Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reminder: Consider Biking's Metro Park Awareness and Support Bike Ride

From Consider Biking:

Saturday, May 2 –1:00 p.m.

Metro Park Awareness and Support Bike Ride

Join us for a "Metro Park Awareness and Support Bike Ride" on Saturday, May 2nd - 1:00 p.m. We’ll meet at Franklin Park Conservatoryat 1777 E. Broad St., and ride a 25-mile loop down the Alum Creek Trail to the Three Creeks Metro Park and back. Refreshments (adult & family drinks) will be available afterward. There is no charge or registration for this activity; however, if you could RSVP with a quick e-mail to jeff AT considerbiking.org and tell us you’re coming, it would help us better plan the event.


People, not speed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pictures from Phil Keoghan's Visit

I'm finally posting my pictures that turned out well from Phil Keoghan's visit to Columbus! Enjoy!


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Joe Biker at the Best Bike Blog Ever followed Phil on his way for 45 miles and has some pictures and a story about his day, too! Nice meeting you, Joe!

People, not speed.

A Morning with Phil Keoghan

Despite the cool and damp weather, there was a good crowd of both Amazing Race fans and cyclists at the GNC Polaris today to welcome the CBS TV host and all-around adventurer Phil Keoghan to Columbus for the next installment of his bike ride across the United States, Phil Rides Across America.

Folks began gathering around 8:00, when the GNC opened, and Phil arrived at 8:30 and said a few words to the audience about Multiple Sclerosis, the ride so far (including some gory details of the spill he took yesterday - he had a big bandage on his right cheek from the spill, some road rash along his right leg, and complained jokingly about how he was REALLY upset that he'd torn a whole in his shoe cover!), and the One Square Meal product that has kept him going not only on this ride but throughout his 28-day shooting schedules for the Amazing Race. They had some free samples, and they're pretty good!

Apparently he was originally planning to trace the route of the Tour de France but CBS wanted him to do a national tour to promote the TV show, so he combined the two into a ride across America. The National MS Society got involved as well, and the goal was to raise $250,000 by the end of the ride. Well, he's only to Ohio, and the figure they've raised so far was $300,000! So the ride is already a success from that standpoint!

He then stayed around to sign copies of his book, No Opportunity Wasted : Creating a List for Life, and whatever other items folks wanted to have him sign as well, obviously. The crowd was an interesting grouping of fans of his TV show and the cyclists who wanted to ride with him! I met a few of them, and all of them were quite interested to learn that Phil is apparently quite an accomplished cyclist, going at an average of 18-20 MPH in the cities and up to 30 MPH once out of town. He's not messing around here, folks! I was fortunate to meet Joe Biker from Cincinnati, with whom I've been corresponding briefly about today's ride. I look forward to hearing more about the ride from Joe once he gets back!

Once I get home and have a chance, I'll post some pictures from the event. Thanks to Phil for riding for MS and for taking the time to meet some fans today!

People, not speed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Phil Keoghan Rides Across America Rally TOMORROW!

Just a quick reminder to everyone that the send-off for Phil Keoghan's Ride Across America is TOMORROW MORNING! More details at my earlier post on the ride.

As this is not an official ride, there WILL NOT be any transportation back to the start point once the ride is over... you'll be on your own. If anyone is planning on dropping a car off at the end point and driving back, please post in the comments (especially if you'll have space for extra riders who might otherwise be turning around halfway).

Though I won't be able to ride (work day and all), I'm going to try to be out there to see Phil and enjoy the send-off. Hope to meet some of you out there!

People, not speed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Link-o-Rama 4/24/2009

vélocouture - A little bit of information on what the Europeans call "bikes." Simple and ready to ride, that's how they do 'em over there.

Biking Bis - A new service - RentABikeNow.com - find places to rent bikes on your vacation before you leave! Nothing in Columbus yet, but they have a notification service that will tell you when shops in any area do start renting as part of their network!

Bike Commuters - RL Policar and company display some of the great commuter items on display at the Sea Otter Bike Event. Some of this stuff is really cool... but where are the bike-friendly business casual clothes? T-shirts are fine, but I want to see polos and the like!

Two Wheeling - Once again, the vigilant eye of Doug Morgan sees another way in which communities are making things safer on the streets for ALL users, not just cars. This time it's in Upper Arlington and involves school crosswalks

Biking Bis - Debunking the top 10 excuses for not bike commuting. Simple. Brilliant.

Cyclelicious - Fritz brings us Frazz. Gentlemen... start your engines... don your helmets!

Bike Hacks - Here's a nifty tip to help secure your wheels to your bike if you use quick-release levers and possibly avoid having to carry around two locks!

People, not speed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bob Mionske: The Right To Disobey Cops

Blogger's Note: PLEASE read the comments! Steve Magas has graciously offered some closure to the Tony and Ryan case and also expounded upon some of the topics in this article!

Bicycling Magazine has a new article by cycling lawyer Bob Mionske with a topic that I wonder about a lot. That topic is the right to disobey police officers who attempt to stop you for accusations of violations that are either mistaken or non-existent. The story of two roadies on a training ride that Mionske relates for us is particularly relevant on this blog as the incident takes place in Ohio, therefore Ohio law is what is being discussed in the article.

I'm sure many of us have been in situations where the police either don't know or misinterpret the laws as they pertain to cyclists and our rights on the road. Let's face it - they haven't HAD to know the law too often because the numbers of cyclists simply haven't been too large. But now, as we hit worldwide peak oil and increasingly more people take to the road on two non-powered wheels, the police all over the country are being called upon to deal with more cycling-related situations. And let's face it - many of them aren't ready for it.

So if a police officer tells us to get off the road, or stop riding two abreast, or that we're riding too far out into a lane, what are we to do? There's a school of thought that says we have to follow any order a police officer gives us. You can bet that the police are going to think that. But if it's an unlawful order, I think it behooves us to stand our ground. After all, it only takes one well-publicized incident to force the police to actually learn the laws they're supposed to be enforcing.

Technically, according to Mionske in the article, if an order from an officer is based on unlawful reasons, then we are not required to follow it. But get ready to face the consequences - Police don't take well to being told that they are wrong (like anyone, of course, but in their case their jobs rely on knowing the law).

Also, Mionske references the case of Trotwood vs. Selz, in which the courts decided that a cyclist cannot be accused of impeding traffic due to speed because a cyclist IS traffic, as Ohio law clearly states that bicycles are vehicles. The case was defended by Steven Magas, the Cincinnati-area "bike lawyer" who has been kind enough to look over my legal-related posts in the past and comment on them!

Though the Trotwood case didn't bring it up, the right to riding in the middle of a lane (AKA taking the lane) is specified in the Ohio Department of Public Safety Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws (PDF) as follows:
Bicyclists must keep to the right edge of the roadway, allowing faster traffic to safely pass. Cyclists can travel in the middle of the lane if they are proceeding at the same speed as the rest of the traffic or the lane is too narrow to share safely with a motor vehicle.

I encourage everyone to read the article by Mr. Mionske and also to read page 67 of the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws for all the information on this case. It would probably behoove each of us to CARRY that digest with us as we ride! I carry a copy of Columbus's traffic code as it pertains to bicycles when I ride, and it's come in handy.

People, not speed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Consider Biking Newsletter - April 21, 2009

cbus logo
Consider Biking Activity Update
April 21, 2009

Greetings!
Consider Biking advocates and promotes all types of cycling - recreational, sport, touring, family and youth. And, although we advocate for biking to work all year around, we join many of our peer groups across the country in focusing on promotion of utilitarian bicycling in May. We're blessed to have a growing "Bike to Work Week" movement here in Columbus, and owe a big thanks to the collective of individuals and groups, that have all thrown great activities into the pot!
Check out www.b2ww.org for a listing of many events, educational opportunities, and the information on the popular "Commuter Challenge" which will run from May 4-15 this year. It's easy to sign up your teams, and you'll even be invited to a celebration lunch on Friday, May 15.
Also, keep your eyes open to many of our local bicycle shops that will support Consider Biking through membership drives and special incentives during Bike Month in May.
In order to advocate for better cycling accommodations, we need to learn about your bicycle commuting behavior.Take 5 minutes to log your cycling data, and you'll be entered to win gift certificates from our local bicycle retailers. Help us....help you!
And again, thanks to all the bicyclists that provided feedback to the long-awaited Bicycle Usability Map! We previewed a draft of the map at our Earth Day booth, and everyone was eager to get their hands on the final product. We'll have copies at our May 11 event at the Statehouse, and distributed to area bike shops soon thereafter.
Lastly, we're developing our web presence again, and have gotten some "urgent essentials" posted. We're currently devloping a robust site that will serve as the primary information resource for all bicyclists in Central Ohio. Bookmark www.considerbiking.org now, and stay tuned for the launch of a re-designed, content-rich site in early May.
In This Issue
Metro Parks Levy Bike Ride
Enter your Bicycle Commute Data!
BikeColumbus Recreational Ride
Pelotonia Improves Bicycling in Region
How Consider Biking Influences your Workplace
Join Consider Biking
Volunteer Opportunities
Consider Biking Supports Metro Parks levy with May 2nd Bike ride

The Board of Directors of Consider Biking, unanimously approved support for the Metro Park levy request on the May 5 ballot.
Join us for a "Metro Park Awareness and Support Bike Ride" on Saturday, May 2nd - 1:00 p.m. We'll meet at Franklin Park Conservancy at 1777 E. Broad St, and ride a 25 mile loop down the Alum Creek Trail, to the Three Creeks Metro Park and back. Refreshments (adult & family drinks) will be available afterward. There is no charge or registration for this activity; however, if you could RSVP with a quick e-mail and tell us you're coming, it'd help us fill the coolers appropriately.
Help us Learn about Commuter Cyclists!

logoConsider Biking has launched a long-term initiative to collect data from existing and prospective bicycle commuters, so we can effectively advocate for needed enhancements to the bicycling environment in our community. We're learning exactly where bicyclists are riding to work, where they would ride if certain obstacles are removed, and exactly where end-of-ride facilities and spot fixes are needed.
If you complete the 5-minute survey, you'll be entered into a drawing for one of ten, $25 gift certificates from our local specialty bicycle retailers!
Saturday, May 30 - BikeColumbus Recreational Ride

Bike CMHMayor Michael Coleman, The Institute for Active Living, and Consider Biking, invite you to a day of fun for cyclists of all ages, beginners to experienced. Proceeds support the Institute for Active Living to promote healthier kids and diabetes prevention. A portion of the proceeds benefit Consider Biking.
There are four rides to choose from, with routes of 66, 50, 20, and 7 miles. The 7 mile "Family friendly" route is held exclusively on our greenway paths. Come discover some of the beautiful neighborhoods in the heart of our city, in addition to discovering that you can get a substantial, non-stop, fitness ride without traveling to the edges of our metropolitan area. We're also eager to showcase cycling as an accessible means of health, as we promote healthier kids and diabetes prevention. Flyer and details here (pdf) Registration here
Pelotonia will improve bicycling in Central Ohio!

pelotoniaWe hope you've heard about the exciting cycling event called Pelotonia. It's a weekend event (Aug 28-30) that will engage 2,500 in a premier bicycling event, and likely introduce 1,000+ "new" people to the sport of bicycling. Most importantly, Pelotonia will bring resources and visibility to our mission as your local bike advocates.
Consider Biking enthusiastically supports Pelotonia and encourages you to participate. We know you'll be treated to the highest caliber cycling event we've ever seen in our region! Read more here.
You'll hear Consider Biking discuss Pelotonia more in the coming months; however, we feel you should recognize that this event will get more people bicycling in our community. Events like Pelotonia change lives - both the lives of people with cancer, but also lives like mine! (Jeff Stephens here)
Over 20 years ago, I committed to raising money via a cross-country bicycle trip for the American Lung Association after my father's early death. I had never ridden a bicycle recreationally, but set off across the country with 300 intrepid adventurers. Seven weeks and 3,500 miles later, I was hooked on a bicycling lifestyle that has given me more joy and friendships than I could ever imagine. I've since toured in almost every state of the U.S., raced across America and in Europe, and most joyfully, have joined the merry band of bicycle advocates that work every day to promote bicycling and increase cycling accommodations.
I can guarantee that there are participants in Pelotonia that will become the future foundation of our cycling clubs, teams and advocacy movement. Pelotonia is not only good for fighting cancer....it's going to be good for bicycling!
We Influence Businesses to Encourage Bicycling

businessConsider Biking has the credibility and knowledge to advise and influence decision makers in matters related to bicyling. We have convened a "Cyclist Corporate Caucus" to leverage access to our region's most significant workplaces, and to create a "Two-wheeling Toolkit" which provides targeted resources for each specific audience within a business. Consider Biking provides the following consultation efforts:

  • We consult with CEOs to unify in developing strong public/private partnerships that will enhance the environment for cycling, and thus, the economic development of our region.
  • We consult with Human Resource departments to develop appropriate incentives for their employees to bicycle.
  • We consult with Wellness Coordinators to include bicycling in the wellness program.
  • We provide "Commuter 101" bicycle education programs to the workplaces, and additional education as needed.
  • We provide consultation to building operations to ensure the availability of end-of-ride facilities.
  • We offer a "Bike Friendly Building" designation program.

Contact us so we can help your business become more bicycle friendly.

Be Counted - Join Today!

Consider 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.

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 by helping us become the primary information resource for bicyclists in Central Ohio.

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.
Volunteer Needs

Consider Biking needs your volunteer help! Won't you get directly engaged in helping us meet our bicycling community's needs?
May 2 - Calvin's Challenge 12 Hour Race (Springfield, OH) - course marshalls
May 8 - TOSRV Registration Festival - volunteers for display booth
May 9 & 10 - TOSRV - Parking control at Chilicothe Lunch Stop
May 11 - Kick-off event at Statehouse
May 30 - Bike Columbus - Registration, course volunteers, etc.
Ongoing - Event planning & support, committee work, clerical, data entry, map & brochure distribution, general outreach, etc!
Contact us to see how your strengths and interests fit with our activities!

Contact Information

Executive Director, Jeff Stephens - jeff@considerbiking.org 614-579-1127

People, not speed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Columbus: Vote FOR Issue 1 (MetroParks Levy)

From the good folk at Consider Biking:

In 2010, the existing Metro Parks levy expires. This is the primary source of funds for the Metro Parks. Issue 1, the new levy, will allow Metro Parks to continue to operate clean, well-maintained, safe parks that are open daily throughout the year and are free to the public. It will allow them to continue to acquire and manage natural areas to protect wildlife and water resources.

Consider Biking supports the Metro Parks levy for many reasons. First and foremost, the Parks offer varied opportunities for healthful recreation, notably the opportunity for kids and adults to ride bicycles in a safe environment. We also support the levy because the Metro Parks have indicated that they would assume maintenance of the greenway trails in Columbus. The City has been forced to cut the maintenance expenses for these heavily used multi-use paths (e.g., the Olentangy Bike Path) due to the city’s budget crisis. Management by the Metro Park system would provide reliable, sustainable, long-term needs for these critical bicycle arteries!

The proposed levy is a 0.75-mill property tax, which will cost a Franklin County homeowner about $23 per year per $100,000 appraised residential value.

You can learn more about this issue here or by calling (614) 891-0700. Vote yes on Issue 1, the Metro Parks levy on the May 5th ballot. In many areas, it will be the only issue on the ballot. Every vote really will count.



I don't think I could say it any better than GET OUT THERE AND VOTE YES ON ISSUE 1!

People, not speed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Link-o-Rama 4/17/2009

Yehuda Moon - Rick Smith has called what seems to be a temporary hiatus on his work with the popular cycling comic strip. Trying to publish something regularly can certainly be a challenge, and we look forward to when Yehuda can continue!

Columbus Rides - Ray George shows us a video of the new belt drive that I'd like to try out. Via Twitter Carlton Reid told me that it's not like a traditional chain that will sully your clothing, which is something I love!

Outside Blog - Reviews on some bicycle backpacks from the blog from Outside Magazine.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Odd name for a paper notwithstanding, this is a great article on the growth of cycle commuting nationwide (with a bit of Pac-Northwest focus). By Jack Connelly.

Two Wheeling - Doug tells us more about the obesity epidemic, and how it plagues various US populations more than others!

Bike Radar - New clothing line for cyclists who don't want to look like cyclists! Sounds like a winner to me. Nothing wrong with lycra and jerseys, but it's not for work.

People, not speed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bike the C-Bus In the Preparatory Stages

From organizer Ray George:
The Long Street Tour's “Bike the C-Bus” is a fun way to get fit and check out a few of the neighborhoods in and around Columbus. Experience segments of the King Lincoln District, Woodland Park, Downtown, Short North Arts District, Italian Village, University District, Harrison West, Victorian Village, Arena District, Franklinton, Brewery District and German Village.

The entire ride will cover approximately 30 miles and will feature stops that highlight change that is occurring in our neighborhoods. Each stop will be sponsored by businesses and community groups and provide snacks, drinks and entertainment for the riders. The ride is configured to allow cyclists to complete segments if they do not feel comfortable riding the entire route.

The ($25) registration fee includes an official 2009 “Long Street Tour” t-shirt and wristband along with drinks and food at designated rest stops, plus a free lunch at the hospitality tent.

Our goal will be to make “Bike the C-Bus” into the region's premier cycling event celebrating design, health & fitness, and urban lifestyles. “Bike the C-Bus” is considered a ride and not a race and will offer a variety of course options to accommodate everyone from recreational riders to hard-core fitness enthusiasts.

More information is available at www.bikethecbus.com

People, not speed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Interview - Columbus Restaurateur Elizabeth Lessner Discusses Bike To Work Week

Many of the bicyclists of Columbus, Ohio are already familiar with the name Elizabeth Lessner. Owner of the most bike-friendly restaurant in Columbus, the Tip Top Kitchen on Gay Street, Lessner is also the owner of the popular Betty's and Surly Girl Saloon in the Short North, and the soon-to-be opened Dirty Frank's downtown. Lessner was also named as one of Columbus Alive's People To Watch in 2008!

So... why the interest from a bike commuting blog? The answer: because I read a Tweet from her talking about the Central Ohio Restaurant Association's plans for Bike To Work Week! Miss Lessner was kind enough to answer some of the questions I had about CORA, the aforementioned plans, her personal feelings and experiences with cycling, and the effects of cycling improvements on Columbus businesses.

A little background: CORA is in its second year of supporting Bike To Work Week, an effort which Lessner initiated last year as president of the Association (a position she still holds), and as part of a larger group of green initiatives for the Association.

CORA's Mission statement is as follows:
"Our Mission: Promote a strong and innovative restaurant industry. Provide education, training, community involvement and networking events for our members. Enhance the industry's image locally, regionally and nationally, through effective use of the media; proactive involvement in political issues and Ohio Restaurant and National Restaurant Association affiliation."
CORA's involvement in Bike To Work Week will fall to its individual members - each restaurant promoting the event in its own way. Lessner says "Last year we awarded the restaurant with the most riders with a free pizza party at Surly Girl Saloon. Katzinger's Deli won last year. It was cool to see the broad range of participants last year. My favorite was Otani out on 161, talk about an area that can use friendlier streets for bicycling!" (Blogger's note: I used to live out near that Otani, and she's absolutely right!)

And Lessner has a few thoughts of her own about cycling improvements. A frequent complaint heard from business owners when the subject of bicycle infrastructure improvements comes up is that they fear they will lose customers due to increased difficulty for cars to find parking, navigate the area, etc.

Lessner's having none of that. "I personally believe that bicycles add a sense of safety and eyes on the street. Most of our revenue comes in after dark so it is important to us that our customers and staff are able to feel safe coming and going to our restaurants. Bicyclists enhance a feeling of safety by providing that extra set of watchful eyes on our community. I also believe that each bicycle often represents one less car on the street. When I see a rack of eight or ten bicycles that means that there are eight or ten more parking spaces for visitors to use. If anything, bicycling helps our neighborhoods flourish."

As previously mentioned, her Tip Top Kitchen is well known and regarded amongst the cycling set as the most bike friendly restaurant in town. Lessner saw an opportunity to relieve parking issues and promote healthy living by courting bicyclists there! "Downtown is in need of revitalization. We recognize the safety and eyes that bicycles bring to the streets. We also knew what a challenge parking is on Gay Street. Rather than contributing to valet parking or trying to find parking spaces that don't exist, we opted to promote other ways to get to the Tip Top by supporting other sorts of transit other than cars."

And it isn't only the bicyclist who's being courted by Tip Top and Lessner's other restaurants. "I currently serve on a COTA Board, my hope is we see increased COTA hours of operation so that our customers can ride the bus to and from our establishment. We also were excited by the City's move to add scooter parking.

"The City of Columbus was kind enough to provide Gay Street and High Street with new bicycle racks to further promote bicycling downtown. We believe strongly that there are lots of options to get around downtown that don't involve cars so we promote every single one of them. You might know that all of our restaurants provide a 2-Wheel Discount to anyone riding a bicycle to our establishment. Results are good, more bicycles on streets adds a sense of safety and a feeling of community wherever you are."

Lessner's background and upbringing made her a friend of cycling and that background is showing in her fine works in the community. "For safety's sake, for rider visibility sake, and for the betterment of the City of Columbus, I heartily promote Bike to Work Week, we all benefit.

"I ride a Haro bicycle from B1 bikes, it's a pretty purple cruiser. I grew up riding bicycles constantly, I went to college in San Francisco and rode a bicycle there as I did not own a car. I moved to Columbus in 1996 and had a very scary experience with a car driver while riding my bicycle to Columbus State from my campus home. I didn't ride for several years after that.

"Each year I get a bit braver riding in Columbus, I am a very timid rider and a bit clumsy! I would like to see bicycle riders be treated better and the streets a bit friendlier to riders so bicycle advocacy is very important to me. I live on campus and commute to the Short North. My ride up and down 3rd and 4th is often very dangerous, car drivers can be very aggressive on those streets. My hope is that average riders like me and so many others can feel a bit more empowered commuting to their destinations and enhance ridership overall.

"Every year I feel a bit safer going to and from work on my bicycle. My goal is that every person, regardless of age, skill level or fitness, will feel comfortable getting on a bicycle and commuting to their destination."

Elizabeth Lessner deserves every bit of her growing great reputation as a top employer, business-owner, and citizen of Columbus. She's creating business in town, working to improve not only her bottom line but also the lives of her employees, patrons, and fellow Columbus citizens. I'd like to thank her for her time and all she does to improve the City of Columbus!

For those of you who'd like to know more about Lessner's restaurants, you can visit the links at the top of this page or follow their Twitter feeds for daily specials, news, and more.
People, not speed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dispatch: Scooters Don't Trigger Stoplight Sensors. Oh, Really?

A problem that cyclists have been clamoring about for years has finally gotten the attention of the Columbus Dispatch - because it's been noticed by Scooter riders!

Many of Columbus's stoplight vehicle sensors are magnetically triggered when a car, AKA a big hunk of metal, drives over them. However, a problem that I've mentioned several times in the past, but been totally ignored even when I requested help from the city on this matter, is that bicycles, and now apparently scooters, don't contain enough metal to set them off, leaving cyclists no choice but to run red lights.

A company in town sells a magnetic gadget that is supposed to help set them off, but according to the Dispatch article, it doesn't work.

One trick that I've used with varying results is to position my bike directly over the seam in the road where the coil was inserted. Like I said, this has varying results. Another is apparently to lay down your bike over the coil and hope that getting the metal closer to the coil will set it off.

But let's return to the article at hand. Here's the most annoying part of this story:

If no other option works, report a troublesome intersection to the city, and Foster or another worker will simply turn up the sensitivity of the metal-detecting loop.

The city doesn't want them to be too sensitive.

A parked car "may actually set it off even though they're several feet away from it," Foster said.

Or, as I discovered when I requested help, the city will tell you that you should get off your bike, in the middle of the lane, and go hit the button at the crosswalk to get it to trigger.

Either way, this situation is ridiculous. In their attempts to create an infrastructure that allows cars to zip along at top speed, without having to stop so much, they've created a bigger problem - and one that will continue to get bigger as more people eschew cars for more practical bikes and scooters. The real answer is to turn all these things off and simply have a regular pattern for ALL traffic lights, no matter if anyone's there or not.

People, not speed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Amazing Bike MS Discount for Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan

Just when you thought it was enough that you were going to get a chance to ride with CBS's Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race, as he makes his way across the United States to raise money for the National MS Society, the National MS Society - Ohio Buckeye Chapter is upping the ante!

Everyone who attends Phil's Rally at GNC - Polaris on April 29th, 8:00 AM, will be eligible to save $25 on the cost of registration for the Bike MS Pedal to the Point! Pedal to the Point takes place August 15-16, 2009 and is the premier Bike MS event in the State of Ohio. More information at the provided link.

Looking forward to seeing everyone out there to support Phil and get signed up for this great event!

People, not speed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yay Bikes! Hosting Earth Day Weekend Cleanup of Walhalla Ravine

From Mike Reed:
Yay Bikes! is doing a worksite for The Earth Day Volunteer effort, Picture This 09.

Location: Walhalla Ravine
4/18/2009 10:00am - 2:00pm

Description: Our group will break into three teams to walk Walhalla Ravine and immediate area (Walhalla Rd) and clean up litter, tackle a project to remove invasive flora, and look to clean up the foam left over from the fire at the corner of Weber and High. This is not a kid friendly site.

How to find us: Meet at the corner of Walhalla rd and High st.

work site on the web

They asked for a needed # of volunteers, so if that fills up and you want to participate, just post here. All are welcome. Hope to see you there.

There is a celebration on the 19th in Goodale Park, the following day. info here

Some of you may know that Meredith and I live on Walhalla. We'll make it fun.

People, not speed.

Friday Link-o-Rama 4/10/2009

From Reader "Carrie" - A road rager attacked a cyclist and bit off pieces of his ear! I don't even have the words for this... maybe we need to have a psych exam as part of the driver's license application process!

Bike Hugger - Hincapie Skin Defense, a new product under the George Hincapie label: sunscreen created for cyclists and active folks. The pasty white Jamie is loving the idea of this product!

Columbus Rides - Ray George fills us in on a wonderful opportunity for children and young adults with disabilities to learn to ride bikes in a safe environment! Sounds perfect to me!

The Green Life - Tip-a-day green blog gives biking to work as a great way to help the environment. Nothing we didn't already know here, but it's cool to see other blogging genres joining in the fun! Plus they include the news about the commuter benefits package, so they are pushing the financial nature of it (which is pretty much #1 in the US!).

StreetFilms - The New York based transportation-based filmmaker celebrates creating their 200th short film. This site is one of the best showcases for complete streets ideology of any out there, check it out!

X-ing Columbus - What's the WORST intersection in Columbus, and how would you change it? Check out this link for a contest from Good Magazine and Livable Streets!

Carbon Trace - A little news, perhaps a bit anecdotal but still good advice, about the dangers of drinking and cycling. Seriously, folks - if you're too drunk to drive, you're DEFINITELY too drunk to cycle, and especially since you're not surrounded by a ton of metal and plastic!

Columbus Social Media Cafe - The CSMC is promoting the Columbus Corners project - to document our favorite street corners in the city and show the world why we love 'em! Check out the guidelines at the provided link!

People, not speed.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bike To Work Kickoff Event Announced

Consider Biking has announced their Bike To Work Week plans, beginning with the kickoff event on Monday.

Things are coming together - with TWO great bike advocacy groups in Columbus (along with Yay Bikes!) the opportunities for learning and promoting the bike commuter agenda in the city are numerous. There's NEVER been a better time to be a bicyclist in the capital city!
High Street Share the Road Campaign @ 7:30 am
Join us at OSU Gateway South as Mayor “Bikin’ Mike” Coleman and OSU President “Big Gears” Gee will unveil the Share the Road campaign targeted for the 6.5 mile stretch of High Street between Morse Rd. and downtown. The entire 6.5 mile stretch will be marked with either pavement markings called “sharrows,” or traditional signage.

Cycling Convoy from OSU to Ohio Statehouse for Consider Biking’s Kick-off Event – depart 8:00 am for ride with Mayor Coleman down High Street.

Bike to Work Kickoff Event on Statehouse West Lawn @ 8:30 am
Join Mayor Coleman and other community leaders as Consider Biking celebrates several significant announcements that will benefit the bicycling environment in our area. Coffee, food, live music, and cycling displays will be available from 7:30 am until we await the arrival of Mayor Coleman to begin the program at 8:30. Stay tuned for more details.

If you only ride your bicycle one day – we encourage you to ride to this event! The attendance of hundreds of cyclists will convey the message to our civic leaders that accommodations for bicycling are a viable and sustainable alternative to traditional transportation models.

More information: http://www.considerbiking.org/
People, not speed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Consider Biking Newsletter - April 2009

cbus logo
Consider Biking Activity Update
April 7, 2009

Greetings!
Consider Biking is gearing up for Bike Month (May) with promotion of Bike to Work initiatives. We've gained access to the leadership of our community's largest employers, and have started the long-term process of championing the benefits of bicycling for their workforces. See how we're reaching this audience, and why the corporate community and the City administrations...are listening!
In order to advocate for better cycling accommodations, we need to learn about your bicycle commuting behavior. Take 5 minutes to log your cycling data, and you'll be entered to win gift certificates from our local bicycle retailers. Help us....help you!
Bike Month and Bike to Work activities wouldn't be complete without a few appearances by Mayor "Bikin' Mike" Coleman. We've got some great announcements, and a few other surprise guests up our seatpost. Stay tuned!
And again, thanks to all the bicyclists that provided feedback to the long-awaited Bicycle Usability Map! We should see the finished product by May 1st.
In This Issue
How we Help Business & Potential Bicycle Commuters
Enter your Bicycle Commute Data!
Bike to Work Kick-off Events
Commuter Challenge
Join Consider Biking
How we Help Business and Potential Bicycle Commuters

TriciaBike Month and Bike to Work Week/Day are programs of the League of American Bicyclists, the nation's oldest bicycle advocacy organization. Bike to Work Week/Day is a national event that is locally supported here in Columbus by many of the largest companies in town, and the number is growing each year.

Consider Biking hosts several large celebration and awareness events in May. Most importantly, Consider Biking provides educational and consulting services, year around, to employers and employees, to encourage their use of a bicycle as a mode of transportation to work.

We have convened a "Cyclist Corporate Caucus" to leverage access to our region's most significant workplaces, and to create a "Two-wheeling Toolkit" which will provide targeted resources for each specific audience within a business. Consider Biking provides the following consultation efforts:

  • We consult with CEOs to unify in developing strong public/private partnerships that will enhance the environment for cycling, and thus, the economic development of our region.
  • We consult with Human Resource departments to develop appropriate incentives for their employees to bicycle.
  • We consult with Wellness Coordinators to include bicycling in the wellness program.
  • We provide "Commuter 101" bicycle education programs to the workplaces, and additional education as needed.
  • We provide consultation to building operations to ensure the availability of end-of-ride facilities.
  • We offer a "Bike Friendly Building" designation program.
Contact us so we can help your business become more bicycle friendly.
Help us Learn about Commuter Cyclists!

MiltonConsider Biking has launched a long-term initiative to collect data from existing and prospective bicycle commuters, so we can effectively advocate for needed enhancements to the bicycling environment in our community. We're learning exactly where bicyclists are riding to work, where they would ride if certain obstacles are removed, and exactly where end-of-ride facilities and spot fixes are needed.
If you complete the 5-minute survey, you'll be entered into a drawing for one of ten, $25 gift certificates from our local specialty bicycle retailers!
Bike to Work Kick-off events on May 11th

High Street Share the Road Campaign 7:30 am - Join us at OSU Gateway South as Mayor "Bikin' Mike" Coleman and OSU President "Big Gears" Gee will unveil the Share the Road campaign targeted for the 6.5 mile stretch of High Street between Morse Rd. and downtown. The entire 6.5 mile stretch will be marked with either pavement markings called "sharrows," or traditional signage. Wow, are we in Portland?

Cycling Convoy from OSU to Ohio Statehouse for Consider Biking's Kick-off Event - depart 8:00 am for ride with Mayor Coleman down High Street.

Bike to Work Kickoff Event on Statehouse West Lawn - 8:30 am - Join Mayor Coleman and other community leaders as Consider Biking celebrates several significant announcements that will benefit the bicycling environment in our area. Coffee, food, live music, and cycling displays will be available from 7:30 am until we await the arrival of Mayor Coleman to begin the program at 8:30.

If you only ride your bicycle one day - we encourage you to ride to this event! The attendance of hundreds of cyclists will convey the message to our civic leaders that accommodations for bicycling are a viable and sustainable alternative to traditional transportation models.

Save the Date of these other actvities:
May 20th (Wed) 7:00 p.m. - 6th annual Ride of Silence
May 30th (Sat) BikeColumbus Tour with Mayor Coleman - presented by the Institue for Active Living.
Commuter Challenge

logo The Bike to Work Week Challenge is a friendly competition among Columbus employers to see who 1) replaces the most automobile commutes with bicycle commutes and 2) bikes the most miles. One point is awarded for each one-way commute to or from work by bicycle starting Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 15.

Consider Biking would like to thank member Matt Young from Battelle, for providing leadership in collecting and compiling the Commuter Challenge registrations. Jim Tarpinian (pictured above) has been another champion from Battelle, that has been an active voice on our "Cyclist Corpoaret Caucus." Can any company out there unseat Battelle as the reigning Commuter Challenge champion??
Last year's teams cycled a combined total of 10,115 miles, which is the equivalent of saving 10,000 lbs. of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

There are 5 categories based on company size (1-19, 20-99, 100-499, 500-999, 1000+). The 2009 Commuter Challenge will run for two weeks this year: May 4 - May 15, so mark your calendars. On Friday, May 15 all participants will be encouraged to converge on downtown Columbus for a lunch and award ceremony at Buca di Bepo!

Register Your Team
Other ways to grow the Commuter Challenge:
  • Invite coworkers to join you
  • Suggest that coworkers get their bike tuned-up now for off-season rates at the local bike shops
  • Consider hosting a brown bag lunch meeting for those interested in trying bicycle commuting for the first time. Consider Biking offers an educational presentation that will encourage your co-workers to get "two-wheeling!" Contact Consider Biking to learn more about our educational and consulting services.
  • Invite your friends to create Challenge Teams in their office: neighboring employers, friends and neighbors. Please forward this email along. We need your help with this!
  • Check with your employer about being a sponsor for the Challenge Awards lunch on May 15. This can be in the form of a tax deductible donation to 501(c)(3) Consider Biking. Can you pitch in?
We're eager to promote active transportation in Columbus. If you get out of the car and onto a bicycle for a week...or even a day, you'll feel energized and willing to commute by bicycle more often. It's a movement that will make our city more livable, more attractive and more fun.

Register Your Team
Be Counted - Join Today!

Steve Tweed Consider 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.

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 by helping us become the primary information resource for bicyclists in Central Ohio.

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.
Volunteer Needs

Consider Biking needs your volunteer help! Won't you get directly engaged in helping us meet our bicycling community's needs?
April 19 - Earth Day - volunteers needed for display booth
May 2 - Calvin's Challenge 12-hour bike race in Springfield (fundraising event)
May 8 - TOSRV Registration Festival - volunteers for display booth
May 9 & 10 - TOSRV - Parking control at Chilicothe Lunch Stop
May 30 - Bike Columbus - Registration, course volunteers, etc.
Ongoing - Event planning & support, committee work, clerical, data entry, map & brochure distribution, etc!
Contact us to see how your strengths and interests fit with our activities!

Contact Information

Executive Director, Jeff Stephens - jeff@considerbiking.org 614-579-1127



People, not speed.