Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Friedersdorf on Rabinowitz

That’s right, Friedersdorf.

There is no one in America who objects more consistently than me to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s initiatives: This is a man who favors stop-and-frisk, racially profiling and spying on innocent Muslims, restricting the size of soda New Yorkers can buy, salt limits, a trans-fat ban, and a pervasive surveillance state. Left up to me, no one like Bloomberg would ever exercise political power. My disdain for his paternalism and disregard for civil liberties is what inclines me to defend his bike initiative. It is the least “totalitarian” major initiative that Bloomberg has undertaken, yet is denounced with some of the strongest language. If the critics were merely expressing their personal displeasure at the prospect of cities better suited to bike travel (or doubts about the efficacy of a particular policy aimed at making cities more bike friendly) that would be fine. Instead they co-opt the language of freedom and oppression, as if orienting cities toward automobiles is natural and libertarian, while bike shares and bike lanes are harbingers of tyranny. 

That is vapid, paranoid, philosophically incoherent nonsense. By frivolously trafficking in it, I fear that Rabinowitz and friends will diminish all warnings about liberty and government overreach. Even the boy who cried wolf was invoking the specter of an actually frightening creature.

via The Paranoid Style in Bicycle Politics: A Bicoastal Freak-Out – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic.



hit-and-run city

Denver’s traffic not following national trends.

Denver’s auto-pedestrian accidents were up 46 percent for the first eight weeks of 2013 over the previous two years. Another grim statistic also stands out: Last year, the city had 13 hit-and-run fatalities, more than the previous three years combined.

[...]

After two years of averaging about 31 auto-pedestrian incidents a month, the average jumped to 44 a month in January and February, according to Denver police statistics.

Hit-and-run cases averaged 8.5 a month in January and February — after 4.8 per month in 2011 and 6.1 in 2012.

[...]

Over the past decade, about 1,600 accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists were reported every year, according to a study by the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

In the 10-county region, 17 percent of all fatalities were pedestrians, and 3 percent were cyclists.

via Spike in Denver's auto-pedestrian cases has officials seeking answers – The Denver Post.

These “jumps” are based on a mere two months’ of accidents. Gotta keep an eye out to see if it continues.



E-bikes vs. bikes

Pedelec. A new word to me.

In a vote at the European Parliament today, MEPs have decided to keep the original European Commission proposal; only pedelecs with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and 250 watts power will remain exempt from motorbike regulation. Europe’s cycling organisations have welcomed the move, seeing it as a clear separation between bicycles and motorbikes

via European Cyclists' Federation – 20.11.2012- EU Parliament Backs ECF And Bicycle Industry Campaign To Protect Future Of Cycling.



Bike of the Day: This Old Raleigh

Upon closer inspection, looks like a recipe for disaster.



Former Denver Councilman and mayoral candidate Linkhart hit by truck on Bike to Work Day

He was my favorite mayoral candidate. He has almost no TV charisma, which is a major plus for a public official. He would have made a fine mayor. He liked libraries.

Fortunately, he’s fine, but the incident did prompt a conversation between council members and the mayor about road safety regulations and the interactions between cyclists and vehicles.

…During which, of course, scofflaw bicyclists somehow came out the villains, and education and/or reprogramming of scofflaw bicyclists was re-hurled to the tippy top of the bike safety priority list. This even though Linkhart’s crash (1) did not involve a scofflaw bicyclist and (2) car-bike crashes involving adult bicyclists typically do not. The most likely scenario for an adult bicyclist is to be caught out by another road user’s looked-but-failed-to-see error while riding lawfully. But hey, we’ve all seen bicyclists run lights right? People like Mayor Hancock make no attempt to understand the truth about urban cycling safety. Why bother — everyone knows it’s “common sense.” Common sense is good politics. Let’s not let any facts get in the way of our “common sense” about bicycle safety.

According to Linkhart, he was heading west on 23rd Avenue — on a bike route — approaching Downing Street when a pickup truck went to make a left turn and collided with him.

“I was going straight. He turned left in front of me, and…hit me across the side, and I fell down,” Linkhart recalls.

… Linkhart was scraped up badly, his bike got a bit bent and he had to get several stitches in his leg.

“I kinda went flying,” he said. “I kind of plowed into the sidewalk. I had a helmet, which didn’t help.”

Linkhart, going straight, had the right of way over the pickup truck, which was turning left.

23rd and Downing is classic left cross territory. I’ve been through that intersection a hundred times. Got to ‘keep your head on a swivel’ so to speak.

via Westword Doug Linkhart, ex-councilman, hit while cycling to Bike To Work Day event – Denver News – The Latest Word.



Bike of the Day: Mike’s Waltworks 29er



Bike of the Day: Whichever Bike Was Locked Here

I’ve often seen a mid-range Trek mtb parked at this spot, formerly occupied by a bike rack.



Manual del Ciclista Urbano de la Ciudad de Mexico

(En Espanol)

http://www.sma.df.gob.mx/sma/links/download/biblioteca/flippingbooks/manual_ciclista_urbano/



Car Commuting Drives Up Weight, Blood Pressure

And, it kills your back and hips. Which causes more stress.

The bit below about American cities not being built for active commuters. Not exactly true. Somewhat true. A lot of American cities are currently set up quite nicely to accept vast numbers of additional bike commuters should these autonomous individuals choose to take that step.

A 2011 study of 21,000 Swedish workers found those who commuted by car or public transit reported more stress, exhaustion and missed work days than those who walked or bicycled to work. But few American cities are built for active commuters.

“We’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives,” said Hoehner. “We need to change our communities and make improvements to the infrastructure to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

via Commuting Drives Up Weight, Blood Pressure – ABC News.

There is a lot more to making a bike-friendly environment than “engineering” the built environment. Like what:

–The cost of driving in Europe is much higher than it is in the US, due to famously high fuel taxes and fees. We complain about 4$ gas. No Euro country has gas anywhere near that cheap, due to govt. fuel taxes.

–Laws and court proceedings in bike-friendly countries favor bicyclists and pedestrians.

–Culture is overall more bike-friendly.

It’s already an easy choice for many in the US. Let’s stop making excuses. There will always be room for improvement. The built environment will never be perfect here, and it isn’t in Europe.

I guess what I’m saying is this. We all wish for improvements in the cycling environment. If you complain about and push for better bike infrastructure, great! That helps. But I sure hope you’re doing it as a bike commuter, not as an excuse-making car commuter.



Bike of the Day: Serotta cross
March 9, 2012, 13:19
Filed under: Bike of the Day | Tags: , , ,

Red, tig-welded, 853. Too bad about the whole cross thing.

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