How to Report on Civilized Cycling

Marc at Amsterdamize enters a conversation with Matthew, the UK Gaurdian’s Bike Blogger, and I see this great pull quote:

Thus, when you sell bad infrastructure to the public that even ‘avid cyclists’ wouldn’t want to use, you’ve generated a negative sentiment that’s hard to spin your way out of, no matter the millions of pounds you spend on marketing that message. You can’t ‘encourage’ anyone to cycle when you give them a knife to a gun fight. It’s that simple.

However, the adventure goes sour after Matthew writes an unexpected post. Marc calls him on it and demands to know why Matthew is engaging in sloppy journalism.

Cars Passing Bikes: Do Gutter Bunnies Dress in Wigs?

Interesting news about how drivers act around bicyclists…there seems to be a space about 3 feet away from the curb. Too close to the gutter, and they assume they can pass closer. Also, lack of helmet and having long hair apparently promote further passing distance. Read more at cyclious and streetsblog. Remember — be conspicuous and predictable. Don’t duck between parked cars, cycle in a straight line as if you had a bike lane besides parked cars…otherwise you’re constantly mergine back into a lane of traffic.

Seattle Street Safety Numbers (Crosscut)

Here is a rather precise article comparing Seattle pedestrian, bicyclist and auto accidents with the citation rate between 2008-2010. It’s one thing to promote “share the road” but it’s also another thing to actually make streets safer. It appears about 10x more dangerous to be a pedestrian than a cyclist, and traffic citations appear to have dropped over some periods. The comments in the article are cogent.

Seen Bikes at Work on Farms?

I was talking with my CSA farmer about using a bike or a trike to haul boxes of veggies around the farm. While there is quite the spectrum of cargo bikes and trailers, hauling loads over unimproved paths seems challenging for small wheeled trailers. He also has a 26-inch wheeled dock-cart that could be towed with a creative hitch.

Have you seen bikes or trikes in use on farms? Please share what you think are the drawbacks and solutions.

A Bicycle Lifestylist Day

It was a very bicycle-lifestyle day today. Family ride to early breakfast in Fairhaven. Biked in the Moving Planet procession to the Library. Bought some used bike parts. Cuddled Jesse when he fell off his run bike. Cheered the riders as they rolled off to Cherry Point. Picked up groceries by bike and swung by bike shop. Put different fat grips on bikes. Allowed an aquaintence to test out my recumbent and discussed ergonomics for his wrists. (Ever considered stacking bar-ends?) Adding Tuffies to my tires and doing brakes on my gray bike, adding lights for the winter and adjusting the handlebars and adding a new bike lock.

I would have liked to have spent more than a few minutes at the Bellingham Bike Plan table with these nice huge city maps that charted the bike lanes. I had to orbit the kids for the most part, and they wanted library time. I heard a fraction of Mayor Pike’s speach.

The number of people that showed up for the Bike Bellingham rally was better than none, but still really … not like a crowd the size of the Farmers Market. Really, the in-bike crowd seemed to show up. It would have been great to have held this gathering right in Railroad Ave between Market Depot and Boundary Bay Brewery, and block vehicle traffic. Mayor Pike and the other presenters would have been heard much broadly. And the bike master plan idea would have been circulated much more broadly as well.