BikeCommuters.com

Commute

Some changes coming to Nick James’ city

New York City’s bronze medal from the Washington-based bike group represents an endorsement for the city’s efforts under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to promote cycling for a cleaner environment and a healthier populace.

“The way we think about transportation and how we use our limited street space is changing,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner.

The city is installing 400 to 500 bike racks a year and plans to have more than 400 miles of bike lanes and paths by 2009. There will then be 1 mile of bike lane for every 10 miles of road; the ratio is now 1 to 15. In San Francisco, it’s 1 to 7.

In Brooklyn’s hipster-heavy Williamsburg section, the city reduced the space for car parking in favor of bike parking β€” a first β€” when it widened the sidewalk to fit nine new bike racks over the summer.

“It’s better because people used to chain their bikes to trees and house gates,” said Pedro Pulido, an architect who parked his bike at one of the new racks last week.

Read More Here.

A little girl on a bike is faster than a car

You guys may have seen my daughter’s bike before, its an early 80’s Freespirit Brittany. Nothing special about the bike other than it being pretty cute.

This morning I had some freelance work I had to do at one of my client’s offices. This meant I needed to drive there in order to get to the location on time. I had to drop off my younger daughter at school so Priscilla could pick her up later with the Xtracycle.

Breanna got on her bike at the same time as I got in my car with my other daughter.
Anyhow, as we’re driving to school, I say to Aleah, “I wonder if we’ll beat Breanna to school?” But as we kept driving, I didn’t see Breanna anywhere. I actually started to get worried until I spotted her already walking her bike on school grounds!

I was blown away on how fast she got there. We left the house at the same time, but by the time we got in the car, buckled up, drove out of our alley, waited for traffic to pass so I can get on the street…she had already pedaled herself through our neighborhood, on the bike lane and to school.

It did encourage me to see that even a little girl on a bike is more practical than a car when going to school.

Though I normally take my kids to school on the Xtracycle, I’m STILL the only parent that accompanies their children to school via bicycle. I was hoping it would catch on, but all the parents ever do is comment how cool my bike is or stare as they are driving away in their big SUVs…I just wished there were more parents that could see the benefit of taking their child to school on a bike, or at least letting them ride their bikes to school on their own.

Commuter Choices Week in Tampa Bay

Commuter choices week header

All this week, Bay Area Commuter Services is having their annual “Commuter Choices Week“, with festivities and bike rides throughout the Tampa Bay area. On October 1st, I attended their “Party on Poe Plaza”. There were representatives from local bike shops, bicycle/pedestrian planning organizations, the area’s two municipal bus services and many others in attendance.

part of the crowd

Even better, this event was attended by folks from the national, state and local governments. It was a veritable “who’s who” of Senatorial staff, Congresspeople, County Commissioners and planning chiefs — someone from U.S. Senator Mel Martinez’s office came and made a speech, our U.S. Congressional Representative Kathy Castor said a few words, and Hillsborough County Commissioner and all-around great lady Rose Ferlita gave the keynote address to the gathering.

Here’s Rose Ferlita (behind the podium at left) addressing the folks in attendance:
Rose Ferlita

Everyone in attendance seemed to agree that more work is needed in the Tampa Bay area to get people to use alternative forms of transportation. Although there was a lot of talk about “light rail” solutions, plenty was said about building bicycling infrastructure throughout the area. As this is the event’s 11th anniversary, it is apparent that the Tampa Bay area is really looking to change for the better — the event is better-attended every year and with all the politicians and planning professionals mingling with the crowd, good things CAN happen if we’re patient (and vocal!).

Oh, did I mention that Thunderbug, the mascot of NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (2003 Stanley Cup Champions) also came to the event on his custom-made trike? Here he is:
Thunderbug

Going to this event also gave me the opportunity to talk with the organizer of Tampa Bay’s upcoming Bicycle Bash By the Bay, which the Bikecommuters.com team will be participating in. Stay tuned for more info on that event, which will take place on November 4th at the Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg.

Turn that frown upside down!!

Some of you may know that RL and I have been living with one car instead of two..which has its many advantages. RL had to take the car today for a job that was kinda far so I opted to be the bike commuter today. I don’t work far at all but because of some driving responsibilities I have at work I have to make sure to bring my car to work most days. But not today. Today was a beautiful day for a bike ride.

RL, of course being the big fan he is, needed to get a picture of me. As you can see I am just a little agitated!! I wasn’t too happy this morning because I was already running late for work. I hadn’t had anything to eat yet and had just spent the last 20min curling my hair. Why you ask? Good grief, I don’t know. I thought for some reason my bouncing curls could withstand the tightening pressure of that helmet. What was I thinking? I ended up just putting my hair up in a clip when I got to work. πŸ™

The commute actually was short and sweet. No near death experiences to report! And I can’t complain about any weird smell or trash around here. It was actually a nice smog filled commute. Rather uneventful, but still fun. πŸ™‚ It didn’t take long for the commute to change my attitude and put a smile back on my face.

The co workers…ohhhhhed and awwwwed as they saw my bike. This was the one day I wish I had brought the camera with me. They LOVED the Xtracycle. We had a little downtime today because somebody microwaved their lunch without turning off the lights…and it shut down our server. Yeah, yeah I know…don’t ask. But the co workers thought it would be a great time to get rides across the parking lot on the Xtracycle! We had soo much fun! One right after the other..they all jumped on the back and off we rode. By the end, my boss (Thomas) was giving my manager (Alan) a ride on the Xtracycle. Hilarious scene!

Good times to say the least. But it was great to see everyone with so many smiles on their faces…the joy of riding a bike. Once we were back in the office the mood was elevated and we were all talking about what a great time we had. I was glad I rode my bike today and was able to share just a little of that with the co workers. πŸ™‚

And here is a random happy pic from interbike because I don’t like my agitated photo above. HA!