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The Monday Roundup: Cycling’s solace, dooring breakthrough, climate panic, and more

Posted by on February 19th, 2019 at 12:10 pm

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Ride Like A Girl, now offering a special “Ready to Ride” coaching program to help you get ready for your big spring/summer rides!

Yes I know it’s Tuesday. But yesterday was a holiday, remember?!

Here are the most noteworthy things we came across in the past seven days…

Ride as an act of resistance: An immigrant from Africa shares how cycling has provided solace from the culture shock of living in 80-percent white Denver and an America as divided and vitriolic toward outsiders as its ever been.

Trump’s accidental parking tax: Portland’s very own Michael Andersen got a whopper of a scoop when he uncovered a piece of the new tax code that might (inadvertently?) punish corporations that subsidize auto parking as a commute benefit.

Stronger aluminum bikes? A new aluminum welding process is on its way to bike frames and the result could lead to very light, strong, and affordable bikes.

Bike New Deal: The League of American Bicyclists wants to amend the Green New Deal so it includes cycling mega-projects, compulsory 8th grade cycling education, and more.

Dooring breakthrough: Bloomberg Editorial Board has endorsed the “Dutch Reach” method of opening the driver’s side door.

Sorry, not sorry: As the Dutch government unveils plans for driverless trucks, a new report cautions that the country’s famous bike traffic could throw a major wrench into the system.

Utility worldwide: From knife-sharpeners, to cargo-carriers — this excellent post features the many ingenious and useful ways bicycles are used around the globe.

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Shop talk: A refreshingly candid bike shop owner in Seattle shares that he closed his e-bike shop because he just couldn’t relate to customers.

Car tech: I’m reflexively against all the shiny new tech carmakers are touting these days; but what if a car would automatically alert police when the driver dozed off, had been drinking, or are driving erratically? I might change might tune.

Clean up your (sexist) act: A commentator at VeloNews thinks racing regulators should take sexism as seriously as they take doping.

Keep building, ODOT and PBOT! How urgent is our need to change the status quo when it comes to sources of greenhouse gas emissions? “Panic might seem counterproductive, but we’re at a point where alarmism and catastrophic thinking are valuable,” says a noted scientist in a major NY Times Opinion piece.

Now you know how it feels: Traffic engineers in Virginia goofed and put a standard traffic lane right in the path of a curb extension — something that happens with bike lanes all the time.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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David Hampsten
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Now you know how it feels: Someone sure was bone-headed. I’ll bet the pavement line contractor didn’t follow the city plan as closely as they should have. The city plan probably called for 10-foot traffic lanes, maybe even 9 foot in places, as it is an urban intersection with slow traffic speeds. The contractor, being suburban and used to 11-12 foot traffic lanes, put in old “standard” lanes without a 7-foot parking lane. The result is hilarious.

colton
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colton

“should take sexism as seriously as they take doping”

Considering the history of biking and doping, can’t we set the bar just a bit higher?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

The story about the E-bike store closing clinches it for me. Can we just call these things something other than E-Bikes? How about Wobble Rascals, or Battery Sleds or something. They are legitimate transportation for a different crowd, but their fans gotta accept that they can’t hang out at the cool kids table in the lunch room.

Andrew Kreps
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Andrew Kreps

I keep hearing about the dutch reach thing. I’ve had exactly one parked car door opened into my path in my entire cycling career, and when I researched it I couldn’t find any evidence that a stationary door opening has killed anyone(injuries, sure, but they bill it as a “life saver”).

Can we talk about how to look behind you on the right side of your car when turning right, pretty please?

soren
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soren

The climate panic link is dead and the author is a journalist, not a climate scientist.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/16/opinion/sunday/fear-panic-climate-change-warming.html

The time to panic was decades ago.

Remarkably, we are not panicking at all. We are still apathetically emitting more greenhouse gases than we ever have and will almost certainly continue to do so in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 etc.

Ed
Guest
Ed

This re: the piece about the Seattle shop owner closing his e-bike store. Several ways to take these comments; I suppose one is “refreshingly honest”. Another being resentment of the fact that e-bike users, specifically those new to cycling (or coming back to it after decades) have no interest in the American cycling subculture. (he calls it “community” here) I can relate in a way (coming from that subculture for decades) but it can be seen as cultural and provincial sour grapes. In other words, the old purity test some impose on what is and isn’t “true cycling”. Ask a Dutch person about their bike culture and you may well see a look of incomprehension, like if Americans were asked about toothbrush culture 😉 We actually should rejoice if cycling in the US becomes wide and inclusive enough to where a bike subculture no longer needs to exist. Such things signify the understandable banding together of persecuted minorities, and are essential in the survival of those. But despite a loss of romance, the nation and the planet will be far better off if cycling here becomes way too broad and deep to ever have a cycling community or subculture as such… as it is in The Netherlands and other places where everybody rides everywhere. In this case mainstream is good – very good!

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

Clearly the Dutch are in need of autonomous bicycles.

GlowBoy
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GlowBoy

I’m not sure I’m seeing the same thing as his characterization of typical e-bike purchasers, but I get his point that there is clearly a very different demographic among e-bike buyers than regular bike buyers. There is overlap, for sure (myself included – I may get one eventually), but overall there’s a very different vibe among e-bikers.

I’m not sure yet if it’s a good or bad thing – obviously, expanding the cohort of bike riders and those with an interest in fighting car dominance is a very good thing, but are a bunch of these newcomers to the bike lanes self-interested, fast-moving jerks with money? Dunno.

mark smith
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mark smith

I would love to see Aluminum bikes grow in market and carbon fiber bikes decrease to race level only (not just race wannabe level. Why? Because we are literally dumping carbon fiber waste in the ocean. Think about that the next time you buy a carbon fiber bike…

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

The autonomous vehicle article made me literally laugh out loud. It stated that AV’s would have trouble with cyclists because of their unpredictable behavior and rapid changes of direction and speed. Those folks should take a good long look at American motorists. Our car users put cyclists to shame in terms of failing to follow any laws and darting every which way in hopes of passing just one more car.

I guess AV’s won’t be ready for prime time before we have to scrap cars altogether. Oh well, no great loss.

Michael Ingrassia
Guest
Michael Ingrassia

I have been renting an e-bike recently from a bike share program here in San Francisco. They are great, and fill a purpose that bikes cant – bridging the gap for people with physical limitations, and extending the range of bike-able trips. Like all e-vehicles they are only as green as the source of electricity, but I believe they get more miles per lump of coal than a Tesla.

I feel weird about using bike infra on them though though. I’m an above average cyclist now, I beat just about every commuter on the busiest bike street in the country. So when you add extra power to my pedaling, I go quite fast, definitely close motorcycle speed. Accordingly I make a conscious choice to use multi-mode lanes over bike lanes. Something like the 205 path which cuts through my least favorite type of area to ride (suburban sprawl with fast arterials) might tempt me to change my tune. Though I believe there is probably still some onus on the operator to be conscious of regular cyclists.

Also, I dislike being made to be part of a community, or the expectation that my transit choices should lump me in with a scene. I freely associate with any group that doesn’t have snobby barriers to entry, but I don’t represent anyone but myself.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Also, if your bike will do 35 mph it is a Class 3 bike and not allowed on the bike paths, though there is of course no enforcement of that.