Folks familiar with my writings will know I have a bit of a flair for the dramatic. JustAnotherCyclist has always been an OpEd platform. However, one thing I’ve always tried to maintain is a link with the truth. It is possible to make dramatic statements without distorting the truth. However, it can be all too easy to slide on the wrong side of that divide. That is why I was unfortunately not surprised to hear of the Oregon Department of Transportation taking issue with some facts recently stated by Oregon bicycle advocacy group Bicycle Transportation Alliance. (more…)
Posts belonging to Category Bike Advocacy
I ran across this commercial the other day while watching some drivel on TV:
I was immediately struck by the very prominently displayed bicycle line drawing art (which I now want by the way.) I did find myself wondering “Why in the heck would the advertisers do that?” As an urban cyclist, I more often view the bicycle as something to be used instead of a car. It reminded me of a MotorTrend article I had read recently examining the decline in car ownership in the younger generations: (more…)
Lawyers are a highly educated bunch – right? I mean, when they make a statement of law they know what they are talking about (goes the common wisdom). So boy was I excited when I read the following, written by a Nebraska Attorney:
Bicyclists always have the right of way [...in Bellevue, Nebraska]
Really? Someone from Nebraska – tell me it’s true! (more…)
Long time JustAnotherCyclist blogger friend BikingInLA posted a rather interesting tweet tonight:
The Culver City Chamber of Commerce might as well just tell bicyclists to take their business somewhere else. http://t.co/ezzhWOKZ6z #bikLA
3/29/13 8:17 PM
So of course I checked out the link. While disappointed, I was unfortunately not surprised by the comments of Chamber of Commerce President Steve Rose. The crux of his argument is, basically, that cyclists are being granted rights without corresponding responsibilities. Here it is in his words: (more…)
I was walking around the city the other day, headphones on, rocking out. I’d just crossed the street, and took a step to the left off of the curb, getting ready to turn left and immediately cross another street. I heard a squeal (which in retrospect was the sound of bike brakes on the rims) and felt a thud against my left shoulder. Before I knew what was happening, I saw a guy smack onto the pavement in front of me. I’d just blindly walked in front of a cyclist riding in the road next to the curb, knocking him to the ground.
Of all of the things I’ve written about here on JustAnotherCyclist, few subjects tend to spark as much disagreement – from both cyclists and non-cyclists alike – as my posts regarding bicycle helmets. Many seeing me roll up to work or wherever without my helmet on have referred to me as reckless, stupid, crazy, nuts, or even… well, you can probably imagine. I’ve been told I’m an irresponsible parent, setting a bad example for my children. I’ve been told I make drivers on the road nervous, thus increasing motorists/cyclist contention. I’ve even been told I “deserve to crack my skull open” because I opt to sometimes ride without a helmet.
I’ve never once encouraged anyone to ride without a helmet. Instead, I’ve spoke of my own opinions and ideas on the subject, encouraging others to find out the facts and make an educated, reasonable decision on their own.
May is bike month. We all know it, and many of us go on about it. We get bike to school day, bike to work day, and in addition a whole bike to work week! Local coffee shops, bike shops and assorted business get the
excuse opportunity to set up tables along popular bike routes and paths giving away free swag and looking very bike-friendly. This should be a month for me to rejoice – to share enthusiasm and passions with the greater cycling community. A time for us to pat ourselves on our collective back and take stock in how far advocacy efforts have come. And May is action packed with a lot more than just advocacy and riding to work. On the racing front, we had not only the grand american race Tour of California, but also the Giro d’Italia. The Tour of Cali was especially engaging for me this year, as I watched one of my personal favorites – and fellow old guy – Chris Horner appear to struggle through the Time Trial with an anchor on his bike. The setback would have crushed the spirits of other folks. But the drama unfolded in the final significant climbs of the race as Horner, Jens Voigt (another personal favorite and fellow old guy) and others took a flyer off the front. Slowly riders from the break away dropped one by one, until Chris Horner had actually made back all the time lost in the TT and then some. He climbed his way into first place on paper - as Phil Liggett likes to say – and had me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately the herculean effort was not enough and he was eventually caught. But what a way to highlight what bike month is supposed to be about – enjoying all aspects of bicycles. Rolling the cruiser, commuting to work, or ripping the peloton apart.
Unfortunately, this time around all Bike Month managed to do for me was remind me that the other 11 months are not bike month. June came this year to punch me in the gut and drive the point home. June has brought us the apparent implosion (again) of what should have been the best team in the peloton – RadioShack Nissan Trek. Andy Schleck has been plagued by … something … all season. There are already rumors of the Schleck boys leaving the squad. When the team announced their Tour de France lineup, Chris Horner was not on the list. This lead to all kinds of speculation and drama as to why that happened. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the presumed Tour de France GC contender Andy Schleck was not going to make it due to injury. Ahh, but poor Bruyneel wasn’t done with bad news yet. Just when we thought it was over, Bruyneel and Mr Armstrong find themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Yup – doping allegations again. What is a cycling enthusiast to do.
But hold on a second…
I once again started my commute on a bicycle this morning in beautiful San Francisco. I passed numerous folks doing the same thing. I continue to ride my bike and enjoy it. And despite the fact that folks are predicting a guilty finding for Armstrong would “destroy cycling” my bike will still pedal and roll regardless of a USADA decision regarding Armstrong.
So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll let June suck for Bruyneel and Armstrong. Come July, I’ll be keeping track of the Tour de France and enjoying it. Bike Month is irrelevant to me, honestly. I don’t have a bike month, or even a bike year. I have a bike life, and plan to until I can’t turn my pedals any more.
Here in the United States, children in the millions take part in organized sports every day. Little league, youth soccer, swimmers, and pee-wee football all have organizations ranging from casual, neighborhood games up to state and national competitive clubs. At the higher levels of these organizations, talent is identified, developed and groomed from a very young age. These programs often feed right into college level athletics, and then on to the pros.
However, one sport that is not so common as an organized youth activity is cycling. Pop culture acceptance of competitions such as the X Games have helped bring exposure and acceptance to Freestyle and BMX type cycling events. However, for kids who like road or track racing, it can be nearly impossible to find others that enjoy the same thing that aren’t 20 years older then they are.
However, there are some that are actively trying to address this apparent lack of support..
My friend and general Mr. Cycling of Sacramento Chris Dougherty brought the below video to my attention on Facebook. Yet another example of the value of the efforts of the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association.
I’ll stop talking now and let the video speak for itself.
On May 5, 2010 Doris Matsui (D-CA) has introduced H.R. 1780 – The Safe & Complete Streets Act of 2011. This legislation is poised to place requirements on projects that utilize federal funds that necessitate the adherence to a ‘Complete Streets‘ policy. While submitted by Matsui, the bill also lists Steven LaTourette as co-sponsor. LaTourette previously sponsored the Complete Streets Act of 2009.
…require each state’s department of transportation and metropolitan planning organization to put in place a Complete Streets policy that ensures all Federally-funded transportation projects accommodate the safety and convenience of all users. Complete Streets policies ensures roadways are built with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, motorists, freight vehicles, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. This bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH).