Friday, June 22, 2012

I need to learn how to ride a bike all over again!

I found this over at and I'm not sure where he found it.  All I can say is that apparently, after all these years of riding.....I still do not know how to ride a bike anything like this.  I'd even argue you don't have to like bikes at all to appreciate the skill set these guys have!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My own personal I-80 needs a construction project!

I know you guys probably get sick of all my stuff on the river path, but hey, it really is my highway.  Well, it's significantly better than I-80....meaning that I only share the road with about a dozen other people (although that number is up quite a bit this spring/summer)!  There aren't any accidents that shut it down.  And the people using it aren't trying to cut me off or not let me merge.  So really it's not like a highway at all I guess.  It's more like a drive on a private road that runs along a beautiful river for several miles.  Maybe you guys should'd probably smile more.

The other way (unfortunately) that the river path is not like the highway is that there is no "construction".  What!  Is he crazy you ask?  He want's construction on his morning commute?  Actually, construction might not be the right about maintenance?  Now I'm not specifically talking about the path itself (although there are some areas where the roots have made the path like a washboard road).  Just some of the access facilities (on ramps...if you will) that get you to the path.  Specifically, the stairway that allows access via 2nd Street.

This is how it currently looks:

Now this is not a multi-million dollar repair folks.  I'm guessing about $50 bucks worth of supplies and a couple hours of work would whip this into shape.  However, I'll bet a hundred dollars that this project will take longer to get done than the I-80 rebuild.  Sad but true.

I won't beat the point to death, but for the $$$$ spent you get way more "bicycle and walking" infrastructure (miles of path per dollar) than you do building highways for cars.  Let's hope I can squeeze $50 bucks for this out of the Parks department!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reno bicycle in the news!

From the RGJ:

You can read the article over at  I'm all out of my limited "free" articles on the new pay to play sight.

Starwars tandem bike...Imperial walker!

I don't even know where to start on this one.  I'm guessing this is a Star Wars themed ride that would be part of the Pedalpalooza events up in Portland.  Any which way, it's cool on so many levels!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

4th St. Meeting Fallout!

As I said earlier, I wasn't able to stay for the vote on the future of 4th St.  However, Scott Hall did a really thorough write up and I wanted to post it.  Remember, even in the worst case scenario we will have new facilities coming to 4th St. in one form or another.


Congratulations on the passionate support for bicycling on 4th Street and in Reno at the RTC Board meeting last Thursday! I think we broke every record for public comment and number of people attending any RTC meeting in support of bicycling. I was proud that so many people made a significant effort to attend the meeting and speak up for the safety of bicyclists and the future of our city. I know it's difficult for many people to speak publicly (myself included), but our impact was impressive. I think we were polite, emotional and convincing, so much so that some of our friends at RTC were having a difficult time coming up with the data to support their position.

As far as the results of the meeting go, I think they were varied. Many of our ideas from just a couple of weeks ago were included in Amy Cumming's 4th Street Corridor Plan. She put in more emphasis on bicycle facilities, and less detraction's such as diversions to 6th Street and the river path. As Jeff pointed out, the process is still fluid and can be changed at any moment. At least as fluid as any glacier can be.

The bigger surprise was when Dave Aiazzi proposed the road diet on East 4th from Evans to Sutro. This is a key portion of the corridor for many of us, but strategically it starts to cut into the downtown urban freeway idea, and puts two lanes on the doorstep of downtown. Once two lanes connect to the casino core, there won't be the supply for traffic lanes to fill up and cause congestion. I just read about a study, from ten years ago, that demonstrates that once streets are converted, the traffic disappears and doesn't cause congestion. People modify their driving behavior by combining trips, or riding their bikes. Unfortunately most engineers still think more traffic lanes are better.

One issue that wasn't mentioned was West 4th, from Keystone to Sierra. This section has about the same traffic as East 4th, but wasn't planned to have a road diet. It should be fair to consider it as similar to E.4th. The road diet is practically the only way to reduce speeds and congestion from cars and trucks, and give bicyclists and pedestrians space and safety. We can use the space for a buffered bike lane at first, then add in greenery or a landscaped parkway down the road in the future.

Of course the biggest surprise was Bonnie Weber proposing a complete biking/walking mall with transit that would blow the minds of the RTC. The funny thing is that this is not so far fetched, and other cities regularly close their major corridors for weekend or holiday street parties. Check out and It seems Reno can do this, and we can start with the 4th of July on 4th Street Bike Rally. Bonnie seems to be a great supporter for community development, and her term lasts until 2014. We will need to engage her more in the bike advocacy process.

So in the end we had a good outcome on many points, and some struggles in other places. The plan was voted on and passed with amendments and the RTC has already published the complete Corridor Plan. It's a good read, and shows how much can change within the two years of study. The funding, technical guidance and national transportation issues all favor bicycling and creating safe and healthy corridors for riding. But as Dave pointed out, Reno might not be ready yet for a complete bicycle highway through the downtown casinos. So we are up against the political and cultural resistance to bicycling in the public, and we will need to use many tactics to change this mindset. We made a good effort with the 4th Street campaign, and can continue there and on other streets around town.

We can also influence public opinion by supporting bicyclists, encouraging new cyclists to ride to work or around town, and trying as much as possible to follow the traffic rules. Much of the backlash against bicyclists is from the perception of us as lawless, mentally ill lunatics causing chaos on the streets. (Sometimes it's true, but we just need to dial it down a notch.) Other cities such as Portland and Boulder have already experienced this, but have progressed when bicyclists become part of normal traffic and allow everyone to enjoy their own right-of-way.

So I look forward to continuing the process, and if anyone wants to sit down and plan out the next strategy session let me know. There are still many issues to work on, and more contacts to make in the business community.

I also didn't hear everyone's comments at the RTC Meeting, so please remind me of your concerns and how we might be able to manage them. I think RTC's main complaint was trying to balance all the users' needs, and it's apparent that it is indeed difficult.

Thanks again for all the support, and we'll continue to campaign for a safer and better New 4th Street!

Scott Hall
Committee for Bicyclists on 4th Street

Bicycle events in Reno.

Beers & premiers
    is proud to announce the first annual ‘summer solstice’

 A couple of reminders for you.  Tonight is the presentation of Beers and Premiers out at Patagonia (6pm).  As one can imagine this involves some tasty craft beer and some excellent mountain bike footage on screen.  It will also involve gold sprints.  For those unfamiliar, this is two bikes mounted on rollers (ok, just the rear no skill is involved) and wired up to a computer.  Basically, at the word go, you pedal like a mad man (or woman) until you hit the specified distance.  The whole world watches your progress on screen seeing who is the better sprinter.  Ego is definitely present so bring your A game!

Next up this weekend is the kick off of the Tour De Nez in the form of a poker ride / family ride.  There are three distances to choose from so check it out!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jailbirds and bicycles, a good combination!

Sorry, I'm sure the politically correct term is convicts.  Either way they're on the river path and it's a good thing!  Late last week when riding back from the 4th street meeting I was surprised to see two guys in black and white striped jump suits near the old Wells Ave. underpass.  I did pause for a minute wondering if a detour was in order but I figured a bicycle isn't the current getaway vehicle of choice.  Turns out it was an old fashion work crew and they were cleaning up trash along the river! 

You can's see them very well in the crappy cell phone picture but they had a sizable amount of debris gathered up.  I can't believe this type of resource isn't out there every day.  This is the perfect job for low level offenders and it would keep Reno looking like the city it deserves to be!

Friday, June 15, 2012

4th Street bike lane meeting.

Ok, so yesterday was the big day.  We rallied about 35-50 bicyclists down at city hall to give public comment and ask the RTC to try to come up with something (anything really) for the section of 4th st. between Arlington and Lake.  They were considerate of everyone there and even moved the agenda item up for us so we didn't have to wait around to give our comments.

I had to leave early, so I didn't get to hear the actual RTC presentation or the remaining public comments but I hope it was enough to at least delay the vote.  Since I didn't stick around I'm still in the dark about the outcome.

The display of bicycles outside city hall was pretty cool though!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vroom, Vroom!

I don't know if anyone else ever had one of these as a kid (or had a friend who did), but they were pretty much awesome.  The fact that they were pointless and warped little kids minds to want a car (or at lease a motorcycle) is irrelevant. 

I am wondering if I added one of these to my current bike if I'd get some respect while riding on 4th Street.  I wish I would have thought of this earlier so I could bring it to the City Council meeting today!

Either way....I still kind of  want to find one!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bikes on 4th Street - Do or die Meeting!

Ok, If you want bike lanes on 4th Street this is probably your one chance to be heard!  If we don't get a decent turn out for the public comment period, you will be riding down the same old 4th St. for years to come.  I know it's hard to make a 12:30pm meeting but make the effort if you can.  Let's try to let the city council know that Reno can be a great bicycle town!

The details:
Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 12:30pm
Reno City Hall
Agenda (PDF)

New routines.

Sometimes, it's good to have new routines....just to shake things up and make life a little more interesting.  With summer here that means I get to ride to work each day with Wifey! 

I does mean that it's not just me riding out there, and it makes you realize that riding style varies a lot when you're not alone.  No more clutch decisions on getting a quick jump on traffic at a light, no more short stops due to inattention, and way more communication about when to go, which way to turn, or how to get across intersections with unresponsive traffic lights.  If you don't verbalized clearly what your intentions are you end up playing bumper cars with your bicycle buddy or leaving them standing at an intersection as you pop through in front of traffic. 

So if your out for any group rides for summer social events make sure to practice some good communication will make the ride a whole lot more enjoyable.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beers and Premiers at Patagonia!

Beers & premiers
    is proud to announce the first annual ‘summer solstice’

On the evening of June 19th , B&p WILL BE premiering the latest project
From anthill films and redbull media house ‘STRENGTH IN NUMBERS’. 
Bring your bike legs, as we will be having goldsprint races before
We kick off the  film, courtesy of the reno bike project.  We also
Have a couple of reno’s own brewers coming in so you can sample a few
Of their latest ales.   So come on down to the cafeteria and race your
Coworkers, enjoy locally crafted ales, and enjoy the film.  This is a
Free event, however donations will gladly be accepted, and friends
Are welcome.  Drinks and snacks will be provided, Doors open at 6 to kick
off the races and the movie starts Off immediately afterwards.  More
details to come, and check out the Trailer below.

-rob & chia

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bicycle commuting obstacles.

These are a couple of things I had to dodge on my commute this week.  None of them involved traffic, stoplights, or least not in the normal sense!

The first obstacle....tree across river path!  Courtesy of your local neighborhood beavers.

A note....when I came through later....the other end of the tree (across the path) had been chewed through and removed.  So, these are a very polite brand of beaver!

If that isn't enough out of nature for one day.....beware of trail traffic in the form of goose crossings!

When I arrived they were spanning the entire trail heading out for a morning swim!  So keep a wary eye out when on the river path.  Traffic might not be the right word, but trail use is on the rise!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bike Commuting and Business Travel.

I have to travel this week for work.  Due to a our truck being tied up (it has recently received a little truck camper) and wifey needing to drive for work today, I was left with my usual option....bicycle commuting.  This will never work you say!  How will he pack smartly with business attire, computers, and options for a week away and still ride a bike!  The reality is it really is only a little more than I would carry on any given day.

I don't have to have "fancy" close for work.  A nice pair of jeans or Mtn. Khakis and  collared shirt will do.  A weeks worth of close, a laptop, and some other gear do add a little weight for the commute.  You really notice it on the hill climbs.....oh, and when parking!

Yep, that's a no rider, parked, wheelie!  Guess I need to look into weight distribution a little!  Either way it was still the same commute in the same time.  The real question is do you ride to the airport and lock up there?  The bike parking at Reno-Tahoe International is non-existent in my mind.  I'll probably get a coworker to take me until I can investigate a bit.  So, until next week.  Ride on.

Friday, June 1, 2012