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Sunday, May 24 2015 @ 01:04 PM UTC
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Possible Velomobile manufacture and distribution in the US. Requesting your input.

Biking ElsewhereHello everyone! I'm involved in a small research project with some other students at Penn State University. The purpose of our study is to figure out how much interest and desire there is for Velomobiles in the U.S., as well as figuring out what design and features are best for the riders. We are inviting everyone to give their opinions and concerns about the idea.

A local bike shop owner and nation-wide recumbent distributer wants to manufacture Velomobiles and can ship them anywhere in the U.S. For those of you who don't know what a Velomobile is, it is essentially a recumbent trike with a plastic/fibreglass/ or canvas shell surrounding it. It is a kind of pedal-car. The Velomobile includes an &quot;electric assist&quot; motor which can be switched on or off and features a battery pack that actually recharges as you pedal (like the alternator in a car) For more info and pictures check <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velomobile">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velomobile</a>;

This Velomobile model is still in it's design/proto-type phase and the owner still isn't exactly sure what direction he should take in the design. A few options exist. Particularly, the Velomobile can be sold pre manufactured, all the shell and motor parts built into a recumbent trike. Option 2 is the manufacture of do-it-yourself VeloKits which can be adjusted and fitted to existing recumbent trikes. These VeloKits are also removable, should the owner want to ride in the open air again. This method would, of course, be much cheaper. Other ideas include constructing a sturdier, heavier model with a more powerful motor; however, this would limit it's usability depending on state and local regulations.

As a cyclist myself, I have a pretty good grasp on the benefits, problems, and concerns about Velomobiles, but we need input from cyclists all over the country, the more, the better.

So please, let us know your opinions!

We have drafted some short web surveys to gather quantifiable data. The goals of the survey are to get an idea of how you use your bike, some questions on whether or not you would be interested in the Velomobile concept, some design preferences, pricing ideas, and some general demographic information.
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Earth Week Events at Whole Foods Market Mt Washington

Health & Environment[Baltimore Spokes: Also note that Whole Foods sponsors many bike events, we really appreciate their contribution to a more livable, sustainable community.]

Earth Week Events Monday, April 20th - Composting Made Easy and Cheap Class Monday, April 20th - Genji Earth Day Promotion
Tuesday, April 21st - Green, Local and Sustainable Cooking Class
Wednesday, April 22nd - Ecological House Cleaning Class
Wednesday, April 22nd - Reusable Bag Giveaway
Thursday, April 23rd - Baltimore Green Map
Friday, April 24th - Kids Green Activity
Friday, April 24 - Home Energy Audit Information
Saturday, April 25th - Green Children's Book Reading, Signing and Activity
Saturday, April 25th - Recycled Art Show & Giving Grill
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End-of-Session Wrap-Up

PoliticsCardin Annapolis Reports

Delegate Jon S. Cardin  District 11, Baltimore County

April 15, 2009
Dear Friend:

The 426th session of the Maryland General Assembly drew to a close Monday night, and I again thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you.  I have been honored to serve the 11th District with my teammates Bobby Zirkin, Dan Morhaim and Dana Stein.  In a dire fiscal situation, we have worked hard to reflect your priorities. To that end, this letter is designed to give a modest synopsis of some of my 2009 accomplishments and a personal perspective on the legislative session at-large.

"The person who is waiting for something to turn up might start with their shirt sleeves." - Garth Henrichs
...
Regrettably, in this economic climate it was difficult to reach an agreement on one of my priorities -- voluntary public campaign finance. The program gained real momentum when Senate President Mike Miller came out in support of the measure. Another bill that gained significant momentum was my bicycle safety bill which calls for cars to maintain a three-foot buffer when passing cyclists or pedestrians. This bill passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, but stalled in the House Environmental Matters Committee. Both of these important measures attracted a great deal of media attention, and I look forward to working towards their success next session.
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UNIV. OF OREGON STUDENT HONORED FOR BIKE LOAN PROGRAM

Biking ElsewhereBriana Orr, an environmental studies and planning, public policy and management major at the University of Oregon, will receive the 2009 Faith Gabelnick Student Leadership Award at the Oregon Civic Engagement Awards next week in Portland, Oregon. Orr started the UO Bike Loan program, a unique twist on the familiar model of free-bike programs.

&quot;Briana's program is a phenomenal example of how to take bicycles discarded by departing students and turn them around as long-term loans to students,&quot; said Marc Schlossberg, an Associate Professor in the University of Oregon's Planning, Public Policy, and Management Department.

Orr's program is a simple model that can be easily replicated in other locales. For $65, a student gets a bike, a helmet, a lock, and a bike basket. The full $65 is returned at the end of the year if all of the equipment is returned.

&quot;The program began this year and has been a real success, with a long waiting list of people who want a bike,&quot; said Schlossberg. &quot; In its first year, the program focused on international students as a pilot since they tend to live close to campus and don't bring vehicles with them. Brilliant!&quot;
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Grassroots Bike Series - Saturday, April 25

Biking in Baltimoreimage
The Grassroots Bike Series is a series of bicycle races, once a month, taking place throughout the Baltimore area. While these are "races," everyone is invited, regardless of speed or competitive nature. The goal of the GBS is to provide a time for us, the Baltimore area cycling community, to come together and have some fun in an otherwise hectic bike city.

Each month a new location will be chosen, and a course will be determined beforehand. I will do my best to keep the course varied each month, in terrain as well as style. One month may be all pavement, the next all grass, the next a mix of pavement, grass, gravel, mud, etc. You get the idea. The style of race may also change from month to month. We may be racing for laps, for time, or mix it up with unconventional race styles, such as a tag-team race. Each race will, however, be a reasonably small (a mile or so) closed loop with a number of laps, so as not to send anyone too far away or all across the city. Before each race I will post a page describing the location and time of the race, as well as what to expect you will be riding on and any other special instructions you should know before showing up.

You can race on any bike you want; track, mountain, bmx, cyclocross, hybrid, tandem, recumbent, unicycle, etc. It's all good. As said above, I will note what type of terrain each race will be held on.

Each race will gather at a specific time. Before the race begins, i will lead everyone in a few leisurely laps around the course, so everyone understands clearly what the course is. I will do my best to bring signs, cones, tape, or other devices for particularly confusing sections, but in general the expectation will be to remember where you are going.
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Main Sponsor Pulls Plug - Help Save Ride to Boston!!

Biking in Baltimore[Note this is in Bike Baltimore because this ride will be coming through here.]
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Last week, and, in hindsight I could feel it coming for months because their business was off the mark, the Main Sponsor for my ride pulled the plug. The quarterly payment that I got from them for web work and soon the advertising exposure they would have gotten for helping the two most photographed vehicles in the world get from one coast to the other, fell victim to bad economic times. It was this money that I had planned on using to get me out of the gate come May 3.

Nor can I feel at all mad at them. When the orders were not coming in, they had to figure out some way to keep themselves fed. Nor do I know what more I could have done. I moved forward in good faith finishing my book, learning this backwards HiWheel so I could pedal the mountains, and even though we barely broke even, holding fund raisers so we could maybe actualize some of the bigger dreams I had for this ride.

Instead of using this month of April trying to add a few sponsors so I could buy some needed supplies in addition to the motor home I had planned to rent to blog and stay in touch with Mayor's office from, sag my ride and get the Busycle back to Boston, I am finding myself starting from scratch. Besides dollars, I also lost my sponsor's office support, so I will have to build two crews in three weeks time - one for the road and one for here at home.

Do I crawl in a hole and throw the last six years away? Or do I look for new ways to make all of this real? I suspect that those of you who have read my book, "Awake Again", know the answer. I was up against a lot tougher odds in rebuilding my broken body, mind and the world I had created then. So, just as I got better from my setback by listening for God's voice, I am doing the same thing now. And it does seem that a Bigger Power is saying that I need to come before my community of friends for help. Here is how:
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Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop

Bike LawsEver wounder why pedestrians are not required to come to a complete stop at stop signs? Shouldn't they be required to sit down just like a cyclists is required to put a foot down at stop signs? And what about cars? If stopping means the complete cessation of movement shouldn't they be required to turn off their motors because any conservation of momentum that would allow a fast start is bad?

If these things sound ridiculous so is requiring a cyclists to put there foot down, see the link and video for a good presentation.
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Woman gets probation in death of teen at bus stop

Biking ElsewhereA judge has sentenced a 60-year-old North Carolina woman to three years of probation for passing a stopped school bus and striking a 16-year-old boy, killing him.

The News &amp; Record of Greensboro reported Judy Stilwell pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rockingham County. Her six- to eight-month jail sentence was suspended as long as she completes probation. Her driver's license was suspended for a year and she was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Prosecutors say Stilwell had a clean record in January before passing the school bus which had its lights on and stop sign out on state Highway 770. She struck Nicholas Adkins as he crossed the street.

Stilwell cried in court and her attorney called the incident a lapse in attention.
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Drivers catch green lights 'wave'

Health & EnvironmentLocal councils can adopt &quot;green wave&quot; systems of sensors, where vehicles at or just below the speed limit trigger a succession of green lights.

Environmental and motoring groups say carbon emissions will be reduced.

Previously the Department for Transport (DfT) had discouraged the systems which reduce fuel use, resulting in less tax being paid to the Treasury.

But now, rather than seeing green wave systems as a &quot;cost&quot; to the public purse, the DfT views them as a &quot;benefit&quot;.

'Easy target'

The RAC's motoring strategist Adrian Tink said: &quot;Green waves is a common sense win-win initiative that will actually help motorists as they go about their daily lives as well as reduce carbon emissions.

&quot;It's used very successfully in other countries and it would be great to see motorists up and down the UK benefit from its widespread introduction.
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Lane control public policy

Biking Elsewhere Posted by: John Forester on Chainguard Date: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:58 am ((PDT))

The issue regarding control of lanes by cyclists, precisely stated, is:
1: Cyclists should have the same legal right of lane control as other drivers of vehicles. This can be called the slow vehicle law case. or
2: Cyclists should be assumed to have no right to control lanes, but must always act to allow the easiest overtaking by any potential faster traffic, unless failure to control the lane is dangerous. This can be called the Far To the Right law case.

That's the issue.

2.1: The FTR case has been public policy for decades, and it has been supported by three arguments:

2.1.1: Cyclists are not capable of obeying the normal rules of the road, and therefore are endangered if they don't stay at the edge of the roadway. This is an assertion based on the notion that cyclists are young children, who are assumed to be safe only if they stay at the edge of the roadway. Both parts are false. Most roadway cyclists are not young children, but are sufficiently old to obey the normal rules of the road. Furthermore, roadway cycling safety requires that cyclists often operate away from the edge of the roadway, so that those who do not know how to do this safely are endangered. Cyclists need to be trained to operate properly.
2.1.2: Having cyclists operate at the edge of the roadway keeps them safe from fast traffic. This argument assumes that fast motorists will always leave sufficient room at the edge of the roadway to accommodate bicycle traffic, which is false, and it exonerates motorists who are so careless that they drive right into slower vehicles, which is seriously unlawful behavior.
2.1.3: Having cyclists operate at the edge of the roadway, despite the exceptions for safety, will produce less delay to motorists than allowing cyclists to operate as drivers of vehicles. This argument is very weak. The only condition in which the cyclist's lateral position on the roadway might be changed to allow a motorist, who has no other safe choice than to stay behind the cyclist, to safely overtake, is if the cyclist is using a lane that is wider than standard. If the lane is standard-width or narrow, which is the typical case, the cyclist can do nothing to make safe overtaking possible within that lane. Only if the cyclist is operating in a wide outside lane, might there be adequate width for safe overtaking. Only in the limited case when there is adequate width in the outside lane for safe overtaking, does the FTR law require that the cyclist stay far right to facilitate overtaking by faster traffic. That is all the advantage that the FTR law can provide.

2.2: The FTR case has been public policy for decades, and it has produced the following ill effects:
2.2.1: The public belief that staying at the edge of the roadway is both necessary and sufficient for cyclist safety persuades cyclists that they should not leave the edge of the roadway and, therefore, would not benefit from better knowledge and skill in operating according to the rules of the road.
2.2.2: Motorists believe that there is always room for cyclists to move aside safely, simply because the FTR law says that there is.
2.2.3:Some motorists believe that the FTR law expresses the right of motorists to always travel faster than bicycles, that bicycle traffic is prohibited from slowing down motor traffic.

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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