Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup

Posted by on June 11th, 2012 at 9:08 am

Colorado governor signs a bill
that closes a hit-and-run
loophole as bike advocates
look on.
(Photo: Bicycle Colorado)

Here’s the news and other cool stuff that caught our eyes this past week…

– Ray LaHood is excited for the Green Lane Project (which Portland is a part of), saying the “DOT and the Federal Highway Administration like traffic-separated lanes because they increase safety.”

– There will be 2,000 fewer buses on Ottawa, Canada streets each day after the city shifts much of its bus traffic to light rail which will open up of space on city streets for the “bike lanes of the future.”

– 18 year-old Nap Cantwell, son of Elysian Brewing’s owner and the deputy curator for the Seattle Art Museum, passed away after he was involved in a collision with a motor vehicle while riding his bicycle in Seattle.

– Sometimes, when compared with the penalties for other driving infractions, the seeming lack of consequences for killing someone while driving a car raises the question “is someone’s life equal to a mild parking infraction?

– Colorado’s Governor signed a new law that increases the penalty for leaving the scene of serious bodily injury crash, bringing it up to the level of the penalty for drunk driving.

MotorTrend takes a look at why young people are driving less and discusses the merits “reallocating Federal Highway Trust Funds to existing roads that need repair, rather than to expanding roads or building new ones.”

– And speaking of young people’s transportation habits, Federal Railroad Administration chief Joe Szabo says Congress needs to catch up with everyone who’s already realized young people are aren’t driving as much as previous generations.

– In Boston, a young man was convicted of killing another person and will serve one year in a correctional house, based on a 2010 state law which made it a crime to injure or kill someone while texting and driving.

– A look at Washington DC streets 100 years ago shows that people on bicycles were front and center on city streets.

– Biking to school is regaining popularity in Seattle with some schools seeing more than a quarter of students participating in May’s bike to school programs.

– Many people passionately argue that everyone should wear a helmet when riding a bike but there are also emotional and statistical arguments to be made for not worrying about helmets quite so much.

– Here’s a great comparison of bicycling advice from two wildly different sources: Bicycling Magazine and Grant Petersen’s new book Just Ride.

– Everyone knows riding a bicycle is a good workout for your body, but regular pedaling can also help people cope with chronic mental conditions like ADHD.

– The joy of riding a bike is pretty much universal, even if you ride in Bicycling Magazine‘s worst city for cycling.

– You’ll want to have a look at this gallery of amazing photos of people on bicycles around the world, including one two from right here in Portland!

– “The rise of the citizen cyclist” is changing the face of New York City’s transportation network and the people who use it.

– LIFE released their photo gallery celebrating “mutant bikes” from 1940s Chicago, some of which look very similar to bikes on the streets of modern-day Portland.

And now, our weekly peek at cool videos…

– If you’re looking for a way to get your bike across the river, this origami kayak looks like it would fit perfectly on a bicycle:

– And finally, here are some fun bicycle colors and sounds:

— Did you find something interesting that should be in next week’s Monday Roundup? Drop us a line. For more great links from around the web, follow us on Twitter @BikePortland.

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  • Andrew K June 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

    beautiful photo gallery you linked to!

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  • Brian E June 11, 2012 at 9:39 am


    Knock on wood.

    I broke mine on a low hanging tree branch yesterday. Today I have a sore neck and a tender dome. Pretty sure I would have scalped myself if not for the helmet.

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    • El Biciclero June 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

      “Helmets- Knock on wood.”

      Or- made of wood. Get your revenge on that tree by wearing it as a helmet..

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    • Psyfalcon June 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

      I’ve done that too. I didn’t break it, nor did I retire it, but I am pretty sure it saved me from a pretty severe laceration.

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  • spare_wheel June 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

    from the fictitious GP vs Bicycling magazine debate:

    GP: The lighter bike is good for maybe five years before it breaks or you just don’t trust it anymore.

    Oh noes!!! I only have 1 more year left on my Orbea’s useful lifespan.

    More seriously, the advice from Bicycling magazing was useful and level-headed advice not only for those who race but for also for the millions who ride recreationally or (*GASP*) combine transport with exercise.

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    • Champs June 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Most would agree with Petersen’s general advice that a lot of the goofy/expensive stuff isn’t necessary, but few can square it with Rivendell’s goofy/expensive product line. Tweed? Suspenders? $255 lugged stems? $3000 non-custom framesets?

      My “plastic” bike expired years ago, but it still doesn’t smell funny. In fact, I’ve taken thousands of chugs since then. Should it crash and shatter into millions of carbon shards, the replacement cost won’t be any worse than replacing dented steel tube(s).

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      • spare_wheel June 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

        Ruckus components or Calfee can glue your plastic together and make it better…stronger…faster.

        (please don’t ask me how i know this)

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        • oskarbaanks June 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

          BTW, Just googlie search “steel bike failure” and then create a new tab right next to it and search “carbon bike failure”, hit the images tab and compare. Your welcome.

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      • oskarbaanks June 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Sorry Champs, If the Riv-bike is out of your budget, I don’t really see your point other than sour grapes. J.P.Wiegle, (whom I am sure would most P-Town newbie frame building “superstar’s are most acquainted with) said of the production Toyo Riv-bikes, (still handmade,but off the rack geometry) ” I cannot fault these on any level, they are as good of build as any of my frames” This is as accurate of a paraphrase as I can make, seeing that I cannot find the exact quote this minute. So go ahead and ride your repaired carbon bike, I hear they are a lot stronger after they are repaired, and that’s a good thing I would think.

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        • Chris I June 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

          I believe his point is about massive hypocrisy?

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          • oskarbaanks June 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

            I think it all boils down to the perceived return on the dollar. Grant sells stuff that he believes will offer the greatest return on his customers investment. I have worked in two bike shops in the past with close ties to Riv. and have a few frustrating stories that would surround his quirky outlooks, and at times contradictions. He has also bailed me out twice while in the middle of touring in far flung places. I certainly do not worship at the alter of G.P., but he is keeping certain aspect’s within the cycling world that are time honored breathing. Where is the hypocrisy in still riding a hand made lugged Nitto stem in 50 years, when as you could wear out countless Easton stems in the same time frame? Does no one in Portland flinch at Ira or Sacha’s price on hand made stems? I will pass on talking about wool clothes, I am busy sewing up a hole in my 15 year old knickers as we speak. And btw, an article in Bicycling on Grant Petersen, is like reading and Op-ed on cycling safety in the Vancouver Columbian.

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        • spare_wheel June 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

          that was my repaired frame. and its going to be bombing down a hill in a few hours.

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    • davemess June 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Yeah, I found most of grants advice kind of bizarre. Who really wants to do an all day ride with no bike shorts? Yes, you don’t have to have them, but why wouldn’t you?

      His argument about clipless pedals is just ignorant and silly.

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    • daisy June 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      This GP versus Bicycling thing is just silly. I’m newish to bike commuting and back into longer distance road riding after a few years away, and there are a few items of clothing I wear on each of my two bikes: gloves and helmet. Otherwise, when I commute (6 miles round-trip), I ride a 1970s 10-speed and wear mostly regular clothes except for my bright rain jacket in the winter (GP-style); when I ride 40+ miles for exercise and recreation, I ride a newer road bike and wear fitted cycling shorts with a chamois, a cycling jersey, and cycling shoes with cleats. I sometimes ride my road bike for my commute, but it’s not as comfortable; I would definitely not want to ride my 10-speed for 100 miles!

      I don’t get why people like GP conflate two different activities. Long distance recreational road cycling is to bike commuting/running errands by bike as running a marathon is to walking to the corner store. Different activities, different clothing.

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  • oskarbaanks June 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Origami Kayak! Awesome!

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  • are June 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

    if i am not mistaken, the “beginner’s guide” in the july issue of bicycling to which the comparison is made to grant petersen’s advice was written by tori bortman

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    • Pete June 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      I seem to remember the same, although I gave the issue to a friend and it’s the June issue I have sitting here.

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  • Heidi June 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Thanks for the photo gallery! Great pictures. I count two from Portland….

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  • wsbob June 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

    From the Ottawa story, a project manager for cycling programs is quoted in an email, popping off with a remark that’s not likely to go over well:

    “…In summary, if all these things were built we will definitely succeed in attracting large numbers of additional cyclists to downtown and getting tons of bums out of cars,” …” Robin Bennett, a project manager for cycling programs, quoted in Ottawa Citizen

    Otherwise, the Ottawa story is good, and reports on some potentially very progressive travel developments for what appears to be Downtown Ottawa.

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    • Chris I June 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

      I thought the bums all rode bikes?

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    • Joseph E June 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      In Canadian English, I believe “bum” refers to “buttocks”; so in “American” that sentence would read “…getting tons of butts out of cars”

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      • wsbob June 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm

        Oh? I suppose that might explain it. Didn’t think of the backside being referred to up in Canada as bums. Thought the project manager was referring to everyone that drives, as bums. Then there’s the unlikely possibility that Chris I indirectly raised in his answer, that maybe tons of bums in Ottawa are driving cars, in which case they’d be doing a whole lot better in that city than they are everywhere else.

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  • Jonathan Gordon June 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    “the seeming lack of consequences for killing someone while driving a car begs the question”

    The phrase you’re looking for here is “raises the question”. Begs the question has a whole other meaning.

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    • Will Vanlue (Contributor) June 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      I stand corrected. Thanks for the link too – I wasn’t aware of the background of “begging the question”.

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  • Spiffy June 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    in the gallery of bike fun…

    including one from right here in Portland!

    we got two mentions, one for velomobile, and one for chariot wars…

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  • GlowBoy June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, seeing the headline I would have expected to come down on the side of Grant Petersen rather than Bicycling. But the devil is in the details.

    I’ll put up with chafey, moisture-retaining cotton against my butt for rides up to 5 miles or so, but “for recreational rides, even vigorous ones lasting the better part of a day” I’m sure as hell wearing chamois. And for me the primary benefit of clipless pedals and reasonably stiff shoes isn’t efficient power transfer, it’s avoiding the hot spots and numbness that come from pedaling in flexy shoes for an hour or more. Gloves keep my hands from going numb, and offer some VERY nice protection in the case of a crash. Speaking of crashing, I’m with BM when it comes to helmets too (but I do ride with a Bell Citi to reduce the risk of rotational neck injuries).

    Turns out the only areas where I agree with GP here are saddle positioning and (mostly) buying bikes. Even if his own bikes cost many times $300-500, I’m still glad to see more “experts” advocating for budget bikes that can still work very well for most people.

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    • spare_wheel June 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      “it’s avoiding the hot spots and numbness that come from pedaling in flexy shoes for an hour or more”


      i switched to spd many years ago because i was suffering foot pain. it was a revelation.

      i use lycra and synthetic bike shorts but don’t use chamois because i don’t need it (callouses).

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      • are June 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

        toeclips accomplish much the same thing and can be used with normal shoes. if you are doing distances it does help to have a stiff sole.

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        • spare_wheel June 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm

          when i used toe clips my foot would shift and flex too much when i was really cranking. sometimes after long rides i could barely walk. with spd pedals i was able to optimize the point of attachment and my foot pain disappeared. i also noticed a huge improvement in climbing efficiency. since i climb 3000-4000 feet every week for transportation this is a big deal for me.

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  • Jim Lee June 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    In my experience Bicycling Magazine’s technical advice nearly always is incompetent and frequently completely wrong.

    For example, the old bromide in its “Big Book of Bicycling” that click-in pedals make it possible to “pull up” on the back stroke has been deconstructed ad infinitum. Just the opposite is true: instrumented tests on bikes with freewheels always show a DOWNWARD force on the rising pedal; this is necessary to balance the force on the descending pedal and so ease passage through the dead zone where cranks are vertical.

    First time fixie riders always have the sensation of being thrown over the bars just because their pedaling dynamics are adapted to freewheeling. Click-ins just make this worse.

    By my calculations this necessary back-force reduces efficiency by about five percent. Power applied on any stroke is reduced by about thirty percent because the arc of the cranks during which net force can be applied is substantially reduced.

    RIvendell does not seem much better.

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    • Chris I June 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      What do they use in Tour de France?

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    • Paul in the 'couve June 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Test bikes under what conditions exactly? Also, where the cyclists in the study at all competitive cyclists or anyone who had ever received any training in developing their pedaling motion? I’ll agree in normal cruising and even hard fast riding but not sprinting I’m probably putting downward pressure on my backstroke most of the time, but I’m pretty positive that when it comes to spinning big hills and especially grinding and uphill sprints I am pulling up on the backstroke.

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  • are June 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    also on the grant petersen comparison, the item on saddles does not actually show any disagreement. bicycling is saying get a narrow, hard saddle. petersen says sit back from the pedals. i am saying sit back from the pedals on a narrow, hard saddle.

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  • Alexis June 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “DOT and the Federal Highway Administration like traffic-separated lanes because they increase safety.”

    SInce when? The FHWA has spent years telling everyone they can’t build traffic-separated lanes or anything else fancy without an exemption because they are experimental. I mean, I’m glad to see times changing, but I don’t see how the federal DOT can go around saying this sort of thing without even a glancing mention of “Yeah, we used to make this kinda hard because we weren’t with it…”

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  • Pete June 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I grew up in Boston and spent a week there recently. I travel a fair amount around the country (and world) for business and often need to drive to customer sites. Never in my travels have I seen as many distracted drivers as I did on my recent trip to the Boston area, and it’s tragic to hear of this story. We easily have the technology to ensure people do not text or use their handsets while driving, but we simply hold convenience and consumerism to a much higher regard than human life. I am sorry to hear of the Bowley family’s loss, and the least Deveau can do is devote his life to telling the story of the dangers of distracted driving. If he chooses to obey the law, he may end up riding a bicycle for the next 15 years, where he will observe much more closely the behavior of those drivers.

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