Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on November 8th, 2010 at 7:58 am

Pro Walk Pro Bike in Seattle - Weds-51.jpg

Chuck Ayers of Cascade.
(Photo © J. Maus)

– When slow and fast sidewalk lanes appeared in NYC last year it was a joke, but now a group of London business owners are seriously lobbying to create a slow lane for tourists on the overflowing sidewalks of Oxford Street.

– A slideshow presentation on the little-acknowledged truth that it’s okay to be fat and ride a bike has been making the rounds. You can check out the pictures and read the accompanying script below.

– The city of Los Angeles is all set to pass a bicycle master plan. The only hitch? In an amazing feat in a famously fragmented city, the entire bike community has united against it .

– Washington State bike advocacy is at a turning point, with the state’s powerhouse advocacy group engaged in internal wrangling to determine if its future course will be more conservative or more outspoken. For more, here’s a level-headed analysis from a member.

– And in the realm of extremely local politics, it’s interesting to watch the unfolding saga of Washington’s ferry unloading policies and what they mean for maritime bike travel and transportation.

– In Colorado, the felony charge for a hit-and-run against a man on a bike has been dropped to a misdemeanor because prosecutors are concerned that the man behind the wheel in the crash might lose his job as a financial manager to the ultra-wealthy.

– A UK university is testing a bike lock system that uses silent alarms and closed circuit cameras to track bicycles using the device.

– A story out of Portland reveals the fine art of “epic bus riding”long distance trips taken via a strategically planned series of local and regional bus systems.

The dream of a nationwide bicycle route system is getting some federal attention. Meanwhile, the bicycle travel industry is on the rise across the country. Here‘s a rundown.

– A blogger in India finds a correlation between rising divorce rates and the increase in motorized transportation in the country.

– A US blogger talks about the need for a new discourse on city cycling in which there are options in between riding like a cowboy and being timidly rulebound.

– Looking for inspiration? You’ll find new sources on this list of “10 urban visionaries who aren’t Jane Jacobs.”

– And if you were hoping for design inspiration, here you go: a bookshelf that’s also a place to hang your road bike, and some enthusiastic meditation on the potential of the amphibious bicycle.

– Video of the week: An intrepid passenger films the man driving the next car over on the freeway as he simultaneously reads a book, checks his text messages, and glances at his kindle

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9 Comments
  • Elliot November 8, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Also, on the front page of the Oregonian this morning: Oregon officials see dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths this year.

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  • 99th Monkey November 8, 2010 at 9:23 am

    If you would like to sign a petition submitted to the Vail DA to NOT drop felony hit-and-run charges against Martin Joel Erzinger, you can do so by going to:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/da_mark_hurlbert_dont_drop_felony_charges_against_hit-and-run_wealth_manager

    This is the text of the petition, of which it would be GREAT to have the first paragraph posted in 6″ bold letters on the door out of every Portland Police shift briefing room!

    “Traffic laws exist to motivate all drivers to act in a manner that is safe for other users of the road, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. To those of us who rely on bicycles for transportation and recreation, enforcement of laws that ensure our safety on the road is vital.

    The enforcement of traffic laws should not differ depending on a driver’s ability to write a check, but rather on the ability of the law to motivate drivers to drive safely. What Martin Joel Erzinger is accused of doing is clearly criminal, but dropping felony charges will set a message to drivers that the penalties for neglecting the welfare of others on the road, causing life-altering injury, and showing no concern for the victim might not be as serious as the law indicates.”

    While Martin Joel Erzinger would like to write a few checks and move on with his life, we must ensure that actions such as his are punished to the full extent of the law. Please do not drop felony charges against Martin Joel Erzinger.

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  • are November 8, 2010 at 10:16 am

    i think “dottie,” the blogger who writes about a “new discourse,” somewhat misses the point of josh king’s “ten rules”
    http://commutebybike.com/2010/10/27/10-rules-for-urban-commuting/
    though the comments posted to his blog do indicate that the conversation is polarized. i do not read josh’s list as “macho” posturing. all he is saying is that when you are out on the roads among motorists, your priority is safety, not following rules that were developed for motorists, and not serving as an ambassador for some imagined “community” of cyclists. if we need a “new discourse,” it would be one that gets this message across to people who resist its logic because of preconceptions that have been fed to them by the dominant, motorist culture.

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  • mabsf November 8, 2010 at 10:21 am

    About being fat and riding a bike:
    There is just no gear to be had – rain gear in double x is seldom found. If you find it, it equals most of the time a size 16 (which is in regular clothing an xl at most). Please note that the average American woman is a size 14…
    It’s as if we exist for the the clothes, not the clothes for us!

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  • Sel November 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    It’s great to feel not quite so alone out there being a larger rider. But Mabsf is right. I’ve been looking for a rain jacket for the last two weeks that meets all of my needs and ended up with absolutely nothing. I’m about to give up on getting something that actually fits me in the right places and venturing into the land of rectangles, the mens sizes.

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  • Opus the Poet November 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I’m not fat, but I am BIG. Finding bike clothes is tough even at my size. One thing I wouldn’t think would be a problem is gloves. When I was in the Army I wore a medium glove shell with a 9 liner, when I worked in a cleanroom making computer chips I wore either a 9 nitrile or medium vinyl glove, but when I go to a bike store I wear an XL glove that is on the verge of being too tight? And don’t even get me started on jersey sizes when you have a 48″ chest and 14″ biceps and you have to walk through a bathroom door sideways because your shoulders don’t fit straight on.

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  • mabsf November 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Opus, I hear you, but at least there is SOME stuff out there for guys and it is true to size…
    For women, sport apparel literally stops with L/size 12… (that’s again one size smaller than the average American woman!)
    I am really frustrated because it’s a vicious cycle: Women don’t want to cycle wet and uncomfortable, so gear makers ignore them, so women don’t get to cycle… or at least only women that no larger than size 12/L.
    Gear makers explain that the market for larger women is not big enough, that it is difficult to cut for women, that it is too expensive to develop gear…
    Snarky remark: Doesn’t stop them from developing 15 different weight rain jackets for men!

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  • spare_wheel November 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    after an exhaustive search my (much) better half could not find a single rain jacket that fit. the main problem was not size but the cut.

    ps: we tried all the usual suspects (rei, bg, terry.com, raincity etc.)

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  • wsbob November 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    “…I’m about to give up on getting something that actually fits me in the right places and venturing into the land of rectangles, the mens sizes. Sel #5

    That’s what I was going to suggest after reading mabsf #4 comment. It’s sleeve and body length that’s the big difference between certain types of men’s and womens outerwear like jackets, rainwear. So some crossover use might work with a tailor/seamstress help (there are people with little side businesses that can do this. I actually knows someone that has one, but they’re kind of busy.). A little taken in ‘here and there’, and that ‘rectangle’ garment can wind up looking just great.

    I’m basically an average proportioned 6′ medium build. Still, I like things loose, so I’m often wearing XL tops. So it’s not difficult for me to understand that big bodied people would be very frustrated even trying on XXL garments (Fred’s has a section for that, Target has some too.).

    I don’t personally need the bike specific look, so aside from a look to see what they got, I mostly don’t often even bother trying to get cycling jerseys and other clothing from the stores that sell it. My current, favorite outerwear jersey stand-in is a 50/50 poly cotton thermal crew shirt I got at Kohl’s for seven dollars a couple years ago.

    If the market for larger proportioned garments isn’t getting stronger, I’m kind of surprised, because it seems like there’s more big people out being active, than I remember in past years. Maybe it’s true, bu manufacturers just haven’t realized this yet.

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