Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


You’re thinking about riding your bike to work
June 1, 2013, 12:13
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The Bicycle Commuter’s Handbook by Robert Hurst



Bike Parts

The Swap is coming up.

Look how disgustingly dirty my chain is.



Negativity Dominance

This article makes a good point or two.

I’d just point out a minor issue. If fatalities-per-trip is falling, that might not mean that cycling is safer. It might just mean people are making more frequent, shorter trips. The metric you want is (if you want to use fatalities) fatalities per hour of bike use. But this is an even more elusive figure which ultimately relies on self-reported surveys of bike use — allowing us to fill in the blanks (erroneously) with our emotions as the article mentions. Furthermore, injuries might be higher even if fatalities are lower.

If all cyclists suddenly started following the letter of the law, cyclists would be much more in the way, and negative emotions toward cyclists would grow, not disappear. But that’s just a theory.

Cyclists are annoying: Why you think they’re a menace on two wheels. – Slate Magazine.



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.



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.



U.S. 36 project still includes ‘commuter bikeway’

Which is awesome.

The first phase of the project — from Federal to 88th Street — includes:

• Adding an express lane in each direction of U.S. 36, where bus rapid transit and high-occupancy vehicles can travel, free of charge. Solo drivers also will be able to use the express lane by paying a toll, the cost of which will vary by the time of day.

• Reconstructing existing pavement on U.S. 36 and widening the highway to accommodate 12-foot inside and outside shoulders.

• Replacing the Wadsworth Parkway, Wadsworth Boulevard (at West 112th Avenue) and Lowell Boulevard bridges over U.S. 36.

• Installing a separate commuter bikeway along much of the corridor.

via U.S. 36 from Boulder to Denver to get $311 million in improvements – The Denver Post.



Portland Bridge Counts 2011

A measure of commuter cycling, from the new City of Portland bike count report:


click to enlarge

See The Industrialized Cyclist Bicycling Research Page to download the report, and just about any other report you may want.



Denver is right up there among US cycling cities
December 6, 2011, 23:14
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…with a whopping 2.2% mode share.

From http://denverurbanism.com/2011/10/denver-hits-2-2-bicycle-commuter-mode-share-for-2010.html and the Community Survey.



‘Nudged’ by bike lanes
December 5, 2011, 07:47
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“Are urban bicyclists just elite snobs?” by Will Doig, Salon, December 4, 2011

The sensationalistic headline hides a rational column and an interesting take on bike lanes from a confessed beginner commuter…