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Friday, April 29, 2011

Luckily we have bicycle-friendly police here...

States with the Best Complete Streets Policies

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bike Commuting 101

In the second installment of Bike Commuting 101 from EcoVelo, route selection is discussed. I'll keep adding these to the blog as we approach Bike to Work Week to get you ready and motivated.
It’s not unusual for beginning bike commuters to make the mistake of hopping on their new bike and riding the same routes they were taking by car. Major automobile commute routes are often the most dangerous and least enjoyable routes for bicyclists, so it behooves bike commuters to identify bike-friendly routes that bypass busy automobile traffic patterns.
Do Your Research
If you’re already riding for fitness or pleasure, take advantage of those rides to scope out possible commute routes. If possible, try to fit in some rides during the approximate time of day you expect to make your commute so that you get a true sense of traffic patterns.
If you work in a large office, ask around to see if there are any experienced bike commuters riding in from your area. Fellow commuters can provide a wealth of information regarding safe routes and secret short cuts.
While not foolproof, the Google Maps “biking directions” site can be a powerful tool. Run a few queries and see what it delivers, but be sure to verify the suggested routes by pre-riding before your first commute.
Take the Long Way Home
Don’t hesitate to choose a longer route to avoid heavy automobile traffic. Circuitous routes that take full advantage of quiet backstreets and bike paths may take more time, but they can also greatly improve the quality of a commute.
The Dry Run
Once you’ve settled on a route, take a dry run on the weekend prior to your first commute. This will allow you to check the route without the pressure of getting to work on time. And if you don’t like the route, a dry run will give you an opportunity to make changes before the big day.
Leave Plenty of Time
Schedule in an extra 10 minutes for contingencies. There’s nothing that will spoil a pleasant commute faster than walking out the door late. One of the greatest benefits of bike commuting is starting your day with a relaxing bike ride; don’t ruin it by turning your commute into a race against the clock.
Mix It Up
Once you’ve established a good route and you’ve settled into a groove, don’t hesitate to mix it up now and then. Occasionally changing your route will help keep your commute fresh and interesting.
The most important thing to remember is that the route you’ve been taking by car is unlikely to be the best route on your bicycle. Taking the time to identify a bike-friendly route will make your commute safer and more enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

File under: Gee, you needed a study to come to that conclusion?


-> According to the Apr. 13th edition of On Your Bike, newsletter of Bicycle Victoria, "Bike riders are more alert and aware of road space and the traffic environment than are drivers, a new research project has found. Riders, with their high position and 180 degrees unimpeded vision, not only see a wider perspective, but also observed further ahead in a line of traffic."

"Most cyclists used this perspective to plan for their next moves in the traffic, but it also serves to alert them to likely road situations within the next few minutes. However from the drivers' perspective, this increased awareness could be seen as risky riding because the driver, with a poorer view, had comparatively less understanding of the road ahead. The findings come from a study which used cameras on helmets and inside cars to record journeys in Melbourne. Participants were also asked to comment on tape about what they were observing on the road..."


Help America Walks learn more about who walks, and why we walk. This survey will take only 5 minutes to complete and results are anonymous. The National Walking Survey will help walking advocates understand what motivates avid walkers and what keeps others from walking more. When the data is analyzed, America Walks will tell you what we've learned and use the results to help promote walking in America.
Right now, go to: http://tinyurl.com/3tzccvy

I hope the power doesn't go out...

Via Cyclelicio.us:

Manifesto Architecture created a rotating, ferris-wheel design for a vertical bike storage facility that was submitted to a design competition in Seoul, Korea.

Instead of taking up space on the street or sidewalk, this bike rack in the sky is mounted on the side of a building, utilizing the space above an alleyway between buildings. Each “Bike Hanger” can hold 20 to 36 bicycles.

Read more at http://www.cyclelicio.us/.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Cyclotrope

The Cyclotrope from tim Wheatley on Vimeo.

Bike Commuting 101

From EcoVelo comes the first part in series covering bike commuting:
Following is a list of the bare necessities required to get started bike commuting:
  • A bicycle. Any reliable bike will do, so long as it’s appropriately geared for the terrain. Puncture proof tires (or tire liners) are a good idea.
  • Lights. A set of small, modern LED lights is sufficient.
  • A repair kit. It’s good to carry a small multi-tool, a patch kit, a small pump, and a spare tube for those inevitable roadside repairs. It’s a good idea to practice a couple of flat repairs at home prior to hitting the road.
  • A lock. A high-quality U-lock is a must. Even if a person has secure bike parking, it’s good to carry a lock for shopping, meetings, etc.
  • A way to carry things. This could be as simple as a small backpack or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers. My favorite for everyday use is a simple grocery pannier.
  • Motivation. The most important element is the desire to get out of the car and do a good thing for oneself and the planet.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Earth Day Recap

If you missed the Earth Day event this weekend, you missed out. The weather was beautiful, attendance records were broken, the mood was good, and fun was had by all.

The Ped/Bike committee was there with maps, brochures, and road safety quiz cards to give out.
Terra Sports hosted a bike rodeo, performing bike safety checks, helmet fit, and skills testing.

The Ped/Bike committee hosted valet bike parking (bike corral) giving a free raffle ticket to anyone arriving by foot or bike. One lady walked 15 blocks with 5 children to get free raffle tickets for them all. Great job!

Electric bicycles were on display along with the cars from the Panhandle Electric Vehicle Association.

A sculpture made from old bike parts was on display from Art on the Edge. Raffle tickets will be sold until the close of Bike to Work Week. We will post more information on the sculpture when it becomes available.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flying with Bicycles

Speaking of surprises, Denver-based Frontier Airlines announced last
week that it will be removing its flat fee for checked bicycles.
Frontier now will include bicycles in the standard baggage allowance,
meaning customers can include a bike as one of their two complimentary
checked bags. It's similar to the carrier's current policy for golf
clubs and skis. We applaud this move--believing it will encourage more
people to fly with their bicycles--and hope that other airlines follow
suit... real soon. For example, Delta Airlines currently charges $200 each way
to bring your bike along


Bicycle Music Festival

I'm thinking we really need to organize an event like this here in CdA. Check out the video if you have about 10 minutes to spare and read the description below.

Power to the Pedal! SF Bicycle Music Festival 2010 from John Hamilton on Vimeo.

The mission of the Bicycle Music Festival is to promote sustainable culture in general and bicycle culture in particular, by physically engaging and immersing our community in the magic of bike culture, and cultivating and nurturing a network of local sustainable musicians, through our staging of free, community participatory, bicycle-based music events.

The Bicycle Music Festival is the largest 100% bicycle-powered music festival in the world. The free, all-day (and late into the night) event takes place annually in San Francisco, California on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice.

The Bicycle Music Festival features: a 2000 watt pedal-powered PA system, as many as 15 bands, multiple festival stops, outrageous Critical Mass-style bicycle party caravans between festival stops, and zero use of cars or trucks.

With its completely bike-haulable stage, the event is packed up and deployed numerous times: staged sequentially at different public parks and also on a moving “Live On Bike” stage which rolls down city streets.

Credit: John Hamilton

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't ignore the doctor's diagnosis...

The Bicycle City

The Bicycle City. Trailer from Greg Sucharew on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day Event Reminder

Don't forget, this Saturday (10am - 3pm) is the Earth Day Coeur d'Alene event at the Coeur d'Alene public library. Of pedestrian/bicycle interest, there will be a bike rodeo, valet bike parking, and an information booth for the Ped/Bike committee and the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation. Get a free raffle ticket for arriving car free!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

SNOW: Consider disabled citizens

Letter to the Editor in the CdA Press:

The purpose of this letter is to address various issues related to accessibility at some of our local businesses and the downtown Coeur d'Alene area. The main concern is the lack of snow removal during the winter months, especially on the sidewalks, pedramps and crosswalks.
If you are from this area you know that we have several weeks and sometimes months where we must have the snow plowed from our streets in order for people to drive safely to work or to access our local businesses. If you use a wheelchair for mobility, the complications do not end with driving. The lack of snow removal prevents people from accessing our local businesses safely and those of us using wheelchairs were not able to access many of them at all.
Furthermore, we were not able to roll up and down the Coeur d'Alene streets freely. This is also an issue for mothers using strollers for their babies. Another issue was the fact that snow that is being plowed is piled up into handicapped parking spots at many area businesses. It is our understanding that a city code exists stating that snow is to be removed by 9 a.m.
Summer is around the corner so this will not be an issue for many months. It is our hope that this early reminder will be acknowledged. Please think twice next snowfall! Until then, enjoy the sunshine.
Coeur d'Alene

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Slow Speed" Campaign Defined

From America Walks:
America Walks has outlined our campaign to reduce automobile speeds in America. We know that people in communities across America have grave concerns about speeding in their neighborhood, and they are right to have this worry as over 20 MPH speeds exponentially increase injuries and fatalities among those struck by vehicles.

America Walks is building partnerships and seeking funding to support our effort to ensure slow speeds in every community. Our action plan includes:

Develop a clearinghouse of information such as research, presentations, and technical support;

Partner with communities across the nation to pilot campaigns to reduce speed and develop a handbook of best practices to reduce speeds in your community; and

Advocate to revise standards that guide speed limits and work to expand compliance tools.

If you are interested in becoming a partner in this effort, please contact Scott Bricker, Director, America Walks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Poll Results

The poll results are in!
According to the McCully-Bosley Poll (the most reliable polling system in my world):
77% of you wear your helmets at all times
11% of you wear your helmet most of the time
5% of you rarely wear a helmet and
5% of you never wear a helmet....
Pretty astounding results! Even if our sample is skewed because everyone who visits this blog is at least a little devoted to biking.

Our new poll....Would you bike or walk more if you had better facilities?

Realtors® Survey: Americans Want Walkable Neighborhoods

A new survey by the National Association of REALTORS® shows that more people want less time in the car. The Community Preference Survey highlights that 56% of Americans prefer more walkable neighborhoods with a mix of nearby destinations to those that require more driving. Half of the respondents wanted improvements to existing public transportation rather then new roads and development, and nearly three out of five would trade square footage for short commute.


Despite the jerk in the Suburban that cut me off this morning, I feel better about my commute...

Relative risk of mortality adjusted for numerous factors (age, sex, education, smoking etc.), in dependence of cycling to work, calculated from Danish epidemiological data. Regular cycle users have 28% less risk of dying, even though they probably have an increased risk of cycling accidents [21].

Some days my commute looks like this

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm So Jealous!

Walkability in House Shopping

Zillow has added WalkScore for homes for sale. If you click on "details" and scroll down to the bottom, they give a WalkScore (walkability) for that home. My house has a WalkScore of 51. I consider my house to be more walking friendly than that, but I don't venture to the movies often (which are far away), so it's somewhat subjective. Some interesting houses that were rated by Zillow just for fun:

• White House = 97 ("Walker's Paradise")

• Brady Bunch house = 83 ("Very Walkable")
• Godfather house = 54 ("Somewhat Walkable")
• Elvis' first home = 40 ("Car-dependent")
• Playboy Mansion = 29 ("Car-dependent")

Walkscore can be accessed directly here: http://www.walkscore.com/

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Fun Video

Shopping for Bike Bells

Adding a bell to your bike can be handy when crusing the trails around CdA. Ringing it a few times in advance of wandering pedestrians is easier than yelling to them, and they are fun to ring. If you are in the market for putting a bell on your bike, Calhoun Cycles has a fun feature to their website that has videos of the 28 different bells they sell.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Save the Date for Earth Day 2011

Join us at the Coeur d’Alene Earth Day celebration from 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturday April 23 at the Coeur d’Alene Library. Admission is free and if you arrive by foot or bicycle you will receive a free raffle ticket! Enjoy live music, art, presentations, children’s activities, yoga, roller derby, bike rodeos, and countless other activities while learning creative ways you and your family can make a difference in caring for our planet.

Traffic Calming

This nice little video from Streetfilms illustrates how slowing traffic can improve the safety and livability of a community. Although it is not comprehensive in nature, it does give a taste of how traffic calming can benefit a neighborhood.

MBA: Traffic Calming from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

How cool is this?

From the Spokesman Review:
Spokane-area Kiwanis clubs will host Paint-a-Helmet on April 16 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St., in Building C, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The children's bicycle helmet program will provide free white helmets to kids ages 3 to 16, which they can then paint and decorate. Volunteers will fit the helmets for the children and show parents how to maintain the proper fit. Parents and children will be encouraged to wear helmets every time they ride their bikes. If the helmet is damaged, the Kiwanis will replace it.

Music and entertainment will be provided throughout the day. Helmets are limited and will be given on a first come, first served basis.
It would be great to have an event like this here in CdA.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bike Apps for your iPhone

For those of you with iPhones, there are some cool "apps" out there just for you. I think the bike repair apps are cool, but I suspect I would end up with grease all over my screen.


Friday, April 1, 2011

The Art of Frank Patterson