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The Monday Roundup: The gravel boom, biking while high and more

Posted by on January 18th, 2016 at 8:44 am

Gifford Gravel 50-14.jpg
The 2015 Gifford Gravel 50,
here in Oregon.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Find a place to air out your jacket, Portland — it’s been pretty wet out there. Let’s warm you up with the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Gravel race: 1,400 riders signed up in 15 minutes for a Kansas gravel grinder; the remaining 500 tickets were gone in two hours.

Mandatory flags: A bill in Missouri’s legislature would require anyone riding a bike on lettered country roads to have a 15-foot-high fluorescent flag.

Biking to learn: A group of New Jersey first graders are using desks with pedals because studies say it aids concentration.

Riding high: Marijuana apparently doesn’t impair your biking ability, a study found.

Helmet psychology: People tend to take more risks while wearing them.

Love quest: Indian street artist PK Mahanandia couldn’t afford a plane ticket, so he pedaled from Delhi to Vienna to follow the woman he’d fallen for.

Car bubble: The new-car financing industry has figured out a way to play hot potato with bad car loans, because that sort of thing always ends well.

Bikes and gentrification: Researchers say bike infrastructure is more likely to arrive in neighborhoods where the share of homeowners and college grads is rising, but which causes which?

Barricades arise: “I would like to give Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them,” says Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris.

Demystifying planning: The original Better Block team has scored Knight Foundation funding to spread their concept of on-street demos.

Street library: Los Angeles now has one. On a trike, of course.


Interested but concerned: For the first time, the famous phrase coined to describe would-be bikers in Portland has been shown to apply nationwide.

Sharp trike: Just look at it.

City lawsuit: A 59-year-old man who apparently flipped his bike on a cable in a Vancouver street is suing the city for failing to mark it.

I-5 Bridge: Public radio’s Marketplace did a five-minute spot summing up the stasis that followed the CRC debacle.

“Pedestrian menace”: The NYC transit workers’ union continues their bizarre campaign against walking.

Bike share analysis: A New York data geek visualized Citi Bike statistics in awe-inspiring detail.

Against Vision Zero: Famous public transit hater Randal O’Toole has discovered the movement. He’s not a fan.

Induced demand: Dutch bike lanes are operating at full capacity, a national report found.

Collision fury: A Brooklyn writer has some intemperate advice on “how to stop hitting me with your car.”

Out of mind: A Portland scholar found that people who never bike are way, way less likely to respect bikes on the road.

Parking causes driving: It’s not the other way around, a new study concludes.

Parking permits: The Sightline Institute looks at Portland’s parking permit proposal and loves it.

Elite demographics: A proposed New York City bill would reveal the number of community board members who own cars.

Bike licensing: Cheyenne, Wyoming, is considering repeal of its unenforced bike licensing law.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

135 Comments
  • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Mandatory flags for cars 1896; for bikes 2016 – how quickly a century goes by.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_traffic_laws

    Noteworthy, though, that for cars the flag was to precede the vehicle, while for bikes it trails. That difference is quite revealing.

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    • Robert Burchett January 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

      The two greatest hazards for mv operators on rural roads in Missouri, in no particular order: deer and stray cattle. No doubt those critters will also be flagged!

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      • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 11:41 am

        I would think that the biggest hazards to mv operators in Misery are the drivers themselves. It’s pretty easy to avoid hitting cattle of one is driving according to the law, and it’s a rare deer that isn’t visible long before it comes onto the road if one pays just a bit of attention to what one is doing.

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        • Alan 1.0 January 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

          rare but it happens: youtube Sausalito Crash 12:14:14

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          • Spiffy January 18, 2016 at 2:49 pm

            looks like California more than Missouri…

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          • Eric Leifsdad January 18, 2016 at 11:33 pm

            That’s why you don’t ride in the gutter.

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          • Pete January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

            Did you read the comment thread on that video, about the “dog” and pepperoni not being meat? LMFAO!!

            I’ve had this happen to me in the bay area, Oregon coast, and the gorge; managed to avoid all as near-misses (except once with my van). Deer need to wear hi-viz clothing. Rep. Davis needs to get right on that….

            Maybe they should have 15′ flags too! More than twice as high as my cargo van, and a foot taller than most standard bridges… and these are our elected leaders…

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        • longgone January 18, 2016 at 1:51 pm

          Easy low hanging jab at other states. Typical. Stupid bills are attempted daily, even in this state. Missouri is a beautiful place. That bill will get no traction, I assure you.

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          • Huey Lewis January 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

            Missouri is lovely and I’d encourage many of you that aren’t from here to perhaps think of moving there. I hear St. Louis is very cheap.

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            • Hello, Kitty January 19, 2016 at 10:58 am

              St. Louis has one of the awesomest museums ever.

              http://www.citymuseum.org/

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            • longgone January 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

              Without Missouri, and the cultural history that is its great history, there would be a much different Portland Oregon. You sir as we say in the Show Me State, are an “unthinking buffoon”.

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            • longgone January 20, 2016 at 2:20 am

              ‘Cmon Huey.. .. I challenge you to a Missouri/Oregon standoff! A cultural arts based war! Do it now. History is truly on the side of Missouri. Are you afraid ?

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              • Hello, Kitty January 20, 2016 at 2:34 am

                Mark Twain vs. Tonya Harding?

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          • Pete January 29, 2016 at 3:01 pm

            “Stupid bills are attempted daily”; to your point:
            http://www.cyclelicio.us/2016/missouri-bill-no-stop-for-right-on-red

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      • longgone January 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm

        Sorry Robert, the first major threat….. dogs. Trust me. Farm dogs are abundant, and provide lots of interval training.

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        • Robert Burchett January 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm

          Do cars benefit from interval training? 😉 Dogs certainly bark at motor vehicles but aren’t much of a threat. Guess I should have said “besides other cars”. I’m from Missouri, and if you’re driving on a blacktop and see a bunch of eyes and teeth ahead, those are black Angus!

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        • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 8:49 pm

          I couldn’t help myself. My many friends from Kansas taught me how to pronounce Missouri.

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  • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Randy O’Toole – what he writes is such patent nonsense: a mishmash of his familiar anti-government ranting, cherry picked statistics, and a hefty dose of confusion about what it is he’s actually arguing for or against: make-streets-safer-by-slowing-traffic-down-to-a-crawl, or the-most-dangerous-are-local-streets-where-traffic-is-slowest. He has no theory, just a hunch which then quickly goes off the rails as he tries to make sense of it all with his grab bag of impressions.

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    • Dave January 18, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Every political group has their own fetish–scratch a train lover and you’ll find a lefty (me guilty!) and Libertarians are more emotionally hung up on private cars than the average automotive engineer or race driver probably is.

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      • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 10:42 am

        I’m fine with an affinity group defending their private passion. But I do think we can and should expect them to make sense when they do, hold them to a higher standard if they don’t.

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    • Chris I January 18, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Tool is an appropriate description for that guy. Oh, and he loves government. He loves parking minimums and subsidies for sprawl. He just doesn’t like subsidies for biking, walking, or transit.

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  • Granpa January 18, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Biking while high – more research is needed

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    • mran1984 January 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Comment of the week!!!

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    • ethan January 18, 2016 at 10:04 am

      I volunteer.

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    • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Riding your bike, high on pot, do as much “…research…”, as you want…please just consider conducting it where there are no other road users around, whether they’re traveling by bike or by motor vehicle.

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      • mran1984 January 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        I would rather be hit by someone under the influence than someone on their phone. Plus, it is perfectly legal to ride, or drive, while being oblivious to everything around you anyway. Not to mention the lack of skill displayed by riders and drivers that is abundant on both sides of the river.

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        • wsbob January 19, 2016 at 12:11 am

          “I would rather be hit by someone under the influence than someone on their phone. …” mran1984

          Oh…that’s really funny, like something somebody high would think was ‘philosophical’. For some people, it seems anything with a pot reference is like a politically correct opportunity to make a dumb joke. I don’t mean to spoil the fun by being overly serious…but wasn’t there just recently, on Lombard St, a collision resulting in the fatality of someone biking, because in part, the person driving was reportedly very high on pot?

          Of course, no report that the person biking was high on pot, so I suppose there are some people reading here that will draw from this, that biking sober, can do nothing to help people avoid collisions with people driving badly.

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      • q`Tzal January 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        I still categorize this as a “self-solving problem” in that any vehicle that requires fine motor skills to even stay upright is a vehicle that will fall over/crash very close to its point of origin with minimal injuries.

        The worst negative effect I see from intoxicated people riding bicycles is a group of similarly stoned/drunk “friends” coming out to watch their buddy fall over off his bike in the parking lot…. and then the “victim” being so stoned/drunk that they don’t feel the pain of the skull fracture that they proceed to do it again and again.

        Sure, they’ll count as crashes/collisions/accidents but by their nature they will be very slow speed and only involve the intoxicated person themselves.

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        • shirtsoff January 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm

          Do you have any hot spots and time of the week where this behavior can be easily observed? I’m skeptical but equally fascinated by the idea that this is common behavior, q’Tzal..

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          • q`Tzal January 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm

            I haven’t observed this in decades but in my youth both some illustrious members of my extended redneck family and their friends lost their driver’s licenses due to repeated DUIs.
            Because there was no public transportation to speak of the only options are walking and bicycling.
            Of course these booze hounds didn’t stop boozing; often they’d drink even more.
            Watching them try to ride a bicycle when they could barely walk in a straight line was always a hoot.

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          • Spiffy January 18, 2016 at 3:56 pm

            it’s common… just look at all the bikes locked up near bars at 1:30am…

            often people will walk until they sober up enough to ride…

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            • mh January 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm

              Until they THINK they’re sober enough to ride…

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        • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm

          I think many people probably can ride a bike under the influence of alcohol or pot, and stay upright on the bike. Slower reaction time is one of the things I understand that pot can produce. In straight terms, collision avoidance ability of people BUI, may be impaired.

          What I was thinking of in posting my initial comment, is that for example, if someone else using the road with a motor vehicle, makes a mistake requiring a person riding a bike and on a collision path with them, to take evasive action, impaired reaction ability of the person riding, could have critical consequences for the person riding.

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          • Hello, Kitty January 19, 2016 at 10:51 am

            I’m not sure “evasive action” is a practical solution to avoiding crashes in most real-life situations, but riders who are “influenced” might make different choices when making judgments (“Should I blow this sign?” “Can I make it?”), or, depending on the level of impairment, perhaps even noticing the sign in the first place. That’s where I see the greatest danger.

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            • wsbob January 19, 2016 at 10:26 pm

              Being prepared to take evasive action to avoid collisions is simply a reality of road use. I’m thinking the chances of successfully avoiding a collision through evasive action, is likely to be better, if the road user’s reflexes aren’t slowed by some intoxicant.

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    • q`Tzal January 18, 2016 at 10:29 am

      I’m willing to bet there are higher health risks from cardiovascular exercise (riding a bicycle) in urban traffic exhaust than smoking even the nastiest ditch weed.

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      • davemess January 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

        I actually looked into that last year. I found some studies that concluded that cycling next to traffic was not any worse than what the people in cars were experiencing for most of the chemicals they looked at.
        I don’t have time to dig it up now, but you can probably find it.

        I think they summarized that the exercise was a net positive over any negatives from the air.

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        • q`Tzal January 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

          Did you include the one that showed traffic police officers who spent over X-hours in a vehicle in traffic, inhaling combustion exhaust through their vehicle air vents, had the same lung cancer risk as a 2 or 3 pack a day smoker?

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          • davemess January 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm

            No, I was looking at it from a standpoint of “What is more dangerous for breathing while cycling: Taking main streets or backroads?”

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            • soren January 18, 2016 at 1:51 pm

              I strongly resent the unnecessary damage vehicle pollution does to my health when I ride my bike in traffic. Suggesting that part of the fault lies in where I choose to ride is victim blaming.

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              • q January 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

                Same. I haven’t smoked in twenty years but I still cough up black stuff from 200 urban miles a week on my bike.

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              • Hello, Kitty January 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

                I too am unhappy about urban air quality, as we all should be. Cars are a part of that problem, but there are plenty of other contributors: diesel engines (trucks, trains, ships, machinery), industrial emissions (there are some plating companies on the east side that emit some very nasty stuff), aviation emissions, people using fireplaces, the list goes on.

                I read nothing that could remotely be construed as victim blaming.

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                • soren January 18, 2016 at 8:20 pm

                  “What is more dangerous for breathing while cycling: Taking main streets or backroads?”

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                • davemess January 19, 2016 at 12:08 pm

                  Soren, come on. That’s a simple question. It places no blame or judgement on where one chooses to ride (for the record I am very in support of biking on main streets).

                  The point of the studies was that the cyclists had pretty much the same air quality on those main roads as the people in cars on those main roads.

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                • Hello, Kitty January 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

                  It’s not just cyclists who suffer from dirty air — everyone does. And it is unquestionable that geography plays a role.

                  Cleveland students are closer to sources of pollution (Powell, UPRR, etc.) than Wilson students are, and so probably suffer from higher exposure to pollutants. Pointing that out that does not cast blame on those students.

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                • soren January 20, 2016 at 11:06 am

                  davemess, then i apologise. i often have trouble with context online.

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          • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 8:55 pm

            That’s not a surprise. I remember reading in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter (School of Public Health subscription rag for laymen) in the early ’90s that the carcinogen load inside a car is 4-8 times as high as at the roadside.

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        • Buzz January 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

          It’s well documented that toll booth workers have higher cancer rates than the general public.

          I attribute my adult-onset asthma at least in part to a long history of cycling in traffic.

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    • was carless January 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      I’ve biked while high before; I did not experience anything but some fatigue from the effects. However, while my reaction time was a bit impaired, my sense of balance was surprisingly unaffected.

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      • ethan January 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        I bike high all the time. I generally feel like I’m riding slower when I’m baked, but I ride pretty much the same as if I were not high at all.

        I might take more back roads and stop to look at the scenery more often, but I’ve never had any collisions / issues / anything else while biking under that particular influence.

        Drunk biking is considerably different and, in my experiences, much more harmful to the rider.

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        • Hello, Kitty January 18, 2016 at 3:07 pm

          What would you say to someone who made the same claims about driving high?

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          • q January 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm

            That there is a huge difference between operating 2 ton power tools powered by explosions, designed to separate the user from the outside environment, and being on top of a thirty pound bike powered by its operator.

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          • Spiffy January 18, 2016 at 4:00 pm

            depends on which study you want to believe… some studies show you’re safer driving while stoned… others show you’re about the same as being on any other publicly available medications…

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          • middle of the road guy January 19, 2016 at 9:03 am

            It all depends which study we want to believe to support our current view.

            If it is contrary to what I believe now, well it must be wrong!

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    • resopmok January 18, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      In my research studies, I’ve found that I’m likely to be more cautious while riding high and more likely to get lost or miss my turn. Overall safer, slower, and more confused about how to get where I’m going. Your results may vary.

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  • rick January 18, 2016 at 10:10 am

    The link to the Portland parking permit news site doesn’t work.

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  • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

    There’s a risk in dubiously using some study’s conclusion to make the kind of declarative sentence such as the following used in today’s bikeportland Monday Roundup:

    “Helmet psychology: People tend to take more risks while wearing them.”

    Jump to the chase: did the study’s facilitators find that ‘all people’ that wear bike helmets, tend to take more risks while wearing them?

    Or, did they find that people that do relatively higher risk types of biking, such as bike racing or maybe intermediate and advanced recreational mountain biking…that tend to succumb to the psychological bearing use of bike helmets may have on their concluding that because they’re wearing a bike helmet, they can ride in a riskier manner?

    It’s a human failing, I suppose, that many people often will not read beyond declarative statements, to find out what more to the story there may be. Sometimes, it seems that people that either generally don’t like bike helmets, or laws obliging some people to use them, will use declarative statements like the one in today’s roundup, to discourage people from wearing bike helmets when riding.

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    • daisy January 19, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Similar research has been happening in football. A new study found that players without helmets and shoulder pads played more safely and took fewer risks. Some folks are suggesting that players practice without helmets so they don’t get used to a false sense of protection. http://usatodayhss.com/2016/study-practicing-without-helmets-could-help-improve-safety-in-football

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    • daisy January 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

      This study was done in a lab. It wasn’t a survey. It was much more controlled than your questions suggest.

      Best part: you can read it here! http://opus.bath.ac.uk/48015/

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    • Pete January 19, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      I tend to discount these “behavioral impact” types of studies (and their declarative conclusions – or anything along the lines of “this leads to that”… and therefore what??). A helmet is used for one purpose: to help mitigate the impact of blunt trauma to the skull. I doubt highly that I (either subconsciously or consciously) engage in riskier behavior when I place one on my head.

      I do know that I engaged in much riskier behavior before I started crashing and learning the results (cause and effect) of those calculated risks, that I subsequently learned to better calculate (i.e. not take)… kinda like when Mom told me not to touch the stove.

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      • daisy January 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        We don’t always know why we make certain decisions, take certain risks, etc. Constant self-awareness would be exhausting! The folks in these studies were wearing helmets that had absolutely no safety function, yet still reacted differently than the control group without helmets.

        I’m not saying don’t wear your helmet. But let’s not dismiss developing research, either.

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        • Pete January 19, 2016 at 3:01 pm

          The study did not compare how the same people behaved with and without helmets, it compared 40 people with helmets to 40 people with baseball caps. I don’t see what that proves.

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  • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Completely unrelated to the roundup, but thinking I should have mentioned it in past: that’s a rockin’ solar panel ad bikeportland’s been using lately. Definitely the kind of ad that’s likely to get people interested in buying themselves some solar panels.

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    • Spiffy January 18, 2016 at 11:58 am

      what solar panel ad? I see no such ads on the page…

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      • Racer X January 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        I get ads for big SUVs and guns and pugs in pink tutus…I think Jonathan has no control any more over ads…Google bots do.

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        • Spiffy January 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

          I used to have AdBlock disabled on here but those unrelated ads got to be too much so I had to turn it back on…

          it’d be nice if subscribers didn’t have to see the google ads…

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      • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 5:29 pm

        The ads seems to change. I don’t see it now, but I’ve seen it on bikeportland before, I believe. Nothing outwardly objectionable about it. It’s just a woman standing amid a bunch of solar panels. Nicely dressed, but photographed to enhance her figure a little more conspicuously than I thought some of bikeportlands’ more outspoken people reading here would appreciate.

        In terms of quality and artistry, covers of car magazines and motorcycle magazines have this ad beat, hands down, but it’s always interesting to see how manufacturers of other products use the same general technique to pitch their products.

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley January 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I read the story about the man who cycled from India to Austria. Hang on a sec. I seem to have something in my eye…

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    • Tacoma January 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Me too. (Sniff.)

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      • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 8:58 pm

        My eyes cleared up when he said he didn’t love bikes. It was a compelling love story, nonetheless.

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  • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Citylab’s story: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/01/drivers-negative-attitude-cyclists-bike-riders/423921/#disqus_thread

    …on finding of the study conducted by “…researcher Tara Goddard and colleagues at Portland State University…”, is worth reading. There’s considerably more information in that story, about the study’s findings than to what extent people that drive but never bike, feel that people that bike “are able to follow the rules of the road”.

    A two sentence paragraph made about midway in the story:

    “…But when it came to cyclists, neither drivers nor non-drivers thought people on bikes followed the rules or rode predictably, with only about a third agreeing that was the case. So in these five cities—among those generally considered progressive when it comes to street life—bicyclists have a universal perception problem. It’s not just that drivers don’t think much of how people ride bikes; no one really does. …” citylab

    The writer closes his story with a conclusion that the study has found that people that drive but never bike, do not support building more protected bike lanes. I think I’d need to read the study myself, maybe closely, rather than take the writer’s conclusion at face value.

    Generally a decently written story, though it seems that citylab tends to like using certain names of an antagonistic nature to refer to people that drive, and people that bike. I personally think resorting to that kind of name calling, works against better conditions for biking.

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    • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      “The writer closes his story with a conclusion that the study has found that people that drive but never bike, do not support building more protected bike lanes.”

      That’s okay. Many of us who ride but don’t drive also don’t support building more protected bike lanes, at least not the way they are currently being built.

      Isn’t it nice to see common ground?

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      • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 11:51 pm

        Questioning what’s meant by ‘protected bike lanes’, and how they’re currently built, is good to do. I’ve not looked the study myself, so I don’t know what examples of protected bike lanes may have been shown to study participants as part of questioning whether they would support their construction.

        To my mind, a protected bike lane in a true sense of those words, would be one that’s distanced from the main lanes of traffic by maybe 10′ with some sort of barrier in between that motor vehicles couldn’t easily stray through. If such lanes existed in our area, not everyone should have to ride them…but for those that desire that kind of infrastructure in order for riding to be a viable form of transportation for themselves, support for its creation is very important,

        I’m somewhat aware from first hand conversations, and believe reports I read, that there are many people for whom unavailability of a lane to ride, that’s some distance away from motor vehicle traffic, is a ‘no-go’, as to whether they’re prepared to ride rather than drive. If it’s a big percent of the public that’s not supportive of building protected bike lanes, that may help to explain why progress towards at least a basic network of protected bike lanes is being so slow to happen.

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    • Mao January 22, 2016 at 12:08 am

      I need to agree with the idea of the unpredictable bicyclist. Riding around, about 1 in 10 blow stop signs, while the other 9 typically slow to a near stop to look before going. I’ve nearly hit others because they didn’t look around when I had the right of way (On my bike of course).

      Once in a while, I’ll even confuse driver’s a four way stops when I put my foot down to make it as clear a possible that since they arrived before me, they get to go first. Which I’m doing because of those rare unpredictable drivers who come to a stop half way in an intersection.

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  • John Lascurettes January 18, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Out of mind: A Portland scholar found that people who never bike are way, way less likely to respect bikes on the road.

    No surprise whatsoever, but it’s nice to have actual measured data that makes it rather pronouncedly obvious to those that would deny it.

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    • Middle of the Road guy January 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Perhaps people who never drive are less likely to understand how many cyclists behave erratically?

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      • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        Got any demographic in mind? I’m not sure I’m following you.

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      • are January 18, 2016 at 2:24 pm

        i rarely or effectively never drive, and my perception is there are motorists and cyclists and pedestrians and skateboarders out there who are alert and engaged in what is going on around them and others who are not.

        also with carts in the grocery aisles. and near any elevator or hallway door or stairs landing.

        having been around sixty-odd years i would say anecdotally this has gotten worse over time, but it could simply be the much larger density of people everywhere. but it is certainly the case we have no effective mechanisms in place to train people from an early age to pay attention to where they are in relation to other people.

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        • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

          I agree with you and we are of an age. I think it’s not so much that things have changed dramatically as that people simply refuse to get off my lawn.

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      • Buzz January 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm

        Not how, why.

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      • shirtsoff January 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm

        Middle of the Road guy, I haven’t seen any data to back up that claim (or hypothesis?), but if you’re aware of a particular piece of scholarly research, please point the way to it!

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      • Dave January 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

        Or their perception of cyclist behavior is derived from a knowledge based of zero.,

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    • wsbob January 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      I think claims made that people driving, don’t respect bikes on the road, is overly simplistic, to the point of being counterproductive towards working towards better conditions for biking.

      From the citylab story alone, I was doubtful that study facilitator Tara Goddard, made any such statement, at least not as part of the study she conducted. Study excerpts used in the story, indicate that questions asked were more subtle and to the point.

      The study’s findings about people that drive, but do not support expansion of protected bike lane infrastructure, is a serious concern. If that part of the study’s findings does accurately reflect the public mindset about biking, I think it may more importantly reveal a lack of confidence in many people that bike, rather than a lack of respect for them.

      People lacking confidence in the ability of people biking to be good, responsible road users, will be difficult to persuade to support having their money spent on good bike infrastructure that at least at present, would directly serve only a small percentage of all road users.

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    • Eric Leifsdad January 18, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      How many people who never bike actually know the rules of the road? Seems like half think you have to ride on the sidewalk and the other half think you’re supposed to pull over if you’re not moving 10mph above the posted speed.

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      • wsbob January 19, 2016 at 10:39 am

        I think there definitely may be a common lack of understanding about what are the circumstances and situations in which the law provides for people to ride the main lanes of the road rather than bike lanes where available.

        The lack of understanding probably is mostly due to the intent of the law being not as obvious as say ‘stop means stop’, ‘green means go’, etc. A broader public discussion in the simplest terms manageable, of what Oregon’s bike laws provide for could help equip everyone with a better understanding of their responsibilities in using the road.

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  • Jay T. January 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    There’s a book bike here in Oregon, too! Corvallis-Benton County Public Library got one last fall. http://cbcpubliclibrary.net/bookbike/

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    • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Rochester, NY put theirs into service last Spring. http://www3.libraryweb.org/subpage.aspx?id=498655

      That guy in the red jersey with the “50” on it is an interesting character. He gave up smoking and got fully immersed in bicycling, so of course he’s the one who drags the bike library around.

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  • soren January 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    For the first time, the famous phrase coined to describe would-be bikers in Portland has been shown to apply nationwide.

    I have no problem with the label “interested but concerned” or even “enthused and confident” but “strong and fearless” is demeaning and inaccurate. I am, in general, somewhat comfortable riding on every arterial road in inner Portland but I am not fearless. A close pass frightens me. Aggressive behavior scares me.

    I also object to the label “strong”. Someone who is “interested but concerned” can be strong. I have known people who compete at high levels who are not comfortable riding where I ride. And people who are somewhat comfortable riding in urban traffic are, by no means, necessarily “strong”.

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    • Spiffy January 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      exactly… I’ll take the lane on Powell, but still be afraid that somebody will run me over, especially since I’m going 10 mph… I just don’t let that fear control me… I’m neither strong nor fearless but I will ride wherever it’s convenient and legal…

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      • Hello, Kitty January 18, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        Maybe instead of “strong and fearless” we should use “convenient and legal”?

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        • Hello, Kitty January 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm

          Actually, given the discussion elsewhere on this story, I’m changing my vote to “high and mighty”.

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    • Granpa January 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      On this we agree

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    • shirtsoff January 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      soren, these pedantic phrasings of demographics and the gut reaction you feel for them are very important in developing neutral categories. I’d give the issue more thought and propose names for categories and forward them to authors of these studies. A critical eye with constructive suggestions is always welcome in this field. 🙂

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      • soren January 20, 2016 at 11:16 am

        “will ride anywhere” is neutral and captures both “in the lane types” and the “invisible cyclist”.

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    • Adam H. January 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      I believe in this case, “strong” refers to level of ability rather than physical strength. At any rate, these terms are just shortcuts to help people better understand people who ride bikes. They necessarily have to be simplified.

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    • resopmok January 18, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      I take issue that “interested but concerned” and “no way no how” are labelled as two of “The 4 Types of Cyclists..” Aren’t they, by definition, not riding bicycles, and therefore not cyclists?

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      • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm

        I have long wondered about that.

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        • soren January 18, 2016 at 8:24 pm

          in the TREC portland study many people who ride/commute frequently were included n the “interested but concerned” category. moreover, in the “strong and fearless” category there were some that ride infrequently.

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      • are January 18, 2016 at 7:08 pm

        we are all bicyclists, just not very evenly distributed.

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        • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 7:15 pm

          Would you suggest that we are we all smokers too? Some of just don’t realize it yet?

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          • Nick Falbo January 19, 2016 at 7:13 am

            If my job was to get as many people smoking as possible, that is exactly how I’d think about it.

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            • 9watts January 19, 2016 at 7:44 am

              Except that the phrasing in the original taxonomy includes ‘no way no how’ which would be the equivalent of a teetotaler, or am I missing something?

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              • Nick Falbo January 19, 2016 at 8:23 am

                From the Geller’s original paper:

                “The separation between these four broad groups is not generally as clear-cut as described here. There is likely quite a bit of blurring between the “enthused,” the “interested,” and those not at all interested, but this has proven to be a reasonable way to understand the city’s existing and potential cyclists.”

                It’s also worth noting that this is specifically focused on bicycling for transportation. Even the No Way, No How group might go out on a path for a recreational ride.

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      • Adam H. January 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

        Everyone is a potential cyclist, though.

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    • B. Carfree January 18, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      I much prefer Jan Heine’s term for it: competent and confident. We know what we’re doing and how to do it, but we do experience our share of fear and other emotions.

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      • Hello, Kitty January 19, 2016 at 2:04 am

        How about “Knows How but Sometimes Scared”?

        Hmmmm…. that would describe me in other activities as well.

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      • soren January 20, 2016 at 11:22 am

        many in the EandC and IbutC categories are competent cyclists.

        i think the essence of this category is the cyclist who “will ride anywhere”. this neutral language encompasses ideologues, “i learned how to ride before bike lanes” types, and invisible cyclists.

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        • Pete January 20, 2016 at 3:21 pm

          …and “I learned how to ride in spite of bike lanes” types. 😉

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      • Dave Thomson January 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

        Agreed. And generally we know how to differentiate between actual risk versus perceived risk. That is why we ride where we need to go while still experiencing occasional fear.

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    • Nick Falbo January 19, 2016 at 7:20 am

      The framework also faces criticism for not being inclusive of the idea of the “invisible bicyclist.” This would be the person who bicycles because the have no other choice. They haven’t necessarily been trained it urban bicycling, and you may see them on the sidewalk, or riding on the gutter edge, going the wrong way. Because they will bicycle anywhere, they a lumped into the ‘strong and fearless’ category, but it is certainly not a good fit.

      While the framework isn’t perfect, it has been an incredible tool for advocates and planners to talk about bicycling in our cities.

      In a world where DOTs consider sharrows an equivalent “bicycle facility” to a protected bike lane, this framworks helps everyone talk about the distinctions and understand the implications on who is served by the streets we create.

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      • Hello, Kitty January 19, 2016 at 10:36 am

        Any categorization system that attempts to fit the span of humanity into four neat boxes will necessarily fail to capture some of the nuance of each individual. Focus less on the names of the categories, and more on how this model can help improve policy/infrastructure to meet the needs of various types of cyclists, with the goal of enticing more people to ride (and making things better for those already riding).

        Now, since I am nothing if not inconsistent, I would propose using naval terminology to describe riders:

        Garage Class
        Springwater Class
        Clinton Class
        Hawthorne Class
        Powell Class

        These contain no adjectives that someone might object to, and are a more objective “measurement” of what sorts of roads a particular cyclist is willing to ride on.

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      • soren January 20, 2016 at 11:08 am

        nick, i absolutely agree that it has been useful and think it can be improved to be more inclusive.

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    • daisy January 19, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I am neither strong nor fearless in most areas of life, but I do fit pretty well in that category of cyclist based on the description. I don’t find it demeaning at all. I like it — I am hardcore! Rawr! Etc. The best part: you can be strong and fearless … and kinda slow on a bike, like me!

      (Note: all bets are off if we are talking about mountain biking. There are I am weak and freaked out.)

      What these categories do is help me understand why some folks might feel differently about cycling than I do — and I think that’s the point. These categories are intended to help city and regional planners and engineers decide on appropriate infrastructure. If only strong and fearless types are present, that’s a strong indication you’ve got work to do — the problem isn’t that other cyclists and potential cyclists need to learn better skills, but rather that infrastructure needs to accommodate people’s skills and comfort levels.

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      • Hello, Kitty January 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

        “Weak and Freaked”. That’s awesome!

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  • longgone January 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Dirty Kanza!! Forever will I miss my ol’ bud Joel Dyke.

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  • Pete S. January 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Correction: The Gifford Gravel 50 is firmly in the state of Warshington, not Oregon.

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    • 9watts January 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Huh. From the picture it looks like asphalt too.

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      • Pete S. January 18, 2016 at 3:26 pm

        The route does start and end on pavement.

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  • Dave January 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    q`Tzal
    I’m willing to bet there are higher health risks from cardiovascular exercise (riding a bicycle) in urban traffic exhaust than smoking even the nastiest ditch weed.Recommended 6

    Ha! Haven’t heard the phrase “ditch weed” in a couple of decades!

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    • Spiffy January 19, 2016 at 11:25 am

      same here… and it’s a good thing…

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      • q`Tzal January 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm

        If Showtime’s series Weeds was any indication the marijuana economy went boutique over dollar store drek.

        Little good it does me: I get migraines from smoke in all its incarnations.

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    • q`Tzal January 22, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Someone forgot to tell my mom that Cheech and Chong is not appropriate listening fare for the 8-14 year old demographic.

      Then again they had me reading at a 3rd or 4th grade level when I got to kindergarten. Thanks mom for the years of boredom in public school.

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  • K'Tesh January 18, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Robert Burchett
    The two greatest hazards for mv operators on rural roads in Missouri, in no particular order: deer and stray cattle. No doubt those critters will also be flagged!Recommended 5

    And the deer should be arrested if they don’t use deer crossings. 😉

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    • Spiffy January 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

      they should be required to have a license and registration… I didn’t see an ear tag… how is the cyclist supposed to recoup damages?

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      • Alan 1.0 January 19, 2016 at 6:58 pm

        yeah, and then we could tell if they were missouri deer or damncalifornia deer

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        • Pete January 22, 2016 at 9:08 pm

          Just look at the tail color. Missouri has Whitetail, California has Columbian Blacktail.

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      • q`Tzal January 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm

        We’re gunna put bluetooth collars on all the deer so when they get close to the edge of the road a blinking warning sign is activated.

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  • Public Radio correction on CRC January 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    The Marketplace/OPB report on the CRC contains glaring errors. They should run a correction. The bridge is 6 lanes not 3, and was completed with both spans in 1958, not when model T’s and horse buggies were on the road. There’s also no mention of the 205 bridge.

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    • Dave Thomson January 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      The local PBS guy they brought on as the “expert” must have a second job writing headlines for supermarket tabloids.

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  • Dave January 19, 2016 at 9:38 am

    B. Carfree
    I much prefer Jan Heine’s term for it: competent and confident. We know what we’re doing and how to do it, but we do experience our share of fear and other emotions.Recommended 4

    I prefer that, too. “Strong and fearless” is cartoon-character language.

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    • q`Tzal January 22, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      The correct application of fear keeps you alive.
      Well informed utilization of ones fears can allow you to anticipate road hazards in an almost pre-cognitive manner.
      As long as you don’t trust it too much.

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  • Mike Sanders January 19, 2016 at 10:17 am

    “Lettered country roads in Missouri” should read “lettered county roads.” In MO, county roads have one or two letter route designations, and they’re prominently signposted there. The guy who proposed this “flag the bikes” law also proposed, last year, a law banning all cyclists from Sfate highways. In other words, a statewide cycling ban..in a Sfate that is actively working to create a bike route along the old Hwy. 66 corridor with all the other states along that alignment. Talk about being out of touch with reality!

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  • longgone January 24, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Thank you, Hello Kitty… I appreciate your help.
    I may offer up Charlie Parker vs. Storm Large, as my next comparison….
    I could do this for hours, but no one in Portland would care to try to understand. Sadly.

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    • Hello, Kitty January 24, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Bah. Everyone knows if it’s not from Portland it ain’t nothing. (Unless it’s from Copenhagen.)

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      • longgone January 25, 2016 at 1:31 am

        Hee hee

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