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Thursday, March 12, 2009
  The Complete Streets Acts of 2009
By Yokota Fritz 
Matui encourages National Bike Summit attendees to promote Complete Streets as they meet with legislators.

U.S Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced The Complete Streets Act of 2009 yesterday. The Complete Streets Act will work to promote the design of streets that are safe for all of those using the street— including motorists, bus riders, pedestrians and bicyclists, and people with disabilities.

Bicycle in traffic
“When Americans choose to leave their car at home and walk or ride a bike to school or work, they are making a healthy decision. We need to ensure streets, intersections and trails are designed to make them easier to use and maximize their safety,” said Harkin. “This legislation will encourage Americans to be more active, while also providing more travel options and cutting down on traffic congestion.”

“By diversifying our roadways, we can provide real alternatives to travel by car. The strength of this legislation is that it recognizes that we face very real challenges today, many of which are interwoven,” said Matsui. “By opening up our roadways to pedestrians and cyclists, we can help ease the congestion on our nation’s roads. In doing so, we will make progress fighting air pollution and global warming, and we will take strides toward improving the health and protecting the safety of people across our country.”

At the National Bike Summit opening session, Matsui encouraged cyclists to advocates for the Complete Streets bill when they meet with their legislators this week in Washington, DC.

The Urban Land Institute has estimated that carbon emissions from transportation would be 41 percent above today’s levels in 2030 if driving is not curbed, and a recent study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that providing more travel options, including public transportation, bicycling and walking, is an important element in reducing traffic congestion. The study reported that congestion was responsible for an annual $78 billion loss in fuel during traffic jams in 2007, an increase from $57.6 billion in 2000.

Another study found that 43 percent of people with access to a safe place to walk, within 10 minutes of their home, met recommended daily activity levels. At the same time, only 27 percent of those without access to safe walking options were active enough.

The Complete Streets Act of 2009 has been endorsed by Cyclelicious, America Bikes, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Transportation For America, League of American Bicyclists, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, YMCA of the USA, National Association of Realtors, American Council of the Blind, Paralyzed Veterans of America, America Walks, and Active Transportation Alliance among others.

Ref: NBS09, HR 1443, S 584. HR 1443 was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure which is chaired by James Oberstar.

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Friday, December 19, 2008
  LaHood announced as Obama's pick for Transportation Secretary
By Yokota Fritz 
Obama on LaHood: "He’s created opportunities for bikers and runners to enjoy our great outdoors."

President Elect Barack Obama announced his picks for Trade, Labor, Transportation and Small Business posts for his administration at a press conference this afternoon.

Of primary interest to readers of this site is the selection of Congressman Ray LaHood from Peoria, Illinois as his Secretary of Transportation. Obama highlighted LaHood's six years on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and his efforts to modernize and upgrade the commercial aviation system. He also noted LaHood's efforts to improve mass transit and "beautify" the public landscape so "bikers and runners to enjoy our great outdoors."

At the press conference, LaHood focused on his work improving the highway infrastructure in Illinois and his plans for the rest of the nation. "We cannot stand by our infrastructure ages and crumbles," said LaHood. "We must pursue solid policies that allow our states and communities to address their transportation needs. We have a tremendous opportunity before us to rebuild our infrastructure and reinvigorate our economy, and I look forward to the challenge."

As he listed the areas of public infrastructure that need attention, LaHood noted public transportation before mentioning the highways. "As a nation, we need to continue to be the world leader in infrastructure development, Amtrak, mass transit, light rail, air travel, and our roads and bridges all play a vital role in our economy and our well-being as a nation."

Obama made it very clear that LaHood and the Department of Transportation would be play a key role in any kind of economic recovery plan for the nation. An economic stimulus package "is going to cost a significant amount of money on the front end," said Obama. "What we want to do is make sure that in spending that money to help jump-start the economy and put 2.5 million people back to work, that we are also looking at the long term. And that’s where Ray LaHood , myself, and others on the economic team are going to be changing how business is done in Washington."

Obama also praised today's $17.4 Billion bailout of the auto industry by the Bush Administration.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008
  Ian Hibell RIP
By Yokota Fritz 
Legendary touring cyclist Ian Hibell was killed in August after he was hit by a hit and run driver in Greece.

Ian Hibell is one of the greats of cycling -- he left his job in 1963 and never went back, becoming the first man to ride pole to pole from Africa to Alaska. He rode, dragged, carried and pushed his bike to every corner of the planet and continued his cycling adventures until his death in Greece at age 74. He inspired many cycling tourists with his book, Into the Remote Places, which highlights his adventures touring the world by bike.

More:

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008
  Bike shops selling more bikes and service
By Yokota Fritz 
Is there an upside to high gas prices? If you're a bicycle retailer, there can be—particularly in the service department. Bikes Belong has just completed a survey of more than 150 bicycle retailers from nearly 40 states to see if their summer 2008 sales reflect an increase in the use of bicycles for transportation.

“I am located directly across the street from a large and busy Quick Trip with more than 12 gas pumps. At least one or two new customers per day tell me they first saw us [while] pumping gas and decided to stop in and see about buying or fixing up a bike to use instead of the car.” -- Comment from Bikes Belong Survey.
The majority of retailers who responded said their sales of transportation-related bicycles, accessories, and service have increased in 2008 compared to 2007:
  • 73% said they are selling more bikes.
  • 84% said they are selling more accessories.
  • 88% said they are selling more service.

Is this increase in sales because of high gas prices? Most retailers who we surveyed think so:
  • 95% of shops said customers cited high gas prices as a reason for their transportation-related purchases.
  • 80% of retailers said gas prices were helping them sell more bikes for transportation.
  • 86% thought accessory sales were getting a boost.
  • 89% said they were selling more service because of high gas prices.

Many new customers are dusting off old bikes and bringing them in for repair. There appears to be a surge of interest in riding bicycles for short trips, errands, and commuting.

These survey results paint a clear picture of bicycling as a simple, affordable transportation solution and reinforces the need to create safe, appealing places to ride. Now is a prime time to encourage people to use bikes for transportation. It's good for the wallet, health, the environment—and it's fun.

View the survey results, which includes interesting comments from bike shops, at Bikes Belong.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008
  Criminal complaint against Christopher Long
By Yokota Fritz 
Update 7/7/2009: Christopher Long sues NYPD.

You've seen the video of New York Police officer Patrick Pogan tackling bike rider Chris Long during the Critical Mass bicycle ride through Times Square last week. If you haven't seen the video, it clearly shows Pogan targeting a cyclist then tackling him to the ground with a violent body check. The video shows Long riding and steering away from Pogan when Pogan runs directly at the cyclist and knocks him hard to the ground.

The Smoking Gun posted Pogan's sworn statement in which he says he arrested Long because Long "steered the ... bicycle in the direction of [Pogan] and drove the bicycle directly into [Pogan]'s body, causing [Pogan] to fall to the ground and causing [Pogan] to suffer lacerations on [his] forearms." The Manhattan attorney's office filed charges of "attempted assault in the 3rd Degree" against Chris Long as a result of Pogan's statement. Chris Long spent 26 hours in jail after his arrest.

All I can say of Pogan is "Liar Liar Pants on Fire."

Pogan played high school football and was chosen as an offensive lineman for the 2003 Long Island all stars team.

More:

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008
  Bicycle Leadership Conference during Sea Otter Festival
By Yokota Fritz 
Bicycle Leadership Conference to be held in conjunction with Sea Otter Classic

In an effort to better leverage networking opportunities and industry leadership attendance, the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) today announced it signed a three-year agreement with the Sea Otter Classic to host its annual Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC) in conjunction with the cycling festival through 2011.

The 2009 BLC will be held April 15-17, 2009 at the Sea Otter host hotel, the Embassy Suites in Seaside, Calif. The 2009 Sea Otter Classic will be held April 16-19 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey Calif.

"Aligning ourselves with the Sea Otter Classic, a well-attended and highly relevant cycling-focused event, is one way we can further support our attending membership and improve the effectiveness of our conference," said John Nedeau, president of the BPSA and vice president of global sales for SRAM. "Because many of our members also attend the Sea Otter Classic, we are confident that by combining the two events we will boost attendance from manufacturers and suppliers alike."

In addition to discussion on growing the bicycle industry, BLC 2009 will focus on improving communication about the growing number of industry organizations and advocacy groups, their individual missions and how manufacturers can better work with these groups to support the broader goals of the industry.

In addition to research results, panel discussions, breakout groups and networking opportunities, the conference will again offer improved bike rides and the industry's most prestigious golf tournament. The BLC will again host the BRAINy awards dinner presentation.

"The Bicycle Leadership Conference is important to the future of our industry," said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. "Only through strong leadership can we identify our challenges and plan a strategy of growth and expansion. All of us at the Sea Otter Classic welcome the opportunity to support this event and further grow the sport of cycling."

While the BPSA will continue to determine the conference topic and content, the Sea Otter Classic has retained the services of Lifeboat Solutions' Lance Camisasca as conference director for the event. Camisasca's experience in the cycling industry as Interbike show director for ten years and his industry contacts will be invaluable in managing the registration, logistics and marketing for the conference.

"The idea for Sea Otter to host the 2009 BLC is brilliant," Camisasca said. "I look forward to helping shape a memorable and purposeful BLC event by integrating the conference components with Sea Otter Classic's activities and events."

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
  Bike by shooting
By Yokota Fritz 
A more earth friendly biker gang: Two men on bicycles opened fire on a man and woman in front of a South Los Angeles house late Monday.

Via Bicycle Notes.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008
  LAPD arrests motorist for assault with deadly weapon
By Yokota Fritz 
Update Nov. 2 2009: Dr. Christopher Thompson tried and convicted of all seven counts against him.



Christopher Thompson is an emergency room doctor who sent to cyclists to the hospital with his car.
A motorist was arrested after he allegedly swerved in front of two bicyclists during an argument over rights to the road and caused them to crash into his car, police said.

Christopher Thompson, 58, was arrested Friday for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon—the car—and booked into jail, Officer Ana Aguirre, a police spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

Thompson allegedly argued with the bikers who were crossing his path on a narrow road and pulled in front of them, slamming on the brakes, she said.

The bicyclists were taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.
Read more. See also:

LAist has the juicy personal details on Dr. Thompson. They also note, "There are other Dr. Christopher Thompsons in the Los Angeles area who work in medicine and unfortunately some are being wrongly threatened."

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Thursday, June 26, 2008
  Interbike stays in Vegas
By Yokota Fritz 
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."

More:

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Monday, June 16, 2008
  Collaborative marketing: USA + France
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
  Team CSC finds sponsor
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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  Bike to budget protest
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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Monday, June 02, 2008
  Silicon Valley Bicycle Safety Town Hall
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
  IKEA bicycle
By Yokota Fritz 
After IKEA buyers and managers were seen at recent international bicycle shows, Bike Europe reports that the Dutch furniture retailer IKEA sells bicycles in the Netherlands now. Read more at Bike Europe.

Elsewhere in Europe... French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to cut the European sales tax (VAT) on fuel to reduce fuel prices. Fishermen have blocked French ports for the last week to protest high fuel prices as prices for diesel for fishing boats has doubled over the past six months. More at the BBC.

In Canada, Dorel Industries had their annual stockholders meeting yesterday. They expect bikes to be big business for them as gasoline makes travel more expensive. In spite of the slowing economy, sales were up 54.9 per cent in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. Overall, Dorel revenues rose 22 per cent to $556 million, and earnings went up 25.7 per cent to $35.1 million, or $1.05 a share, from the first quarter in 2007. Shareholders were told that Dorel plans to aggressively develop its bicycle business.

"The purchase of Cannondale and SUGOi immediately establishes huge IBD positioning for Dorel and will help us move toward a dominant worldwide position in the bicycle industry," Dorel CEO Martin Schwartz told stockholders. "Our intention is to seek further acquisitions in similar high quality, performance bicycle companies and create new innovative products."

Dorel sells bicycles under the Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, and Cannondale brands through mass merchant and independent bike retail stores.

My friend Tim Grahl has his 15 minutes of fame through a mention in this article at Forbes Magazine. Tim made Forbe's list of richest bike riders in the world. Or something like that.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008
  Santa Cruz approves "Bikes In Lane" signs for Mission Street
By Yokota Fritz 

State approval required before signs installed


Santa Cruz council approves "Bikes In Lane" sign for Mission Street
In a meeting last week, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously voted to request "Bikes In Lane" signs to be installed on Mission Street, where two cyclists were killed by passing traffic over the past eight months.

Local cycling advocates, traffic engineers, and officials agree that Mission Street is too narrow to share safely, especially with the heavy truck traffic that travels down the road. The city's hands are tied, however, because Mission Street is California State Highway 1 and is under the jurisdiction of Caltrans District 5. Caltrans originally refused to install anything besides "Share the Road" signs, but after People Power Santa Cruz asked for state Assembly Member John Laird's assistance, Caltrans relented and agreed to install signage that the city of Santa Cruz considers more effective.

At the meeting, the decision to make was between three different signs: an advisory "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" sign that's becoming more common in California, a yellow "Watch for Bicycles Using Lane" sign proposed by Caltrans, and the "Bikes In Lane" sign that was approved by the council. The Santa Cruz police department opposed the "May Use Full Lane" sign but supported the "Bikes In Lane" sign.

Mission Street sidewalk cyclist
This cyclist rides on the sidewalk alongside Mission Street near Bay in Santa Cruz, California. While the sidewalk is empty on the mid morning when I took this photo, pedestrian traffic is typically heavier on the weekends and other times when traffic is high on Mission Street.


Bill the cyclist Bill of Boston rides his heavily laden bicycle down the middle of the lane on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, California. One citizen at the council meeting said cyclists should use the sidewalk. Riding on the sidewalk, however, does nothing to protect cyclists from right hook collisions.

Several traffic engineering experts explained how to improve the safety of bicycling on Mission Street. John Ciccarelli of the Bicycle Technical Committee of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices explained that the "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" will likely be in the 2009 edition of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices published by the Federal Highway Adminstration. The MUTCD is the standard used by all U.S. transportation departments for their road signs -- it's the reason all stop signs in the United States are red octagons with white letters with a standard size and standard height.

Santa Cruz police chief Howard Skerry said they may ticket cyclists who in their view impeded traffic, regardless of any signage installed by the city. If bicyclists did not agree with that interpretation, he invited them to let the courts decide the matter.

Bob Shanteau spoke after the CHP and noted that the California Vehicle Code for impeding traffic only applies to 2 lane roads, not 4 lane highways such as Mission Street. "As long as the lane was too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to share side by side,' says Shanteau, "then the bicyclist was allowed to take the full lane."

"People have been taught since childhood to stay out of the way of cars, and that two bicyclists in Santa Cruz had followed that advice and they were both now dead. We need to make sure that never happens again," Shanteau continue as people in the council chambers applauded him.

Selection of non-standard sign may hinder final approval by state

While the engineers and advocates wanted the Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, the city voted for the "Bikes In Lane" sign instead. People Power Director Micah Posner said, "In the end not that much different. Having the sign will really improve the campaign to encourage awareness. It's about informing cyclist and motorist and it's about cyclists asserting their rights. These signs will be a big step forward."

Posner expressed some exasperation about the police department's threat to ticket cyclists who "impede" traffic. People Power has already gone to court on behalf of ticketed cyclists and "we beat it in court based on California Vehicle Code."

Caltrans still must get approval for the proposed sign from the California Traffic Control Device Committee, which meets next week. Because the city of Santa Cruz endorsed the untested "Bikes In Lane" sign over the standard "May Use Full Lane" sign, state approval is uncertain. The city council approved the Bikes In Lane sign thinking that Caltrans could get them installed this summer, but their selection of a non-standard sign will possibly mean a delay until this fall at the very earliest.

More: Thank you to Micah Posner and Bob Shantaeu for the details.

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Monday, May 19, 2008
  Girls and Gear in Portland, Maine
By Yokota Fritz 
Dana tells up about the Girls and Gear event that took place at a bike shop in Portland, Maine. In the video from the event, Fuji Marketing Director Karen Bliss talks about women's specific design bikes from Fuji.


More bicycle news

Bikes for Kids Utah received a $40,000 grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation to help provide new bicycles for 1,000 underprivileged third graders during Bikes for Kids Utah's annual bicycle giveaway.

"Bicycles give children the chance to exercise, learn about safety, develop great skills and just have fun," said Joe Sorenson, trustee of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. "We are delighted with this unique opportunity to enrich the lives of kids in our community."

On Saturday, May 31, Bikes for Kids Utah will give new bicycles and helmets to 1,000 pre-qualified third graders from the Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the Salt Lake City region. Visit Bikes for Kids Utah for more information.

Megabus cancels San Jose to Los Angeles Service. More here. Remaining bus options include Greyhound and California Shuttle Bus.

Silicon Valley Ride of Silence takes place Wednesday evening, May 21st, beginning at the Homestead High School student parking lot in Sunnyvale at 6:45 PM. The ride will be in silence and will proceed at about 12 mph. Riders are asked to wear black arm bands, or red arm bands if they have been injured in an accident caused by a motor vehicle. The 4 ¼ mile ride will go to the Stevens Creek Reservoir Parking, passing by a memorial for Matt Peterson and Christy, the cyclists who were killed on Stevens Canyon Road on March 9.

Santa Cruz Ride of Silence on Wednesday meets at Sprockets Bike Shop (1420 Mission Street at Trescony) at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, May 21. The 10 mile ride begins promptly at 7:00 PM. Helmets are required. The ride is open to any and all riders who would like to show their support, young or old, beginner or expert, recumbent or fixie, road or mountain.

Cozy Beehives links to a cool video on how bicycle helmets are made.

CyclePong 2.0. Wow.

WIRED blog's tips on Five ways to make bike commuting easy.

Instructables: Solar powered tricycle.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008
  Bicycle news in the Bay Area
By Yokota Fritz 

100,000 to bike to work in Bay Area

East Bay Business News: Up to 100,000 in the Bay Area expected to bike to work.

Mercury News: Oh so smug in spandex: I bike to work

Palo Alto Weekly: Bike commuters of the year.

Palo Alto Weekly: List of Palo Alto Energizer Stations [PDF]

Mercury News: Panel of judges overturns manslaughter conviction of truck driver who hit and killed a cyclist.

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Dead cyclist's parents sue over death on Mission Street.

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Cycling along Mission Street is awful. Doh!

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Mission Street cyclist ban impractical.

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  Trips for Kids conference at IMBA National Summit
By Yokota Fritz 
Trips for Kids National (TFK) today announced it is hosting a Pre-Conference for TFK chapters in conjunction with the 2008 International Mountain Bicycling Association's (IMBA) World Summit taking place in Park City, Utah, this coming June. The conference will cover how to start a Trips for Kids advocacy program, promote it, respond to challenges and how to ensure long-term chapter success.

The TFK Pre-conference is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18, 2008, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Park City Marriott, and is for current TFK chapters and those interested in starting a new TFK chapter.

"Trips for Kids is honored to partner with IMBA at its upcoming World Summit," said Marilyn Price, founder and director of TFK. "Many TFK chapters consist of IMBA members, and IMBA clubs are natural vehicles to start TFK chapters, so it made sense to meet together before the conference to share ideas and best practices."

The TFK Pre-Conference Workshop will address how to start and promote a program, respond to challenges, use the bicycle as an education tool and guarantee the long-term success of an individual chapter. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 18, there will be a facilitated workshop for TFK and other youth biking groups.

"The goal of adding youth topics to the IMBA Summit agenda and including Trips for Kids in the session is to identify barriers, find solutions and ultimately inspire more youth biking programs around the globe," said Mike Van Abel, director of IMBA.

To that end, Quality Bicycle Product's Advocacy Director Gary Sjoquist requested that QBP's sponsorship of the IMBA World Summit be directed toward making Summit scholarships available to Trips for Kids chapters.

"With more than 60 chapters nationwide, it made sense to use our sponsorship funds to help get these folks to the Summit," said Sjoquist. "Kids are the future of mountain biking, and both IMBA and Trips for Kids are helping get kids on mountain bikes and out on the trails."

The 2008 IMBA World Summit begins immediately following the TFK Pre-Conference on Wednesday, June 18, and ends Saturday, June 21. Price and TFK Chapter members are also participating in panel discussions concerning mountain bicycling and trail stewardship among youth during the Summit.

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Monday, May 12, 2008
  Bikes Belong Awards $44,200 in Grants for Recreation Projects
By Yokota Fritz 
Bikes Belong is celebrating the joy of cycling and trailbuilding this spring by awarding six recreation-focused grants to grassroots groups across the country. The projects—all made possible by dedicated volunteers—include a riverfront path, a freeride trail, a BMX freestyle park, and some really sweet backcountry singletrack. From all of us at Bikes Belong, enjoy the ride!

Willimantic Whitewater Partnership—Hop River/Airline Extension Bike Path (Willlimantic, CT)
The Willimantic Whitewater Partnership will receive $10,000 to help build the Hop River/Airline Trail Extension bike path as part of their riverfront recreation park. Bikes Belong's grant will match SAFETEA-LU and Recreational Trails Program funding for the dynamic project, which also includes a whitewater park for kayakers.

Willimantic Whitewater Partnership is an innovative community coalition of corporations, families, and nonprofits working together to revitalize the historic riverfront and create a recreation hub in the town of Willimantic. The multi-use path will link to the East Coast Greenway, a national trail extending from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine.

More about WWP. . .

California Off-Road Bicyclists Association—Mount Hillyer Freeride Trail (Los Angeles County, CA)
The Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) will use their $10,000 award to help build a freeride trail in the Mount Hillyer area of the Chilao Recreation Area and enhance the surrounding trail system. Bikes Belong's funding will leverage pending grants from local businesses as well as donations from CORBA members and other local riders.

CORBA has gained the full support of the Forest Service for this exciting project, which sets a huge precedent: It will be the first legal freeride trail in Angeles National Forest.

More about CORBA. . .

Vermont Mountain Bike Association—Green Mountain Trail Access
The Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) will receive $9,200 for their Green Mountain National Forest Access Program. This grant will help VMBA in its effort to reconstruct and extend three sections of singletrack in the Green Mountain National Forest's Moosalamoo National Recreation Area—previously off-limits to mountain bikes. Bikes Belong's funding will leverage a National Forest Foundation grant as well as state funding for this important mountain bike initiative.

VMBA, the state's stellar mountain bike advocacy group, works to increase ridership in Vermont while minimizing impact on public lands through sustainable trailbuilding and stewardship. They also foster active, healthy lifestyles through Trailheads, their youth mountain biking program, and are working to promote mountain biking at eastern ski areas in the summer months.

More about VMBA. . .

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship—North Yuba Trail Extension (Downieville, CA)
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) will use their $5,000 grant to help complete the final 4 miles of the North Yuba Trail—referred to as the Golden Spoke—which will connect 14 miles of singletrack. This non-motorized trail will enable cross-country mountain bikers to ride to the renowned Downieville trails from town instead of drive.

SBTS has established itself as a strong partner with the National Forest Service and promotes community support for trails through their innovative Trail Adoption program. They've also garnered state funding for this project.

More about SBTS. . .

Friends of Pathways—Order of the Arrow Trail Construction Project (Jackson, WY)
Friends of Pathways will receive $5,000 for their "Order of the Arrow" initiative, which will replace 10.5 miles of eroding, illegal trails with fun, sustainable singletrack on Teton Pass. Bikes Belong's funding will bolster grants and volunteer hours from the National Forest Foundation and the Teton Freedom Riders. More than 650 Boy Scouts from the trail's namesake service team will donate their time to trail construction this summer.

Friends of Pathways promotes active healthy lifestyles through great trail facilities. Their advocacy and fundraising work helps to connect and enhance communities and recreation opportunities—from paved paths to backcountry trails—in and around Jackson Hole.

More about Friends of Pathways. . .

Village of Mexico, New York—Freedom Skate/BMX Park
The Village of Mexico, New York, will use their $5,000 award to complete the Freedom Skate/BMX Park. Bikes Belong's funding will go toward bike-specific elements in the park and help leverage city funding as well as money raised by the BMX and skate communities. The Tony Hawk Foundation has also contributed to this great project.

The shared-use facility, which has strong support from the city's mayor and parks & recreation commissioner, will provide a place for freestyle BMX riders and skaters to coexist happily—and free of charge. It will also be a venue for events, clinics, and after-school programs.

Don't miss the IMBA World Summit!
If projects like these get your adrenalin pumping, head to Park City, Utah, June 18–21 for the IMBA World Mountain Bike Summit. Bikes Belong is a proud sponsor, and we'll be representing (and riding) at the event. Hope to see you there!

More about the IMBA Summit. . .


About Bikes Belong

Bikes Belong Coalition is the U.S. bicycle industry organization dedicated to putting more people on bicycles more often. Bikes Belong lobbies to increase federal bike funding, awards grants to support innovative bike projects, promotes bicycling and its benefits, and backs crucial national efforts such as Safe Routes to School, Bicycle Friendly Communities, and the National Bike Summit. The affiliated Bikes Belong Foundation focuses on improving bicycle safety and enhancing children's bike programs.

Since Bikes Belong's Grants Program began in 1999, we have funded 166 grant proposals in 44 states and the District of Columbia, awarding nearly $1.3 million in cash and leveraging more than $476 million in federal, state, and private funding. Our facilities grants alone have helped finance nearly 1,400 miles of bike paths and trails that link close to 6,400 miles of trail facilities.

For more information, visit bikesbelong.org.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008
  In the news: Bike shops report strong sales
By Yokota Fritz 
Teacher Joyce McCusker of Herndon, Va., owns a bicycle for the first time in years. She bought it last month and uses it to make the eight-mile trip home from work.

Bicycle shops across the country are reporting strong sales so far this year, and more people are bringing in bikes that have been idled for years, said Fred Clements, executive director the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

Mark Krenz, 48, is giving it a try. The Bismarck auto-parts store manager recently spent $750 on the 24-speed bike and is building up his mileage to prepare for his hilly commute.

"In this business, everybody is constantly talking about how to save gas," Krenz said. "I bought a bike because I figure it's a good way to save money, get in shape and save wear and tear on my pickup."

Rocky Schell, owner of Val's Cycle in Minot, said this may be one of the best years in the history of the shop, started by his father in 1960.

It's seeing a spike in the number of tuneups and repairs, which had been declining for the past 15 years. Schell said he's also selling lots of bike trailers designed to haul children — customers are using them for groceries instead.

Dahl, the Bismarck bike shop owner, said he's worked several on "dusty and rusty" bicycles that hadn't been ridden in at least 25 years. He said many families have told him that that they intend to go on a bicycle tour this summer instead of driving somewhere for vacation.

"Millions of people have bicycles hanging in the garage and they're getting them down and riding them," said Rebecca Anderson, advocacy director for Trek Bicycle Corp. "People are looking at the bicycle as more than just a toy."
Read more in this Associated Press article.

See also: Remember, May is National Bike Month in much of the United States. Bike To Work Day is Thursday, May 15 in California and many other locations.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008
  Inaugural Tour of America rescheduled for 2009
By Yokota Fritz 
Tour of America organizers decided this week to postpone the inaugural coast-to-coast race until September 2009.

Since the original announcement of the Tour of America in September 2007, Aqu executives and staff members have met with cities along the proposed route, potential sponsors and race teams, as well as staff members of USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport"s governing bodies.

"After we announced the Tour of America last fall, we hit the ground running to make the event happen in 2008," said Frank Arokiasamy, president of event organizer Aqu Inc. "We want to work with USA Cycling and UCI to establish this event as a compliment to the major international races, and at the same time not conflict with established races in the United States. Overall, we want to make sure the Tour of America strengthens the sport of cycling and the race calendar. In addition, potential sponsors and route cities have expressed strong support for a fall 2009 race."

Exact dates for the fall 2009 edition of the Tour of America has not been finalized. Tour of America staff are currently finalizing route details, sponsorship agreements and proposed dates to comply with USA Cycling"s race application process. Once the application is submitted, USA Cycling will review it and submit the 2009 Tour of America"s dates, along with all of the races on the national calendar, to the UCI for approval.

Aqu plans a 21-stage, 2,200 mile (more than 3,500 km) professional bicycle road race spanning the United States, making it the largest spectator event in the history of U.S. sports. The event will include close to 200 riders, from 21 of the world's elite cycling teams in the world to participate and will boast a prize purse currently pegged at $10 million, the largest purse of any international cycling event. The Tour of America will start in New York's Central Park and finish in San Francisco Bay Area.

For more information, visit the Tour of America website.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008
  General Motors buys Specialized Bicycles!
By Yokota Fritz 
"In light of global concerns about climate change, GM has been at the forefront in developing new transportation choices that limit our impact on the environment," said Flora Lopi, GM's vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "GM's engineering, marketing and distribution expertise combined with Specialized's branding among cycling enthusiasts make this a winning combination for GM investors and consumers."
See the full story in The Silicon Valley Business Journal.

See also the story at BikeBiz.com, who promises to participate in the media conference call about this deal that takes place tomorrow.

This is pretty big news and people all over are discussing this: Because of the timing of this announcement, there's a lot of speculation that this might be an April Fool's joke. I talked with Chris Matthews (marketing director at Specialized) on the phone this evening and he assures me this is the real deal.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
  Chicago passes bicycle safety ordinance
By Yokota Fritz 
(I almost wrote "ordnance," which could either be really good or really bad for cyclists).

The City of Chicago passed the Bicycle Safety Ordinance this afternoon. The new law now establishes fines for turning left or right in front of a bicyclist, passing a bicyclist with less than three feet of space, and opening a vehicle door into the path of a bicyclist. Fines range from $150 to $500 and go up to $500 if the violation results in a bicycle crash.

It also establishes a fine for double-parking in a marked shared lane, and increases the fine for driving, standing or parking in a bicycle lane.

"We are committed to making Chicago the most bicycle friendly city in the country, and safety is a very critical part of the plan," Daley said after the measure passed. "More than 6,000 crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles were reported in Chicago between 2001 and 2005. Unfortunately, 30 bicyclists were killed. These new laws will help prevent injuries and save lives."

Daley defended bike messengers when asked about their sometimes risky riding and rude behavior. "The bike messengers are a breed unto themselves," Daley said, smiling. "I got to meet a lot of them so I know a lot of them. They've got a job to do, and like anything else, they are respecting the laws on the road and all that, and the rules."

From Chicagoland Bicycle Federation via Jennifer in Chicago. Dave also points us to an illustrated PDF with photographic examples of the types of actions this law prohibits.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008
  Kristy Gough, Matt Peterson killed in cycling accident
By Yokota Fritz 

Triathlete Kristy Gough competed in events around the world.
Area cyclists and the California Highway Patrol report that a Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputy collided with a group of cyclists on Stevens Canyon Road south of Cupertino, California on Sunday morning.

The deputy admitted fault, stating that he was driving north on Stevens Canyon, which is a popular route for recreational cyclists. He crossed the centerline and hit the cyclists who were riding south, reportedly single file in the bike lane. A 29 year old man died at the scene and a 30 year old woman died enroute to Stanford Medical Center.

Update: Video report on KTVU, which reports one death. The Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle report two fatalities, and a third bicyclist critically injured. The Chronicle identified the deceased as Kristy Gough, 31, of Oakland and Matt Peterson, 29, of San Francisco.

More: Discussion at Slowtwitch.com. Post from a friend of Matt Peterson. Another friend of Matt Peterson. Word from a friend of Kristy. Notes from Amanda Lovato.

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Monday, March 03, 2008
  National Bike Summit 2008 in the news
By Yokota Fritz 
Summit fever is rising! The League of American Bicyclists reports that over 500 participants are now registered for the weekend, with company presidents, national press, strong local advocates—and an impressive array of speakers scheduled to appear.

In addition to the festivities of the National Bike Summit—from the opening dinner with National Park Service Director Mary Bomar and David Jones, Jr., Chairman of Humana’s Board of Directors to the famous politicians at the closing reception on Capitol Hill—there are many events for cyclists. The League of American Bicyclists is holding our annual meeting on Wednesday evening, with two authors—Bob Mionske and J. Harry Wray—speaking and signing books. Swing by for a free drink, good eats, and an update on how the League is doing in 2008—even non-Summit attendees are welcome.

US Capitol Building
There is also a League board meeting on Tuesday, March 4 from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in room Meridian C at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Open to all!

There are post-Summit evening events hosted by International Mountain Bicycling Association, Thunderhead Alliance, and Bikes Belong. For more information on the Summit, and events going on in conjunction with it, click here for the full agenda[PDF].

A group plans to ride from Reagan National Airport to the National Bike Summit location at Ronald Reagan Trade Center in something like a Critical Mass demonstration showing how bike transportation can be done. The ride will start at 12 p.m. on March 4. All bike riders are encouraged and welcome. If your plans already have you in Washington before noon on Tuesday, ride organizers invite you to ride out to the Airport: it is just 3.5 miles from the Reagan International Trade Center. You can also just ride Metrorail Blue Line from the airport to Federal Triangle Metro Station, from which you can just go upstairs into the plaza outside of the Reagan Trade Center.

Here are some mentions of the 2008 National Bike Summit in the mainstream media.
  • August, GA: Bike shop owner becomes first time lobbyist.
    Political action aside, community service has been a staple for Cohen. Annually, his shop participates in bike giveaways at Christmas, promotes bicycle safety classes, donates helmets at local elementary schools and helps scouts earn their bicycle merit badges.

    “I am happy to have helped,” says Cohen. “I like interacting with kids in the community, but I also feel it is my obligation to give back to the community that gives me and my family its livelihood.”

  • Louisville, KY: The Year of the Bicycle? Also at Daily press.com.
    Bicycling's best year since the start of the auto age? That's the argument likely to be made March 4-6 as hundreds of cyclists from across the nation gather in Washington for the National Bike Summit sponsored of the League of American Bicyclists.

  • USA Today: Stars ride bikes to assist wounded veterans.
    The Road 2 Recovery effort kicks off with an informal fun ride Tuesday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. It will be held in conjunction with the League of American Bicyclists' National Bike Summit.
For more information, see the LAB Summit web page.
Photo: Me riding a rented bike in front of the U.S. Capitol Building

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Sunday, March 02, 2008
  Cyclist spontaneously combusts
By Yokota Fritz 
Perhaps Mr. Mieczyslaw Jasinski should consider lycra bike shorts, which don't chafe quite so much, or maybe he needs to wipe the grease off of his chain. Jasinski was Just Riding Along when he smelled burning and looked down to see his pants had caught on fire.

A police spokesman said: “Witnesses said he was like a flaming human torch cycling along the road.

“We do not know how it happened but we have heard that it could have been caused by a reaction between friction as he cycled, sweat and the material of his trousers.”

Read more about this cycling human torch here and here. Big props to Biking Bis for this important safety news.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008
  Universal Studios: Not In My Back Yard
By Yokota Fritz 
Politicians and cycling advocates in Los Angeles want to extend a bike path along the Los Angeles River to provide a relatively flat, straight, low traffic bike route from the San Gabriel Valley into downtown Los Angeles. Jennifer Klausner, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the bike path potentially offers the chance to give cyclists a way to get across the city without dealing with streets.

"The beauty of the river path is that it's basically flat and separated from the road for people who want a quieter ride and don't want to hump it over a hill," she said.

The blocker: Universal Studios, which owns property along the Los Angeles River, doesn't want a bike path there.


"We have some very important, high-profile production companies that are located along that road as well, and security is a concern," says Tom Smith, senior vice president of West Coast real estate for NBC Universal.

LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky counters, "The fact is that we have a public bike path along some of the most expensive and reclusive properties along the ocean -- from Will Rogers [beach] to Torrance. I don't think it's a mutually exclusive proposition to have a bike path and a secure studio in the same location."

Read more in the Los Angeles Times, with discussion also at LAist.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008
  Shimano buys Pearl Izumi
By Yokota Fritz 
Nautilis will sell its Pearl Izumi sports apparel segment to Shimano for $65.3 million and assume $4.2 million in debt. The sale comes after Nautilus reported disappointing earnings and after Nautilus lost a proxy battle in which New York turnaround firm Sherborne Investors LP won two director seats and Sherborne partner Edward Bramson became chairman of Nautilus.

Read more at VeloNews, Outside Online, Bike Biz.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
  Ripon College bike giveaway
By Yokota Fritz 

Wisconsin college to give bikes to incoming freshmen -
Additional parking "not an option."

Among the many choices Ripon College’s class of 2012 will face is whether or not to bring a car to campus this fall. Those who pledge not to do so will receive a big incentive: a brand-new mountain bike to keep. Dubbed the “Ripon Velorution Program” (RVP), it is the first of its kind in the nation.

Incoming students starting their first college semester at Ripon will have the option to sign an RVP pledge this spring saying that they will not bring a car to campus for the duration of the upcoming academic year. Those who participate will be given a brand-new Trek 820 mountain bike, a Trek Vapor helmet and a MasterLock U-Lock to keep.


Dealing with student vehicles is not just a big-campus problem; the 1,000-student liberal arts college 70 miles northwest of Milwaukee discovered last fall that demand for student parking was about to outstrip its capacity. Proposed solutions focused on where additional lots could go, but President David C. Joyce, an avid cyclist, was dead-set against it.

“We’re a residential college with a beautiful, historic campus in the middle of a small town,” Joyce said. “Paving it over was not an option I was willing to consider. I'm afraid that anyone hoping for news of a new parking lot or a multilevel garage being on campus will be waiting for a long time. For anyone waiting to reinvigorate themselves and our society by helping to build a bicycle culture in Ripon, however, the wait is over.”

When an opportunity came to purchase a quantity of Trek mountain bikes from a nearby bike shop, Joyce had his solution: Trade four wheels for two. Friends, trustees and alumni donated about $60,000 to buy 200 bicycles to give away to an incoming freshman class of an expected 300 students.

“Parking in this case is a distant third to the health and fitness of our students, and responsible energy practices. For students, it’s a lifestyle choice. For Ripon College, it’s choosing sustainability over ease and convenience,” he said.

The “Velorution,” in the program’s name is a deliberate anagram of “revolution” using “vélo” (French for bicycle) as its root. It refers to the mass acceptance of bicycles, thereby reducing societies’ dependence on automobiles. Cities such as Amsterdam, Portland and nearby Madison run successful community-bike programs, whereby bikes can be rented or borrowed at little or no cost. By actually giving students bikes, Ripon’s program takes the idea one bold step further. Initial funding will come from friends of the college, trustees and alumni, whose support of cycling became evident last fall when the college agreed to sponsor a mountain-biking team - one of only a handful in the entire state.

It remains to be seen how students will react to the program. For the roughly one-third who weren’t going to bring a car to campus in the first place, a free bike is a no-brainer. Another third or so won’t give up their cars no matter what, leaving a tantalizing group of undecided students to determine the program’s success. Determinations about winter storage, extra bike racks and maintenance cannot begin in earnest until administrators know how many students are willing to take the pledge. While Joyce is confident they’ll find a rider for every bike, he acknowledges that the car habit may be hard to break.

“We obviously live in a car culture,” he said. “That’s not about to change, but if a significant number of students learn that a car isn’t a necessity at this stage of their lives, that’s good enough for us.”

Visit the Ripon Velorution program web page.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008
  9% of Boulder commuters commute by bike
By Yokota Fritz 
From 2006 U.S. Census data, as reported at Go Bike Boulder.

Boulder transportation mode share

In a survey of larger cities, Portland, OR had the highest percentage of bike commuters at 3.5 percent. Nationwide, the share of commuters biking to work in 2006 was 0.4%.

In the chart, "SOV" means Single Occupant Vehicle.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008
  Team High Road now American
By Yokota Fritz 
The pro Team High Road cycling team officially relocated its team headquarters to San Luis Obispo, Calif., inheriting Team Discovery's mantle as the sole United States-based UCI ProTour team for the 2008 racing season. The move, officially approved on Monday by the UCI, brings the number of U.S.-registered professional cycling teams to 18.

“We are an International team and proud of it,” says team owner Bob Stapleton. “We are open to committed athletes from wherever they come from. One of the simple pleasures of this team is the international diversity and personal character each athlete brings to the team.”

Team High Road’s 2008 roster currently includes three Americans including George Hincapie (Greenville, S.C.) and USA Cycling National Development Team alumni John Devine (Dixon, Ill.) and Craig Lewis (Spartanburg, S.C.). The three athletes are part of an international roster than includes 29 riders from 15 different countries.

Team High Road also operates a UCI-registered women’s team which includes U.S. National Champion Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo.) and fellow American Kim Anderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

No change in the European operations is anticipated. “We remain committed to our European operations centre in Germany and our excellent staff located there,” adds Stapleton.

Team High Road opened the 2008 UCI ProTour with an overall victory at the Tour Down Under in Australia last month where German Andre Greipel won the overall classification. The team is next scheduled to compete at the Amgen Tour of California, Feb. 17-24.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008
  Bicycle news
By Yokota Fritz 
Lots and lots of bicycle news to catch up on, which should be (mostly) celebrity-free...

Levi Leipheimer in Sports Illustrated. Okay, so he's a celebrity.

Bicyclist tackles bike thief. The bicyclist is the mayor of Ogden, Utah.

Kate astride the Strida folding bike
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (of which I'm a member) to provide free bike parking at Webcore King of the Mountain.

Salon magazine somewhat accurately reports on what Bay Area bike commuters talk about.
These prodigiously well-informed and hugely calved men and women do not confine themselves to disputing quantitative criteria -- price, brightness, battery life, and so on. Fuzzier issues are also in play: the differing lighting requirements for mountain bikers and road bikers, the possibility that bike lights can be too bright (distracting other bikers or drivers), the question of whether red taillights should be set to flash or remain constant ... Seriously. I have witnessed grown men grow heated over the propriety of flashing tail lights.

Bike advocacy Done Right: Safety instruction and a Bike Buddy program in Bellingham, WA. See Everbody Bike for more details.

South Florida bike lanes: Build it but they don't come.

South Africa: Fury over bicyclists first plan. Landowners are mad over land seizure done to widen a highway. Meanwhile in Jakarta, commuters are encouraged to ride their bikes to reduce traffic congestion.

Wellington, New Zealand says "we need cyclists" for the Cycle Mad challenge. New Zealand cyclists also want bike racks on buses. Are the United States and Canada the only countries that have the bike racks on the front of city buses?

Road Cycling in Marin County California. Bike Hugger writes about cycling in adjacent Sonoma County.

Call for filmmakers: 8th Annual Bicycle Film Festival. Deadline is February 19, 2008.

Strida folding bicycle review in Business Week, of all places.

Bicycle blogs

This is the article I was writing: The bike commute as training. Treadly wrote what I already had in mind.

St. Louis: Cyclists fight back.

A new blog: Bikes For the Rest of Us.

Chicago snow biking. And tips for cold weather cycling in Iowa.

Guitar Ted: Tubes vs No Tubes debate. Again.

Fixing a folder.

History: Fausto Coppi.

Photos Credits: (1) Kate on a Strida, by me. (2) Tokyo Nights, by Manganite. (3) Traditional Wardrobe in Indonesia by Gustar Mono.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008
  Canada buys Cannondale, Sugoi
By Yokota Fritz 

Dorel acquires Cannondale - Two distinct bicycle divisions to be created

Possible move to Asian manufacturing?

Dorel Industries Inc announced the acquisition of Cannondale Bicycle Corporation of Bethel, CT. Dorel -- which owns the U.S. based Pacific Cycles which in turn markets Schwinn, GT Bicycle, Mongoose, Pacific, Dyno, Murray, RoadMaster, PowerLite and InSTEP brands of bicycle products -- also announced the creation of an Independent Bicycle Dealers division to differentiate the Cannondale and GT bikes from the mass merchant retail products that the other brands primarily focus on, with Cannondale the "crown jewel" of this new division. Sugoi Performance Apparel (which is already Canadian, but who's paying attention) is also included in the purchase from the investment group that currently owns Cannondale and Sugoi. Pacific Cycles will be a stand alone division focusing on the mass merchant channel. The purchase price will be somewhere around US$200 million.

Dorel stated they are seeking acquisitions of of similar high quality, performance bicycle companies to join this new IBD group.

“Dorel recognizes that doing business with the IBD and mass merchant categories is two very different things and requires distinct strategies and specialized people selling the best products for those channels. We clearly realize this and are making the necessary adjustments to best meet the needs of our customers,” said Dorel President and CEO Martin Schwartz.

Cannondale's insane foray into motorcycles bankrupted the company in 2003. After the sale of company assets in a bankruptcy auction, the company sold off its motorcycles operations and was able to turn itself around with a renewed focus on bicycle design and production.

Margins are signficantly higher than mass market bicycles, but Dorel also recognizes that dealing with the IBD channel is "vastly different" from the mass market. "We need to focus much more on quality and innovation," said Schwartz. "Relationships and personal contact are much more important for the independent bike dealers."

Cannondale's manufacturing and assembly currently is done in the United States and Europe; Dorel's management said they'll look at how much to move to Asia. With Cannondale's acquisition and the current business from GT, Dorel hopes to be the number three player in the IBD channel behind Trek and Giant.

Via; props also to Jennifer for the heads up.

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Monday, February 04, 2008
  Sheldon Brown
By Yokota Fritz 
Sheldon Brown aka "Captain Bike" aka Carapace Completed Umber passed last night of a massive heart attack.

Sheldon Brown RIP
I've communicated with him numerous times on Usenet and via email, but the closest I came to meeting him was seeing him from across the floor at Interbike. The man was a wonderful wonderful soul, very giving and kind with his knowledge and expertise and with a fantastic sense of humor.

I'm saddened to hear of his loss; I feel like I've lost a close friend.

In his last journal entry last night he endorses Obama for the Massachusetts Democratic primary. In his last post on BikeForums, he's helping somebody out with a question on freewheel threading.

Via numerous sources, though I think I saw it at Jim G's blog first.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008
  Tree hugger, bicyclist, Frenchman, gay guy all in one shot
By Yokota Fritz 
Melissa Arrington killed cyclist Paul L'Ecuyer with her car in December 2006. Though she expressed remorse to the judge, she laughed out loud after a friend told her she should get a medal and a parade because she had "taken out" a "tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot." When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, "No, it's not."

Arizona Superior Court Judge Michael Cruikshank said he found a telephone conversation between Arrington and an unknown male friend, a week after L'Ecuyer was killed, to be "breathtaking in its inhumanity." He sentenced her Tuesday to 10 1/2 years — one year shy of the maximum.

Read more at FoxNews. Props to Warren T. Who is not a wimp.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008
  Amtrak strike would impact Caltrain, other commuter rail services
By Yokota Fritz 
Update: Strike Averted -- "Amtrak and nine of its unions have reached a tentative contract agreement, according to industry experts, and plan to announce the settlement on Friday."

A possible strike by Amtrak workers on January 30 would stop commuter rail service in the San Francisco Bay Area as well commuter rail service in the areas around Chicago, New York City, Boston, Virginia, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Philadelphia. Thank you to Jennifer for the heads up.

SF Examiner: Amtrak strike would derail Caltrain service.

Associated Press: Rail Strike Would Be Commuter Nightmare.

Associated Press lists commuter rail services that would be impacted by an Amtrak strike. Chicago Metra, Long Island Rail Road, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Maryland MARC, Virginia Railway Express, Connecticut Shore Line East, and San Francisco Bay Area Caltrain are either operated by Amtrak employees or use facilities controlled by Amtrak and would be impacted by the strike.

Chicago Tribune: Specter of Amtrak strike has commuters bracing for shutdowns.

Chicago Business News: Amtrak strike could close Union Station to Metra riders.

Newsday: Amtrak strike would derail LIRR riders at 5 stops.

NJ Transit issues strike warning.

Philly.com: Amtrak strike could shut 6 SEPTA lines.

Boston: Amtrak strike could cripple commuter rail service.

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  Bicycle news
By Yokota Fritz 

Bicycle Leadership Conference

The 2008 Bicycle Leadership Conference begins tomorrow in San Diego, California. The first item on the agenda is the BLC Golf Tournament at the Steel Canyon Golf Club. The non-golfers can go for a bike ride.

Saturday morning, Interbike consultant Lance Camisasca will have a breakfast presentation to discuss the possibility of moving Interbike out of Las Vegas after the 2009 show. "We want to be prepared to provide the best shows possible." Camisasca said. "At last year's conference, we gained valuable insight from the manufacturers and retailers who attended and I think that everyone left with a better understanding of the multiple factors we consider when entertaining the idea of possibly moving a major show. We hope this year will be equally beneficial as we discuss our recommendations for the show in the coming years."

Sunday morning, Trek Bicycle Company President John Burke will deliver the industry keynote address, where he will talk about "The Bicycle Industry's Greatest Opportunity" expanding on his campaign for increased cycling advocacy in the bicycle industry. See Bicycle Leadership Conference website for details.

Celebrity Time Trials

The Local Organizing Committee for the 2008 Tour of California Prologue in Palo Alto will give local cyclists an opportunity to give it their all on the official individual time trial route before the race begins on Sunday, February 17. The highest bidders in an auction will be able to test their speeds against some of the best cyclists in the world on the closed time trial course from Palo Alto City Hall to Stanford University. A press conference to present the details starts about a half from from now at Palo Alto Bicycles on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto.

"Car culture if fading."

Those are the words of Nissan Motors General Manager for Product Strategy Tom Lane in this interview from the Detroit auto show. Via Bike Portland.

Innovate Or Die contest winner

From the Google Blog:
The contest said to "Innovate or Die" – and Team Aquaduct lives! In fact, the San Bruno, California team – consisting of John Lai, Adam Mack, Brian Mason, Eleanor Morgan, Paul Silberschatz – is living in grand (prize) style today after winning the first Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Machine contest.

Team Aquaduct was declared the winner out of 102 entries by building a unique and functional solution to provide rural communities with access to clean water. The quintet will share the $5,000 grand prize, and each will receive a Specialized Globe bicycle – as will all five of the finalist runners-up (read more about all the winners).

The contest encouraged people to evaluate environmental issues and develop ingenious solutions surrounding climate change. Many original and inspiring ideas emerged; make sure to visit the YouTube Innovate or Die page to view all of the entries.
Visit the Google Blog for details and video.

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