A companion site (THE PRACTICAL CYCLIST) is home to
genuinely practical information about using bikes for transportation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lot 31, Bethesda

The Montgomery County Gazzette reported on September 28, 2005:

In June, the county awarded PN Hoffman and Stonebridge Associates of Bethesda the development rights to lot 31. Currently, the parking lot holds 270 metered parking spaces, but it will become a mixed-use development that includes parking, residences and shopping. Hoffman⁄Stonebridge was chosen over 12 other development companies that submitted proposals for the site, after county officials solicited developers to present ideas for ways to improve the property.

The plans also include a $3 million reconfiguration of the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, narrowing the roads in order to slow traffic and provide a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross the street.

Retail plans include a possible bike shop to accompany plans for a ‘‘bicycle depot,” a rest area where bikers on the adjacent Capital Crescent Trail would congregate, said Doug Firstenberg, a partner of Hoffman⁄Stonebridge.

That was two years ago. I wonder what's going on these daze?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Brooklyn Paper: Bicycle rider reads riot act

David (red3red3@gmail.com) has sent you this article from brooklynpaper.com (Fri. October 26, 2007 09:21:26 MDT):
===================================
Bicycle rider reads riot act

By Dana Rubinstein
The Brooklyn Paper

Nearly every morning, in what is for me a supreme effort of willpower, I put on my helmet, unlock my bike, and ride to work.

I'm generally allergic to excess movement, but there's something about bike riding that gets me going. I'm very liberated by the notion that I can convey myself to work with nothing but some aluminum between my legs. And then there's the ever-present (and ever-unfulfilled) hope that so much cycling will give me long, lean gams. But above all, there's that rarely mentioned companionship among riders and drivers and cyclists. There's the sharing of the road.

So it irks me whenever the Fort Greene pro-bike-lane, anti-bike-lane conflagration flares up -- again. The issue's been a hot potato since July, 2006, when the community board chose not to support a plan that would add five new miles of bike lanes along Carlton and Willoughby avenues and Cumberland Street.

At the meeting, drivers tore into cyclists, cyclists skewered drivers. Pedestrians were occasionally deplored, too.

The kvetching continued this May, when the city went ahead and painted the bike lanes anyway. And now, after merely five months, the partisans are at it again, this time on the local message board brooklynian.com.

A local blogger named arZan lit the fire this time, when he began a thread by recounting two incidents in which he had "literally been blindsided by cyclists who are traveling in the opposite direction of traffic."

Seems like a legitimate complaint. But then arZan extrapolated that "bicyclists are the worst offenders when it comes to traffic rules. They do not stop at stop signs or lights, cut in and out of traffic at their will and then when someone cuts them off, they throw a ruckus."

Then, a third commenter kindled the flames, retorting that, "There are just as many idiot pedestrians."

A commenter named Daver responded by listing the offenders in order of worst to best: pedestrians, cyclists and then drivers. (I wonder which one he is.)

Sorry if this sounds misanthropic, but yes, folks, there are jerks out there. There are driver jerks. There are pedestrian jerks. There are cyclist jerks (tons of them). There are also stroller-pushing jerks, skateboarder jerks, and Vespa jerks. There are even (gasp!) wheelchair jerks.

That said, the lovely thing about bike riding is the civility it so often induces.

On my way into work today, as I was riding down a bike lane, the truck driver behind me patiently waited for a wide enough space to pass. When I reached a busy intersection and stopped at the red light, a driver moving perpendicular to me reached the same intersection, began slowing down for a yellow light, and waved at me, indicating that I was safe to go. On my way up the elevator at work, as I was toying with my loose seat, a fellow rider offered me a tool with which to tighten it. All that civility in a 15-minute ride!

Sure, I could bitch about the vans blocking the bike lane on Carlton Avenue, the drivers passing so close to me that my heart stops, the pedestrians apparently unaware that crossing on red in front of a speeding bicycle is dangerous, and the cyclists who seem to think that a commute its actually a race to the finish line. But what's the point? They're jerks. Screw 'em.

Dana Rubinstein is a staff reporter of The Brooklyn Paper.

==== The Kitchen Sink ====

Our former Fort Greene pal Rick Field continues to attain new heights in the pickling world. This week, Field's pickle company, Rick's Picks, announced that the November issue of O Magazine features a Smokra Cubano, made, of course, with his smoked, pickled okra. Congrats! ...

The flying saucer has finally landed on the front lawn of 313 Clinton Ave. (between Lafayette and DeKalb avenues) in anticipation of an alien invasion (just in time for Halloween). Check it out for yourself, if you dare. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!


===================================
Copyright 2007, The Brooklyn Paper

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/42/30_42riotact.html

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

OPEN FOR BUSINESS, or so I'm told...
1320 14th Street, NW

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Deliveries of Bakfiets Cargobike Delivery Bikes

Opgeheven zonder schande van "Bakfiets en meer." --d

Sent to you by David M via Google Reader:

via Bakfiets en meer by henry on 10/9/07

workcycles bakfiets cargobike delivery bike

We like building special transport bikes… at least when they're useful, cool and we get to make them in series. Here are some photos of the latest version of the Workcycles Cargobike Delivery, based on the now famous Bakfiets.nl Cargobike child-carrier frame.

This is one of a series of five Cargobike Delivery bikes for London organic delivery restaurant Farm UK. Farm UK makes sandwiches, ciabatta rolls, bloomers, salads, drinks and cakes entirely from UK farm sourced ingredients. They're apparently super "lekker" though I always thought a "bloomer" was something old women wore while playing tennis.

Regardless of what tasty bits Farm UK puts in their sandwiches and salads, they deliver them by bicycle. Feeding entire office buildings requires loads that normal transport bikes can't dream of carrying, but getting through downtown London's urban jungle on a three-wheeled delivery bike would be an exercise in frustration (though still not as bad as with an automobile). Thus we've built Farm these supersized Cargobike Delivery bikes.

work cycles bakfiets cargobike delivery bicycle work cycles bakfietsen cargo bike delivery bicycle work cycles cargobike delivery bikes

The boxes are made from an extremely tough and water resistant treated plywood normally used for concrete molding. Its called "betonplex" here in the Netherlands. Its very hard and stiff so we're able to keep the walls quite thin and light. The box has a hinged and locking lid to keep the goods safe and dry while Mr. Sandwich Salesman is making his deliveries.

Dom and Ben from Farm UK have promised to send pictures of their bikes in action, complete with their Farm UK livery. Perhaps this post will spur them on to stop being productive for a few minutes and get that camera out.

Things you can do from here:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Efforts Afoot in Boston

Nice graphic. Here is the Original Article.

Workcycle in Alexandria, Virginia

This image belongs to rllayman, originally uploaded by %2.

This is great news. Richard Layman posted this last week. If you haven't read his stuff, get on over there: Urban Places and Spaces I'm glad people like him keep track of what going on, because I know I can't manage to do it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fisher Porteur

This image belongs to arsbars, originally uploaded by %2.

Rumor has it that it will be available in early 2008. Good stuff. I'm particularly fond of tires with reflective sidewalls. Other's have commented, so I don't have to... http://commutebybike.com/2007/08/22/gary-fisher-commuter-bike-spy-photo/

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

The New York Bike-Share Project

Well would you look at that...



Powered by ScribeFire.

New SunRace/Sturmey ASC fixed gear 3-speed

Hmm...

--- In KOG@yahoogroups.com, "Kogswell Cycles" wrote:

I've heard rumors lately that the new SR/SA ASC hub is going to
happen. Those of us who emailed SR about it just got an email asking
for our opinion re: the acceptable amount of backlash in the hub. So
it looks like it's on. That question makes me want to ask Sheldon to
explain what backlash is and ask him how much we want. Please.

I'm guessing that it's the amount of play between you letting up on
the pedals and the hub catching. I've heard that it will be based on
the SRF3 hub: http://www.sturmey-archer.com/hubs_3spd_SRF3.php

And I hope the next question is: what over-locknut should we use?

I hope SR/SA sells a container full here. Who would have ever
guessed that FG would become this big? (those of us who've done it
our whole lives?)

Matthew

--- End forwarded message ---

Recommended Bike Shops

(Remember to look under Youth Bicycle Programs too.)

Washington, DC area:

Seattle area:

Portland, OR:

Boston area:

New York City:

Saturday, October 6, 2007

People/Blogs/Servs/Communities

Good Stuff

Planning

Stuff Comma Fun

To add a link, send it hither.

Bicycles and the Arts

Want to add a link? Put it in a comment, and I'll check it out.

Youth Bicycle Programs

If you have a link to add, please put it in a comment.

Advocacy and Transportation

If you want to add to the list, just put it in a comment, and I'll incorporate it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Safety Bikes

Here's an interesting article that makes me want to know a lot more about safety metrics: Is Bicycling Safe? I've got think about this some more.

The Year of the Xtracycle

It's the truth, baby. And it's good.
Reports from Interbike (the annual bicycle industry tradeshow in Las Vegas) universally indicate that public interest has acknowledged the utility of the Xtracycle Free-Radical. At least three full-frame longtail cargo-bikes are expected to be available in 2008: The Surly Big Dummy, Kona's Ute, and YubaRide's Mundo. RAD!
Commuter bikes and other practical designs are also becoming more visible (Civia Cycles looks promising). It may be that industry folks are paying attention to a small but loyal following, but I'd prefer to think that the demand is broad-based, and expanding. Of course, what I prefer doesn't matter. Nevertheless,
Mo' Bikes Better and if they can carry lots of stuff, that's just gravy.
Break out your copy of The Tipping Point, this is a great time to be alive and riding a bike.

Screen 'n Spokes

Hey, some folks had a great idea. They solicited a bunch of printmakers and poster artists to design bicycle-theme posters to raise money for the National MS Society. This hits lots of birds:

  1. Inexpensive Original Art, one of my favorite things in the world.
  2. MS stinks, and the medical community is often at a loss to help.
  3. Bikes.

So, go buy some:

Screen 'n Spokes Blog Screen 'n Spokes Etsy Storefront Screen 'n Spokes MS150 Team site
The author is unaffiliated with the MS Societies or the S'n'S folks

Re: Starting a Youth Bike Program

I wrote this a while back, thought I should put it here, instead of tossing it... =================================== R. I. P. Chain Reaction Chain Reaction, a Washington, DC, community bike and youth program, shut down in 2006. It had been around for 10 years, give or take, and had become a genuine community resource. I have lots of strong feelings about this, likely because I spent a few years working with the kids there, a while back. If you're thinking about Bike/Youth programs, and you're starting with THE KIDS, then you're right on target. Recycle-A-Bicycle is a good resource. Karen Overton, their ED, has written two books on starting neighborhood bike projects. One is the mechanical side--teaching kids how to fix'em up. The other is about ride clubs--how to help them develop safe habits. She is a terrific person, and was happy to sit down with me and talk turkey, but I would start with her book One Revolution at a Time. There are lots of bike programs out there. I think someone started keeping a comprehensive list, but its tough, since they are usually very close to the ground (that is, grassroots). Some of my favorites are The Community Cycling Center in PDX and Bike Works in Seattle, there's a short list I've collected on The Practical Cyclist. I'm sure there is one nearer to you, though. If you can, visit a few of these places, or look at their websites. They're all unique, and it helps to see the different ways that folks have dealt with the various universal issues--some work in school systems, some stay independent, some have retail ops, some don't, etc. I strongly recommend that you should not start with the mechanical side of things. Chain Reaction was a "Youth Bike Shop," and while folks love the idea, and people would be banging down the doors to get us to fix their bikes, we ended up with a bifurcated program: one side for retail, on side for education. Retail, especially bike retail, is hard enough without having to teach as well. I've talked with Karen (from Recycle-a-...) a bit, and I think that she came around to the same conclusion, which is why she came out with the second book, One Revolution At A Time. The Ride Club is the ticket for maximum community involvement, and to maximize the "benefits of cycling" educational lessons, not to mention the love of bicycling. Now that said, be prepared to fix a lot of cheap, mistreated bikes. It's my opinion, however, that retail and education have fundamentally opposed goals (which are: do it right, do it quick v. make mistakes and learn from them). Bicycles, it turns out, are terrible vehicles [ha] for vocational training. It's one thing to teach a kid how to build a Hardrock from a box, and then have 'em repeat the process until they've got it down. It's somewhat different to give a kid a bunch of old bikes and help 'em work out the compatibility issues. Old bikes are a lesson in diversity, which is a good reason to love them, but makes them a difficult teaching tool. I mean really, do you want to give a bunch of disadvantaged kids a wacko bike obsession, or get them into a business (bicycle retail) that suffers from chronic unprofessionalism? (Not all, but certainly some. You know who I'm talking about.) Underserved communities, and especially poor kids, need to experience the joys of riding, rather than trauma of bicycle retail/repair. Bicycles are a fringe subculture in America. Poor kids don't need a subculture, they need access to mainstream culture. I know, mainstream culture means suburbs and SUVs and materialism and obesity. But it also means reasonable housing, nutrition, education, health, self-image... Safe Routes To School may be the only good thing in the Federal Budget. It is a program leveraging FHA funds for pedestrian and bicycle advocacy specifically focused on encouraging kids to walk and bike safely to and from school. Every state in the US has money designated for Safe Routes To School, and should have a Safe Routes To School Coordinator. Find them--efforts are multiplied when coordinated. There are several useful links at The Practical Cyclist. If there's an local bicycle advocacy group active in your area, they may have some ideas and resources, or a project up and running already. At the very least, they should be able to get you a couple dozen free helmets, which is a good place to start. The League of American Bicyclists is also a good resource, and as a member organization you can get some basic insurance coverage, which is not fun to think about, but even less fun to do without. I guess I'd been saving up for a good rant/rave.--d

Bike there, with directions: