Bike Your Drive!

Tom Higgins: Time to complete river bike trails

The Bee has correctly pointed out a simple way that we can “think globally and act locally” on global warming, advice prompted by the City Council’s public viewing of the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Sacramento’s namesake river provides a ready opportunity to put that idea into practice: Local officials could open public access to the short sections of levees that are currently closed along the river.

In the 10 years since the city adopted its parkway plan to provide a continuous trail on the Sacramento River levees, several short stretches have been completed to improve public access, most notably from the Embassy Suites promenade to Miller Park.

Improvements to the Tower Bridge pedestrian walkways have begun, and the long-abandoned rail bridge at R Street (over Interstate 5) will soon be ready for bicycles and pedestrians. Opening the stretch through the Pocket area would finally make it possible for families to ride bicycles from anywhere on the city’s west side to Old Sacramento and River Cats games, even all the way to Folsom by connecting to the American River Parkway. It is also a key gateway to the newly adopted California Delta Trail.

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Bicycles with Automatic Transmission

Courtesy of Mobile Magazine

I’ve tested one of these Trek Coaster bikes at the shop I work in. Cool concept, but it might be a good idea to get your tubes Slimed because its going to be a pain to replace a tube or patch one up.

Giant, Raleigh, and Trek—three of the biggest names in the business—are among those jumping on the Shimano “Coasting” bandwagon and installing chip-controlled gear shift systems on select bike models. Soon you won’t have to lift even a finger to switch gears.

Giant and Trek won’t be winning any fans among cycling’s racing elite, but they aren’t the target market anyway. Raleigh, with its emphasis on touring bikes seems more likely to adopt this technology, but Giant and Trek count any number of world and exclusive event championships among them, most noticeably Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France wins (on a Trek).

The population of casual riders far outnumbers those who win and even enter races, though, and it is these folks who will be apt to be buying these bikes anyway. So if you’re one of those folks or you know someone who is, then you should know that the Coasting system is a consistent performer but is not designed to withstand heavy demands, like racing and very hard training. There’s some doubt, too, how well it would hold up in the driving rain. Again, though, the target audience for this system would be indoor and dry paved trail riders, not slogging through pacing and time trial drills.

Some of these bikes are available now, for prices ranging from US$450 to US$700. Check out Giant, Raleigh, or Trek for more.

Not A Bike-Friendly State

Around the country, forward-looking public officials are working like mad to make their cities and states bike-friendly. In Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley is building hundreds of miles of bike trails. From Washington, D.C., to Washington state, officials are promoting biking.

But alas, not in Connecticut.

Yes, mostly volunteer efforts have resulted in a growing but still fragmented network of trails around the state. These trails could be more quickly sewn together if the state made biking and bike trails a priority. But the state Department of Transportation, reluctant as always to embrace any form of transportation besides the car, can’t be bothered.

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Del Mar Gold Line Station Bike Parking Facility is Open

Courtesy of

Bicyclists traveling through the Del Mar Gold Line station in Pasadena, now have access to an indoor bicycle parking facility. The Del Mar Gold Line Station Bike Parking Facility is now officially open.

We just checked it out the other night. It’s got those cool 2-level bicycle storage racks that lower for easy loading. And as you can see, we gave ‘em a try, and they seem to work A-OK.

The facility has parking for 26 bikes, and the bike racks are fully protected from the occasional So. Cal. rain and, the much more likely, harsh summer sun in a semi-enclosed room.

The new facility is located on the west side of the Gold Line platform, with easy access from Raymond Ave.

Parking is free to all Metro users, and to the patrons of the soon to open retail establishments.

Del Mar Goldline Station is located at 230 S. Raymond Av. Pasadena 91105.

Take Two Wheels and Call Me In The Morning

Do you suffer from severe seasonal allergies like I do?

I hate Spring! Basically as soon as January ends, my allergies start to hit and lasts until June! No amount of over the counter meds like Claritin and Sudafed undoes my nasal congestion, watery/itchy eyes, and sneezing. I can’t even sleep right at night because my nose is so plugged up. I can’t enjoy my meals because I can’t breathe and when you can’t breath you can’t taste.

The only thing that seems to actually help my allergies is a bicycle. I swear, riding my bike has been the best allergy relief in the world! As soon as I start pedaling, my congestion starts to loosen up, mucus starts to flow and I’m breathing through my nose again!

Only problem is, after I stop riding my bike, it only takes 10 minutes for me to get congested again. Man I only wish I could keep riding my bike while I sleep….