Tour de Lab September 1st

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on November 15th, 2010 at 9:18 am

Riding on Broadway downtown-1

Door-zone bike lanes got a beat-down
last week.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Here’s the news that caught our eye this week:

– A reporter had low expectations for his assignment to visit Los Angeles on a budget that did not allow him to rent a car–and had a blast, enjoying the city far more by bicycle and bus than he ever had from behind the wheel.

– Two friends have recently made a religious pilgrimage to Mecca from their home in South Africa by bicycle (with an unplanned leg by airplane after they were denied entry into Ethiopia).

– Why, asks Streetsblog, do cities continue to make it standard practice to build bike lanes directly in the door zone of parked cars, and when is this going to stop?

– In Tucson, concern is emerging over how the city’s planned street car line will affect bicycling, including a bike lane that may trap riders between the door zone on one side and new streetcar tracks on the other.

– A study commissioned by the city of Ashland, Oregon compared the location of non car-owning households with existing transportation facilities and found some of them lacking; the city will use the data in updating its new transportation plan.

– The completely touching story of how a woman in southern California helped her mom ride her bike to work for the first time.

– The practice of moving house by bicycle continues to spread as people, like this family in Davis, realize that it’s not a gimmick but an efficient way to do the job.

– A new report shows that the Nice Ride bike sharing program in Minneapolis has had a successful first season, with limited vandalism and a fifth of users reporting that they used the bikes to replace car trips.

– This video report takes a look at the state of the bike scene in New Orleans, from enforcement to bike parking to the plans for more infrastructure.

– As air travel security procedures have become more stringent, the airport has become an unlikely venue for civil disobedience.

– Germany’s famous beer bikes, pedaled by groups of drunken friends as they sit around a mobile bar, may be banned from one city, which considers them a “traffic nuisance.”

– We do not advise making and using this DIY bike pump that is designed to steal air from car tires to inflate the ones on your bicycle.

– An artist takes us on a tour of his collection of candid moments captured by the Google Street View cars as they navigate the country’s roads and public spaces.

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37 Comments
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    peejay November 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Since most car tires are about 32psi, and most bike tires are significantly higher pressure, it just won’t work. Air will always flow from higher pressure to lower pressure.

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      matt picio November 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      It’ll work just fine, except that it will only inflate the bike tire to 32PSI – or 60 PSI if you siphoned from someone’s emergency spare (that would be a jerk-ish move, of course). 32PSI is enough to limp to a gas station. Of course if your tire is already at 40-50PSI, this “pump” will only make the situation worse for the bike.

      Honestly, the comments on the pump story website are more interesting than the story itself – some people have no grasp of physics.

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      resopmok November 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

      It would work if you’d had a flat and tire pressure at 0 psi, you could at least get enough air to get rolling again.

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    Dave November 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

    “We do not advise making and using this DIY bike pump that is designed to steal air from car tires to inflate the ones on your bicycle. ”

    Classy.

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    Will November 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I always look forward to the great stories listed in your Monday round-up. This week is no exception. Thanks for putting these together each week!!

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    Perry Hunter November 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

    “Germany’s famous beer bikes” – Ooohhh. Can we get Metrofeits, Big Ass Sandwich and Hopworks together with some stimulus money on this?

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    April November 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Oh man, I especially love the article about the woman commuting with her mom. Her mom leaves some comments, and this is my favorite:

    “There is a camaradie amongst the commuting bike riders on the train and in the station. Passing through the streets of Santa Ana on a bike offers a brand new perspective to the rider. The wind in my face … seeing people close up … confusing car drivers. I love it!”

    Kinda sums up a lot of why cycling is so fun. :^)

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    Kevin Chambers November 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

    “We do not advise making and using this DIY bike pump that is designed to steal air from car tires to inflate the ones on your bicycle.”

    I guess this is how bad ideas go viral.

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    Quentin November 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I love reading the Monday Roundup, but I’m a little disappointed that Elly Blue feels something as dumb and obviously non-functional as the car-to-bicycle air hose is worthy of BikePortland readers’ attention.

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    Elly Blue (Columnist) November 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for keeping the feedback honest, folks. I included the bike pump because it made me laugh. It isn’t the best quality joke ever…but I always wish there was more in the bike news that would do that. Hopefully some of you will take this as a challenge to, as the zoobombers say, do it better.

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    wsbob November 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Re; johnny edge’s air travel security procedure oddysey: From what I can see, that story doesn’t have anything to do with biking, but it’s interesting. I haven’t flown for a few years. When I did, the annoying search was part of the routine, but I don’t remember having to endure a pat down.

    I think the last time I was patted down was by a cop, and I remember distinctly that it wasn’t at all invasive or used as an excuse to touch me in a sexual manner. It was extended hand, palm faced towards the inside of my legs, moved up to my crotch. There wasn’t any grabbing of genitalia.

    So, reading this guy’s statement:

    “… I looked him straight in the eye and said, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” …” johnnyedge.blogspot

    …I wondered if his past experience with airport security had given him good reason to be concerned that employees might abuse the inspection for sexual thrills. He didn’t say so. The way he tells the story, it kind of sounds like he was making a big issue of nothing, or…was he? Have there been recent incidents of sexual abuse during screening procedures at San Diego airport?

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      Jeff November 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      Apparently the pat down procedures have been, um, refined. They now include a bit more probing around the crotch, with fingers rather than the flat hand.

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    cold worker November 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Quentin
    I love reading the Monday Roundup, but I’m a little disappointed that Elly Blue feels something as dumb and obviously non-functional as the car-to-bicycle air hose is worthy of BikePortland readers’ attention.

    change the channel. quit whining.

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    nuovorecord November 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Sweet. Now when my car’s tire is low, I can steal some air from bike tires! (j/k)

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    Dave November 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    change the channel. quit whining.

    Demand better. Hold ourselves to the same standards we’d hold others.

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    3-speeder November 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Bike-to-car: Probably not enough volume in the bike tire to make a significant impact on inflating the car tire. Sorry nuovorecord.

    Bike-to-car: Now if there was an intermediate bladder that could be filled from the car tire, then pumped into the bike tire…

    And yes, Elly, it made me laugh when I read your tagline. Thanks for sharing that.

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    cold worker November 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Dave

    change the channel. quit whining.

    Demand better. Hold ourselves to the same standards we’d hold others.

    i think bikeportland does well. not every last thing they do interests me. for example if i never see another article on bikey fashion, “velocouture”, (barf) ever again i will lose no sleep. i don’t get pissy about it though. that dumb bike pump has made the rounds on the interweb all week, there is nothing wrong with bikeportland bringing it to others attention through the monday round-up in case you missed it otherwise. it’s not as if they’ve reviewed it, endorsed it and said it’s the must have item of the holiday season.

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    CaptainKarma November 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I am totally sure that by spring solstice or so, there will be BierBikes plying the streets of Portland. It’s like, “Why didn’t WE think of that?”

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    mello yello November 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

    The car to bike pump isn’t new. They marketed these to people to inflate spare tires since people forget to check their spare tire’s air pressure until they got a flat.

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    mello yello November 16, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Are kids subject to the same pat-downs and scanners? Horrible.

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      mello yello November 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

      Sexual abuse victims would also have a legitimate argument against invasive search procedures.

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      wsbob November 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

      Same pat-downs? Same as what pat-downs?

      By airport security or police personnel, have you ever been subjected to a pat-down that you thought was being used by the person doing the pat-down, as an opportunity for some kind of sexual gratifications? Thing to do in that situation would be to object as it occurs.

      I’m not saying that sort of thing doesn’t happen, but am wondering if it’s happening often enough in American airports for the public to generally think of pat-downs as something to be wary of, for the reason that they may sexually abused in the course of one. I’m inclined to think not.

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        mello yello November 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm

        Intent for gratification doesn’t have to be proved anymore. It’s the interpretation of the person being touched that matters. Teachers are now afraid to touch their students in any manner, however innocent. The TSA folks could say that a wayward finger in the wrong place was just part of the procedure and unintentional, but doesn’t change the fact that a passenger may feel uncomfortable about it. Criminals, who are commonly subject to such searches in jail, are unlikely to raise a protest or may have already forfeited their rights. If you like being finger raped, that’s your business.

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          wsbob November 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

          That’s just nonsense. Teachers touch their students in legitimate manner everyday according to the prescribed boundaries of their job, as they should. Security professionals touch the people they’re required to as part of their job. Whether or not a person has been touched inappropriately requires more than the person simply interpreting a touch as inappropriate. The person doing the touching has to actually do something by way of the touch that would constitute inappropriate behavior.

          San Diego airport security personnel is most likely trained in how to conduct pat downs according to very specific procedures which are designed to limit any possible occurrence of inappropriate behavior. It’s highly unlikely that airport security would specify procedures that put their security employees in the position of having customers feel they were”…being finger raped…” as you chose to put it.

          I expect the blogger, Johnny Edge, that objected to and declined to submit to San Diego’s pat down by its security, could have requested a written description of the specific pat down procedure used by airport security, so he’d know exactly what the pat down should consist of.

          Doesn’t appear by his account that he made any such a request. In fact, in his own account, he quotes himself as having made a remark of a sexual nature using street jargon in regards to what he speculated might somehow occur during the pat down, without having any substantial reason to know it would.

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            mello yello November 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

            DA’s don’t care that a perp(and everyone is either a perp or a victim in their eyes) says the touch was platonic. They’re only out to win convictions. Look at what happened to Michael Jackson. A vengeful “victim” can report just about any touch as un-consented sexual harassment — the TSA employee in the video requests a supervisor when the blogger threatens him with arrest if he touches his junk. ABCNews:http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/john-tyner-tsa-security-check-sexual-molestation/story?id=12153388…everyone’s losing their dignity, including pilots.

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            wsbob November 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

            I didn’t get around to reading the Oregonian until this evening. Opened the editorial page to find that the papers’ editorial staff had made its top editorial, one about airport and the TSA’s screening procedure. They even quoted blogger Johnny Edge, and noted that his story had gone ‘viral’. I suppose that it went viral, is how elly blue happened to run across it, and decided to post a link to it here, even though it had nothing to do with biking.

            The Oregonian editorial is worth a read. I’d link it if this new format would let us. Here’s an interesting excerpt (and it makes some other worthwhile points):

            “… It’s understandable that passengers are peeved about the growing use of the machines that make them appear to be naked. And the alternative use of full-groin pat-downs feels demeaning and invasive. …”

            The phrase ‘full-groin pat-down’ seems to quite clearly imply that patting down or touching people’s genitalia would be involved.

            I’d be interested in reading exactly what the TSA’s training and procedures manual specifies about how to conduct one of them.

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    Dave November 16, 2010 at 10:59 am

    What would the reaction be over here if, say, Jalopnik had posted an item about a device for your car that would scatter thumbtacks in the bike lane as you drove? Why talk about overcoming “us vs them” mentalities if we’re going to turn around and pretend it’s just cute and silly when it goes the other direction?

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    cold worker November 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    i’ve never heard of jalopnik. would jalopnik endorse and/or rave about the product?

    or would jalopnik say, “We do not advise making and using this thumbtack scatter thingy that will help pop bike tires.”, in a ‘hey check this crazy shit out’ type of way?

    did bikeportland just set us back a decade in the area of cycling legitimacy when they linked to that pump? no.

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      Dave November 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      Posting is a kind of endorsement, even if you have a winking disclaimer like this one. If Jonathan is serious about bikeportland having journalistic value, then they have to do a better job of acknowledging that. Yes, this is a tempest in a very tiny little teacup, but this stuff does matter. I think bikeportland does well too, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do better.

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 17, 2010 at 9:21 am

        Dave (and others),

        Thanks for your feedback on the inclusion of that item in the Monday Roundup. I agree that we can always be more careful and sensitive about what makes it through the filter and ends up on our pages. The amount of “endorsement” that occurs simply by us publishing something is open to interpretation. I realize folks have even higher expectations of BikePortland in this regard because we are expected to be have high journalistic AND high advocacy sensitivities. Meeting those expectations is a constant challenge and we try to balance that with our goal of sharing information that is out there. Sometimes we might publish something like this just to put it to our awesome readers so you all can debunk if necessary. This is getting long, and I’ve got stories to write.. but hopefully this gives you a bit more clarification about the how/why behind my editorial decisions. If you have other questions/concerns, don’t hesitate to email me directly at jonathan [at] bikeportland [dot] org. thanks!

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        jim November 19, 2010 at 1:05 am

        Dave-
        Not everything has to have a serious journalistic value, sometimes fun is good too

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    Elly November 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Alright, I know we can’t please everyone all the time. But for those of you who care deeply, which would you rather see in the Monday Roundup?

    – *Only* bike stories, from the sacred to the, uh, profane?

    – A general picture of the transportation news out there with a focus on carfree/nonmotorized (which will still have at least 60% or so bike links)? (eg, whatever strikes my fancy…)

    I started out two years ago (!) doing this in the second style. This summer Jonathan asked me to focus more on bikes, which I was happy to do, though as you can see I have pushed the envelope a bit.

    So let’s have it, folks, which did you prefer? Or are you just happy to have some brain food on a grey Monday?

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      jim November 19, 2010 at 12:59 am

      Elly-
      It’s allways interesting to see what you come up with no matter what the subject is. Don’t take it personally if the subjects get jumped all over, this is part of what makes this interesting. Keep up the good work.

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    Elly November 17, 2010 at 8:46 am

    PS Bob, that story went viral way before I got my hands on it. And Dave, I would instantly add a link to this queue about a tack scattering device. Priceless.

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    cold worker November 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Elly
    Alright, I know we can’t please everyone all the time. But for those of you who care deeply, which would you rather see in the Monday Roundup?

    just leave it alone. there are stories in the round up and through the week i have zero interest in. i just skip over them. others can do the same. there are always people here who are unhappy about everything (not a jab at you dave), like you said, you will not please everyone.

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    mello yello November 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Hilarious Taiwanese animation on new TSA airport security measures: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0c7_1290096264 …may not be safe for work, some animated nudity

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    jim November 19, 2010 at 1:01 am

    They are patting down nuns, but not women in Burkas, maybe I’ll buy a Burka

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