Carlos Perez and Greg Fisher are the hands behind Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo, held on the roads of Sonoma County, California. Each fall since 2009, more than 7,500 cyclists transcend on Santa Rosa, California, and its roads take the toll. That hasn’t stopped their events company, Bike Monkey, and a merry band of volunteers from taking care of the roads that take care of the riders, many of whom travel from all four corners of the earth. The event’s organizers got permission from the county to hire their own contractors and repair the roads using funds raised from event entry fees, donations and corporate sponsorships. In all, $40,000 has been spent on patching 48 miles of road.
I spoke with Fisher about what prompted them to take action, and what they’ve done to mitigate road damage, because no one wants to see roads go neglected.Tweet
Google has taken its self-driving car to the streets of Mountain View, California, to help it learn to navigate complex urban environments. As this video demonstrates, one of the special considerations it makes is yielding to cyclists. The computer can recognize simple hand gestures and react accordingly. Could this kind of technology ultimately make the streets safer for all users? Sure seems that way.Tweet
Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced 80 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) in 29 states and Washington, D.C. These new awardees join a trendsetting group of almost 700 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies in 46 states and D.C. that are transforming the American workplace. Bicycle Friendly Businesses encourage a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere for employees and customers alike. BFBs attract and retain energized, alert and productive employees, while decreasing healthcare costs.Tweet
Even if you don’t live in Colorado or might never have the chance to sample its sweet singletrack, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity like this. The Routt Country Riders – a local IMBA chapter – is raising funds to purchase some new trail building equipment, and Moots is pitching in to help.
For every $50 ticket you purchase, you’ll get another entry in a raffle to win a Moots Rouge YBB, a 27.5 titanium hardtail with Moots’ famous YBB softtail design. That’s an $8,000 value we’re talking here.
If you’re not familiar, the partnership between Moots and the RCR goes way back. Formed in the early 1990s, the club advocates for both mountain bikes and road riders, and has earned a Bronze level certification from IMBA and built the only IMBA Ride Center in Colorado and one of just 17 in the world. They also worked with Moots to create the amazing “chainsaw” trail building bike we saw at NAHBS last year.
Only 250 tickets for this raffle are available now through June 10, and you can grab yours at the Moots online store. Good luck!
Our hometown, Pittsburgh, has been making big strides in the past few years in promoting cycling and making the streets safer. At the forefront of that movement is Bike Pittsburgh, an award-winning advocacy group.
In August 2013, Bike Pittsburgh installed four billboards and 15 bus shelters with its Drive With Care campaign. Featuring real cyclists and real people, it reminded drivers that people on bikes aren’t a nascence in the road, they are nurses, students, daughters, sons and star NFL players. Yes, one billboard features Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a football town after all.
Now Bike Pittsburgh is raising funds to expand the program to other neighborhoods, create a web campaign where riders can share their stories, and spread the word to drivers that all road users are people, not impediments.
The Indiegogo campaign is raising $50,000 to fund the following:
- $10,000 – 15 bus shelters for two month
- $14,000 – 45 bus cards (aka “Queens”) on the sides of buses divided between four routes, for two months
- $16,000 – Strategically placed billboards around Pittsburgh for two months
- $10,000 – Web development and app creation for people to take their own pictures and make Drive With Care profiles
More than just making streets safer, your donation will earn you a little something too.
Various donation levels will earn you prizes, including T-shirts, cycling caps, water bottles, a spot on one of the billboards or my favorite: Rick Sebak will record the message on your voicemail or answering machine. Pittsburghers are going to especially excited about this one.
The campaign runs through April 20, so don’t delay—donate now.
Bike Pittsburgh has continued to make strides for cycling in its city. It has created an ad campaign that helps drivers make cyclists more relatable, built a growing number of bike lanes and now hosted the very first Women’s Biking Forum in Pittsburgh.Tweet
While May is National Bike Month, there’s no reason not to get started early with April’s 30 Days of Biking. The idea is simple: Pledge to ride your bike every day in April and share your experience with the hashtag #30daysofbiking. There are also events scheduled all over the country to keep you motivated and having fun. Then visit 30daysofbiking.com to see what others are up to. Plus, for every 30 folks to take the pledge, 30DaysofBiking will donate a bike to Free Bikes 4 Kidz, a group of compassionate cyclists who refurbish used bikes and donate them to folks in need.
Since 1987, there has been an annual induction of Americans who have achieved success in racing or who have enhanced the sport of cycling through their lifelong efforts to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. Nominee consideration looks at achievements that have made significant and extraordinary contributions to the sport of competitive bicycle racing.
Inductees can be selected as competitors who have had success at the national and international level, or contributors who have advanced the sport through technology, coaching or promotion. Inductees can have a background in road racing, track, BMX, cyclocross or mountain biking.
There are four categories for 2014:
- Veteran: Road and track – 1980 and prior.
- Modern: Road and track – 1981 to 2009.
- Off Road (including BMX, Cyclocross and Mountain Biking)
- Contributor (any discipline)
Anyone can nominate a candidate, but must provide supporting documentation of the nominee’s accomplishments in order for the nominee to be considered for placement on the ballot. Please be as complete as possible and document major accomplishments. A list of what are considered a nominees top 10 accomplishments is a good start. Entries for the 2014 induction are due April 1. Chosen inductees will be notified and invited to attend the induction ceremony in November, in Davis, California, which will be open to the public.Tweet
Each year at the National Bike Summit the Alliance for Biking and Walking announces its winners for the Alliance Advocacy Awards, a way to recognize exceptional groups and individuals who lead in advancing active transportation in North America.
The Alliance received 210 nominations for the 2014 awards, and the final winners were chosen by a panel of past award winners, leaders in the industry and Alliance staff. The People’s Choice Award winner was, of course, chosen by a vote.Tweet
I was in Amsterdam all last week getting to know Dutch bicycle culture and logistics (more on that soon), and one of the key tenants of what makes cycling so simple there is the cycle paths. More than just bike lanes, the cycle paths are almost always separated from traffic by parked cars, curbs, or other street features.
The practice is catching on in the US, with New York leading the way with protected lanes on some major thoroughfares. But even those lanes leave cyclists vulnerable where they need safety most: in the intersection.
Urban planner and designer Nick Falbo has put together this piece about how intersection design can make cycling safer and more accessible. His video and other collected works are part of a proposal for the George Mason University 2014 Cameron Rian Hays Outside the Box competition, a challenge to find new solutions to transportation policy challenges.
A ruling by the Supreme Court Monday could limit the transformation of railroad right-of-ways into bike and pedestrian corridors. The 8-1 decision ruled that when a railroad had been abandoned, the right-of-way reverts back to the property owner and its future use is at their discretion.
It could derail plans to construct new rail-trails built on former federal land, especially in the West, while the government could also be required to compensate landowners who have converted rail-trails crossing their property.Tweet
Click the map for a larger view
London has become synonymous with cycling and pedestrian danger, as the city has claimed more than 150 serious injuries or deaths in the past three years. Now the city, led by Mayor Boris Johnson, himself an advocate for cycling and pedestrian safety, is pledging $500 million to radically transform 33 intersections and roundabouts across the city.
Roundabouts at Archway, Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Wandsworth, among others, will be ripped out and replaced with two-way roads, segregated cycle tracks and new traffic-free public space. The Elephant & Castle roundabout, London’s highest cycle casualty location, will be removed. At other intimidating roundabouts, such as Hammersmith and Vauxhall, safe and direct segregated cycle tracks will be installed, pending more radical transformations of these areas in the medium term.
“These road junctions are relics of the Sixties which blight and menace whole neighborhoods. Like so much from that era, they’re also atrociously-designed and wasteful of space,” Johnson said in a statement. “Because of that, we can turn these junctions into more civilized places for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time maintaining their traffic function.”
The move is part of the Safe Streets London campaign, a detailed plan to reduce the number of persons injured on London’s roads by 40 percent by 2020.
Last week Bicycle Times’ Publisher Maurice Tierney and Karen Brooks, the founding editor, mutually decided to part ways.
“I’m proud of the work I’ve done with both Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag, and am excited to go off in new directions,” Brooks said.
“We wish Karen all the best,” Tierney said. “We’re also really excited about the future of Bicycle Times.”
Rotating Mass Media, parent company of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag magazines, is now looking to fill the position of Editor of Bicycle Times or Online Editor.Tweet
Guest column by Adrian Montgomery
There was a common theme during this year’s Global Fat Bike Summit in Ogden, Utah: fat biking is not a fad. Many statements in Summit presentations were preceded with, “I used to think differently about fat bikes, until I tried one.” The Summit provided the opportunity to throw a leg over the industry’s finest products for the uninitiated to the disciple.
There was a diverse group of attendees at the Summit, an event largely overlooked by the big brands in the Bike Industry. Land managers, enthusiasts and niche product suppliers all huddled up to address access issues, talk best practices for grooming and how to deal with potential user conflicts. Sounds pretty organized for a fad. IMBA was on hand too, and when Mike Van Abel compared the fat bike movement to the early years of mountain biking it was clear that this movement has the wheels to roll-over growth obstacles.Tweet
In the past years nearly 7,000 people have lost their lives in cycling-motorist crashes. The Dear Motorist campaign invites cyclists and motorists alike to visit dearmotorist.com to their experiences by either: taking a pledge or writing a letter to be more aware of their surroundings on the road. The campaign also offers those who may have lost a loved one to a road accident the opportunity to share their story.
At the Women’s Cycling Forum that was part of the National Bike Summit last March, many of us were introduced to a founder of a movement that is helping to fill a crucial gap in cycling: Veronica O. Davis of Black Women Bike. Davis and two friends started the group as a local organization in Washington, D.C., and are building the foundation to take it to the national level. Davis’ efforts are a natural outgrowth of her professional life in civil engineering, which she believes involves “using transportation as a tool to positively affect people’s lives.”Tweet
Our own local advocacy organization, Bike Pittsburgh, has created an innovative ad campaign that we’d like to see implemented all across the nation. Called the Drive With Care Campaign, the aim is to remind automobile drivers that bicyclists are human, too.
From Bike Pittsburgh: “Bicyclists are not obstacles or targets; they could be your friend, nurse, carpenter, or even your favorite football player, Antonio Brown.” (That’s the Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver shown in the ad below.)
The ads feature photos of everyday people next to their bikes, with descriptive words to drive the point home. They’ve been seen on billboards and bus shelters around the city, but the organization would like to expand the campaign’s reach, and even produce television ads.
See more “Drive With Care” campaign posters and donate to the campaign here: bikepgh.org/care. And you can contact Bike Pittsburgh through their website if you’d like information on how to develop a similar public awareness effort in your own town.
Ten intrepid women will embark on a “purposeful adventure” this March, riding 262 miles from New York City to the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. The group is made up of advocates representing five advocacy organizations: WE Bike NYC, Black Women Bike, Gearing-Up, WABA: Women and Bicycles, and Women Bike PHL.
This is an adventure near and dear to us, as we’ve featured some of these organizations in our pages, and we’ve also ridden to the Summit from our home base of Pittsburgh. It’s also a big undertaking, so the ladies are asking for your support via an Indiegogo campaign.Tweet
As you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to build up your 2014 karma! Nominate advocates who have improved biking & walking in your community for a 2014 Advocacy Award.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking holds the Advocacy Awards every year to celebrate the individuals and groups who have demonstrated excellence in the bicycle and pedestrian movement. If you know an advocate (or two or three) who has made a big difference for biking and walking over the past year, please nominate them! Anybody can submit nominations until January 16.
Your nominations will be considered by a panel of leaders in the biking and walking movement. Winners will be recognized on March 3 at the 2014 Advocacy Awards ceremony in Washington, DC.Tweet