Thursday, December 31, 2009

SF Bay Area free transit New Year's Eve

I was going to post this on, like, Tuesday, but I went snow skiing with my family instead. Better late than never, I suppose...

Several San Francisco Bay Area transit agencies are offering free rides and running extra buses and trains to encourage people to stay safe and off of the roads as they enjoy ringing in the New Year.

Caltrain rides are free after 11 PM on New Years Eve, and four post-midnight trains will depart San Francisco 4th & King after the New Year. These extra trains will depart the San Francisco station at 12:45 a.m., 1:15 a.m., 1:45 a.m. and 2:15 a.m., making all local weekday stops to the San Jose Diridon station. Caltrain does not permit open alcohol containers after 9 PM following special events.

BART will run until 3 AM tonight, and trains will leapfrog stations in downtown San Francisco to ease overcrowding problems after the annual fireworks show along the Embarcadero ends tonight. BART also plans an increased police presence. Unlike past years, BART rides will not be free this year. Visit for additional details.

SF MUNI on buses, light rail and cable cars are free after 8 PM until 6 AM Friday morning. Additional runs and extended service will be offered on some routes, while some routes that run through the Embarcadero area, The Castro, North Beach, and Cow Hollow may be re-routed. Visit SFMTA for details.

SamTrans in San Mateo County is free after 11 PM. Only the following routes will operate on a holiday schedule: 38, 110, 112, 120, 121, 122, 130, 280, 281, 292, 294, 296, 297, 390, 391, 397 and KX.

Golden Gate Transit buses and ferries are operating on a normal weekday schedule today. Buses will run on a holiday schedule on New Years Day. No ferries will run on New Years Day.

Santa Clara VTA service is free beginning at 7 PM tonight until 3:59 AM, with increased service and exended hours on the Santa Teresa/Alum Rock and Mountain View/Winchester light rail lines. The 180 Express Bus Line will also run extended hours tonight. Visit for details.

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

That's the traditional New Year greeting in Japanese. In Japan, all of the little kids go around to the adults saying "Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!" and the adults reciprocate by handing out envelopes stuffed with cash.

I don't have any cash for you, but watch for some giveaways in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to hand out my used copies of various bike books, and I might have a couple of other goodies as well.

Happy New Years, all, and may your bike routes always be free and open to access.

Let me through!

Bikes to power Times Square New Year display.

It had to happen: Commercially available bike polo mallet shaft.

Noisemaker for your bicycle.

Yet Another iPhone App: Pedal Brain.

Treehugger Sustainable transportation year in review.

Grist Top Green Stories of the 00s.

Bike shaped vintage watch.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bicycle and self defense

According to the description accompanying this video, a pair of thieves on a motor scooter snatched a purse from a woman in Wenzhou, China. The guy on the bike calmly dismounts and hurls the bike at the would be thieves, causing them to crash.

Spokesmen year end

"The Spokesmen," including Yours Truly, recorded the 2009 Year End edition of the Spokesmen cycling podcast last weekend. Topics and links over there, so give it a listen already.

I know not everybody is not into "social media," but it's handy for me and the other Spokesmen podcasters. We're never short of topic ideas, but if you have your own ideas we're now looking at #spokesmentopics on Twitter for topic ideas in the week before we record a new podcast.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Crossing Hwy 101: University Avenue

Here's another South Bay video contribution to Murph's Highway 101 crossing project. I'm crossing over in this video on University Avenue from Palo Alto over to East Palo Alto (where IKEA is at).

Unlike Willow Road just a couple of miles to the north, University Avenue doesn't have ugly merge lanes. Traffic is very heavy and there, but freeway access lanes are double turn lanes controlled by signal lights; as long as you stay in the straight-through lanes and watch for right hooks you should be fine.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Silicon Valley Bike Share to begin next March

The VTA Bike Share proposal came closer to reality this week after a half million dollar grant was awarded this week to pilot the program. VTA say they plan to begin the test bike share this March, with bike share kiosks at San Jose Diridon Station, Mountain View Castro Street Station, and Palo Alto University Avenue Station.

According to San Jose councilman, VTA board member and bike booster Sam Liccardo, these Caltrain locations are planned because they are the busiest in Santa Clara County and to alleviate problems with bike bumping on Caltrain.

Read more in the Mercury News: Don't want to drive? Share a bike!

See also "Bike share coming to Silicon Valley?"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Happy Holidays from Fritz

Thanks so much for continuing to follow Cyclelicious. I've lost focus over the latter half of 2009 and I'm putting some thought into what I'll do for 2010. I think it's time for some changes here. If you have any ideas I'm all ears!

Watch for some giveaways around the New Year -- I have a collection of cycling related books that I'd like to pass on. These won't start until after Christmas a the earliest. In the meantime, enjoy the time with your family or the outdoors or however you like the celebrate the season.

I hope you enjoy this snippet of videos of Rerun on the back of a bicycle.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waxing Moon

There's a nice article on Yehuda Moon in Cleveland's alternative weekly.

ehuda Moon — a name he invented in high school, which stuck simply because he thought it was funny — is a bicycle mechanic who works at the fictitious Kickstand Cyclery. His character embodies the tweedy and idealistic side of bicycle culture: cycling for transportation and the joy of the ride. He appreciates the traditional ways; for him, bicycle technology reached its peak in the '70s. He probably wouldn't trust carbon fiber. He's an advocate of sharing the road. He's put white "ghost bikes" around the neighborhood to raise awareness of cyclists killed in collisions with cars. He's also placed "share a bike" bikes around town for people to use whenever they need a bike to get somewhere. He's not above taking traffic management into his own hands by painting his own bike lanes. With his beard and stature, he bears a striking resemblance to his creator.

Read more: Waxing Moon. H/T to Jonathan, formerly of California, now in Ohio.

Mission Workshop Vandal backpack

Who needs a cargo bike when you have the Mission Workshop Vandal Backpack?

The guys who orginally founded Chrome bags have moved on and started Yet Another Backpack company specializing in waterproof bags that can tote surf gear, computer stuff, a bicycle and even your groceries!

More from the BR&IN: hrome Founders Launch Mission Workshop.

Santa Cruz & Bicycles in the news

Cyclist down in Capitola yesterday afternoon.

Craig Calfee's bamboo bike Africa project in the alternative local weekly.

Somebody (can't tell if it was a motorist or cyclist) was doored and got a ticket for it!

Chariot Skates

"Wheel skates" are roller blade style boot with bike sized pneumatic tires for a "smoother, more fluid skating experience that crosses boundaries into skiing and cycling" with carbon fiber construction and optional hand brakes.

The inventor, Michael Jenkins, claims "I usually overtake recreational cyclist[s]" as he travels at 20 km/hr, but then don't we pass pro cyclists while riding old 12" kid's tricycle all the time? Chariot Skates hope to launch these for sale next February, 2010.

Via WIRED Gadget Lab.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yahoo sponsors bike racing team

The tech and local news sites have been all over this over the weekend after rumors that have floating around for at least a couple of months, but I didn't notice this until last night: Yahoo plans to sponsor a cycling team for 2010.

Menlo Park cycling enthusiast Kevin Klein, who previously raced for Rock Racing, will manage and ride for Yahoo! Cycling Team.

Interestingly, a few tech blogs and local news sites snarkily proclaim that a company with $1.6 billion in revenue and a net profit of $183 million last quarter should halt all marketing activity while using this photo of a purple three speed commuter for their illustration.

Still, it's hard not to snark when team manager Klein says they plan to use social media networking sites like Twitter (note: not owned by YHOO) and Facebook (also not owned by YHOO), while apparently failing to mention Yahoo's most successful social media property.

Props to Steven Woo. Yahoo Cycling Content Free Site.

Highway 101 bike crossing project

Murph wants to document Highway 101 bike crossings across the San Francisco Peninsula from the City down to San Jose.

As Murph notes, 101 is a large traffic sewer with homes, jobs and other commercial activity on either side. He has a comprehensive list, but I'll just quickly post a couple of videos and photos of the ones I've crossed. Directions given below are nominal, in that 101 is nominally north/south, but travelling north on 101 will actually take you quite a ways west. "West" is away from the Bay, "East" is towards the Bay, "North" is towards San Francisco and "South" is towards San Jose.

Westbound Willow Road crossing over 101. I stay in the straight through lane and out of the merge lane, though many cyclists choose to hug the curb (crossing merging traffic twice, but it's their funeral).

Westbound Willow @ 101 often looks like this, BTW, during the morning commute.

Willow Road morning traffic

Here's a cyclist sharing the lane with a dump truck on Willow over 101.

Share the Road

Next is the Ringwood Avenue Pedestrian / Bike Bridge. This is a mile north of Willow and a somewhat nicer place to cross. Some residents on the west side of 101 want this access removed.

South of Willow a few miles in Palo Alto is the Oregon Expressway Bike Bridge. From the east side of 101 this bridge is pretty hidden and can be difficult to find if you don't know where it's at. I'll try to post video of this access later.

Bicycle Chicane X 3


Crossing Hwy 101: Pedestrian overpass

I planned to shoot video while crossing on University in Palo Alto this morning, but I had some technical difficulties, so maybe later this week. Are there any requests for other South Bay locations?

Bam Bent!

Behold the bamboo built recumbent trike.

bamboo recumbent trike

Monash University industrial design student Alexander Vittouris in Melbourne, Australia designed this three wheeled recumbent "Naturally Derived Personal Mobility Vehicle" using a bamboo fiber and resin composite, something like the bamboo composite that mad scientist Brano Meres showed off in 2008.

In his design contest submission, Vittouris writes:

The philosophy of urban personal mobility as well as recreational transportation fits well with the configuration of a recumbent tricycle. The reclined position places the rider in a comfortable situation whilst the inherent nature of the design offers stability. The BamTrike also offers generous side storage pockets for carrying goods, which eliminates the need of wearing a cumbersome backpack.

See the full description @ Australian Design Award - James Dyson Award student entries: "BamTrike - Naturally derived personal mobility." Via Yanko Design: Bam Trike Personal Mobility Device and props to Wes.

Tandem Unicycle

It even has kickstands!

More at Corbin's Treehouse with build instructions too. Via MAKE.

Bicycle repair in Nairobi

Paula Kuhumbu travels to Nairobi Kenya to discover the truing stand and a clever freewheel removal tool. I don't imagine Park Tools are easy to come by in Kenya. Props to Mohammed in the video.

Via Boing Boing and Afrigadget.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Culinary Cycling Adventure Series

Introducing "Pedaling", a gastronomic adventure on two wheels - New Culinary Cycling Adventure Series Features NYC in First Installment

This looks like my style of adventure cycling: A new series of videos beginning in 2010 to highlight the joy of eating and cycling at PEDALING.TV.

The PEDALING episodes will contain practical tips for urban cycling, including an inside peek at a professional bike fitting, traffic etiquette, and notes on where cyclists in the area ride, eat, and spend time.

First up in this series is PEDALING: NYC, a tribute to Gotham’s endless epicurean delights and vast landscapes—both concrete and green—from the cyclist’s perspective.

PEDALING: NYC will launch January 5, 2010.

SF Critical Mass

A sorta new SF Critical Mass blog with do's and dont's of CM. Explanation of the reason for this blog at Streetsblog SF.

CM is on the last Friday of the month. That would be on Christmas Day this month.

Amsterdam hits roadblocks in electric car promotion

In order to meet greenhouse gas emission goals, the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands aggressively promotes electric cars. Amsterdam pays half the cost of plug in electric cars and gives free power to recharge the batteries. They are also considering free parking for electric cars in a city where space for any vehicle comes at a premium.

Amsterdam cyclists, however, predict they will be pushed aside as room is carved from existing facilities to make way for more cars.
The Netherlands breed bicyclists. The narrow streets of Amsterdam siphon legions of upright riders on heavy black bikes to work, pubs and retail stores. Long ribbons of them dominate roadways, passively demanding subservience from their outnumbered counterparts in cars.

Up to now, they have ruled. There are 180,000 parking spots for cars in Amsterdam, compared to 550,000 bicycles. Last year, 38 percent of transportation "movements" in the city were by bicycle, compared to 37 percent by car. In the city center, cyclists reached a critical mass of 55 percent of movements.

"We are afraid. If you add more parking spaces, you get more cars," said Marjolein de Lange, a member of the cycling union Fietsersbond, which is concerned about the electric car program. "We think the cleanest means of transport is the bike."
Read more --> New York Times: "A Pro-Bicycle City Faces Trouble Promoting Electric Cars."

Low Tech Transportation

The Streetsblog Network and Seattle Transit tipped me off to a delightful resource: Low Tech Magazine (paradoxically published and probably made possible through the Internet, but never mind that).

Their premise: Low-tech Magazine refuses to assume that every problem has a high-tech solution. A simple, sensible, but nevertheless controversial message; high-tech has become the idol of our society.

Last October, they published a primer to the low tech of wheeled transportation: the bicycle.

I disagree with part of their article -- while roads can certainly be made much safer, I think they're overstating things with the claim that "riding a bike is dangerous at the very least and plain suicide at worst" -- but they present a radical idea:
We don't need any new infrastructure, what we need is to clear the existing infrastructure of inefficient vehicles and replace them with efficient ones. In other words: give all streets, highways, cloverleaves and motorways exclusively to bicycles and all other human powered wheeled vehicles. Get rid of cars. Why make things so complicated if the solution is so simple?

What do you think? Too much too soon? Or the perfect solution?

Read more -> Low Tech Magazine: Cars out of the way. H/T Peter Smith.

I drove to work today, oh boy

I drove to work today for the 3rd time this year.

My wife is working today and my daughter is out of school for the holidays, so I planned to do the bus / train / bike trip together with my daughter. She's accustomed to that so no big deal, but then last night the weatherman forecast rain for today.

I told my daughter to get her rain jacket out and pack a change of clothes (her bike doesn't have fenders), when Sara suggested driving my daughter to the office. There's a reason we use the acronym SWMBO, so of course I followed her suggestion, and besides it would allow us to sleep in an extra half hour and still get to the office on time.

Except a couple of cars flipped over on Highway 101 near Embarcadero blocking three of the four northbound lanes, and I stepped into the office an hour later than usual. My back hurts and my shoulders are stiff from sitting in the car for nearly two hours. And wouldn't you know it, the weather is absolutely gorgeous this morning.

My daughter just told me, "Dad, we should've rode our bikes today." Agreed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stocking stuff: GoPro HERO Wide HD

I already own the GoPro HERO Wide Angle video camera. I'd love to upgrade to the HD version!

GoPro HD Wide Camera

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stocking stuffer: Zippo Hand Warmer

This hand warmer uses lighter fluid to warm your gloves and pockets.

Zippo hand warmer

Follow Friday: Randomly disjointed

Product Recall: Zefal threaded CO2 cartridge inflators can blow up in your hand. This model was sold exclusively at Walmart.

Trek built up a black and yellow District just for Lance Armstrong. Includes a yellow Gates belt made custom just for this project.

Lance Armstrong custom Trek District belt driver bicycle

Portland, OR and the magically disappearing bike lanes.

Really cool bicycle painting.

"Bike vs Car"? Bike boulevard debate in Santa Rosa.

Cars take up lots and lots of space.

Bike mode increase plateau in Portland, OR?

Winter Solstice ride in Denver, Colorado.

San Jose Bike Party tonight. Wear a scarf.

Unhappy news on this page.

Friday Sigalerts

This week, I suffered two flat tires on my bike, which doubles the number I've had all year. That's nothing compared to some of the other stuff this week, though.

Wednesday night, traffic on Highway 17 from Santa Cruz to San Jose was impeded when a tractor trailer hauling 39,000 pounds of frozen fish flipped over near Sugarloaf Road. When I cruised by five hours later, workers were still scooping fish from the overturned trailer into another truck so they could turn it upright to move out of the way.

Today was a bad traffic day in the Bay Area. A 77 year old bicyclist was killed early this morning after he was hit by a Caltrans SUV on Hillsdale Boulevard at Highway 101.

A little while later, a four vehicle pileup that involved a dump truck and three other vehicles closed northbound Highway 101 killed at least one motorist and closed most of the highway for three hours this morning, with the choke point backing traffic up on 101 to beyond Burlingame this morning, and clogging local street all over San Mateo County as commuters sought alternative routes. Caltrain and my bicycle were unaffected by the delays this morning.

Images courtesy Sean Kane and published with his permission.

I'm a sucker for compliments

Jason wrote some nice things about me, so of course I'll link to his site!

Fixed Gear Bikes "for fixed gear freaks only."

Fixed gear fan

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Outlier for women: Daily Riding Pant

Outlier has responded to constant requests for women's cycling apparel by creating the Outlier Daily Riding Pants.

Outlier cycling pants for women

These pants feature four way stretch and a soft inner face of doubleweave twill fabric for comfort. 4Season fabric sheds rain and dirt, dries fast, resists wear and tear, and meets the bluesign environmental standards for low impact textiles, according to Outlier.

More info --> Outlier Women's Daily Riding Pants.

Outlier cycling pants for women

I love you, You love me

Are we a happy family?

I just wanna say: If you ride a bicycle, you're A-OK in my book. I don't care what you ride, why you ride, where you ride, and what you wear while riding -- it's all good.

Prompted by Jack "Ghost Rider" Sweeney @ Bike Commuters, who wonders, "Can’t We All Just Get Along?"

Colorado Ice Biker
Why, then, is there so much friction within the world of cycling? In my 30+ years, I’ve witnessed the “us vs. them” mentality more times than I care to remember. Just off the top of my head, I’ve seen: BMXers vs. fixed-gear freestylers; Roadies vs. mountain bikers; Bike geeks vs. “fashionistas”; Gearies vs. fixies; Commuters vs. racers; Vehicular cyclists vs. fans of road infrastructure.

I sometimes poke some fun at any and all of the above groups, and I hope it's taken in the good humored spirit that it's given.

Except for recumbents, of course. They're clearly the spawn of the devil.

Just kidding! I love the bent riders as well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cycle & Style

Cycle & Style is a "Ladies Cycling Fashion Magazine" out of Utah written by and for women who love cycling of all types -- they do cyclocross and indoor spinning with sports bikes, but they also roll on cute cruiser bikes and seem to enjoy arranging cute photos of bikes and people like this one.

Cycle & Style also includes yummy recipes like this one for Salmon Cakes with Dill Sauce. I think I'll go and cook dinner now.

--> Cycle & Style web zine. <--

UK Study: Risky cycling rarely to blame for bike crashes

Cyclists disobeying stop signal or wearing dark clothing at night rarely cited in collisions causing serious injury

A tiny proportion of accidents involving cyclists are caused by riders jumping red lights or stop signs, or failing to wear high-visibility clothing and use lights, a government-commissioned study has discovered.

With adult cyclists, police found the driver solely responsible in about 60%-75% of all cases, and riders solely at fault 17%-25% of the time.

More --> UK Guardian: Risky cycling rarely to blame for bike accidents, study finds.

New Federal traffic signs standard includes bike signs

Sharrows and "Bikes May Use Full Lane" Now in National Traffic Sign Standard

This morning, the US Federal Highway Administration published a new edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The December 2009 Edition of the MUTCD contains a number of new standards that apply to bicycle facilities.

A couple of interesting additions (for me) to the MUTCD: Bicycles May Use Full Lane Sign and the Shared Lane Marking aka "Sharrows."

Bicycles May Use Full Lane Bicycles May Use Full Lane

The 2009 MUTCD says the "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" sign (a white rectangular regulatory sign) may be used on roadways where no bicycle lanes or adjacent shoulders usable by bicyclists are present and where travel lanes are too narrow for bicyclists and motor vehicles to operate side by side. For support, the MUTCD refers to the Uniform Vehicle Code, which "defines a 'substandard width lane' as a 'lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the same lane.'"

Shared Lane Marking

The Shared Lane Marking, popularly referred to as the "sharrow," has also been approved for this latest edition of the MUTCD.

shared lane marking Sharrow The sharrow may be used in addition to or in place of the "Bikes May Use Full Lane" sign. According to the MUTCD, the sharrow assists clists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist's impacting the open door of a parked vehicle; and assists bicyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane.

The MUTCD also explains that the Shared Lane Marking alerts other road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way, encourages safe passing of bicyclists by motorists, and reduces wrong-way bicycling.

Sharrows are not to be placed within shoulders or designated bike lanes. Where's there's on-street parking, the center of the sharrow must be at least 11 feet from the curb or edge of the road. Where there's no on-street parking, the sharrow must be at least 4 feet from the curb or road edge.

The MUTCD is the bible for state Departments of Transportation for all traffic control devices. This manual defines a standard placement, size, colors, and guidance pavement markings, signs, and signals on the road. By law, the MUTCD is the national standard for traffic control devices any street, highway, or bicycle trail open to public travel. State DOTs are required to adopt the new MUTCD within two years.

States are not required to use every traffic control device mentioned in the MUTCD -- for example, states are not required to install "Bikes May Use Full Lane" or sharrow markings on substandard width lanes. They do now have the option to use these signs, however, without having to file a request for experimentation or running afoul of Federal transportation law. I've worked with a couple of local government transportation departments, for example, who were interested in sharrows but did not want to use them because they weren't in the MUTCD.

This new edition of the MUTCD is a powerful tool for cycling and cyclist advocates. Cycling facilities and markings are no longer an afterthought but an integral part of the National MUTCD.

Big props to Richard Moeur, a transportation engineer on the Bicycle Technical Committee who worked several years to include this signage and guidance in the current edition. Thank you also to Bob Shanteau for passing word of the newly approved manual along.

Traffic Controls for Bicycle Facilities are described in MUTCD Chapter 9.

Wednesday Morning Bike Ride

I hope you're enjoying your morning as much as I am.

There's light rain in the San Francisco Bay Area today and mild temperatures. It's almost perfect for a winter bike ride if you don't mind a little water and grime.

P.S. I haven't robbed a liquor store.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MIT Copenhagen Wheel

Regenerative braking bicycle hub created by MIT people and introduced today in Copenhagen during the climate conference.

Gee whiz factor: Bluetooth to connect to iPhone app for speed, direction and trip distance.

More: MIT: Copenhagen Wheel.

Twitter Memo o' Day: #whyweride

Cycling Tweoples are chatting about Why We Ride today.

There are lots of good reasons to ride. I posted this haiku on one reason I ride:

December bikes rides
Through leaves yellow, orange and red
Refreshes my heart

Why do you ride? Tweet about it or post a comment!