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The Monday Roundup: Essential rain gear, Madrid’s downtown car ban and more

Posted by on October 6th, 2014 at 8:51 am

cool-bike-gadgets-hand-rain-covers-680x346

“Gloves are no longer needed when you use
these handlebar sleeves.”
(Photo: Bike Cap)

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

Rain gear: Your bike definitely needs handlebar sleeves and a built-in umbrella.

Car-lite downtown: Madrid is completely banning cars from its 1.36-square-mile downtown (about the size of Portland’s) unless they have a reserved space in one of 13 official parking lots.

After theft: “To the prepared thief, every bike rack is a buffet,” writes Seattle Met in a great look at what happens to your bike after it’s stolen.

Race sabotaged: Dozens of participants in a bike race in Wales suffered punctures at 50 mph due to alleged sabotage by thumbtacks.

2030 scenarios: These four scenarios for near-future transportation systems in the age of autonomous vehicles are fun, far-fetched and plausible all at once.

Liberating parents: Part of the reason bike infrastructure boosts female biking so much isn’t that just women use it themselves — it’s that letting kids to get around on their own gives moms more time. (Having dads schlep kids more probably wouldn’t hurt, either.)

Virtual racing: A $10-a-month service will turn your stationary training bike into a massively multiplayer bike-racing video game.

Ticketable Subarus: One in three people who uses insurance.com to cover their the Subaru WRX reports having a traffic citation in the last 18 months, making it the most-ticketed car in America.

Commute shifts: Brookings has a map of which U.S. metro areas have been getting the most new bikers, walkers and telecommuters on the way to work since the recession began.

Advertisement

brookings commute map

(Image: Brookings Institution)

One crime? No problem: In New York, you won’t be charged with criminal negligence for killing somebody with your car unless you also commit two separate misdemeanors while doing so.

Zeroing out deaths: “If Los Angeles can get to Vision Zero by 2025, we should be able to get it done in Portland by, like, next Thursday,” wrote Oregon Walks president Aaron Brown about this news.

Replace bike with car: Here’s a good one:

Bike-thru windows: Salt Lake City has officially legalized biking through fast-food pick-up windows.

Portland’s missing tool: “It’s too simplistic to write off Portland — its bike innovations are myriad and significant,” writes Tom Babin of Calgary, which this spring approved a grid of protected lanes through its downtown. “But the city’s relative lack of simple protected bike lanes is getting impossible to ignore.”

And finally: a Londoner has used quite a lot of equipment to build the world’s loudest bike horn. The voiceover won’t be much use unless you speak Urdu (I think), but it might be worth activating audio anyway for your video of the week.


Dunya news-The world's loudest bicycle horn by dunyanews

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

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Todd boulanger
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Todd boulanger

Re Commute map of US: the 49 states of the USA?!

Dear Brookings, where is Alaska? I assume there are bike commuters there. (There must be some footnote on this omission?)

Cheif
Guest
Cheif

There’s that..
Or that the pink dots represent cities that have “Under 0%” Share of Non Car Commuters.. What is that, cities where people drive more than one car to work each day?

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Bike mitts are the cozy, warm Portland-made version of the “rain sleeves” from the first link. Made by a lovely lady who is at many Hawthorne breakfasts on the bridge. I have them and they are awesome. No more cold fingers or lost gloves!

http://bikemitts.com/

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

And a winter version of “pogies” is available at Trail’s Edge called “Moose Mitts” Flat Bar and Drop Bars. While their drop version only comes in utilitarian black the flat bar comes in black, high-vis orange, high-vis yellow and pink with or without flowers.

While the product pictured in the main article is not functionally new it is fashionably new. While I could give a flyin’ flip about fashionable or color coordinated bike stuff for myself I know this is important to the greater goal of making bicycle commuters in bad weather not look like special forces hobos.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

I’m pretty sure getting people to ride their bicycles in clothing that doesn’t look as if it is bicycle specific is about fashion.

And I don’t care about that.
~special forces hobo
😉

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Sweet! Back-ordered myself some drop-bar moose mitts, thanks for the tip!

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

FYI: the work to redo the rumble strips on Marine Drive has started, and there are several large sections of road that have been ripped out. Lots of gravel, cones, construction signs, etc. Be careful out there.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I notice that cartoon truck isn’t wearing a cartoon helmet.

C T
Guest
C T

Sorry to drift off topic here, but this seems my best option to post this.

I stumbled on a homeless man’s camp in a North Portland Park when he wasn’t there and found three bicycles stashed behind some fallen trees as well bike pouches, air pumps, some spare tires, lights, a tool box, and a bunch of CDs in a case.

I can only conclude it’s all stolen. I called Portland police yesterday to report it, but they have not checked it out. I also checked stolen bike lists I can think of, and no luck identifying the bikes.

So, if your bike was recently stolen, check the photos linked below and see if one of them is yours. Shoot me a note with serial number, and I’ll tell you where they are. Confronting the homeless person who has a pitbull is up to you.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33085982@N02/sets/72157648041920819/

dan
Guest
dan

Thanks for doing this C T.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

Tweet with #bikewatchpdx hashtag.

Edwards
Guest
Edwards

Ok, I am furious now! those are nice bikes and there is no way in hell that guy owns them legally… I say we start a vigilante bike recovery group and just swoop in and take bikes back from these idiots, post them all to forum/craigslist listing for the owners to come get them!

I’m serious I would rather steal them back from these vagrants and donate them once they never get claimed than sit here knowing these transient A-holes have nicer bikes than I do!

Gregg
Guest

I know where there is a late model dark blue or dark purple Bianchi Volpe. It looks like it might be 60 cm or so. It is being ridden by a guy who stole things from my yard. I know where he squats.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Same thought I had. Thieves don’t seem to fear any potential repercussions for their acts, and seem to hold the “upper hand” these days.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

Considering that Montreal has stagnated at ~2% bike mode share for about a decade I don’t think we want to imitate what they have done/are doing.

And when it comes to north-american bidirectional cycletracks I vehemently agree with Mikael Colville Andersen:

http://www.copenhagenize.com/2014/06/explaining-bi-directional-cycle-track.html
Explaining the Bi-directional Cycle Track Folly
In Denmark, the on-street, bi-directional facility was removed from Best Practice for bicycle infrastructure over two decades ago.

But I asked Theo Zeegers at the Dutch national cycling organisation, Fietsersbond, about this issue and he said,

“Bi-directional cycle tracks have a much higher risk to the cyclists than two, one-directional ones. The difference on crossings is about a factor 2. So, especially in areas with lots of crossings (ie. builtup areas), one-directional lanes are preferred. Not all municipalities get this message, however.”

I’d take a pair of 8 foot buffered bike lanes (e.g. mere paint on the road) over a narrow and dangerous bidirectional cycle track any day.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Yes, but think of the “interested but concerned!”.

I kid, I kid… 😉

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Please, Please, Please, NO bidirectional cycle tracks here! We have a de facto one that calls itself the “U.S. 26 MUP”, and I would get killed there most days if I did not relinquish my right-of-way while crossing Skyline/Scholls Ferry in the crosswalk. Drivers outside of England and select Commonwealth nations do NOT expect or look for vehicular (bike) traffic coming from their right on the near side of the street! The pedestrian crossings in London all have “LOOK RIGHT!” painted on the “pavement” for this very reason.

Dan
Guest
Dan

The problem there isn’t the path, as much as the stop line. Cars should have to stop much further back, and have a NO TURN ON RIGHT sign.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Hilarious that even that comical tweet about lane-sharing seems to have turned into yet another “bikes don’t pay for roads!” comment war. Sad.

Stoked to see SLC’s city council take action on the drive-thru issue. As a frequent biker through drive-thrus here in car-centric California I have observed the following:

1) It’s very safe, drivers see you and give you space, day or night.
2) I’ve never felt discomfort; some drivers will strike up a chat.
3) You take up less space and typically order less, so you’re out of everyone’s way quicker.
4) Many drive-thrus still use magnetic loops, and I’ve even emailed some places to tell them I have to use their competition’s drive-thrus as a result of not being detected at theirs. Business owners often like to hear how they can improve, as we saw with Burgerville a few years back.
5) I’ve had managers say that their insurance forbids it. On the two occasions this happened I went inside and requested to be put in touch with their insurance company to verify. After going through a few contacts I did speak with one insurer and requested that they forward me anything in writing forbidding bicyclists from using their client’s drive-thru. They found nothing.
6) There is no Burgerville here. 🙁

Pete
Guest
Pete

“…on the way to work since the recession began.”

This wording makes it seem like we’re still in a recession. Despite your take on the economy the last recession technically ended in June of 2009.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Problem is the popular meaning of the word “recession” (a weak economy with poor employment prospects and returns on investment) is at odds with the technical definition (a period when the economy is actually <shrinking).

Actual economic contractions rarely last more than a few months. If the economy has stopped contracting but is still dragging along the bottom without much recovery, the recession may be technically over, but the economy can remain lousy for years afterward. And THAT is what I think most people mean by “recession.”

This use has become popular because it’s much more meaningful to most people than the presence of negative economic growth. So instead of calling people wrong when they use the word recession differently than economists do, we either need to accept the popular meaning or come up with another word to describe bad economic times.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Of course an economy can effectively be shrinking once population growth is factored in even if other numbers aren’t decreasing or even increasing but slower than population growth.