Friday, August 29, 2014

Bicycle to Ribfest! **Updated**

I'm pretty sure most people are aware that RibFest is this weekend over in Sparks.  (You'd probably have to be living someplace obscure like Bend, OR not to know....)  I'm also pretty sure it draws 10's of thousands of people every day.  I'm translating that as NO parking and MASSIVE traffic.

So, if you'd like to join us, there's a group ride starting from the automobile museum (Oh, the irony) on Saturday (Organized by the Cuter Commuter herself) .  We'll meet on the bike path behind the museum at 4pm on Saturday and cruise over as a group.  There will be a return ride leaving Sparks at ~7pm so you shouldn't need lights unless you plan to stay later.

p.s.  I'm totally not the organizer of the ride....I just heard about it from Cuter Commuter.  At the very least I'll promise I'll be in this location at this time to ride there!  Join me if you like!


From Cuter Commuter:

Bicycle Cities....2.0.

Just a interesting perspective on bicycling from one of the leading cycling cities in the world....and a little filler for the blog since nothing interesting happened on my commute this morning!

Some of the interesting points you might look for include bicycle culture represented as vacuuming culture and some of the "products" that are transported by bicycle in Copenhagen. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rivendell Bicycles Grant Petersen comes to town. **UPDATED**
Click to link to the RGJ story.
Now that is a title for a newspaper story!  If you want to hear more about this novel idea, please join in by heading down to Sundance Bookstore on Sept. 4th, 6-9pm to hear Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycles.  He is know for having some pointed opinions on the topic!  And if you happen to have his book "Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding your Bike", I'm sure he'll sign it for you!


***I just found out the event also has an organized ride starting at 5pm!  So be sure to come early so you too can ride with the legendary Grant Petersen!***


I know a lot of cyclist who get out the fancy road bike on the weekend and do a bit of training.  Heck, I even hit the verdi loop once in a while and have my eye on the clock for exactly how long the loop takes me.  Apparently, bus drivers do a bit of training as well.  You have to keep that gas pedal foot in top shape you know!

Seriously though, I hop scotched with this driver in training all the way down Mill St.  From a cycling opinion he did pretty darn well.  He stayed behind me for about a block before hitting a bus stop rather than passing and blocking the bike lane in front of me.  He also gave a wide berth (more than 3ft) when passing.  So kudos to the RTC training program.  Seems like they're doing a good job.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Keystone Complete Street Meeting.

Sorry, busy at work today.

The meeting was super well attended.  They had 3 separate projectors running with side by side computer generated displays of the before traffic and after traffic.  Turns out traffic flow is actually better after the redesign with fewer lanes.  Go figure!  The mood was really positive....didn't hear one negative comment about the designs.  And in past meetings there was certainly an opposition.  Not sure what that means, but I'll take positive any day!

Here's a few pics.

Blurry panorama of people!

Side by side on the North Keystone complete street.

People and infographic.

More people.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meeting Alert!! Keystone Complete Street Conversion....Tonight!!

In case you wanted to's the flyer with the details:

A Pedal Perspective.

I ride a bicycle at some point during most every day.  Sometimes for transportation, sometimes for exercise, and sometimes just because it's fun. 

This morning I decided my ride should be fun and somehow different. So, I dusted off the Xtracycle just for the fact that it has flats (pedals that don't require clipping in or special shoes).  Just the ability to ride in sandals, rather than throwing on my bike shoes was my qualifier for "fun".  And you know what, it was. 

So, what's your perspective on adding a little fun to your day?  Perhaps it should be just dusting off that bicycle and going for a spin.  What ever it is, make sure you get out and do it soon.  The summer sunshine and long evenings are starting to shorten and there's no time to waste!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waterbiking....check out the article over at RGJ.

I'm not sure quite what to make of it.  I guess it would be a fun thing to try up at Tahoe.  If anyone actually gives one of these things a spin let me know!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A hiking we will go.

Wifey and I had company in town over the weekend so bicycles weren't the focus.  Instead it was a hiking weekend.  Here's a few pics from our adventures. 

High Camp at Squaw as a starting location.

Just below the summit of Granite Chief.

Only "experts" are allowed to hike Granite Chief (clearly)!

Day two hiking...The Mt. Judah loop off of Donner Summit.  Some of the best views off the Pacific Crest Trail you can ask for!

Looking back over Donner Lake.

End of day hiking requirement....dipping your toes in Tahoe!
Anyway, that was our whirlwind weekend.  Hope yours was just as much fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bicycle Boulevards....can we make it work for downtown Reno?

Here's a little primer.....see what you think!  Notice that Portland was already thinking this way in 2007.  So we have a little catching up to do!

Bicycle Safety Makes the two cents.

I found this over at KTVN:

And for the record I know they are trying to do a good thing with this article....however, I will argue almost the entire thing isn't really relevant to bicycle safety for kids. 

Unfortunately, this type of article does little to help with's really just telling us that the child shares the blame if something were to happen.

For instance, the quote below:

Sgt. Marlene Cleveland stresses the fact that once you are on the street as a bike rider, you are acting like a car. For that reason, all of the normal traffic laws must be followed, or riders could potentially face fines.
Is this really a statement that's appropriate for school aged children riding to school (who are mostly below the age of 16 and have never had drivers education)!  If you break a traffic law (which you've never been taught) you will be fined.  At this point any parent considering letting a child ride will probably nix riding to school.

Quote #2:

Cleveland says most accidents happen when both bicyclist or a driver isn't paying attention.

Again, we're talking about kids here, not an adult cyclist.  Kids don't always have the presence of mind or intellectual awareness to constantly evaluate their environment for hazards!  The driver is always an adult and navigating a 4000 lb vehicle capable of killing a person if improperly handled.  The adult needs to be the one paying attention, plain and simple when children are present.  It's one of the definitions of being the adult.

Quote #3:
Sgt. Cleveland stresses the importance of wearing a helmet, and wearing brighter clothes because it'll make you more visible.
Helmets are great....I wear one 99% of the time I ride.  There are definitely certain collision situations where they help.  They also make you safer if you wear one while driving.  Strange that this is never a talking point!? 

And wearing bright colors is also great.  It might just help a driver see a kid riding in a bike lane.  We should probably all drive brightly colored cars too.  No one ever suggests this to drivers....

The reason no one suggests either of these things to drivers, is that it would take some of the fun out of driving or selecting a car.  Statements like this also predisposition us to put more blame on the kid on a bike because he wasn't wearing blaze orange and sporting a helmet, which isn't cool.

Quote #4:

Don't swerve in and out of traffic, avoid distractions, and take your time.
Again....they are kids.  They might not be masters of the two wheeled balancing act and will swerve from time to time (its not in their control).  Distractions....really, a kid riding a bike is concentrating to ride the bike.  They probably aren't the ones who are texting or talking on the phone while moving.  And finally, a kid on a bike is not a tour de france rider....they are always taking their time,  unlike the parent who is late to pick up their child from school.

So really, none of these safety tips are for children.  These are safety tips for adult riders.

The reality is this article should be framed as a reminder and warning to drivers that school is starting up and there will be an increasing number of kids biking and walking to school.  They should be reminding drivers that kids, "are kids" and may not have their own best interests at heart, so watch out for the little buggers!

Anyway, like I said.  My two cents.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cycle Tracks....pros and cons.

I don't make it East of Great Basin Brewery very often....seems like my brakes just automatically activate when I'm rolling down Victorian Ave.  Yesterday, however, I managed to urge my legs to keep pedaling and headed out along what I believe is the only separated cycle track in the Reno Sparks area.

I have mixed feelings about separated bicycle infrastructure.  In one respect it's great.  It will encourage people who might not feel comfortable riding with traffic to get out and ride their bike for transportation, instead of just treating it as a toy.   It also shows we do have the collective political will to build this type of infrastructure (which isn't all that common).

However, when they built this original section of cycle track they included yield signs at every driveway and intersection.  Meaning there are several yields within each block.  This means you can have to stop every 40-50 ft along your ride....not very practical.  The result is that any experience cyclist doesn't use the track, opting instead to use the road and ride along unimpeded.

To make things even more confusing.....the newer portion of the track doesn't have any yield signs.  This makes you think you have the right of way.  Unfortunately, this isn't true either.  On my ride last night I had a truck make a right hand turn (for them) directly across my path.  He never even though to look for me (due to the long standing notion in a car that right hand turns are free of obstacles).  At the time I was doing about 24 mph.  I locked up the brakes and stopped  a few feet short of his door.  He was of course pissed at me for almost hitting him, even though he never bothered to check before crossing the track.

So anyway, those are a few arguments for and against.  What do you think?  Should we build more of these or stick with more traditional bike lanes (or buffered bike lanes)?  Let the debate begin.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A good old fashion river trail commute!

I used to ride the river trail pretty much every day....for years....and years.  It suddenly became kind of boring, so I switched and have ridden Mill St. for the last 9 months or so.  I guess I kind of enjoy "being traffic".  The odd part is that while taking Mill St. shaves about a mile off my commute it takes exactly the same amount of time.  The reason of course is the multiple traffic lights and stop signs (and yes, I do stop and wait for signals and stop signs).  However, even the river trail isn't devoid of construction delays these days!

I actually really enjoyed being back on the trail.  I had forgotten how quite and rather peaceful it is.  And I found I actually ride slower.  On Mill St. you kind of hustle between lights and stop signs.  And yes, the "flow" (or lack there of) of traffic is agitating even on a bike.  Although there is the rather fun part of biking along a row of 50 cars in an empty bike lane and queuing up right at the light. 

The other thing I noticed on the ride is just how low the Truckee river is. 

There are a ton of places where you could walk across and only be wet to your ankles!  And multiple places where the river is less than 20 ft wide.  And given the big rain event we had last evening the river looks about like chocolate milk.

Anyway, that's the morning commute report.  So get out there and find some fun on your morning ride!

Monday, August 11, 2014

If you love beer....

This just made it's way into my kegerator over the weekend!  Yummy!  So come on down Preacher....we have a little slice of Bend right in our back yard!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Roadway conversions....bicycle lanes vs. parking.....a case to observe.

KTVN posted a story today regarding the conversion of a portion of Center St. from two lanes to one....for the purpose of added parking.  I think this might be an interesting case study to see if people are more open to reducing the number of lanes for the purpose of parking their cars vs. create bike lanes (e.g. an alternative way to get to a core area of midtown and reduce parking needs).  I find it a little weird that this is on the table, since (to me) the whole vibrancy of Midtown is the bicycle / pedestrian culture that it seems to be developing.

KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

I also find it a little strange that parking is such a big deal.  While it's true I mostly ride to this area, there are certainly times I have driven.  I can't recall any particularly arduous hunts for parking on these trips....however, I am willing to walk a few blocks.  Anyway, it's something that's going on and it might be interesting to observe the process for a project I don't particularly care about. 

Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway gets a link to Truckee.

A steady, Sierra Nevada downpour on a recent morning wasn't going to stop Becky Bucar from riding the newest bike path in Truckee, Calif.
For Bucar, an associate engineer for the Town of Truckee, the chance to ride the latest addition to the Truckee River Legacy Trail was a moment seven years in the making.
That's how long Bucar and others had been working to complete the 2.2 mile stretch of trail that connects the existing trail from downtown Truckee to the Glenshire subdivision and its approximately 1,400 homes.
Despite the rain during Bucar's ride workers were putting finishing touches on the paved route that's scheduled to open officially on Friday. If the rain stops long enough for workers to put sealant on the pavement the trail will be open for good. If not, they'll likely close it down for another day to complete the work.
It's significant because not only does it connect a major subdivision to downtown Truckee, it is another link in the growing Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway that aims to create a 116-mile hiking and biking route from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake by way of the Truckee River.
The new section of trail also is an opportunity for visitors to take a Truckee day trip that includes 10 miles of riding on smooth, scenic riding along the river from the east side of Truckee, through downtown and back. The budget for the new segment was $3.7 million, although the final costs aren't in yet. Much of the funding, about $2.9 million, came from California's River Parkways project. It's a grant program that's aimed at improving habitat, recreation flood control and access on riverfronts.
"I'm excited for it to open," said Bucar, who gamely agreed to ride the new portion of the route in the rain and point out the highlights along the way. "There is still a big chunk of the summer left for (riders, walkers and runners) to get on it."
From the Glenshire Drive trailhead the trail goes slightly downhill to a fork. On the left is a short, slightly uphill spur that leads to an overview of the Truckee River and surrounding mountains.
The right side of the fork is the main trail which continues downhill at about an 8 percent grade — the steepest section — for about one half of a mile until it reaches a bridge over Martis Creek. There's an interpretive marker at the spot that explains the nearby remnants of the ice dam that once blocked the creek.
After the bridge the path goes across a long, mostly flat and clear area that overlooks the river before dipping into a forested area and eventually reaching the connection to the previously opened segment of the Legacy Trail that continues to downtown Truckee. There are plans to continue the Truckee portion of the route all the way to Donner Lake.
"This is a high priority project in general, whether we are talking about trails or all other road projects," Bucar said.
The people in Truckee aren't the only ones celebrating the opening.
Janet Phillips, president of the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway project, said the Truckee segment is critical to completing the route from Lake Tahoe from Pyramid Lake. It's also part of a busy summer when it comes to progress on the longer route.
It's the second segment of the trail to open since June and it's going to be followed later this month when a section opens between Floriston and Farad.
Phillips, who has been working on the bikeway project for 10 years, said segments have typically been opening at the pace of about one per year. So three segments in one summer represents a burst of progress.
"It is huge, we've never had that happen before and I would be surprised if it ever happens again," Phillips said.
Once the Floriston segments opens the route will be about 75 percent complete she said, with gaps remaining in the mountains between Verdi and Truckee and east of Reno near Sparks and near Fernley.
The mountain section could take years because it is an area that's steep and rocky. The eastern gaps are due to difficulty reaching agreements with landowners along the route.
Still, Phillips said she'll attend the opening of the latest segment of the Truckee River Legacy trail looking forward to making more progress in completing the entire route.
"If we can get this bikeway finished ... it really illustrates the potential for a unified message for our area about outdoor recreation," she said.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Muggy commute.

Well it might have cooled down overnight, but it sure was a muggy morning for a bike ride.  On the up side, when do you get to ride in humid weather in I'll call it a unique experience!

Grey can almost feel the humid air just by looking at this.

Bikes go here....curious...maybe we should label car lanes this way.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fat bikes eat your heart out....or beer and bicycles!

Back in action.....

Ok, I've been on a long weekend mini vacation in Colorado to visit some family.  I know this means it's been a bit quiet around here.  This was not a bikey vacation, but it definitely had some until I can get back on the bike, here are a few pics from the weekend.

There were breweries, beer festivals, and worship in a church converted to a bar.

Brewery workings!
Beer festival shenanigans.

Worshiping at the perfect church.

Yep....samplers come in communion cups!

There were bicycles involved at the beer festival, although we did not arrive by this preferred method.  Here's a view of the rides in their own valet parking area inside the festival gates.  Talk about preferred parking!

The weekend also had a few other fun activities I don't always get out and do.....including some climbing and golf.  I found out I was pretty rusty at both of these.

Ok, so that was the weekend.  Not bikey but I thought I'd share so you don't get bored.  More bike stuff coming soon!