Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bike sharing on campus

I came across an interesting article on Treehugger:

Read here

The post describes some bike sharing programs at Universities. Some schools are even giving away bicycles to students for free to encourage them avoiding the use of their car and biking to campus.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stupid article, Interesting news

This Sunday, the San Francisco Chroncile's Matier & Ross column covered some of the issues Sausalito is having with the droves of tourists visiting the town on rental bicycles.

Read here.

If you ignore the inflated contraversy the article tries to depict, its interesting to read about how the volume of rental cyclists continues to increase despite a down economy, and how the City of Sausalito is being forced into providing bike facilities to keep up with demand.

If you're local to San Francisco, you've see the throngs of bike tourists who leave from Fisherman's Wharf, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and head down into Sausalito. You can catch a ferry back to the City from Sausalito, or if you head a little further north, Tiburon. Its a great ride that is largely on some nice bike paths.

That said, the bike renters, often not being from the area and maybe not even speaking english, are forced onto some pretty dangerous streets due some disconnects in the bike network in Marin. I'd say the worst spot is along East Blithedale in Mill Valley, when those heading to Tiburon and forced off of a great Class I path onto a busy 2 lane road with no shoulder, across a freeway onramp to Highway 101, across 101, then through an offramp intersection. Not a very pleasant tourist experience.

I have always wondered why Marin hasn't tried to encourage this form of eco-touristm further and make the bike facilities better to try and attract business in the communities along the route.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Federal Bike Love

The big news this week was the Ray LaHood our new Secretary of Transportation gave an address at the National Bike Summit and make some comments that were very friendly to the bicycling community. From LaHood's blog:

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of addressing the National Bike Summit. I was invited to speak as a member of the Obama administration, but I have been a supporter of bicycling for many years and was a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus when I was in Congress.

Lets hope this translates into action. This is juxtaposed with an article on Streetsblog detailing some ridiculous road building that is getting funding by the Stimulus.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bike fitting

I went in for a bike fitting this Saturday at City Cycle in San Francisco. I had my road bike fit to some extent when I bought it 3 or 4 years ago, but it always gave me problems in my right knee. I've started to try and ride longer distances, and after have major knee pain on a 75 mile ride I decided to go in for a more thorough fitting.

Serotta Advanced Fitter Jamaica Lambie helped out me (on a side note, I liked City Cycle and Jamaica was very knowledgable and helpful) and I learned the following, which may be of interest:
  • Newer frames are going for more of a relaxed gemetry where the front end is about the same height as the saddle. A more aggressive fit would have the saddle higher than the handlebars.
  • The latest trend is to put the saddle height where your knee remains bent at as much as 30 degrees when your pedals are at 6 o' clock position. This keeps you foot angle flat (rather than pointing your toes down) and moves the work from your calves to your thighs. I guess that makes sense since your thighs are bigger, but I do have a toe-down motion.
  • According to Jamiaca, claims of being able to increase power through a fitting should be viewed with suspicion. You can increase efficiency, but increasing power is hard to measure without doing a VO2 study like Lance.

The fitting included a RAD fit where they replace your pedals with special diagnostic pedals that allow the fitter to see the angle of your foot with respect to the bike. Kind of cool equipment.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good article on Alto Tunnel

SF Streets blog comes through again with a good article on the Alto Tunnel meeting.

Read here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Alto Tunnel Update

I just got back from a community outreach meeting for the the Mill Valley/Corte Madera Bike and Pedestrian Corridor Study. Basically, what is being evaluated is whether or not to re-open the Alto Tunnel - a railroad tunnel that connects two large communities - each with excellent bike paths that deadend at either side of the tunnel. You can learn more about the project here.

It drew a crowd or about 100 people. I'd say most of those in attendance were interested in opening the tunnel; however, the opposing arguement was represented and those with that viewpoint did raise some valid issues. The basic problem is that everyone knows opening the tunnel will be very successful in bringing more bike traffic and if you live near the tunnel you aren't inclined to want that.