Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Smell of Desperation - part II


The reno rambler continues to get inundated with desperate emails from Republican wankers desperate for my vote and my money. But an email from John McCain really rubbed me the wrong way. What a party lackey! This is a guy who has built his reputation on being a "straight-shooter" but really, how seriously can you take an email from him that includes this line:

"We must elect more Republicans in our states and in Washington, D.C. who will work with President Bush to tackle these tough issues so we can keep our country moving forward."

Hmmmm, moving forward. Yeah, right.

Click on the above link for reality check on the Bush administration's plans to move the country forward.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Extraordinary!




See the link and the previous post for more....

The "Cricket" is World Champion








The little Italian rider that could! Paolo Bettini has been one of my favorite riders in the peleton for years because of his explosive attacking style. And, who can't love a guy who embraces the nickname "cricket"? King of the one-day races he has been an Olympic champion and won stages in the Tours of France, Italy, and Spain. Finally, this morning he wins the one race that has eluded him: The World Championship road race, this year set in Salzburg.

"Queasy Rider"












This is a pretty decent article in the NYTimes that talks about normal people who have made the choice to commute to work by bicycle. Nice, since we are often betrayed as wackjobs in the major media. And while I don't like all the verbiage declaring the streets a "battleground," it is nice to see cyclists gaining some political and social capital.

"Mr. Ford is among an estimated 120,000 regular cyclists in New York, 40,000 of whom commute to work by bike. And increasingly, these cyclists are waging an ever more ferocious turf war with the city.

Like Mr. Ford, the majority of these commuters do daily battle on the city’s 6,000 miles of often jam-packed roadways. At the same time, a small number of cycling advocates lobby City Hall with almost religious fervor, seeking everything from more bike racks to legislation requiring office building owners to install storage space for bikes.

The most public lobbying efforts are the Critical Mass rides in Manhattan, consciousness-raising events that take place on the last Friday of every month — the next one is Friday — and resemble nothing so much as 1960’s political rallies. Before the most recent ride, a bleached-blond hipster preacher named Reverend Billy recited the First Amendment through a bullhorn. Later, police officers issued 65 moving violations and made one arrest.

Despite the obstacles, this may be an ideal moment for seeking a bike-friendlier New York. With issues like global warming and high gas prices at the forefront of public consciousness, many advocates say that after years of struggle, they finally have the political capital to make cycling a top priority in the city.

“This is absolutely a moment of opportunity,” said Walter Hook, executive director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a New York-based organization that designs mass transit in developing countries. “The mayor stood up and took a bold stance and banned smoking. The next step is to stop the air pollution coming out of the tailpipe.”

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards























"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." Tom Waits

I've been a fan of Tom's since Swordfish Trombones, which I think it is safe to say, warped my whole way of listening to music, and twisted my brain permanently. (Coincidence that this is right around the time he hooked with his wife/collaborator Kathleen Brennan? Hmmm......?) I'm most intrigued by the third disc containing the "experimental" songs.

Click on the link above for more info.

"Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards is a three CD set by Tom Waits, set to be released in November 2006. It is a collection of 24 rare and 30 brand new songs.
Each disc is intended to be a separate collection in itself; the first disc will feature the more "bluesy" Tom Waits, the second the more "melancholy" and the third disc will feature more "experimental" songs."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My favorite Street Vibrations moment










Ah, Street Vibrations! How I love this time of year. I remember people griping about Hot August Nights when i first moved here. And then I lived through Street Vibrations and realized it is far, far worse than HAN.

My favorite SV moment was a couple of years ago when I rode my bicycle up Geiger Grade and as I passed the slew of Hogs at the look out point 3 miles up, one of the leather clad riders leered at me and yelled, "I bet you wish you had a motor!" To which I replied, "I do have a motor,________." I'm so good with people and making new friends.

In honor of the assinine Street Vibrations click on the above link for a wonderful "Harley Idiot" moment, plucked from YouTube. I'll be interested to see how many accidents there are this weekend because these riders don't know how to handle their motorcycles. However, to be clear, I don't wish anyone to get hurt...karma, you know.

Bicycling Heroes part II

I'm not the sentimental sort on most days. But a story like this, well, it's hard not to be moved. Click the above link to pitch in and help those fighting against Leukemia and Lymphoma. Having had a family member who just recently went through Lymphoma (and is now thankfully in remission) I know that it can be a hard road to travel.
_______

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who is well known for her work conseling the
terminaly ill and investigating near-death experiences described the
following experience with a nine-year-old boy who died of leukemia.

Jeffy had been in and out of hospitals since age three. By the time of
his last visit, he was extremely weak, and Dr. Ross realized that he had
only a few weekes left to live. Jeffy announced with a sense of great
urgency that he wanted to go home "today". Dr. Ross talked with his
parents, who were worried and reluctant to comply with their son's
wishes. She finally persuaded the parents and accompanied them home.

When they arrive in the garage, Jeffy got out of the car and said to his
father, "Take my bicycle down from the wall." It was a brand-new bicycle
that his father had bought for him three years earlier but he had never
been able to ride. It was Jeffy's dream once in his life to ride around
his neighborhood on his bicycle.

Jeffy could barely stand on his feet. He had his father put training
wheels on the bicycle and then said to Dr. Ross, "You are here to hold
my mom back." Therefore, Dr. Ross held the mother back, and the father
held Dr. Ross back. They all held each other back and learned the hard
way how painful and difficult it sometimes is in the face of a very
vulnerable, terminally ill child to allow him the victory and the risk
to fall and hurt and bleed. And he then drove off on his solo journey on
the bicycle around the neighborhood.

Jeffy came back, the proudest young man you have ever seen. He was
beaming, smiling from one ear to the other. He looked like somebody who
had won the gold medal in the Olympics.

One week later, Jeffy Died. A weeek after that, Jeffy's younger brother
Dougy, whose birthday it was, related how after the bicycling episode
Jeffy, without their parents' knowledge, had given him the bicycle for a
birthday present. Jeff had told Dougy that he wanted the pleasure of
personally giving him his most beloved bicycle. But he could not wait
another two weeks until it was Dougy's birthday, because by then he
would be dead.

The parents had a lot of grief, but no grief work, no fear, no guilt, no
shame... They had the memory of this ride around the block and that
beaming face of Jeffy.

Real Bicycling Heroes: A nice article on legend Freddie Hoffman-Or, how to ride to the moon and back again, twice.














Inspired by watching astronauts land on the moon, Hoffman realized at a young age that his limitations would keep him from becoming an astronaut, in the literal sense. So he decided to ride the distance to the moon (approximately 238,856 miles) on his bicycle.

Now 48, Hoffman long ago reached that goal. He said he's totaled 1.3 million miles, far enough to make it to the moon and back — twice.

"I actually have a lifetime average of 81.4 miles per day over the past 41 years. My diary has recorded about 24,700 days riding and approximately 1,500 days that I entered zero that I didn't ride," Hoffman said.

He has taken thousands of photographs of places he has been. His travels have taken him across the United States more than 20 times, over all 48 contiguous states — across mountain passes and deserts, through the smallest towns and the biggest cities, sometimes to the most desolate corners of America. "I've been on roads that are not even published on maps where I could go all day. … I had one instance in Nevada where I rode 200 miles, and not a car passed me on the highway," he said.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For $2,100 you can have your picture taken with the worst president in history







From Sidney Blumenthal's new book (click the link above for a longer excerpt from Salon.com):

As his top priority Bush pushed for passage of a large tax cut that would redistribute income to the wealthy, drain the surplus that the Clinton administration had accumulated, and reverse fiscal discipline embraced by both the Clinton and prior Bush administrations. The tax cut became Bush's chief instrument of social policy. By wiping out the surplus, budget pressure was exerted on domestic social programs. Under the Reagan administration, a tax cut had produced the largest deficit to that time, bigger than the combined deficits accumulated by all previous presidents. But Reagan had stumbled onto this method of crushing social programs through the inadvertent though predictable failure of his fantasy of supply-side economics in which slashing taxes would magically create increased federal revenues. Bush confronted alternatives in the recent Republican past, the Reagan example or his father's responsible counter-example of raising taxes to cut the deficit; once again, he rejected his father's path. But unlike Reagan, his decision to foster a deficit was completely deliberate and with full awareness of its consequences.

Monday, September 18, 2006

September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day




Arrrr! The Reno Rambler's pirate name is: Mighty Ripper

Rocketboom


















I was never one of the Rocketboom groupies but after the whole installment of "daily with joanne colan" after the ouster of Amanda I had to at least check it out. Imagine my surprise but dare I say it, Joanne is better than Amanda. Her delivery is sharper and her "talking head" mugging is less amateurish. Now I understand that the level level of amateurishness was part of the appeal of the earlier incarnation, but there's something to be said for the sly wink of Colan's delivery. Or, maybe I'm just a sucker for a good brit accent.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I love the smell of desperation in the morning


I received this Republican solicitation email yesterday and while I would never want to get overly hopeful about the Dems chances this November, this whiff of desperation coming from the Republicans is palpable. I can't help but be amused and the slightly panicked tone of the email from Mehlman. Especially when he mentions those angry left-wing groups. Problem is, it's not just the far left that is so angry about the direction of the country. And despite the slight uptick in Bush's numbers this last week, the polls don't really look that positive for the Republicans.

_________

Dear Reno Rambler,

Everything is on the line.

It's more than just the House, the Senate, and 36 governorships. It's whether the President's efforts to keep Americans safe will grind to a halt with Democrats in control of funding every aspect of the War on Terror... whether Democrats will be allowed to carry out their threat to raise your taxes by $2.4 trillion... whether Democrats will get their wish of investigating - and maybe even impeaching - our President.

With so much at stake, the Republican National Committee will hold nothing back in this fight. This week, I made the decision that the RNC will spend whatever it takes - $60 million or more, the RNC's entire budget - to maintain our majorities. We are within sight of meeting this ambitious financial goal - but we aren't there yet.

Will you put us in position to win by donating $250, $100, $50, or even $25 to the RNC's Emergency Fund?

We are facing the brutal reality that we will be outspent in this tough fight. The Democrats, their special interest union allies, and angry left-wing groups like MoveOn.org plan to spend more than $120 million in their desperate bid to make Nancy Pelosi the next Speaker of the House. With the clock ticking to Election Day, we still need your support to stop that from happening.

Ken Mehlman
Chairman, Republican National Committee

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Team Bobzien conquers 2006 Journal Jog






A group of "Dashers for David" Bobzien showed up at the Reno Gazette Journal Jog to support this great event going on its 39th year, and to support David's campaign. He is running for Nevada Assembly District 24 (Old Northwest Reno and parts of northeast Reno and the North Valleys). If you're interested in finding out more, getting involved, and lending your support to his campaign click on the above link. The Reno Rambler showed up to lend his two legs to the cause. And while no land speed records were set on my part, it was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Fall Saturday. (see David below pointing out the appropriate "Dashers for David" attire on a campaign supporter).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Is bicycling the new golf? -according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel






















Well, at least Mark Twain never would have said cycling was a waste of a good walk (unlike golf). To quote MT:

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." From his essay: Taming the Bicycle. To read the full text go here:
http://www.bikereader.com/contributors/misc/taming.html

Excerpt:

"That more business executives have become self-propelled on their business outings is no surprise to Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the Bikes Belong Coalition. The baby boomers now leading companies likely rode their bikes to grade school or around the college campus, and are more likely to return to biking as they age. Sales of high-end road bikes, $1,000 or more, have set records in the past three years."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Maybe we can take a little hint from the Dutch?









It is quite interesting that the increased use of bicycles in the Netherlands has been associated with affluence which is almost completely the opposite of how people in the U.S. view using bicycles for transportation. It's for the people who can't afford a car. Perhaps the new book from Chris Balish, How to Live Well Without Owning a Car, is one small step in the right direction for this country.

From the NYtimes article linked above:

"A generation or so ago, bicycles were popular substitutes for cars, which were too expensive for many people and wasteful, in a country below sea level and thus finely attuned to environmental matters. Now, with greater affluence, more free time and even greater environmental concerns, the Dutch are turning to bicycles in ever greater numbers. Sales are booming, and there is a proliferation of designs for all sorts of purposes."

Note: I borrowed the photo above from the outstanding bicycling culture website: bicyclefixation.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Curmudgeon on a Bike


In my weaker, jaded moments, Calvin's dad sums up quite nicely how I feel as a bicyclist living in a "cager" culture.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tragedy Every Day














"In addition to the three thousand people who died on September 11th, 2001, at the hands of terrorists, another 24,000 died from hunger and related causes." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. This quote was the first entry on the Reno Rambler blog back in July and it's a good place to revisit as we are bombarded with the 9/11 tributes, tv movies, and the manipulation of the public and eroding of our civil liberties through the "war on terror." While it is certainly tragic to have 3000 people in this country lose their lives because of Islamic extremists, I can't help but ask, where is the outrage for the 24,000 who die daily? And what if you look further down the list of causes of death in the world? According to Starvation.net and the National Association for the Prevention of Starvation, if you add in waterborne diseases and AIDS, the body count for the poorest of the poor on this planet exceeds 50,000 deaths per day. Where is the outrage for this tragedy?

Jesus in the Sky with Balloons





Myrna over at Renodiscontent.com has already commented on the Jesus balloon looking over our fair city the last few days and surely everybody has better balloon photo galleries than I do (my pencam is not that good but it's nicely compact for biking). But I can't help but be struck by the weirdness of seeing a Jesus balloon with stigmata and adorned with what looks like a boxing robe ("Kings of Kings!"). And what are those little figures around base of the "cloud"? Apostles? Angels? The Saved?

I think Jesus is rolling over in his grave......oh wait.

whither the American Dream


Leave it to a foreign paper to so adeptly analyze the various issues surrounding the status of the American Dream. But is anyone asking if we have the right to feel entitled to the American Dream when so many people around the world are starving to death or dying of aids or working for pennies or being bombed by us to secure oil?

A few choice excerpts:

“THE top fifth of American households claimed 50.4% of all income last year, the largest slice since the Census Bureau started tracking the data in 1967.” So reported The Wall Street Journal just one day before the Commerce Department announced that second-quarter corporate profits were 20.5% higher than a year ago and accounted for 12.2% of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest level in 40 years.

Throw in reports of layoffs at Ford, GM, Intel, and decisions in the nation’s boardrooms to reduce the value of workers’ pensions while preserving the generous pensions of top executives, and you have some reason to wonder if the famous American dream has turned into a nightmare.
*****

Two developments are causing observers such as Bernanke some concern. The first is the growing sense that the rich are getting richer, something that nobody save a few hardline lefties ever objected to in America, so long as the poor were also getting richer. Now it seems they aren’t. Or, at least, so far in the recent recovery they haven’t been.

The second problem relates to the core of the American Dream — social mobility. An oft-told joke in America is that a European (in pre-Thatcher days, we would have said British) worker, seeing his boss drive through the gates in a Rolls-Royce, would want to scratch it, whereas an American worker would think: “Some day I will own one of those”.

That worker might be re-examining his position. More and more American workers are coming to believe they and their children are no more likely to rise above their current station than are their European counterparts.

Writing in the Financial Times, economics professor Jacques Mistral, of the Conseil d’Analyse Economique and a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, summarises recent studies as follows: “The situation of a son is more than ever likely to be dictated by his father’s social position than by his own merits. If your parents are rich, the likelihood of your being rich is as high as the probability of your being tall if your parents are tall.”

*********

Saturday, September 09, 2006

eels



It seems that the band, Eels, brainchild of Mark Oliver Everett (or "E") are going to be one of those bands that fades into obcurity in the next couple of decades, somehow missing the popularity that they (he) so deserves. This pains me to no end because despite emerging in the "grunge/alternative" rush of the early 90s, their music has little to do with that era. It truly transcends any sort of pigeonhole. Over the last decade or so "E" has somewhat quietly developed into a stunning songwriter and accumulated one of the most extraordinary bodies of work of any of his contemporary song-writers. It's no wonder that Tom Waits is both a fan championing the band in the press and a collaborator. Eels move adeptly from nouveau lounge to folk to blues to electronic (see McHonky) to ear-splitting rock. The latest studio album, "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations" is a 2 disc tour de force and is one of the few records that has come out in the last few years that truly deserves to be called, "masterpiece." It has been one of those albums not unlike "Ok Computer," that has been played over and over for over a year now with new discoveries coming with each listen.

Eels can be something of a strange experience live having recently performed as a three piece with a string quartet backing them up, and then following that tour with the No Strings Attached attack featuring two guitarists and a drummer with "Big Al" pitching in on occasional percussion, funky dance moves, and spraying the crowd with whipped cream. They can shift from raucous to lullaby quiet on a dime.

Other key albums in their ouvre include: Souljacker, Daisies of the Galaxy, and the underappreciated Shootenanny. Their are lots of of downloads and such to sample online of course. Two places to go are the official site at www.theeels.com, and www.rockingeels.com, an Austrian fanpage with some great rare tracks. The above link is a bootleg live performance of "That's not really funny" performed live at their warm up show for the most recent tour. The quality is not great but it does give you a sense of the power of the band live.

Great Basin Film Society features "Blow-Up"


One of my favorite films is being screened downtown. From the GBFS:

This Monday, September 11 we're screening Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 feature Blow-Up at 7 p.m. at the Green Room (144 West Street). The title refers not to an exploding bomb, but to the enlargement of a photographic image. It's kind of a mystery/thriller and it's something more than that-- a film that seems to comment on man's state in the universe, not to be too pretentious about it. Actually, it's a very pleasing movie to look at. The hero (anti-hero) is a swinging Londoner fashion photographer who's also working on a book of fine art photography so there are beautiful fashion models, wannabe fashion models, city scenes and landscapes to look at. This is probably Antonioni's most commercially successful and critically acclaimed film-- it won the 1967 Palme d'Or (Best Film) award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Admission is the usual $6, $4 for our film society members and the fresh popcorn is always FREE. To read more about Blow-Up go to our website www.gbfs.org and see you at the movies!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Douglas County Republican Women Present The 1950's Relived!


The Reno Rambler likes to get updates from both the Repubs and Dems in both local and national political events. Even though I swing decidedly left it's nice to know what the party in power's vision for our society really is. Well, this little gem came into my mailbox and I just had to pass it along. Apparently the golden age of women's rights really was the 1950s! You know, valium, illegal abortions....oh wait a minute. That's not what they mean by reliving the 1950s. "TIME WARP" indeed! Anybody want to go burn some bras outside the Elks Lodge?
_______
This fun filled event will be held at the Elks Lodge, 1276 Pit Road, Gardnerville Ranchos (between Tillman & Kimmerling) from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Hot Dog or Hamburger Dinner is $19.50 per person. Proceeds benefit the DCRW community affairs (i.e. Douglas High School Scholarships and Marching Band, Carson Valley Community Closet, School Supplies for Students, etc.) and Republican activities.

Music by 'TIME WARP' - DJ Chuck Baldauskas. Dancing, Dance Contest, Couples Era Dress Contest, Trivia for fun.

We will have a 'Your Choice Drawing', Silent Auction and Live Auction, with our very own Senator Mark Amodei serving as M.C.

Republican Candidates will be permitted time at the mic and are encouraged to talk with attendees. We will have a table for candidates’ literature.

No Host Bar will be available. I.D. required!

For some, cycling the only way to go


For some, this article is what I would call a "duh"! But I always like to link to popular press articles about how cycling is part of mainstream culture lifestyles. Especially when it is an example that is so close to Reno:

"When Johnna Garrido's car broke down in March of 2005, she solved her transportation problem cheaply and efficiently: She hopped on her bicycle.

Garrido is one of a growing number of Grass Valley residents who have traded in their cars along with gas, insurance and repair bills for two-wheeled transportation. Rather than restricting their ability to travel, they say that cycling makes them feel freer, healthier and more mobile than sitting behind the wheel of a car.

"It makes me feel different," said Garrido, 26, a nursing student at Sierra College who also runs her own part-time business, The Bicycling Housecleaner.

"When I used to be in a car, I'd feel claustrophobic. I was waiting so much. I think people in cars just tune out. On a bike, you have to be so keen."

Follow the link for more...

No charges filed in cyclist's death; widow puzzled


From the Arizona Republic:

The widow of a cyclist who was killed in Ahwatukee
Foothills nearly two years ago by a pickup truck cannot understand how the
driver was not charged criminally.

In fact, motorist Clinton Cabanillas was not even cited for driving without
registration and insurance in the November 2004 accident that killed Don
Anselmo.

Anselmo, 68, was a retired electrical engineer who worked on the global
Iridium satellite phone project, for Bell Labs and on every Apollo moon shot
project in the 1960s and 1970s.

Staying the course


In light of the continued reports of no link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, what else can the administration do but "stay the course." Don't want to be focusing on how bad they F****d up 3 years ago in getting us into a war. Now if only the 43 percent of the US population would stop believing in the AQ/Saddam link despite all evidence to the contrary. Wishful thinking at this point I'm afraid...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ghost Bike Memorial - A Gallery



















I attended the memorial and Ghost Bike installation for David Pumphrey this morning. Here is a gallery of images. Approximately 140 bicyclists showed up to take part in the ride. Both KOLO and KTVN (channels 8 and 2) showed up to cover the event. Terry McAfee, Procrastinating Pedalers Club President, announced a new campaign called, "Share the Road, Share the Responsibility," to promote safe cycling in the area. Look for more "Share the Road" signs to be installed sometime in the future around Reno.

I Can't Help Myself




To be clear, I don't actually hate Burning Man. But I couldn't stop myself from posting this. Especially since the photo looks remarkably like one of my neighbors (I can always count on him being gone for a week this time of year) who once tried to run me off of the road in his crappy old pickup while I was biking to work:

Ten Reasons San Francisco Rocks During Burning Man

10. Smell of patchouli is restricted to Upper Haight.
9. Prices of glitter, fake fur and hot glue return to normal levels. Meanwhile, Discount Fabrics closes doors of all locations for one day, fills employee break rooms with money and swims in self-made swimming pool of cash.
8. No white dudes with dreadlocks for seven square miles.
7. San Francisco 'smug' levels ratchet back to 'tolerable' in absence of arty hipster trust fund brats and 2.0 lets-ressurect-pets.com-as-a-vlog leeches.
6. Super annoying guys don't hit on me in bars assuming I know what the fuck they're talking about when they use terms like "the burn", "the man" and "off the grid".
5. Don't have to ride motorcycle defensively around street detritus of Barbie doll heads, Legos, or little plastic dinosaurs that drop off art cars when fog breaks down plastic-epoxy bond with auto paint.
4. Parking is easier, you can actually get brunch at Boogaloos, and Mission bars are fun.
3. For a minute, STD levels in San Francisco drop (but rise again sharply after the festival).
2. At house parties, there are no chicks that become uncontrollably drunk and then attempt to show you how they can "fire dance", accidentally setting fire to the host's potted plant/small dog/infant.
1. No hippies. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Muscle Powered


A shout out to this group in Carson City working to make walking and cycling safer means of transportation. Let's face it, bicycling and walking are considered indicators of a community's livability and a high quality of life. Being able to safely bike or walk creates a sense that any town is safe and a friendly place to live and visit. How do you think Reno rates?

"Muscle Powered: Citizens for a Bikable and Walkable Carson City is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making Carson City Nevada a safer community for pedestrians and bicyclists through advocacy, education, and promotion of bike-and-pedestrian-friendly roadways, and bike-and-pedestrian-friendly development and redevelopment."

Hit and Run incidents up in Reno


A bit more info about the trend towards hit and run incidents in Reno. The article talks about both pedestrians and bicyclists. A good thing to keep in mind as we travel by foot or by bike through our fair city.

From the article:
Bicyclists David Pumphrey, 64, and Linda Foldi, 13, were killed by hit-and-run drivers, and several others have been left with injuries. No arrests have been made in any of their cases. Hit-and-run accidents have increased 71 percent so far this year over the same time period last year, according to Reno police.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sneaky Bike Ban in O.C.


COAST HIGHWAY BICYCLING BAN IN CAPISTRANO BEACH

The City of Dana Point is planning to install a two-way shared
bicycle/pedestrian path on the west side of Coast Highway in Capistrano
Beach between Palisades Drive and Camino Capistrano. Concrete barriers
will be used to create a 10-foot wide shared path, with the shoulder width on
Coast Highway reduced to make room for the sidepath.

The City of Dana Point has recently enacted a local ordinance
prohibiting bicyclists and pedestrians from the travel lanes and the shoulder of
this section of Coast Highway both during the current construction and
after the path is completed. Bicyclists are expected to use the shared use path
after construction is completed. The California Association of Bicycling
Organizations (CABO) considers this an illegal infringement of
bicyclists' right to travel on the part of the city of Dana Point.

Recent collisions between motorists and bicyclists or pedestrians on
this stretch of Coast Highway have received much attention in the press. But
requiring bicyclists to use a path shared with pedestrians causes more
problems than it solves, which is why Caltrans' design standards
recommend against sidepaths in lieu of roadway accommodations for bicyclists.
Rather than forcing bicyclists off Coast Highway, the issue of motorist
behavior and accountability needs to be addressed.

It is CABO's position that the travel lane bicycling ban is illegal. The
right for bicyclists to use public roads is granted by the State, and
the State preempts local regulation unless specifically authorized.
State law does allow localities to regulate shoulder use by bicyclists, so that
part of the ordinance is valid. Ironically, with the Dana Point ordinance in
place, a bicyclist would be allowed to use the travel lanes but
prohibited from the shoulder. Such a situation on a two-lane road - even with a
shoulder wide enough for a bicyclist to safely use - would legally
require bicyclists to ride in the travel lanes thereby unnecessarily delaying
motorists. This is apparently an unintended consequence of the city
ordinance.

CABO wants the following actions from the City of Dana Point:

1. The City of Dana Point must repeal the illegal travel lanes
bicycling
ban and also repeal the unwise (though legal) shoulder bicycling ban.

2. The city must also review the planned road configuration prior to
applying new striping. If the new road configuration does not retain
adequate space for safe motorist passing of bicyclists, then the
facility needs to be redesigned. Otherwise, bicyclists acting according to
the law will have to operate in the travel lanes, delaying motor vehicle
drivers.

3.In addition, we suggest that the city work with the Orange County
Sheriff's Department, the City's Public Works Department, and local
motoring, bicycling, and pedestrian advocacy groups to explore ways to
improve safety on this section of Coast Highway for all legal users.

We urge local bicyclists, especially Dana Point residents, and bicycling
clubs to contact the Dana Point City Council as soon as possible, urging
them to take action based on the three points above.

Written correspondence is the most effective and can be sent to the
Mayor and City Council by fax at (949) 248-9920, or mailed to the following
address:

City of Dana Point
33282 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

The Mayor and Council Members and e-mail addresses are as follows:

Mayor - Lara Anderson, landerson@danapoint.org Mayor Pro Tem - Russ
Chilton,
rchilton@danapoint.org Council Member - Wayne Rayfield,
wrayfield@danapoint.org Council Member - James V. Lacy,
jlacy@danapoint.org
Council Member - Diane L. Harkey, dharkey@danapoint.org

Sunday Memorial for Reno Cyclist Killed this last summer!


Myrna at Renodiscontent.com gave me the heads up about this event. Be there, I will! More info below:
________

Ghost Bike Installation
Finally, I need your help. On September 2nd, we’re going to be putting a Ghost Bike near the site of the bicycle crash that killed Club member David Pumphrey in July. A Ghost Bike is a totally white painted bike locked to a post with a sign that describes the victim and the incident. There are Ghost Bikes all over the world at the sites of fatal bicycle / motor vehicle accidents.
We plan a short procession of bicyclists behind a pick up truck holding the Ghost Bike riding to the installation site and a short installation ceremony. KOLO TV is planning to cover the event.
The whole point is to memorialize our friend and fellow Club member, and more importantly, to raise awareness in the minds of motorists and bicyclists of the need to operate our vehicles safely in each other’s presence.
The more bicyclists we have at the event, I feel, the greater the impact, so I want you to be there on your bike. Meet in the Starbucks parking lot at 9:15am on Sunday, Sept. 3rd, on the corner of Double R Blvd and So. Meadows Blvd. The Ghost Bike installation site will be in front of Rick’s Deli, a short ride away. The regular Roy Gomm rides will ride there, be part of the installation event and continue. Stand up and be counted for bicycle safety.
Have a great time cycling in September and please ride safely!

Bicycle Fixation unveiling - Kudos to a new website that just went live


I've been keeping an eye on the beta version of this site for obvious reasons. The announcement that the official unveiling of the site is September 1st seemed to be a good time to give it a plug. The site is a spectacular resource with some good writing to boot. Below is the official announcement in its entirety to give you a sense of what the philosophy behind the site is. Check it out!

September 1st is the
Official Grand Opening of the Bicycle Fixation website!

What do we do?

We present articles on urban and transportational bicycling in the
face of traffic, sprawl, injustice, and a culture of environmental
cluelessness, and essays that we hope will help us all find our way
back to living sanely in the physical world, lovingly in the social
plane, fairly in the economic realm, and passionately in all of them--
in other words, total world and personal revolution, facilitated by
the bicycle, the most efficient machine ever to come from the hands
and minds of our species!

The bicycle brings physical health, social openness, and an end to
pollution and fossil fuel dependence to a degree that no other
technology can approach, and enhances rather than diminishes your
freedom. It's available to almost everyone at almost any age, and
even to the very poor. It strengthens where other technologies
weaken you, it enlarges where other technologies diminish you, it
enlivens where other technologies deaden you. The bicycle is an
extension of your body, and not an enclosure.

So are you tired of waiting for the bright future? Make it happen
now! Join us at http://www.bicyclefixation.com, where we bring you
face to face with the world you want to live in.
=====================
We plan also to develop a few select bicycling-oriented products
suitable for real-world bicycling, with a pair of woolen riding
knickers of our own design currently in development. These will be
bicycle-friendly pants with a touch of elegance and a durable,
practical construction--something you can wear into a store or
restaurant without looking like you came from Mars. A cargo bike is
also a possibility, if our resources permit.

In addition, we will present advertisements from companies engaged in
similar products or processes, from enlightened neighborhood bike
shops that understand what transportational cyclists need, to
builders, designers, and marketers presenting truly useful low-impact
products, or high-impact information, that will help us create a
better and ultimately sustainable life. If you are such a one,
please note that as a Grand Opening Special, we have cut our rates in
half for any advertisement placed by December 31st of this year. See
details at http://www.bicyclefixation.com/advertise.html .