Monday, June 30, 2008

Jennifer Love Hewitt rides a bicycle

Jennifer Love Hewitt was spotted this weekend riding a pink Paul Frank cruiser bicycle from Nirve.

More at Celebrity gossip, Hollywood Rag, Gossip Girls and all of the usual celebrity photo places.

San Francisco cycling fashion

SF Chron Sunday Style section: Commuters ditching cars for bikes, foot power includes several paragraphs on cycling fashionably.
Graduate student Lisa Foster refuses to let the peddling keep her from wearing her pumps. "I really think bikes are made for people who wear heels," she said. "You don't have to walk in them. It's so much better."

Judy B. (her full, legal name), lives in the Fillmore and commutes to her job as a legal assistant in the Financial District. "Short tight skirts are easier to wear," she says. "Sometimes I wear bike shorts or leggings or tights under them. Knee-length skirts blow up and catch the wind like a sail, depending on the weather."

Product Manager Cheryl Brinkman tucks her skirt into a band of elastic that she wraps around one thigh, a homemade garter belt solution, as it were. And, she said, "I always have a small binder clip in my handbag, as well, to keep wrap skirts or dresses closed while pedaling."

Via Soma Fabrications, because the article features a photo of Ms. Brinkman riding a sweet Soma Mixte bicycle. My wife has the same Basil panniers, too. Sanfranciscoize the planet :-)

Floyd Landis loses CAS appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Floyd Landis. Landis has also been ordered to pay $100,000 to the US Anti Doping Agency for the costs incurred by his appeals.

The full details are posted everywhere; Trust But Verify is dedicated to tracking Floyd Landis and his doping appeals so it seems like as good a place as any to following the discussion.

Moving forward, the Tour de France starts this Saturday! Woo hoo!

Another bicyclist vs bear encounter

From a comment at CCCP blog:
A 14-year-old girl riding in a mountain bike race was attacked in the dark of night by a bear Sunday and severely injured, but she was able to make a brief 911 call that eventually resulted in her rescue.

The girl suffered head, neck, torso and leg wounds. She underwent surgery and was in critical condition Sunday afternoon at Providence Alaska Medical Center, police said.
Read more.

Update: Jill in Alaska is a friend of a friend of the girl who was attacked. A 14 year girl in an all night endurance race -- they build 'em tough up in Alaska. I hope this girl recovers from the mauling. Wow.

Texting and laptop use still legal

The campfire smell seems to have gone away, but there was a layer of ash on my bicycle this morning.

California's new handsfree mobile phone law goes into effect tomorrow. The law does not ban texting while driving. I even saw this last Friday in moving traffic.

Laptop while driving

The handsfree law doesn't specifically exempt bicyclists, but Mr Roadshow says it doesn't apply to cyclists. Neither he nor I are lawyers. YMMV.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

San Jose bike safety forum this afternoon

The bike safety town hall meeting starts in just a few hours at 12:30 PM, at San Jose city council chambers on East Santa Clara Street between 4th and 6th Streets in downtown.

In this ABC 7 news video about the bike safety town hall meeting, reporter Heather Ishimaru talks with SVBC Executive Director Corinne Winter and San Jose bike program coordinator John Brazil, while showing video of cyclists riding on the sidewalk with the voiceover that Santa Clara has the highest per capita rate of cycling deaths in the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bay Area bicycle news

If you're stuck indoors because of poor air quality, maybe you can at least read about bike stuff over the weekend. This started out as a dump of links around the blogosphere, but there's so much Bay Area news I'm sitting on I need to get that out of my system first.

But first of all let's check out the extra saddle mounted at the front of this Retrovelo singlespeed cruiser. Photo by Robert in Dresden.

Bay Area bicycle news

San Mateo County bicyclists want facilities to get across Highway 101.

"Bicycle Powered" urban community supported agriculture in San Francisco. My Farm SF promises to provide and maintain backyard gardens using permaculture techniques and a basket of veggies from yours and other yards delivered weekly.

Middle school bicycle safety classes through the Palo Alto Recreation Department and taught by LCI Richard Swent. Go here for details. The next class is this Sunday, June 29 from 1 to 5:30 PM.

"Try Bicycling" video wins public access TV award. Members of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition created a bicycle promotion video and entered it in the national 2008 Hometown Videos competition, winning first place in the community events category. View the video here. Congrats to all involved.

VTA Citizen Advisory Committee opening. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has an opening for a member from the West Valley cities. To be appointed to the seat, you must live in one of Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, or Saratoga and be chosen by the city council members who sit on the VTA board and PAC from those cities. Click here from nomination forms.

Reminder: Write to Caltrain. Please.

More bicycle links

New site: Ride Fixed Gear. The website owner lives in Palo Alto.

Wall Street Journal: Saudi experts disagree on how to manage their oil. It's an eye opening article.

More on the way later for your weekend reading pleasure....

Bicycling and smoking

It's pretty bizarre reading forecasts this week and reading "partly smoky." Here's the graphic from the National Weather Service forecast for Monterey this weekend.

Weekend forecast: Partly smoky

With over 1,000 wildfires burning around the state of California, bike riding is a little bit tough. I'm avoiding long distance riding, but even my short bike commute leaves me choking on my phlegm. Here's what the smoke looks like from space.

Air quality management districts throughout California caution residents to refrain from outdoor activity because of the smoke.

Meanwhile over in the Midwest, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources works hard and spends taxpayer money to ensure St. Louis air stays dirty and unhealthy. What a bunch of goons.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Colorado cyclist hits bear

More cycling news from Colorado:
A cyclist in Boulder County was injured after a run-in, literally, with a bear.

Tim Egan, 53, was riding on Old Stage Road Tuesday afternoon when suddenly a bear appeared in front of him. Egan hit the bear and ended up skidding across the road.

"This bear looked at me with a look of terror on his face and sort of made a noise," said Egan. "I looked at him with a look of terror and we went, 'aaaahhhhh.'"
Old Stage Road is along a popular road cycling route off of Lefthand Canyon Drive in the foothills just north of Boulder, Colorado. Read more in the Rocky Mountain News. There's some interesting elaboration in this earlier Daily Comrade article:
While the man and bear collided, a buck wandered into the scene playing out on the road. The bear turned its attention to the animal and roared, scaring the deer off before running off itself.
Mentioned also in this 9 News article with the usual stupid comments from psuedonymous cowards.

I've had to stop for herds of mule deer and elk while cycling in the Colorado Rockies, and once blundered headlong into a herd of moose(!) but I've never encountered a bear on the road while cycling.

Colorado legislatures attack cycling on Bike To Work Day

Wednesday was Bike To Work Day in Colorado.

I have much more to write about Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, Colorado in particular, but for now I'll just reprint the press release from the Colorado state legislature and let it speak for itself. I have additional commentary about Highlands Ranch in this map I uploaded to Flickr this morning. For those not familiar with the area, Highlands Ranch is the poster child for suburban cul de sac traffic hell. Aerial photos of Highlands Ranch are used to illustrate articles on the evils of sprawl. It's a shame that these bozos want to turn bicycling into a partisan issue.

“You’ve got to be kidding!”

That was the reaction today from Colorado State Senator Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, and State Representative Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, when they heard that Democrats are proposing “long bike ride(s)” as a solution to rising gas prices.

“Colorado families are struggling at the pump and the answer we are getting from Colorado Democrats is shut down oil and gas production in Colorado and ride your bike: Unbelievable,” said McNulty. “I’d like to see how they expect a mother of three in my district to get her kids to school and to buy groceries for her family using a bicycle.”

The press announcement that Democrats sent out yesterday states: “As gas prices continue to spiral toward $5 a gallon, many are taking a stand – or in some cases, a long bike ride.”

McNulty and Penry said they are supportive of celebrating “Bike to Work Day” today, but said that it’s not realistic for Democrats to hold bicycling up as a way to address skyrocketing gas prices.

“Bill Ritter's "New Energy Economy" now has a mascot: it is the bicycling politician who thinks we can peddle our way to energy independence,” Penry said. “This is the most absurd, ridiculous and totally convincing explanation of why Colorado Democrats are clueless when it comes to addressing our energy crisis.”

Penry and McNulty have supported many of the governor’s renewable energy initiatives, but say that it is only part of the solution. They have both been critical of Gov. Ritter’s approach to stunting energy development in Colorado, an approach they say will lead to even higher energy prices for Colorado consumers.

Interbike stays in Vegas

Carlton Reid and Rich Kelly Carlton Reid and Rich Kelly at Interbike 2007. Carlton writes for the British cycling publication Bike Biz; Rich Kelly is Interbike's marketing manager.
After two years of collecting potential host city data and retailer, manufacturer and industry partner feedback, Interbike management today announced the trade show will remain in Las Vegas, and that they are currently finalizing an agreement with the Sands Expo and Convention Center to host the industry's show for a minimum of three more years, beginning with the 2010 show.

"The decision to keep the Interbike show in Vegas comes after years of research and communication with our retailer attendees, exhibiting manufacturers and important industry partners," said Lance Camisasca, Interbike's industry consultant. "The data and communication we have collected, along with industry recommendations from organizations like the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) and Bikes Belong, confirm our decision to keep the show in Las Vegas."

Keeping Las Vegas as the host city for the Interbike trade show came into question two years ago in preparation to renew the show's contract with the Sands Convention Center, which expires with the 2009 show. Among other things, members of the industry were interested in seeing the show support a more cycling-friendly city, while maintaining the best return on investment for exhibitors and retail buyers.

More space needed. Some of the key requirements of Interbike are contiguous exhibit space of at least 700,000 gross square-feet and ample meeting room space, a large and diverse selection of hotels, restaurants and entertainment options conveniently located to the events, an international airport located within close proximity to the event with many flight options, numerous carriers and low airfare rates, and an outdoor demo site with great weather, extensive cross country/downhill trails and a closed road loop.

While Interbike management heard the voices of those who wanted out of Vegas, an overwhelming number of retailers and industry attendees picked Las Vegas over alternate venues in surveys. "After numerous communications with our members and board and reviewing the annual survey results, the proof is in the numbers," said Fred Clements, executive director of the National Bicycle Dealers Association. "In addition to what shop owners and managers say to us and what they put in a survey, retailers' loudest vote has been with their feet by attending the show."

"Interbike did a great job of sharing their survey results and other research," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong. "After so many years in Las Vegas, the simple idea of a new host city is appealing, but the data shows that retailers and suppliers still prefer this city for a variety of good reasons. Thus, we support the decision to stay for the next few years."


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cycling risk assessment survey

The New York Cycle Club (NYCC) is conducting a worldwide survey to gather bicycling accident information from a diverse population of cyclists. Anyone may submit one or more bicycling accident survey responses. Whether you had a minor or major accident, or observed one, live in New York or far away.

You do not have to be in New York or in the United States to participate in this survey. For more information, click here.

Puma bicycle films

Puma presents the Puma I-Cycle short film series. This collection of short films exploring bike culture and the people who influence it is produced and directed by Cinecycle.

The I-Cycle Film Series focuses on some of today’s biggest advocates for two-wheeled life, including - Matthew McGuinness, a cofounder of The 62, a Brooklyn-based art collective who started Re-Bicycle; George Bliss, the man behind New York’s Pedi-cabs; Brendt Barbur, founder of The Bicycle Film Festival; Matthew Modine, actor and founder of Bicycle-For-A-Day, an ongoing initiative to encourage and inspire individuals to leave their cars in the garage and reduce their carbon footprints on the world; and finally, Antonio Bertone, PUMA’s CMO and one of the main reasons for PUMA’s presence in the bicycle world.

Puma I-Cycle.

Daily Jumble: I'm going to buy a bike!

The Daily Jumble is that illustrated word puzzle I've seen since forever in newspapers, usually in the comics section. Today's theme is the price of gas. Click here to do the puzzle.

Do remember that jacket with the built in turn signals? Leah posted a detailed How To over at Instructables.

I have one of these Safe Turn signals that you strap to your wrist. I promised to send it to Sioux since she's been begging for a lighted turn signal for ages, but I accidentally broke it! (I have to tinker). I'll post a further review later, but in summary: it works better than expected once you figure it out, but it could be a little brighter.

SF Bay Area: Don't forget the MTC Transportation 2035 Survey.

Dallas / Fort Worth: There's a quote from an unnamed "city council person" who reportedly said, "Well there are not many people in my district who want to ride bikes anyway." Does anybody know who this person is and what district of which city he or she represents? BikeDFW has an online petition [very heavy scripting warning!] to show the popularity of cycling in north Texas and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Bike DFW is cycling advocacy in North Texas.

Mexico gas tourism

I was flipping through the New York Times this morning and saw a couple of interesting articles:
  • "Rethinking life in Denver's far suburbs" discusses the impact that higher commute and heating costs are having on housing prices in the far suburbs around Denver, Colorado. Denver's city center, in the meantime, is seeing a revival of shiny new condos and restaurants around LoDo and along the Cherry Creek River. I used to ride my bicycle in that area and it's indeed become a very nice area over the past 10 years.

  • "Low Mexican gas prices draw Americans" reports that many Americans in border towns cross into Mexico to buy discounted gasoline and diesel. Gasoline in Ciudad Juarez is only $2.66 per gallon, the result of subsidies that costs the government of Mexico over $20 billion this year. Trucking companies fuel their fleets in Mexico. Meanwhile, gas stations in El Paso, TX are empty and pushed to the edge of bankruptcy. Seee the video report for more.

  • A similar article on gas tourism in the Wall Street Journal looks at San Diego and Tijuana, where individuals are installing extra large fuel tanks on pickup trucks and other work vehicles so they can buy subsidized Mexican fuel for resale to friends in the USA.

Bicycle stabbing

This headline about "bicycle stabbing attacks" reminded me of the most awesome bicycle movie of all time, "Prince of Darkness." Watch Alice Cooper help Bill Gates with the slickest bike trackstand of all time in this video clip from the movie. [ Warning: some cinematic blood and gore and a crucified pigeon. ]

What's your favorite biking scene from a movie? Was it that bike jousting scene from "Quick Change"? What about about the "TWO DOLLARS" kid in "Better Off Dead"?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Santa Cruz Highway 17 bikes on board to be banned!

The Highway 17 Express bus service from Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley to San Jose is operated by the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District (Metro). Metro's policy when the bike racks are full is to allow bikes on board in the handicap seating area if there are no handicapped passengers. Bikes are not permitted in the luggage compartment underneath because the compartments can't "accomodate both bikes and luggage" according to Metro, although the luggage compartments are used very rarely.

The Highway 17 bus service has been filled to near capacity on many trips over the last few weeks as more commuters and day trippers use the relatively inexpensive service to travel over the hill. With this increased use comes more bikes on board. Santa Cruz Metro received one customer complaint about those displaced from the handicap seating to make room for bikes on board.

In response to this complaint, the Metro Advisory Committee voted unanimously to change Metro policy and prohibit bikes on board after September 2008. The Santa Cruz Metro Board must still approve this policy.

I've alerted People Power Santa Cruz and have phone calls to the Santa Cruz Metro board and staff about this. As soon as I get a response and find out what to do about this I'll post an update.

Colorado bike to work day

Wednesday, June 25 is Bike To Work Day in Colorado. GO Boulder appeals to all Boulder cyclists to register yourself for Bike To Work Day with DRCOG. According to Boulder transportation planner Marni Ratzel, "We use Bike to Work day numbers to show the potential for biking in Boulder. If we could show that it is possible to get thousands of people on bikes in Boulder, we will make Boulder the biking capital of the world."

According to Ratzel, even if you don't work or work from home, any trip you take by bike will count for registration.

If you register you get entered to win all sorts of prizes, including a Yeti bike,a fully load commuter bike, messenger bags and other great stuff.

This registration with DRCOG is for all Denver and Boulder region commuters and is used to gauge the effectiveness of bike promotion efforts. Make your ride count and register yourself now.

Ride Green Build Green

Cyclists this summer are preparing to ride the thousand miles from Seattle to San Francisco to raise funds and awareness for affordable green housing on the Ride Green Build Green (RGBG) bicycle trip.

Prior to the ride, each participant is raising a minimum of $2000 each to support LEED certification for a home built by Habitat for Humanity of East King County. Fundraising will include benefit concerts, T-shirt sales, and donation solicitations. All donations will be tax deductible through Habitat for Humanity. Riders also plan every aspect of the trip, including the route, nightly stop locations, work days at affordable housing sites, community forums, and bicycle and gear procurement.

Along the way, riders will also have opportunities to visit sites and organizations devoted to affordable and green housing and thus gain a greater understanding of the different methods, techniques, and plans for making both affordable and sustainable buildings and housing. Stops might include housing for the homeless, green affordable-housing projects, self-built green homes, and meetings with advocacy organizations to learn about their work.

Among scheduled stops: Olympia Habitat for Humanity (7/26), Cowlitz County Habitat for Humanity (7/28), and Olson Woods Community Partners for Affordable Housing (7/30).

RGBG believes that some of the biggest impacts we have on the environment lie within the structures we build to accommodate our lives.

RGBG is seeking financial and volunteer assistance and additional riders. Please visit Ride Green Build Green for more information.

Portland depaving

Jonathan Winston of San Francisco is at the Toward Car Free Cities conference in Portland, Oregon. His latest podcast on Bikescape is on the depaving of parking lot that took place to open the conference. The 3000 square foot parking lot will be converted to a community garden, some bike parking space, and a water catchment system.

When I look at proposals like the King Street Bike Way that involve adding more pavement for the benefit of cyclists, I kind of wonder if perpetually increasing gasoline prices won't automatically resolve the problem of too much traffic. What do you think?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Real Estate showings by bike

I didn't expect to see this -- a Chicago area Realtor took some clients on a bike ride for property showings.
I’ve written quite a bit about ditching my car for my bicycle in my day to day duties as a Realtor. This weekend I really had the chance to flex my “Green street cred”. My clients and I set out for showings in East Lakeview on our bicycles rather than driving.

When looking at properties that are relatively close together, riding makes a lot of sense.
It's also a good way to demonstrate how bikeable a neighborhood is. Read more at Chicago Real Estate Local.

Shiny new bikes

I'm seeing a lot of shiny new bikes on Caltrain lately. Murph's using new bikes as a pickup line.

Remember the hullabaloo about Chicago's new bike-friendly traffic laws? Police have issued 233 citations on the new law between March 12 and May 31.

Coping with $5 gasoline.

Slashdot mentions bikes! Montreal's public bike system looks pretty cool.

Design award for SRAM.

I'm hearing a lot more about bike theft in the Bay Area lately, but does anybody still believe uglification is effective?

Human powered flight.

Real life Yehuda Moon

Compare and contrast: Comic character Yehuda Moon on the left, real life bike builder Josh Muir on the right.

Josh Muir of Frances Cycles in Santa Cruz California

Yehuda Moon is the bike nerd creation of Rick Smith in Cleveland, Ohio. Josh Muir builds lovely bicycles under the "Frances Cycles" brand in Santa Cruz, California. His shop is right around the corner from the Bike Church, of which he's a co-founder.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Santa Cruz: King Street bikeway meeting

The city of Santa Cruz is studying the possibility of enhancing King Street as a bicycle route and an alternative over Mission Street. King Street is a residential collector running approximately parallel to Mission Street from near High Street in the north/east to Swift Street at the south/west.

View Larger Map

King has a 25 mph speed limit; actual speeds range from 25 to 29 mph. While King is a favored bike route today, traffic volume is heavy enough and the road narrow enough that motorists must frequently wait to pass cyclists who take the lane on King.

On Wednesday, June 25th, the city will host a public hearing to discuss the draft King Street Bikeway plan [PDF]. The meeting starts at 7pm and will be held in the Police Department Community Room at 155 Center Street in Santa Cruz.

On the agenda will be three options for King Street. People Power Santa Cruz supports two of the options and opposes the third.
  • People Power supports option 1, which is placement of five foot bike lanes to enable motorists to operate independently of bicyclists in the same direction. This option requires either the removal of parking on one side of the street, or widening the street to make room for the bike lanes.

  • People Power Santa Cruz also supports option 2, which is making King Street a "bicycle boulevard" by reducing motor vehicle traffic volume with traffic calming features such as barriers that allow bikes through but not cars. Diverting 5000 vehicles per day from King onto neighboring streets will increase already heavy traffic volume on the adjacent streets. I can anticipate heavy opposition for this option from residents on neighboring streets.

  • People Power opposes an "option 3", which is really a part of Option 1 in the draft plan. This is a daytime only parking prohibition along King Street. Parking is prohibited during the day -- this parking area becomes a clear bike lane for cyclist use. In the evenings, cyclists use King Street like they do today, by taking the lane. The planners state they see this "option 3" as an interim solution until funding can be obtained to widen King Street for bike lanes.
Other elements of the draft plan include discussion of door zones, removing stop signs to encourage more cyclists on King Street, "encouraging safe lateral positioning" (aka "taking the lane") through the use of sharrows and other pavement markings, signs on Mission to inform cyclists of a "Mission Street Bypass," and encouraging caution by motorists by removing the centerline on King.

Read the Santa Cruz King Street bicycle route draft plan here [PDF].

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How tomorrow moves

This is off-topic, but I'm a railfan. Here's a nice advertisement from CSX Rail.

"What can a car that gets 50 miles to the gallon do for the environment? Not nearly as much as the car that's carrying it. Our trains can carry a ton of freight 423 miles on one gallon of fuel."

Friday, June 20, 2008

I pity da foo who steals bikes

Seen at the Santa Cruz Bike Church.

Mr T and bikes

I've also finally uploaded some of my photos from last week's Wildcat to Flickr. Click here for the photos.

Biking to the bar

Metro Silicon Valley is the local free "alternative" entertainment newspaper. In their feature on "How to be a dive bar superstar," writer Ryan Osterbeck suggests public transportation and even biking to the bar.
Probably the best option is to ride your bicycle. I know that bike riding and fashionable club duds rarely coincide, but the beauty is that your new pals at the dive bar won't really give a rat's ass what you're wearing, as long as you're drinking. Also, both of these options make the DUI specter virtually disappear. You can still get slapped with the old Drunk in Public or the rarely given, but greatly feared BUI (Biking Under the Influence—to lessen your chances of this, make sure your bike has lights, front and back and heed all traffic signs, lights, etc.), but, let's face it, you have to be pretty wasted to get slapped with either of those. Just be responsible.
I'm not sure bicycling while drunk and responsible go together hand in hand, but there you go. I have seen a few folks in fashionable club duds on their bikes in San Jose.

New Orleans by bike

Kate Drabinski in New Orleans has a delightful blog: What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today. She rides her bike around New Orleans, photographing the people, the scenery, and the activities of post-Katrina NOLA and posts them online.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

San Jose: Extraterrestrial Ride this Friday

San Jose Bike Party this Friday night. The June 20th, 2008 Bike Party is a smooth 16.5 miles, rolling out of Campbell through some of the calmer streets of Willow Glen before hitting a nice tour of San Jose's warehouse district on the way up to Japantown and then the Guadalupe River trail in downtown. The finish is at the Children's Discovery Museum park in downtown San Jose, where you'll play glow-in-the-dark Frisbee.

Click here for route map.

Taylor Phinney sets world record

Seventeen-year-old Taylor Phinney of Boulder, CO set a new junior world record during the USA Cycling Olympic Team Selection Camp in Los Angeles earlier this week. Phinney, the son of American cycling legends Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney, set the record in the men's 3000-meter individual pursuit. The reigning junior world champion clocked a new record time of 3 minutes, 16.589 seconds to lower the previous record of 3:17.775 set by Australia's Michael Ford in 2004. He met the automatic time standard to earn a nomination to the Olympic Team in the elite distance of 4000 meters at the third round of the UCI Track World Cup series. The record attempt was part of Phinney's training program leading into next month's UCI Junior Road and Track World Championships in South Africa.

Jennie Reed of Kirkland, WA, who also has an automatic nomination to the US Olympic track team, attended the camp to prepare for the games, participating the 200 meter and 500 time trials. Reed set a new U.S. national record by completing the 500 meter distance in 29.662 seconds, just 0.007 seconds off the world record pace of 29.655 set by Erika Salumae of the Soviet Union in 1987.


Frank Schleck crash video

Team CSC cyclist Frank Schleck took a turn a little wide and went over a guard rail and down a ravine today during the Tour of Switzerland. After watching the video, you'll be amazed to know that Schleck escaped with only minor injuries to hop back on his bike to finish the race.

Props to my co-worker Pete for this.

Collab: G-Star RAW + Cannondale

Cannondale introduced the Special Edition "RAW" bicycle last March as a special edition collaboration with fashion label G-Star RAW. The bike features what Cannondale calls a "no-scratch" finish, which is perfect for stacking your bike on the train. 8 speed Alfine 8-speed internal hub gearing, integrated lights, internal cable routing, disc brakes, HeadShok front suspension, fenders and chainguard complete the urban utility of the Cannondale RAW.

Bicycle Design's James T talked with Cannondale designer chief Torgny Fjeldskaar about this bike last January -- Click here for more. More details about the Cannondale RAW here. Orangutan Studio blogged about it and reminded me of this bike.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SF Quake City Rumble July 3-6, 2008

The fifth Quake City Rumble benefiting the San Francisco Bike Messenger Association Broken Bones fund takes place July 3-6 in San Francisco. Winners get free travel to the North American Courier Championships in Chicago August 29-31. This link supposedly has more information but there's nothing there at the moment, so look at the Soma Fabrications blog instead.

California to consider Idaho stop law?

The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) bicycle advisory committee (BAC) will consider a proposal for changing California law to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stops. If the BAC likes the idea, they will forward the proposal on to the MTC which can eventually forward their suggestion to the California legislature.

The Idaho law allows bicyclists and motorcyclists to roll through stops if the intersection is clear, and to proceed through a red light after a full stop if it's safe to proceed.

Read more in the SF Examiner.

Father and son to trace ancestors trails by bike

Matt Stewart and his dad David are going on a bike trip this summer through Eastern Europe in search of family roots. They plan to trace the travels of Jewish relatives who fled Europe for New York in the first part of the 20th century. Starting in Warsaw and ending in Odessa, it'll be a physically and emotionally demanding trip traveling a part of the world his ancestors fled in fear decades ago. Not a bad ride either when you consider Matt's dad is 57 years old.

See Stewart Bike Trip: Odessa or bust for the tale of their journey.

Google AdWords

I occasionally get inquiries about advertising on Cyclelicious. Businesses that want to advertise on Cyclelicious should use Google AdWords to manage your web advertising -- you can even specifically target Cyclelicious for your advertising if you want. You only pay for click throughs, and you can track click throughs and impressions and geographic distribution and control other factors to a much greater degree than I can.

If Google AdWords doesn't meet your needs than feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thursday: Bike or transit?

Thursday, June 19 is free transit day in the San Francisco Bay Area. Transit will be free until noon on BART, Caltrain, ACE Train, Amtrak Capitol Corridor, and the Bay ferries. Transit will be free all day on all participating Bay Area bus and light rail providers. See this page for details.

I can't decide whether to bring a folder and ride the train to take photos and video of the insanity, or to just enjoy myself and ride my bike the entire distance.

Which should I do? What will you do?
  • Bring a folding bike and document the fun on Caltrain.

  • Avoid Caltrain altogether and ride my bike the distance from San Jose to Palo Alto.
Help me decide!

Vehicle personalization = road rage

From /. comes this finding from Colorado State University. Szlemko found a link between road rage and the number of personalized items -- such as bumper stickers -- on or in people's vehicles.
"The number of territory markers predicted road rage better than vehicle value, condition, or any of the things that we normally associate with aggressive driving,' says [ Colorado State University psychologist William ] Szlemko. What's more, only the number of bumper stickers, and not their content, predicted road rage... Szlemko suggests that this territoriality may encourage road rage because drivers are simultaneously in a private space (their car) and a public one (the road). 'We think they are forgetting that the public road is not theirs, and are exhibiting territorial behavior that normally would only be acceptable in personal space,' the researcher says.
The full article in Nature is behind a paywall, but there's plenty of commentary at Discover Magazine, Chicagoist, Pure Pedantry, WSJ Buzzwatch, and elsewhere.

Presidential candidates who support bike advocacy

Barack Obama met at the Chicago home of SRAM vice president F. K. Day with Bikes Belong executive director Tim Blumenthal and other board members of the Bikes Belong Coalition last week. Obama pledged support for increased funding of bicycle and pedestrian projects, including the Safe Routes to School program, if he's elected president.

They always meet with defense contractors, big oil, automakers and the financial industry, but has any other sitting president or presidential candidate met with bike industry leaders and made a similar promise?

Does anybody know, for example, if Jimmy Carter promoted bicycling for transportation at all? I know that Ralph Nader believes cycling is too dangerous, saying that, "Competing on city streets against heavy motor vehicle traffic is not fair for a bike rider. I'd walk."

More on this:

Tour of California through the Santa Cruz Mountains?

Ken scooped me on this: Palo Alto is angling to host a stage finish of the 2009 Tour of California. A proposed stage would start "north of San Francisco" (in Marin County, probably?), wind across San Francisco into the coast range then drop out of the Santa Cruz Mountains into downtown Palo Alto. Just for the fun of it I think it would be hilarious if organizers routed the Tour of California through Woodside, California.

Below is the Boonen commercial Ken mentioned. I'm not familiar with the Bettini one. Makes me want to hop on the bike! The Santa Cruz mountains is where I live and where I ride.

Speaking of the Santa Cruz Mountains, here's a photo of me from last Saturday looking like a total dork in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Santa Cruz Wildcat 2008 photos

Josh Muir, owner of Frances Cycles in Santa Cruz, organized the Santa Cruz Wildcat alleycat race that took place last weekend. The Wildcat featured all of the traditional alleycat things -- checkpoints, spoke cards, scavenger hunt, a total disregard for traffic laws and personal property, etc. -- as well as some uniquely Santa Cruz features: probably 2000 feet of elevation gain, redwood forest singletrack, rock gardens, deep beach sand, a lighthouse and a river ford.

I was DNF -- I made it to the checkpoint in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, where we had to carry our bikes and gear through the San Lorenzo River before skipping a rock. The next checkpoint was at the top of the U-Conn trail, but I had to meet my family at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in a half hour so I handed my ice cream off to another rider and cycled down into Santa Cruz.

I'll have my photos from the Wildcat later this week, but click on the photos above for a wonderful set of portraits taken from the UCSC trails.

Collaborative marketing: USA + France

Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and AEG announced a marketing partnership to cross promote each other's events. ASO owns the Tour de France and other European races, while AEG is the US based sports presenter that owns the Tour of California.

Beginning with the upcoming 2008 Tour de France and 2009 Amgen Tour of California, the multi-year agreement calls for the organizations to develop and initiate comprehensive cross-promotional platforms for the Tour de France and Tour of California.

ASO believes AEG's success marketing their American sports teams and venues will benefit Tour de France marketing. “AEG’s success in developing and promoting properties like the Los Angeles Galaxy team with David Beckham as well as, among others, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, will greatly benefit the Tour de France in the United States,” says ASO deputy director Yann Le Moenner.

In a related move, AEG has named Matthieu van Veen to the newly created position of Vice President, AEG Sports Europe. Prior to joining AEG, van Veen directed the NBA's media distribution in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Read and discuss. I saw $4.75 at the 76 gas station in Menlo Park on my way to work this morning. I brought my daughter to work so we rode the employee shuttle. For the first time I ever saw every seat in the shuttle was taken.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Britain's bike tribes

Recumbent riders, folder fantatics, fixed nuts, manic messengers, sit-up-and-beg brigade, weekend warrior, speed bandit, workaday wheelers, tandem tourers, and BMX dads are all described in this guide to Britain's new bike tribes.

We mustn't forget about the anarchists, too!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bike Jacker

Mike Luckovich Driven to Crime...

Click to view large.

Bicycle quotes

Carlton Reid has put together an amazing selection of quotes about bicycling. Here are a few I like.
“I thought of that while riding my bike.” -- Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity

“At that age, it’s one of the worse things in the world to wake up and not see your bike where you left it.” -- Hip-hop star 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, on the theft of his childhood bike

“The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.” -- Iris Murdoch, ‘The Red and the Green’

“I hope that cycling in London will become almost Chinese in its ubiquity.” -- Boris Johnson, The Guardian, March 18, 2006

“If you brake, you don’t win.” -- Mario Cipollini

“Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.” -- Bob Weir, Grateful Dead

“Cyclists…are the gods of the road.” -- Actor, Nigel Havers, ‘The Daily Mail’, 13th June 2006
Visit Quick Release for the whole pile of bicycle quotes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Colorado bike haiku

Carl ran a bike club for students at Columbine Elementary School in Longmont, Colorado. The bike club was for the Walk Or Wheels ("WOW") program at the school, which encourages students to walk or bike to school and which has an astounding participation rate of over 90%. Carl started the club as an additional impetus to get the kids out of their parents' cars and to teach them to ride safely.

He assigned some homework to the children, asking them to write some "bike haiku" or baiku. Read the student's baiku here.

Enjoy the weekend, all!

Santa Cruz Wildcat

I almost forgot to mention this!

Like it says on the poster: something like an alleycat, except we don't really have "alleys" per se in Santa Cruz (population 55,000), so it's more like a mountain bike race on beach sand trails. With fixed gear bikes. It's kind of awesome. Geared commuter bikes complete with racks and panniers are also popular. I plan to be there so look for me and my camera.

The Santa Cruz Bike Church is on south Pacific Avenue -- the address is 703 Pacific but you actually have to turn on to Spruce to get to it.

Proposed visual test for doping

Viva Viagra.

Elsewhere around the bicycling web.

Do androids dream of bicycles?

Southern sweetheart Arleigh wants your help. Click here and press the vote button to help her get to "Hellride 5." Hellride is at least 70 miles of mostly singletrack off-road riding with 12,000 feet of climbing. Four men and four women will be selected to participate by your vote.

Our old friend The Amazing Shrinking Man and his wife will do their parts for diabetes research fundraising by doing their local Tour de Cure tomorrow. Click here now to donate a few dollars for Team Stormcrowe.

Old time mountain biker Charlie Kelly has a website.

Inspirational story: Really old guy rides a somewhat old bike.

PanUSA Challenge: Justin, Ben and Jamie are doing a cross-country bike tour to raise $75K for the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

San Francisco Bay Area Transportation 2035 Survey.

Tour de France 2008 Guide from VeloPress on sale now. For the first time in over 40 years, the Tour de France will not have a prologue -- it will begins with with a 120 mile Stage 1 from Brest to Plumelec.

Gallery of wooden bikes.

Renato Campihno's funky bici alrededor del mundo.

Beginner cycling tips.

Colorado: Remember, June is Bike Month in Colorado. Bike to Work Day is Wednesday, June 25.


Billy Savage lived in the hills of Marin County, often pushing his 20" BMX bike up the fire roads in the same area where local legends Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Alan Bonds, Wende Cragg, and others created the sport of Mountain Biking.

Stevie Wilde, one of the founders of Veloclub Tamalpais who helped pioneer mountain biking back in the day, says this about Klunkerz:
Billy lived and worked in Fairfax for years and gained a real appreciation for what mountain biking was and where it came from. Billy's a half generation younger than the founders but has great admiration for what he saw happening. He also wanted to bring people of that era back together because he could see the righteousness and spirit that it evolved from.

Billy is a responsible hard working family man on one hand but he also comes from those crazy motion freak roots so many of seem to have with skateboards, surfing and cycling on dirt and road. A wild and savage guy but a genuinely warm, straight up human being.
Billy admired mountain biking and the people involved so much that he raised the money to create Klunkerz, a documentary. He rounded up many of the luminaries involved in the early days, interviewed them, dug up shoeboxes of photos and old Super 8 film of the crazy guys and gals on their homebrew bikes, and created a wonderful film that takes you back to those early days of fun and innovation. You can get Klunkerz online through PayPal or your credit card.
Klunkerz: A film about mountain bikes

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Breanna Slaughter-Eck

Death monsters strike again, this time in San Jose, California. *sigh*

Updated (and heart-wrenching) story here. The driver apparently turned left into the little girl.

The scene of the collision is in the Rose Garden neighborhood, a nice residential area. Park Avenue is favored by cyclists. Any motorist who hits a cyclist -- even a child who swerves left across traffic -- is probably driving too fast for a residential street. If I recall correctly, the speed limit on Park on this stretch is something like 30 mph, but speeding and running stop signs is routine.

View Larger Map

Caltrain: More bike parking

There's been a lot of discussion this week on the SVBC and SFBike lists about Caltrain's Bicycle Master Plan. The first public is tonight in San Carlos; I plan to attend the Monday evening in Mountain View if I can get out of work early enough.

Mountain View Caltrain evening commute

Some points to discuss and consider:
  • Because transit connections to get commuters the last mile from the train station to work or home are often non-existent or poorly connected in the Bay Area, bicycles enable commuters to bridge that gap from home to the station and from the station to work. I can get to work without a bike, but doing this adds 30 minutes to my already long commute (from the walking and waiting for connections) and reduces my flexibility dramatically -- I must leave work earlier and I get home later.

  • Caltrain is getting very crowded with bicyclists and non-cyclists. Even trains that previously were nearly empty in the past are at capacity these days, especially on the bike cars.

  • Caltrain claims they can't increase bike capacity without reducing capacity for other passengers. Walking passengers are never bumped, though, even at the most crowded. If bike capacity is increased at the expense of seat space, there is still room for non-cycling passengers, even if many of them need to stand in the aisles (like cyclists are needing to do now).

  • Caltrain estimates that boarding bikes adds about 250 hours of delay per year, because cyclists take longer to board than other passengers. The dramatic drop in on time performance in 2008 is probably due mostly to increased use of Caltrain by bicyclists.

  • Caltrain plans to electrify by 2014, so they're reluctant to simply add cars that will be unusable by Caltrain in a few years. Adding cars to diesel train consists also slows service and impacts schedules.

  • According to Caltrain, about 9% of train commuters ride their bikes to Caltrain, with 1 to 2% locking them at the station and the remainder bringing them on board. 37% drive to the station or are dropped off; 19% use other transit; 29% walk and 8% use a free shuttle.

  • There are 1,900 bike parking spaces along the entire Caltrain system, which is not nearly enough these days. At San Jose Diridon Station, for example, there are 24 bike lockers and zero bike racks. Compare that to 600 car parking spots at that station. If we use the current ratio of 1 bike rider for every 3 motorists, there should be 200 bike parking spots at San Jose Diridon. Adding secure bike parking is very inexpensive compared to adding car parking, yet car parking is available at below market rates and even free at some stations.

  • Many (most?) cyclists are unwilling to leave their bikes locked up overnight, and many are unable or unwilling to spend the money for a second bike, which is what would be required for many commuters to get to work.
Caltrain says they want to increase the number of cyclists biking to the train station, but because bike capacity on board is maxed out they want to encourage bike parking. Some of the other ideas they plan to present include bike sharing and a folding bike subsidy.

Caltrain bike pain elsewhere:
  • Green Caltrain: "The Bicycle Master Plan, unfortunately, will be a big disappointment for some bicyclists who want to see more bike capacity on trains. The plan focuses primarily on bike parking issues. For various reasons, Caltrain is putting the controversial issue of bicycles on trains off the table."

  • 295Bus on the new Entry/Exit door labels on Caltrain Bombardier bike cars.

  • Sub20OLH had been ranting a lot about Caltrain this last week:
    • A new day: "Caltrain needs some more funding - now. I definitely want them to get a little smarter - but the system is breaking down."
    • Bumped: "I was late because I was bumped at Mountain View from the 5:03 train. I had to wait for the 5:37, and made it on but 10 others were bumped. That train then bumped 10 at Menlo, and 10 at Redwood City..."
    • Caltrain falling apart: "Why are they late? Dwell time is through the roof. Caltrain is surely blaming the cyclists. The conductors are surly. What is going on?"
    • Caltrain is falling apart: History.

  • The Itinerant Cyclist goes bumpity bumpity: "Train 227 gets to Mountain View about 10 minutes late, I am early enough to catch it, but the house is over full so I take the gentle push to stay behind rather than fight for one of the spots standing in the vestibule. Train 231, my normal train, is due in just a few minutes anyway. Then 231 shows up with Bombardier equipment and only 1 bike car, so max of 16 bikes total on the train and there are 15 on the platform waiting to board. So it was waiting another 20 minutes for the next train, which had room for only 13 bikes and there were about 18 on the platform. But I fought this one out and got on that train."

  • San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Caltrain Bikes on Board information and Caltrain Campaign Page.

  • Caltrain Bicycle Master Plan information.

Bicycle blogs

I don't remember if I've mentioned The CyclePig yet. He has good stuff. Go check him out.

Other Bicycle Blogs that I don't think I've mentioned before.

Vik's Big Dummy is all about pictures of people riding the Surly Big Dummy.

Charlotte in Boston blogs as Chic Cyclist and posts photos of women in short skirts riding their bikes around her town.

Sub 20 OLH. Because he wants to do Old La Honda Road on the San Francisco Peninsula in less than 20 minutes, which puts him in a different class than me; I'm the guy holding the flashing rear end device red lantern at the back of the train. The record for OLH is something like 15 minutes I think.

Hayduke Bikes blogs from Santa Cruz. He's one of those bearded dudes who's been riding bikes since before I was born.

Chris Cowan is another Bay Area cyclist.

Sabine Duke blogs to Bella Babble. She's a cyclist in Santa Cruz and also a good photographer.

Empathy Test wants to ride his bicycle more.

Lego Andy is another Bay Area cyclist with things to write about cycling.

Random Dreams is my former riding partner in Colorado and a good friend.

I've mentioned CycleDog a plenty, but today you need to see his special announcement from a sponsor.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anxiety Disorders

Warren tagged me and wrote I need to post the 6th, 7th, and 8th sentences from page 123 of the nearest book. The text Psychopathology happens to be sitting on the table next to me, but page 123 is just a page of references. I'll flip forward to the next page with some actual sentences, which happens to be the introduction to a chapter on Anxiety Disorders. Beginning with the sixth sentence on the page:
Anxiety also denotes sets of proposed mental illnesses called anxiety disorders, as in the title of this chapter. The theory that some psychological problems are anxiety disorders, or are caused by anxiety disorders, derives from the medical model that views people's psychological problems as psychopathlogy, symptoms, psychiatric syndromes, mental illnesses, mental disorders, and related disease-like conditions. Anxiety disorder theory is emboded in detail in leading psychiatric organizations' official manuals of mental disorders (American Psychiatric Assocation, 1994, DSM-IV; 1980, DSM-III; 1987, DSM-III-R; World Health Organization, 1992, ICD-10).
My wife is in grad school to be a professional shrink; I have fun reading some of her books (and I'd be a horrible counselor, trust me). I'll tag Jen, Jerry, Ron, Nick and Russ. Grab the nearest book, turn to page 123, post sentences 6, 7, and 8 from that page, then curse five more people.

If you continue this chain you will win the lottery, piles of cash will fall from the sky straight to you, you'll be promoted to CEO of your employer, and you'll be able to influence everybody around you. Break the chain, though, and you'll be arrested and charged with every heinous unsolved murder in your state, but before your trial agents from Blackwater Security will break you out of prison, frame you for the anthrax attack that terrorizes a minor city in the Middle East and loose you in the streets of Tehran where crazed mobs tear you apart limb from limb.

Richard Nixon of Yorba Linda, California broke the chain; he fell from being the leader of the free world to becoming a disgraced and hated criminal. Ted Kaczynski of Chicago, IL had a promising academic career when he broke the chain and became a lunatic murderer. Osama bin Laden of Riyahdh, Saudi Arabia climbed the corporate ladder of his father's business when he broke the chain and he now lives in filthy caves as the evil mastermind of a terrorist organization. Paris Hilton of New York City was known for her ground breaking cancer research and achievements in astronomical physics, but then she broke the chain and became a ditz. Floyd Landis was a world class cyclist loved by millions until he broke the chain; now he's discredited and everybody thinks he's a loser who needs to dope to win. DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN!

My name in Grist

It's all about me. I'm mentioned in this "Ask Umbra" article about biking with kids. Okay, so it's just a photo credit but it's still a good article. Props to Tim for the heads up!

Caltrain Bicycle Master Plan public meeting

First meeting Thursday, June 12 in Santa Rosa San Carlos

Nearly 2,400 customers bring their bikes on board Caltrain each weekday. Caltrain runs out of space these days as demand exceeds the space on board the trains.

In an effort to address this issue, Caltrain is developing a Bicycle Master Plan that focuses on ways to improve bike parking at its 10 most-popular stations. Over the last year, staff has conducted extensive surveys of existing bike parking facilities and solicited input from bicycle advisory groups and Caltrain bike riders.

Caltrain will hold three meetings to hear comments about its key findings and recommendations. The meetings will be held:

  • Thursday, June 12 at 6 p.m.
    San Carlos Public Library, 2nd floor, meeting room A
    610 Elm St., San Carlos

  • Monday, June 16 at 6 p.m.
    Mountain View City Hall, Plaza Conference Room
    500 Castro St., Mountain View

  • Tuesday, June 17 at 6 p.m.
    Genentech Hall, Room S201
    University of California, San Francisco
    600 16th St., San Francisco

Now is the time to submit your comments regarding this plan. Click here to review key findings of the Bicycle Master Plan. To comment, attend one of the public meetings, send an e-mail to or write to Caltrain bicycle Master Plan, P.O. Box 3006, San Carlos, Ca 94070. Comments will be accepted through July 3.

Thursday June 12: Spare the Air

Thursday, June 12 will be a Spare the Air day in the San Francisco Bay Area. Concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy tomorrow. Clear skies, hot temperatures, and light winds will combine to produce poor air quality for the Bay Area. Commuters are asked to help prevent smog tomorrow by using public transit, walking or biking to work; using a carpool or vanpool; and telecommuting.

Unlike past years, public transportation is not free. The San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission decided that providing free transit is not a cost effective way to reduce air pollution, with a cost of about $400,000 per ton of reduced emissions.

The SF MTC will provide one final free transit day on Thursday, June 19. With record ridership on all Bay Area transit systems and high demand because of gasoline prices, I'm calling this "avoid Caltrain day."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Team CSC finds sponsor

Riis Cycling (RC) announced that Saxo Bank will be a title sponsor for the cycling team. The agreement will let Saxo Bank become a co-sponsor of Team CSC together with CSC. The agreement becomes effective immediately, which means that Team CSC will appear as Team CSC/Saxo Bank at the upcoming Tour De France. Computer Sciences Corporation announced last March that they would not renew their sponsorship of the cycling team after the 2008 season.

The agreement runs to the end of this year, and on January 1st 2009 Saxo Bank becomes the sole main sponsor of the team that, from then on, will be known as Team Saxo Bank. The duration term of the contract is three years.

"With Saxo Bank, we have found the perfect partner for the future. We are extremely proud to become associated with such a strong brand and a company that has a great passion for our team and our values. It has been a pleasure closing a deal with such dedicated and professional people as Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen. From day one, we have found a great understanding and this promises to become a first class collaboration for the years to come," says Bjarne Riis.

Signing the agreement with RC, Saxo Bank's founders and joint CEOs, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen pointed out that this is an opportunity they have been waiting for for a long time. "For a global bank like ours, this is the perfect match and when it became possible, we just could not let this chance pass by," they said in a joint statement. "Team CSC/Saxo Bank has the international reach and name recognition that means that we will be able to get our message out to most of our clients group around the globe. We love the sport, we trust Bjarne Riis, and believe that together we will be winners."

"At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our main sponsor CSC for their passionate and consistent support," Riis said. "They have made it possible for us to become the best team in the world. We have achieved fantastic results thanks to their dedication. The level and the quality of this partnership is what we want to continue with Saxo Bank as our new sponsor."

Saxo Bank takes over the sponsorship from CSC whose contract with the team expires by the end of the year: CSC has been the team's main sponsor since 2001.

In explaining their decision to sponsor the team, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen in their statement said that, in addition to being one of the world's most popular and watched sports with an audience of billions of viewers, cycling on this level expresses the same kind of values and attitudes that Saxo Banks identifies with. "Winning and team work, is what Saxo Bank has been about from the outset," they said. "Endurance and passion are some of the other features that we have in common. We are proud that we now will have the opportunity to highlight these values and show what sports and business can do together."

The two CEOs have worked closely with their counterparts at CSC during this transition, and they point out that the CSC executives generously have shared their sponsorship experience with them. "We are very pleased that CSC has included us a co-sponsors for the remainder of their contract with RC creating the best possible transition for the team and us as the new main sponsors," Fournais and Christensen said. "It goes without saying that this is the best possible scenario for all stakeholders."

At CSC, this is also significant and good news.

"We are pleased to welcome Saxo Bank onboard as a co-sponsor of Team CSC for the remainder of 2008 and thrilled that they will become the team's title sponsor in 2009," said David Booth, President of Global Sales and Marketing for CSC. "We have enjoyed an incredible partnership with the Team for these past eight years; helping them secure another strong partner like Saxo Bank is in keeping with that spirit of partnership."

For Bjarne Riis, the partnership with Saxo Bank will secure the kind of stability that is necessary for the team's future success. He too, sees the sponsorship agreement with Saxo Bank as a match between two partners that have much to offer each other.

"Now we can focus on the next big event - Tour de France knowing that we have the possibility to build a team for the future with Saxobank. We are very ambitious about being the best team in the world and with Saxobank on board we have found the best possible partner for this project," says Bjarne Riis.

The nine RC riders will get started as Team CSC-Saxo Bank in Brest when Tour de France takes off on July 5th.

Bike to budget protest

A school district superintendent and a non-profit board member plan to ride their bicycles from Mountain View, California to Sacramento to protest proposed budget cuts to education.

Mountain View-Whisman district superintendent Maurice Ghysels will ride with Bruce Barsi to deliver a personal message to the governor to protest what they say are nearly a half million dollars in buddget cuts for the district.

In California, school funding is decided at the state level. California has the second highest cost of living in the nation (Hawaii is highest), but ranks 46th in per pupil spending.

Read more at the Mountain View Voice. Props to Alison.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hugo Chavez rides a bicycle

World leaders are jumping on the bicycling bandwagon.

Hugo Chavez rides a bicycle

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez rides the atomic bicycle. The bicycle, built in Venezuela by an Iranian company, comes from a new factory that Chavez says will eventually manufacture up to 100,000 bicycles a year. Read more.

The United States currently imports nearly one million barrels of oil per day from Venezuela. Iran currently imports about 40% of its gasoline, which explains why they need all of those Venezuelan bicycles.

Saddle sore: abrasions, fungal infections, zits and cysts

CycleDog has a good post on how to avoid and treat the things that can go wrong with the "taint." Take care of yourself.

Which reminds me of Dave Zabriskie's hilarious article in "Main-Taint-Ance." It used to be on his site but I can't find it anymore, but here's a copy floating around the web.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Obama Barack rides a bicycle

Illinois Senator Barack Obama returned home to Chicago to join family and friends for a bicycle ride along Lake Michigan on Sunday. Read more and see more photos.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bicycle blog

I can't believe I missed this in my list of links yesterday! The Sartorialist posted another bicycle photo today. Say hello to Nolita and her cute puppy.

Sue has her own collection of great links from her bicycle blog: Other random bicycle blog links:
Have a good weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The wheels on the bike go round and round....

Happy Friday everybody! I have a whole pile of links for your weekend browsing pleasure.

Bicycle Love

Cool looking cyclist on CNN.

Fun bubble blower for your bicycle. Whee!

James of Bicycle Design has his 15 minutes of fame!

Spare Cycles: Gas Bike cartoon.

New York bike shortages.

Bike on bike violence.

Ask Umbra on the carbon footprint of manufacturing your bike.

Cozy Beehive and The Journal of Competitive Men.

A couple of good stories from Interbike Times: The history of Specialized and Interbike retailer registration up 45% over last year! I'm already registered myself for Interbike 2008.

DIY bike lights on your backpack.

International Energy Agency calls to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

New paintings at the Velopaint cycling gallery.

American Prospect: Pedal Pusher.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bicycle songs for Denver

Suggest songs for Bike to Work Week in Denver

Bicycle Colorado's executive director, Dan Grunig, has been invited to be a guest DJ on G. Brown's Palace radio show on KCUV 102.3 in Denver on June 21 at 9 a.m. Help Dan create a playlist of great bicycling music to get folks fired up for Denver's Bike to Work Week, June 23-27. Submit your song suggestions and tell Dan why your song promotes or is related to bicycling. Then listen on June 21 to see if your song is selected. If you are outside of Denver, you can listen live on the internet.

Some of the song suggestions I submitted include:

Submit your song suggestions today!


See the awesome and amazing Aerotrike in action at the Stanford Oval during the 2008 Amgen Tour of California (as previously featured in How to Avoid... etc.)

I love this thread at BikeForums, in which UD claims to have "smoked a commuter on her trike:
So there I was just enjoying my ride on my kids tricycle from Wall Mart with pink streamers, when I saw this dude up the road. I decided to pedal a bit harder, and before I knew it passed him like he was standing still. Oh sure poor ******* tried to keep up on his fancy shmancy hybrid with those "panniers', but he was no match for me on my tricycle. It looked like he was on Gary Fisher Nirvanna, loaded down with fenders, panniers, handlebar bag, and generator hub light that was on ([for his] ... daylight running light). I sure showed him. I had to turn off on next street because I was only riding a block, but I completely owned that commuter!
Read the thread here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Canada trading bikes for old cars

New National Vehicle Scrappage program begins next year to exchange old cars with bikes, transit passes, car-sharing memberships

Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, today was joined by the Clean Air Foundation to launch a National Vehicle Scrappage Program, which will offer incentives to people who retire their 1995 or older model vehicles.

This program will be fully operating by January 2009, and will encourage people to scrap their gas-guzzling vehicles and to turn to environmentally-friendly transportation. The incentives over the scrap value of the vehicle include:
  • Public transit passes
  • Bicycles
  • Membership in a car-sharing program
  • $300 cash
  • a rebate on the purchase of a new car (from private resources)
"We know Canadians want to do their part to help clean up the air we breathe and our Government shares their desire," said Minister Baird. "That's why we are launching a national program to get Canadian's smog-causing gas-guzzlers off the road. This investment, combined with our Turning the Corner plan to cut air pollution from industry by up to 50 per cent, is what Canadians want and what we are delivering."

The Government is providing $92 million over four years to implement the program, which will be delivered by the Clean Air Foundation - a national not-for-profit organization that runs the award-winning Car Heaven program.

"We are thrilled to be leading this program," said Ersilia Serafini, Executive Director of the Clean Air Foundation. "Car Heaven is a leading program in Canada and we look forward to working with additional local programs to build on their experience and to enhance this network nationally even more."

Of the 18 million cars and trucks on Canada's roads, about five million were manufactured before 1996, when new environmentally standards were introduced.

This initiative is part of the Government's Turning the Corner action plan, which includes a commitment to reduce emissions from transportation sources and cut smog-forming industrial air pollution in half by 2015.

Visit Vehicle Scrappage for more details.

Public bikes in Palo Alto?

Presenter Bill Burton Wright of Library Bikes will show a presentation on the steps Paris took for the successful launch of the popular Velib bike rental program. Bill will have some “Roue Libre” bikes to share. The presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A and discussion of implications for Palo Alto.

Thursday, June 5, 2008 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Palo Alto City Council Chambers, 250 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA.


Hi all, and thank you so much for the kind words yesterday about my family's loss. It means a lot to me and I really appreciate your thoughts.

This guy is headed toward De Anza Boulevard on Stevens Creek in Cupertino, California. Photo by me. Cupertino bicycle commuter
Just for fun I called 511 from my cell phone this morning to get traffic information on some South Bay freeways. 511 is the local traffic management service that provides real time traffic status via voice commands through your cell phone. I also call 511 to get transit schedule information if I need to ride a bus I'm not completely familiar with, though in that case I usually connect to VTA's automated schedule information.

A bicyclist was hit on San Tomas Expressway this morning, and there was a multiple car collision somewhere else on San Tomas. There was the usual slowdown on 85 northbound at El Camino Real. But the thing that struck me was this statement from the automated voice:
There is a slowdown on Interstate 280 north from Interstate 680 in San Jose to De Anza Boulevard in Cupertino. Traffic is moving between 10 and 30 miles per hour.
I don't know what the average speed over that distance was this morning, but if we split the difference and and call it 20 mph, that's 45 minutes to cover that 14 mile distance. Let's say you live in the East Valley and work at one of the tech businesses on De Anza like Apple or Symantec. It probably takes you at least 15 minutes just to get on I-280 in the first place, then another 45 minutes to get across to Cupertino, and perhaps another 10 minutes. That's almost the time it takes for my 44 mile commute that I do via bus, train and bike!

Mount Diablo Challenge - October 5 2008

Mount Diablo is a 3,900 foot (1,170 meter) hill in Contra Costa County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Mount Diablo Challenge is a bicycle race held annually on the first Sunday in October. The race begins at the Athenian School at the base of the mountain and climbs 3,249 feet (990.3 m) in 10.8 miles (17.4 km). The race draws about 1,000 cyclists each year who compete in a mass-start format, with different waves of differing ability levels starting at different times. Bicycle riders of every age and ability are represented in the diverse field, from weekend enthusiasts to top professionals. All proceeds benefit Save Mount Diablo’s land conservation efforts.

Online registration is now open for the 2008 Mount Diablo Challenge. Registration fee is $50; this goes up to $60 after September 8, 2008.

Visit Mount Diablo Challenge for more information.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pet blog

This is Reese late last night on the floor of the 24 hour emergency vet clinic in Santa Cruz.

Goodbye, Reese

Reese became suddenly and profoundly ill yesterday and Sara called the vet yesterday morning. A full panel of diagnostic tests told us she was suffering major organ failure and there wasn't much we could do. We made the decision to euthanize Reese. The entire family said our goodbyes to our pet last night. The whole family was bawling. She was gone about 30 minutes after I snapped this photo.

Reese -- a chow/German shepherd mix -- is easily the best dog we've ever had. She was amazingly intelligent, very kind and gentle, (mostly) obedient, playful and just a wonderful dog. We all loved her. She was only about four years old when she passed.

Please excuse this weepy self indulgence, though to keep things in perspective there's also this. This will likely be my only post today. You can see more photos of Reese in my Flickr photo stream.

Panda with Dog

Ivy and Reese

Monday, June 2, 2008

Silicon Valley Bicycle Safety Town Hall

The Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley will host a "Bicycle Safety Town Hall" discussion on Saturday, June 28 beginning at 1 PM at San Jose City Council Chambers, 200 East Santa Clara St. in downtown San Jose.

This free event will feature:
  • Congressmember James Oberstar, Chair House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • Will Kempton, Director of Caltrans
  • Carl Guardino (moderator), President & CEO Silicon Valley Leadership Group
A followup panel discussion begins at 2 PM with
  • Lee Taubeneck, District Four Deputy Director for Planning, California Department of Transportation
  • Ian McAvoy, Chief of Development, CalTrain
  • Therese McMillan, Deputy Executive Director for Policy, San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Corinne Winter, Executive Director, Santa Clara Valley Bicycle Coalition
  • Chris Augenstein, Deputy Director of Planning, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
See more information about the Bicycle Safety Town Hall meeting at the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley and Friends of Guadalupe River Park & Garden. This Town Hall meeting is presented in assocation with with CalTrain, the City of San Jose, Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, Caltrans, MTC, VTA, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coaltion, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Mineta Transportation Institute.

Behaviorial shifts in Bay Area commutes

Mercury News: 'Large shifts in behavior' during commutes create new problems --
As gas prices climb menacingly toward $5 a gallon, Silicon Valley residents are changing the ways they commute - but some of the new solutions are creating problems of their own.

Elizabeth Finkler of San Jose is leaving her car at home and biking to a bus stop to get to work in Santa Clara.

Aaron's 2006 Masi Speciale Fixed
Trouble is, only two bikes fit in the rack in front of a bus. And one night she was the fifth bicyclist waiting to catch a bus home.

"The driver wouldn't let me on because he already had two bikes on the rack and lots of passengers in the bus," she said. "I ended up speeding over to Scott Boulevard to get another bus and barely made it home for a visitor expected at 7:30."

The problem is more acute on Caltrain, where one in 15 riders wants to bring a bike on board, according to a Caltrain survey. Three in five say they've been bumped from crowded trains at least once in the past year, and one in four former riders who used bikes said being bumped is why they no longer take the train.
Read more in the Mercury News. I especially like this paragraph:
Donna Williams of Sunnyvale and her husband, Jim ... purchased scooters a year ago that get 80 to 90 miles per gallon. They promised their teens they would be careful and not do anything stupid - no lane splitting or riding to the front of a line of cars at a red light.

Some tips to avoid or mitigate some of these hassles:
  • Use a folding bicycle. Folding bikes are generally allowed on any train car and bus at any time. This isn't necessarily a panacea with standing room only on many buses and trains. I see many folding scooters and skateboards on the train and bus these days, too.

  • Bikestation Parking is available at Berkeley BART, Embarcadero BART, and Palo Alto Caltrain. A $20 membership gives access to the Bikestations, though an additional fee applies for bike parking.

    Caltrain Conductor
  • Local shuttles. These free shuttles seem to be a secret to many people, but several shuttles circulate to major employment areas from several Caltrain stations in San Francisco, San Mateo County and Santa Clara County. Many shuttles operated by specific employers are partially funded by public agencies and are free for anybody to use for free. This morning, I walked 15 minutes to my bus stop then took the shuttle to my work from Caltrain. I had to start earlier and got to work later, but that beats missing the train or bus altogether.

  • Take an earlier or later bus or train. This doesn't apply to everybody, but for those with a more flexible schedule you can learn which trains and buses are the least crowded.

  • Use the bikecar notifications on Twitter. Riders note which trains have two bike cars on them.

  • Bike the whole distance, especially if your commute is less than 10 miles or so.

  • Bike part of of the way. I'll often bike the 10 miles from my job in Menlo Park to the Mountain View Caltrain station because I know I won't be bumped from the train in Mountain View.

  • Bike to the bus stop or train station and lock your bike up there. You'll probably want to use a beater bike and secure everything removable (seat posts, saddles, handlebars, pedals, etc). Note also that bike parking is limited at busier stations.

  • Walk. If you work or live just a couple of blocks from the bus stop or train station, it may be less hassle to walk than to bike.
Do you have other tips to help bicycling commuters avoid crowded transit?