Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review- The Bicycle Commuter's Handbook

The Bicycle Commuter's Handbook: Gear you Need, Clothes to Wear, Tips for Traffic, Roadside Repair
By Robert Hurst

Review by Robert Leone, Bike Coalition Board Member

If you'd like to get ready for the Bike Month of May, and Bicycle to Work Day, The Bicycle Commuter's Handbook by Robert Hurst should be on your reading list. Rightly, Hurst keeps most of the focus on general principles in this skinny (less than 100 pages of text) and small volume in the “Falcon Guide” series.

For example, Hurst gives a wonderful plug for the benefits of proper bike and rider fitting, but he doesn't give specifics on how to perform this often delicately nuanced task. He properly notes that for many of us the “favored route to get to work in the car could be absolutely nasty on a bike.” He also has a preference for using the largest scale maps with the best details combined with bike-borne reconnaissance, as many times the best bike commute routes depend on often undocumented features and facilities not found on, say, the smaller scale regional maps such as the SANDAG 2010 bike map the SDCBC often hands out to people who want to know where to ride.

Hurst does make specific recommendations when he has particular expertise or experience, or where there is a pressing need. For example, his years as a bicycle messenger leads him not to recommend a messenger bag for hauling to and from work. In the section on roadside repair, a wonderfully specific photo essay on patching tubes is matched for verve by Hurst's vivid hatred of the dreaded “puncture vine,” also known to many riders as “goat head thorns.” The only real error is in the bike type descriptions, where Hurst's photographed sample of a touring bike is, despite it's many eyelets for adding fenders and racks, is actually positioned as that brand's cyclocross bike. Further, his discussion of bike types omits purpose-built commuting bikes, and the two pages spent on the vital subject of lighting omits mention of modern hub generators. Aside from those minor quibbles, this is an excellent book. The Bicycle Commuter's Handbook makes a great read for those who'd like to, but are uncertain as to how to ride to work (or school) and back.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

San Diego Multi-Use Pedestrian & Bicycle Pathway Project Ceremony this monday

This Monday, April 21st, 2014, at 11:30am, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmembers Scott Sherman and Lorie Zapf will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the San Diego Multi-Use Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway Project. This $1.8 million project consists of a quarter-mile of new multi-use pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians. The project completes a connection between existing bike paths that end on either side of SR-163.
It celebrates the completion of a missing path segment for bicyclists and pedestrians along the San Diego River. Safety components include luminaires, street lights, ADA accessibility, and signage have been completed. An information kiosk for community postings is also completed. It is great news, the addition to new segments is always welcome.

The ribbon-cutting will be at Avenida del Rio, Southeast corner of Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

2013 Annual Report


Read our full annual report to see what we accomplished in 2013 thanks to supporters like you and get a peak into what's coming next . . .



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Action Alert: Protect Vulnerable Road Users Throughout California


Join the California Bicycle Coalition’s social media push to support California’s Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act, AB 2398. Too many Californians have been injured on our streets or are mourning the death of a loved one due to distracted or negligent motorists. Protecting Californians who ride bikes, walk, run, ride horses, scooter, skateboard, and work on our streets is vital to make California a better place to live. AB 2398 will protect all road users by:

• Raising the fine for hitting a Vulnerable Road User

• Assigning a point on the motorist's driver’s license

• Suspending the offender's license for six months


This bill will remind motorists of their obligation to be cautious of each person on our streets. Join CalBike’s Thunderclap to make a huge social media push, and pressure our representatives to support the Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act. Help make our streets more livable, and take California one step closer to reaching CalBike’s goal of tripling the number of people riding bikes by 2020.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is an affiliate of the California Bicycle Coalition. As an affiliate, our members are represented by the California Bicycle Coalition at the State Capitol and with state agencies like Caltrans. Join us as we support California's Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act, AB 2398.

Monday, April 7, 2014

San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Wins 2014 Diamond Award for Program Excellence

SANDAG honors Bike Coalition for leadership, dedication and commitment to alternative transportation programs in San Diego

SANDAG recently announced the winners of its 2014 Diamond Awards, naming the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition in the category of Program Excellence. The Bike Coalition received the award based on programs and actions taken to encourage commuter choices, effectiveness of said programs and outreach tactics in the San Diego region.

Highlights of the Bicycle Coalition application include: 
  • Hosting San Diego’s first-ever open streets celebration, CicloSDias, in August, 2013
  • Hosting the sixth annual Bike the Bay, the only opportunity to ride bicycles across the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge
  • Coordinating Tour de Fat and raising thousands of dollars for local bicycling nonprofits
  • Offering bicycle parking at more than twenty community events in 2013
  • Hosting free public workshops to give safety tips to anyone in San Diego bicycling on the road
  • Creating the Regional Bike Walk Alliance, a group supporting livable communities and streets in San Diego County
  • Partnering for a record-setting Bike to Work Day in 2013
  • Participated in City of San Diego Bike Share Review Panel
  • Visiting San Diego businesses to present bicycle commuting benefits and resources
“It’s an honor to be recognized amongst some of the best individuals and organizations in San Diego County promoting alternative transportation methods,” says Executive Director of the Coalition, Andy Hanshaw. “We’re grateful to have the Diamond Awards as a formal recognition of all that these folks do on a daily basis to make San Diego a commuter-friendly city.”

The Bicycle Coalition would also like to congratulate its Board Member, Randy Van Vleck, for his involvement with the City Heights Community Development Corporation to earn the Community Champion Diamond Award, as well as its communications consultant, JO Communications, for winning Best New Program. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

France Offers Money to boost Bicycle Commuters



Could you imagine being paid to ride your bike to work? $1.00 for every two miles of your commute . . . Yes Please!! France is introducing this incentive, along with 24  other initiatives aimed to increase bicycling to work in France. The “Plan Velo” proposal, introduced last week, is aimed to help curb pollution and promote bicycle commuting. Ireland and other European countries already have similar programs in place to great success. At the moment, companies must reimburse employees some of their travel costs, paying rail or bus season tickets plus a mileage allowance for those who drive to work. (ed. note -The program to offer incentives for bicycle commuters is still an idea from the French government at this stage, note that Paris is offering a 25% rebate against the purchase of electric-bikes). An allowance for bicycle commuters is the next logical step. 

France, Paris in particular, is experiencing a pollution problem, forcing officials to issue health warning to the elderly and pregnant woman. In response, the transit system is offering free rides to abate commuters traveling by car. The solution is not so simple for a country with deep cycling roots, after WWII, France embraced the automobile. On Monday, thousands of citations to defiant car drivers with the wrong number-ending license plate were issued. Political opponents and car associations criticized the restrictions, saying it would be tough to police and would be seen as a political ploy.

France is especially vulnerable to air pollution because it is 60 percent dependent on diesel cars. In the 1960s, the French government and industry made a strategic assertion that diesel engines were less polluting, and would gradually supersede, unleaded gasoline. For nearly two decades, France has been aware of its mistake. Diesel engines are more polluting than their counterpart, the gasoline engine.  Fumes from diesel cars, as well as industrial emissions and agricultural fertilizers, are blamed for increasing the micro-particles in the French atmosphere to dangerous levels. This situation is not unique to France but is rather an unintended consequence of modernization, especially in nations that are quickly developing.

Here in San Diego, we do not have the pollution problems of Paris or our close neighbors north of us, Los Angeles. To continue to have clean, healthy air, we should think about solutions to decrease our dependence on single passenger automobiles, and look at more sustainable alternatives like riding our bicycles and public transportation.

Sources-

by Joel Flood