Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Share the Road" Signs Taken On By Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas

They've been in the consciousness of a lot of people in the Columbus bike community recently: those "Share the Road" signs on High Street.  Lots of people look at them as sort of a nice reminder that bikes might be around and, please, to be nice motorists and give those poor cyclists a little bit of your room on the road.

Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, on the other hand, lays the legal smack down on the concept of Share the Road. Magas, you may remember, is the lawyer who got the positive judgment in the Trotwood vs. Selz case that led to the great bike law reforms that we're enjoying now in the State of Ohio. 

Let's take a look at bike law, for starters.  No, let's not. 

Let's go back to vehicle law.  A bicycle is a vehicle.  And as a vehicle, it is subject to the same rights and responsibilities as any vehicle on the road.  Read that again - rights and responsibilities.  And one of those rights is the right of way.  Bikes have the right of way when they're traveling on the road, just like any other vehicle does - they have a right to that section of the road that they're currently taking up. 

And the reason for this?  The law doesn't tell a car or a bike that they have to obey the law, it tells a person - the driver.  So the right of way belongs to a person - not a vehicle.  If there was no right of way for people, then pedestrians couldn't be assumed to have a right of way, right? 

So there's no need to tell anyone to Share the Road.  Cyclists have the same rights to that section of the road that cars do - period.  And the language of Share the Road is so ambiguous to be scary.  For cyclists, it's telling motorists to share the road with them.  But to motorists, it's telling cyclists to move over and quit hogging the road - even though cyclists have the right to it.  

As Columbus continues to invest in "Share the Road" signs and thinks that it's doing all of us cyclists a big favor to improve things, perhaps they need to step back and look at what those signs are really saying. 

People, not speed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Floodgates are Open...

Over on our Facebook page, we've started a discussion on the pros and cons of ALL bike-related infrastructure: bike lanes, sharrows, separated bike lanes, etc.

Do you think they're a good thing?  Are they right for Columbus?  Come on over and chime in with your opinion. 

People, not speed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tweaking Shall Continue...

Hey, cyclerati of Columbus.  Hope you'll bear with me while I tweak the format of this page a bit.  Blogger's made it so easy to do now that I can't keep my hands off it while I work to get just the format I want.


And let me know if you find anything you think could be changed for the better here!

People, not speed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Should Cyclists Be Protected from Themselves?


I wrote a quick news article today on Examiner.com about Upper Arlington's examination of State bicycle law and a loophole that says cyclists can only be charged if they're on a street or bike path. That wasn't something I was aware of. Here's the article.


So the situation here is that the guy was drunk. REALLY drunk - three times the legal limit. And he was riding his bike to the ATM (in a shopping plaza's parking lot) because he was trying to be safe by not driving his car.  

Seems a pretty noble thing to do, right? He avoided being unsafe to other people by getting where he needed to go via a safer form of transportation. But he was still stopped for DUI. Granted, the charge was reduced because of the loophole mentioned in the article but that's really not the point here.

The point is that I'm concerned about laws that are designed to protect people from their own stupidity. I can totally understand automobile-related laws of this nature. Let's face it - cars kill. And the number one cause of car-related killings is irresponsibility. Using a cell phone or texting while driving, DUI, etc. are all forms of this.  Groups like MADD have all sorts of statistics for DUI, and obviously there are plenty of laws going on the books about distracted driving related to cell phone, texting, etc.

But what about cyclists? One can make the argument that a cyclist who takes to the streets and doesn't pay attention, talks on a phone, or is even mind-numbingly schnockered is endangering other folks on the road - drivers may swerve to miss a cyclist who's riding a bit wobbly for whatever reason and hit someone else.

But in this case, it was 1:00 AM and the rider was in a parking lot. Was this traffic stop really needed? The police officer in question probably wouldn't even have noticed the cyclist if this had been daytime, and a normal number of cars was around to occupy his attention.

What do you think?


People, not speed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

With a Feminine Point of View

My blog tends to have a male point of view, simply because... well... I'm male. I try to cover things in a way that I think will appeal to everyone, but let's face it, I can't do that as well as I'd like because I am coming from a specific point of view.

So let me share with you a blog that comes from another point of view, that of the female rider! That's not to say you should stop reading my stuff, but rather that this is another great blog with a different point of view! And here's an article that struck me as really interesting today.

My Evolution from Biking Girl to Biking Mom | Bike Shop Girl

People, not speed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 7 Solar-Powered Bags for Back-to-School! — Life Scoop

Here's an interesting idea for getting your devices charged during your commute: Solar Cells on backpacks and messenger bags! Smart stuff!

Top 7 Solar-Powered Bags for Back-to-School! — Life Scoop

People, not speed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Should Cyclists vs. Motorists Be Repictured as Patient vs. Impatient?

There's an interesting report today on Treehugger.com that states cyclists are not only likely to be car owners as well (which I think we all knew), but likely to have multiple cars (something that may surprise many of us).  The article goes on to say that perhaps cyclists vs. motorists is the wrong attitude to have, as most cyclists are also motorists.

Photo by Menage a Moi
Given who most cyclists are in this country (recreational cyclists), this doesn't surprise me in the least - but it is a paradigm shift that we need to take.

I suppose this goes along with the idea of cycling being the "new golf" as we've heard so much in the past few years.  Cycling is just about the ultimate techie sport - from the bikes themselves, to the clothes and riding gear to the ride recording gear such as computers and GPS receivers, there is absolutely no dearth of "stuff" to buy if you're a recreational cyclist.  And like most industries, there's more stuff coming out every day.

And the folks who buy bikes like that are also more likely to buy multiple cars - because they can, and because there's something of a materialistic bent to many fitness riders that I know.

But that's neither here nor there - what it says to me is that the issue we need to be fighting isn't so much a bikes vs. cars battle, but rather a battle for patience.  I'm willing to bet that many of those recreational cyclists who fight for cyclists' rights when they're riding turn around and road rage just as badly as any motorist when they get behind the wheel - including raging at cyclists who get in their way.

In fact, I've seen it.  Blogs such as this one and online newspaper stories about cyclists' issues and bike-car collisions inevitably get comments from the guy who says "I ride my bike, but I drive, too, and those cyclists need to stay to the right all the time..." and so forth.

The real issue is patience and tolerance.  Americans have such a heat-on for speed that they get downright irate if anything holds them up - and especially if it's another form of transportation than the one I'm operating.  I'll be honest, I get annoyed when I'm behind a car at a red light turning green and the car doesn't take off - whether I'm driving or riding. And yelling at them doesn't really help too much.

When I'm out there riding, now, I try to take the advice of Paul Kyriazi, a personal improvement guru that I've been following for a couple years now.  He suggests that when we're on the road, we should look at all the other vehicles out there as if they were part of a computer game, and forget entirely that there are other people behind those wheels.  If it's just a game, there's no point in getting angry or upset, you just deal with the obstacles that the game is throwing at you and try to get to the end as quickly as possible while following the rules of the game.

So do you agree with these notions?  Do you have tactics for keeping cool on the road?  What say you?


People, not speed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"It's Not the Heat..."

"...it's the humidity!"  When I was working at a convenience store when I was younger, I nearly came unhinged every time I heard someone utter this from the other side of the counter.  But it's true.

And it's been a while since I did an update on what I'm wearing for my rides and what I do to clean up.  A couple folks on Twitter have asked about this with all the nasty sticky weather we've been having recently, and this seems like a great time to discuss this topic again.

First, what I wear.  We'll just go head-to-toe here.

Head: well, a helmet, right?  And a pair of cycling glasses.  They'll keep the wind and dust out of your eyes.  TIP:  When you get to a stop (you DO stop at stop signs and lights, right?), pull your glasses down to the end of your nose so that they don't fog up.  Then as the light changes and you're pushing off, push them back up.

Torso: I always wear an UnderArmour or some other type of technical shirt.  It's cool, loose, and breathes easily.  Plus, it dries quickly during the day so that I'm not putting on a damp shirt to go home.  Avoid pure cotton if you can - that'll just keep you soggy the entire ride and take forever to dry.  No one likes to put on a damp t-shirt to go home in.

Pearl Izumi Vagabond Jacket, XL, Screaming Yellow/Shadow GreyI also wear my Pearl Izumi Vagabond jacket with the sleeves pulled off to make it a vest (the sleeves come off as one of the features).  It breathes pretty well, and the visibility is awesome.  You could also just wear a reflective vest which would cost a lot less.  And it's got some pockets for keys so that they're not jangling around in your shorts (if you're like me and already carry too much stuff in your pockets).

Below-The-Waist: Okay, to answer the question ladies have been asking for years, I'm a boxer-briefs man.  And the boxer-briefs I like most are, once again, from UnderArmour.  They keep their shape, dry quickly, and wick the sweat away from... yeah, those parts.  I've recently tried out a pair of boxer-briefs from Slix as well with good results, we'll keep you posted on that.  Once again, cotton is bad, for the same reasons it is in t-shirts.  An added nasty bonus is that when it is dry it'll be stretched out and bunched up and uncomfortable.

Over that I just wear a pair of shorts - usually cargo shorts because I like the pockets.  My bike has a pretty wide, padded saddle and I don't need padded shorts for my ride every day (about 11 miles round trip).  If your bike DOES have a more racing-style saddle and you want the padding, I suggest something a little more like this - still has pockets for convenience but also has the padding to keep you comfortable. I wore a pair like this for the recent BikeColumbus Festival Mayor's Twilight Ride and they were great.

Feet:  My bike does not have clipless pedals, so I just wear a pair of stiff-soled sandals (what my wife calls "Mandals.").  Stiffer soles make riding more efficient, and these particular sandals help keep debris away from my feet as well as help me avoid stubbing toes, etc.  And they're nice and cool.

And that's it.  I have two panniers, one to hold my work clothes and extra gear I like to have along on my commute (a rain cape, small towel, and some extra tubes and the like) and one that doubles as a messenger bag/briefcase for my work stuff.

As far as cleaning up, I don't have a shower or locker rooms available where I work so I use Action Wipes.  The link gives you my review of these gems, and they're well-worth it.  Two things I'll add to the review: they also come in single-packs now if you just want to toss a couple into your saddle bag or keep them in your briefcase.  Very convenient.  And keep a couple used ones around in a baggie or something when you're done - because for my money, nothing gets bike grease off you as well as an Action Wipe.

And for the final step, have a small desk fan in your office/cube/whatever if possible.  A few minutes sitting in front of that will cool you down nicely.  Seriously - I perspire rather heavily and it gets me cool quickly.

So there you are - the update on what I'm wearing and how I'm getting clean and ready for work.

What tips do you have for new riders on what to wear and how to clean up?  Share it in the comments!  

People, not speed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

St. Louis Area County Bike Ban Proposal - What Can We Learn?

A number of blogs and other cycling news outlets have reported on a proposed bicycling ban in St. Charles County in Missouri.  Council member Joe Brazil has proposed this ban which will come up for a vote Monday in the county.

Yes, it's the wrong Band-Aid on the problem, and I'm not going to get into whether it's wrong, stupid, anti-progress, or what have you.  It is all of those things.

But what can we learn from this?  Fritz at Cyclelicious listed a number of talking points for this bill for those who might be calling their county representatives in Missouri to combat this bill, and this one struck home for me:
Brazil says he is addressing a common constituent complaint. “I get more complaints about this single issue than any other issue,” he says. Since Brazil is acting on constituent feedback, it’s time for St. Charles County cyclists to flood their representative inboxes with complaints about dangerous traffic on county roads and demand controls on the motor vehicles creating the hazards. Anybody driving 55 mph on a 2 lane road when the corn is more than knee high is driving too fast for safety.
St. Charles County is probably not the only county in America where people are complaining about more cyclists being on the roads.  Whether they're riding for recreation or using their bikes to get from A to B, cyclists are becoming more prevalent as people get more conscious about health and how driving isn't the way to stay healthy.  And people also want to avoid paying for gas - whether because of financial reasons or ethical reasons .  There are plenty of other reasons.  

So perhaps what needs to happen is for cyclists to go on the offensive.  Perhaps cyclists need to badger their government representatives with complaints about road quality, speed limits being too high, dangerous drivers' habits, what have you.  Take the momentum away from the motorists who are complaining about our presences and let our government officials know that we, as taxpayers who pay for roads, have a right to operate on the roads safely and completely, regardless of whether someone painted some lines and a picture of a bike on the road.

If we're able to flood our officials' offices with calls about what WE find dangerous about our roads, we can take the upper hand and let those officials know that 1) we're out there, 2) we have rights to the roads, too, 3) that we vote for our officials just like everyone else, and 4) that safety for everyone is more important than motorists being inconvenienced for whole seconds at a time!  And we'll take some of the wind out of the sails of the motorists who are complaining about us by turning the tables on them, in a way that's likely to get things done.

Thoughts?

People, not speed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BikeColumbus Festival extends registration deadline for events

Looking to take part in the BikeColumbus Festival but haven't gotten your registration in for one or more of the events yet? Fear not - the online registration period has been EXTENDED to Thursday noon.

After that point, riders will need to register at the event (and pay $5.00 extra for the privilege of joining the rides!).

Plenty more information follows from Consider Biking:

BikeColumbus Pre-Registration Discount until noon Thursday!

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Wow....the registrations for BikeColumbus events have been pouring in the last few days. The weather forecast looks great - We're gearing up for a great weekend!

We've extended the pre-registration discount until Thursday noon. We'll turn off the on-line registration at that point...and, you'll pay an extra $5 if you register on-site at the events on Friday or Saturday.

Pre-registering helps us plan the food, supply and volunteer needs. Plus...it saves you a few bucks. Won't you please register now?

If you register on-site, we'll only be able to accept cash and checks. No credit cards.

Both the Mayor's Twilight Ride and the Barbour Memorial Ride are fully supported events. Through the generous sponsorship of our partners....you'll have a wonderful experience that includes marked routes, course marshals, food, music, and tons of great goodies. You'll get MORE THAN YOUR MONEY'S WORTH....and you'll rest assured that the proceeds will support bicycling safety and awareness programs. 'bout time, eh?

And INEEDA Bike Swap is bursting at the seams with vendors and individsuals bringing their bikes, parts & accessories to sell. There's still a limited amount of selling space available...if you have stuff to sell....please register soon.

Read on below for a few last minute pieces of information. We look forward to your participation this weekend!

Last Minute Bike Festival Fact Sheet / FAQs

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Twilight Ride, Friday July 16th; 6-10 pm

Where is the event? Columbus Crew Stadium; 1 Black and Gold Blvd; Columbus, OH 43211

Where do I park? Parking is Free at Crew Stadium. For lot specifics, click here.

What time do we start?

  • Please join us for pre-ride festivities starting at 6 pm or come as early as 3 pm and enjoy the Ineedabike Swap activities.
  • Whether you choose the 20 mile route or the 9 mile neighborhood ride, both will get started at 8 pm.
  • We'll have the riders for the longer ride start first, then the 9 mile ride so we can assist riders along the route of their choosing.
  • Thanks to the Westerville Bike Club and others, we will have plenty of volunteers along the route to keep riders safe and to assure everyone makes the correct turns.

Where are the rest and food stops? Rest stop for 20 mile ride at McFerson Commons, 218 West Street at the Union Arch. Beverages, snacks. Light meal for both rides, Crew Stadium.

The fun of any ride is the Goody Bag, what SWAG can we expect? At the event...

  • Please visit the Crew table to pick up your hat and Crew Game Ticket which is free to registered riders. The game date is August 28 versus FC Dallas.
  • Get pumped for the Twilight ride by visiting the TREK table and get your cool bicycle blinkie tail light!
  • When you check in, we'll have you sign an emergency contact form and you'll receive a goody bag with a few more surprises.

Our Requests:

  • This is a ride at Twilight, so take steps to "Be Seen" like using a bike light, even a flashlight and duct tape works! Wear reflective clothing and maybe even get creative with glow sticks and such!
  • Adults and Youth must wear helmets. (If needed, loaner helmets will be available.)  Let's demonstrate rider safety as we're Cranking it Up through the streets of Columbus!  


Steve Barbour Memorial Tour, Saturday July 17th; 7 am - 5 pm

Where is the event? Downtown Columbus, McFerson Commons, 218 West St, Columbus, OH 43215  (The park with the Union Station Arch on Nationwide Blvd)

Where do I park? Arena District parking (pre-paid pass available)

What should I bring with me?

  • Your Registration Packet with maps / cue sheets and WRISTBAND provided.
  • Please Don't Forget your HELMET!
  • Always a good idea to carry a form of ID, (when bicycling)
  • Bike and Bike gear, i.e. Shoes, Spare Tube, Sun Protection, and potentially rain jacket / gear (DOW)
  • Water Bottle(s) for bike  *Water provided at Park

Can I bring a Friend or Family Member to ride with me? Yes, "Day of Ride" signups for all routes are available from 7:00am to 9:00am at the Registration Tent. You can also sign up prior to Day of Ride at any of the three Columbus BikeSource locations. If desired, please have Friend or Family Member arrive in plenty of time to leave with you. Let them know to bring $30.00 for "Day of Ride" Registration fee.

What time do I need to be ready to ride?

  • Rider Check In: 7:00am - 9:00am
  • Early Light Breakfast Snacks & Coffee Provided

Will all route distances be leaving at the same time? No, the scheduled start times for the 4) Route Options are:

  • 200K and 150K Rider Start: 7:30am
  • 100K Rider Start: 8:30am
  • 50K Rider Start: 9:30am

What is the easiest way to follow the route I have chosen? You will have multiple methods to KEEP YOU ON the Route!

  • Road Markings - All routes will have road markings that are visible in the form of WHITE painted stamps (see Signs at Registration Tent on Day of Ride). The flame at the end of the candlestick will mark the direction of your route, with any route turnoffs clearly identified.
  • Maps - Provided in your Reg. packet.
  • Cue Sheets - Provided in your Reg. packet.

Where are the Lunch/Snack Stops?

  • Lockbourne: YMCA Hoover Park - Available to 50K Riders ONLY
    Hours of Operation: 10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Circleville: Ted Lewis Park - Available to 100K Riders for Lunch Stop & 150K, 200K Riders for a Lunch and Return Snack Stop
    Hours of Operation: 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Adelphi: Adelphi United Methodist Church - 200K Rider Lunch Stop ONLY
    Hours of Operation: 10:30am - 2:00pm

If I do one of the Barbour Memorial shorter routes, will I need to find transportation back to McFerson? No, all routes regardless of distance will START and END at McFerson Commons in the Arena District and will be round trip loops. There is a small portion of the return route (except 50K) that will overlap the same route out of Ted Lewis Park. The split for the return route is at S. Bloomfield Royalton. You simply stay on Walnut Creek for the return loop back into Columbus. (See Cue Sheets for exact turn by turn directions.)

There will be Support Vehicles (SAGs) driving all routes in order to assist you with any help you may need.

What happens if I get a flat tire while on the Ride? The Steve Barbour Memorial Tour is a fully supported ride with coverage for mechanical failures and other minor incidents via our SAG vehicles to make sure you arrive back to McFerson Commons park safely.

How do I identify a SAG vehicle should I need assistance? Look for large SAG magnetic signs on the SAG vehicles along the route. They are experienced support personnel and will be on the lookout for any mechanical or rider malfunctions.

What happens after we complete our 1rst BikeColumbus, Steve Barbour Memorial Tour?
Return to McFerson Park to enjoy the festivities of the day with a nice relaxing massage to ease those achy muscles, pickup your BikeSource / Specialized ice cold water bottle directly in front of the Arch, a bottle of EAS Myoplex or sample of MonaVie. Scamper over into the park for a delicious bite to eat while enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow cyclists for a "ride well done" and a thank you from Consider Biking, BikeSource and Columbus Outdoor Pursuits for your participation and support.

How do I make a donation to the Steve Barbour Memorial fund? Please make all checks payable to: Consider Biking with Steve Barbour Memorial Fund in the Memo line. You will receive a receipt for your donation within 4) weeks.


Ineeda Bike Swap, Friday July 16th; 3 pm - 7 pm

Where is the SWAP? VIP Tent on the plaza at Columbus Crew Stadium; 1 Black and Gold Blvd; Columbus, OH 43211

What is it? Bicycling buyers and sellers unite! For buyers, the Ineeda Bike Swap is your chance to find deals on the parts, bikes, and accessories you need to keep rolling. For sellers, you can lighten your gear load and make someone's day by offering great stuff. Don't miss this great event packed with private sellers, big name bike shops, educational seminars, plus food and beverages!

Who is selling? An updated list of the vendors can be viewed here.


Garrett Wonders Criterium, Sunday August 1, 12 - 7 pm

The Garrett Wonders Criterium is an exciting race which transforms the Downtown riverfront District into a bicycle racing wonderland for everyone from beginners to professionals.

Details and Registration link can be viewed here.


Other Questions:

What will be done with the money that is raised from the Bike Columbus Festival? All proceeds from the various events will support bicycling initiatives via two organizations:

  1. The Institute for Active Living at Columbus Public Health works to increase access to physical activity and nutritious food, to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic. It supports everthing from community gardens and local food systems to physical fitness equipment and bike safety. Consider Biking will use proceeds to support safety and awareness campaigns for cyclists on our roads.
  2. The Steve Barbour Memorial Fund will be used to provide education, encouragement and infrastructure needs to increase safety of bicyclists on our roads.

I have friends/relatives/coworkers who are interested, What should they do? We have online registration open until late on Wednesday July 14 or folks can register onsite for $30 for either ride (or $50 for the combo of Twilight + Barbour Memorial Tour). For further details, click here.

Cash and Checks are the only acceptable payment methods onsite, please plan accordingly.

----------

Contact the Festival Team

For more information about the BikeColumbus Festival, you can reach us by phone or email.

Phone: Consider Biking @ 614-447-8894 (weekdays 9am - 6pm)

Barb Seckler @ 614-645-4798 (weekdays 8am - 6pm)

Email: bikecolsfest@considerbiking.org or bjseckler@columbus.gov

Web: www.considerbiking.org & www.bikecolumbusfestival.com

Further Consider Biking Contact Information

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Web site - www.considerbiking.org

Facebook - Facebook Page

Twitter - Considerbikeoh

Office Phone -(614) 447-8893

Executive Director, Jeff Stephens - jeff@considerbiking.org

2 by 2012 Campaign Manager, Bryan Saums - bryan@considerbiking.org

Membership & Events, Suzanne Birk - suzanne@considerbiking.org

Operations, Jody Dzuranin - jodydz@considerbiking.org

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People, not speed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Swag Coming Your Way!

Yesterday, I gave away a Columbus Marathon MP3 player armband that the good folks at the Marathon supplied for me.  I got home last night, and found that they'd dropped off THREE of them, not just one!  So, to get you ready for RunFest on Saturday, we'll give away the other two today.

So the first question today: who was the first person I interviewed here on Bike Commuting in Columbus? Again, if you know the answer,  email it to me, or visit our Facebook page and leave me a message!

As soon as we have winner #2 in the books, we'll release the question for the third and final armband!

BINGO! We have yet another winner - Scott (that's all he identified himself as) figured out that the first interviewee we had here was Meredith Joy of Yay Bikes!

And now, for our final Columbus Marathon armband... who can tell me why I told people NOT to bike to work?  


2:10 PM - And we have our final winner - Alec Fleschner found that I told you not to bike to work when it's -3 degrees outside, back in February of 2007!

So congratulations to Mark, Scott, and Alec.  Your armbands will be headed your way soon.  And thanks everyone else for playing!

People, not speed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Columbus Marathon Invites You to RunFest 2010

Blogger's note: This is a bit off topic, but the health-minded bike commuter might also be interested in other means of attaining fitness for cross-training or personal goal achievement, so I thought this appropriate.

The Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon is inviting you to RunFest, to be held at the Frog, Bear and Wild Boar in the Arena District on July 10th from 1:00-4:00 PM.

RunFest is a celebration of fitness, and is the official kick-off for the 2010 Columbus Marathon. They'll have resources on hand for people who want to know more about training for the marathon or running in general. With free food and soft drinks, live music by Double Barrel and lots of giveaways ($1,000 in running store gift cards and free marathon entry for life), this is definitely going to be a fun afternoon!

The invite and further information is on Facebook (same link as above), but no RSVP is required for the event.

In addition, I'm giving away a free Columbus Marathon MP3 Player armband to the first reader who can find the following information on this blog:  what was the first bicycle I ever owned?  Email the answer to me here!

Note:  WE HAVE A WINNER!  Mark Nye of Columbus was correct in his guess of a red Schwinn Bantam.  He'll be receiving the Columbus Marathon armband as soon as I get it from the Marathon folks!  Thanks to everyone for playing!  

People, not speed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Muxu offering Euro-style clothes for cyclists

Yet another great company is offering a line of regular street clothes with the urban cyclist in mind: welcome to the party Muxu!

I first heard of Muxu this morning via a Thrillist email, which tells us a bit about the car-restrictive nature of Barcelona, the Spanish city where Muxu's clothing is designed and inspired.  Bike messengers in Barca have been testing and using such clothes on their daily rounds for a while, it seems, and the styling keeps them looking good while the technical specs keep them comfortable.

From their website:
Taking the cyclist seamlessly through the day, Muxu apparel blurs the boundary between what you wear on and off the bike. From a light commute, a game of bike polo, to 100 kilometre messenger days, your Muxu is designed to look and feel amazing, whilst functioning without compromise.
The shirts are designed with seams that are out of the way of your shoulders so that messenger bag straps don't rub you raw.  There's a hidden MP3 player pocket in them, too.  And the fabric is a wicking fabric that fights odor and dries four times faster than regular cotton.

Their 3/4 shorts have fewer seams as well, and are slightly elasticized for more comfort and ease of movement without looking stretchy.

Prices are good - a little higher than normal, but not as bad as some of the other companies that have entered this market.  And the styling is great - not baggy, but rather created for people whose physiques show the time they spend on the saddle.

It's great to see yet another company that is making clothes for the urban cyclist who wants to look good while riding!

People, not speed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Expanded BikeColumbus Coming in July



Image by BikeColumbus Festival 
Columbus's official bicycle festival is right around the corner, with the approach of the BikeColumbus Festival 2010.  The 3rd annual offering has been expanded for this year and includes some great new events to make cyclists of every type sit up in the saddle and take notice.

The first event for this year is the Friday, July 16th  Mayor's Twilight Tour.  Starting and ending at Crew Stadium, you'll have a choice of a 20- or 9-mile loop that will loop through Clintonville, OSU Campus, Downtown, and feature a rest stop at McFerson Commons in the Arena District.  The festivities start at 6:00 pm and the ride will take off at 8:00.  Cost of the Ride is $25.00, which can be paid in advance (registration is online).  Registration for the ride also gets you a ticket to the Crew's August 28th game versus Dallas!  Bring a light - or get one at...

...the second event of the festival: the Ineeda Bike Swap. Also at Crew Stadium's VIP tent (west side of the stadium), the Bike Swap starts at 3:00 pm on Friday, July 16th, and goes till 7:00 pm.  Bike Vendors from all over the area are invited to come in and share their wares at this event.  There is still space for more vendors if you're interested, registration is online.  The price of admission to this event is $5.00 for patrons 13 and over, kids 12 and under get in free!  Swaps are generally for cash only, unless individual vendors are willing to take checks.  An ATM will be on site.

The third event for the festival is the Steve Barbour Memorial Tour.  In honor of the local bicycling advocate and enthusiast who was killed by a motorist last year, this fully supported ride will take place on Saturday, July 17th, with distances of 50, 100, 150, and 200 kilometers (with staggered start times).  Pre-ride check-in is at McFerson Commons in the Arena District from 7:00-9:00.  The $25.00 Registration is online, and funds will go to help Columbus Outdoor Pursuits and Consider Biking's Steve Barbour Memorial Fund.

The final event of the festival doesn't take place till August 1st, but it's sure to be an exciting one: the Garrett Wonders Criterium.  In honor of an aspiring Olympic cyclist who was run down by a car during a training ride, this Criterium race will be run downtown along the Riverfront and turn downtown into a race track!  Not to be missed, criterium races are always an exciting event for everyone.  Athletes who'd like to participate can register online for various skill and ability levels - including a free kids' race!

Consider Biking and the Mayor's office are putting a lot of work into this great event, please come out and support better transportation for Columbus!  


People, not speed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Share the Road" Signs Too Vague?


Photo by Brent Nimmo
The case of Brent Nimmo and his ticket for violation of Ohio Revised Code 4511.55 Section A, which was overturned earlier this month, brings to mind a point that many people have made about Columbus's new signage on High Street.

As you all know by now, we have "Share The Road" signs on High Street with bikes on the signs so that people know that they need to be aware of bikes on the road.

But there are many problems with that verbiage.  Critics of the phrase "Share the Road," including myself, say that the signs are too vague.  A much better phrase for the signs would be something like the picture on this post displays;  "Bikes May Use Full Lane."

There's no mistaking what that means at all, where "Share the Road" simply doesn't say anything concrete.  And to people who don't understand bicyclist rights on the road or are unaware of them completely, they may think it's telling cyclists that they have to ride too far to the right so that cars can pass them without getting into the next lane.  Believe it or not, there are people who think that's exactly what those signs mean.

"Share the Road" is a nice sentiment.  But it's not a firm statement of bicyclist rights like "Bikes May Use Full Lane."

People, not speed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Some Changes...

Hi all, Jamie here with a little bit of blog management.

We've gotten a troll on the comments here, and after asking the members of this blog's Facebook community for their opinions on things, the decision was made to moderate all comments. I'm somewhat surprised, now that I think about it, that it took this long to get a real troll under our bridge, but it's happened and it won't happen again.

I'm a believer in free speech, without a doubt. But I'm also a believer in appropriate speech. An ignoramous who was simply trying to bait cyclists while accusing them of ignoring the law (which he obviously didn't know, as he proved to us) was making comments that were designed to start fights. And we don't need that here. I like to keep things positive and helpful on this blog - even when I get going and go off on a rant, as sometimes happens, I like to spin it to a positive direction by the end of a post.

Starting a flame war isn't going to help anyone, so we're moving back to full comment moderation. Nothing negative will make it out. Constructive criticism is one thing but this was not that.

Thanks to all the folks who chimed in with opinions on the Facebook page, I really appreciate your candor and support.

People, not speed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Green Music Group Challenge

Got a little something new for you today.  I was contacted by the Green Music Group yesterday and told about their Green Music Challenge.  From the email I received:
[Green Music Group] was launched in January 2010 by a high-profile coalition of artists, music industry leaders, and respected environmental non-profit organizations with the aim of bringing about widespread environmental change, both within the music industry, and beyond it.

To that end, The Green Music Group Challenge is the first major fan outreach and educational promotion of GMG. This web-based photo challenge encourages members to take positive environmental action via a series of nine bi-weekly challenges, each put forth by one of GMG's Founding Artists. Launched on April 10th, the GMG Challenge runs for 18 weeks and features video "calls to action" from artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, Maroon 5, Willie Nelson, Linkin Park, and other influential musicians. Willie Nelson is the promoter of our current challenge and he encourages all individuals to travel more eco-friendly i.e. (travel by bike, light rail, carpool etc....)

I hope that our challenge is something that your readers would be interested in! I would love your help promoting this challenge anytime between today and June 4, 2010. For more info, please visit the following:

http://challenge.greenmusicgroup.org/
http://greenmusicgroup.org/
http://www.youtube.com/user/GreenMusicGroup
So obviously, they're right - this is just the place to promote this idea.  I hope that everyone here will share how they're using their bikes and other forms of transportation to reduce fuel use... and also take on some of the forthcoming challenges as the Green Music Group announces them!

And here's Willie Nelson's video asking you to think about your transportation choices!


People, not speed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

League of American Bicyclists Newsletter - May 24, 2010

Here's the latest from the League of American Bicyclists:
May 24, 2010
Dear James,


Bike to Work Day/Week was fantastic last week; hope you got a chance to ride. If you want to know what it feels like when EVERY day is Bike to Work Day, it's not too late to sign up for the Velo City Global conference in Copenhagen, June 22-25. Inspirational plenary speakers combined with top-notch workshops, set against the backdrop of a city that practically lives on two wheels...you really need to be there! Check out the latest announcements, program details etc atbikeleague.org
Sincerely, 


Andy Clarke Signature



League President
National News


How Does Your State Rank in Bicycle Friendliness?
The League announced our third annual Bicycle Friendly State (BFS) rankings last week to coincide with Bike to Work Week. At the top of the list are: 1. Washington 2. Wisconsin 3. Maine 4. Minnesota 5. Oregon. This marks the third year in a row that Washington has finished first in the ranking, and the second year Alabama has come in last. The lowest scoring states ranked 46 through 50 are: 46. New Mexico 47. West Virginia 48. Montana 49. North Dakota 50. Alabama.Learn more about the BFS rankings.


Kerry & Lieberman Intro the American Power Act 
The League, along with its partners in the America Bikes Coalition, would like to thank Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT) on the introduction of the American Power Act. We are excited that they have included policy necessary to lay the foundation to make significant advances in addressing the impact of transportation on our climate, energy dependence and mobility. Read more.


Peleton to Thank Sec. Ray LaHood 
America Bikes, Safe Routes to School, and Transportation for America will bike over to thank Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood for his public support for bicyclists on Friday, May 28th at 1:30 p.m. We will be handing over a thank you sign, complete with signatures of local cyclists. If you are in the area and would like to ride over with us, please contact Caron Whitaker at America Bikes.


SRTS & The First Lady's Taskforce
The First Lady's childhood obesity task force released their report today and it includes a recommendation for including complete streets in the transportation reauthorization! Read the report here. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood also covered the story on the FastLane, and reiterated the USDOT's support for complete streets.


Bike to Work Week Round-Up!
Check out the nationwide success of Bike to Work Week and Dayevents. All over the country, regular automobile commuters parked their cars and rode their bikes to work, proving that biking to work is easy and fun. Read our blog to get a peek at Bike to Work Day from east to west coast.
League News


League National Rally
The League's National Rally is this June 3-6! We are teaming up with the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico and will ride to honor Gail Ryba, founder of the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico. Join cyclists from across the country for three days of riding through the colorful and historic New Mexican terrain. This is a great chance to ride with League members and bicycle enthusiasts. Find out more.
Advocacy News 


Pro Walk/Pro Bike® Conference
Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2010, held September 13-16 in Chattanooga, Tenn., will provide a learning experience for advocates and professionals working on policy and programs in every kind of community, at every level of government and with non-government organizations. Registration is available at bikewalk.org. Act now, discounted early bird registration ends on May 31, 2010.


New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
The 10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities Conference, will be February 3-5, 2011 in Charlotte, N.C. Join leaders from across the U.S. and learn from hundreds of speakers who cross disciplines to share insights, and valuable tools and strategies for making smart growth a success in your community. Visit www.NewPartners.org to get more details.
Other News


Walmart Bike Month Deal
In celebration of National Bike Month during May, Walmart is offering free shipping and free assembly on ALL bikes purchased online atWalmart.com. In addition, customers who purchase Cruiser bikes on Walmart.com during the month of May will receive a free $20.00 e-Gift card.*
Job Opportunities

Utah Bicycle Coalition Employment Opportunity 
The Utah Bicycle Coalition (UBC) is looking for an Executive Director to join their team. The UBC advocates for increased bicycle use by promoting the bicycle as an everyday means of transportation and recreation. Email jobs@utahbikes.org to find out more and apply.

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visitwww.bikeleague.org.


People, not speed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jeffrey Stevenson, Sawmill Road Hit and Run Victim, Dies of Injuries

10TV reported over the weekend that Jeffrey Stevenson, the cyclist who was struck by a motorist in the early morning hours of last Friday on Sawmill Road, has died from his injuries.

Stevenson was a sophomore at Columbus College of Art and Design, and had recently had some of his work featured at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.  He was remembered by his friends as being an achiever who loved to take on challenges.

Police have few leads on the case at this point.  The initial call came in around 5:00 AM when motorists saw Stevenson lying near the corner of Sawmill and Bright Roads, and his bicycle literally in pieces all over the road and grass at that point.

Friends of the deceased asked the driver to come forth and accept responsibility for his actions.

NBC4 had a very touching piece on Stevenson and his friends' memories of him.



Here's the video that his friends put together about him mentioned on the NBC video.



We'll keep you updated on this case as we hear more.

People, not speed.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Already! Cyclist Critically Injured on Sawmill by Hit-Skip Motorist

This has not been the best Bike to Work Week ever, has it?  NBC4 (and several of my friends) are reporting that Sawmill Road has been shut down for investigation of a hit-and-run collision with a cyclist this morning.

The cyclist, an as-yet unidentified male, has been taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital where he is currently in critical condition.  The accident happened at Sawmill Road and Sawbury Boulevard, just north of I-270, at around 5:00 AM.


View Larger Map

Further details are unknown, and there are no suspects at this time.  The cyclist was apparently (according to NBC4) riding "close to the curb," whatever that may mean.

If you have any detail on this crash, please call the Columbus Police at 614-645-4545 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS.

Also: From the comments, by Andy Hirsch of 10TV.
If anyone happened to see what happened, please let us know. We're looking to get a vehicle description out. Thanks,

Andy Hirsch
10TV News
andy.hirsch@10tv.com

People, not speed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wanted: White Work Van in Hit and Run Collision

And now it's personal.

No, not me, but a friend of mine and fellow League of American Bicyclists Instructor was hit and run by a white work van at the corner of Lane and High on the north end of OSU's campus today at around 8:50 AM.  Please contact Meredith Joy of Yay Bikes! with any information you may have about the accident, especially if you have a license plate number!

In addition, if you happen to know of a white van with a big dent in the side coming in for repair at a body shop, please let Meredith and the police know!

People, not speed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BoMA Offering Sunday Patio for Two-Wheelers

Looking for a great destination for your Sunday afternoon/evening rides?  Look no further than BoMA in the Discovery District!

BoMA is inviting cyclists, motorcyclists, and scooter enthusiasts (along with everyone else) to join them for their Sunday patio cookouts from 4:00-8:00 pm from this Sunday through July 4th. (Event will be moved indoors in case of rain!).

And, as a special bonus, this weekend BoMA is offering free food!  That's right, you heard me.  FREE FOOD! And CD101 will be there broadcasting live, and giving away a free scooter to anyone entering their contest.

More information is available by clicking on the flier (the picture above).  So get the word out and enjoy a great night of food, art, and great music at BoMA!


View Larger Map


People, not speed.

Columbus Ride of Silence is TONIGHT!

As I've said in the past - if you only make it to one organized bike ride this year, make it to this one.  

The International Ride of Silence is tonight. And Jeff Stephens from Consider Biking sends out the following media alert which I'll quote in its entirety, just so that we don't miss anything:

Seventh Annual “Ride of Silence” 

Hundreds of Cyclists Mourn Those Harassed and Killed by Automobiles

Event: Seventh Annual Ride of Silence
The Ride of Silence is a slow group ride, akin to a funeral procession, in total silence. The ride is a safe, responsible, professional, and mature response to the aggressiveness, intimidation, and carnage that cyclists often face on the roads.

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Speakers to begin at 6:50 p.m.
Ride departs under police escort at 7:00 p.m.
The event is open to the public.

Location: State Street, south of the Statehouse, Downtown Columbus

Why: The ride is a safe, responsible, professional, and mature response to the aggressiveness, intimidation, and carnage that cyclists often face on the roads we ride.

Speakers: Columbus Mayor, Bikin’ Mike Coleman
Ohio Senator, Teresa Fedor
Jeff Stephens, Executive Director Consider Biking

Details: The Columbus Ride of Silence is one of over 300 Rides of Silence occurring simultaneously on Wednesday evening across the country and world. The Columbus event is the second largest in the world, and provides a stunning visual experience. The Columbus event is responsible for seeding the growing grassroots bicycle advocacy movement in central Ohio. The participants represent all the diverse segments of bicyclists and demonstrate the unity of  bicyclists in making a productive statement about their right to ride safely on our roads.

History and details - www.considerbiking.org/activities/ride-of-silence/
This will be my third Ride of Silence since starting bike commuting in 2006.  And it's really inspiring to see all the people who line up to join this ride each year - cyclists from all walks of life come together to share a moment to remember those who've gone before us. 

And let's remember who we're riding for this year (PLEASE let me know if I've missed any or if there's someone you'd like to commemorate):
 People, not speed.