Archive for the ‘spring’ Category

Back when the recently deceased Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a journalist for El Espectador in 1955, he reported on the scofflaw cyclists who endangered ordinary citizens.

Bogota Cycling Fever

“Rampant cycling fever and especially reckless cycling plaguing the city in recent days has led to numerous accidents because of the Tour of Colombia bicycle race,” reports Marquez. “These urban cyclists take to the streets, convinced that they can race like [famed Colombian bike racer] Ramon Hoyos. It’s almost like driving while intoxicated – and can result in a fatal accident.”

He continues:

“The Department of Traffic and Transportation in Bogota, alarmed by the rising tide of bicycle accidents, has launched a program to soundly beat back the irregularities in cycling. Police Motorcycle Lieutenants Alejandro Ceron and Roberto Acosta have worked twenty-four hours just to punish these irregular cyclists. They have seized around 300 bicycles.”

Marquez lists the infractions that resulted in seized bikes in the name of “safety”: riding without a bicycle registration tag, riding without a bicycle license, and riding through a zone where bikes are restricted.

Umm, yeah. That’s what I thought, too.

In addition to his gripes about the 1950s equivalent of Lycra louts and unregulated bicycle rental businesses and sales, Marquez thought it “alarming” and “disturbing” that Bogota’s Department of Transportation had only 500 bicycle licenses on file, while an estimated 150,000 people rode on city streets.

You can read his original article in Spanish at El Espectador: La fiebre del ciclismo” en Bogotá.

Mike Ceaser, who runs Bogota Bike Tours, compares the then-and-now of bicycle conditions in Bogota, noting that things have apparently improved dramatically since Bogota police cracked down on a five year old children for riding their trikes without a license.

Kim Kardashian on a bicycle

 

 

Kim Kardashian was seen riding a bike during a photoshoot in which she’s apparently emulating Audrey Hepburn.

More at Yahoo Celebrity: Kim Kardashian Falls Flat While Channeling Audrey Hepburn. Via Mark Volpe of Arizona.

See more photos of notable people on bikes at my Celebrities on Bikes section of Cyclelicious. Steven Rea’s coffee table book Hollywood Rides A Bike features dozens of movie stars on bikes.

Portola Valley, California is a wealthy town nestled in the hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. With an average median income of $244,000 per year, it’s the sixth wealthiest community in California with the ninth most expensive housing in the nation.


Alpine @ Portola, Portola Valley, CA

It’s also a great place to ride. Residents of Portola Valley and nearby Woodside perpetually complain about the weekend traffic jams as hundreds of road cyclists pass through their towns. When the wealthy residents of this area (including the CEO of my employer, who also happens to be the fifth-richest individual in the world) ask San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks to intervene, the sheriff listens.

They can’t legally keep bikes off of California roads, so they harass them with nuisance tickets because safety in the hopes that the cyclists will go somewhere else. Large groups of a dozen or more people will be pulled over at once and motorcycle officers write citations for all the cyclists. Some of tickets — especially those for supposed violations of CVC 21202 (California’s keep far to the right law) — are routinely dismissed by the court. Others are bona fide violations, especially when cyclists roll through the stop sign as they make the right turn at the T-intersection from Alpine Road onto Portola Road.

Sure, cyclists should obey the law. The selective nature of these enforcement actions, however, really grates on the people affected. Cyclists are routinely ticketed, motorists are routinely let off the hook.

In case you doubt the assertion that everybody breaks the law on Alpine at Portola, I invite you to view this brief video from Slonie. Unlike the two cyclists shown in the Streetview image above who have their feet down at the intersection in spite of the complete lack of cross traffic, every one of the drivers in this video fails to come to a complete stop at the stop sign.



So how about it, Sheriff Munks? When will you begin to write tickets to these motorists?

Turkish President Abdullah Gul (wearing the dark track suit) rides a bicycle before the start of the Presidential Bicycle Tour, in Ankara, April 11, 2014.



Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

Today is the deadline to file my (and your) U.S. Federal tax returns. I filed some time back. For purposes of full disclosure, I’ll reveal that I netted a whopping $86 from affiliate sales and advertising on this website in 2013. Woo hoo, I’m rich!

Bicycle news, links, etc below the photo of the 70-year-old roleur passing me on the infamous 16% grade on “A” Road into Laguna Seca near Monterey, California last weekend.


17% grade

Bike To Work Month / Week / Day is coming up in many areas of the United States. For the San Francisco, we’ll do this on Thursday, May 8. Janet instructs us in the No Sweat Way to Bike to Work in the Mountain View (CA) Voice.

IKEA branded cargo bikes?

[Ad] A singlespeed fat tire bike available online for only $300.

Full suspension fat bikes from Salsa.

Bike Hugger reports from Sea Otter.

Andrew Boone’s focus on the Pacific Coast of San Mateo County, California continues in this discussion on county highway funding and transportation alternatives.

Bikes For the Rest of Us on the Xtracycle Edgerunner.

A profitable bike share program in Boston.

I obviously don’t publish this blog to make money. I hope the contents herein encourage you to personal advocacy in your region. If you need to buy bicycle supplies and books online, however, I do appreciate a click through to my Amazon affiliate store.

Via Streetsblog comes this look at traffic volumes in Minneapolis before and after bike lanes are installed.

Minneapolis measures AADT [Average Annual Daily Traffic] on the same roads every few years, so we have data from before the bike lane installation (in 2008 or 2009, depending on the road) and after the installation (in 2012). We found that each road seemed to have about the same traffic volume after its bike lane was installed. Running a statistical test across all 10 roads confirmed that there was no difference in AADT before and after the installation of the bike lanes.

There’s discussion about the level of congestion on the roads in question, but to sum up: removing lanes from over-capacity roads in Minneapolis doesn’t result in congestion.

I made a similar point about Hedding Street in San Jose, California earlier this year:

In 2012, the city of San Jose proposed a traffic calming 4-to-3 lane reduction for Hedding Street, an important east-west arterial that carries 16,500 vehicles per day. The Transportation Research Board Highway Capacity Manual shows three lanes is plenty for that kind of traffic volume, although the city did predict increased congestion during the peak commute at a couple of intersections.

Below are images of Hedding Street looking west before and after the road diet. Note the almost complete absence of traffic in both instances. Both photos were shot at about 9 AM on a weekday.


Hedding Street San Jose

Hedding Street green bikeway San Jose

San Jose DOT have a traffic count planned for Hedding Street so we can see before and after numbers, but a quick look shows that traffic volume is essentially unchanged since the green lanes were added, while travel times have increased on the order of seconds, and only during the 45 minutes at the morning and evening commutes when there’s actually any traffic on Hedding. For 22 ½ hours of the day, traffic still proceeds nearly unimpeded down the length of Hedding Street between 1st Street and 17th Street.

Those few seconds of extra travel, however, resulted in a brief political storm for those running for mayor of San Jose. Suburban candidate David Cortese says that calming traffic and improving safety and livability for the residents along Hedding is evidence of an “out of touch” administration. He believes the city should have retained 200,000 square feet of real estate — that’s four and a half acres worth of right-of-way — for the six percent of the day when it’s needed for automotive traffic, just so Cortese could save five seconds on his 15 minute commute from his home in Evergreen to his office at the County administration center. Can you say government waste, boys and girls?

Our next twice-monthly social bike commute that we call the San Jose Bike Train takes place this Wednesday, April 16, 2014. We depart 8 AM from Diridon Station for points north (towards the Bay and North San Jose) along the Guadalupe River Trail.

San Jose Bike Train is a casual, social, low-speed group ride. All type of people with all types of body shapes on all types of bikes wearing all types of apparel are welcome. We often stop for coffee at Bel Bacio Caffè along the way.

About half of the usual group peels off from the trail to Technology Drive next to San Jose International Airport. Another group turns off at River Oaks Parkway for destinations in Santa Clara.

If you’d like to join us along the way, I’ll post the ride to Glympse!SanJoseBikeTrain the morning of the ride. If you’re on your way to Diridon and running a couple of minutes late, ping me on Twitter or leave a note on the San Jose Bike Train Facebook page.

Malcolm Dougherty, who manages the largest state department of transportation in the United States, encourages his workers to “consider swapping out your car trip for a bike ride” for Bike to Work Month in May.



Every style of bikes are available to demo as the Sea Otter Classic wraps up today. The standout this year: fat tire bikes from numerous vendors.

image

Shown above is On One’s Fatty with their new hot pink “Floater” four inch tires.  I overheard this brand ambassador tell her colleague that this was the first time people paid more attention to the product than to her.

Another unique fat bike is the electric assist LebowskE from Felt Bicycles.

image

The LebowskE is among several bikes at Sea Otter with the Bosch power system for bikes. Instead of a hub motor, the motor is in the bottom bracket for better weight distribution.

The Sea Otter Classic finishes today at Laguna Seca east of Monterey, California.

Gravity bikes isn’t my scene, but I had to mention these French downhill machines from Cavalerie Bicycles utilizing the Gates carbon belt drive and a bottom bracket gearbox.

cavalerie falcon with gates carbon belt drive

Shown is the Cavelerie Falcon, a 200mm downhill race machine utilizing the Effigear gearbox. That’s a no-dish light weight fixed gear hub on the rear wheel; the gearbox freewheels at the bottom bracket. It’s really weird to stop pedaling but you see the drive belt still moving.

Claimed benefits: weight is focused on the middle of the bike instead of to the rear for reduced unsprung weight and superior ride dynamic.

You can see this bike at the Sea Otter Expo this weekend at Laguna Seca near Monterey, California at the Philthy Bikes booth. Philthy of Philadelphia are importing these for the USA market.

You can demo any of hundreds of bikes during Sea Otter. Stop by if you have a chance.

Switch to our mobile site