Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My New Commute

As some of you know, I started a new job this week down in German Village/The Brewery District (where does one end and the other begin down there?). I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do some searching around and find the best way to go during the previous week, and here's what I found (keeping in mind that I live in Clintonville, east side of High Street, between Weber and Arcadia.

Starting at home, I get onto Arcadia and take it out to Indianola. Once I get across Hudson, Indianola becomes a pretty solid route but it doesn't go too far. So I cut over to Summit at Wyandotte.

Summit's actually not a bad bike route. The right lanes are VERY wide and even if folks are parked there it's easy to stay out of the door zone. And there are plenty of lanes to the left that cagers can use to get past you if they're just that impatient.

Once you hit the area where the off- and on-ramps for I-670 come into play, however, things get a bit nervous. At this point, Summit's become 3rd Street, by the way. The right lane vanishes onto I-670 Westbound and you have to get over to the left. There are two lanes going over, and then there's an off-ramp to deal with as you get close to Chestnut. Hold your ground if you're riding through... the off-ramp lane is pretty long and there's plenty of room for drivers to get over.

Downtown, you just stay in the right lane almost the whole way. There are a couple places where it turns into a right-turn only lane, but keep your eyes open and you have plenty of time to signal to get over and it's not a problem.

I then take a right onto Fulton to avoid having to switch lanes into the mess where folks can go straight through, get onto I-70, I-71, etc. That's a mess that is best avoided by using Fulton. Fulton has two left-turn lanes that go over I-70. Stay in the right-most lane. Take a left onto S. High Street.

My office is just next to the Hi-Beck tavern (no, I haven't taken advantage of that yet, but I'm sure I will) and it's easy to get into.





On the way home, I prefer to cross High Street and get onto Front Street. Front is a pretty straight shot up past North Market, where I take a right onto Goodale and then take High Street up to Lane Ave. At Lane, the on-street construction on High Street gets REALLY bad, so I take a right, get back onto Indianola, and then simply reverse my trip from the morning.

A nice ride, all in all. I enjoy going through the Short North on the way home and seeing what's new in this popular area of town. Getting through the campus area can be a pain sometimes, but I did this when I worked at OSU so I'm used to it.

So, if you're looking for a good way to get downtown, try this route out!




Ride assertively, signal lane changes and turns regularly, and be courteous without being a shrinking violet and your rides this way will be fun and quick!
People, not speed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Third Hand Bicycle Co-Op to Host Post-Critical Mass Halloween Bash

Looking for a great event for Halloween? Want to do some good? Want to support one of Columbus's best bicycling resources?

Then Third Hand Bicycle Co-Op's Post-Critical Mass Halloween Bash is for you!

From their flyer:

Friday, October 31st, 2008
174 E Fifth Avenue 7-11 PM
~A Fundraising Event~

Come one, come all
for a wicked night of
bicycle mischief!

Kick Ass Silent Auction
Crazy Costume Contest

Tasty Pattycake Treats
Booze

And Rootbeer Floats
W/Jeni's Ice Cream

People, not speed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My New Favorite Quote

This is a simple repost, but I love it. Jonathon Maus of BikePortland.org on how Cars are the New Cigarettes.

People, not speed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ann Fisher Article Highlights WAD's Third Thursday Rides

Dispatch columnist Ann Fisher is quickly becoming one of our best friends, isn't she! Fisher's latest bike-related column not only highlighted the fun and exercise of a bike commute, she also called attention to the need for better-thought-out bike trails and to one of the fine advocacy rides we have in Columbus: the WAD Third Thursday Ride.

Read the article and send a thank you note to Fisher for bringing some positive attention to cycling!
Commentary
Cyclists pedaling for new bike trail
Friday, October 17, 2008 3:14 AM
By Ann Fisher


We met at a Worthington crossroads. A light but steady rain had turned the early-morning darkness into a glittering collage of reflected headlights, brake lights, street lights, traffic lights and -- just a few -- blinking bicycle lights.

Ours were among them as we pedaled across Rt. 161 to the Olentangy Bikeway and into Downtown on the Third Thursday bicycle-commuter ride in support of the Westerville to Arena District Bikeway.

Brett Allen, a violist for the Columbus Symphony, returns to rehearsals today; but last month, he organized the first Third Thursday ride, the goal being to attract attention to the nonprofit group that is working to create a bikeway on an abandoned rail grade running through the Northeast Side.

Allen said the proposed route is ideal for commuters from the Westerville area, who now are forced to use city streets, for the most part, across the northern reaches of Franklin County before getting to the Olentangy Bikeway.

In September, the Third Thursday riders confronted felled trees and other debris from the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

Yesterday, 49-year-old Allen and I pedaled together the 10 miles from the Worthington checkpoint to Downtown. All along the way, Allen stopped at other checkpoints, looking for latecomers.

But there were no others. Maybe we should have been disappointed, but the weather was almost perfect for the ride.

A half-hour in, the rain changed to a light mist; and by the time we hit the 3rd Street bridge, the damp was gone with the dawn.

When you're riding a bicycle by the Olentangy River, you can hear the lapping waves and smell the particular aroma of autumn in the trees and the earth. And as we traveled the path around the Ohio State University campus, we were lucky enough to come upon an ROTC training exercise. (At least, I felt lucky when I realized that they were holding imaginary rifles.)

And I had some good news to share: Tacked on to the $700 billion (plus pork) bailout bill was a change in the U.S. tax code that will credit companies when they pay a monthly stipend to workers who commute by bicycle.

The Bicycle Commuter Act takes effect Jan. 1.

Dispatch reporter Tim Doulin wrote yesterday that U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, had worked for several years to add bicycle commuting to other voluntary, tax-exempt work benefits, such as parking.

The employer decides who merits the benefit and can offer merchandise vouchers instead of cash.

And before those among you who oppose the bailout get on your high horses, you should know that Blumenauer voted against it, even with the tax change for bicycle commuters that he had championed.

So, it looks like Congress did the right thing in this case regardless.

It must be the bicycle gods.

Let's hope that they also favor the bikeway the Westerville to Arena District group has proposed.

For more information, go to wadbikeway.com.

Ann Fisher is a Dispatch Metro columnist. She can be reached at 614-461-8759 or by e-mail.

afisher@dispatch.com

People, not speed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Best of Interbike: Of Interest to Commuters

InterBike is the major bicycle trade show in the US, and is held each fall out in Las Vegas. I've put together this post of what I think is the best of InterBike as reported by my favorite blogs and podcasts.

There's a lot of neat stuff coming out for commuter cyclists this next year, as these reports show. I really hope that we see more cyclist clothing that isn't lycra and skintight, though, and hopefully stuff that's more "business casual" than simply casual.

Still, what's out there is exciting.

The FredCast Cycling Podcast: Interviews from Day 1

The FredCast Cycling Podcast: Interviews from Days 2-3

BikeCommuters.com: New Offerings from CygoLite (video)

BikeCommuters.com: New Offerings from Zoic (Mountain Bike and Commuter Clothing) (video)

The Bike Geek: New Offerings from Planet Bike (video)


People, not speed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dispatch Editorial Hits the Mark: Temporarily Low Gas Prices Are No Reason To Celebrate

This is one of the better editorials we've seen out of the normally conservative Dispatch, I think.

There are so many reasons to agree with this that it's almost too hard to think of them all.
  1. Fossil fuel usage is the number one reason for global warming being the problem it is.

  2. $3.00 gas isn't all that cheap - compared to where it was a few years ago. Our expectations that oil companies were concerned about the communities they serve have just diminished.

  3. Cars promote danger. 40,000 people died in car-related accidents last year alone... ten times the number of US military deaths from the Iraq War since its inception.

  4. Fossil fuels make us sick - whether via pollution from exhaust, pollution from drilling and the industry that goes on around it, or pollution from the refining process.

  5. Cars promote obesity.

  6. Cars create a sense of disconnect from the world around us.
I could go on... but I won't. Read the editorial and enjoy the common sense.
Don't look back
Temporary dip in gasoline prices shouldn't wipe out recent gains in conservation
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 2:53 AM

Americans, don't start your engines.

Don't rush out and buy a bargain-priced SUV and cancel the bus pass, just because gasoline has dipped to $3 per gallon. Continue to plan ahead so that numerous errands can be accomplished with one trip.

Don't stamp out those fragile little shoots of conservation and energy efficiency that have recently taken root.

Less-expensive gasoline is something to celebrate, for the relief that it brings to low-income families and for the drag that higher prices exert on the U.S. economy. But it shouldn't be the signal to rush back into the bad habits that have helped place the country at the mercy of foreign oil suppliers.

Americans' willingness, at long last, to try to rein in their use of fossil fuels has been the silver lining to the spike in oil prices. It's an important benefit because it goes beyond saving money and oil; less pointless driving, combined with a move toward better fuel efficiency, has meant less pollution.

High gasoline prices have encouraged more central Ohioans to take COTA buses to work, cutting down on traffic congestion and giving the system a shot in the arm that could help pay for better bus service.

Taking a longer view, high gasoline prices have spurred interest in compact urban development and discouraged long-distance commuting -- trends that could preserve farmland and open space and make communities more livable.

Of course, many people love their cars and their suburban homes, and some won't give a moment's thought to resuming gas-guzzling habits as soon as they can afford it.

But even those who aren't moved by the threat of climate change or the look of Downtown parking lots should consider a hard fact: Regardless of what it costs, oil is a finite commodity, and the United States consumes far more than it ever can hope to produce.

Shortages, and thus higher prices, are the inevitable future for oil. National security and economic health depend on people weaning themselves from the stuff and turning to alternatives.

Developing energy sources and technologies, along with improving the efficiency of our machines and our personal habits, are among the keys to future prosperity and comfort.

The future of oil is a dead-end.

People, not speed.

Help Clean Up the Bike Path

Columbus Underground and Consider Biking are hosting a bike path cleanup this Sunday at 11:00 am - here are the details!
ColumbusUnderground.com and Consider Biking are completing the third and final Bike Path Clean Up Day for the summer!

Join us on Sunday, October 19th at 11am!

We'll start at the parking lot entrance at Fort Hayes on Jack Gibbs Blvd (near Cleveland Ave) and will be cleaning the path heading eastward towards St. Clair Ave.

We'll have all of the cleanup tools ready, just bring yourselves!

Should only take about an hour to clean up!

See you all there!
If you're a commuter and you use the bike trails, this is a great time to give back to the community, get to know some more cyclists, enjoy the outdoors, and to show Columbus just what great people cycling commuters are!

People, not speed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cat Eye Releases World Commute Website

From David Bernstein's excellent The Fredcast Podcast comes an interview with Ellen Hall from CatEye, the maker of lighting systems for you bike.

Ellen talks about the World Commute website, where people can enter data for their car and then daily keep track of the miles they rode, ran, biked, skated, or otherwise. The website will give users the amount of money and gas they've saved, carbon they've prevented from going into the environment, and more. There are plans to create social networking functions, the ability to create groups for friendly competition, and more. It's really a great resource and I look forward to entering some data into it so I can give it a thorough review later on!

Check it out now and see what you think - those of you who like to crunch numbers to see just how much you're saving will love this!

People, not speed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Open Letter to Mayor Coleman

Here is the text of a letter I've written to the mayor regarding the hiring of a new police chief.
Dear Mayor Michael Coleman,

On behalf of the cycling community of Columbus, Ohio, thank you very much for all the hard work you are doing to improve the city for all forms of transportation, and most especially bicycles. It's regarding this very topic that I wish to make a request.

The retirement of Chief of Police James Jackson brings the possibility of a change in the way the city handles traffic code. Too often on my website, I find myself asking the city's police to simply enforce the law as it exists now, and especially so every time I read a report of a cyclist being killed, injured, harassed, or endangered in any way. In almost every case, the problem has been uninformed drivers and cyclists.

The problem of uninformed road users is one that is plaguing not only our city, but the entire country. Till recently, the results of this problem have been incidents of inconvenience as they seldom result in more than a simple fender-bender.

But with the increase in citizens using their bicycles for transportation on our city's streets, the problem becomes more deadly. What is a simple fender-bender for a pair of cars in an accident can become crippling when one of the vehicles is a bicycle. I don't need to belabor this point as it's a matter of simple physics. But as the city increases the amenities and infrastructure to favor cyclists, pedestrians, and transit, it also needs to increase traffic enforcement to make sure these forms of transportation are protected properly and adequately.

The search for a new police chief, then, must look at an officer who has such issues in mind when he mandates goals for the division of police. We need a chief who will look past the traditional role of cars as our primary transportation concern and will adopt a "Complete Streets" mentality. We need a chief who will present police academy trainees with increased coursework on handling bicycle traffic along with car traffic. And one who will enforce traffic law equally between cars and bikes.

Frequently you hear claims that cyclists don't obey the law when riding, and to an extent this is true. But there are two issues here. One is that road users of all types don't always know the law as it exists for bicycles, and the other is that police don't enforce traffic code as it is written.

So cyclists who do obey the law are frequently harassed by motorists who think cyclists must give way to cars, no matter what. Cyclists who don't know the rules get themselves into trouble by riding on the sidewalk, on the wrong side of the road, without proper lighting, etc. And motorists who don't obey the law are ignored by police as they do things like roll through stop signs, force cyclists to unsafely hug the side of the road by passing too closely, and try to pass cyclists in intersections. The list goes on and on.

So my request to you is to keep these sorts of issues in mind when choosing the next chief. We need a chief who will mandate consistent enforcement of all traffic laws, mandate safety on the roads over speed, and educate officers on how to properly enforce traffic code equally.

Columbus is well on its way to being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation, but we can't do it through infrastructure alone. We must also look to education and enforcement, and the proper choice for police chief can go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Sincerely,
James Fellrath


People, not speed.

WAD Third Thursday Ride Being Held October 16th

Brett Allen and the Westerville to Arena District Bikeway initiative are once again hosting the Third Thursday Commuter Ride this coming October 16th. The details and map are available via Google Maps.

Last month's ride was challenging due to being not long after the post-Hurricane Ike windstorm, and Brett comments that he wishes he'd had a broom hooked to the front of his bike. This month should be better... but be sure to have your bike lights charged as it'll be dark!

People, not speed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bike Commuter's Non-Bike-Commuting Wife Tells Cyclist to Take the Lane!

My wife had an interesting story today about her commute home yesterday. My wife drives as she drops off and picks up our kids from day care.

She was driving down Bethel Road and had come to a stop at a location where there was a right-turn-only lane. A cyclist rode up past her, sitting RIGHT ON TOP of the white line between her lane and the right-turn lane. My wife, being sensitive to the issues of cyclists, figured she'd wait to make sure he wasn't going straight through the light instead of turning (as he hadn't really picked a lane).

Then, he moved over into the right turn lane more completely, so my wife then figured that he was indeed turning. And as the light turned and the two cars ahead of her went forward, she started to do so as well. Imagine her surprise when he started to go straight - and attempting to swerve into the lane next to her out of the right-turn lane!

At the next light, my wife pulled up next to him and let him have it with the same advice that most experienced commuter cyclists give most inexperienced ones: TAKE THE LANE!

He complained that was concerned about slowing down traffic, and didn't want to take the whole lane. And my wife then explained to him that she'd rather he slow down traffic and be predictable than he be out of her way but she have no idea what he was going to do!

Folks, I get a few emails now and then asking for advice on how to start out, and the first thing I tell every single cyclist who asks for advice is this:

STOP CARING IF YOU HOLD UP TRAFFIC!

You're slower than cars. You're going to hold up traffic. It's simply going to happen. So do the smart thing, and TAKE THE LANE. Take it just as if you're in a car and be predictable. Sure, you'll piss off a few people because of your speed, but you'll be safer.

And did I mention how proud I am of my wife for telling him to take the lane? :)

People, not speed.

Bike Commuters to Benefit from Passage of Wall Street Bailout

Say what you will about the recent $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, like it or leave it. Attached to that bill was another bill... one that will benefit the Bike Commuter!

That's right, for the first time in recorded history I love the fact that a rider on a bill actually went through. Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been championing this bill for a long time, which is an incentive for businesses to provide incentives to their employees to ride to work - to the effect of a tax credit of $20 per month per employee.

A few things on this from the ever-flowing fountain of opinion that is Jamie Fellrath:
  1. I have ultimate respect for Congressman Blumenauer, as he voted against the bailout despite the fact that the Bike Commuter Bill was attached to it.

  2. Is it a big incentive? Nope. Is it going to convince employers to start putting up showers and lockers and have valet bike parking? Nope. Is it going to get some small businesses to give their employees some incentives to ride? Yep.

  3. What's more - it's a start. Once more people and businesses start taking advantage of things like this, it'll only get better.

  4. This is probably the only way we were going to get this bill passed given the current administration. We might have just waited till Obama was elected (hopefully) but that's not something to bank on.
So... we're stuck with the bailout, but we also have more incentive to ride!

People, not speed.

Dispatch Columnist Joe Blundo Talks About Learning to Ride the Streets

Dispatch Columnist Joe Blundo commented in one of his offerings a while back that he likes to ride, but he's just not comfortable doing so in traffic. So to his rescue came Gordon Renkes, a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor from Columbus.

This is a great column that discusses taking the lane, cyclist rights, and my personal preference on the segregation/integration issues as regards cycling traffic (I'm also an integrationist).
So to Speak
Class makes bike rider less shaky on streets
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 3:09 AM
By JOE BLUNDO


I wrote a column on July 22 declaring that, although I ride a bike, I avoid the streets. Too dangerous, I said. I stick to bike paths.

This prompted Gordon Renkes, a veteran rider from Clintonville, to offer me a lesson on riding in traffic. He's a certified instructor with the League of American Bicyclists (send him e-mail at gdr1950@sbcglobal.net or visit bikeleague.org).

Because $4-a-gallon gas has made biking a hot topic, I decided to give the class a try. And so, on a recent Saturday, I found myself pedaling down Weber Road with a COTA bus on my tail and a stream of cars coming in the other direction.

I wasn't exactly delighted to be in that situation, but Renkes says it's where cycling is safest -- provided the cyclist observes the rules.

"If you're behaving like traffic, then everybody understands what you're doing," Renkes said.

Regular students of a certified instructor spend several days learning how to survive in traffic. Renkes gave me a two-hour "crash course" -- not a literal description, thank goodness.

Renkes, a 58-year-old laboratory manager at Ohio State University, is no wild-eyed bike cowboy. He uses hand signals, wears a helmet and has about 30 years of bicycle commuting behind him.

(He even rode to cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack a few years ago.)

He has had one accident: While in graduate school in California many years ago, he collided with a Volkswagen Beetle that failed to yield on a left turn. He crash-

landed -- fortunately without incident.

"I could tell I wasn't hurt, but I just laid there awhile to torture (the driver)."

To avoid similar misfortune, Renkes told me:

• Don't hug the curb. It might seem safer, but it makes me less visible to drivers and more vulnerable to getting clobbered by an opening door. Evidence also suggests that traveling too far to the right encourages motorists to pass without adequate clearance.

• Use the left lane when appropriate. As a slower vehicle, I should stay in the right lane most of the time. But some cyclists abruptly cut across two or more lanes to make a left turn. That's hazardous.

• Stay off sidewalks. Cars turning into driveways or pulling out of side streets often nail cyclists on sidewalks because they aren't expecting a fast-moving vehicle there.

(For a summary of state bicycle laws, visit www.dot.state.oh.us and click twice on the bicycle symbol.)

In the often-contentious world of cycling advocacy, some favor segregation (bike paths, bike lanes) and others integration (streets).

"I'm an integrationist," Renkes said.

Bike paths have at least two flaws, he said: Too few exist to make bike travel practical, and studies have shown they have a higher accident rate than city streets (although the accident will not involve me and a 2,000-pound Honda).

My quick course also included a safety check (my crank is a little loose) and practice in the art of looking back while keeping the bike straight.

I've done some limited street commuting since and have found it less intimidating but not yet comfortable.

On the other hand, when cycling through traffic, you never want to get too comfortable.

Joe Blundo is a Dispatch columnist.

jblundo@dispatch.com



People, not speed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Henderson Road Residents Qualifying for NIMBY Status

Upper Arlington recently held a meeting to discuss the proposed improvements to Henderson Road, one of the East-West thoroughfares that cycling advocates in town frequently look to as a possible solution to the lack of such thoroughfares that can be considered bicycle-friendly.

And the response was not good from the residents that live there.

My favorite comment (and I say favorite only in an "Oh my god, did he actually say that?" way):
Residents expressed concerns that the multi-use path and sidewalk would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, since Henderson Road is too busy for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

"Nobody walks on this road now. What's the need?" said Henderson Road resident Michael Streicher.

Um... no one walks on it now because there's no place to safely walk! If you put in sidewalks, as the city should have done before, then you'd see more walkers. It's been proven in study after study across the country. If you build it, they will come.

Here's the rest of the story.
Residents wary of Henderson Rd. plans
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 2:46 PM
By CHRIS BOURNEA
ThisWeek Staff Writer


Proposed improvements to Henderson Road met with little enthusiasm from residents at a Sept. 25 public forum at First Alliance Church, 3750 W. Henderson Road.

The forum was a follow-up to an initial public meeting held in January to gather public feedback on what amenities should be included in the city of Upper Arlington's plans to reconstruct Henderson Road from Riverside Drive on the west to Sawmill Road on the east.

"We took your comments from the first public meeting and distilled them down into two options," Jeff Barnhart, a city engineering technician, told about 20 residents in attendance.

Both scenarios for Henderson Road improvements include pavement reconstruction, curbs for drainage and traffic calming, additional lighting, and an 8-foot-wide multi-use path along the north side of the road.

The first scenario includes a mini-roundabout to calm traffic at the intersection of Hampton and Tarrington lanes. The multi-use path would meander to avoid larger trees.

In the second scenario, a slightly elevated platform would be installed to calm traffic at the Hampton-Tarrington intersection. The multi-use path would remain close to Henderson road and a sidewalk would be installed on the south side of the road from Hampton to Sawmill Road.

Residents expressed concerns that the multi-use path and sidewalk would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, since Henderson Road is too busy for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

"Nobody walks on this road now. What's the need?" said Henderson Road resident Michael Streicher.

He added that he's concerned that trees that screen homes from traffic on the heavily-traveled thoroughfare will be lost if the multi-use path were installed.

"My fear is the city will ignore the homeowners and the impact it will have on them," Streicher said.

Pat Hall, who also lives on Henderson Road, said she believes the city ignored the concerns of residents that the Central Ohio Medical Building, which was built in 2007 on a 2.57-acre plot at 4026/4030 W. Henderson Road, would increase traffic in the area.

"If our road is really falling apart, they should replace it and not abuse the taxpayers on Henderson Road anymore than we already have been," Hall said.

Based on public input from the Sept. 25 meeting, city engineers will meet with engineering firm Burgess & Niple to modify plans and narrow down the two scenarios to one, with a presentation to be made to council this fall, Barnhart said.

Council will not vote on a finalized plan until fall 2009, when cost estimates for the project will be determined and factored into the city's 2010 capital improvement budget.

People, not speed.

Consider Biking Newsletter - October 2008

Consider Biking released their latest newsletter today...read the latest from our excellent advocacy group!

Consider Biking Newsletter
October 2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In This Issue
Critical Manners Ride this Tuesday evening
Columbus Traffic Code Update
Join us for the Fall Picnic
Become a Member
Consider Volunteering

Greetings!
Wow! 2008 has been a time of explosive growth for Consider Biking (formally known as COBAC) We'd like to thank you for signing up for our newsletter list at one of our events or display booths this summer, or by virtue of registering on the Consider Biking website, or through past involvement with COBAC.

The momentum we're generating as a trusted resource for objective information, has drawn many to our cause of making Central Ohio more friendly for bicyclists.

We hope you'll find the news of our challenges and accomplishments to be relevant and inspiring.

"Critical Manners" Ride this Tuesday evening!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ROS mafiaConsider Biking is pleased to announce our first "Critical Manners" ride for:

Tuesday October 7th - 5:30 pm.
Meet & depart at the William McKinley statue on the west side of the Statehouse (High St.side) Distance - approximately 10 miles

Purpose & Format - We hope to encourage participation from bicyclists that would like some basic education about how to ride on city streets. We'd also like to demonstrate to the general public that Consider Biking (and our members) want to educate cyclists how to respectfully take our rightful place on the road as vehicles and behave lawfully. And of course, we'll have some fun riding our bikes!

We will have a brief 5-10 minute "basic rules of the road" presentation from Tricia Kovacs, an LAB Certified Instructor, before the ride starts. We've planned the route to encounter "teachable moments" where our mentors can provide some on-the-road leadership to help people learn some of the basic road riding techniques. (e.g. - shifting left across two lanes to get in left turn lane, appropriateness of single file vs. two-abreast, etc.)

Perhaps we'll have all experienced riders. Perhaps we'll have all newbies. Regardless, we'll definitely have some fun, and probably all learn at least one new practice to enhance our own bike safety. Here's the discussion thread from our website.

We'll also end the ride at the Surly Girl Saloon, where there will be a rally/party for or favorite cycling City Council member, Maryellen O'Shaughnessy. If you can't make the ride, please join us at the Surly Girl Saloon at 1126 N. High Street anytime after 6:30 pm.

We'd like to thank Consider Biking members, Andrew Hulvey and Tricia Kovacs for providing leadership for this event.

Help us update the Columbus Traffic Code regarding bicycles
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
treatmentAs you may recall, during the development of legislation for a mandatory childhood helmet law in July, Consider Biking played a key role in thwarting an incomplete proposal to update the Columbus Traffic Code pertaining to the operation of bicycles on our roadways.

Both Jeff Stephens and Meredith Joy of Consider Biking has been invited to participate in an advisory panel, whose purpose it is to assist the Columbus Public Service Department in updating its bicycle-related city code by the end of 2008 as outlined in the recently adopted Columbus Bicentennial Bikeways Plan. One of the recommendations in the Plan is updating antiquated city ordinances pertaining to bicycling safety, rules of the road, and bike accommodation. We are honored to be an important contributor to this process.

The advisory panel will develop the new city code to be congruent with the recently passed Ohio Better Bicycle Law (2006) and also to utilize and model the "best practices" laws and code from over 13 cities across the country that have been rated as the most progressive by independent auditors.

Consider Biking is very eager to channel the feedback of our members to the process. However, because the project is on a very aggressive schedule for presentation to City Council, the window of opportunity for your feedback will be very short and require quick turnaround. If you're interested, and available to help during the middle of October, please contact Jeff Stephens at jeff@considerbiking.org

We look forward to your contributions and insights.

Consider Biking Fall Picnic
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
logoConsider Biking will be hosting a Fall picnic and, very informal, general membership meeting on:

Sunday Oct 12th, 1-4pm
Goodale Park - just north of downtown Columbus (look for the bikes and our banner!)

This is a potluck, so bring something to eat.

Many of our Board Members will attend, and this will be a fun setting to meet the leadership of our organization, and share your comments about our future.

Here is the picnic discussion thread on our website for update information

Become a Member Today!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CommuterConsider Biking is a member-supported organization. We can only accomplish our goals through the support of our cycling constituents. There are over 130 peer organizations across the country, demonstrating a need for cycling advocacy groups. Many of these organizations have THOUSANDS of members, and benefit by the financial support, and the "body of cyclists" that stand behind them when they advocate for enhancements to cycling accommodation.

We'd like to ask you to join Consider Biking. We need your support to represent our common interests in Central Ohio.

What's in it for you??

You benefit by knowing we'll have the resources to fight for our needs.

You'll benefit by knowing that we're working hard so you can "just ride."

You'll benefit by knowing we partner with strong coalitions to advance the healthy movement of people, not just cars.

You'll benefit by knowing we coordinate unique events that serve some of the dynamic segments of our cycling audience.

And, you'll benefit through our on-line presence, where ALL cyclists are welcomed, respected, and have a safe place to share their perspective.

Your membership donation to Consider Biking is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We thank you for your support.

Information on membership here.


Organizational Development
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Consider Biking is developing into a fully functioning organization. We are an Ohio corporation designated as a 501c(3) non-profit organization. After the merger of Consider Biking into COBAC last winter, we have had a vibrant Board of Directors that has met monthly. Additionally, the Programming, Communications, and Fundraising Committees, have been very active. And, through a grant from Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, we have hired a full-time staff person to work everyday for your needs.

In the meantime, we welcome your feedback, and participation, on events, activities, and committees. We are seeking volunteers to help with items such as: developing bicyclist education, public relations, data entry, regional outreach, event coordination, LAB Bicycle Friendly Community application, Safe Routes to Schools, Care Team, etc. We need your help, and welcome your participation. Please contact Jeff Stephens at jeff@considerbiking.org for more information about volunteer opportunities.

Quick Links...
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Our Website
Membership

Contact Information
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Executive Director, Jeff Stephens - jeff@considerbiking.org 614-579-1127
President Board of Directors, Meredith Joy - meredith.a.joy@gmail.com
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People, not speed.