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Tag Archive: league of american bicyclists

A Chance For Our Voices to Be Heard

I received the following from the League of American Bicyclists last week:

Great news – Federal Transit Authority has published a federal registry notice describing the eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle improvements for FTA funding and proposes a formal policy on the catchment area for pedestrians and bicyclists in relationship to public transportation stops and stations.

The proposed policy would expand FTA funding eligibility for bicycle and pedestrian improvements beyond the current threshold distances of one-half mile for pedestrian projects and within three miles for bicycle improvements.

The FTA is accepting comments from the public until January 12, 2010. If you want to submit comments to help improve the funding mechanisms for bicycle/pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, I urge you to do so. More detailed coverage of how this all works and the instructions for submitting comments can be found by clicking here.

10 Bike Commuting Myths Dispelled

From my friend Alan Snel’s blog…republished from a League of American Bicyclists/Bikingbis tweet:

Busting the 10 bicycling myths:

1. I’m out of shape

— Ride an easy pace, in a few months you will be in great shape
— Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work
— You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter

2. It takes too long

— The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you become
— Trips of less than 3 miles will be quicker by bike
— Trips of 5 to 7 miles in urban areas take the same or less by car

3. It’s too far

— Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day
— Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your route
— Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work

4. No bike parking

— Look around for a storage area in your building or office
— Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office
— Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside

5. My bike is beat up

— Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike
— If you can’t maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route
— Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride

6. No showers

— Most commuters don’t shower at wor; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry
— Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there
— Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only

7. I have to dress up

— Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive
— Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners
— Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding

8. It’s raining

— Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry
— If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day
— Take transit or drive if you don’t have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain

9. The roads aren’t safe

— Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights
— Wear bright clothing
— You are at no greater risk than driving a car
— Wear a helmet everytime you ride

10. I have to run errands

— Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity
— Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building
— Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking
— Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use

Florida Bike Month — Urban Street Skills Session

Florida Bike Month is in full swing here in Tampa — lots of events going on here and across the Bay in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

Last Friday, I attended the Urban Street Skills “Lunch and Learn” Session hosted by Tampa BayCycle and the Tampa Downtown Partnership. The event was held at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. League Certified Instructor Theo Petritsch offered some informal instruction on bike-handling skills, commuter equipment choices and safety gear selection for a group of about 40 attendees. I met some new folks and ran into quite a few familiar faces…including faithful Bikecommuters.com reader Gordon Ridge.

Here, Karen Kress (transportation director for the Tampa Downtown Partnership) greets attendees and gives out bike maps, patch kits and other goodies:

karen

Using a variety of props, Theo demonstrated some crucial skills and facts to the folks in attendance. His instruction style was filled with humor, and the assembled crowd was rapt with attention.

theo

Later, Theo demonstrated some on-bike skills…including some tricks to look behind you while riding and a couple of crash-recovery techniques. There were things to learn for even this jaded commuter, and the event was well worth attending.

bike skillz

Toward the end of the session, Karen Kress announced the winner to Tampa BayCycle’s 2009 “Words For Wheels” contest. Contestants had to submit a 100-word essay on how a bicycle could change his/her life, and the winner (I didn’t catch her name; I am an amateur reporter, at best) described how she was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Anyhow, Karen read the winning essay and presented the winner with her new bike (donated by Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium):

words for wheels

Good times were had by all — and there are a lot more events going on this month. I’ll do my best to bring you coverage of some of the others, including the Tampa Twilight Criterium scheduled for March 21st. Stay tuned for more!