The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Number Game

As I sit here writing this blog, I can't tell you how happy I am that Bike to Work and School Day was relatively rain free. All last week I tried to push thoughts of rain soaked commuters out of my head as the forecast called for a 60% chance of rain on the morning of May 21. As I biked to work at 5:45am to set up for the days festivities I had tears, not rain in my eyes.

I was overcome with emotion on that ride as I thought about how over 300 volunteers donated their time and over 100 businesses donated prizes and food. Whatcom County had 28 public celebration stations and 31 schools hosted celebration stations. 100% of the public schools and most of the private schools in Bellingham participated.

Vince, owner of the Mt. Bakery, and a local artist, stops by the Public Market on
his way to work. Notice the organic eggs in his basket.

We counted over 8,300 bicyclists, pedestrians, unicyclists, skaters and scooters from 6:30-10am. At 10:02 it started to sprinkle.

A group of cyclists stop at the Public Market for a snack and a prize.

It was an amazing day, even if it did rain a bit in Ferndale and the temperature was about 10 degrees cooler than last year. People had fun biking and walking to work and school. I heard reports that families biked to school and said "that was easier than we thought it would be". Teachers sent me photos of hundreds of bikes piled outside the school.

Oftentimes people think that biking to work or school will take a very long time and will be much harder than driving. This is not always the case, in fact, many times it only takes about 5 - 10 minutes longer than driving (depending on where you live of course). My hope is that these families will continue to bike to school some of the time. I'm not asking people to give up their cars completely and bike everywhere, do what you can, try to bike or walk once a week, every little bit helps.

Jim loads up his bike trailer the night before Bike to Work and School Day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Riding for Fun and Advocacy

All bike rides have something in common:  they take place on public roads, highways and trails in our state.  Making sure these roads and trails stay open and safe for bicyclists of all kinds is an important part of the mission of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

Many bike clubs and event rides support our work with a per rider contribution to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.  When you participate in these rides, you also support our efforts!

Ride contributions helped the Bike Alliance to:

  • incorporate bike and pedestrian share the road information into all driver's education curriculum,
  • rally support for a bill that makes texting and talking on a handheld cell phone a primary offense,
  • pass a law that requires all new traffic signals installed to be capable of being triggered by bicycles and motorcycles,
  • establish and implement a Safe Routes to School program statewide,
  • stop varied efforts to eliminate funding for bike and trail projects,
  • And much more!
 As you plan your summer rides, be sure to check our Rides Calendar and include a ride or two or three that support our advocacy efforts.  You'll reap multiple benefits!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Joy of Bicycle Maintenance

Life is full of complicated responsibilities, baffling exchanges, and difficult choices that have no satisfactory resolution. As adults, we learn to live with these vaguely unsatisfying tasks as part of the normal course of life. Often we compensate for those inconclusive moments by seeking fulfillment and gratification from other activities.

Routine bike maintenance provides the perfect opportunity to compensate for those less-satisfying times in life. There’s something mesmerizing about watching your chain come clean; something compelling about ridding the gears and pulleys of accumulated filth; and something fulfilling about tuning your derailleurs for the perfect shift. I know some people dread caring for their bikes, but I love the sense of accomplishment when I finally wash that grease off my hands and take my finished project for a test ride.

The silence of rolling on a well-maintained bike is profound, a sound you never hear in a gasoline-powered vehicle. The swift click of changing gears on a properly-tuned derailleur, the slight hum of slick tires on the pavement, the gentle whir of the chain – every ride, these noises speak of a job well done. I can almost hear my bike whispering “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” every time I ride after basic maintenance. That tangible positive payback provides me with a deep, daily satisfaction.

If you haven’t tried some basic maintenance, perhaps this is your chance to give it a whirl. In the Seattle area, The Bikery, Bike Works, Cascade Bicycle Club, and REI (among others) all offer bike maintenance classes of varying depths. In other parts of the state, Pedals2People, Capital Bicycling Club, and EverybodyBIKE offer maintenance classes. And, if worst comes to worst, a quick internet search for "bicycle maintenance classes" in your geographic location will bring up classes; many websites also offer detailed instructions on bike maintenance procedures. Remember, the worst thing is you have to take your bike to your local bike shop for emergency repairs.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trade Your Car for a Bike!

Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing's touring bicycle carnival, is rolling into Seattle on July 31.  This day long celebration of all things bicycle includes a costumed bike parade for the young and old, live entertainment, a beer garden, food vendors, and a car-for-bike-trade procession.

The car-for-bike-trade is when a lucky winner (maybe you!) hands over his/her car, title and keys in exchange for a tricked out, custom New Belgium commuter bike.  This bike becomes your mode of transportation and the motor vehicle is auctioned off and proceeds are donated to the Bicycle Alliance in your name!

Ready to enter?  To be considered, you must submit a 2-minute (or less) video telling your story and why you want to be car-free.  If you have a Facebook account, you can do this directly on Tour de Fat's page.  Not on FB?  No worries.  Email

Three years ago, Bike Alliance member Jeremy Vrablik was the lucky car/bike trade recipient.  Recalls Jeremy, "They brought me up on the Tour de Fat Stage, made me do a little dance, then took the keys to my gas guzzling Isuzu Rodeo."

Jeremy received a beautiful custom built Black Sheep cross bike equipped with panniers and a Bob trailer to help with his transition into a full time bike commuter, and he's never looked back.  "No more traffic jams, no more searching for parking, and no more paying for gas," he says.  "Life is good!"

Relive Jeremy's Tour de Fat moment in this video.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bike to Work Day Success

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so, in lieu of writing a short story, here are pictures of the Bike to Work Day stop hosted by the Bicycle Alliance and JRA Bike Shop.

At 6:30 am, we only had a few takers, but we were ready for anything. Notice the brand-new BIKE PORT signage, indicating the completion of the long-awaited transition from Bikestation.

A happy Seattle bicycle commuter: Dry, fed, and well-caffeinated.

Executive Director Barb Culp oversaw the 6:00 am to 8:00 am shift and even had a good time doing it.

By 7:30 or so, a steady flow of commuters came for coffee, pastries, Clif bars, and the chance to win a free bike or Bicycle Alliance jersey.

I'm pretty sure the Bicycle Alliance was the only Bike to Work Day stop that had a Metro bus come by.

This father-and-son duo said they participate in Bike to Work Day every year. Way to go, starting them biking early!

We had quite the hopping stop during the prime commuting hours. The two large travel containers of coffee and pastries vanished by the time our second shift -- Eileen and Ref, of King County Metro Transit -- came on board. Later commuters happily snapped up Seattle and King County bicycle maps, free water bottles, and the opportunity to win a bike or Bicycle Alliance jersey.

Eric Berg of JRA Bike Shop performed on-the-spot repairs for commuters.

Commuters even had the opportunity to try out and practice with the Metro bike test rack.

All in all, our unofficial poll (results below) indicates that the Bicycle Alliance & JRA Bike Shop's Bike to Work Day stop was a success.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Careful what you wish for....

What do bicyclists and rabbits have in common?

I recently received a link to a blog by a fellow named David Hembrow, who lives in Assen, Drenthe, Netherlands. I felt such a kinship with the good news that his community has established bicycle parking in connection with transit -- in this case, a train station. I hope you were also as impressed as I was by the town's rush hour You Tube video on the blog.

But, I guess the bad news I also know so well is that there is still not enough. Bicycling and increases in parking enter into a marriage of sorts, and the union is blessed with a steady and prolific production of bicyclists.

That would make advocates for bicycle infrastructure like the marriage counselors, easing the troubles that any relationship would struggle with; money, communication skills, procreation vs recreation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bike Culture--who needs it?

“Bike culture.”

How many times have you heard this buzz-phrase? Bike enthusiasts and advocates talk about it. They all seem to want it. Alternative transportation advocates in New York City even considered the topic important enough to merit a “Bike Culture Summit” earlier this month.

But what is bike culture, anyway? Does it mean anything, or is it just one of those terms-of-the-moment that sound good rolling off the tongue, like “paradigm shift” or “synergy”?

A Google search on this much-used phrase returns 4,040,000 hits (more or less), with links to websites featuring everything from World Naked Bike Ride Day to bicycle-operated water pumps to a bicycle dance team. Does this bring us any closer to a definition? I don’t think so.

But if you cruise through North American-based bicycling websites, you do get the idea that when people talk about “bike culture,” what they’re really referring to is the subcultures of bicycling that exist here—that amalgam of groups, from fixie fanatics to weekend warriors to hard-core commuters, that makes up the bicycling scene on this side of the Atlantic.

Contrast this kind of self-conscious group identification with North America’s car culture. When most Americans get in their cars to go to work, they don’t consider themselves to be part of a cultural phenomenon. And when they drive to the supermarket, they’re just going to the store. That’s because car culture is so mainstream that it isn’t a separate culture at all—it’s an inherent part of American culture. We built the infrastructure for motor vehicles, and the rest came naturally.

That’s the way it is with cycling in countries where two-wheeled transport is considered mainstream. Take Denmark, for example. If you go to a dinner party in Copenhagen, chances are good that every guest will have arrived on a bicycle. And if you marvel at this phenomenon, the Danes will be amused and a bit puzzled. It’s just how they get around. And the reason they do is thanks in no small part to official transportation policy and infrastructure that favor the bike over the motor vehicle.

So maybe we North Americans should be less concerned about bike culture and more concerned about just making cycling a safe, convenient and comfortable option for transportation and recreation. And not just for road warriors and cycling enthusiasts, but for everyone. Then the bike culture will take care of itself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Advocacy Flourishing in Spokane

The Bicycle Alliance has worked with Spokane citizens for a number of years to help bring biking to the forefront.  We helped local cyclists hone their advocacy skills, assisted with the development of a regional trails plan, organized community support for the completion of the Fish Lake Trail, and advocated for the adoption of a bicycle master plan. 

The advocacy seeds we have sown in Spokane have taken root and are flourishing.  The cycling climate has improved and the City recently received national recognition from the League of American Bicyclists with a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community designation!

Spokane continues to do a lot, from electing pro-bicycle city council members, adopting a bicycle master plan, passing a complete streets resolution, hiring its first bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, and working even closer with the regional public health agency to promote safe routes to school. The list goes on…

As Jon Snyder, a city council member, long time bicycle advocate, and publisher of “Out There Monthly” magazine said "We've come a long way in the past few years thanks to a popular groundswell for urban cycling, but there's much more to do. I think Spokane is one of the nation's best cities for close, accessible, diverse recreational cycling. When you combine that with a great push for bicycle transportation you end up with an outstanding place to live."

We tip our helmets to our friends in Spokane!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ride of Silence

Those of us who bicycle tend to associate our bike rides with positive memories:  feeling free, socializing with friends, pedaling through stunning scenery, fun times, and more.  There is an event, the Ride of Silence, that has a solemn mood.

The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event that honors bicyclists killed or injured on public roadways, reminds all of us to share the road, and draws attention to bike safety.  This year's ride is slated for May 19 at 7PM local time.  Cyclists in Washington State and around the word will take to the streets in a silent procession, riding slowly, and following the rules of the road.

Eight Washington State communities have organized Rides of Silence this year:  Bremerton, Everett, Seattle, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Tacoma, Vancouver and Wenatchee.  Ride details here.  I encourage you to take part in the ride if you live in one of these communities.  It's haunting and emotional to be riding with so many cyclists in silence.

Whether you participate in the Ride of Silence or not, please pause and remember Gordon Patterson of Vancouver, Kevin Black and Carol Salomon of Seattle, James McClurkan of Bremerton, David Squires of Spokane, and the hundreds of other cyclists killed on our roads each year.  And ride safely.

Monday, May 17, 2010

BTW and P --- The Unsung Reason Why Anyone Might Bike to Work.

Bicycle, check! Helmet, check. Bike To Work route, check. Secure parking, hmmmmmm.....

The key ingredient to a bicycle commuter's routine isn't any equipment, or even a sunny day. The one thing --- that will truly make bicycling a viable form of regular transportation --- is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your bike will be intact when you return to it at the end of the workday or errand.

I have had the experience of sharing space
in a small office with my bike and all of my commuter gear. I have carted said bike up flights of stairs into a rented apartment that did not come with a garage. I rarely park on a standard outdoor rack if I cannot also see my bike from where I sip coffee, or shop. I carry a "New York" chain lock with a heavy duty pad lock and a cable leash for my seat and seat post. Blaming bike thieves for this way of life would be like shaking my fist at pigeons adorning my shoulder with droppings: this is the nature of bicycle transport life in a city like Seattle, or Portland, or San Francisco.

Amazingly, I now work in a bicycle parking facility in downtown Seattle in Pioneer Square District. As the manager of BIKE PORT, I regularly talk to bicyclists that express incredible gratitude for having indoor secure parking for their ride. Most of these folks bicycle commute all year long using the BIKE PORT, transforming into their work selves using the lockers and changing room. Lately, I have had a number of folks sign up for parking plans, who live downtown in condos or apartments that did not provide secure bike parking. Some have even bought bikes because they now had a place to park.

BTW month aside, there is a demographic for citizens that bicycle as transportation any time of year. They do not ride the same distances, or make the same incomes, or live in safer parts of town. No doubt they have had a bike or two stolen.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Okay, I guess it's more like 1.5 minutes on the local channel, but it's still kinda cool. KVOS, the local T.V. station in Bellingham interviewed me at a bicycle rodeo a couple weeks ago. I'll admit I was nervous, especially since it was my first ever interview for T.V. (not counting the time in 5th grade when my class delivered food to the local food bank and the news crew showed up).

I have anxiously awaited the results, hoping I didn't say anything too outlandish or foolish, it was first thing in the morning after all. Both my husband and my coworkers said I did a good job, so I'll share it with you. If either of them had said I looked goofy (which I think I do) the link would remain hidden forever.
Bike to Work and School Day is May 21st, what is YOUR town doing to celebrate?

Thanks KVOS for the publicity!


Bike to Work and School Day!

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DOT, First Lady & Childhood Obesity Task Force

Three months ago, President Obama established a Childhood Obesity Task Force headed by First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage children to exercise more and adopt healthier eating habits. Now she's teaming up with the Department of Transportation on a shared goal:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"5@5" Events to Raise Funds for Seattle Bike community

Via Tribunali Neopolitan Pizzeria is partnering with Peroni Beer, The Stranger, Caffe Vita and The City of Seattle's Bicycle Program to raise funds for the Seattle biking community.  Each Wednesday for 5 weeks, beginning May 12, Via Tribunali will open its doors to from 5-7PM to the Seattle cycling community.  Margherita pizzas will be free and all $3 purchases of Peroni Beer will be donated to the selected biking group of the week.  Each "5@5" will take place at a different Via Tribunali location.

Wednesday, May 12
Georgetown, to benefit Bike Works
Wednesday, May 19
Capitol Hill, to benefit Garage Cycling Team
Wednesday, May 26
Queen Anne, to benefit Cascade Bike Club's Trips for Kids
Wednesday, June 2
Belltown, to benefit the Bicycle Alliance of Washington
2200 2nd Ave at the Crocodile
Wednesday, June 9
Fremont, to benefit The Bikery

Whirlwind of Activity Attracts a Real Whirlwind

This post was submitted by Joanne Yoshimoto.  Thanks to Bike Works for the photo.

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington supported Bike Works as the gold-level sponsor for its annual Kids Bike Swap.  Last Saturday, nearly 300 families gathered at Genesee Playfield in Southeast Seattle under cloudless blue skies to trade outgrown bikes for larger bikes.  Typically, when a bike is exchanged at the Bike Swap, the "customer" is able to take home a newly recycled ride for no more than $12.

The Bike Alliance organized and staffed the Bicycle Rodeo in which kids could test-ride bikes before purchasing them.  Once fitted with a helmet, the youngsters received a basic review of hand signals and cycling technique from League-Certified Instructor Every Day.  They then rode a course with uphill, downhill, stop sign, left turn, and other commonly encountered road features.

"This is so cool," enthused one volunteer as she surveyed the whirlwind of activity.  "This is what you want to see in every community across America.  Kids and bikes, bikes and kids!"

Suddenly, the shade canopy started pitching, and papers started rustling.  Soon tables, chairs and bicycles were flying through the air.  For a long moment, kids and adults hunkered down, hoping not to be hit by the flying debris...or blown away altogether.

Then it stopped, almost as suddenly as it had begun.  The Seattle Times reported it as a "tiny twister."

Our question to Bill Nye the Science Guy is this:  Can a whirlwind of activity attract a real whirlwind?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Courtesy, Legality, and Cycling

When I was growing up, my mother talked about "heaping coals of kindness" on people who wronged me. It took many years before I really understood what she meant. Now that I commute by bicycle, though, I have the opportunity to put this good advice into practice on an almost daily basis.

Let's take a little vignette from my commutes last week.

A gentleman in a small pickup truck honked at me twice in the same place on different days and rolled down his window to admonish me to get in the bike lane where I belonged. I know he thought he knew the law. However, as a certified League Cycling Instructor and employee of the Bicycle Alliance, I knew that RCW 46.04.670 and RCW 46.61.755 clearly delineate the bicyclist's right to the full roadway. (Check out all the laws relating to bicycling in Washington State if you ride on the road -- it pays to be informed.)

That said, I knew that this gentleman was mistaken. Yet instead of reacting angrily when he honked at me the second day, I smiled and waved as he went by. Why? Because when I ride my bike, I represent all bicyclists. My courteous smile and wave could very well make the difference in his interaction with other bicyclists in the future. And sometimes, responding to rudeness with courtesy and kindness can be my most effective rebuke.

New Improvements to Federal Guidance

On December 16, 2009, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published the new edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). At the Federal level, this new edition went into effect on January 15, 2010 but states are given up to 2 years after publication to either adopt the new edition of the MUTCD as their state traffic control manual, or adopt a state-specific MUTCD. Therefore, it might be a while before every state adopts the new improvements.
Here in Washington State, the Department of Transportation adopted the 2003 recommendations in 2005. Until such time as the WSDOT adopts the improvements to the MUTCD, cities and counties can choose to follow the national guidance except on state routes.


The MUTCD has over 700 pages but Part 9 is of particular interest to cyclists. Some highlights include:
  • The use of regulatory signs for bike lanes are no longer mandatory but recommended;
  • Standards for sign height and offset on shared-use trails have been revised to allow for greater flexibility;
  • New signs have been created for specific types of road and path users like skaters and eqestrians; and particularly noteworthy is the following:
  • For locations where a travel lane is too narrow for a bicyclists and a motor vehicle to travel side by side, there is a new "Bikes May Use Full Lane" regulatory sign that can be posted to remind road users of bicyclists' legal right to the lane without crowding. To see all of the new signs allowed including "full lane" check it out on page 793: http//
To see the entire online version of the MUTCD, visit

Monday, May 10, 2010

I like to feel the wind in my face.

Good Morning! As an introduction my name is Mary, I live and bike in Bellingham with my husband and seven year old daughter. I am on the Board of Directors for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. I am extremely lucky in that I love my job as the everybodyBIKE events coordinator. I am currently busy with Bike Month and planning Whatcom County's Bike to Work and School Day. I help put on bicycle rodeos at local schools and at community events.

When I speak to kids about bike safety I like to start off by asking them why they like to ride their bikes. When I was at a Cub Scouts meeting the other week a few of the kids gave the typical answers: "I like riding down hills" and "Riding with one hand is fun".  But one kid totally surprised me by saying, "It's better than sitting in a car". I couldn't agree more!
Last week at an elementary school a fifth grader said, "It makes me feel free" and another, "I like to feel the wind in my face". These answers brought the biggest smile to my face! I love riding my bike for all these reasons too (plus many more I won't go into right now).

What about you? Why do YOU like to ride your bike? Has that answer changed over the years? Think back to when you were a fifth grader on two wheels, what did you love about bikes then?

Friday, May 7, 2010

It Costs $$$$ to Drive

Perhaps you're not concerned about global warming or the impacts driving a motor vehicle has on the environment.  Maybe you're seldom faced with traffic congestion when you drive.  Then consider the financial costs of driving.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) released its 2010 edition of Your Driving Costs: How Much Are You Really Paying to Drive?  If you drive a small sedan like a Toyota Corolla and average 20,000 miles per year, AAA estimates your annual driving costs to be $7321.  If your wheels are a Honda Accord or similar midsize car, your costs increase to $9519 annually.

Are you a soccer mom with a Toyota Sienna minivan?  You'd better budget $10,476 for the privilege of driving your vehicle.  Drive a Ford Explorer?  AAA says you're paying $12,410 to drive your SUV.  Costs for all vehicles were calculated with gas at $2.603 per gallon.

I think I'll keep pedaling my bike.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bicycle Commuting: Building Linear Communities

East towards Bellevue 2Everybody knows that Portland and Seattle are bike commuting havens. Motorists see cyclists everywhere and know that those cyclists travel from Point A to Point B while also fitting in a workout, reducing their carbon footprint, cutting down on traffic, and getting a caffeine-free, natural wake-me-up -- well-known benefits of commuting by bike.

What non-riders don't know is that cyclists who ride regularly also form a linear community as they ride. I wave and call "Good morning!" to an elderly crossing guard, who wishes me a good morning in return. I salute the walker who wears Mickey Mouse gloves and waves at every vehicle that goes by. I smile at the long-bearded cyclist I encounter every morning at the same place. I smell the fresh, sugary smell as I pass the Hostess Cake factory. I hear the birds singing and watch the pairs of mallard ducks trolling for their breakfasts. I see the same young boy at a bus stop each morning, playing with one stuffed animal or another as he waits. I chat with other cyclists at stop lights and ride with fellow commuters. I've met a number of very nice Bicycle Alliance supporters that way, out on the road. My favorite bike shops -- and, indeed, shops in general -- are all along my route, not necessarily near my home, but handy to stop by on the way here or there.

This is the beauty of going by bike. In your car, you choose comfortable, climate- and noise-controlled isolation. On a bike, you hear, see, smell, and feel it all, building a depth of relationship with the people and the place unimaginable to the average motorist. And when you roll in soaked to the bone, leaving damp footprints and a trail of drips behind, you know you aren't alone. You're part of the bicycle commuting community.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bikes on Light Rail Kick-Off

The Bicycle Alliance is excited to be kicking off its Bikes on Light Rail project in Southeast Seattle at Bike Works' Kid Bike Swap on May 8, 2010 from 10am-4pm at Genesee Playfield. Kids will get to test their new bikes and learn riding skills on a course we set up, and we will be provide maps and information about taking bikes on transit and places to ride in their neighborhoods. The Bicycle Alliance is a Gold Level sponsor of the 2010 Kids Bike Swap.

We are promoting bikes on light rail as part of a joint project with Transportation Choices Coalition to promote the use of light rail to Southeast Seattle residents with our focus on combining it with bicycling. The Bikes on Light Rail project is generously funded by a grant from Boeing.

Future Bikes on Light Rail activities include organizing and leading short rides for the Beacon Hill Elementary School Bike Club, organizing neighborhood rides to Link Light Rail stations, and matching new riders with Bike Buddies.

Sharing the road

Sharing—it seems like such a simple concept. By the time we were three, most of us had figured out that mom thought it was a good thing if we let our friends play with our toys. By the time we were eight, most of us had a decent handle on what sharing was all about. And as adults, most of us wouldn’t dream of keeping our possessions, our time or our talents all to ourselves.

So why is it that so many people have such trouble sharing the road? Why do people who wouldn’t dream of refusing to lend their neighbor a cup of sugar act like maniacs on the highway? There are many causes: frustration, impatience, inattention, intoxication, ignorance, and anger among others. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that operating a vehicle brings out the reptile brain in too many people.

As if we needed another reminder of the consequences, there’s the recent case of Dr. Michael Fadich in Wenatchee, struck and seriously injured by a pickup truck that illegally turned left in front of his bicycle, then left the scene.

Tracy Warner, the Wenatchee World’s editorial page editor, and a cyclist himself, used the occasion as an opportunity to educate drivers about cyclists’ legal rights, and remind cyclists that they, too need to obey the law. Warner’s column is a good primer on the rules of the road, and worth sharing with your non-bicycling friends.

At the same time, the state Department of Licensing, in conjunction with the Bicycle Alliance, is doing more to educate both drivers and cyclists about sharing the road and how to avoid collisions. This includes “Share the Road” brochures for both drivers and cyclists. The brochures are available on the Bike Alliance website.

The brochures, appropriately enough, were financed in part by revenue from the “Share the Road” license plates, the best car accessory you can buy. They’re way cooler than fuzzy dice, way cheaper than a new sound system, and help benefit the cause of safe cycling.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Abolish Bike to Work Month

2010 Designated "Bike Everywhere!"
For years now, May has been designated National Bike to Work Month. Businesses all across the US organize teams and award prizes for the longest commute, the most miles ridden and most new bicycle commuters. Let's challenge ourselves instead and designate 2010 the year of Biking Everywhere.
I suggest a particular month does not need to be designated ride to work. How about riding for the joy of the ride, the adventure, the health of it, every time you have a short shopping trip, or want to save a little piece of the environment?
During May and beyond, I challenge you to embrace Kent Peterson's mantra that "every distance is bicycling distance". Reward your kids for riding to the grocery store or ride with them to school every week until school ends. I challenge you to go to the Farmer's Market in your neighborhood and buy all your dinner ingredients from local farmers. Ride to worship. Think up more reasons to hop on your bike and go someplace. Leave your Lycra at home and ride in blue jeans, shorts, flip flops, a suit and tie, skirt and blouse. Smile along the way.
If you take up my year-long challenge, I guarantee you'll reap many rewards and have a lot of fun along the way.
Life is better by bicycle!