Hump Day bike news: SF bike politics, Sondors in the wild, Accidental Argyle

Happy Happy Hump Day. We had another wonderful San Jose Bike Train this morning, with three of our seven riders wearing argyle with absolutely no pre-planning whatsoever on our apparel because we’re so awesomely in tune with each other. I also learned from Janet that the Mountain View City Council approved a new city bike plan at their meeting last night.

Find more bike news below the photo of our cycleliciously argyle-clad gams.

San Jose Bike Train argyle ride

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

In the midst of possibly the most contentious board election in the history of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Noah Budnick announced his resignation after less than ten months on the job as Executive Director.

After the SFBC board de-certified last summer’s controversial measure to fundamentally change the membership structure of the bike coalition, a number of members opposed to this change ran for the board election taking place now under the Save SF Bike slate. Board-endorsed nominees created the Love SFBC slate in response. How many other bike advocacy groups do you know with internal party politics?

Budnick hasn’t revealed the reason he’s leaving, but he was likely chosen as E.D. partly because of his experience running an organization with a governance structure similar to what the SFBC wants to achieve. I’ll choose to believe the best and assume he misses family and friends back in New York City. In his resignation message, Budnick said “Your engagement keeps the bike coalition strong.”

Sondors ebike in the wild

Remember the $500 Sondors electric bicycle crowdfunding campaign? I saw one in the wild this morning.

I’m not opposed to ebikes (I’ve ridden them myself on occasion, and will probably acquire another someday), but I urge careful riding. The guy I saw today was easily going 20 MPH as he weaved past walkers and other cyclists on a crowded portion of the Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose. If you see other people on the trail, please throttle back.

My request is self-serving for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t want to get hit head-on by an out-of-control 60 lb bike. Second, I don’t want aggressive enforcement of the 15 MPH speed limit on our local trails. 20 MPH is fine on a straight section of the trail when there are no other users nearby. But when approaching others, I ease back on my speed.

More bicycle and transportation news

Desperate Syrian refugees blocked from entering Europe via the south are detouring towards the Arctic Circle, which has officials worried as winter approaches. These refugees cross the border from Russian into Norway by bike because Russia prohibits pedestrian crossings, and Norway considers crossing in motor vehicles a form of human trafficking. The bikes are abandoned at the border and eventually scrapped because they do not meet Norwegian safety standards for bicycles.

Free intro to Urban Bicycling class in San Jose CA on Tuesday, November 24, 2015. Includes a free blinky LED light for all attendees.

Adventure Cycling has a young adult bike travel scholarship program. In other words, they’ll pay you to ride your bike.

Bike rack art contest for Los Altos, CA. Maybe somebody can submit a design that hearkens back to Los Altos beginnings as a whistlestop on the commuter rail line between Los Gatos and Palo Alto?

City of Monterey, CA receives Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) bicycle and pedestrian safety grant. Comment section of that article includes a great example of the importance of driver education in a program like this.

Delivery rider on a bike was critically injured after a falling tree limb struck him and his bike.

Global shift to cycling can save trillions of dollars for cash-strapped cities.

Italian priest in Bangladesh shot while riding his bicycle.

The wealthy return to the city because they hate long commutes.

Sprawling infrastructure requires three times more pavement per person than urban areas. This means three times the cost, and three times the area.

I haven’t looked at this in over a decade but it’s as relevant as ever: Project for Public Spaces Traffic Calming 101.

Fun fact: Western States Petroleum Association spent $6.7 in 2015Q3 to influence California legislators.

San Jose Bike Train is a twice-monthly group ride designed to encourage people to try bike commuting across the city of San Jose in a safe and welcoming environment. I can’t promise I’ll be there in December and January when El Nino rains hit, but other ride leaders can help guide you along the way.

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