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The Monday Roundup: Toddler bike races, beer as a sports drink & more

Posted by on March 10th, 2014 at 10:07 am

Go get ‘em, kids.

— This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by ABUS Security, makers of locks that can “thwart even the cleverest of thieves.”

Here are the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Toddling to the finish: You too can now enter your 2-year-old in a bicycle race series put on by “the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of children’s no-pedal balance bikes.”

Rails-to-trails demise? USA Today reports that a decision last week by the Supreme Court could reportedly threaten progress on rails-to-trails projects. However, the folks at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy paint a more nuanced picture about what exactly the impacts might be.

Beer, the new Gatorade? Sports drinks are “full of carbs, sodium and all sorts of nutrients to keep our bodies hydrated and energized during and after exercise. And beer may be able to do that, too — if formulated the right way.” A Canadian company is about to bring a product to market.

Electrify bike sharing: A “portable electric motor drive for bike share programs that also works on your own bike or scooter.” Whroom!

Biking and walking: Should bikes really be banned from “pedestrianized” sites? A study of 21 sites across Europe found exactly one biker-pedestrian collision in 15 years.

The Ethicist on driving: Longtime NYT Magazine writer Randy Cohen examines the ethics of driving cars in cities and finds it problematic.

Bike-seat art: A Vancouver BC artist created some amazing bike seat taxidermy sculptures:

Bike-fun crackdown: Los Angeles police threatened to shut down the largest unsanctioned bike ride in the country, early in the morning before the L.A. Marathon, for lack of permits. (Thanks to reader Joseph E for noting that LAPD backed down somewhat in time for Sunday’s run.)

Fewer lanes, less delay: Though traffic studies typically predict some auto delay when bike lanes replace general travel lanes, human psychology means the opposite sometimes happens.

Bridge trouble: If this unused trolley bridge over the Clackamas River near High Rocks is about to collapse, maybe it opens the door to a bikeable replacment?


Gravel lawsuit: Contractors who allegedly left loose gravel on a Malibu roadway are now on the hook for $15 million to a man whose bike crash there paralyzed him.

Cargo bike rental: Amtrak Cascades doesn’t currently accept cargo bikes on board, so Seattle biking mom Madi Carlson rented from Clever Cycles for her latest trip to Portland. Here’s her travel diary.

Passing distance: Virginia now has a three-foot passing law.

Commuter site: OHSU has a new bike transportation website.

Road funding: Following Oregon’s lead, Washington is weighing a statewide mileage tax.

Short commutes: When you make a map of average American commute durations, lots of cities are ringed by dark blobs of awful. Not ours.

Southern biking: Atlantic Cities looks at an underappreciated bike safety issue: the Mason-Dixon Line.

Biking in cities: A reporter takes a world urban biking tour for Gizmodo and summarizes the results. Her take on Paris was especially interesting.

Bike accessory: Your old pizza cutter doesn’t resemble a bicycle nearly as much as it should:

Federal budget: President Obama’s new transportation budget proposes big increases in public transit funding and the bike-transportation-friendly TIGER program. Hey, it’s a starting point.

“A bike path to progress”: The NYT looks at the Indy Cultural Trail, a project funded by TIGER and private philanthropy that which seems to have singlehandedly created a “mainstream bike scene” in Indianapolis.

Former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa, who popularized the ciclovia and pushed the principle that cities can be good for cars or for people, but not for both, will run for president of Colombia on the Green Party ticket. His TED Talk from last year about transportation justice is your video of the week:

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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  • spare_wheel March 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

    ” Longtime NYT Magazine writer Randy Cohen examines the ethics of driving cars in cities and finds it problematic.”

    i think the essay by Cohen finds driving in cities to be more than just problematic:

    “City life might include a role for the private car, but it is a minor supporting role, not the starring part it has held for generations.”

    infrastructure varies but the common denominator of cities with high cycling mode share was a willingness to wage war on low-occupancy vehicle use. i believe that the accommodationist stance of current advocacy (e.g. “share the road” and “bike ambassador”) and the death of critical mass is one of the main contributors to our current stagnation.

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    • wsbob March 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      “…a willingness to wage war…” spare_wheel

      Right…just what civilization and society needs…more wars, and more people willing to wage them.

      Co-operative efforts towards realistic and workable ideas for change is what’s needed. For one, a better understanding amongst all road users, of the needs and considerations of people traveling by bike and motor vehicle, necessary to more effectively enable both travel modes to use the road together.

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      • q`Tzal March 10, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        The American “Car Head” society already thinks that the “bicycle industrial complex” is at war with them; maybe they need to understand what an actual war looks like.
        We’re dying out there: people on bicycles, people walking safely and even people driving safely. Perhaps it’s far past time to show the Car Heads the horror of THEIR war on the rest of us.

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        • wsbob March 11, 2014 at 1:47 am

          “The American “Car Head” society already thinks that the “bicycle industrial complex” ….” q`Tzal

          In past comments you’ve posted, it seems you’ve at various times, suggested that you drive truck for a living. Maybe it’s time for a change in occupation, get out of the confines of the truck cab before you completely succumb to paranoid conspiracy fantasies of societies and complexes that don’t exist in reality.

          Throwing around junk names that sound like they were borrowed from some bad graphic novel, isn’t likely to bring about improvements to bike use supporting road infrastructure. Solid, thought out ideas presented coolly, without a bunch of hysterical name calling, is likely to get way better things accomplished.

          Randy Cohen, writing for the NYtimes, has spent too long living in NYC or other big cities, if he believes the private car holds merely a minor supporting role in serving as a travel mode of both choice and obligation, for many millions of people living in the city. Rather than the captivity and aggravation Cohen claims, in many, many instances, private cars continue to offer freedom and mobility that public transportation and bicycles are hard pressed to match.

          Of course, writing as an ethicist, about the ethical considerations associated with driving private motor vehicles, Cohen certainly is correct on a certain level, that there are some downsides to the transition of motor vehicles having become a predominate mode of personal transportation.

          With co-operation, rather than antagonistic, animosity burdened, simplistic rhetoric spread about irresponsibly, there’s a chance to make improvements away from personal car travel mode dependency. This doesn’t seem to be the method of change Cohen is interested in taking. It seems he prefers the old simplistic philosophizing and rationalizing, ‘fire up the faithful troops’ stuff, with no substantial ideas for change offered.

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          • q`Tzal March 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

            I see you’ve fallen for the mental crutch of ASSUMING that being part of a group by employment, geography, age or race makes one forget that other people are still people deserving of understanding and empathy. For me truck driving is just a job, I’ve had many. My diverse life experiences puts me out with Kerouac. Don’t pretend you know what I think; you only know what I say.

            But lemme get back to this “WAR ON X!” invective. Part of my “diverse experience” includes growing up with violence, terror, uncertainty and death. I managed to avoid any actual wars but I’ve seen more than my fair share suffering and people dying before my eyes than normal for a non-combat veteran.
            So when close minded troglodytes equate inconvenience and a little bit of uncomfortable guilt with ACTUAL WAR it kinda annoys me… a lot. So pampered and isolated in their insular lives driving 4-wheeled seclusion mobiles that they truly don’t appreciate real suffering. Their rhetoric seems to indicate they’d like to.

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            • wsbob March 11, 2014 at 11:58 am

              “I see you’ve fallen for the mental crutch of ASSUMING that being part of a group by employment, geography, age or race makes one forget that other people are still people deserving of understanding and empathy. For me truck driving is just a job, I’ve had many. My diverse life experiences puts me out with Kerouac. Don’t pretend you know what I think; you only know what I say. …” q`Tzal

              If what you’re saying is not what you think…you’ve got a problem.

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              • q`Tzal March 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm

                If what you think I said is not what I actually said you have a problem.

                If you fail to conceive that wishing people understood what war actually is is not the same as advocating violence then I pity you your pedestrian existence that inhibits you from seeing others’ perspectives and that life isn’t binary contrasts.

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                • wsbob March 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

                  “If what you think I said is not what I actually said you have a problem. …” q`Tzal

                  Hey man, you’re writing, hoping, I guess, that people here will read what you wrote, trusting that you’re not playing some kind of trick on them. That appears to be what you’re doing when you say some kind of thing like you did here:

                  “…Don’t pretend you know what I think; you only know what I say. …” q`Tzal

                  If you’re not thinking it, don’t say it. Good luck next time. You have a good day.

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              • Caleb March 12, 2014 at 9:56 am

                Your characterization of him pertained to subjects broader than his statements. Perhaps that’s what he was getting at. Do all your thoughts get expressed as words? If not, why think you can presume so much about what prompts someone to say particular things?

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      • spare_wheel March 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm

        the world health organizations estimates that ~1.2 million people are killed each year by people driving motorvehicles.

        http://www.who.int/gho/road_safety/mortality/traffic_deaths_number/en/

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  • kiel johnson March 10, 2014 at 11:08 am

    in the last columbian election the green party scored 28% of the vote. Right now they have 5 of 102 senate seats. I hope Enrique improves their odds! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Party_(Colombia)

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  • Joseph E March 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

    The LAPD relented on Saturday, so the LA marathon bike ride went on, though it was not allowed to be a race this year:

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/03/10/marathon-crashed-a-first-hand-account-of-sunday-mornings-hustle/

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  • Paul H March 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    There is already a bike-friendly bridge just a couple hundred yards upstream from the failed trolley bridge. It connects the Clackamas River Trail with the Gladstone street grid.

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    • GlowBoy March 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Yep, the upstream bridge connecting Gladstone’s Columbia Ave with Oregon City’s Washington Street works great, and I ride it several times a year (among other things, it’s part of my route to Champoeg State Park).

      It’s only about a mile from the end of the Trolley Trail, and combined with the riverside trail on the Oregon City side it sure beats riding on the 99E sidewalk, adding only about 3/4 mile to the trip. Granted, a new bridge would cut that difference in half, but there’s no way to justify the multimillion dollar expense when you have a excellent alternative crossing 1/3 mile upstream.

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  • Dan March 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    $35 for a 1-minute toddler race! Way to ‘grow the sport’!

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  • GlowBoy March 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    $25 to enter my toddler in a “race” that exists mostly to promote the sponsor’s products? No thanks.

    I wonder how welcome we would be anyway, when the little one rolls out on a Goodwill bike with the cranks removed? That’s juuuuust a little cheaper than the $150-250 that I see a lot of balance-bikes going for.

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    • gutterbunny March 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Yeah I never understood the balance bikes. Just get the kids a bike and remove the pedals. Did this with my daughter and within a week she was on the pedals, and a week after that we the entire SE Sunday park ways (and she only bit it once….)

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  • are March 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    update from RTR on the brandt decision
    http://www.railstotrails.org/news/features/supremecourt-info.html
    sotomayor has a good dissent

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    • GlowBoy March 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      I think the Brandt decision is the worst news I’ve heard so far this year. Don’t MOST rail-trails legally depend on the “reversionary interest” to keep the corridors as public ROWs after rail traffic ceases?

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  • Dave March 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I’ve used the other Gladstone bridge dozens of times for an Oatfield Road/W.Linn/downtown loop, makes for a nice little ride.

    Paul H
    There is already a bike-friendly bridge just a couple hundred yards upstream from the failed trolley bridge. It connects the Clackamas River Trail with the Gladstone street grid.
    Recommended 1

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  • Bike Milwaukie March 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    The old rail bridge over the Clackamas was pulled down mid-day Sunday.
    http://www.kgw.com/video?id=249197211&sec=547977&ref=rcvidmod

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  • Spiffy March 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t put my swimsuits in a trunk and chain it to a tree in Central Park for the winter. Why should you store your Dodge Caravan on my block?

    awesome!

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