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Friday, February 12 2016 @ 09:43 AM UTC
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Stop, walk car

Biking Elsewhereimage
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For Adult Learners, Bike Riding Isn’t as Easy as It Looks

Biking Elsewhere[Note info on our adult classes can be found here: <a href=""></a>;]
I was 16, a senior at a public high school in Manhattan, and I had never learned to ride a bike. So my friend and classmate Josh had walked with me to Riverside Park, taking along a bicycle from his family’s apartment on the Upper West Side. We adjusted the seat low, so my feet could easily touch the ground, and Josh tried to explain the key concept behind bike riding: namely, balance. (Training wheels were not an option, at my advanced age.) I got on, and started to pedal.

It did not go well.

I could not manage to travel four to six feet before the bike — and I — swerved wildly off course. My attempts to compensate for the bike’s tilt in one direction by leaning in the other ended with my falling, repeatedly. Josh gamely tried to hold onto the back of the seat and run behind me, but it did not help. Our bike-riding lesson ended in failure when I fell onto (or was it over?) a park bench, scraped my arm and damaged the bike’s front rim.

As New York City goes through something of a bicycling renaissance — with the construction of new bike routes, improved bike parking, and even the closing of parts of Broadway to vehicular traffic — one issue has received little attention: there are some New Yorkers — and I’m not talking about 5-year-olds — who do not know how to ride. Until I was 18, I was one of them.

My embarrassment was heightened by the fact that I was part of a tiny minority. The National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior [pdf], released last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, found that only 3 percent of adults surveyed said that not knowing how to ride was the primary reason they did not. Lack of access was the most common reason cited — by 28 percent — when respondents were asked why they have not been on a bike in the last 30 days or never ride during the summer.

The League of American Bicyclists, a national advocacy group based in Washington, has been “getting more calls from the lost generation of 30- to 50-year-old adults who were less likely than their parents to ride,” according to Meghan Cahill, a spokeswoman for the organization.

Ms. Cahill said that “balance and fear of ridicule are the two biggest factors to overcome” in learning how to ride.

There have been anecdotal reports that demand for adult bike lessons is rising.
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Cyclists Find No Safety in Numbers

Biking Elsewhere[Baltimore Spokes: I'm posting this article to point out that tractor-trailer drivers in Maryland are not admonished to check mirrors or even look for cyclists when executing a right turn but simply cyclists are hazards and to tap the horn at them. Worst yet the State's Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian accesses thinks what we have is fine.]
The debate on bicycle safety, mired in conflicting beliefs and a dearth of conclusive studies, stretches back decades with few firm conclusions.

On August 7, 2007, John Myslin, 25, a high school teacher at Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz, California, was crushed by a tractor-trailer making a right turn into his path. The driver of the truck had stopped at a red light on Mission Street where it intersects Bay Street on the city’s west side. From the curb lane, vehicles can either turn right onto Bay or continue straight on Mission. The truck’s right-turn signal was blinking at this point, police said. Myslin then rode his blue mountain bike along the right side of the semi. As the light turned green, he tried to pass in front of the truck as the driver began a right turn onto Mission Street, witnesses told police. He didn’t make it.
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Bicycle Items Featured in auction

Biking Elsewhere

The Canadian Embassy Officer's Club is hosting an online silent auction, starting June 4th, to benefit "The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation . NYOF is a U.S. based nonprofit organization devoted to bringing hope to the most destitute children in the beautiful but impoverished Himalayan country of Nepal. They hope to raise $10,000 which would rescue 100 girls from indentured servitude, let them come home to live with their family, pay their school expenses for a year, and provide their family with a baby goat or piglet, for only $100.

They have now several items related to cycling, including the grand prize on an 18 nights trip to Vietnam and Laos, donated by Far and Away, a value of $2295. Also a spot on "The Grand Tour in the Lower St. Lawrence region in the province of Quebec" a value of $925. Bobby of the Great Peanut Tour is donating 2 registrations as well, and Mountains of Misery one registration for 2010. Also a registration for Bike VA 2010. They also have registrations to various club centuries, RABA, PPTC, Oxon Hill, Marin Bike Club, New York Great Escape and a Trek Jet 21 donated by Spokes and Cascade in Seattle has donated 2 passports to 10 of their events. A 2 Dimensional Bike Fitting donated by Contes of Arlington and a bike tune up donated by Papillon. Terry Bicycle said they would donate saddles, and they expect more stuff in the coming days.

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What’s with cyclists anyway?

Biking in Baltimore[The unedited version of what appeared in the Urbanite:]

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with people getting exercise but really do you have to do it in the street? You don’t own the roads, I own the roads, I pay taxes and you cyclists don’t. And don’t go trying to raise the gas tax or put in more toll roads to pay for roads, I pay enough as it is. Roads are important so I support getting more money from the General Fund and Project Open Space to build and maintain roads, anything so long as I don’t have to pay more for the road I drive on.

If you cyclists have to get exercise do what I do and get an exercise machine and stick it in the basement, that way when you feel the urge to get exercise you won’t bother anyone else. Of course I hardly ever use the thing as it’s boring as heck but I am not a Lance Armstrong wannabe either and what’s with that anyway? You cyclists might as well give that up, no way are you going to win the Tour de France. If you are trying to lose weight go on a diet like normal people. I lose 5-10lbs every time I go on a diet, no big deal but then I gain it right back again but that’s a different story.

Hang on a sec, I got a call…Hey Joe! What’s up? … Ya I am on my way over. Sure I’ll pick up some beer and snacks for the game tonight, it should be a good one…. I might be a late, traffic is a mess today. [Sound of honking] Same to you buddy! See what I mean, it’s a real zoo out here. See ya when I see ya, bye. OK back to cyclist, the problem with cyclists and them taking their dear sweet time going places, it’s called rush hour for a reason you know. I am doing import things and I have places to go and I don’t go around holding everyone up while I smell the roses. It’s a real problem, I drive 10-15 mph over the speed limit and when I come upon a cyclists it can be real scary.

Cyclists should be required to get a license to bike like people have to do in order to drive. Oh what’s up with that driver? “Move it buddy! Hang up and drive!” Geez, some people can’t chew gum and drive at the same time, some drivers, I tell you, one of these days… but anyway where was I? Driver’s License, ya what a joke, 20 questions that I could have answered with my eyes closed, no wonder we have the kind of drivers we do on the roads but cyclists they’re the real problem. Just look at this clown on a bike, I’m stuck in traffic and he just whizzes by and he’s probably going to run the next red light too, they really need to obey the laws like everyone else.

Anyway I got to go pick up some things for the party tonight so I’ll just double park here while I run in as I'll just be 5 minutes. Anyway cyclist please don’t block the car lanes not even for 2 seconds as that is real irritating, OK?
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Cannondale Recalls JD Forks

Biking Elsewhereimage
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Bicycles with JD suspension forks
Hazard: The recalled bicycle’s fork can lose alignment causing the front wheel to turn unexpectedly. This can cause the rider to lose control of the bicycle and crash.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Description: The recall involves model year 2008 Cannondale Adventure 2, Adventure 3, Adventure 2 Feminine and Adventure 3 Feminine bicycles. The model name is printed on the bicycle’s frame. The bicycles have a suspension fork with the words “cannondale AT35 adventure trail” printed on them. Bicycles equipped with the Rock Shox i-ride fork are not included in the recall.
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Mayor's Artscape press conference.

Biking in BaltimoreOn Wednesday, when Mayor Dixon announces the program for Artscape, she is going to be encouraging people to use bikes (and transit) to get to the festival. We’re looking for a group of cyclists to take part in the announcement:


I'm looking for some energetic, charismatic and attractive volunteers - that means you- to help spread the word on biking in Baltimore.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 9:45am until about 11
University of Balto Student Center – Mt. Royal Ave.

Mayor's Artscape press conference.

This year Artscape will feature a bike parking area (with some freebees and giveaways for those who arrive at Artscape by bike.) The advance press conference, June 3rd, is when Mayor Dixon announces the festival program, and anything new at Artscape for the year- including bike parking.

For the press conference, we will stage a photogenic bike parking area to help Mayor Dixon encourage festival goers to bike to Artscape. We'll be a visual demonstration that biking is in fact a great way to get around Baltimore.

So I need a few good bicyclists. Please let me know if you can help for this very easy assignment!

Artscape itself is July 17-19 (we need volunteers then too...)
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Bike racks on buses photo op

Bike Maryland updatesimage
While old news this is still a cool picture of One Less Car's victory of bike racks on buses.
Pictured: Governor Martin O'Malley and One Less Car's Executive director Carol Silldorff.
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Court Rules Bicycling Is a 'Leisure' Activity, Finds No Assumption of Risk

Bike LawsDrawing a distinction between &quot;sporting&quot; and &quot;leisure&quot; activities, a Brooklyn-based appellate court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an avid Long Island bicyclist who was injured in an accident precipitated by roadway repairs.

The Appellate Division, 2nd Department, in Cotty v. Southhampton, 2007-08536, declined to apply the assumption-of-risk doctrine as a matter of law and ruled unanimously that the negligence action of Karen Cotty could proceed.
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New Frames for New Ages

Biking Elsewhere

A (rather long) essay reflecting on the book Fighting Traffic by Peter D. Norton (MIT Press, 2008)

The street is an extremely important symbol because your whole enculturation experience is geared around keeping you out of the street.  “Just remember: Look left, look right, look left again… No ball games… Don’t talk to strangers… Keep out of the road.”   The idea is to keep everyone indoors.  So, when you come to challenge the powers that be, inevitably you find yourself on the curbstone of indifference, wondering “should I play it safe and stay on the sidewalks, or should I go into the street?”  And it is the ones who are taking the most risks that will ultimately effect the change in society.

The car system steals the street from under us and sells it back for the price of gasoline.  It privileges time over space, corrupting and reducing both to an obsession with speed or, in economic lingo, “turnover.”  It doesn’t matter who “drives” this system, for its movements are already pre-determined.

– from the website of the London advocacy group “Take Back the Streets”

* * * * *

Imagine you are a member of the majority, and a powerful minority has managed to get the laws changed in such a way as to significantly curtail one of your essential liberties.  What’s more, they then proceeded to abuse your remaining rights and make your life miserable.  As a result, a couple decades later, your majority has become a minority.

There’s no need to imagine.  This is what happened to pedestrians (and to a lesser extent bicyclists) in these United States in the 1920s.

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