Thursday, February 26, 2009

2 Mile Challenge

Cliff Bar put up a new site to encourage people to bike rather than drive for local errands. Its a slick Flash site that lets you map local amenities within a 2-mile radius - the idea being that you should biking rather than driving.

2 Mile Challenge

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Big 56 Cont'd

Streetsblog has coverage of the San Francisco Bike Coalitions volunteer outreach for their The Big 56 campaign here. One commenter has an interesting point regarding the SFBC goals. Since this project has taken soooo long to get going - is it really the most pressing need at this time? Or is it the last war?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tour of California - Stage 8 - Levi Wins it All

The Tour of California wrapped up Sunday. Levi Leipheimer won the General Classification and Frank Schleck won the final stage. Web coverage is available at Versus.

It was great to have some local racing to watch, but I have to complain a bit about the Versus coverage. The last couple of days they pre-empted the Tour with Pabst Blue Ribbon Bull Riding which wrecked havoc with my Tivo. Then, the schedule the final stage to air right during the second half of the Academy Awards. The TV coverage said that 2 million people turned out along the road to spectate and that it was the most attended race in the United States - ever!

You'd think that they'd get better treatment on TV. But, I am still grateful that somebody airs it all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Alto Tunnel

In Marin County, north of San Francisco, there is a great bike path that runs along the bay connecting several cities. It uses a right-of-way originally created for a commuter rail line that ran up to sometime in 50's-70's (I really have no idea - before my time at least).

Currently, the bike path just dead ends into a hill. If you want to continue to ride, you are forced onto surface streets and have to deal with a lot of traffic and a fairly narrow shoulder.

However, there is a tunnel through the hill. On the other side there is a residential neighborhood, and then a fairly straightforward connection to link back up with a Class II bike path.

Why not open the tunnel?

Well, it will cost money, and there is the inevitable disapproval from the residents on either side of the tunnel. Why? Well, of course the increased crime that would come along with bike commuters! Huh?

You can read more here.

And here is a video on the issue from who knows when.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kinky Llama

Ok, you probably have already heard about this, but I figure it warrants a post.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Inspiration can strike at odd times. Anthony Mikrut got the idea for his business about 3 o'clock one morning, when he and a girlfriend were in search of some ... uh ... products to enhance their ... er ... special evening.

"We figured you can get pizza any time of night," he said. "Why can't you get [sex] toys?"

Thus was born The Kinky Llama, a purveyor of adult goods that promises one-hour delivery—by bicycle, no less — to most places in Chicago. Mikrut, 33, said the company has been around for 21/2 years and that, despite the recession, he's busier than ever.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Big 56

Here in San Francisco, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition just kicked off a new campaign: The Big 56 For Bikes. Its kind of a long story, which can read about here but San Francisco put together a plan for a pretty big improvement in biking infrastructure, which has been held up for several years. Now the roadblocks (pardon my pun) are slowly being cleared, but the SF Bike Coalition wants to make sure that the City actually follows through and approves and funds the plan.

I think the Coalition does a pretty good job at community involvement and has added a feature to their web site where we can sign up for notifications on projects in your neighborhood and tap into volunteer opportunities.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tour of California: Day 3

I made it out to the Great Highway today to watch the race. It was cold, rainy, and kind of windy. I got there about 7:30 and stood in the rain. The picture above is from about 8:30. By the time the race came by at about 9, a pretty decent crowd had shown up. Guys came with cowbells and all!
I got a video, but its 165 MB. I'll try and figure out how to downsize and then post.

They all came and went pretty quick.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tour of California: Day 2

Its been rainy all day. Pretty cold too. My Tivo didn't really catch the whole race unfortunately, but it looked pretty miserable. At this point getting up early on my day off to go stand in the rain is not sounding too exciting..

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tour of California: Day 1

The Tour of California kicked off today with a prologue in Sacramento. I tivo'ed it so I am trying to avoid reading who won.

I scoped out my viewing location for Monday when the race comes through San Francisco. I'm thinking of climbing to the top of a dune along Great Highway, either at Judah or further out around Taraval. It was pretty windy today with scattered showers so hopefully Monday morning is better.

For some reason, I think there is a lot more excitement this year. We'll see what the turn out is.

Read here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Great Bicycle Protest of 1896

I had read about this befoe, but came across it again:

(The Great Bicycle Protest of 1896)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1 World 2 Wheels

I came across a great site today: 1World2Wheels. Its a program sponsored by Trek to encourage people to use their bikes as transportation. They describe it as follows:

One World, Two Wheels, a Trek Commitment is just that; a pledge by Trek and its dealers to make the world a more bike friendly place.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Give $1 million to the Bicycle Friendly Community program of the League of American Bicyclists to increase the number of Bicycle Friendly Communities in the U.S.

  • Give $600,000 to the international Mountain Bike Association for their Trail Solutions Program.

Increase the number of trips taken in the U.S. by bike from the current 1% to 5% by 2017.
There is a lot of compelling evidence to support why more trips can and should be taken by bike. You’ll read about some of them on this website. From traffic congestion to pollution to global warming, there are many reasons for us to ride, especially for trips under two miles.

They also have a widget that you can embed in a site (see left ->) that tracks the number miles, gas saved, and C02 not created by riding your bike. You go to the site, post a pledge, and then the counter tracks the net of all rider pledges. Great idea.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rep. Earl Blumenauer on bike stimulus

From The Earl on the benifits of bike stimulus on The Huffington Post:

Think about it: More than 50% of working Americans live less than 5 miles from home, an easy bicycle commute. Already more than 490,000 Americans bike to work; in Portland, 8% of downtown workers are bicycle commuters. Individually, they are saving $1,825 in auto-related costs, reducing their carbon emissions by 128 pounds per year, saving 145 gallons of gasoline, avoiding 50 hours of being stuck in traffic, burning 9,000 calories, reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%, and enjoying 14% fewer claims on their health insurance.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

6 days!!!

Less than one week to go 'til the Tour of California. Lance, Levi, Christian, Mark, Carlos and more right here in Cali.

Stage 2 rolls through Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and down along Highway 1 to Santa Cruz.

For many in Southern Marin, the ride from Sausalito across the Bridge is actually the daily commute. I wonder how fast Lance could ride into work?

See map

See Stage 2 schedule

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bike storage on CalTrain to improve

This article on reports on the recent approval of a plan to increase the amount of space allotted on CalTrain for bike parking:

Caltrain reports space problems on about 1 out of 10 runs, according to Chuck Harvey, Caltrain's chief operating officer. The trains now can handle 16, 32 or 64 bicycles. Cyclists aren't sure until the trains pull into the stations how many bikes will be allowed on board.

Under the new policy, the Bombardier cars, which now have rack space for 16 bikes, will be re-outfitted to carry 24. The older gallery cars, which now hold 32 bikes, will be reconfigured for 40.

With the change, the total available bike slots in the peak commute period will increase from the current average of 2,300 to 2,900, said Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn.

For people who work on the Pennisula south of San Francisco and want to bike to the train to catch a ride into the City, and then bike from the train station to their office, this will be a help. As is, a lot of riders end up biking to the train only to find out that there bikes are not allowed on the train due to space constraints.

The same article explains that a plan to give bikes access to the Richmond-San Rafeal bridge was not approved.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bike parking feature

I came across this on grist.

Video on bike parking on farmer's markets.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bikes on BBC

I ran across an interesting audio segment from the BBC on bicycling in the modern world.

From their description:

"This three - part series illustrates how the bicycle is used today and what impact it has on people's lives.

With more than a billion models worldwide, the bicycle has found a place in every society.
Since its invention in 1817 people have redesigned and used the bike for hundreds of different purposes.

From sporting events and policing the streets to sharpening knives and selling ice cream.
Using a lot of leg power, the Bicycle Diaries journeys into three different places around the world to discover the communities and people for whom two wheels are better than four. "

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bike parking at the Super Bowl?

Can you ride your bike to the Super Bowl? I was curious. As far as I can tell, there was no official bike parking at the Super Bowl. I found a blog that discusses the topic here.

One interesting bike related item is this. I guess Trek and Amp Energy drink created a promotional deal where they had cyclists generate power by riding at stationary bikes, stored the power, and then used the power they created to run part of the Fox pre-game show. Kind of an interesting idea.