Park and roll around 10:00AM. Snacks will be provided at the half way point and FREE lunch will be provided at the main library! More details as we get closer to the event.

All YoY rides are FREE for Yay Bikes! members and $5 for everyone else. Become a YB! member at

{ { { { HELMETS are *strongly* encouraged on all YB! rides. LOCKS are also useful at our stops. } } } }

Volunteers hit campus to remind students of the rules of the road [Dispatch]

So far, police have not reported any car vs. skater crashes on High Street bordering the Ohio State University campus.
By  Encarnacion Pyle  and  Theodore Decker
Thursday September 13, 2012 6:20 AM
More than 200 volunteers in fluorescent green T-shirts are to descend on the busiest crosswalks and intersections on and around Ohio State University on Friday to distribute traffic-safety pamphlets. Their goal: to raise awareness because of a rash of crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
“We want people to know that we have a problem and we all have a responsibility to solve it,” said Jay Kasey, OSU’s senior vice president for administration and planning.
In the past 2 1/2 weeks, there have been four incidents in which students were seriously hurt when struck while walking or riding bikes. A large-scale awareness campaign is the easiest and fastest way to get safe-travel tips to students and others, Kasey said.
From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., groups of six to 10 volunteers are to be stationed at the 14 busiest intersections and crosswalks throughout the campus and nearby neighborhood. Volunteers also are to be at 20 other locations, including popular bike racks and parking lots and garages.
A task force of students and faculty and staff members is to review the university’s existing efforts and look for new opportunities to promote safe travel on campus. The group of about 25 people is to meet for the first time today and make recommendations by Oct. 1, said Kasey, who is leading the effort with Javaune Adams-Gaston, OSU’s vice president for student life.
Columbus police also are grabbing people’s attention with an enforcement blitz that began last weekend and is to pick up again this weekend. Starting last Friday, city police began citing pedestrians for jaywalking and looking for other traffic-related offenses along N. High Street.
The push was in part driven by street-level officers because of what they were seeing around campus. “When officers want to write pedestrian citations, that means it’s pretty bad,” said Columbus Police Cmdr. Chris Bowling, who oversees the police zone that includes the University District.
During Friday and Saturday evening, Columbus officers issued 241 citations, largely pedestrian-related.
Willful violators sometimes need the wake-up call that a citation and the accompanying financial hit provide, Bowling said. The maximum fine for an offense such as jaywalking is $100, plus court costs.
Officers also hope to strictly enforce traffic laws in the area this weekend with a focus on motorists and bicyclists, Bowling said.
OSU police are concentrating on educating the campus community and will wait for the recommendations from the task force before cracking down, OSU Police Chief Paul Denton said.
Students have mixed feelings about the stepped-up efforts.
“I think citing students is silly unless they’re obviously running across a busy street like High Street, darting between moving cars,” said Josh Shaffer, a 20-year-old electrical engineering major from Findlay.
Others said it would take a harsh penalty for many people to change their behavior. “I think it’s a great idea, as long as police are regulating both sides — motorists and pedestrians,” said Kayla Swain, a 21-year-old math major from Atlanta.
And many said they didn’t think distributing handbills will have much of an impact.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hal's best and worst locked bikes

Optimal Bike Tire Pressure [Problem Solvers]

Our friend and co-conspirator, the BikeTinker, recently collaborated with some folks to create a tire pressure app for Android devices. I've always felt my understanding of tire pressure remedial: I need fat tires 'cause I'm pushing 225 lbs around...panniers not included. Instead of trying to explain it myself, I thought he could do a better job of summing it up: why is tire pressure so important? 

  1. Harder tires aren’t any faster than softer tires. There’s a sweet spot for tire pressure between too-hard and too-soft, and you waste energy both ways. That sweet spot is a 15% “drop,” which is how much you squish the tires when you get on the bike.

  2. Front and rear tires need different amounts of air pressure. Bikes put more weight on the rear, which is why rear tires wear faster, and why you have fewer spokes in the front. The rear tire needs higher pressure for the same optimal drop.

  3. Tire pressure and width should change based on weight and load. Bigger people need bigger tires. Wide tires at the right pressure are as fast or faster than narrow tires. Wider tires are more comfortable than narrow ones.

With math, you can get that 15% drop for every tire, every time. You know what’s good at math? Math Guys. And computers. And now phones. Math does work so we don’t have to, and computers do math so we don’t have to. As an Art guy, I like that. [Here are some ways to get computers to do the math for you]:

There's an Android app!

It’s on Google Play and in the Amazon app store. Amazon lets you try it out in the browser to see if it would be useful. By October 1st, there will be a DEMO version for free. This app exists because I got tired of maintaining the Google Doc spreadsheet I made from the Excel file someone sent me.

There’s a Google Doc.

It’s free. I made it from an Excel file a man named Dave Adams sent to me on the basis of a modified version of Frank Berto’s chart in Bicyle Quarterly, that I had on my blog. A Google update just this week allowed me to lock down the formulas, so it should fire on all cylinders now, and you’ll be spared my impotent rants against vandals.

And, there's the chart that started it all: 

NRDC Poll: Americans Support New Transit Twice as Much as New Roads

Source: NRDC
When asked what would solve traffic problems in their community, 42 percent of Americans say more transit. Only 20 percent say more roads. And 21 percent would like to see communities developed that don’t require so much driving. Two-thirds support local planning that guides new development into existing cities and near public transportation.
That’s the result of a new poll released this morning by the Natural Resources Defense Council [PDF]. The national phone survey of 800 Americans was supplemented by smaller surveys to gauge attitudes in the Cleveland region, Philadelphia’s northern suburbs, and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. The poll follows similar surveys NRDC conducted in 2007 and 2009.
Of the national respondents, only about a third had taken transit or a bike any time in the last month, and only two-thirds had ever done so. But even they support local investment in transit by more than a two-to-one margin...

Pawpaw Double Nickel Ride is Saturday, September 14

This 55-mile road ride starts and ends at the 2012 Ohio Pawpaw Festival, taking you from Albany on a circle tour around Zaleski State Forest. Enjoy 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 2012 Pawpaw Festival website ( for full details on the festival.

Dayton residents opting to walk or bike - Columbus still has no clue

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - The percentage of Dayton residents commuting to work on foot has grown from 5.3% to 6.8% as of the end of 2010, according to a report recently published by the U.S . Department of Transportation using data gathered by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
The increase in the percentage of residents walking to work places Dayton among the top 30 American communities showing increases since 2000. Erie County is the only other Ohio community in the top 30 list. 
Dayton's increase in walking commuters comes amid implementation of the City of Dayton's Livable Streets policy, a city commission-approved initiative designed to make streets more accessible and accommodating for all users of public streets, including bicyclists, pedestrians, children, people with disabilities and public transit users.
The Livable Streets policy, adopted in early 2010, calls for inclusion where possible of wider sidewalks, bike lanes and sharrows, street trees, street furniture, green space, landscaping and accommodations for public transit users. The policy is part of a multi-faceted effort to successfully transition Dayton to a sustainable live-learn-work-play urban environment.
"Walkable cities have greater potential for growth and improved livability," Commissioner Nan Whaley said. "Dayton is working hard to make our livable streets goals a reality for our residents and businesses."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kristin Armstrong’s Olympic Bikes Stolen in Transit from Eurobike

Tuesday, September 11th 2012

Armstrong’s Olympic Bikes Stolen in Transit from Eurobike

Boise, ID - London Olympic Gold Medalist and ExergyTWENTY12 rider Kristin Armstrong today received two empty bike boxes at her home in Boise Idaho. Her Olympic Gold medal winning Felt DA Time Trial Bike and her Felt F1 Road bike both SRAM and Zipp equipped had been on display at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, Germany from August 29th to September 1st.

The bikes were then packaged and shipped through a courier on September 7th, departing Bremen Germany to Frankfurt Germany then from Frankfurt to Atlanta and the final leg Atlanta to Boise, ID.  At this time it is not know which location the bikes were stolen from but an investigation is underway. “The bikes mean so much to me. My TT bike is a symbol of all the hard work that has been put in to this journey” Commented Armstrong. “It is sad to think that somebody out there has taken this away from me and my family.”

Felt DA Time Trial Bike
Frameset: Felt DA1 51cm, Custom Kristin Armstrong/USA Paint Scheme
Group: SRAM RED 2012
Cranks: SRAM BB30 w/SRM Powermeter
Chainrings: SRAM TT 54/42
Aerobars: Zipp VukaBull Basebar with Carbon Race Vuka Shift Extensions TT Shifters: SRAM 900 TT
Shift Cables: Gore Ride-On Ultra Light
Brake Cables: Gore Ride-on
Front Wheel: Zipp 808 Firecrest Tubular
Rear Wheel: Zipp Super-9 Disc Tubular
Tires: Vittoria Crono 22mm
Saddle: fi’zi:k Ares TT Specific
Pedals/Cleats: Speedplay Nanogram Zero (not with stolen bike – only thing that made it back to Boise)
K-EDGE Pro Chain Catcher
Kristin Armstrong name on top tube

Felt F1 Road Bike
Frameset: Felt F1 54cm, Custom Kristin Armstrong Paint Scheme
Group: SRAM RED 2012
Cranks: SRAM RED w/SRM Powermeter
Bottom Bracket: SRAM Red GXP Ceramic Bearings
Chainrings: SRAM Red 50/34
Cassette: SRAM RED 2012 11-26T
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL 110mm
Bars: Zipp Service Course CSL 42cm
Shift Cables: Gore Ride-On
Wheels: Zipp 404 Firecrest Tubular
Tires: Vittoria Corsa CX
Saddle: fi’zi:k Antares
Pedals/Cleats: Speedplay Nanogram Zero
K-EDGE Pro Chain Catcher
K-EDGE Number Holder
Arundel Carbon Bottle Cage

Please send any leads to:
Any help retrieving these bikes will be greatly appreciated.

Photo credit:
Bikes - Joe Savola
KA Race  - AP
Exergy Development Group shall offer a substantial award for the return or knowledge of the whereabouts of these bikes. 

Danny MacAskill vs. San Francisco HD

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Portland, Ore., bikes rule the road [USA Today]

PORTLAND, Ore. – America spent 50 years and billions of dollars after World War IIredesigning itself so that cars could move people across this vast country more quickly.
  • Portland, Ore., just received the Platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists and is regularly named the top city for biking in the nation by many publications.
    Thomas Patterson, for USA TODAY
    Portland, Ore., just received the Platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists and is regularly named the top city for biking in the nation by many publications.

Thomas Patterson, for USA TODAY
Portland, Ore., just received the Platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists and is regularly named the top city for biking in the nation by many publications.

Now, with many cities in gridlock, one-third of the population obese and climate change forcing innovators to look beyond the internal combustion engine, cities are beginning to rethink that push toward the automobile.
Perhaps no place has thought about it more than Portland, rated America's most bike-friendly city this year by Bicycling magazine and the only large U.S. city to earn "platinum status" from the League of American Bicyclists . City planners, businesses and, yes, the citizens of this Pacific Northwest city have embraced a shifting of gears designed to enhance the quality of urban living with a nod to the environment.
At the street level, many Portlanders go about their daily lives in ways that would be unfamiliar to most Americans. Downtown and near-city neighborhoods are awash in bikes and bike lanes, delivery bikes dot the urban landscape and bars aren't encased in massive parking lots — they have bike corrals out front.
Portland boasts that 6% of all trips to work are by bike, the highest percentage of bike commuters in any large U.S. city, says Dan Anderson of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

'The only good cyclist is a dead one' - advertising pulled in wake of magazine editor's remarks []

'The only good cyclist is a dead one' - advertising pulled in wake of magazine editor's remarks

Power of social media sees issue move from Richmond to cycling media then onto mainstream outlets
by Simon_MacMichael on September 7, 2012 - 09:40 news
Southwest London bike retailer Moore’s Cycles has said it will not be repeating its advertising in a local publication Richmond Magazine for as long as its editor, who wrote that ‘the only good cyclist is a dead one,’ remains in his job. Yesterday, reaction to editor Richard Nye’s column went beyond the magazine’s local readership after news of it spread following a forum posting here on, and a news story on cycle trade website BikeBiz. The Times newspaper then picked it up, with its story including clarifcation by Nye of his comments.
While Moore’s Cycles decision to pull advertising came earlier this week and before the forum posting here – although another dealership in the area, Sigma Sport has also said on Twitter it will not now be going ahead with advertising it was considering in the magazine – it does demonstrate something that we are increasingly seeing.
That is the power of social media to give cyclists a voice and take issue with the type of comments Nye made. Examples include the reaction against Addison Lee earlier this year following its chairman’s anti-cyclist comments in the company magazine, which among other things led to the loss of the firm’s government contract, or insurance firm Ingenie’s ill-thought-out ShareTheRoadUK campaign, pulled last month within days of its launch.