Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I know this guy too! He was also a commuter guy that I followed -- just last week. His name is Taylor and I made the mistake of showing up to follow him on a fixed gear. His commute (of course) includes the Post hill climb. And of course he's a real cyclist: fast and fit, so I nearly had a heart attack staying with him as he casually strolled up the hill ahead of me. And I'm pretty sure he was being kind and going slow for me.
Anyway, he's got 2 posts... enough for a link in my book.
Check it out: http://elephantpilotmessengers.blogspot.com/.
Yay! Add another local bike blog to your favorites. And I know the guy. Jason is a commuter that I met on the BAB commuter project. He's been hanging out at the P2P garage building up a beater on a trial run to see if the project makes sense. So far it does.
Anyway, his blog is http://www.100km.us, and so far it's interesting.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The buckle works great. I'm really curious to see how the thicker wool/Gortex outer sock works.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The rack is just super handy. This bike has a front-end geometry that is optimized for loads on the front rack -- it's got low trail. I believe the trail on this bike is 40mm. The low trail is really the defining characteristic of this bike. When I borrow this bike, I commute around the Redmond/Bellevue area. I put my messenger bag (containing a laptop and other small stuff -- 15 lbs?) on the rack and secure the bag with a bungee net. It's nice to carry a load up front, where you can see it, where it's accessible, and where -- on a properly designed bike -- the load doesn't screw the handling, but instead, seems to improve it.
A previous version of this post claimed that Alex built the rack. Actually: Alex and Alistair Spence designed this rack, which fits over a Nitto mini front rack. Alistair built it. Alex has since built a couple/few racks and plans to build more.
I've got a rack in his queue; he's going to build me one that is the same platform-size as the rack in the picture, but it will connect to the mid-fork braze-ons. It'll go on my Trek, which essentially the same bike as the P/R, but with standard gauge/diameter tubing instead of oversized.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Ben. Not sure what hurts my eyes more: the hair or the coat?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The basic thrust of the conference was: how can we find more money to build more giant transportation/freight projects so we can move stuff all over the world? It was sort of surreal to sit in a room with 200+ people who all believe that it's a good thing that when you go to McDonalds in South Korea, the fries you're eating are from Washington. That such an unsustainable model, completely reliant on cheap oil is something we should all be rallying behind and finding gobs and gobs of money to build out. It would be interesting for Maddie to watch this conference on a DVD when she's my age.
That was it for me. I think they went on to talk about the potential for light rail b/t Spokane and CdA, but I'd had enough. I'm just not cut out for the frustration that is hand-wavey "input." I took off and took a nice ride down Sprague, went to Vien Dong's and picked up lunch, and ate with Jon Snyder in his office.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I've been wanting this mashup map for a while. It shows the bike facilities that are specified in our current comp plan, overlaid with upcoming street bond projects. Thanks to Ken and Katherine who are staffers for the City of Spokane for putting this together.
- The current comp plan shows a map of shared use lanes (no lines, just signs) and bike lanes (lines on the street).
- The city and the Bicycle Advisory Board are just now beginning the process of creating a Master Bike Plan (MBP). I've had a few entries that describe it. The MBP is likely about a year or 18 months away from completion. Which means, we're a couple years out from real, on the street implementation. So, one challenge is to continue to push for bicycle facilities as we develop the new plan and make sure that the two parallel efforts are congruent.
- The "Street Bond Project" implementation is a disappointment. I've gone on about that in another post. The main take away is that we're spending millions of dollars on re-surfacing many roads in Spokane, roads that will not be resurfaced for another few decades, and many of these roads are specified (in the comp plan) as roads that should have bike facilities. However, these funds were locked down by a street citizen advisory committee in such a way to only benefit automobiles: no "amenities" (regardless of what is specified in the comp plan)can be improved or created with these bond monies.
So then why the mash up? The reality is, there are many citizens, city employees, and elected officials that are wise enough to see beyond the short-term costs of providing an infrastructure that encourages non-single-occupancy auto transportation. Smart communities all over the world have recognized or are recognizing that putting money into alternative transportation pays off in the long term. In a nutshell: if it is the will of the citizens, we can get the bike facilities on some of these upcoming projects.
We've been successful with getting some funds to stripe the SE Blvd Project. Now the city engineers are considering signing and "re-centering" a section of North Wall that is going to be resurfaced next year. In addition, the city council is interested in piloting the Bike Blvd idea in the next year or so. Don't know what a Bike Blvd is?
Check out this youtube video and start dreaming of how a side street in your neighborhood would look all decked out.
So, as you look at that map, take a look at your neighborhood and look at the upcoming work. If it's more than a year out AND there are bike facilities spec'd on the comp plan for the work area AND you think bike facilities would be a good idea there, then please contact me or come to a BAB meeting and get involved.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Luckily, a guy named David Neiwert does have the data and the time and the eloquence to answer this oft-cited bit of misinformation. Take a look at this beauty at the Seattle PI Opinions page (note: this is a site that does not require you to sign in, which is the way it should be).
The bottom line: cyclists (especially those that own cars) heavily subsidize car drivers.
Mr. Neiwert cites a report, "Whose Roads?" by cycling/transportation advocate Todd Litman.
Friday, September 14, 2007
That said, it was still a shock to see these well-kept hipsters grooving down Post on their boutiquey fixed bikes. I'm happy that I will have to get used to seeing more. Welcome hipsters. Welcome to Spokane.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Part of the ride is on the Fish Lake Trail, which is slated for a full paving in the next year or so -- once some more money is secured. It will be interesting to see the bike traffic increase on that trail once it becomes paved. It will be a road-bike highway on the weekends for sure. Hopefully, we'll see some commute traffic on the weekdays too. I'll miss the dirt, but it will make getting out to Badger Lake and beyond a bit quicker for the last-minute S24O.
On the way to school this morning, Maddie said that she wanted "those things" (drop-bar brakes) on her tandem. I think I'll work up some small drops with dummy hoods for her. Yay.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
One bug came out nicely in a tear. The other was stubborn and stayed lodged in my eyeball, in the back (brain side -- it felt like) all the way home. After rubbing and squirting water in my eye the whole way home, my eyeball was bloodshot and had tiny bits of dead bug floating at the edges. Nice.
In unrelated news, I invented a new method for making fresh tomato sauce that I'm quite proud of.