Thursday, September 29, 2011

A look to the future?

This Streetfilms video really captures what I think Reno has the potential to become.  I'm probably just fired up with the new "Sweet 3 feet" passing law and all the recent progress of complete streets and road diets. Really though, if you think about it we've made big strides in a short time.  Here's to hoping!

RGJ Article on 3ft law.

Just a note.  The RGJ ran a pretty good article this morning on the new 3 ft law...except for the first line.

Heads up, motorists.
If you're passing someone riding a bicycle, you'd better keep at least 3 feet away or -- as of this Saturday -- you'll be breaking the law.

This is classic "us" against "them"  mentality that breeds anger and discontent.  The article does a nice job of laying out the new law and it's intent from here out.  However, every person reading it who doesn't already ride a bicycle occasionally is now indignant that they have a new threat against them on the roads. 

The comments section is already filled with the typical banter about how cyclist don't follow the rules, don't pay for the roads (no gas, no tax), etc.  Since it's pointless to comment there, I'll counter the normal points here, just for reference.

Some comments are correct:  Some bicyclists don't follow the rules of the road.  The run stop signs, lights, and don't act predictably.

The response to this is easy (and also correct):   Some motorists don't follow the rules of the road.  The run stop signs, lights, and don't act predictably.  The real answer is both parties are acting irresponsibly and should be held responsible for their actions. 

To the second argument:  Cyclists don't pay for the roads.

The response is also easy:  With respect to the gas tax.....  Most cyclist own cars and are licensed drivers just like you, meaning we pay exactly the same taxes.  To that end, the current gas tax doesn't even cover the cost of road maintenance in our region or the country as a whole.  It certainly doesn't make enough money to build roads.  The taxes responsible for road building are levied on each of us as property owners and local and national citizens.  If you want to rant on the gas tax please consider.  The maintenance required for our roads is due to the weight of the vehicle and the relative friction it causes to the surface.  Needless to say, bicycles aren't leading to the deterioration of our roadways.

Ok, so that's my take on the two most common gripes from the RGJ comments.

Now for the real note.  You might be seeing some latent hostility on the roads this week and next from the new law or just the RGJ article!  Be aware of your surroundings and actions, you always lose the fight with the 2 ton vehicle!

Ride safe!

BPAC Meeting.

I have been meaning to start attending Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meetings for more than 6 months, and I finally made it to my first one last night.  I know, I know...what took so long?  Well, life in general, laziness, my fantastically busy social schedule, additional stupid excuses to infinity.   Anyhow, since I am now part of the Regional Transportation Group I figured I better really start attending.  Somewhere in my head I have the idea that it will be good to know the intricacies of BPAC to help with the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and be sure to give it as much bicycle input as it can handle.  I'm probably living in my own little world on how this is all related, but either way I made the decision to get involved this year, so here it is.

The meeting was actually really good.  It was well organized, informative, and moderated so that the group didn't get too far off topic.  I won't go into mind numbing detail but among the things discussed were:

Discussion on our new Bronze Bicycle Friendly status
-and where to hang the fancy signs for a ribbon cutting
Updates for the Regional bike map
A presentation on a new study corridor (Mill St. and Terminal Way) for complete streets
-on the totally ridiculous side...they're currently doing bike counts so I made sure to ride it this morning!
Review of a list of projects (and other study corridors) for all of 2011 and 2012
-and there are way more than you think (I'll find a link shortly)!!
Discussion on the Plumas bike lane (now delayed by Reno City Council) due to on street parking concerns
Discussion of not becoming to bike-centric and remembering to work on Pedestrian projects
Discussion on Slurry sealing and how they deal with bike lanes.
-it's actually a separate "grade" of seal so it's smoother
-and the gentleman (sorry missed his name) who runs the program seems on the ball!

All in all, it seems like a really good group of folks who are on topic and continuing the push to make Reno and Sparks even more bicycle friendly!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Busy bike week/weekend ahead!

This a reminder post that we have a busy bike week ahead of use.  If your interested in advocacy and having a say in all the great changes that are sweeping across Reno and Sparks in terms of bicycle infrastructure improvements please come down to this months Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Committee meeting.  It's this Wednesday (tomorrow) at 600 Sutro St. in the RTC planning conference room at 6:30 pm.  One of the topics of discussion is going to be a study of the 4th St. corridor from Keystone Ave. in Reno to Prater Way in Sparks.  I believe their looking at a complete streets design that will improve walking and biking facilities and give us a great new direct route from Reno to Sparks.  Come on down and give your two cents!

4th St. Study Area
If advocacy isn't your thing, then perhaps you'll join us for a casual group ride to celebrate the passing of the "Sweet 3 ft law".  As of October 1st any vehicle passing a cyclist must give at least 3 ft of clearance between their vehicle and the bicycle.  While your results may vary even with the law in effect, it also adds more serious penalties to any vehicle that does cause injury to a cyclist or pedestrian in the future.  Regardless of the total effect, it's great legislation and a step in the right direction to make our roads more friendly for all users.

From the Reno Bike Project site:

3 Sweet Feet Group Ride

When: October 1, Meet at 9:30am to mix and mingle. Ride leaves at 10:30am for Sparks City Hall.
Where: Meet at Reno City Hall Plaza (downtown Reno)
What: 3 Sweet Feet 8 mile round trip Group Ride to celebrate the passage of three laws that support cyclists on the road! YAY!
  • Bill AB328 increases penalties for a motorist who causes a pedestrian or bicyclist injury
  • SB248 requires motorists to allow at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist from behind. 3 Sweet Feet!
  • Starting October 1 using handheld cell phones while driving is illegal! This law will make it safer for everyone on the road!
It is important for cyclists and motorists to know there will now be harsher penalties for motorists who endanger cyclists and pedestrians on the road.
  • Family Friendly! Bring the kids!
  • Helmets encouraged! Protect your head!
  • Ride difficulty: Easy! Come along!
  • Expected fun to be had? LOTS and LOTS! Maximum fun! Bring your friends! Bring a date! Bring your grandma!
Who: The Nevada Bicycle Coalition and the Reno Bike Project are partnering to guide this ride.

Ride leaves from Reno City Hall Plaza, meets at Sparks City Hall, and loops back to Reno! 8 miles of fun!

Finally, don't forget on Sunday at high noon the Gonads and Strife Poker ride is an event not to be missed!  If you stick around for the whole event and you have a decent poker face (ok, poker hand) you can win a brand new cruiser from New Belgium Brewing!

Monday, September 26, 2011

River path revival.

Refuse collected by volunteers during the Truckee River cleanup day.
The other really great event taking place this weekend was the annual Truckee River Cleanup.  I felt really bad missing the event this year, but due to my regular Sherpa duties (see the previous post) there was little choice.  Based on my ride in this morning, dodging piles of trash at almost every turn from Reno to Sparks the event gathered a good group of volunteers.  And let's give credit where credit is due....these people are awesome!!!  These guys (and gals) are working in heavy brush and undergrowth, getting hot and sweaty, and picking up some pretty nasty garbage all to make our river and community look the best they can.  Think about this the next time you drop even that scrap of paper and make the conscious choice to not to.  And if you have the moxie, let the guy who just dropped his cigarette butt know it's not cool.  

***Personal safety warning***  

 If you  do try to let someone know they're littering, do so in the nicest way possible.  Even with this tack, you're probably going to be rebuffed in a less than polite manor, but they might think again before a repeat performance! 

Brews with a view.

Wow, Monday already.  There was a lot going on this weekend and I'm really kind of glad to be sitting for a bit in front of the computer....which isn't always true. 

Saturday was the12th Annual Silver Peak "Brews with a View" hike for beer, from Spooner to Marlette lake. If you haven't heard about this I've copied in the official rundown below.   The Nevada Land Conservancy hosts this hike each year as a fund raiser to continue to protect open space in Nevada and access to it for those of us who like to play in remote places!  The really neat part of this hike (other than drinking good beer in a absolutely gorgeous location, is that every drop of the 15 gallons of beer served is schlep up the trail Sherpa style on the backs of volunteers.  This makes really good craft beer taste even better....especially if you participate in the Sherpa adventures (and we're always looking for more Sherpas)!  Nothing makes hiking somewhere more fun than carrying a 65 lb backpack!

Next year I'll try to advertise this before it's already happened....sorry, life still gets ahead of me on a regular basis.

The official description from NVLC:

Thirsty conservationists are invited to join Silver Peak Restaurant & Brewery's 12th Annual Beer Hike on behalf of Nevada Land Conservancy. The event will enjoy its second year using the Nevada State Park Spooner-Marlette Lake trail. Participants can enjoy a cold, award-winning Silver Peak beer at Marlette Lake for a suggested donation of $5. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the Spooner Lake parking facilities at the intersection of State Route 28 and U.S. Highway 50.
The hike from Spooner to Marlette Lake is roughly 9.5 miles round trip with a 1,200 foot elevation gain and no more than 5% grade, so participants are encouraged to drink lots of water when hiking (restrooms are available at Marlette Lake!). Participants can hike, bike or ride horses up the trail, and hike-in camping is available near the lake. Bikes are available for rent at Spooner Lake --775-749-5349 and The trailhead marker to Marlette Lake is located at the eastern most end of the Spooner parking lot past the toilets. Remember, our state parks need help too -- parking is $12 per vehicle with a $2 discount for Nevada residents (please consider carpooling). Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery is located at 124 Wonder Street and can be reached at 775-324-1864.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bicycle Evolution.

New fenders, rack, and mini-panniers!

Latest configuration!

It happens slowly at first...and then in the blink of an eye your down the rabbit hole.  I'm speaking of course of the evolution of your bicycle as you move from a casual rider to a bicycle commuter.  Wifey's bike is / has been undergoing this process recently.  She rides a Cannondale Synapse series that has geometry's associated with a bit more racey leaning.  Shorter rear triangle, more aggressive head tub angles, etc.  Back when we began riding we apparently thought we would be lean mean competition machines....well....not really.  We did perhaps have the outlook that most Americans have about the bicycle.  That it is a recreational and fitness tool (some might say toy) and we'd be riding with the intent of getting fit and fast.

What really happened was we didn't ride as much as we wanted because we had to "suit up" with our bike cloths and make a point of doing a ride.  To make a long story short, we evolved into riding to work occasionally and over time more frequently until it became how we got around in general.  We quickly discovered that our bikes purpose had evolved and the bicycles we were riding hadn't.

So what was wrong with the bicycle.....really nothing, but we needed to be able to use it more like a car.  First it was wider tires and tire liners for the increasing amount of time we were spending patching flats due to the urban road conditions.  Then it was adding racks, baskets, and bags (of various shapes and sizes) to carry all the things that we needed during the day (lunch, computers, etc.).  We continued riding even as the weather, seasons, and light levels changed, so we added fenders, headlights, taillights and even eventually dynohubs.  Yep, I told's a rabbit hole. 

It isn't always easy.  I actually switched back to my old college bicycle (1986 Raleigh Technium!) so all the bits and pieces would fit and I can still "train" with my fancy Cannondale.  Wifey didn't have an "old" bike to revert to, so the modifications began.  And let me tell you, making all those things listed above on a bike with race inspired geometry isn't easy and certainly doesn't follow the instructions included in most packages.....but it can be done.  So, if you have a bike....any bike, remember it will evolve with your riding style and needs.

 My latest configuration.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sunrise Commuting.

The weather is a little cooler in the mornings these days and the sunrise during my morning commute makes the ride even more enjoyable.  Low angle sun gives the ride a whole new perspective.  The shadows play across your path, the sky seems a little bit more open and clear, and you tilt your head a bit when heading east to get the visor of your helmet to block those rays.  In fact, it is just a little bit blinding at the right time and right angle. 

So, while you may think I've settled for a mediocre photo during my morning ride, it actually serves as a warning.  The same visibility issues are true for the traffic all around us.  Low angle morning (and evening) sun creates quite a glare, especially through a windshield that is dusty, pitted, and has a few bugs encrusted on it.  Meaning drivers can't see as well during the commute and certainly can't see smaller users like bicycles.  So be extra vigilant during the morning and evening commutes as fall approaches and remember that low angle sun makes you a little less visible.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Poker Ride!

 I was down to Great Basin brewery for dinner with a friend last week and notice a flier in the window for the next Gonads-n-Strife poker ride.  If you haven't every done this, it's a blast and benefits a great cause.  It doesn't mater what kind of bike is gathering dust in the garage.  Grab it and get down to Great Basin (Sparks location).

If you don't know how these things work here's the basics.  Show up and donate your $15.  You'll get a cool t-shirt and some other schwag in return.  You also draw for your first card in your 5 card stud poker hand.  If you're their a little early get yourself a beer and relax for a bit.  At "high noon" the entire place empties out and bikes of every flavor from tandems to low rider cruisers to touring bikes!  We take of Victorian and head for Reno via the river path.  The pace is very mellow and you'll meet a few new friends on the ride.

From here I don't know this years route...but in the past it's included Silver Peak on the River, Sierra Tap House, Silver Peak on Wells (Old Peak for some of us), and others.  Please note I'm not in the loop on this and the routes and bars may be changed!  Either way you get to ride around town and draw cards for the rest of your poker hand.  You may also roll at your own pace and have a beer or two as you migrate around town.  The last card is drawn back at Great Basin in Sparks and prizes are awarded with some live music as the evening rolls on!  So come join us and have an excuse to ride your bike!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy days!

Last week I posted a quick entry on Wifey's school and it's ghostly empty bike racks.  I know the reasons behind why the racks are so empty.  (Kids brought in from vast distances for a better education.)  The whole empty bike rack was still just bugging me all week.  So.... I cruised by a local public school this morning on my way in and sure enough, bikes in the bike rack!  We're not talking volume like bike racks in the Netherlands at a train station, but quite a few bikes none the less.  Today, I will work with a smile on my face knowing some kid out there had (almost) as much fun as I did riding his bike this morning!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bicycle Scofflaws.

This is a pretty good article written by Mia Birk (a well known bicycle advocate up in Portland) for the Portland Tribune. It addresses some of the age old arguments that always seem to pop up when discussing the whole bike verses car debate. Read on!
Law-breaking cyclists: the answer

Running red lights fuels backlash against fellow bicyclists

By Mia Birk
Pamplin Media Group, Sep 15, 2011
Christopher Onstott / Pamplin Media Group 

A Portland cyclist makes the turn from Broadway onto North Williams Avenue, where a bike-specific signal alerts riders when it is safe to cross through traffic.
He raises his hand, politely at first. He’s impossible to ignore, the only person in the crowded room wearing a safety vest. He then stands and begins a tirade.
“You keep talking about adding all these bikeways and stuff, and you never talk about cyclists doing whatever the hell they want, all the time, disobeying the law, and the police don’t do a damn thing about it. And they just go all over the place, running the lights and you can’t see them at night because they don’t have any lights. Where is the enforcement?”
I’ve heard this question/lecture a thousand times, not only at public meetings but in casual conversation, practically every week for more than 20 years. For many drivers, the image of cyclists as scofflaws is etched in their brains.
It’s a problem of our own making, a combination of auto-centric infrastructure, attitudes, laws and the reality that many of us who bicycle flow like water as we travel, blithely ignoring traffic signals and public perception.
This is how I behaved in my early 20s, when I was getting around Washington, D.C., then a pretty hostile place for people on bikes, with little bikeway infrastructure. Why? I was young and ignorant; no one had taught me any differently. It felt like the laws didn’t apply.
Truth be told, almost none of us have been taught a thing about bike safety or ingrained with societal expectations about behavior on bikes. (Kudos to Portland’s Safe Routes to School program, which is teaching a whole generation of kids the rules of the road!)
Many come to bicycling through sports, where speed and momentum are valued, and they fail to adjust their behavior to the bicycle as a form of transportation.
You can see all around you, hear beautifully, stop on a dime, all the while delighting in the childlike joy of riding, adrenaline pumping, legs propelling. Stop? Heck no. Not unless you absolutely have to.
It was when I became the city of Portland’s bicycle coordinator in 1993 that I came to understand that bad behavior has harmful impacts beyond personal risk. Every time a person in a car saw a person on a bike blow a red light, it made my already challenging job a little bit harder.
Mr. Safety Vest is not some wacko crank. He’s your neighbor, boss, blogger, decision maker, or business owner being asked to accept people on bikes as legitimate users of our transportation system.
So I shaped up. No more red-light running and a smile and wave at every motorist who showed me the slightest shred of courtesy. I noticed that my mindfully good behavior and attitude attracted courtesy from the motoring crowd in return.
In my role with the city, I learned that red-light running was in many cases a necessity, because people on bikes often could not trigger the signal to get a green. We started tuning the signals and marking where cyclists need to stand. This, along with bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements, helped send a message to people on bikes: “Yes, you are welcome. We are evolving our transportation system to reflect your needs.”
In this, we have just begun. Many stop signs should be converted to or supplemented with yield signs and markings specific to cyclists, for example. We need more green bike boxes to reduce right-turn conflicts at intersections and a robust network of low-stress, comfortable, convenient bikeways.
A number of signalization techniques will help as well. These include bike-specific traffic signals, quicker response times for bike- and pedestrian-activated signals, coordinated signal timing, a few seconds of “pre-green” time to allow people on bikes to mount, and bike-specific traffic signals. All these are common in bicycle-friendly European cities.
Take the bike signal at the east end of the Steel Bridge, which connects the Eastbank Esplanade to the Rose Quarter. After the signal was installed, the percentage of people on bikes disregarding the signal dropped from 66 percent to 13 percent. Nice! An education campaign to help people understand how to activate the signal might very well take care of the rest.
To be sure, more Portlanders on bikes stop for signals than in the past. Visitors and new residents often are stunned by our level of compliance relative to more autocentric cities. And yes, we still have a long way to go.
Do you drive a car? If yes, please join me in this pledge:
I pledge to drive at or below the speed limit; refrain from texting, dialing or fiddling with my cell phone; avoid using neighborhood streets as cut-throughs; fully stop at stop signs; use my mirrors; and remember that people on bikes might well be my friends, neighbors, colleagues, and relatives.
Do you ride a bike to work, friends’ houses, stores, school or simply for the pleasure of moving your body in the fresh summer air? If yes, please join me in this pledge:
I pledge to use bike lights at night, stop and stay stopped at each and every red light, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, be predictable and wave and smile at any driver who shows me the slightest shred of courtesy.
Since 1999, I’ve been working nationwide and beyond to create more bicycle-friendly communities. No matter where I go, the lesson is the same: if we treat people on bikes as legitimate users of the transportation system with appropriate infrastructure, behavior improves. Upgrading infrastructure is the city’s job. The rest, shaping up our own behavior, is up to us.
Mia Birk is the author of "Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bike lane blues....

Taken from a Brian Duggan RGJ digest:

Council members agreed to reconsider a Regional Transportation Commission plan to replace street-side parking on Plumas Street between Urban Road and Moana Lane with a bike lane after a homeowner who lives in the area told them he wasn't given enough notification before the plan went to the city.
"Ultimately, I like the idea of a bike lane, but if this happens this fall without any time for me to do anything about it, I have no where to park," said Jonathan Browning, 33.

This is the area we're talking about.  I used to ride this regularly as part of the commute to my previous job.  It was so bad that I usually opted for a circuitous route through the side streets to the east.  While this solved the traffic problems I would strongly argue with the gentleman's argument above, that he won't have a place to park, is ridiculous.  This section of Plumas is a mixed bag of apartment housing (with parking lots) and residential homes (with driveways).  The golf club and tennis club on the opposite side of the street also have adequate parking.  If anyone doesn't have enough parking, it's probably because there are items stored in the their private parking locations (other cars, boats, rvs, etc.).

Enough with the assumption that public space should be utilized for pseudo-private, subsidize parking (it's free and tax payer dollar maintain it)!  The Reno city council shouldn't be "revisiting" RTC planning due to one person's gripe that he can't find alternate parking before later this fall!

Sorry for all the exclamation points.  This type of thing really does bend me out of shape.

The Saddest Sight.

Ok, so I shouldn't have started this post right now as I don't have time to do it justice.  Wifey works as a math teacher at a local private school.  It's really close (less than a mile) from our house and in a quiet neighborhood with relatively good streets for bicycling.  I often ride with her to work and then off to my own office from there.  Now it's definitely well before school hours when I drop her off, but I've notice a disturbing pattern as I ride by the bike bikes!  I'll hope it's just that the kids aren't there yet.  Perhaps I can blame it on the nature of a private school (that parents are bringing kids in from afar for the exquisite education wifey's school offers).  I'm not convinced of this however, so while I get back to work....perhaps the question of why the rack are empty need some thought....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bike Lanes on Rock Blvd. are here!!

 Looking North on Rock Blvd.

 Looking South on Rock Blvd. (just past Rock park).

Intersection of Rock and Mill (looking South-Southwest).

Wooohooo! Bike lanes had been promised and the city of Sparks has delivered.  Now don't get too excited, these lanes die out just before Greg St. if your headed North on Rock.  What they do solve is a dangerous, previously unmarked section for riders exiting the river path headed South on Rock Blvd. to connect with the well marked bike lanes South of Mill St. (or on Mill St. depending on your commute).  It was only a 1/4 mile or so, but it is on a blind curve that has a lot of tree cover further blocking drivers views of anyone on a bicycle.  Adding to the hazard, for you adventurous winter commuters, was the fact that the bridge is a common black ice location with low angle sun during morning commute hours.  Either way, the lanes are here and their spectacular!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reno qualifies for Bronze level bike friendly city!

I was just perusing Reno-Rambler's blog this morning and I'll shamelessly quote him....
"The official announcement isn't until Wednesday but Reno has been designated a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists!   Congrats to all of the people who worked on the application and most importantly to all the people out there on the streets of Reno utilizing the ever-growing cycling infrastructure in the Biggest Little City."
This doesn't just happen folks.  The Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) has been hammering on this for quite a while.  Meaning that they have given up substantial personal time to make our city a better place to bicycle and been involved in designing the types of bicycle infrastructure that are now popping up all around the city.  So kudos to the BPAC group and your accomplishments...bikes lanes, complete streets, and real progress for Reno moving into the future!


Well the temperatures have dropped off a little and traffic has been increasing on the river trail!  A statement about increased traffic ending with an exclamation point???  It is a total flip flop from when your trapped in a car stuck in a line of people who are getting angrier by the minute.  My traffic this morning included about 10 people, a patrol car, 5 cyclists, and 4 dogs. 

This does mean a couple things that mirror street or highway traffic.  I had to slow down, yield right of way, and be a tad patient.  Now if only we could remind people in vehicles to do these things!  From the whooping 2 1/2 minutes this added to my commute, I got to chat with an RPD officer who was cajoling some sleeping people out of one of our riverside parks (very politely I might add), I had several cheerful "Good Mornings" thrown my way while passing pedestrians and cyclists, and I got to pet a few amicable pooches!  All in all, a darn good way to start the day while slowed down by traffic.  I hope your commute was as enjoyable.

Friday, September 9, 2011

RTC Transportation Group Report.

So the first meeting is in the books and it looks like this RTC group might be a really interesting and beneficial entity.  The long term goal (1 year out) is to have the group produce a version of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).  Our version will be passed on to the "official" board who will review it and incorporate it into their own plan.  It seemed the entire RTC entourage was in attendance last night and they provided a really well rounded review of their positions and how they are involved in the final RTP version.  They will also serve as guides as we regular citizens forge ahead.

So who the devil is this citizen group.  We went through introductions last night and some of the job titles I remember are: retired transportation planner, Tahoe transportation planner, architect, geologist, airline pilot, stay at home mom, land use planning student at UNR, engineer, and land use planner.  So while a rather diverse group, many are pretty familiar with the processes in "planning". 

With initial introductions, presentations, and some ground rules about our task we used up the slated hour and a half pretty quickly.  We did use an extended 1/2 hour to brain storm some of the things we were looking to accomplish personally.  I don't have good notes yet (we'll get a copy of the minutes shortly and I'll update), but topics thrown out ranged from continued improved walking and biking (complete streets) to a myriad of improvements to the bus system, to improving the coordination of land use and transportation planning.  This leaves out a lot of what was discussed, but needless to say a biking presence made clear by a few people and real interest in public transportation is present.  All in all, I'm looking forward to the next meeting.  I'll post the detailed minutes when their available.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

RTC Transportation Group.

About six months ago I was alerted by a friend to an ad in the RGJ requesting applications for a "citizen" member to sit on a new RTC community working group.  My wife told me I might as well apply since I like to bitch about every road in the region with respect to bicycling.  A one page essay and 4 months later the phone rang and just like that I'm the newest board member! 

Anyway, this position is actually why I started the blog.  This way as the meetings start to happen (tonight), I can keep you up to date on what the RTC thinks is important for the region in terms of transporation.  In between these monthly meetings (and their subsequent posts) you can hear what I think (which is probably more than you want to hear).  Let the serious postings begin.....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back in the Saddle.

I've been traveling over the last week and it appears that bicycle touring is alive and well.  On my trip between Reno and Ridgway, CO (south of Grand Junction), I saw no less than 20 touring cyclists.  While on one particular stretch of Hwy 50 with no town or services in sight I passed a guy on a mountain bike that must have been loaded with 100 lbs of gear.  It was probably in the low 90's and I had a full cooler (including ice cold beer) could I just zip past this poor bedraggled cyclist!  Brakes were applied and as I pulled onto the shoulder I had a brief thought that the guy might think I was some NV redneck looking to give him grief for taking up a piece of the roadway.  Then I remembered I drive a Honda Element with a mountain bike on the back.  Needless to say when he pulled up and I offered him a cold bottle of beer (newly bottled "Icky" if your wondering), he was more than happy to take me up on the offer.  I figured it would ease my karma for the 2000 mile road trip I was beginning.  It also made me wish I had a lot more vacation time for a summer tour of my own.  So let the planning begin, a tour is in the works for next year and I'll be sharing my options as I start to do some homework!