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Monday, August 03 2015 @ 04:36 AM UTC
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Dumbest Product of the Week

Biking ElsewhereI just had to comment on this $250 carbon fiber seat post rack that holds up to 11lbs. I like fast bikes and I like utility accessories but I really have to question why someone would think this is a great idea.
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Homecoming Celebration for Michael Phelps

Looking for local rides(ers)[The Fort McHenry event looks like it might be fun to bike to, I'm off doing something else but others may be interested in this.]

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, Governor Martin O’Malley and Mayor Sheila Dixon held a press conference to announce plans for a homecoming celebration for Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff and other Maryland Olympians. Baltimore County will host a Parade of Gold on Saturday, October 4 at 3 p.m. in Towson.

The parade will take place on York Road, beginning at Burke Avenue, continuing on York Road through the neighborhoods where Michael and Katie grew up, and ending at Anneslie Road. The homecoming celebration will continue later that day with a Star-Spangled Banner Salute to Maryland’s Olympians including Michael Phelps at Fort McHenry at 7 p.m.

Come out to welcome them home! For updated information, please visit <a href="http://baltimore.org/phelps">http://baltimore.org/phelps</a>;.
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A whole summer of bike commuting

Biking in Maryland[From the Bike Washington list:]
Last year I bought a bike to help lose weight and get back into shape. I rode bike trails all summer, sometimes riding 80 miles a week. By the time 2008 came around I was 60 pounds lighter than I was when 2007 started.

So when spring of 2008 came I was working long hours and needed a way to keep the weight off. By April, gas was hitting $4 a gallon. The choice was clear, it was time to start bike commuting. Thanks to the folks on this list I figured out a route and my first day for bike commuting was April 16th. I started out riding two days a week but after about a month I went to riding three days a week, and taking Metro on Monday and Friday to stage my clothes.

So I'd like to point out some observations about my summer spent commuting:

- I only drove to work four or five times, and only once because it was raining. A couple of times I drove in because I overslept and was running late.

- Riding in street traffic isn't half as bad as it looks.

- I saved enough money on gas to buy myself a brand new 17&quot; laptop from Best Buy.

- Despite all the horror stories, I found out that the drivers in this city are remarkably tolerant of cyclists.

- I only had someone come up behind me on the street and lay on the horn one time. Happened on M. St SE on my way home. The driver never even passed me because they wound up taking a right turn while I was still in front.

- The only other negative experience was when some jerk decided to blast me with his horn while I was using the pedestrian crossing over Washington Blvd coming off Memorial Bridge. I hate this crossing with a passion. Half of the time you have to play &quot;chicken&quot; with the cars to get them to stop.

- I only had two close calls. Once, a tourist did a 270-degree turn at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery and almost hit me. It was slow speed so I think it only would have wound up with a crunched bike rather than a crunched cyclist. I think I scared him more than he scared me because I was yelling WHOA like a maniac.

- The other close call was with a pedestrian on that narrow sidewalk on 50. She was coming right at me and I was sure she would see me. Wrong. At 7AM, pedestrians are looking at their feet, sleepwalking. They will not notice the 200LB cyclist bearing down on them, even though they are facing you.

- I learned to ring my bike bell. A lot. Pedestrians sleepwalk. A lot.

- Sometimes you will see other bike commuters do things you should not attempt. Like, riding on 50 where the Glebe Road overpass is. I decided to try it myself the next day. And as soon as I was on the other side I decided to never try it again.

- I really, really, miss the cutoff in Fort Myer. That hill is nasty.

- The Maine Ave fish market stinks in the morning. In the afternoon it smells like french fries and Old Bay.

- Riding in the rain isn't so bad when it's warm. One morning I showed up at work, sopping wet and covered with mud from the construction site in Fort Myer. Kevin the security guard took one look at me and said &quot;Cyrus, you crazy!&quot;

All in all it was a very positive experience. I kept in shape, learned a lot about riding bikes, and had fun.
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Bait Bike serving as theft deterrent

Biking Elsewhereby John Lucas

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department (UWPD) has a new, high-tech answer to the decades-old problem of campus bicycle thefts.

In May 2008, the department began placing bikes equipped with GPS units in places around campus where other thefts have been reported.

When a GPS-equipped bike is taken from its location, police are notified that the bike is moving. An officer then logs on to a computer showing a map of the area and dispatches other officers to the bike's location.

&quot;We're hopeful that this piece of technology can help us deter thieves,&quot; says Sgt. Jason Whitney of UWPD. &quot;Madison is one of the best biking cities in the world. We want students to have peace of mind knowing that if they bring a bike here, they will leave with it at the end of the school year.&quot;

The program, created by Police Officer John Deering, is showing positive early results. From January 2007 to May 2008, the UW-Madison police took reports of a total of 100 reported bike thefts. During the 2007-2008 academic year, only one person was arrested for a bike theft.

With the GPS program in place, 16 arrests had been made between May and August 1.

UWPD has purchased more GPS units so multiple areas around campus can be covered at the same time. Roger Charly and his company, Budget Bicycles, are donating bicycles for the project.

As an added deterrent, UWPD is creating stickers reading, &quot;This could be a Bait Bike.&quot; The police will be handing out the stickers to students to have them placed on bikes all around campus.

Stickers are available at UWPD and Budget Bicycles.
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The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have

Health & EnvironmentIf ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon.

... But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S.&quot; The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.

Automakers such as Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Mercedes-Benz (DAI) have predicted for years that a technology called &quot;clean diesel&quot; would overcome many Americans' antipathy to a fuel still often thought of as the smelly stuff that powers tractor trailers. Diesel vehicles now hitting the market with pollution-fighting technology are as clean or cleaner than gasoline and at least 30% more fuel-efficient.

Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. &quot;Americans see hybrids as the darling,&quot; says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, &quot;and diesel as old-tech.&quot;
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What’s Wrong with Bike-Sharing?

Biking ElsewhereA lot, says Greg Beato, of Reason Online. The Reason Foundation is a libertarian think tank/publisher. I think Beato misses the point, saying this in his concluding paragraph:

But if a bike-sharing program’s utility mostly lies in how much secure parking it offers—and it does—why bother with the bikes? And the sharing? Let users be responsible for obtaining their own bikes—that’s the simple part of the solution.

Secure bike parking is just one of the many utilities of a bike-sharing program. And really, “secure bike parking” is encompassed by the one overall functional utility of a bike-sharing program—to make bicycling extremely convenient. Many folks have bicycles “in their basements or in their apartment balconies,” as the Washington D.C. bicycle coordinator said. Even those necessary maintenance tasks—digging out the old bike, dusting it off, making sure it has air in the tires, making sure everything is working—prevent people from biking. Bike-sharing programs address that head-on.
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Tour du Port Grand Marshall

Biking in BaltimoreFYI: Mayor Shela Dixon will be the grand Marshall of Tour du Port and will be doing the 45 mile ride.

[Nothing against her speech last year but this is way cool!]
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Volunteer for Tour du Port

Bike Maryland updatesI would like to invite you to join One Less Car as a volunteer on October 5th, 2008. We will host our 15th annual Tour du Port bicycle ride and fundraiser. The ride, which will start and finish at the Canton Waterfront Park at 3001 Boston Street, we will close the ride at 2000 byclists.

To ensure the success of this ride One Less Car is seeking volunteers to participate as Route Marshals and Rest stop workers along the Tour du Port route. Benefits of volunteering include a Tour du Port long sleeve shirt, good food, and a fun time!
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Bicycle Friendly America - Maryland

Biking in MarylandState Rank: 35 out of 50.

Reasons for Ranking: Maryland has a signed and mapped route network. They also have a discriminatory mandatory bike lane law and no cell phone use restrictions.

Maryland's Bicycle Friendly Communities
Currently there are no cities in Maryland that have been designated as bicycle friendly communities.
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Tour du Port Registration Closing at 2000 Riders

Bike Maryland updatesOn Sunday, October 5th, Tour du Port rides again along Baltimore\\\'s scenic waterfront. This year One Less Car is closing registration at 2000 riders. If you plan on riding but have not yet registered, please register as soon as possible to reserve your spot!

To register or for more information visit our website <a href="http://www.onelesscar.org/TDP/2008/">www.onelesscar.org/TDP/2008/</a>;

This year\\\'s ride will begin at the Canton Waterfront Park at 3001 Boston Street in Southeast Baltimore. The park is located right on the water with a view of the city and the big ships that make the Port work. JOIN US FOR A GREAT DAY IN THE CITY!

AND REMEMBER! All registration fees and t-shirt sales help our effort to get more cars off Maryland\\\'s congested roads and neighborhood streets.

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