Monday, April 30, 2012

Moonwalking Our Way to Energy Independence?

One of the byproducts of sitting on the Regional Transportation Commission's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is a growing awareness of pedestrian issues.  It's not like I only bicycle from place to place.  I have been known to walk as well.

This innovation certainly caught my attention then because it does seem like a perfectly logical way of capturing kinetic energy in the future.  My next thought was, what would happen if they did this for bike lanes?
Britain’s PaveGen has created sidewalk tiles that convert the kinetic energy of pedestrians’ footfalls into power that can be stored or used immediately to run things like streetlights, and is now installing them in high-traffic areas of London in advance of the 2012 Olympic Games. The tiles won’t generate enough energy to juice the Olympic stadium, but they’re a step in the right direction (especially if PaveGen puts them in Usain Bolt’s track lane).
Of course, the image above couldn't help but remind me of somebody else who seemed to create energy on a sidewalk.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Work School Fun!

One of the most enjoyable things about being a teacher and my passion for cycling is getting to inspire a bit of that joy for cycling in my students.  The bike club is in full swing at the school where I work and the kids love it.  Our weekly ride is definitely a highlight of my week!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Should Be Blogging But...

I should be doing more about this past Thursday night's Regional Transportation Commission open house on the 4th Street/Prater corridor revamp.  It's hard to be negative about what the RTC came up with.  They've essentially created a 7 mile east/west corridor between downtown Reno and Sparks that takes into account most of the needs of the pedestrians, cyclists, transit, and automobiles using the roadway.  But there has been one bit of the plan that has been sticking in my craw.  There are a few block sections (mostly in the downtown area) where accommodating a bicycle lane was not possible without  reducing auto lanes.  Something the RTC is unwilling to do.  And, I have to say that I do understand their reasoning given the amount of traffic from downtown events in those areas.  However, I wish a bit more innovative problem solving had been going on as they planned.

The bottom line is that a city corridor is being created with a "complete streets" philosophy behind it.  Except for cyclists in the aforementioned sections.  We have been, quite literally, squeezed out.  I can live with that because I'm used to taking my rightful place in an urban traffic lane.  However, in the stretches where the bike lanes disappear it is critical that proper signage, sharrows, and even some different colored paint on the tarmac is used to indicate that "bicycle services" don't just disappear.  What are tourists going to think?  More importantly, what would local bicycle commuters think?  There is an implicit message that is sent to all users if the bicyclist's right to the road is not asserted in these sections.

I should also be spending more time blogging about the amazing MoonBuggy from AACT:

The video tells a lot of the story.  Well worth the time to view it but there is more here from the Reno Bike Project.   I should also mention the We HeART Bikes show coming up next weekend at the RBP.

And last but not least, I should be blogging more about Bike to Work/School Week that is coming up May 12th to 18th, because beyond my own personal interest in BTW my school is hoping to put together a cool event that week celebrating the bicycle and getting kids out for a little ride.

But instead of blogging I've been trying to ride more so here are few photos from the road this past week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What Kind of City Do You Want to Live In?

A great opportunity to have your voice heard on the redesign of the 4th Street/Prater corridor is happening on Thursday from 4 - 7.  Details below...think about the great east/west connection it would provide for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, and cars if it is done right!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rivendell Eye Candy

Someone over on the Rivendell list created and posted this and it's worth the time to click on it and see the amazing range of bicycles that have been coming out of Walnut Creek (and Grant Petersen's head) since 1994.  Classic, practical, and beautiful.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Morning Music - Brian Eno and David Byrne

I woke up thinking about this song and found this really cool amateur video to go with it.  I need to work on my handwriting...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Anti-Corporate CORPORATE Ad and Bicycle Lanes

This video is a little too calculated to make you believe in any way the "story" behind it.

...But what I find interesting is that it is from Casey Neistat, the same guy behind the infamous and clever "bike lanes" obstruction video that went viral last year.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before he got picked up by a Nike or some other big corporation for an advertisement campaign.  

For some more interesting discussion on bicycle lanes you might want to check out the conversation on last week's, Talk of the Nation.  It includes some interesting points but here are a couple of snippets worth pulling from the transcripts:

Bill Strickland, editor-at-large for Bicycling worked on a piece for the magazine called "We Have Met the Enemy" with colleague Matt Seaton. In it, they examine what they call the "vicious" opposition to bike lanes in many cities and towns, and come to a startling conclusion: The toughest obstacle to bike lanes is the reputation of the cyclists themselves, who are often seen as rude and dismissive of the rules of the road... 
Bike riders, though, aren't necessarily the worst offenders. "Cyclists, I think, break the law with no more frequency than drivers," says Strickland. "But we're very much more visible when we do break the law." 
Tom Vanderbilt, author of the book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do and What it Says About Us, says the case for bike lanes is compelling. "Statistics ... clearly show that when you put in a protected bike lane on a city street, the safety record improves for every class of people using that street." 
But he thinks there's a vicious cycle of blame and distrust between drivers and cyclists that poisons the debate, in spite of the evidence that bike lanes work. 
"In the U.S., sometimes, there's kind of this marginalization, almost criminalization that cyclists feel on the road, attributed to a sense of persecution," Vanderbilt says. When a car and a bike collide, he says, "the cyclist is immediately put into question first. Often [there are] no repercussions for the driver, even when they were clearly at fault. So I think sometimes cyclists can internalize some of that rage, if you will, and project it backward into kind of a law-breaking mentality." 
Ultimately, Strickland thinks bike lanes are a step in the right direction toward making the streets work for everyone. "It's not just about giving bikes a place to go. It's about making the street inhabitable and calming traffic — pedestrian, bike and car — and everything improves."
This final point, about making streets more habitable for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, is an important thing to bear in mind for the future of Reno's own streets.  For example, the next week there will be another open house to discuss the 4th street corridor where you can weigh in on the future of what could be a great east/west route for transit, pedestrians, and cyclists.  More on that later....

Monday, April 09, 2012

Red Rock Riding

It has been in the 80s around the St. George, Utah area and wonderfully sunny. It's been a long time since I've been able to wear bike shorts and get some sun on my pasty white legs.

Yesterday was another amazing Easter ride through Snow Canyon, out to Veyo, Gunlock, and back to Kayenta and Ivins. Strangely, the Veyo pie shop was open but i didnt stop because that might have been dangerous.

The pictures never do this place justice but here are a few.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good For What Ails You

I get inundated with things like this all of the time and I don't usually pass them along but I can't help but like this pic a lot.  Words to live by...and I should be doing a better job of that!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

When is a Bike Too Nice?

This Vanilla bicycle has so many lovely details it is hard not to drool but who would actually use this and lock it to a street post when they are running errands?  I'm glad somebody can put the time and money and effort into creating this rideable art but is there any chance it will be used for what it is designed?

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Nonchalance of Bicycling in Copenhagen

One of the things I love about this series is the way cycling is not an extraordinary part of life but just a given in the daily lives of these Copenhagen residents.  They started out their lives as cyclists and it is so a  part of their existence that they hardly think much of riding, the weather, etc.  It's just what they do.  on the other hand, if someone gets in the way of their ability to ride safely in the city, you know they will speak up about it.  All 5 parts of this series are worth viewing but I particularly like number 4.