Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Commute conundrums...but not really!

I'm slightly annoyed this morning by the weathermen in Reno.  They seem to be able to predict a storm, but only give or take 24 hours.  This prediction is limited only to the fact that the storm will occur and that snow will fall above 8000 ft....they are incapable of predicting if, when, and where the snow from the storm will fall below 8000 ft.

I only complain because when selecting a bike from the quiver, snow is important.  For example, yesterday I left the xtracycle (with fenders) at the office, opting to ride the mountain bike home.  This choice was made on the dire predictions for many inches of snow....even in the valley.  This choice was also made based on my traumatic commute on Monday, in fencer packing heavy snow and slush!  So this morning when I left the house I was properly situated on the mountain bike with 2.3 tires, no fenders to pack with snow, and low pressure tires!

The problem was the roads and weather looked like this...

Please note the beautiful sun and lack of snow.  Also note the streets are relatively wet, meaning fenders would be nice.

The river path looks even better.  Again, note the sun and lack of snow.

Not even wet!

So basically, I was forced to have a good time hopping a few curbs and cutting portions of the trail.  Totally fun and a nice change of pace on the morning ride!  So remember, never trust the weatherman and ride any bike you like!  Even when your not on the right bike it's still fun to ride and better than being in line on the entrance ramp to I-80!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wintery Bicycle Path perfection.

Nothing special today.  Given the conditions yesterday, I was kinda thinking it might be an icy mess out there.  Really it wasn't too bad.  A little ice here and there but mostly just ice crystals on the roads with a few patches of "real" ice. 

The real news is the bike path was already plowed (again) within 24 hours!  Awesome job Reno parks department.  They seem to do a better job than the plow drivers on the streets....meaning they plow the path from edge to edge.  If the guys on the streets did this, the bike lanes wouldn't be boarder line unridable, due to the snow and large chucks of ice!

Monday, February 27, 2012

My 15 miles this morning.

This was my route this morning...

Please note their are no pictures, as I was pretty much holding on for dear life.

All told this was my normal commute along the river, continuing on to an early morning dentist appointment (about 15 miles, if I started the GPS properly).  Not sure if you looked outside this morning, but SNOW.  Don't get me wrong, I actually like riding when it snows (or rains for that matter).

The problem is, this was just the perfect combination of temperature for snow/slush.  This means snow and ice form perfectly inside the fenders when you ride in the soft snowy parts and eventually the bloody wheels just don't turn without some serious effort.  Turns out these conditions make up the entire bike path and most bike lanes where no traffic has used them.

The solution is to ride more in the lane and get into the slush zone.  The slush doesn't pack against the tires and riding involves a whole lot less friction.  This is a good thing.  The bad part is this means taking the lane.  A risky endeavor in Reno on a good day.  Again, SNOW.  People in Reno loose their minds when it snows.  I tried reasonably taking the lane, meaning just using the far right side.  Idiots continued to pass within inches of me in conditions where they could barely control their 2 ton cages.  This included a plow driver and a couple of NV Energy guys in huge trucks!

I finally took the center of the lane and things improved from a safety point of view but I bet they weren't happy with me.  Anyway that was my morning.  Oh, and I have a I have to go back for a filling.

If you're as nuts as I am and still riding today, stay safe.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Aint it the truth!

I found these at the RTC workshop yesterday.  Now if only we can read both of them and view them from the other guys perspective!  It doesn't take much, just a little common courtesy, patients, and common sense.

RTC 4th and Prater Workshop.

Ok, I did advertise this a while back but I neglected to remind you all that it took place yesterday.  My bad, work was busy and there just wasn't time for a post.  RTC did a really nice job laying out the options and improvements that want to make along this corridor.  This was the second workshop on this project so they have already looked at and incorporated some public comments and options. 

I didn't snap any photos while I was there (sorry), but these are they types of ideas their looking at for the reconstruction.

Option one actually comes in 4 flavors including separated bike ways outside the "parkway" trees!  How very dutch.  They didn't have this on the flyers (just the posters) so you'll have to take my word for it.  Option two has 2 different configurations as well.  The public was give a chance to vote on which version they preferred.  When I left the option 1 configuration was leading by a wide margin.

RTC also had detailed poster board maps (like 10) that laid out all the problematic zones in the corridor, along with zones that represented likely opportunities for improvement.  It looks like they are really doing their homework on this.  They also have a signature page that you can sign to help show support for their TIGER grant application (federal program that distributes funds for this type of project).  This project will cost in the neighborhood of 12 million, so if you get a chance sign this!  These funds are really competitive and being able to demonstrate community support for projects definitely helps. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Speaking of Hand Made....I need to build this!

The xtracycle certainly has plenty of rack space.  Lately, however, I've been feeling that space is just underutilized.  Now I have guidance! 

Might have to make mine hold bottles.....or a growler!

North American Hand Made Bicycle Show is next weekend!

It's just over the should really go!  Click on the image to go to the page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

UNR Farm rezoning meeting results.

A quick recap of the meeting via KTVN channel 2 (sorry about the commercial):

Under bridge lighting....a comparative study.

Under bridge lighting along the bike path.

I'm not sure if you can tell....but this light is not currently working.  It hasn't been working in the 5 years I've been bicycle commuting. And just for reference there is exactly one light under this bridge.

Under bridge lighting on Mill St. (I-80 underpass).

I'm also not sure if you can tell....but this is a state of the art, high intensity multi-led light.  It definitely works because it's brand spanking new.  I'm guessing it puts out the lighting equivalent of a small star.

This bridge merits 10 of these lights (yes, only 4 are pictured here).

To complete this exhaustive study.  The old, broken lights are utilized in areas designated specifically for pedestrians and cyclists.  At the best these probably ran a 40 watt light bulb (450 lumen).  The new, functioning lights are utilized in areas designed for cars (and probably are the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb (1600 lumen)) x 10 in this case.

The average bike light or flashlight produces ~30 lumen, compared to a car's headlights capable of producing between 1200 to 3000 lumen.

So, why do we put the best and brightest lights in locations designed for vehicles that have the capacity to produce tons of their own light, and leave old non-functioning lights in locations were people who have limited capacity for generating light are designated to walk or cycle?

The answer is complex and multifaceted (I'm sure of this).  However, the answer is not common sense!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

UNR Farm under pressure....if you want to see improved local food programs please attend!

Contrary to what you might think...I don't jump on every bandwagon that rolls past me.  However, being into bicycling means being into what I eat.  I'm not a huge fan of power bars, gels, cliff bars and the like.  Rather, I like to garden and produce as much good organic food as I can.  There aren't a lot of opportunities for farming around Reno and the UNR farm is one of them.  While they don't do a lot on the local food front yet, we should protect this land so we can expand this effort in the future!  

What we certainly don't need is more light industrial (there is plenty of vacant light industrial all over town).  Besides Kimlick Lane (or Clean Water Way) is a great little ride through the farm and there is almost no traffic since it dead ends at the water treatment plant!  Come out and join us to help protect the UNR farm.  Details below:


Contact:          Ann Louhela                                                          

Community Forum Scheduled to Discuss Future of
UNR Main Station Farm & Wolf Pack Meats

Local food advocate Shelley Brant plans to attend the Community Forum regarding the UNR Main Station Farm re-zoning proposal, and she has a list of questions for University officials. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., at Joe Crowley Student Union, University of Nevada, Reno. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

UNR will host the public forum at the request of the Reno City Council. University officials submitted a request to re-zone 104 acres of the farm from agricultural to light industrial for potential development at the Council meeting in December. UNR officials asked the Council to delay the vote as a result of public outcry over the re-zoning request.

Flooding, public education, further erosion of open-space, and the future of Wolf Pack Meats located near the property are among public concerns. More than 200 citizens attended the December meeting to voice opposition, and an online petition received more than 10,000 signatures.

The future of agricultural education at the University is one of Brant's main concerns. The 104 acres proposed for re-zoning are among the most fertile on the farm. Additionally, Wolf Pack Meats, a facility for research and teaching, is located directly across from the acreage, and the slaughterhouse would likely be labeled undesirable, rather than a community asset, as development encroaches.

"Colleges across the country are expanding ag education because of the growth of the local food industry. UNR is perfectly situated to offer a unique and highly valuable ag program, and I would like to see the administration rebuild the College of Agriculture to suit 21st century needs," Brant said. She added that Nevada students are leaving the state for education elsewhere and that Utah State University attributes increased enrollment to Nevada's lack of agricultural programs.

Free parking for attendees to the Forum will be available on the third and fourth floors of the Whalen Parking Garage, and directional signage will be posted on North Virginia Street. Additional parking is in proximity to the Student Union.

Brant encourages the public to attend. More information about local food can be found at her Local Food Northern Nevada blog,

Monday, February 20, 2012

BPAC Law Enforcement Committee.

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee formed an enforcement group last month.  It's probably not what your thinking (like above).  Rather it's a group aimed at making contact with the local law enforcement agencies and establishing a relationship from the perspective of bicycle riders and pedestrians.  The point is (in my opinion) to remind the officers that there are other users on the roads and we have rights to that space...just like cars. 

I know this is opening the door to a lot of conversations about scofflaw cyclists and pedestrians with death wishes.  We're hoping that education to both drivers, riders, and pedestrians can be best communicated with the help of local law enforcement. 

This BPAC group is in it's infancy and we're just beginning to try to envision how to make the community a better place for all types of  traffic.  If you have ideas on items you'd like to see addressed please let me know!

One idea that I'm pursuing is to help cut down on the number of bike ninjas.  Meaning riders out at night without lights!  This is especially prevalent around the UNR neighborhoods where I ride regularly.  I'll be attempting to work with some of the local NABs (Neighborhood association boards) to get funding to purchase lights that can be given away to riders who are out at night without adequate lighting.

From Yehuda Moon comics written by Rick Smith and Brian Griggs.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bike path gets plowed before your street does!

I should have posted this yesterday, but it was busy at work.  Just a quick note of awesome for anyone who rides on the cold, snowy days.  By yesterday morning at 7:15am the river path had been plowed and was ready for riders.  Yep, plowed within 24 hours of the storm!  I bet that is a better response than some of the neighborhood streets got!  Keep up the good work Parks Department.

Also, just for reference....note the gal out for a walk.  Proof that I'm not the only nut who uses this path!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Great Basin Community Food Co-op is now a "real" grocery store!

I'm sure everyone has seen this in the paper, but I had my first experience yesterday evening.  And the results are.....that we now have a "real" grocery store that is downtown and it's the Great Basin Food Co-op to boot!  No more hunting through the cute, but very crowded little store on Arlington.  You can now peruse full sized isles and still get organic, locally sourced foods with ease!

After such an awesome introduction, I made sure to swing by this morning to snap a few pictures.  So make your way over to the new location on Court St. and Flint St. and check them out!

Oh, yeah and just in case you think they've lost their way in the expansion/relocation....check out all the bike rims integrated into the railing design.  These continue into the inside as parts of the shelving.  If that still isn't bikey enough for you, check out the last picture and see what I found parked around the side of the building!

Yep, the world as you know it has changed.....double tall bike grill!  I have to find out when they fire this thing up.  I want to be able to say I've had a burger cooked on a bike!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A riding editorial.....wooo hooo!

Woke up this morning to snow on the ground.  Woooo hooooo!  Now given the winter "conditions" (or lack there of) to date I certainly have not put the studded tires on the xtracycle.  So, break out the mountain bike and air down the tires to 30 psi!  Ready to go!

Out of the drive way and on to the neighborhood streets!

I definitely had the best road conditions....the unpacked snow on the shoulders wasn't hardly slippery at all!  You do want to watch out for the off angle sections though.  The biggest concern is the drivers who don't seem to know that a 4x4 may accelerate just fine, but it doesn't stop any better than a car.

Down the hill to the i-80 bridge.

My chuckles at the state of highway traffic were audible enough to get a responding comment from a guy out walking his dogs!

At the next intersection I watched as two cars both tried to stop as if the streets were bare at a 4 way stop...yeah, not so much.  The both slid right through for a lovely low speed fender bender!  You should have seen the absolute looks of dismay on both drivers faces, priceless.  I gave them a huge thumbs up and headed through the intersection (sorry, no picture....if I hung around after the thumbs up my life might have been in danger!). 

The rest of the ride was quiet with a few early passing pedestrians and just a couple other brave riders.  The fresh snow muffled everything but the river and made for a really relaxing commute!  I'll wager that most people can't say that if they drove in this morning!

The only part of the ride that got my heart beating a bit faster was when I left the river path for my short section on Rock Blvd.  An inch plus of ice on the roads and the snowplow extras pushed into the bike lane.  The traction and the riding weren't a problem, but the traffic was pushing it at 30+ mph and sliding around (and way to close to me). 

 After watching no less then 3 cars slide through red lights at the corner of rock and mill, I made it safely in. All told it took about an extra 7-10 minutes compared to my normal commute (and a lot of that was my stopping to take pictures).  One of my office mates told me his commute took 30 minutes extra today.

So lesson of the day.  If you want a low hassle snow commute.....break out the bike!  Enjoy the snow day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Dangerous Game.

Rock Blvd. got a new treatment last year that included a few bike lanes.  It is a nice upgrade allowing users who need access to areas south of the river to jump off the river trail and cross the river via the Rock Blvd. bridge (rather than continuing on out to McCarren Ave.).  Specifically, this is the area of improvement.

All and all, it really is an improvement with designated and marked bike lanes replacing what used to be just a wide shoulder.  However, the lane on both sides terminates at the entrance to Rock Park and the line striping leaves a little to be desired.

If you look at the photos below you might notice the current line stripping has a sharp jog right after the entrance to the park.  An inattentive motorist (or one talking, texting, or looking for a dropped ipod) might continue straight on and end up cruising right down the bike lane!


I see what they were going for....a nice smooth entrance for the new and improved bus stop. I just don't want the guy in the over sized pickup sharing the bike lane with me when he doesn't intend to!  So if you use this new section, keep an eye out for tailgaters or the vehicle persuasion!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stop. Look out the window. Why are you here!

Seriously, it's like 60 out and it's Friday.  Go Ride your bike!

p.s.  Yep, I'm totally stuck in the office too....but one can dream!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

National attack on biking, walking, and public transportation.

I usually try to keep my politics focused at the local level because I think this is where a regular person can actually make a difference.  However, the currently proposed national transpiration bill is so bad that even regular people are going to need to help stop this thing.  Below is an article from D.C. Streetsblog that summarizes where we're heading.  If you care about walking, bicycling, or public transit you should read it.

When you finish, and if you want to help.  Here is a link to a nice auto email that will tell your representative how you want them to vote!


Six Lies the GOP Is Telling About the House Transportation Bill

The transportation-plus-drilling bill that John Boehner and company are trying to ram through the House is an attack on transit riders, pedestrians, cyclists, city dwellers, and every American who can’t afford to drive everywhere. Under this bill, all the dedicated federal funding streams for transit, biking, and walking would disappear, leading to widespread service cuts and more injuries and deaths on American streets. But to hear the Republican-controlled Transportation and Infrastructure Committee tell it, they’re not harming anyone. 
John Mica and John Boehner would have you believe their bill is a blessing for transit. It isn't.

In a statement, committee spokesperson Josh Harclerode told Transportation Nation earlier this week:

Republicans are not anti-transit, but we do recognize that the Highway Trust Fund is paid for by highways users, and cities and local governments must look at developing a similar user fee system for transit users.
This bill gives more flexibility to states to fund their most critical transportation needs, and under this bill states can also use the funds authorized under the highway program for transit systems if they so choose.
Because of the struggling economy, changing driving patterns and more fuel efficient vehicles, the Highway Trust Fund is in repeated danger of running dry. The Republican bill stabilizes the Trust Fund for the next five years, ensures states have the ability to fund their most critical transportation needs, and also guarantees transit funding.

Transportation myths die hard, and here the House GOP is trotting out a bunch of them — plus a few new sadistic rhetorical flourishes — to justify what’s quickly becoming known as the worst transportation bill ever. A quick primer on how the Republican leadership is lying about their bill:

1. The House GOP is not guaranteeing transit funding. They’re eliminating guaranteed transit funding.
Ask anyone who works in public transit, and they’ll tell you this bill would wreak havoc as soon as it is passed. By ending the policy begun by Ronald Reagan of funding federal transit programs with gas tax revenue, House Republicans would cast a pall of uncertainty over just about every transit agency in America. The Republican “guarantee” is nothing but a guarantee of more haggling over limited dollars as transit programs go up against other spending priorities in the general fund. Without the certainty that gas tax revenues provide, transit agencies will immediately move to cut service and raise fares, exactly what Americans don’t need while gas prices are rising and jobs are still scarce.

2. Highways are not “paid for by highway users.”

Gas taxes and tolls don’t cover the cost of highways, not by a longshot. In 2007, for example, user fees only covered 51 percent of highway costs, according to Subsidyscope. In other words, roads are subsidized — on a much larger scale than transit.

3. The House GOP bill does nothing to “stabilize” the Highway Trust Fund.
The bill relies on one-shot fees from gas and oil drilling to make up for the deficit in the Highway Trust Fund. While this would ensure that highways are subsidized even more than they are now, it’s a completely inadequate way to pay for transportation infrastructure, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

4. There’s already a “user fee system for transit users.”
It’s called the farebox.

5. “Changing driving patterns” are not endangering the Highway Trust Fund.
The truth is that even though Americans are driving less, the nation’s transportation funding system would be on solid footing if the federal gas tax kept pace with inflation. But since the gas tax is much lower in inflation-adjusted dollars than it was in 1993, the last year it was raised, the Highway Trust Fund is depleted. Congress and President Obama could solve the problem by taking another page from Reagan and adjusting the gas tax.
(The other Orwellian touch here is that the House bill doesn’t actually include any policies to adapt to “changing driving patterns.” In fact, it seems to have been drafted with 1950s-era driving patterns in mind. A bill that accounts for changing driving patterns would reflect the steadily increasing number of American transit riders, cyclists, and pedestrians, and the decline of driving per capita. Instead, the House bill puts all its resources into infrastructure for driving.)

6. States already have the “flexibility” to spend their highway funds on transit — the problem is they don’t like to.

States have had the flexibility to spend their highway funds on transit for decades. But highways are what they know, so highways are what they build.

When the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act passed in 1991, it was supposed to mark the end of an era, says Deron Lovaas, Federal Transportation Policy Director for the Natural Resource Defense Council. The interstate highway system was finished, and federal transportation money would go to increasingly to other things — dedicated funding for bike/ped projects, an expanded transit program, a larger program for congestion mitigation and air quality improvement, all part of an enlarged Surface Transportation Program. States could “flex” STP funds however they wanted. “Unfortunately, the track record for flexing STP has been very poor,” said Lovaas. “State highway agencies focus on highways.”

If the House GOP really cared about local control of transportation funds, they could draft a bill that distributes federal funding to cities and towns. The problem for John Boehner and the oil companies who back this bill is that cities and towns spend transportation dollars on things like transit, biking, and walking.

Thank you Parks Department!

Somebody has been out cleaning up the river path this week.  Not just the standard empty the trash cans, but removing debris (bark, rocks, etc) from the trail and even cleaning out the underpass at East 2nd / Glendale Ave.

The underpass is one area that's gotten really bad in the past few months.  It fills with wind blown dirt, tumble weeds, abandoned shopping carts, and rocks.  It's also an s-type curve that has a blind entry so these obstacles are sometimes detected on short notice.  Usually it's restricted to one lane due to the debris and makes for a potential accident waiting to happen.

I can only imagine that the someone is a Parks department employee who is not slacking and doing more than is required.  I'm sure that if that person did only a moderate job....emptied the trash cans and called it a day, that no one would know.  Instead he busted out the broom and shovel and made a difference in my morning.  So here's a big thank you to who ever did a little extra work this morning!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Taking the scenic route.

Today I just wasn't in a hurry to get to I took the time to cruise down the river walk.  It's really nice in the winter mornings.  Just a few people, burbling river, an no traffic.  If you haven't changed up your commute lately, try taking the scenic route, it might just improve your day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pedestrian safety forum results.

I wasn't able to attend the safety forum last night but here's a quick video coverage from KTVN Channel 2 news.

Sorry about the's worth a few second wait to see the coverage.

Bike path regression....averted. Also, I am not alone!

Just a quick update on the bike path construction woes I posted yesterday.  I emailed with Jeff Mann in the Parks Department and was relieved to find out the patches they put in are temporary while some of the construction is ongoing.  I take the to mean the final product will be much improved.

I'd say I need to calm down, relax, and take a breath before firing off such posts (and emails)....but it seems I might be one of a select few watching such things.  And if being a pest results in path improvements verses degradation, then a pest I am happy to be!

Speaking of those select few....looks like about 4-6 walkers and one other intrepid bicyclist!  I saw as many as 4 sets of tracks in various places along the path.  I don't know why people don't ride when it snows....I think of these as some of the most fun commutes!  I mean come on, it's like being a six year old.  Power slides through the corners, covered in slush and mud, 20 foot skid to the intersection with stop signs.  Best riding ever!

That being said, there was one power slide / skid I could have done without this morning.  It was here at the blind s-curve (where locust st. terminates at the river in an apartment complex).

While the image above may not be to scale....I meet a RPD cruiser right in the blind spot of the s-curve that was covered in snow and has a pretty good off angle slope.  I was moving along at a pretty good clip and so was he....fortunately, we avoided a head on collision.  Although my resulting two foot down, both wheels locked power slide was not graceful.

I always ring my bell before entering this corner and I did so today.  He had a window down but obviously didn't hear it.  I wish he would have give a quick beep of the horn since he uses both lanes.  Either way I'm glad to see RPD in any form out on the river trail.  In fact if they increase the number of patrol passes, I promise to work on improving the grace factor of my power slides!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Just a reminder.... this event is tonight from 5-7pm at Lawlor.

From the RGJ:

blog post photoCondensed from a press release:

The University of Nevada, Reno will host a Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Forum for both the campus community and the community at-large 5-7 p.m., Feb. 6, in Lawlor Events Center’s Silver and Blue Room. The public forum will allow for discussion of laws, problem areas and what local agencies are doing to promote safety on the University campus and its surrounding community. Public concerns, suggestions and input will be encouraged.

In addition to University Police and a number of University departments, other agencies involved with the forum are the City of Reno Neighborhood Advisory Boards, Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Highway Patrol, Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), Reno Police Department and others. Wendy Damonte, KTVN Channel 2 news anchor, will moderate the forum.

Agencies represented will briefly present information on their safety efforts during the past year, current projects and future plans. The RTC will present plans for area streets and additional crosswalks. Troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol will discuss their concentrated enforcement efforts on pedestrian and crosswalk violations over the next several weeks. The University Police Department will share its partnership with the 11- to 17-year-old gifted students at the Davidson Academy, located on campus, to improve pedestrian safety around campus. The motto of this program, created by the Davidson students is, “Look Up, Unplug, Stay Safe.”

There will be informational displays and handouts, and agency representatives will be on hand to answer questions. Public parking will be available on the top two floors of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex on North Virginia Street.

Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail Public Meeting

Taken from MusclePowered.  

Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Trail Public Meeting
February 13th 5-7 p.m.
Carson City Community Center- Bonanza Room
851 East Williams Street


Lumos & Associates’ Tom Young and Chas Macquarie survey the Ash Creek bridge site

Carson City and Muscle Powered have been working with the U.S. Forest Service and public for many years to develop a trail system along the foothills of the Carson Range with connectivity to Carson City. Most of the trail will be located on Forest Service lands and some will be on Carson City lands.

The project proposes to construct approximately 6 miles of single-track trail designed for non-motorized uses including mountain biking, hiking and equestrian between Ash Canyon and Kings Canyon. Trail access points will be Kings Canyon Road, Waterfall Road, and Ash Canyon Road
This meeting is one of the last steps before we can start construction on what is sure to be a fantastic trail!

If you would like to learn more about this project,  have questions, or would like to show support for the trail, please attend this meeting.

Thanks! hoping.

The river path is a resource.....sometimes for runners, sometimes for cyclists, and sometimes for less desirable locals.  It is however, a resource (even infrastructure) and a really nice option if you need to travel between Reno and Sparks without using a car.  It is worth protecting and repairing and making every attempt to keep it up.  It's not that hard.  A phone call to the right place can go a long way. I still am impressed that one call to the Parks Department resulted in the number of lights working along the path going from 47% to over 90%!

Not everyone realizes this.  And in this case I mean these guys:

They were pretty good on the surface....they had ped/bike detour signs and took down the closure when they weren't actively working on the site.  However, their attention to detail on the reconstruction of the path leaves a lot to be desired. 

The work they did required a trench to be cut across the path and then the northern section of the path to have about 12-16 inches cut away.  Presumably to get access to some pipe, wire, etc.  They then should have back filled to a level grade and patched their work with fresh compacted and rolled asphalt.  They kind of did this.....

Except that they neglected to back fill to an adequate grade, lay the asphalt at the correct temperature, compact the asphalt roll it smooth, etc.  The result is a patch that is below grade (a noticeable bump) that will only compact further with time, the asphalt they did lay is already crumbling as you can see in the photos and has a large number of small open holes.  So they used too little asphalt and didn't compact it properly. 

In addition the strip they "replaced" along the northern edge of the trail is seriously graded (sloping) to the north.  An inattentive or inexperienced person catching this edge could easily be angled into the loose pea gravel and then down the river bank in a rather unfashionable method.   It's also about as smoothly rolled as a motocross track.

So all the details aside....we shouldn't have to tolerate this type of second class quality on our paths.  We wouldn't tolerate it if they guys rebuilding interstate 80 left us with this type of infrastructure!  Why is it ok to treat the non vehicle infrastructure in this way?

Hopefully, it's not.  Hopefully, a call to the Parks Department will have these guys back on site to fix their initial mess.  So I guess here's to hoping!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You can do anything on a bicycle!

I found this little gem on a blog I read regularly.  If you thought daily life can't be conducted from the seat of a bicycle have a look!

THE MAN WHO LIVED ON HIS BIKE from Guillaume Blanchet on Vimeo.

Then if you want to check out a cool girl on a bike, check out the blog I found it on!