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October 30, 2004

Restoration of Links Commences Tommorrow

With 4 of the next 5 days off I will finally have a chance to restore all my wonderful collections of Cycling related Links to their proper place of honor here, and the DUDE will no longer seem so naked. :-)

October 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2004

Chico U. Police Seek to Ban Bikes

Is the Police Chief of California State University of Chico Anti-Bike, or just overzealous in her concern for student safety, and campus liability?

A controversy is brewing as word of what the Chief is proposing spreads.

If it's up to University Police, the hours and areas where you cruise on your bike on campus will be nonexistent.

Chief Leslie Deniz proposed a ban on bike riding 24 hours a day, seven days a week on campus to the university's Transportation Committee, according to the Sept. 1 meeting minutes. Deniz also proposed an expansion of the area where bike riding is currently regulated to include Normal, Chestnut and Hazel streets.

Deniz said the proposal stems from concern about campus safety. She said there has been an increase in accidents and close calls.

"By no means are we discouraging bike riding," she said. "Ride bikes to campus, just not on campus."

The bike ban was discussed at the September and October committee meetings and will be on the agenda for the meeting at 3 p.m. Nov. 3

Like most campuses, this place is no doubt huge, and for some students, and faculty, who don't drive, using a bike to navigate from one end of the campus to another is better than traipsing about on foot.

A handful of accidents, and close calls, caused by inattentive cyclists, pedestrians, and car drivers, seems to me to be little reason to call for a ban of bikes on campus.

Punishing the many for the sins of the few is the wrong approach.

Annie Sherman, Associated Students commissioner of environmental affairs, said she is concerned this policy would convey an anti-bicycle message to our campus.

Sherman, who is a member of the Transportation Committee, said it wouldn't discourage her from riding her bike to campus because, like many students, it's her only transportation. But if they do ban bicycling on campus, she said they should make the paths around campus safer.

"We need better traffic regulation around the perimeter," she said. "When I bike off campus I have to be very careful because people are biking the wrong direction on the paths."

Seems to me she has the right idea.

Instead of banning bikes something should be done to educate the faculty, and student body, on safe cycling, and getting along together in a Bicycle Friendly environment on, and immediately surrounding the campus.

Psychology professor Brian Oppy said one of his goals when he joined the Transportation Committee at the beginning of the year was improving bicycle riding to, from and through campus.

Oppy said he doesn't agree with Deniz's suggestion to ban bike riding and said he thinks bicycle access on campus should be increased to 24 hours a day on weekends.

"Why shouldn't a student be able to short-cut through campus (on weekends) when there's almost no competition for the walking areas?" he said.

Oppy said he doesn't understand why the university would discourage people from riding bikes when it's a clean, healthy form of transportation that takes up little parking space.

Placing more restrictions on bike riding would move Chico State away from its goal of becoming a green campus.

Instead of discouraging bicycling the University would be wise to allocate funds to creating dedicated bike paths through out the campus, or just striping select walk way routes as 2 way bike paths, subject to use by pedestrians and cyclists.

There needs to be a trust in the majority of students who bike being safe cyclists, while at the same time doing something to educate those who aren't.

There is a feeling that moving riding off campus will protect bicyclists from injuries, Oppy said.

"The belief is that we'll be saving students' arms, legs and even lives," he said. "But if you look at many of the areas around campus, they're not safe places to bicycle. We're trading one danger, I'd say, for one that's possibly worse."

Making the Campus, and its immediate surroundings, bicycle friendly would be a plus for the University, and its neighbors, and one would hope the city would be persuaded to do its part in this endeavor.

The full front page story, by Kristina Seward, Managing Editor of the campus newspaper is here: The Orion Online - UPD seeks bike ban on campus.

An Editorial in The Orion addresses some of the same issues I just brought up in an excellent piece:

Riding a bike on campus is already rough.

No riding after 7:30 a.m. or before 10 p.m. No cruising on any of the bridges spanning Big Chico Creek or through the Meriam Library breezeway. Don't exceed 5 mph, and steer clear of any areas labeled with the X-ed out bicycle signs.

With so many students, faculty and staff opting to tool on two wheels to campus every day, you'd think Chico State officials would want to create a bike-friendly campus. But University Police Chief Leslie Deniz is suggesting that we do the opposite.

Damn!? This makes no sense.

Sounds like there is already an effectve ban in place, if cycling is prohibited during the hours indicated.

By restricting riding on campus, it would push bicyclists onto the busy streets surrounding campus. We shouldn't have to compete with cars traveling 25 mph or faster on Warner and Second streets just to get to class every day.

A bicyclist who understands how to ride safely on such busy streets would have no problems, but making cycling unrestricted on campus would make using the streets mentoned just one of several options for getting around, and not the ONLY options.

Instead of banning bikes, why not build a bike path -- separate from walkways -- through campus? We should look to other universities, such as University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, Davis, which have bikeways and walkways and manage to be both bike and pedestrian friendly.

Here in Orange County we have the example of UC Irvine, and its bike paths.

I discovered them by accident when on a bike ride that included bike trails surrounding the immediate residential area surrounding the campus ( a neighborhood trail, a wilderness trail, and a canyon trail, plus Bike Lanes on streets in all directions ).

There are members of the Transportation Committee and campus community who disagree with Deniz's proposal. They recognize the value of being able to ride bikes easily and safely around campus, and we hope these people will continue to fight for bicyclists' rights.

I 2nd the motion!

The full piece is here:

The Orion Online: Editorial-- Banning bikes on campus a bad idea

October 25, 2004 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 24, 2004

Blogger Corrects Local Newspaper

Frank, of Bicycle Commuting Now, has been on Hiatus for several months, but in Sept. he came out of hibernation just long enough to let us know that his local Pa. newspaper made him cranky.

He writes:

I have been tempted (to at least update) on numerous occasions, but was well enough involved with so much else that I kept putting it off for another time. And although I am still not prepared to resume blogging full-time, I felt the urge to update due to a bicycle safety column in my town (New Cumberland) newsletter that I had a few qualms with.

It seems the local papers "advice" left a lot to be desired in the accuracy department, and Frank took it upon himself to explain a few things in a Letter to the Editor.

He does a great job of correcting them on these issues, and statements:

"Keeping to the Right."

"Always let cars and people go first."

"Don’t ride at night."

“Never go between two cars!”

He ends his letter by saying:

In the future, I would ask that you do a little more research when presenting information on any topic that effects the behavior and perception of any particular group towards a specific activity such as bicycle riding.

The full story is here: Local Bicycle Safety Column Misleads.

It's good to see Frank inching back into Blogging. :-)

October 24, 2004 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

The Dudes New URL

Well, it's official.

The Cycling Dude finally has a Web Identity of its own, seperate from its parent. :-)

The new URL is www.cyclingdude.com.

Anyone who has me in their Blogroll, or List of Links, should make the change.

In the next few days I will be e-mailing those folks I know who have a link to me, as a courtesy heads-up. :-)

There is still work to be done to add all the old Link Lists, but things are coming along nicely.

The Photos, and Images, in posts need to be re-entered, but all in good time.

It feels good to be back in business after a week of packing, and moving. :-)

October 21, 2004 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 19, 2004

Bic Responds to Kryptonite

Reporter Jack R. Taylor, of the website ProBicycle reports that the Bic Pen manufacturing Company plans to provide replacement pens to counter the Kryptonite Company program to upgrade its, recently discovered to be faulty, top of the line locks.

CLICHY, FRANCE— Faced with angry consumers reporting that their Bic pens will not unlock the newest versions of Kryptonite bicycle locks, the Bic Corporation has announced an upgrade program offering consumers a chance to exchange old Bic ballpoints for designs which are compatible with the new Kryptonite models. The announcement is being made to counter the recent news from Kryptonite Lock Company that it will replace for free all of its flawed bicycle locks with newer versions that foil the "Bic-pick" process. A Bic spokesman says the "BicPic II" free upgrade program will be conducted at most pawn shops and through the Bic corporate website and should be in place in time to provide customers with uninterrupted support for their drug habits.

( A tip of the hat to Jim Baross, Jr., of CABO, for passing along this fascinating news story. )

October 19, 2004 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2004

Ignorant Cyclists Taken to Task in Salt Lake City

Ignorant, and reckless, cyclists are not just native to Orange County, and Virginia, but have taken root all over.

More evidence of this comes from letter writer Don Hamel, of Salt Lake City, who writes:

In the last month, I have routinely observed cyclists running red lights and repeatedly shifting from bike lanes into vehicular lanes and back without looking to see if they were swerving into the path of a vehicle....

Given these observations, it seems to me that cyclists, through negligence and violation of traffic ordinances, may have contributed to the injuries they have received in some of their collisions with automobiles.

Perhaps bicyclists should set their own houses in order before they place all the blame on drivers. One is reminded of the old adage about people living in glass houses.

People like those he describes make it hard for the rest of us to make Motorists accept us on the road.

The letter is here: SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: Cyclists in glass houses

October 18, 2004 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cycling Issues discussed in Collegiate Times

A recent article, and 2 Letters of Opinion, in Collegiate Times, an independent, award-winning student-run newspaper established in 1903 by and for the students of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, discuss issues of great importance for Road Cyclists, and are well worth taking the time to read.

The Article discusses wearing helmets:

With biking an easy alternative for students, wearing a helmet is too often forgotten.

Riding a bike to classes can provide you with good exercise and help prevent the added stress of battling for a parking spot, but if you aren’t taking the necessary precautions it could also prove to be hazardous to your health.

Writer Anna Trivette provides injury statistics, and tips on choosing, and buying a helmet, in an excellent piece.

Don’t be a dummy, wear a helmet

Luke Flora, a graduate student, writes an opinion piece that asks some very pertinent questions of local cyclists:

1. First, when you see a stop sign (or any other street sign), why do you believe that it does not apply to you?

2. Why is it that you'll ride down a long stretch of narrow road with me following behind, unable to pass, and then (illegally) zip onto a sidewalk when you can use that as a shortcut?

3. Do many of you not know the hand signals for turning or are you really just that inconsiderate/reckless?

I agree with Luke that "if you're going to have the privilege of cycling on the road, you have to follow the same rules as motorists."

I see so many cyclists not using their brains when on the road, and still others, because they are afraid of the street, or just plain don't care, endangering pedestrians by riding on the sidewalk, day, and night.

Read the full essay here:

Letter: Cyclists must learn to observe road rules

Matthew Janeway, of the Virginia Tech Cycling Club, responded to Luke with an essay, that agreed with his points, yet goes on to discuss how Motorists need to watch for Cyclists:

The relationship between motorists and cyclists is at best a strained one. However, in today's political climate, full of flip-flopping and multi-pronged strategies, I must suggest a multi-pronged strategy of my own to both cyclists and motorists to lessen the hostilities between our two groups....

To all the motorists out there, I have to caution against the attitude with which the author has begun to outline in his letter. While cyclists may seem like an annoyance, they have the same right to the road that you do. Most significantly, you must pay attention and treat cyclists as if they were other cars. The most common type of car vs. bicycle accident is the "right cross." This is where a motorist partially passes the cyclist on the left (as they ride on the right side of the road) and makes a right turn into the cyclist....

It is not the responsibility of the cyclist in front of you to get out of your way. It is your responsibility to pass safely when an opportunity arises. Threading the proverbial needle between oncoming traffic and your bicycle-riding obstacle at 50 miles per hour endangers you, the cyclist and oncoming traffic.

The full piece is here: Letter: Motorists must also watch road for cyclists

October 18, 2004 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

Columnists 2 cents Gets 5 Dollar Return

JIM RUPPET, Sports Editor of The State-Journal Register in Springfield, Il., opinionated on an issue near, and dear to Cyclists, and got more than he probably bargained for for his trouble.

To all of you fervent bicyclists, whether you use your bike for fitness or for transportation, please hear me out.

I don't hate you. I don't wish bad things for you. In fact, I was just looking out for your safety and the safety of those who drive their cars with a cell phone in one ear and a double cheeseburger in one hand when I wrote those words last week that caused such an adverse reaction.

For those who don't make a habit of reading my column - and that doesn't include the angry cyclists who promised me they'd never read another word I wrote - here's a review. Last Wednesday I wrote a column headlined "My 2 cents' worth: Toss out the coin flip in football." The column was a whimsical look at things I'd change if I were deemed Ultimate Authority.

One of the things on my wish list was to "make a law that bicycles were banned from roads where the speed limit is more than 40. I'd like to make a law that keeps bicycles off the road altogether, but that would never fly.''

Bad move, spokes-for-brains.

Well, needless to say, the response was overwhelming, and from all across the country, as his words spread across the internet.

He got feedback that was often angry, but also at least tried to be informative.

There were some folks who were out of bounds, and irrational, in their responses, but they appeared to be few.

Jim appears to be one of those cyclists who fears riding in the street, where he has as much right to be as a car.

Some of his comments to responses betray as much, and covering his apparent ignorance with flippant replies didn't help people understand him better either.

I have never walked on a bike trail but I have ridden a bicycle along the side of the road with cars buzzing by are 50 mph. I think I'd feel safer walking the bike trail....

After the response from the bicycle community, you don't think I'm going to take on the gun lobby, do you? And I never said a word about being anti-health. In fact, I'm pro-health. I don't want to see a well meaning cyclist get hit by a car....

Riding a bike along the side of the road scares me. Running/walking along the side of the REALLY scares me.

His reply to this comment was informative:

COMMENT: Cyclists are on a constant battle in the U.S. concerning places to ride our bikes. Where do you propose we ride our bikes if we don't ride them on the road? Or is it that hard for you to push the brake pedal down, swerve a little and then push your accelerator down some more?

You have a responsibility to all people, not just sports jocks who can't see outside of hockey, baseball and football. My 2 cents.''

RESPONSE: This e-mail makes my premise nearly valid. I'm assuming this person is a law-abiding bike rider - and most of them are - who has been heckled, hit by cans of soda and beer and has even crashed on the side of the road and gotten no attention from folks in cars.

It's all about safety, and this e-mail tells me the roads are not always safe for riders.

The full piece can be read by signing up for access to the papers archives:

The article was on Sept. 30, and is titled: Two cents buys Ruppert a bunch of bile from bicyclists

October 17, 2004 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On the Road Again

Good morning fellow Bicyclists!

The Cycling Dude finds himself in new Blog clothes this morning, and still feeling a tad naked compared to before.

It will take a little work to re-insert all my links, and to familiarize myself with my new toys that I have access to here, but be patient, and things will be running smoothly again.

One positive, right off the bat, is that I've discovered how to use Google Alert to bring more news to you the reader.

The effect this has had on content can already be seen in a slew of recent posts, and I think it is fascinating what I am discovering that is actually being written about in the news on subjects of interest to The Cycling Dude.

Another is my ABOUT Page which introduces me more fully to those who stop in to visit this site.

To new readers, just now discovering me thru TYPEPAD, let me welcome you, and encourage you to pedal thru my archives, and read, and comment to your hearts content.

Welcome to my world!

October 17, 2004 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2004

Cycling Dude Moves to Typepad

Ladies, and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure, and a bit of nervousness, that I am announcing that The Cycling Dude, is making the move to TYPEPAD PRO, effect today, and this weekend.

In the past year, on MT, I have been helped immeasurably by my HTML GURU, in a host of ways, and it is now time for me to take yet another step forward in my learning to run things behind the scenes ( HTML, AND TEMPLATES, AND CODING, OH MY! )

TYPEPAD is the best place for me to go, and offers more fun things to do with the Blog. :-)

It may take a few days for me to get everything looking just right again, so be patient with me.

If you have any questions send me an e-mail. :-)

October 15, 2004 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack