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August 31, 2006

Carnival of the Vanities 206 All Ducked Out

Carnival of the Vanities 206 is up at Lil' Duck, Duck Blog!

The Duck theme is an entertaining way to present it, and I particularly how an image of the book Duck on a Bike was used in relation to my contribution. ;-D

August 31, 2006 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 29, 2006

Sidewalk Cycling Rules vary here in Orange County

Cindy Carcamo has a very good Safety Column in the Orange County Register, the major daily newspaper here in the OC.

One of the question she answers in todays column is of interest to bicyclists.

Am I allowed to ride my bicycle on the sidewalk?

The state's vehicle code has a lot to say about bicycling on roads but it doesn't say much about riding on city sidewalks.

Instead, it allows local governments to set their own codes.

This means you'll have to contact your city or law enforcement officials to find out what the rules are. The rules vary widely, depending on the city.

For instance, it's against city law to ride your bicycle on Newport Beach sidewalks, Sgt. Bill Hartford said. There are few exceptions for wheelchairs, tricycles, and rollerblades, for example.

"If you take a look at it from a practical standpoint you have bicycles then competing with pedestrians for the sidewalk," Hartford added.

In Tustin and Laguna Beach, bicyclists have to obey the same rules as motorists and cannot travel on sidewalks.

Bicyclists are also barred from sidewalks in Cypress.

Santa Ana, on the other hand, allows bicyclists to travel along most city sidewalks, Officer Victor Standke said.

"Children aren't going to be made to ride on the street," he said.

Bicycles are only banned along sidewalks in the business district and civic center-area, Standke added. This is mostly because of increased pedestrian traffic in those areas.

Still, you'd most likely get a warning instead of a citation if you're caught zipping along the sidewalk, unless you've done something egregious or you've been warned before, Standke added.

You may want to consult your city's Web site where you may find city codes pertaining to bicycles.

Also, go to the California Bicycle Coalition for more information.

Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk?

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

August 25, 2006

Proposed Mandatory Helmet Law Protested in Austin

Over the years I've written about cycling safety, and how one aspect of that is wearing a helmet.

I have links in my sidebar to research for, and against, helmet use, and there have been comments to my stories from folks who can marshal statistics, and stories, for the opposing view.

When I was 8 years old I was knocked off my bike by a bully with a jump rope, and nearly got a severe concussion.

I was in no condition to enjoy the ride to the hospital in the back of the police car that showed up seconds after the incident, darn it!

I have worn a helmet since then, and have no doubt wearing one has saved me from injury several times.

This story has led me to add 2 new links, in my Helmet Issue List, including 1 from a group, in Austin, TX., that intelligently presents the "Against Helmet Use" view on this hot topic as they fight the "Good Fight", as they see it, in their city:

The League of Bicycling Voters was established, in the 1990's, to promote safe bicycling in the greater Austin area.

Fritz, of Cyclicious, yesterday put together a report on the latest news from Austin:

The Austin City Council will hold a hearing tonight in a few moments to once again discuss mandatory helmets for all ages. Austin passed similar legislation in 1996, modifying the law a year and half later so that it now applies only to cyclists ages 17 and younger.

The League of Bicycling Voters in Austin has been campaigning hard to fight this legislation. According to the LOBV, helmet laws discourage cycling, distract attention from real bike safety initiatives, unfairly targets cyclists, give motorists who injure cyclists anonther excuse to escape liability, and give police another way to harass minorities on bicycles.

Read the full piece here.

***UPDATE -- 930AM***

The Proposal was defeated at an intense City Council meeting covered by Seth Johnson of Austin City Skates.

His capsule guides to what 18 speakers for each side of the issue had to say captures the 2 sides eloquently, and made me cringe at the way the Pro-Law Speakers presented their case:

The proponents of the helmet law basically described a littany of horrors associated with bicycle accidents and drew the conclusion that if everyone were required to wear helmets, then the health care burden would be reduced for the city supporting brain-injured citizens. Truly, the picture they painted made it sound like bicycling was the worst and most deadly form of transportation available. These people included Bruce Todd talking about the $300,000 in hospital bills he racked up from his recent cycling accident. He was followed by Scot Simmons, the brother of Gay Simmons, who was run over by two cars and killed while riding the shoulder on 360.

When the anti-helmet law people took the podium, it quickly became clear that they were almost unanimously in support of wearing helmets while bicycling, but opposed to a regulation requiring their use. The other distinction that seemed to seperate them from the helmet law supporters was that these were the hardcores. These folks are really putting into practice bicycling as an alternative mode of transportation while the previous speakers were of the weekend recreational riding ilk. Some of these riders are involved in the Yellow Bike Project and many said their bicycles are their only forms of transportation.

Full, picture filled report, by Austin Skate Notes.

Look, I support wearing a helmet because, to me, it is common sense, but I will not support forcing Adults to wear them for their own good, and the publics good, because community do gooders, and fellow cyclists who sadly suffered injuries that may have traumatically affected their thinking, and/or cyclists who do not, or have not, used their bikes for more than the occasional recreational jaunt, and may not even be versed in the ways of safe cycling, especially on city streets, say everyone MUST BE MADE TO DO SO by law.

Unlike Smoking in enclosed public places the only people hurt by not wearing a helmet are those who choose not to wear one, so if they don't, and something happens... it is on their head ( pun intended. ).

While the risk of injury, I believe, increases when you don't wear a helmet, if you are an adult who has cycling experience, know the ways of safe cycling, and understand the risks, then I say have at it, and just stay safe.

I commute to work 10+ miles ( 20+ when I do the round trip.) every day, and have used my bike to travel all my life.

Bicycling is NOT "the worst and most deadly form of transportation available".

Bicycling is dangerous if you don't ride responsibly.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CYCLIST TO ADEQUATLEY INFORM HIM, OR HERSELF, ABOUT NOT JUST THE CONTRAPTION THEY HAVE TAKEN UP RIDING, BUT THE SAFE WAYS TO DO SO, THE LAWS IN THEIR COMMUNITY, AND MUCH MORE.

Doing this makes you a better cyclist, whether you wear a helmet or not, and making sure your children learn what you have learned IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A PARENT, and will make them better cyclists, and turn them into life long, INFORMED, cyclists as well.

The reason I began this blog, 3 1/2 years ago, was to collect as many of the most important, and informative, resources I could find on Bicycling.

It is hard for many to find these sites on their own, and most ordinary cyclists, and many "Hardcore" types, have no clue that these resources are available.

The variety of the resources is astonishing, as you can see, and it is my hope that more, and more people discover them, use them, and learn from them.

Cycling, Cyclists, and the world at large, will benefit.

( Thanks, FRITZ, for the e-mail heads up!! )

***END UPDATE***

***UPDATE 2 -- 8/26***

Megan Ann, of Chainsaw Panda Rides A Bike, wrote an eloquent letter to the council, and reports that "42 spoke against the proposed law. 2 spoke as neutral. 19 spoke for."

She writes a great post, and it's from her that I present the following 2 links, if you are interested, and have the time, as she describes them:

" it will be re-broadcast. and/or you can read the transcript. Cuz I know all u guys need something to do over the weekend. ha. You have to see the woman that sang 2 songs during her time at the podium. Superbly austin."  :-)

***END UPDATE***

Resources:

Bicycle Helmet Institute

Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation: An International Resource

Brandon's Champions

NoHelmetLaw.org ( Added to sidebar today. )

Avery Burdett's Helmets FAQ ( Anti - Helmet Use Dissertation by The Vehicular Cyclist: Site Added to sidebar today. )

August 25, 2006 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hey, Typepad, A Bicycle Would Be Quicker!

As everyone with a Typepad Blog knows the Six Apart folks have been adding features related to Technorati Tag creation, and Pinging.

Now, in a fascinating, and revealing, 2 minute Video, that speeds up the lengthy journey, it is finally shown just how all our info gets delivered to Technorati!

If you've set your blog to be publicized, you've got a direct connection to the most popular blog search service, and we make sure your TypePad blog gets priority handling on the way to rest of the web.

After watching the clip all I can say is....

How old school!

A Bike Messenger would be faster! ;-D

And before you ask: The time taken to lock, and unlock, the bike, and the fire hydrant visit by Fido, cancel each other out, still making the Bike Messenger faster. ;-D

August 25, 2006 in The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

You Adore Your Bicycle, Admit It!

Bedtime_story

THE MAN AND THE BICYCLE

The Man and the Bicycle went on a test ride

On a  beautiful cool clear day:

He took water and Trail Mix for his hungry hide

Enough to last the whole long way.

The Man looked up to the sky above,

And said to his lovely steed,

"Oh, lovely Bike, oh, Bike, my love,

You are a beautiful Bike, indeed!

You are,

You are!

What a beautiful Bike you are!" -

The Man said to the Bike, "You elegant transport,

How smooth, and sweet you ride!

Oh, let me buy you; too long I've been doing driving of another sort:

But how shall we get you to where I abide?"

They took the trip on 3 buses, and made it ok,

To the land where the Bike Trails are plenty;

And there along the river he told her they would ride it all the way,

With head and rear lights, and a U-Lock to keep her safe,

Her safe,

Her safe,

And a U-Lock to keep her safe. -

"Dear Bike, are you ready to go fast without spilling

Me?" Said the Man,  and he sensed that she was.

So they rode away, and arrived at the end of a journey most thrilling

In the city for whose residents bicycling was a Cause.

He dined on a sandwhich and a bowl of yogurt,

Which he ate with a plastic spoon;

And then, on the Trail at the edge of the sand,

They rode by the light of the moon,

The moon,

The moon,

They rode by the light of the moon. - -

THE END.

With humble thanks, for the inspiration, to the incomparable Edward Lear, who wrote The Owl and The Pussy-Cat, in 1871. ;-D

You ride your Bicycle day and night.

You ride your Bicycle near, and far.

You ride your Bicycle whenever the mood strikes you, regardless of the weather.

You clean your Bicycle, and check for problems Morning, Noon, and Night ( Well, at least once a day, or week, anyway. ).

You talk to your Bicycle, maybe even read it bedtime stories.

You buy things for your Bicycle, for Bicycling, and to look good Bicycling, at the drop of a hat.

You give your Bicycle a name, and regard it as a Him, or Her.

You brag about, and show off, your Bicycle to anyone and everyone.

You then smile with pride, and contentment, when folks compliment you on your Bicycle.

Some of you even have more than one Bicycle.

You ADORE your Bicycle, ADMIT IT!! ;-D

***UPDATE - 8/26***

Megan Ann, of Ausin, TX., has some great sentiments about bicycling:

Riding a bike can be one of the simplist things a man, woman or child could do. humans have been on two wheels for a long time. when you ride your bike, u use your own power and strength and determination to reach your destination. along the way, you are given a chance to go at a different pace than the rest of the world. you can take your time and notice people, the wind, the sounds of the city, the quiet along a trail and smell fragrences of each season. or you can speed through town at a good clip feeling more alive and aware with all of your senses on high. you sweat. you get dirty. in and out of traffic, off to a more quiet street, through a neighborhood, up the hill and down the other side, back into traffic....you flow. this, and more is riding a bike.

I hope that more people can experience the simple act of riding a bike under their own power. running an errand, a trip to the grocery store, a commute to and from work, a slow ride with your dog, pumping your best friend to the pool, biking with your kid to school, riding from your house and escaping to the trails and woods.

***END UPDATE***

August 23, 2006 in Bicycling Humor, Creative Writing, Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

Cementing Marriage with a Tandem Bike Ride

This story is so damn cool! ;-D

Congratulations to us. Samantha and I had an amazing wedding up at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian NY. We had a short but symbolic bike ride on Saturday morning and then me and my sweetie rode off on our new tandem after the beautiful ceremony.

Check out the 6 great pictures of the wedding finale of BikeBlogger Michael Green. ;-D

Congrats, and best wishes, to Mike and his sweetie!

August 21, 2006 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The 1 Bicycle Garage

Bike_storage At my apartment complex everyone gets a garage of their own for their car.

My Trusty Steed is in heaven! ;-D









Don't show this picture to your bike. It might get a severe case of Storage Envy. ;-D

August 21, 2006 in Bicycling Humor, Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

New Bicycling Forum Debuts

I get e-mails. ;-D

Bicycle discussion where bike riders of all ages and skills can come together and exchange tips, share experiences, chat, and further their knowledge and spirit of the sport with each visit.

That is the description of a brand new Cycling Forum that has recently debuted.

As the webmaster writes:

Hello,

I’m the webmaster over at the new Bike Coalition website.

We are still a very young community forum but are already growing larger everyday.

We will soon become a great place of Bicycle discussion where riders of all ages and skills can come together and exchange tips, share experiences, chat, and further their knowledge and spirit of the sport with each visit.

I have recently added your wonderful website to our link section and was wondering if you might do the same.

Since the site is just a forum, for now, I have decided to make a topic at the top of each section with links that I and my moderators feel would benefit the community.

Your website link with a description is included in every forum under the General Bicycle Discussion category.

In the near future, I also plan on making a separate link page as well.

If interested,  please email me back a short description that you would like to be found under your link.

And if possible, please consider putting up our link so that Bike Coalition can continue to grow and become a great resource online.

Look forward to hearing back from you,

Mike

In a very short amount of time Bike Coalition has gathered 59 users, contributing 589 posts to 151 threads so far.

The forums cover a variety of topics of interest to cyclists of all varieties, and levels of knowledge, and skill.

All forums that have come before this one began simple, and grew to become the great resources, and communities, they are today.

I've added a link in my sidebar, and encourage anyone interested to check them out.

Here's hoping this one joins their ranks as a successful addition to the Cycling Community!  ;-D

August 21, 2006 in Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 18, 2006

Bike Friendly Mass Transit: California

AVTA (Antelope Valley-Lancaster, Palmdale)

BART (San Francisco Region)

Big Blue Bus (Santa Monica)

CCCTA (Central Costa Co.)

Culver City Bus (LA Co.)

Foothill Transit (LA Co.)

GET (Bakersfield)

Humboldt Transit Authority (Redwood, Eureka Region)

Mendocino Transit Authority (Mendocino Co.)

METRO (Santa Cruz Co.)

Metrolink Trains (Southern Ca.)

Modesto Area Express (Modesto Area)

MST (Greater Monterey, Salinas Area)

MTA (LA Co.)

OCTA (Orange Co.)

OMNITRANS (San Bernardino Co.)

RABA (Redding Area)

RT (Sacramento Region)

RTA (Riverside Co.)

samTrans (San Mateo Co.)

San Diego Transit (SanDiego Co.)

San Luis Obispo Co. Regional Transit Systems

Santa Clarita Transit

SCT (Sonoma Co.)

SMART (Stockton Area, San Joaquin Co.)

StaRT (Stanislaus Co.)

Tri Delta Transit (Eastern Contra Costa Co.)

VTA (Santa Clara Valley Region)

YARTS (Yosemite National Park Region-Mariposa, Merced, and Mono Co.)

Yolobus (Yolo Co.)



AMTRAK

SoCal Transit Trip Planner

Send me an e-mail if you are aware of other agencies, and I will add the link to the list.

August 18, 2006 in Have Bicycle, Will Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 16, 2006

Charleston sees rise in Bike Sales

High gas prices continue to drive more folks to take up cycling to save money, and improve their health.

Take South Carolina for example:

Charleston bike stores have seen a rapid rise in bike sales over the past year or so, an increase some say is due largely to the swelling price of gas.

In 2004, one of Charleston's largest bike dealers sold about five of the new hybrid bikes -- a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike -- made especially for the energy conscious to commute to work.

Last year, the number sold had jumped to 100.

Charleston Bicycle Center has seen an increasing number of customers who venture in with hopes of saving money on gas by making the trek to work on two wheels.

"They're coming in to buy and they're people who haven't rode before," said Dan Neal, sales manager at the Kanawha City cycle shop. "They're looking for the kinds of bikes that will let them do a short commute on a daily basis."

Nationwide, bike sales have spiked over the past few years, an increase that many in the business attribute to the explosion in fuel costs.

From New Jersey to Washington, D.C to Montana, bicycle dealers are reporting sales increases just this year of about 50 percent.

Don't get all excited: Freeways aren't going to be converted to Bike Lanes any time soon. ;-D

Full Story:

CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL ( 8/10 ): People turning to bikes for fuel costs, health concerns by Kris Wise.

August 16, 2006 in Cycling News Network | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack