Monthly Archives: May 2008

Bike to School Month Wrap Up

Bike to School Day 2008

Bike to School month was a huge success at our local elementary. We averaged about 60 riders every day–the bike racks were full and fence and gate locking was overflowing every day this month. It was certainly a beautiful sight.

A big thanks to Leslie and Clint for leading the effort – you did a great job!

Bike to School Day 2008

Many parents joined their kids and pedaled to and from school all month. I talked to a few who said they were hooked and plan to get to school on two wheels from now on. Right on. Others say “they’ll see” if they can keep it up. I tried to encourage any parent who would listen to keep on riding. It’s so great to see the kids excited about riding and the traffic reduction around school was definitely noticeable. Continue reading

Mother’s Day: Oma for a Momma

Anne's new Oma

I meant to post this a few weeks ago, but um… we’ve been busy riding our bikes….

Passin' Gas on new OmaOn a total whim, I got Anne an Oma for Mother’s day. She’s been coveting them for a long time and I always figured I’d get her one when we stopped hauling the kids around on the Xtracycles. But then the perfect candidate popped up on Craigslist (you do watch Craigslist for bikes every day, don’t you?) and those plans went out the window.

I just couldn’t resist. Continue reading

Ride of Silence Today

White Bike Remembering Bryce Lewis

A quick reminder (thanks Janet!) that today is the annual Ride of Silence, Seattle edition. The purpose of the ride is to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while riding on public roads. So far, 285 rides in 17 countries are planned.

Seattle participants should meet at Gas Works Park (by 6:10 pm) to conduct a silent, easy-paced ride through downtown, the U-district, Fremont and other areas. Black (for riders killed) and red (for those injured) armbands are recommended. More rides are planned around the state. For full details, visit the Ride of Silence or Bicycle Alliance site. If you aren’t in Seattle, check the schedule for your nearest ride.

I plan to make at least part of the ride, assuming I can escape the office. Frankly, I’d much rather scramble to make time for the ride than explain white bikes to my children!

Curious about the ride? Check out this short PSA video:

-Tim

Sustainable Ballard Bike Rack Design Contest

Sustainable Ballard Bike Rack Contest You’ve heard Anne and I prattle on about bike racks. They aren’t where you need them. They’re ugly. And even when they are in the right location, they need more capacity. Blah, blah, blah. Maybe that’s what prompted my buddy Bret to tip us off to a bike rack design contest in his neighborhood.

It seems those inspiring folks at Sustainable Ballard have come to our rescue with a contest to outfit key Ballard locales with locally designed, handmade, artisan bike racks. We’re already fans of Undriving Ballard, and Undriver License holders and can’t wait to see what develops here. As of now, racks are planned near the Ballard Library, Ballard Ave near the Sunday Market, Bergen Place, the Locks, and Market Street.

Continue reading

Friday is Bike to Work Day (So, go on, … ride)

Full Bike Room at aork

I hope you are all ready for Seattle’s Bike to Work Day. Though I like my nice bike room (above), I’m hoping so many people ride that I’ll have to find my rack space elsewhere tomorrow morning.

It’s a good day to take the bike commute plunge. The weather is supposed to be awesome. Cascade Bikes, Starbucks, Group Health, and others are pulling out the stops—something like 42 Bike to Work Stations will be staffed tomorrow. Expect (possibly less-than-warm but) free Starbucks coffee, Powerbars or equivalent, water bottles, stickers, and some nice bikey camaraderie.

Even though I plan to swing by two or three commute stations conveniently located along my route, I realize it’s not about the stuff. Yeah, swag helps people get out, but the important thing is getting a butt load of riders on the road and in the public eye at least one day a year. Need another reason? Cascade does a count/census on Bike to Work day; consider a ride on Friday a way of “voting for bikes” with your wheels.

Big News: Mayor Greenhouse Gaseous Nichols is supposed to be at the Westlake Park commute rally. One wonders what kind of example he’ll set. I’m sure Greg plans to model a bike during the event, and maybe even roll down from City Hall. I’m doubtful, however, that we’ll see Hizzonor traverse the Swing Bridge and brave the less-than-relaxing trek from West Seattle. I’ve heard a few people say I’m a little hard on our mayor, so I’ll tell you what. If you do see him riding outside the Westlake-City hall radius—say south of Sodo—do let me know (grab a photo, too!). I’ll gladly take (most of) my snarky comments back.

Don’t forget it’s also Bike to School day. We’ve covered school biking events extensively so I’ll just say this: Encouraging your kids to ride to school (and showing by example) is the right thing to do.

Ride tomorrow. To work. To school. For errands. For everything.

Ride.

-Tim

Are Women The Key To A Successful Bike Culture?

Bike and Notre Dame
This morning I was reading Copenhagen Cycle Chic’s report on the véloculture in Paris. It’s so wonderful to read about the success of the Vélib program. Since the program was introduced last summer, biking has exploded in the city of Paris.

When I lived in Paris many years ago, transportation options were limited to

  • Métro (efficient but underground so you can’t enjoy the scenery, also crowded and stinky at times)
  • Bus (also efficient but always crowded)
  • Walking (my preferred method of transport but took a long time to get anywhere)

Biking around Paris would have been so great!

Tim and I were there last July and we missed the installation of the Vélib bikes by one week. We saw the stations all over town, but they were all bikeless. We walked and took the Metro – but would have prefered cruising around Paris on bikes. I guess we’ll have to go back and give Vélib a try.

While Copenhagen Cycle Chic’s post was about biking culture in Paris – my key take away was this quote:

The key to any successful bike culture is to get women onto bikes. They are the group that is most likely to ride and yet least likely to actually do it, especially in urban settings. Continue reading

Dutch Bike Seattle: Good times, Good People

Riding the Dutch Bike Seattle Conference Bike on Ballard Ave

Saturday saw big Mother’s Day eve doings for Anne and Tim. We got ourselves a babysitter and pedaled across town for the Ballard Second Saturday celebration at Dutch Bike Co. Seattle. We had some reservations about going. Not because we didn’t think it would be fun, but because the last time we toasted with those folks we enjoyed the best time ever. Bikes, beers, high heels. You can read all about it. Continue reading

Getting casual on the Snapdeck

 xtracycle showoff at Flickr

Our kids are so comfortable riding on the Snapdeck, they are getting a little um, casual. Sometimes I feel the weight shift a little and look back and discover them in a different position than when we started our ride. Continue reading

Seattle Green Lanes: Laying it on Thick

Green Lanes going in on the South end of Fremont Bridge

A fine SDOT crew was hard at work this morning as I headed into work. Yep, it’s one of the green lanes we blogged about last February. I’m still thinking the green is a bit of “Emerald City” gimick, but it sure looks nifty on a sunny day. Overall, I’m on the fence about their effectiveness, but this individual spot is probably going to get the thumbs up from me.

This lane helps in an odd spot where cyclists are forced off the Fremont Bridge deck/sidewalk and onto the street right where motorists—often feeling rushed and frustrated because they just waited for the drawbridge—need to make an immediate right. Unlike the new Dexter and Green Lake locations, I can imagine this effectively warning motorists that they are crossing a bike lane.

I’m still waiting to hear if the city is going to bother doing anything with the deadly Fuhrman/Bryce Lewis intersection at the University Bridge. I’ve already speculated that fears of admitting liability will keep city officials from acting there. I still hope I’m wrong, because this one needs attention!

Have you ridden any of these “lanes” yet? Lemme know what you think.

edit: added Green Lane Flickr set here

Seattle, Take the One Less Car Challenge, We’ll Give You Some Gas, a Car Wash, and Highway Map

AAA ImageAs we’ve said, we took the One Less Car Challenge last fall. We sold our newish Saab, and got $600 in Zipcar benefits (among other things) in exchange.

It seemed like a pretty good trade. We didn’t drive very much, but wanted to keep the car around because, well, you know: “just in case.” The Zipcar benefits handled the just in case part and it was a lot easier to let go of the car, it’s sunk costs, and associated negative externalities

We’ve yet to use the Zipcar benefits, as we drive even more rarely since giving up the Saab (funny how that works),  but having the benefit made it easy to let it go. Continue reading