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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mobile Billboard

I'm not sure if CdA has a sign ordinance prohibiting it, but this could be a good way for me to make money on my commute to and from work everyday. I might also have to go for a spin during my lunch hour too, to get a little more exposure.

This company sells trailers to get you started in your own marketing career.


Walking related...

The government is warning people to stay out of those giant see-through inflatable spheres known as "water walking balls" because of the risk of suffocation or drowning.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday that it "does not know of any safe way to use" the products, which are popular at amusement parks, resorts, malls and carnivals. They resemble hamster balls but are large enough for humans.

People climb into the plastic, airtight balls and then roll around - or try to walk - on water in pools, lakes or rivers.

"We want to tell the public how dangerous these products are before someone is killed," said Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the commission. "Our investigation into water walking balls will not stop with today's warning."

The agency is worried about too little oxygen in the balls as well as the buildup of carbon dioxide.

Another concern: the fact that the product has no emergency exit and can be opened only by a person outside of the ball - a serious problem if a person inside the ball experiences distress.

Photo and story credit to Associated Press.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is your car essential for your commute?

The City Fix has a interesting story on a finding that a car may not be essential for your commute. I know it is not essential for mine, but I am more of the exception than the rule (at least that's what I'm told). Those who live close to work or in a city obviously have an advantage.

Check it out here: http://thecityfix.com/new-study-car-ownership-not-essential-to-everyday-commute/

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Helmet Guidelines

All too often I see helmets that leave the forehead exposed, are tilted to the side of the head, or are worn over a thick stocking cap. To better protect your head in a crash, here are some helmet guidelines:

1.Always wear a helmet while biking and make sure to replace it if it is cracked or broken.

2.It is best to purchase a new helmet to ensure that it will function properly.

3.Ensure that your helmet fits comfortably. Taking time to properly configure your helmet could save your life.

a.Your helmet should fit on the top of your head, not tipped back. One standard measure is to make sure your helmet sits roughly two fingers above your brow.

b.The straps should fit snugly under the jawbone. While a helmet strap should not be so tight as to restrict breathing, you should not be able to fit more than one finger between the strap and your skin.

4.If you are involved in a bike crash, always replace your helmet even if it is not visibly cracked or broken.

For more information, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides this resource: (http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/easystepsweb/images/easystepsengcolor.pdf).

This video, also a production of NHTSA, provides helpful guidelines for fitting bicycle helmets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2WuVKyX8do).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bamboo Bikes

Not that I need any more projects to undertake, but I would love to build a bamboo bike for myself. If I never get around to it, at least it is comforting to know that I can purchase one of these beauties. My favorite one is pictured. Click on the link to see more styles from other companies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Need more reasons?

Bicycling can help you live longer and better

• 3 hours of biking per week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.

• Women who bike 30+ minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer.

• Adolescents who bicycle are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults.

You Lead the Dance

Take a few minutes out of your busy day to watch this film and see how assertiveness can make a big difference on how motorists behave around you as you ride a bike in traffic.

Bicycling in traffic is a dance you lead from Keri Caffrey on Vimeo.

More information here in writing: http://cyclingsavvy.org/2010/06/you-lead-the-dance/

Safety at crosswalks is worthy of more patrols

It's not Cda, but the following is a great Opinion piece from The Spokesman Review:
SPOKANE - As if Gonzaga University students didn't have enough on their minds with grades, finances and the fortunes of their basketball teams, they can add pedestrian safety to the list of things to fret about.
 After 10 pedestrian-vehicle accidents in the campus district during the past two years, the Gonzaga Student Body Association has begun distributing safety lights to students who live off campus and must navigate the neighborhood intersections on foot. Maybe those blinking red flashers will arrest some careless drivers' attention enough to head off a catastrophe or two.

Speaking of arresting, the law requires motorists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in unsignaled crosswalks. It's a law that is seldom enforced, however.

From time to time, Spokane police conduct emphasis patrols in which officers stake themselves out at particular intersections and ticket a few motorists who fail to stop for pretend pedestrians. After part of a day in a single location, though, the operation ends, and the real pedestrians scattered throughout the city are left to fend for themselves.

Whether to pull such violators over is considered a matter of officer discretion. That's only right. With a limited number of officers, a hold-up in progress or a domestic violence call probably shouldn't be neglected because of a traffic violation.

But there's more going on than on-the-spot prioritizing. Experienced pedestrians in Spokane know how widely the crosswalk law is ignored, sometimes in full view of nearby officers.

Failure to let a pedestrian cross or jaywalking, for that matter may not be a felony, but when a motor vehicle and a person collide, the consequences can be tragic.

To drive that point home, it would help if police made issuing citations a routine practice, not just during emphasis patrols. Once word got around that flouting the law has a stiff price tag, intersection jeopardy would decline.

Anyone who doubts it should take a trip up Grand Boulevard and observe how conspicuously traffic slows as it passes Manito Park. That's where an accident involving a sledder several winters ago led to intensive enforcement of the 20 mph speed limit there. The change in motorist behavior has been lasting.

If pedestrians well-being is valued, not just near Gonzaga but all over the city, the Spokane Police Department ought to be visible and consistent in ticketing both motorists and pedestrians who violate laws designed to promote safety.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Share the Road; Share the Love

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Save Gas, Walk or Bike!

There was a great editorial in today's CdA Press:
COEUR d'ALENE - Within one week, we found national stories posted on websites claiming gas prices this year will:
Hit $4 a gallon (they already have in some places)

Hit $5 a gallon

Fall back close to $2 a gallon

With that range, predictions are a penny a pound. The only certainty is that the price which appears on the pump is way, way beyond your control.

But what isn't is how much gas you use.

Come on, this drill isn't new. We battled those four buck a gallon blues before and we can do it again.

The Internet has literally hundreds of suggestions on ways for you to make your gas allowance go further. We're including a few good ones here just to save your fingertips and eyestrain a bit. But inside every challenge lurk opportunities, and with rising gas prices, you have a chance to get into better shape.

As the weather improves - any time now, Mother Nature - our region becomes very hospitable to walkers and bicycle riders. Granted, you'll need to leave earlier if you're walking or biking to work or school, and you may need to bring some fresh clothes or leave them wherever you're going. But saving a single round-trip a week will eliminate 20 percent from your commute tab, plus the wear and tear that eventually eclipses routine gas consumption. And best of all, you'll feel better and look better for the effort.

Some of the simple ways to save gas without breaking a sweat:

* Ride Citylink; it's free.

* Don't warm your vehicle up for more than a minute, even on cold mornings. Anything over a minute is wasting gas.

* When the weather turns warm, air conditioning can provide personal relief, but it's heck on your gas mileage. Running the air conditioning typically lowers fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent. Roll down your windows in town; if it's hot and you're on the highway, run the air conditioner but keep your windows up. Closed windows decrease air resistance; air resistance increases gas consumption.

* Remove non-essential heavy items from your trunk or the back of your truck.

* Maybe most important: Keep your engine well tuned and follow through with routine maintenance.

So while you're tuning up the vehicle engine, get out and walk or ride a bike. That'll keep your engine in tune, an investment worth its weight in oil.

- - - - -

This editorial was written with help from Veronica Talley, a Post Falls High School senior who has been job shadowing in the Coeur d'Alene Press newsroom.
Thanks Veronica for highlighting biking and walking in your editorial!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bike Commuting Across the U.S.

See the full map here: http://www.ecovelo.info/images/northrop-map.pdf

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inspiration from a 103 year old

Octavio Orduño, 103, taking his daily tricycle ride through the streets of downtown Long Beach, is “our poster boy for healthy, active living around here,” says Charles Gandy, the city’s bike coordinator. Three years ago, Orduño's wife insisted that he give up riding two-wheelers in favor of a trike. (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles Times / March 14, 2011)

See the full story here:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-long-beach-tricyclist-20110314,0,6508824.story?page=1

Mayor of Geneva creates a stir at the International Car Show

Sandrine Salerno, Mayor of Geneva, while opening the Geneva automobile show, said that she hadn’t touched a car for years, that cars "pollute, are expensive, make noise, are dangerous and encroach on the public realm" and that "all these nightmares" were linked to cars.

Apparently the car show organizers weren't thrilled.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bikes and Coffee....mmmmm

A merging of coffee shops and bike shops is gaining popularity.  I heard a rumor that Terra Sports will be adding coffee to it's services.  This msnbc article discusses how some are going beyond coffee to offer food as well.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

When someone yells at you from their car...

You should probably ignore the advice about flashing them...

Coeur de Pirate

I couldn't resist posting this video even though I don't understand a word of it.  It has bikes in it.  She has a great voice.  And it's called Coeur de Pirate....Heart of a Pirate?

Coeur de pirate || Comme des enfants from Dare To Care Records on Vimeo.

Bike Commuting Saves $$$$

While the yearly cost of owning and operating a vehicle is over $9,000, or 18 percent of the average household’s income, owning and maintaining a bicycle can cost as little as $120 per year.
Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

If that sounds high to you, consider the cost of buying a car plus the cost of insurance, registration, oil changes, repairs, tires, parking, and of course, gas. Now factor that out over the time you own a particular car. If you want to get a little more extreme, consider the cost of a garage, driveway, and a driver's license. 
Although my particular bike setup likely costs me more than $120 per year, it is nowhere near $9,000 and I'm a happier and healther person because of it.  You can't put a price on that!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How often do you wear a helmet?

I just posted a new poll....Look to your right.

Vote on how often you wear a helmet.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bags for Bikes

Bikes for the Rest of Us has a great post on different types of bags available for bikes.  It is by no means all-encompassing but has great examples of the different ways to carry stuff on a bike.  Add to the list backpacks and messenger bags and you've got the bulk of it.  Check out this article http://www.bikesfortherestofus.com/2011/02/bags-for-bikes.html and find more reasons and more ways to leave your car at home.

The Geography of Youth

The Geography of Youth from Restless Collective on Vimeo.


What's wrong with this picture?

Cars to be Awarded to Best Walkers

 Dubai Municipality yesterday announced two cars as grand prizes for the best walkers in the "Yalla Walk," campaign

Staff Report

Published: 00:00 March 4, 2011

Dubai: Dubai Municipality yesterday announced two cars as grand prizes for the best walkers in the "Yalla Walk," campaign it launches tomorrow.

The largest health awareness campaign, organized to attract the public to the 23 walking tracks built by the civic body in Dubai, will also be an opportunity to win 12,000 prizes and 40,000 giveaways.

The best male and female walker will get a car each, said Obaid Salem Al Shamsi, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for International Affairs and Partnerships Sector. To participate in the campaign people can register through http://www.yallawalk.com/en/.
Maybe someone is missing the point...

A bike ride a day keeps the doctor away

Swiss epidemiologist Thomas Gotschi authored a groundbreaking study published last week in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health which illustrates a cost/benefit analysis on bicycle infrastructure in Portland, OR.  The results...investing in bicycle transportation can save millions of dollars in health care costs alone.  See the complete story here: http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=129910338768364600