Bike Shaped Objects

Funky bikes and news
Bell, Horn or “On Your Left!”

I’ll admit up front that I’m a traffic wuss. My strategy is to blend in till there’s a safe moment to pass. However, this passive approach is not the norm, and even I have to sometimes ask a fellow path user to yield. So what’s the best method?

My usual readers will at this time expect me to say, “that depends.” Not this time. Get a bell. Bells are friendly warnings. Bells are decorative. Bells send a clear message that a bike is coming. After all, does any other mode of transportation use a bell? Other than cable cars, which aren’t likely to be approaching you from behind on a path, I can’t think of any.

So what about horns. First, they usually sound like wounded ducks. Second, for me at least, horns are too carish. (Being like a car.) They can be startling and they often make babies cry.

The most commonly-used warning method is my least favorite. Yelling between spandex-clad cyclists is seen as common courtesy. To non-cyclists however these shouts are seen as brutish and angry. Worse, people unfamiliar with the phrase “on your left” will often jump to the left, defeating the purpose of the warning.

So get a bell and use it liberally.


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Bike News Review – 12/10/12

North Liberty to review ordinance saying bicycles not allowed on some streets
The Gazette – 12/10/12
Bicyclists may soon have more freedom to ride on North Liberty streets. The City Council is being asked to remove a section of the city code that says bicyclists cannot ride on the road when there is a “usable path” along the roadway. The code does not make clear what constitutes a “usable path,” but the city administrator in a memo to council members references trails.

City of Philadelphia Wants To Get ‘Instant’ Bicycle Rentals Rolling
CBS Philly – 12/10/12
The next and latest transportation option may allow Philadelphians to — without getting arrested — grab a bike from a street corner when they need one, then leave it somewhere else when they’re done.

Rules of the Road: At what point do I need to stop for a pedestrian?
The News Tribune – 12/9/12
If a pedestrian or a bicyclist is on the sidewalk approaching the intersection/crosswalk and appears to be planning to cross the street, the car(s) nearest to the pedestrian/bicyclist need to stop to allow them to cross. Once they have started across, the rest of RCW 46.61.235 applies. If we look at the RCW as written and didn’t look at the approach to the roadway, a pedestrian would never be able to cross the street.
(Translation: always)

Bicycle industry looks for ways to promote tourism in Montana
Revalli Republic – 12/9/12
National and international research shows bike touring has grown rapidly in the past three years, despite the global economic setback. In the past two years, the U.S. Bicycle Route system has 41 states involved in planning and signing travel networks. Individual states have developed their own bike routes or banded together, such as the Lake Michigan bike system involving Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.



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Watch “Mormon bicycle safety” on YouTube

Bike News Review – 9/27/12

Bicycles + Headphones = Safety Issue
KVAL – 9/27/12
McIver said there are several accidents on campus each year involving bicyclists who violate traffic laws. “There’s a lot of demand for parking, there’s a lot of cycling activity, and there’s a lot of pedestrian activity. All those things converge and it’s a safety issue,” he said.

SF Bicycle Coalition Launches Family Biking Guide in Three Languages
Asian Week – 9/27/12
Coinciding with the upcoming Family Day on Saturday, today the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition launched itsFamily Biking Guide, a comprehensive how-to manual that covers all stages of family biking—from biking while pregnant to biking your child to school, and everything in between.

Critical Mass bike movement at 20 years
SF Chronicle – 9/27/12
The bicycle party known as Critical Mass turns 20 on Friday. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of riders in all manner of dress and – if recent history holds true, no dress at all – will band together for a commemorative, congestion-causing cruise through downtown San Francisco.

EU investigates whether Chinese bicycles evade import duties
Reuters – 9/26/12
There has been evidence that tariffs imposed from last October have been avoided by shipping Chinese bicycles through Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia, the Commission said in the EU Official Journal.


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Hope pedals eternal – Bike News Review – 9/21/12

Amgen Tour owner AEG up for sale
Velo News – 9/20/12
Sponsored by biotech giant Amgen since its inaugural 2006 event, the race is owned and operated by AEG Sports, a subsidiary of the Denver-based Anschutz Company headed by billionaire Phillip Anschutz. A cycling fan, Anschutz personally signed off on backing the event, which has struggled to become solvent over its seven-year history.

State Rules For Bicycles On Trail Crosswalks Are Unclear
Indiana Public Media – 9/20/12
At several intersections near downtown, trail users see a stop sign and are warned that cross traffic does not stop. Then they enter a crosswalk with a sign in the middle telling motorists they must yield to pedestrians. Bloomington Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Vince Caristo says motorists must give the right-of-way to people on foot, but the law is vague when it comes to bikes.

Defensive bicycling or how to not get hit by cars
Gettysburg Times – 9/19/20
There are “Ten Ways to Not Get Hit” listed on the BicycleSafe website. Each of the ten listed “ways” contains additional information. Of course one of the main ideas that runs through the website is to make yourself as highly visible as possible but to ride as if you were invisible.

Cherryville woman rides bicycle 26 miles to submit job application
The Republic – 9/19/20
“It boils down to, I guess, just not having a car, not having access to a car,” White said. Her Toyota had more than 200,000 miles and one of the cylinders was broken. “You get creative when you get poor,” she said.

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