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Saturday, November 23, 2013

What Cyclists Need to Know about Trucks |

Trucks have huge blind spots. Truck drivers cannot see little things in their huge blind spots. Large vehicles off-track when turning, so they will appear to be going striaght and often swing wide before making a right turn.
Trucks have huge blind spots. Truck drivers cannot see little things in their huge blind spots. Large vehicles off-track when turning, so they will appear to be going straight and often swing wide before making a right turn.
Cyclists hit by turning trucks is a repeating news story which highlights the most serious deficiency in our system — education of cyclists. Sometimes these crashes are caused by the truck driver passing a cyclist prior to turning right, but very often they are caused by the cyclist passing the truck on the right. In both cases, the cyclist has the power to avoid the crash.

Here’s how YOU can keep this from happening to you:

  • Do not stop at an intersection on the right side of a truck. If you have already stopped in a bike lane and a big rig pulls up next to you, don’t assume the driver has seen you. Get off your bike and move it to safety(your life is worth the inconvenience). It’s better to stop in the middle of the general traffic lane if you arrive first. (In many cases it’s safer to stop in the line of traffic than to pass the queue.)
  • Do not linger next to a truck on any side, in any lane. If you are riding near the same speed, slow until you are behind the truck. (This is taught to motorcyclists, it applies to all vehicle drivers, even car drivers!) 

Earl Blumenauer’s ‘bike-partisanship’ | Politico

Earl Blumenauer is pictured. | AP Photo
In the case of his bike bill, Rep. Earl Blumenauer's outreach payed off. | AP Photo
Rep. Earl Blumenauer is always open to a legislative bike ride with Republicans.
In his latest effort, the bow-tied Oregon Democrat is offering a short and simple bill to ensure that federal regulators keep bicyclists and pedestrians in mind when setting safety standards for road projects. Blumenauer’s bill has two Republican co-sponsors who aren’t exactly known for working on bike issues: Rep. Howard Coble of North Carolina, a senior member of the Transportation Committee who is retiring after next year, and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas.
The bipartisan support for the pro-biking, pro-walking measure stretches into the Senate, too. A version in the upper chamber attracted New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte, who co-sponsored the bill along with Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Brian Schatz of Hawaii when it was introduced last week.
As with other transportation bills this year both big and small, Blumenauer hopes that a good bipartisan showing will help his measure cut through Congress’s usual legislative gridlock and partisan warfare.

TEDxMileHigh - Allen Lim - Life with Bikes

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Report Shows That Rails-With-Trails Are Safe and Increasing @advcyclingassoc

A walking trail in downtown White Rock, south of Vancouver, BC shares a right of way with a busy freight train corridor.
I first heard about the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) when I would visit my grandparents in Kalispell, MT and they would take me on the Great Northern Memorial rail-trail that they helped bring to life. It was one of Montana’s first rail-trails and it took about ten years to complete the full 25 miles. As one of the few trails of its kind in Kalispell, it is very popular with runners and cyclists, and my grandparents still use it every day without fail to get out and walk the dogs.
My grandparents began working on this trail in 1989, only three years after RTC became established. Back then (yes, that was a long time ago for me!) there were only around 200 rail-trails in the U.S., and that number has grown immensely in the last 28 years, thanks to the work of RTC and their volunteers. There are now 1,800 rail-trails totaling 20,000-plus miles across all 50 states, and now rails-with-trails are growing as well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Topeak Mobile PowerPack 5200mAh - Power up while riding all day @topeak_intl

Mobile PowerPack 5200mAh

Special design for cycling equipped with smartphones

5200 mAh high power rechargeable backup battery pack allows charging of iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5, iPad or other smartphones up to 3 times to extend usage time of your phone and sport app programs.

* iPhone and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Battery5200 mAh Li-Ion
MaterialEngineering Grade Plastic
Burn Time (approx)Charge iPhone 3 Times
Charge Time (approx)14-16 hrs
OutputUSB/ DC 5V 1A
InputUSB/ DC 5V 500 mAh (Max)
Indicator4 LED’s
Added FeaturesPower Indicator
Size (L x W x H)9.4 x 5 x 3 cm
3.7” x 2” x 1.2”
Weight158 g / 5.56 oz
See more at Topeak

Sixth London cyclist killed in less than two weeks as man dies in lorry incident [The Guardian]

Another cyclist, the sixth to die on the capital's roads in less than a fortnight, has been killed in a collision with a lorry in Londonpolice said. All but one of the riders were in incidents involving a truck, bus or coach.
Emergency services were called to Camberwell Road in south-east London about midday on Monday, the Metropolitan police said. The victim, a man believed to be in his early 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene. The lorry stopped and the driver was not arrested.
The death comes came hours after police were accused of blaming cyclists for the spate of accidents after an operation on Monday morning during which officers pulled over riders at busy junctions operation on Monday morning during which officers pulled over riders at busy junctions and advised them to wear helmets or high-visibility clothing, if they were not. Neither is compulsory, and cycling groups argue that the efficacy of either in preventing accidents and injuries is debatable.

Paper Pulp Helmet

Paper Pulp Helmet from Bobby Petersen on Vimeo.

In Portland Every Day is Walk & Bike to School Day! @Streetfilms

In Portland Every Day is Walk & Bike to School Day! from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Riding & Driving to Safety": Tommy and Billy Mind their Bike Route Ps & Qs @youtube

N.H.T.S.A. Reports Increased Traffic Deaths [NY Times]

Chris Kaufman/Appeal-Democrat, via Associated Press
Four people died in this crash in Yuba City, Calif., on Nov. 12. N.H.T.S.A. says traffic fatalities are up slightly over last year.

More people died on United States roads in 2012 than in 2011,according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths each increased for the third year in a row, and deaths of bicyclists reached the highest level in six years. Over all, however, traffic deaths continue to be at historic lows.
Fatalities in 2011 were at their lowest level since 1949. The 2012 increase could not be attributed to Americans driving more, because motorists drove nearly the same number of miles in 2012 as they did in 2011, according to the report. Highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, according to the safety agency’s 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System, known as FARS. That is 1,082 – or 3.3 percent – more than the 2011 figure. The majority of the increase occurred in the first quarter of 2012, which the report notes was the warmest in history.

Back to Steel: The problem with aluminum bicycles

One of my favorite rides of the year is the Steel is Real pub crawl. Organized by Phil Van Valkenberg, the ride is a celebration of still rolling steel bicycles, mostly old to very old. I pedaled my 1936 Raleigh the last time I took part. Other than the patina that comes after 78 years of dutiful service, my Raleigh is as stout as the day it rolled off the factory floor on Faraday Road, in Nottingham. A big part of the reason for my Raleigh’s longevity is that it is built entirely of steel.
Another horse in the stable: my 1936 Raleigh in the original condition when I bought it.
Aluminum’s incredible strength to weight ratio (it has about 1/3 the density of steel and 1/2 that of titanium) and its resistance to corrosion has made it a tempting material for bicycle frames and components since the St. Louis Refrigerator and Wooden Gutter Co manufactured the LuMiNum in 1893. The company was so sure of their aluminum bicycle, they challenged other bike makers: “If your bike is stronger than ours, we’ll donate $ 500 [a huge sum in 1896] to a charity of your choice.”  So why was it aluminum bicycles fell out of favor for the next 100 years of bicycle manufacturing?

Our children’s freedom is compromised by lack of transport choice | Great Gas Beetle

From  Great Gas Beetle
Today my local paper have published a brief opinion piece about how our children’s freedom is compromised by lack of transport choice. I wrote it after being inspired by work from Judith and David Hembrow of The Campaign for Childhood Freedom and The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.
I hope you agree with the sentiment.
Source: The Cycling Embasy of Great Britain
It’s hard to dispute that children today have less freedom than their parents did when they were young.
Surveys show that parents now fear traffic more than “stranger danger” and say that it is the main reason they are reluctant to let their children play outside. We do have relatively low road casualty rates in Sheffield but at a great cost – our children have lost their freedom.
Children aren’t allowed to play or travel on their streets independently because of road danger. Respiratory illnesses like asthma are on the rise, obesity levels are increasing and children have fewer opportunities to socialise.
Children’s freedom and independence is restricted by their parents’ understandable fear of traffic. We can’t judge parents for trying to take the best care of their children in the environment we live in, but it doesn’t have to be like this.

NEW REPORT: WHERE WE RIDE from League of American Bicyclists @BikeLeague

In “Where we Ride: An Analysis of Bicycling in American Cities” we take a look at bicycle commuters throughout the nation, looking at broad trends (such as the three states that have had a more than 100% increase since 2005) and more particular analyses (such as top bike commuter rates in cities of various sizes).
We have crunched the numbers so that they are easy to share and easy to find. In this report, we take a look at:
  • The 25 cities in America with the most (estimated) bicycle commuters
  • How all 50 states rank according to bicycle commuters as a share of all commuters
  • How cities with a high percentage of bicycle commuters compare to other cities in their regions
  • How cities compare based upon multimodal commuters, looking beyond just bikes to other forms of transportation that involve more physical activity, including walking and transit
  • Cities where a majority of bicycle commuters are women

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cycling in the Netherlands - Introduction video

Printing a bicycle with a 3D printer


First in a series.
San Francisco and Portland are celebrated as two of the best U.S. cities for biking. In fact, one in every 25 American bike commuters lives in one of these two cities.
But even in these cities' bike-friendly neighborhoods, hundreds of thousands of people — it's perhaps half the population — have ridden bikes before but rarely use them.
What's stopping them?
Even if they don't personally bike, what images make them feel best about bikes and bike infrastructure? And what messages do they feel best capture the benefits of biking to individuals and to the city?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crash: The Decline of U.S. Driving in 6 Charts @TheAtlantic

Has the United States passed peak car? It's one of the more tantalizing questions that energy and urban-planning nerds are pondering these days. Ever since the recession, Americans have been driving less, getting fewer licenses, and using less gas. But is that just the work of the recession, or something more permanent? 
Over the past several months, Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute has released a series of short papers chipping away at the peak-car issue. They don't give us a definitive answer. But his findings, collected in a third study released this week, do a marvelous job illustrating the post-bubble decline of car buying, driving, and fuel consumption in the U.S. Here are what I think are his most interesting take-aways. 

The Average Household No Longer Owns 2 Cars

Officially, at least. At the height of the housing bubble, there were a shade over two registered cars on the road per household. As of 2011, there were just a shade under two. 

Fall 2013 Tweed Ride photo set #tweedride #letsride

Lion Bell Works UK

About Lion Bell Works
As far as we know, we are the only company currently manufacturing bicycle bells in the UK. We produce high quality bells that will enhance the look of any bicycle. The design is retro. The sound is loud and clear with a long sustain. All parts of the bell are made from corrosion-resistant materials.
Parts are manufactured in Birmingham and Barnsley, England. The bells are assembled in Manchester.


All our bell domes are made from solid brass, and are shaped for a beautiful sound. The finish is natural unlacquered that can be polished, or left over time to develop an attractive patina. The mounts are manufactured from laser-cut stainless steel for corrosion resistance. (Bells from other manufacturers use plated mild steel that will eventually rust.)

Retro brass bicycle bell
The striker mechanism is positioned outboard of the dome. This means that the bell is struck on the "live" part of the dome to ensure a loud and musical sound with a long sustain. (Bells from other manufacturers position the striker on the "dead" bottom edge of the dome. This results in a dull clunk and muted tone.)
The sound has a musical quality that is loud and clear with a long sustain. Click on the PLAY button below to listen.

No Charges Against Cabby in Crash Injuring Tourist @nytmetro

No charges will be filed against the cabdriver who crashed onto a pedestrian plaza in Midtown Manhattan in August and pinned a British tourist, severing her left leg just below the knee, prosecutors said on Thursday.
The office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said that after an investigation of two months, it had decided that the driver, Faysal Himon, would not be charged with a crime. Mr. Himon’s license was suspended for 30 days after the crash, on Aug. 20, for prior violations, but he has been cleared to drive since late September, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Daniel G. P. Marchese, a lawyer representing the family of the injured woman, Sian Green, said that the family was shocked and disappointed by the decision. But he said that it would not preclude the Greens from suing the driver, his cab company or the taxi commission, among others.
Mr. Marchese said that based on his knowledge of the evidence gathered, he believed Mr. Himon had intended to ram his cab into a cyclist, who, the driver said, had cut him off in late-morning traffic at the intersection of 49th Street and Avenue of the Americas. Mr. Marchese said that after Mr. Himon braked to a sudden halt, his cab rocked back, then lurched toward the cyclist, Kenneth Olivo.