Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Warm weather is just around the corner, and soon it will be time to dust off those bicycles. Here are some tips for safe riding:
- Always use hand signals when turning at intersections. There's nothing motorists pay more attention to than hand signals from bicyclists.
- Leaving your bike out in the ice and cold all winter may cause serious damage. But it makes a nice subject for the cover illustration of a short-fiction quarterly.
- Always wear a helmet. If this makes you uncomfortable, think of the helmet as a crown and yourself as King Dorko.
- Placing your feet firmly on the pedals of the bike will help reduce the "Wheee" sound emitted from your mouth while going downhill.
- Insist on a bicycle made of solid matter. Liquid and vapor bikes are a passing fancy; argon frames are particularly shoddy.
- Taking your bike in for a professional tune-up is a great way to waste $25.
- Be sure to wear your seatbelt, even if just biking down to the corner store.
- Fat-bottomed girls may be riding today, so look out for those beauties, oh, yeah.
- Visibility is crucial when biking. Ride with a lit highway flare in each hand.
- Every three to four weeks, lightly oil the chain. Then dip it in flour and fry it for a real taste treat.
- As soon as you buy a bike, talk to your friends about how great Shimano crank sets and STX hubs are.
- Does your city have adequate bike paths? If not, consider complaining about it to your local government for the next 40 years.
- If rich, spoiled Francis Buxton steals your bike, go on a hilarious and heartwarming journey through the American Southwest to get it back.
- Bike safety can never be stressed enough. If you doubt this, try stressing it as much as you possibly can. It won't be enough–guaranteed.
Posted by Coeur d'Alene Ped/Bike Committee at 11:06 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
A few years ago, at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Ga., I drifted into a conference room where a sign told me a “Pedestrian Safety” panel was being held.
The speaker was Michael Ronkin, a French-born, Swiss-raised, Oregon-based transportation planner whose firm, as his website notes, “specializes in creating walkable and bikeable streets.” Ronkin began with a simple observation that has stayed with me since. Taking stock of the event—one of the few focused on walking, which gets scant attention at traffic safety conferences—he wondered about that inescapable word: pedestrian. If we were to find ourselves out hiking on a forest trail and spied someone approaching at a distance, he wanted to know, would we think to ourselves, “Here comes a pedestrian”?
Of course we wouldn’t. That approaching figure would simply be a person. Pedestrian is a word born from opposition to other modes of travel; the Latin pedester, on foot, gained currency by its semantic tension with equester, on horse. But there is an implied—indeed, synonymous—pejorative. This dates from Ancient Greece. As the Oxford English Dictionary notes, the Greek πεζός meant “prosaic, plain, commonplace, uninspired (sometimes contrasted with the winged flight of Pegasus).” Or, in the Latin, pedester could refer to foot soldiers (e.g, peons), “rather than cavalry.”
Click here for the entire article
Click here for the entire article
Posted by Coeur d'Alene Ped/Bike Committee at 2:02 PM
Friday, April 6, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Copenhagen, the bicycle-friendliest place on the planet, publishes a biannual Bicycle Account, and buried in its pages is a rather astonishing fact, reports Andy Clarke, president of the league of American Bicyclists:
“When all these factors are added together the net social gain is DKK 1.22 per cycled kilometer. For purposes of comparison there is a net social loss of DKK 0.69 per kilometer driven by car.” 1.22 Danish crowns is about 25 cents and a kilometer is 6/10 of a mile, so we are talking about a net economic gain to society of 42 cents for every bicycle mile traveled. That’s a good number to have in your back pocket.And what are all the “social gains” that bicycling grants the city of Copenhagen?
A number of factors are included in the equation such as transport costs, security, comfort, branding/tourism, transport times and health.Considering that both sitting and car exhaust kill you, it’s a safe bet a lot of the net benefit to society is simply that cycling makes you less of a drag on health insurance and the safety net.
Since the total health benefit of Copenhagen residents’ healthy cycling habits is DKK 5.51 per km, the annual benefit is worth the equivalent of approx. DKK 2.0 billion.Which means that Copenhagen, a city of 1.2 million people, saves $357 million a year on health costs because something like 80 percent of its population commutes by bicycle, even in winter. That’s $300 per person per year. Clearly, the reason the new Danish minister of the interior said she’d “rather invest in cycle tracks than freeways,” is that only one of those has a positive return.
Posted by Coeur d'Alene Ped/Bike Committee at 8:27 AM