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July 30, 2006

Welcoming a new BikeBlogger, from the Wilds of Chicago!

Bicycle Diaries is an interesting mix of things.

Books, Bicycles, and Isaiah Berlin.

Quite the combination for a new Blog, but that's what was born in May, in Chicago. ;-D

This Blogger's Bike Posts are why I've added him to the Blogroll, though he has education, politics, and culture on his mind as well.

If this is an indication of the type of BikeBlogging to come then this is a worthy addition to the Community. ;-D

Why Bikes?

Why Bikes? 2.

I Ride.

For those of you who have read my archives of posts on Critical Mass, and thus know what I think of the movement, here is are 2 interesting, welll thought out, essays, on Critical Mass in Chicago, that offers the perspective of someone obviously not of the extremist, Anarchist, wing of the movement.

Some thoughts on Critical Mass in Chicago.

Second Thoughts.

Nostalgia for the Future.

Mulga Bill's Bicycle: A Poem.

July 30, 2006 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2006

Oh, Behave!

The scenic, 469 mile long,  Blue Ridge Parkway , in North Carolina, is a popular destination for cyclists, especially once the Summer begins after Memorial Day, and Park Rangers are asking all parkway users to practice road "etiquette".

The idea might sound corny, but Blue Ridge Parkway district ranger Tim Francis doesn’t care, as long as it will help save lives and limbs this weekend.

“‘Parkway etiquette’ is a term I’d like to see used,” Francis said. “We’re looking at a ‘share the road’ idea — etiquette between bicyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicle users.

We’re trying to promote a share-and-be-nice-to-each-other type of environment. A lot of people feel the parkway is there for them and for nobody else.”

Accident numbers, though in the hundreds each year, have gone down each of the last few years.

“Bicycle use is up on the parkway — it’s something we like to see,” said parkway Chief Ranger John Garrison. “But they are obligated to obey the speed limit and the same regulations as motor vehicles.”

The route is very popular, and so a Safety Program will be implemented this summer to educate Parkway users.

The article includes a list of safe cycling tips by the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club.

ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES ( 5/27 ): Rangers ask all parkway users to practice road "etiquette" by Karen Chavez.

July 29, 2006 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2006

Tour de Bicycling Blogs 8

Ladies, and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Cyclists, and non-cyclists!

Welcome to the 8th edition of The Tour de Bicycling Blogs!

Do U Bicycle?

There are a growing number of Bloggers with sites dedicated to the proposition that bike riding is good for you and fun.

In various ways we all provide commentary, and opinion, reports about events, and news, write reviews, stories, and travelogues, share photographs, and spread the word about the wide variety of websites of interest to anyone who rides a bike.

BikeBloggers spread the word, and the word is BICYCLE!

This ongoing series is about bicycling, and bicyclists... Recreational Bicyclists, Bike Commuters, and Activists.

It is about those of us whose blogs are devoted to writing about our bicycling escapades, and about anything else cycling related that catches our attention.

Expect to read my own thoughts about some, or all, of what I bring to your attention.

Let's saddle up, and ride!

1. Wheels of Justice ( Au. ):

Showcasing a video of an Ad in a TV campaign to help foster greater respect between motorists and bicycle riders.

The link  in the story takes you to the Foundation website, but I was not able to see the whole video.

While you are there take a look around the website.

Watch the Amy Gillett Foundation’s TV commercial

2. Wheel Revolution (OR.):

Ride your Bike, make a Smoothie?

Okaaayy..... ;-D

Ride of the Bike Smoothie.

3. Velorution:

Financial Times columnist, Lucy Kellaway, gets wordy about the joys of Bicycling.

It's a very nice piece. ;-D

Effortless conversion.

4. Two Cities Two wheels ( St. Paul, MN. ):

A series of posts about a cyclist using the Drive-thru at the Bank.

This reminds successes, and failures, I've had when using the drive-thru of fast food joints.

Wells Fargo Refuses Drive-Through Service.

Wells Fargo Takes My Money.

Wells Fargo Refuses My Email.

Serious Transportation.

Wells Fargo First Communications.

Be there NEXT WEEK for the next thrilling episode of... Matt vs. Wells Fargo!. ;-D

5. Treadly and Me ( Australia ):

Is the Bike Courier an endangered species?

The Economist seems to think so... maybe.

Bike Courier = Endangered Species.

6. Tournez a gauche:

Tips for Riding in the Heat.

7. From the City to Suburbia ( Irvine, Ca. ):

I have always wondered what it would be like to take part in a fledgling Critical Mass. Last night I stopped wondering. I joined a group of about 25 for the monthly Costa Mesa Critical Mass.

Rocco writes about his visit to the Beach, and his encounter with the local Critical Mass, in a piece he calls "Critical Mass is a beach!"

Well, hell, I could have told him THAT! Oh, wait, he wrote BEACH, my mistake! ;-D

A great piece about riding in our region, and how this CM compared to what he his so used to up in San Francisco.

Technorati Tags: Tour, Bike, Bicycle, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bicyclists, Blogs, Bloggers, BikeBloggers, Cycling, Cyclist, Cyclists

July 22, 2006 in Tour de Bicycling Blogs Archive | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Ass. BikeSmart Program

From Eureka, CA. in May:

Children ages 7 to 14 will soon be riding on the streets with their bicycles and helmets as a part of a training program that will prepare them to follow the law and be safe cyclists.

This summer, the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association will offer its 13th annual “BikeSmart” Program, which is a two-hour, on-street training program for children.

”Teaching children to be responsible bicyclists is an important part of the organization's goal, which is to improve and encourage bicycle commuting,” said association Vice President Rick Knapp.

As part of the program, children age 7 to 14 will receive a free helmet if they need one. Helmets are purchased with donations from members of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association.

Participants must have a bicycle and enough experience to be able to ride it on city streets. Children will be given verbal instruction on the rules of the road and then will participate in the on-street training program. Upon completion, participants will be familiar with  bike laws, the importance of adhering to the laws and how to ride defensively and responsibly on public streets.

Times-Standard ( 5/21 ): Children's program offers bike safety lessons.

Technorati Tags: Bike Safety, Cycling Safety

July 22, 2006 in Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2006

Is Helmet Use Promoted to Detriment of Safety Courses?

I have never claimed to be an expert on everything cycling.

Sadly I don't have the time to steep myself in becoming one, though I try to find time to explore websites I find.

Heck, lately I've not even been able to get out for long rides ( Right now the heat wave, here in the OC, has prevented me. )

By finding websites of use to cyclists, and by posting about various issues, it has been my hope to get visitors to check out the sites, and stories, and to get people more knowledgeable than I, and even with differing opinions, to chime in with comments, and essays, on various subjects.

I pride myself in the collection of resources I've gathered, and hope that more people discover their usefullness every day.

It has been 2 years since I added a link to my Special Invite in the sidebar.

I think, at least with the commenting part, and the event tips, I've been a little bit successful as I can always count on several regulars to add considerably to the discussion of the topics written about here, and I occasionally get word of various events.

It is no secret that, while I think education is important with regards to making better cyclists, and even motorists, I am also a strong supporter of Helmet use ( From personal experience, I know that wearing a helment can prevent serious injury, and even save your life. ), and respect the opinions of those who promote it ( See links in sidebar ).

I also respect the folks encouraging Safety Education.

Some of those folks take exception to studies, and organizations, that say that "The use of helmets is the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes."

I would love to add to my collection of Cycling Safety Education sites ( 10 related sites are listed ), but in the meantime let me share an e-mail I got from regular commenter, and fellow BikeBlogger, Fritz, of Cyclelicious, and Longmont Bicycling Resource.

What he has to say gets to the heart of the debate over helmets, and to trying to find ways to educate people about other important ways to stay safe while cycling.

Fritz writes:

Okay, let's look at these numbers Kiril. You wrote "Children 15 and younger accounted for 21 percent of the 725 killed." That's 152 children who died on a bicycle in 2004. And then you wrote, "Universal bicycle helmet use by children ages 4-15 would prevent 135-155 deaths annually."

If 152 children died, how do you prevent up to 155 of those deaths????? And then people wonder why folks like me who actually read the studies call them out as total BS.

You quote Dr. Rick Blum, who says, "The use of helmets is the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes." Helmets are indeed effective, but Blum is spouting pure hyperbole: the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities is NOT helmets, but it's good riding safety education for children AND the adults who drive around them. A big part of the problem is adults driving 40 mph through residential areas and school zones. If these morons would understand that kids are part of the residential environment and just slow down, a big part of the problem would go away.

Helmets are fine, but overemphasizing this minimally effective countermeasure over the real issues is like putting a bandaid on a amputated limb.

This isn't just some hypothetical splitting hairs issue, either -- real dollars are involved. Colorado was one of the first states to distribute federal Safe Routes to School dollars for bicycle safety. I reviewed $6.5 million in grant requests from various agencies; only $2.3 million was available to distribute. Somewhere around $1 million was requested for helmet education and promotion (which acts mostly to make children and parents afraid to ride their bikes), when what we really wanted was to promote cycling to school.

One of the recipients for 2006 is the city of Longmont for a very strong bicycle promotion and education program there in conjunction with the school system. Helmets are part of it and the kids are required to have helmets to participate, but the way it's done doesn't detract from the main purpose of that program.

There is a lot of debate, and discussion, all over the cycling community, on a host of issues such as this one.

If you have the time you owe it to yourself to check out any cycling message board, or e-mail list, that catches your attention when checking out various sites in my sideboard, and you will see just how involved, technical, and even very heated, the discussions can become.

Just beware: Your e-mail in-box could quickly be overloaded. ;-D

That's why I have not subscribed to any lists in years. ;-D

Thanks, Fritz, for the above contribution. ;-D

July 21, 2006 in Voices From The Open Road | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Chinese Masses tastes in modes of transport changing

Last spring word comes from China that the Bicycle loving masses are increasingly trading in their classic cruiser-style Flying Pigeon bikes for mountain bikes, and road bikes, not to mention the good old Automobile.

The price of Economic Prosperity, and the growth of that nations own style of Capitalism?

A Tip of the Hat to Grist Magazine Blogger Todd Hymas.

As a side note to this modernization it is interesting to see that "Electric  Bicycles are Selling by the Millions Despite Efforts to  Ban Them" according to Peter Fairley on the Blog Electric Transportation Solutions.

July 20, 2006 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, deer!

Dashing deer smacks unwary cyclist.

I hate when that happens don't you? ;-D

Most people have either hit a deer or heard of someone who has hit a deer, but Carroll Jarvis, 72, of 1303 Teachs Point Road, Bath, said the deer hit him.

Friday morning Jarvis was riding his bicycle down Teachs Point Road, like he does every morning, when he spotted a deer running towards the road.

LaDonna Younger, who lives a few houses down from Jarvis, was driving up the road in her SUV.

“I thought for sure she was going to hit the deer,” said Jarvis.

But the sprinting deer dodged the oncoming car and ran right into the unsuspecting Jarvis on his bicycle.

It happened very fast, he said. The deer struck the bicycle from the back knocking him over. He said he felt the animal run over him, leaving him with a scraped knee and a bruised leg, before running off into the woods. His bike was also damaged in the collision.

Wahington Daily News ( 5/18 ): Deer avoids car, hits man on bicycle by Christina Hale.

July 20, 2006 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fort Wayne Columnist Promotes Helmet Use

Back in May a columnist for an Indiana newspaper did a piece on the need for helmet use while cycling, especially by children:

In part she writes:

Put a child or adult on a bike, put the bike and person in a street or even a driveway, have both come in contact with a moving car and it’s a clear-cut formula for disaster.

In 2004, the most recent year data is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 725 “pedal” cyclist deaths occurred; 13 were in Indiana. Children 15 and younger accounted for 21 percent of the 725 killed, and 56 percent of bicyclist deaths were among adults ages 25-64.

But add a helmet to the head of the bicyclist and the person is 14 times less likely to die than if he or she does not wear a helmet. People pay good money in the Hoosier Lottery with a thousand times fewer odds of winning than that.

Children ages 5-14 are treated more often in U.S. hospitals for injuries associated with bicycles than for injuries from any other sport, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians, or ACEP. This year, nearly 500,000 children and adults will require emergency room treatment from bicycle accident injuries.

Nearly half of all bicycle-related deaths are due to head injuries, according to ACEP data. And Safe Kids USA, a national child-safety advocacy organization, reports nearly three-fourths of those head injuries occur in children age 14 and younger. Additionally, 90 percent of all bicycle-related deaths involve a collision with a motor vehicle.

Google “bicycle helmets" and "safety statistics” and you’ll get no less than a dozen studies showing helmets save lives and reduce injuries.

“The use of helmets is the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes,” said Dr. Rick Blum, president of ACEP.

Universal bicycle helmet use by children ages 4-15 would prevent 135-155 deaths annually, plus cause 39,000-45,000 fewer head injuries and 18,000-55,000 fewer scalp and facial injuries, according to Safe Kids. Helmet use however, among all ages, is lowest among children 11-14.

Yet only 40-60 percent of children consistently use bike helmets.

There is no federal law requiring children to wear bicycle helmets. As of February, only 20 states and the District of Columbia had helmet laws applying to bicyclists age 14 and younger. Some municipalities have approved

independent bike helmet ordinances. Indiana has no state or city bike helmet laws, confirmed Jeff Strei, spokesman for ACEP.

Fort Wayne.com ( 5/22 ): A small investment, a vital reward: Helmets can make a huge difference – if you wear them By Jennifer L. Boen.

***UPDATE - 7/21***

A follow-up by regular reader, and commentor, Fritz = Is Helmet Use Promoted to Detriment of Safety Courses?

***END UPDATE***

Technorati Tags: Bicycle Helmets

July 20, 2006 in Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LA Times does piece on cycling resources

However, it appears the reporters search for info did not turn up yours truly. ;-D

I'm willing to forgive since the purpose of the excellent 3 page piece was a focus only on Los Angeles County, while I have links to all of California, and beyond.. ;-D

However, I do have to wonder when the last recommended website in the piece is described this way:

A left-leaning collection of all things cycling with a Los Angeles emphasis.

It is no secret that 2 of the other sites recommended, have Far Left leaning, and the LA Times ain't exactly Conservative. ;-D

LOS ANGELES ( 5/22 ): Tips and resources to get you into gear by Stephen Krcmar.

Technorati Tags: Cycling Los Angeles

July 20, 2006 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Giving Lawyers a GOOD Name

Back in May a great story came out of Michigan.

The Michigan Trial Lawyers Association held its seventh annual Helmet Safety Campaign across the state of Michigan on Saturday, promoting helmet and bike safety to kids and adults alike.

Lansing was one of 12 cities in Michigan that hosted this event. This is the fourth year the event was held in Lansing — this year's event took place at the Lansing Fire Station — and according to Teri Guiffes, the event's coordinator, the public's interest in it has grown every year.

"This is the biggest it's been, and it just keeps getting bigger," Guiffes said.

The days events included raffles giving away new bikes and police and firemen talking about the importance of helmet safety. Helmets also were fitted and given to kids and adults of all ages.

"It's one thing to promote helmet safety; it's a completely different thing to say here's a helmet as well," said Hondo Carpenter, one of the event's spokesmen.

THE STATE NEWS: Safety event gives bicycle helmets to adults, children By Justin Kroll.

Technorati Tags: Bicycle Helmets

July 20, 2006 in Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack