Archive for the ‘spring’ Category
Google Trends is a handy tool to show interest in terms of how often people search for stuff. Here’s the graph for the USA and California showing how often people searched for “bicycle” from 2004 through 2013.
We see sharp peaks during mid-summer in California and nationwide. The interesting thing to me: an apparent decline in online interest over the years, in spite of increased levels of cycling.
This varying interest is more apparent when you drill down to a specific region. We see a sharp decline in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, from 2009 to 2011 before interest shoots back up, though never to the peaks for 2004 and 2005.
Any insight to what this apparently means? Is this an artifact of greater interest in non-Google social media platforms and less interest in search? Or perhaps more time in the saddle means less time in front of the computer screen?
Let’s play with a few other topics:
- “bike share” – U.S. interest seems to begin about 2007, whereas Google doesn’t track any interest from California until late in 2010.
- “copenhagen wheel” – We see initial mention in 2009, and then boom it went viral this year.
- “lance armstrong”
More bicycle stories below the photo of cycling teens in decidedly warmer San Jose, CA.
The truth about the “dangers” of winter cycling.
Carnage: Biking In LA says those are cyclists in the street who narrowly avoided death after a Corvette crashed at Olympic Blvd and Los Angeles Street during a high speed police pursuit.
“Modelling studies have generally concluded that regular cyclists live longer because the health effects of cycling far outweigh the risk of crashes,” says the abstract for this study at the BMJ. Via Patric.
How to tell wind speed while cycling.
Do you remember Lance Armstrong? Besides doping, he’s also been accused of buying a race — the crucial final race of the 1993 Triple Crown series that resulted in a million dollar payout for Armstrong. Now Roberto Gaggioli has come forward to say that he and his team received $100,000 from Armstrong to fix the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia and allow him to win that final race. Steven Ilford, who raced that day in Philadelphia, writes about what he remembers as a weird race. Via Byron @ Bike Hugger.
Traffic Safety: Bay Area intersections redone to be safer for pedestrians. Motorist response: “Pedestrian safety is for morons.”
Sad news in Aptos: the body found in the water last week http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/santacruz/ci_24726592/body-found-at-seacliff-beach-confirmed-missing-aptos">is confirmed to be that of a 17 year old boy who left home on his bike to go on an adventure.
Tranform’s proposal to get more throughput on Highway 101 through San Mateo County while spending less than what the county proposes.
Young Bay Area couples seek out high density housing near transit.
Last Saturday, I was just riding along in beautiful 68 degree sunny weather on Brommer Street in Santa Cruz when I shot a photo of Jamie Bianchini towing his son Luca in a bike trailer. I uploaded the photo to Google Plus. Google then applied “autoawesome” to the image to overlay animated snow flakes over Jamie, his bike, and the passing Honda.
You now have photographic proof of my winter cycling expertise.
It was about 35 degrees F / 2 degrees C with frost on car windshields when I left the house Saturday morning, and my friends in Santa Clara County tell me there was substantial ice on the road up Mount Hamilton. By noon, though, things had warmed up to a balmy 70 degrees along the coast. This might surprise you, but winter is surf season in California and sure enough we had plenty of surfers at Pleasure Point in Capitola over the weekend.
Because the day starts chilly but quickly warms to reasonable temperatures, removing your jacket is an important cycling skill. Here’s how I do it.
Remember: always wear a helmet for safety when riding alongside traffic with your hands bound up in your jacket.
Jamie, by the way, spent eight years riding a bike around the world. Unlike your usual dull everyday “I biked around the world” story (who hasn’t done this, right?), Jamie did something different: he used a tandem bike and let people ride along as hitch hikers. One of these hitch hikers eventually became his wife. You can read his story at Peace Pedalers.
Meet Jamie Bianchini of Santa Cruz.
I saw Jamie riding his bike Saturday afternoon distributing his 2014 Tide & Light Calendars to local businesses in the vicinity of Brommer and 17th in Santa Cruz.
This calendar shows times for sunrise and sunset along with time and depth of high tide and low tide each day, featuring the work of local artists and photographers. Each month also shows an example of some of our local Santa Cruz surf action and ocean life.
Anyone who loves ocean sports, boating, beaches, tide pools, sunsets, nature and spending lots of time outdoors will love this calendar. For you Santa Cruz people, this is also a nice gift to send to your friends to let them know what they’re missing out on. If you buy this calendar as a gift, jump on it right away to allow for shipping time. Local pickup is also available in Santa Cruz.
More info and to buy –> Tide & Light Calendar.
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) has approved nearly $4 million for a regional bike share program for Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis.
The city of Sacramento and the SMAQMD have partnered with Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT), Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the City of West Sacramento, the City of Davis, UC Davis, the Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD), and the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District on a regional bike share plan. They propose 616 bicycles spread across 88 stations between the three cities. 69 stations are proposed for the city of Sacramento, concentrated mostly in the Downtown and Midtown districts of the capital city. Nine more stations are proposed for the city of West Sacramento, which is easily accessible by bike from Downtown Sacramento via the Tower Bridge. Finally, another 10 stations are planned for the city of Davis and the UC-Davis campus, which lies 15 miles west of downtown Sacramento.
Like other bike share systems, the regional bike share proposed for Sacramento includes paid annual memberships as well as shorter term options. The initial 30 minutes of usage is free for members, with increasing costs beyond that time limit to discourage long term usage. Bikes can be returned at any bike share station, which are automated.
At their board of the directors meeting last week, SMAQMD also recommended:
- $1.65M for the $2.5M Freeport Boulevard Road Diet project, a 4/3 lane reduction project that replaces the existing four lanes on Freeport Blvd with two general lanes, and a median turn lane between Sutterville Rd and 4th Ave. Bike lanes will be added along with bus turnouts.
- $1.5M for two bike trail projects in Folsom. The board approved $747K for construction of a cycle track along Leidesdorff St and Riley St to close a 1,000 foot gap in the Lake Natoma Regional Trail. Another $779K has been allocated to construct a bicycle / pedestrian undercrossing to connect the Johnny Cash / Folsom Prison Trail to the Powerhouse Canal Trail at East Natoma Street and Folsom Prison Access Road.
- The city of Citrus Heights receives $1.4M for a ten foot sidepath along Old Auburn Road.
- $1.6M to improve bicycle & pedestrian access for Rancho Cordova Elementary School.
- Another $4M to the city of Rancho Cordova for a Complete Streets project.
- $1.4M for a “bicycle mobility project” along Fair Oaks Blvd in Sacramento County.
Via Melody Stone, the bike riding digital content producer for Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.
SJ Rides has organized an alleycat race to benefit Sacred Heart Community Services.
You can click the “Join” button on this Facebook event page but pre-registration is not required.
Show up at 11:30 AM tomorrow, Saturday December 14, 2013 at San Jose City Hall to register for the race and receive your manifest.
Organizers say they’ll have two races: cargo and speed.
Speed race is exactly what it sounds like: Buy specific food items from the designated grocery stores and get to the finish as soon as possible. A point system will be used to score racers based on number of stores visited and items collected. Please don’t get yourself killed. You’ll need an estimated $15 to $30 to buy the items on the list.
The person who returns with the heaviest load of food wins the cargo race. Get your friends and family to donate some cash to help you with this one. For either race, it helps to bring a friend to watch your bike so you don’t need to lock it for each store visit.
Info –> SJRides.com/mash4potatoes. Mash for potatoes – get it?
Happy Friday, all, and happy 12 days until Christmas.
I’m working up my list of top bike stories for 2013. I’ll mention Armstrong’s appearance on Oprah, Levi Leiphiemer’s retirement, California bike politics, and, of course, Roubaixgate, along with several other stories. What else should I mention?
More bike news below.
I’ve somehow missed that the city of Menlo Park, CA requires bicycle licenses for everybody who bikes through town, contrary to state law. State law only authorizes cities to require bike licenses for city residents.
It is unlawful for any person to operate or use a bicycle propelled wholly or in part by muscular power upon any of the streets, alleys or public highways of the city, without first obtaining from the police department of the city a license to do so.
Winter bike to work day in Ft. Collins, Colorado draws hundreds despite the cold. The temperature was a frigid 10°F/-12°C during the morning commute, rising to a relatively balmy 20°F/-7°C for the evening ride home.
You know Martyn Ashton? He’s the guy who does trials riding on a road bike in the famous “Road Bike Party” video. I just heard the other day that he broke his last September while performing one of his stunts and is now a paraplegic.
The sequel to Road Bike Party, “Road Bike Party 2,” features Ashton along with Chris Akrigg and Danny Macaskill.
Bay Area Carnage: Driver in a Hummer rear ends a Jeep Cherokee on I-580 in Livermore, CA, killing the Jeep driver as both vehicles burst into flames. The crash closed traffic in all lanes and both directions of I-580, with westbound I-580 closed for four hours as officials cleared the mess and drivers sat it out.
CHP says driver of Hummer may have been intoxicated. Hummer crashed into Jeep which killed driver. I-580 pic.twitter.com/JNhsuHwaBF
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) December 12, 2013
Endurance sports at the mid-century point of your life.
Uh Oh: London Bike Share losing riders and sponsorship.
Recall: Trek Madone front brakes can detach and create a crash hazard.
Bicycle offers freedom for injured war vet in Stockton, CA.
Streetsblog.net: Why cyclists love green bike lanes.
Cute holiday ad from Jamis Bicycles.
Satire: Get pedestrians off of the road to improve driver safety in Toronto.
Kent Peterson rides a scooter.
Residential developments with no parking springing up in Boston, Seattle and Miami, FL.
Guess which of these is the bike commuter? View the full “Traffic Talk” comic over at Bike Face.
Scientific American: How much healthier is New York City after Mike Bloomberg’s 12 year run as mayor of America’s largest city?
Meeting: Friends of Caltrain meeting 7 PM, Monday December 16 at San Carlos Library to discuss the role of bikes and other improvements for Caltrain. Keep up to date on Caltrain issues at Green Caltrain.
Have a good weekend all. And please let me know if you have suggestions for top bike stories of 2013. Thanks!
How many candidates for high office highlight their love for cycling on their campaign material? Say hello to the Reverend Kyle “K.C.” Gibson, who plans to run for the Florida Governor’s office in 2014.
Gibson says running for governor is a lifelong dream that began with an elementary school visit to the state capital. He uses the color purple to highlight what he considers his moderate political views and his independence from the two major political parties.
Although this former school teacher campaigns on a number of issues (the state retirement system, jobs and education), transforming the sunshine state from national obesity embarrassment into a model of health is clearly a passion of his. Gibson proposes a “RIDE A MILE FOR BETTER HEALTH” program for the state, which will encourage all able bodied Floridians to ride a bike at least a mile every day. How cool is that?
“This initiative will encourage Floridians to take up bike riding,” says Gibson. “Cycling has many health benefits. First, its great for the heart and helps to decreases the risk of coronary heat disease. Cycling is also great for toning the body and muscle development. It helps to burn calories and decrease your waistline. Cycling also helps to expand your life span. Cycling improves mental health, strengthens your immune system. Cycling helps us sleep better, look younger, improve digestion, increase brain power, fight illness, live longer, save the planet, fights cancer, enjoy healthy family time, and improves one overall health.”
Gibson will begin his campaign with a bike tour through all 67 Florida counties. He’ll begin in Key West in May 2014 and finish on the steps of the Capital in Tallahassee. Regardless of your political affiliation or voting intentions, he invites you to Ride a Mile with Kyle.
For years, Specialized Bicycles has sent cease and desist letters to any and all in the bicycle business using names that Specialized’s legal research team feels can dilute their brands. In 2006, Mountains Cycles of Portland, OR locked horns with Specialized over Mountain Cycles’ use of “Stumptown” for their cyclocross bike. Although Stumptown is a traditional nickname for the city of Portland, Specialized complained it was confusingly similar to Specialized’s own Stumpjumper brand of mountain bikes. That disagreement more or less resolved itself when Mountain Cycles ceased operations in Portland later that year.
In 2009, Epic Designs in Alaska changed their name to Revelate Designs after they received a cease and desist from Specialized. Two years later Epic Wheel Works in Portland, OR changed their name to Sugar Wheel Works after Specialized made it clear that they would “allow the use of “Epic” on bicycle wheels, bicycle components or other bicycle-related products.”
In each of those cases, social media responded with protests and threatened boycotts, but that response was unheeded by Specialized.
Why did Specialized perform an about face in this week’s Cafe Roubaix saga? Was it really the power of social media, as so many observers claim?
Social media is part of it, but it’s not the complete story. Good writing and a great headline by Calgary Herald feature editor Tom Babin made the difference.
Although Cafe Roubaix owner Dan Richter says he received the cease & desist months ago, the story finally broke with publication in the online edition of a mainstream media publication. It was “war vet” that caught my attention on this one, and I imagine that’s what grabbed the attention of the thousands who were outraged with a “goliath” (a $500M dollar company ranked third behind Trek and Giant in the USA market) picking on a war hero just trying to make a living on the Alberta prairie.
Specialized at first appeared to hunker down in the face of heavy criticism. After a couple of days of silence, it becomes obvious that Specialized Bicycles contacted a crisis management expert after they released a short statement to media on Tuesday. That’s also about when Sinyard must have started his eight hour trip to Calgary from San Jose, CA. On Wednesday, Specialized manages to neutralize the bad press with a personal visit by Specialized CEO Mike Sinyard to Cafe Roubaix, where we can see him in this video looking very uncomfortable as he eats crow.
This is crisis management on the cheap. Tylenol destroyed $100M worth of capsules after the cyanide scare of 1982. Odwalla spent $6.5 million to recall thousands of bottles of their beverage within 48 hours after an E. coli outbreak. Kryptonite’s lock exchange program to address their infamous “Bic pen flaw” cost the small company tens of millions of dollars.
Specialized managed this crisis for the cost of round trip travel to Calgary, a car rental, hotel room and meals, and Richter has reinforced Canada’s famous “nice guy” image with his gracious attitude and willingness to compromise through this whole thing.
Epilogue: Every good movie villain resurrects for a sequel or reboot, and the same is sometimes true in real life. Epix Gear, a tiny, five year old outfit in North Carolina which sells apparel for triathletes, says on their Facebook page that they’ve now received a cease and desist from Specialized on their use of a name that sounds too much like “Epic.” Epix Gear posts to Facebook:
Sadly, Specialized is doing the same to Epix now. I received a letter today from their lawyers- Our logo is in their eyes too similar to their “Epic” MTB frames logo. The text is DIFFERENT. The logo stylization is DIFFERENT. We are not competing for the same clients (apparel vs frames). They are over-reaching, as they did with the Roubaix bike shop. They withdrew that case thanks to social media pressure, and we would be very grateful if everyone could support us in our efforts to fight this!
This morning, we receive news from Palo Alto, CA of a mother who was seriously injured after she was hit by a juvenile driving a car in a residential neighborhood.
Elsewhere today: Sedan into the back of a big rig on I-5 near Orland, CA results in driver fatality.
- Very confusing set of dispatches of a crash on Highway 1 near the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA is coded as a fatality, but I can’t find a news report of this one. If you’d like to try to decode the dispatches, the chronology is bottom to top and begins “XRAY IS CLIMBING OO VEH” which is cop slang for “women is climbing out of vehicle.” From there, we have reports of tow trucks and fire engines stuck in traffic and, eventually, a request for evidence tow.
- Rollover crash in Half Moon Bay claims a life. This is the third automobile fatality on Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Devil’s Slide in two weeks.
Sunday: Oakland man fatally struck in Gilroy, CA.
- Driver pronounced dead on Highway 101 near Healdburg, CA. CHP dispatch says, “WITNESS SAW HIM HIT MANY TREES // HIT VERY HARD.”
- Highway 1 north of Point Reyes closed for three hours after a truck lost it on a turn.
- Monterey County attorney seeks witnesses in their investigation of a man who ran over and killed two women on foot on East Laurel Drive last November. This was a hit and run with suspected DUI.
- Can you obey traffic laws better than a fifth grader? Tell me if this makes any sense. The city of Berkeley plans to reduce speed limits around school zones to improve safety. Berkeley police say this won’t work because adult drivers are an unruly, unmanageable lot who don’t obey speed limits. They claim instead that children should learn how to behave better around cars.
- We have these “Drive like your kids live here” signs in Santa Cruz, too. Watch this outstanding report from walnut Creek by Stanley Roberts:
- Nobody seems to know about this so I’ll repeat it: Santa Cruz DA investigating the Highway 1 fatality of cyclist Joshua Alper. “High priority case,” says county attorney Bob Lee.
- Let’s wrap things up with this unbelievable story of a teen who killed four pedestrians and was let go because of “affluenza.”
Sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch admitted to four counts of manslaughter after he and seven other boys stole alcohol from Walmart, piled into his car and struck and killed four pedestrians while going 70 miles per hour in a 40 zone. One of his passengers remains in the hospital with severe brain damage, and nine other bystanders were also injured.
Couch’s defense was that he was a victim of his parents’ wealth and privilege; in that he never had to face consequences.
The judge — with no apparent irony — agreed with the boy’s defense.