Monday, December 29, 2014

Brew and bike shop!

This old school is Bristol brewery...yep, there's a bike shop down stairs.  Reno, we need this!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve.....and RenOpen Streets!

Current Proposed Route

My Amended Route Idea

Ok, I have been graciously included in some preliminary route "ideas" for the RenOpen Streets project which I believe will happen next fall.  The project is being spear headed by Julie of Washoe County Health (Air Quality Management) and Noah of the Reno Bike Project.  In my opinion it's based on the Portland Sunday Parkways.  If you don't have any idea what that is here's a little video to give you an idea.

Basically, it's a take back the streets for a day.  Businesses can expand into the street with pop up markets, displays, and cafe space.  People can walk, bike, roller blade, play baseball, frisbee, or hockey.  Basically, use the massive amount of real estate that we give to cars every day.  Hopefully, if we do it right we'll have food trucks along the route, bands playing in the streets, and pop up park space for relaxing!

Anyway, it's something that's in the look for options to volunteer as we get farther along!  It takes a city worth of people to make a city worth living in, and we want to show that Reno is that kind of city!

If you're curious about businesses that might be involved here's the list of businesses close to the route...

Current Route

Beaujolais Bistro
Hub Coffee
Dorinda’s Chocolates
Pneumatic Diner
Sierra Tap House
Java Jungle
Great Basin Food Co-op
Sundance Bookstore
Bibo Coffee
1864 Tavern
Cheese Board
Blue Plate
Blue Moon Pizza
Great Full Gardens
Laughing Planet
Public House

Modified Route (adds these)

Imperial Lounge
West Street Market
Silver Peak on the River
Chocolate Bar
Reno eNVy
Ole Bridge Pub
River Room
Fuego Tapas
Newman’s Deli
Nick’s Greek Deli
College Cyclery
Michael’s Deli
Granite Street
St. James Infirmary
My Favorite Muffin
SoDo Resaurant
Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs

With this list, it could be quite a party.  Let's make it happen!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Truing stand christmas tunes!


The fun part for me....I asked for a truing stand for Christmas.  I do believe the wheel spins a bit too true to actually produce that melody! 

Virginia St. Pedestrian fatality update.

KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

KTVN Channel 2 has a pretty good report on the pedestrian fatality on North Virginia St. with some updated stats on Vehicle vs. Pedestrian accidents.  It's worth a watch. 

It does make me wonder why people aren't up in arms regarding changes to this intersection (stutter flashes, central divider islands, etc).  This particular intersection has resulted in 3 deaths in recent years.  It only took one (local celebrity) death to get changes made only a mile or so south by UNR. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Please pay attention while driving!

***Update***  The pedestrian was in a cross walk at the time of the initial collision.  Was struck by a second vehicle in addition to the original collision. 

From RGJ:

The pedestrian killed in a crosswalk in north Reno this morning was hit by two vehicles, police say.
The investigation is ongoing, but Reno police Lt. Scott Dugan said the second vehicle hit the pedestrian with a "much greater significance than the first." That vehicle fled the scene, Dugan said. The driver of the first vehicle is cooperating, police said.

I realize that everyone thinks they pay attention while I'm including myself in this request.

The ingrained response we all give such a request is....."I do pay attention!"....but I'm not sure we really do.  If we all really did, we wouldn't be seeing these car vs. pedestrian accident reports about every 2-3 weeks (and it has been that often this year).

So why not actually take the time to watch the markings on the roads on your way home today.  Count the number of cross walks you pass on your own personal commute.  Note where they are....note the ones you never even noticed before even more.  Just this type of simple awareness exercise will help you avoid the situation!

And before the haters start in.....yes, I realize the guy crossing in a dark hoody, dark jeans, at night, in an area with no marked cross walk is adding to his own personal responsibility for crossing a road.  So...people who walk and cross roads at night....Stop doing this. 

Where the rubber hits the road....

Yeah, the blurry picture doesn't help...but that's not a pebble balanced on my tire.  That's the head of a inch and a half nail.  If pictures had'd be hearing that nice hisssssss noise.  On the up side, you'll notice the picture is take in the comfort of my office.  So I must have encountered this little gem shortly before arriving.  So remember, even though there isn't ice and snow in the bike lanes this year, there are still things you should be keeping any eye out for!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Yep, I took a picture of my bike with a couple lunch items set on the front fender, waiting to be put in a pannier for the trip to work.  I was thinking this indicated just how little actual material I had to blog about today.

What I realized however, is that this shows just how mundane a bike commute is.  It's exactly like the rest of the people in my neighborhood...swing by the grocery on the morning commute, grab something for lunch, and then head to work.

The only difference is I do it on a bicycle.  Here in the Reno that makes me rather unique....a one percenter if you will.  However, if I moved to Portland I'd be more like a 10 percenter, since many more people bike there.  Take it one step further and move to Holland and using a bike like this is just an everyday thing for most people.  Nothing special, not a big deal, just how they get around.

So, the next time you head out for a short trip to the store (or work) remember that getting in the car is just a habit.  And maybe...just's not a good habit! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Update Post on Bend Hot Toddy Ride.

Ok, my phone is giving me fits and won't connect to my computer.  So here's a shortened email version of a video I took on the Hot Toddy Ride up in Bend.  Basically, at one point we dumped off the bike path to this cul-de-sac just so we could see everyone riding at once.  Even in the short form it looks pretty cool (at least to me)!

A Bicycle Trip to Deschutes Brewery!

Ok, more stuff from the Bend, OR trip.  Shockingly none of us had actually ever been on the Deschutes Brewery tour....even the Preacher and his Wifey....who have lived in Bend on multiple occasions!  To their credit, they lived in Bend before this version of the brewery even existed!  Anyway, how do you do a bike tour of a brewery?  Here's how.....

Ride in style on a pimped out tandem.  Make sure to even do your banking by bicycle!  After'll probably need to purchase souvenirs!

Arrive in time for your tour....or early if you'd like to start the tour with a taster of fine Deschutes beer!  Make sure to photo document the brew house and that the employees store their bikes right in the brew house!
***Note...this photo is not staged.  There really was a bicycle in the brew house when we toured through!***

End the tour back in the tap room.  Make sure to try all of your favorite beers and purchase lots of schwag!

Leave brewery tour by bike....notice another bicycle in brew house.  Take more photos that show your bikey reflections in the brewhouse window!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Biking in Bend.

Ok, too much stuff is happening in life for a really good write up on this....but there was a Bend trip.  There was a good amount of biking involved.  I'll try to do it justice later, but for now here are some pics.

There was general biking around this case over to Deschutes for the brewery tour.  Note the buffered bike lane!

There was mountain biking on great single track.

There were hot toddies at the electric bike shop!

Before we headed out on the hot toddy Christmas ride.

Everybody had the bikes decked out with lights, bells, tinsel, etc.

The ride ended under the Hwy 20 bridge...which seems lame, until you are told there was a cargo bike with a very large sound system on it.  This turned into a bike light dance party.  The culvert acted as a nice base amplifier!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another morning commute....detours and other cold weather riders.

There is some road work on Mill St. just east of the Automobile museum that detours traffic into the bike lane (just a heads up).  It's short and doesn't cause any real issues.  However, it always makes me wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to require this type of lane shift to have a sign out front that states bicycles may use full lane (or similar).  Anyway, just a thought.  

In other news, 36 degree temperatures don't scare off all the other bicycle traffic!  I saw 5 people out on my way to work, including this guy.  I'm always pleased to see other riders making the effort.  This one is even better because he's the newest guy working at my office and he bumps the "nutter" winter riders in our office to two!  If anyone's doing the math....this means we have increased ridership in our office by 100 percent!  What can I say....I take what I can get!

So buck up...throw on some layers...get a good light and enjoy the only traffic free lane on a road near you!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Why should we care about the Truckee River Bike Path?

Over the last month or so I've posted a few times on the River Path evaluation I'm trying to get some of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) folks (and you...if anyone reads this) interested in.  Just the basics wide the path is, the asphalt condition, lighting, etc.

So why do I care?  Well, it's a direct link between Reno and Sparks for bikes and pedestrians and you don't have to worry about interacting with traffic.  It's follows the river the entire way!  And if cleaned up and actually promoted for runners, walkers, bikers, etc. it can lead to things like this!

Bikes, Beer and Business: The Flat Tire Lounge from Russ Roca on Vimeo.

Friday, December 5, 2014

They exist....

*** Note.  Read this in your best Serengeti Documentary Voice. ***

Here we see the rare and elusive pack of commuting bicyclists.  This photo of a pack of younger riders is even more unusual due to the cold, rainy conditions present of late.  The only reason the picture was even able to be captured was they had uncharacteristically paused from their normal fluid motion, to wait for a straggling member of the pack (less he be picked off by one of the many predatory "autos" that hunt in this region).  Once he rejoined the group they quickly disappeared down the unique trail system they have built throughout the cityscape.  You may even have seen these trails and not even recognized them....they are know as "bike lanes".

These younger cyclist groups seem to be increasingly common in places that have plentiful food and watering holes (like the Mid-town province).  So the question about why we're seeing increasing numbers in the desolate region of Eastern Reno would appear to be a bit of an anomaly.  However, we believe we've discovered the source of these increasingly frequent sightings.   The Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology (AACT) high school is just down one of these "bike lanes" less than a mile from our office.  The current theory is that this organization has an alpha male who is influencing the student body to make smart decisions in life with respect to personal transportation, health, literature, and engineering.  So be on the lookout for these roaming too might experience the wonder of a sighting as their numbers grow!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wet weather riding...riding the ride.

It was definitely raining on the commute home last night....the jeans were quite wet by this point!

I wrote a nice little piece yesterday about riding when the weather shows up.  You might have notice in the photo yesterday morning, there was no real weather.  That changed after I got to work, leaving a very wet ride home from the waist down (I forgot my rain pants)!  I remedied that this morning and even with the steady rain I made it to work 99 percent dry.

Ok....your head and hands might get a bit wet.  Like I said...99% dry!

The real question is why would anyone do this....ride a bike in the rain, when I rode past my perfectly functioning truck as I left the driveway?  In some ways it's just my routine.....wake up, coffee, check some web sites, shower, pack the bike, ride to work.  I really don't watch the weather that closely, because 90 percent of the time you don't really have to in Reno.  And that's what makes the snowy or rainy days fun.  They're different and it makes the commute interesting.

And I guess there's the real's FUN!  We all did this when we were little.  Ran around (or rode) when it was raining.  Headed straight for the mud puddles.  We didn't care that we got wet or dirty.  It only takes a second to change into dry close!  So get out there and recapture what you had before you got all serious and didn't want to get wet, dirty, or plan how to have FUN!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Impending weather....makes you decide whether to commute.

Yep, grey skies and almost foggy conditions in some places this morning.  Along with the threat of a winter storm warning for this evenings return commute.  The question is did you still pull on an extra layer and head out the door? 

A little bit of weather makes everyone ask the question, "Is it worth it today?".  For me the answer on these days is usually yes.  For whatever reason, I almost like the challenging days (riding in the rain or snow or whatever) more.  Part of it is for the bragging rights to say I did it, but the other part is that you really get a unique set of sights, sounds, and even smells with a commute in different weather.  You probably know what I mean in some respect....we all have smelled the "fresh" ozone smell after a big thunderstorm....or noticed the smell of sagebrush after a gentle rain.  The same is true of riding during a snowstorm and seeing the snow start to stick to the ground for the first time.  So don't give up on the stormy days...they might just lead to a unique riding and sensory experience.

Monday, December 1, 2014

For the Record....A Redemption Picture.

Since I had to scour the internet for that fairly embarrassing crash sequence that I posted last week, I also happened across a picture from an older race (that used a portion of the Truckee bmx park).  I don't think I'd known there was a photo of this. 

I'm posting it purely as a redemption shot, to show I do have some cyclocross skills!  That being said...the second bump ended up giving even more air....and I completely overshot the landing ramp, landing rather unceremoniously in the flat.  It didn't result in a crash but I definitely didn't air it out like this on the remaining laps!