Bike lanes are for…?

I may not have time for well researched articles like I did a few years ago, but I do seem to have time to make videos!  Here is a compilation of bike lane blockers from a winter of commuting.

Guy Blocks Bike Box, Hits Me Twice: The Case for Green Bike Boxes

The bike box at High and 7th is needed to go from a left-side bike lane to a right-side bike lane. For some reason it’s not painted green like every other bike box, ever. (Like the bike boxes on Willamette and 18th and Alder and 13th.) This causes conflict.  When the bike box went in, I asked why it wasn’t green. The answer I got back (I forget from who) was that they didn’t think it needed to be green, and would be painted green if there were problems.  Well…  And now that we have lots of other green bike boxes in town, this one sends a message that it is somehow different from those.

Car drivers frequently block the box, not knowing or caring what it is. When riders try to get in front, sometimes the car drivers respond with threats and menacing. This was one of those times.

Update: From Eugene Transportation Planning on Facebook: “We do intend to put green paint in this bike box this summer. We will also be putting out some more education and outreach about bike boxes in the near future.” 

2nd Annual Duncan Ride – Sept 21st

by Duncan Rhodes

Interested in a challenging ride? Keep September 21st free!

We will meet at 6:00 am at the Red Barn Grocery parking lot, 357 Van Buren Street at W. 4th Avenue, where we have the ride signup. We will have coffee available for those who need a caffeine fix. We can’t park at Red Barn. If you drive in, please find legal parking elsewhere. The lot north of the Brun’s 6th Avenue Apple Market is available.

On 9/21/13 the Whiteaker Community Council will host The 2nd Annual Duncan Ride, a 116-mile ride into the O&C lands, with 8782 feet of climbing. Starting in the Whiteaker, we will go out into the virtually car-free O&C lands for some beautiful scenery along the Smith and Siuslaw rivers. Here is the route (subject to change due to road work): http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3072063

This ride will be free, with free water, snacks, & ice cream for the first 50 people who sign up in advance. Here is the link to sign up: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aovg8vDy-x2TdGZFUVV0Vm1RTDVmdzd5TTI0bFRYMUE#gid=0 You will be covered by the standard LAB insur-ance (Certificate # 1001094404) after you sign in at the ride start. Helmets are suggested but not required for this ride.

I will drive sweep in my car. For more info please email info@whiteakercommunitycouncil.org or call Duncan at 541-525-5777. It’s time to add some hills to your training rides.

How To Tow a Bike With Your Xtracycle (or similar longtail)

They are slack here.  They only tighten when turning.
Towing a bike? WHAT?!? (straps are optional)

Many of us Xtracycle riders have towed other bikes using the “bag and drag” method (the front wheel of the rear bike simply strapped in a freeloader bag), but I’m sick of that.  I loan bikes out often enough that I want a more elegant solution, so I came up with my own take on the “front hub/fork” method.  I figured I’d post it here in case some of you would like to try it.  The uses include loaning bikes out, bike polo / mtb biking, kids bikes,  and getting your tired riding partners home if they bonk (or are too drunk to ride).

Supplies (about $15-16, I bought mine at the True Value right by Arriving by Bike):

  • 1 old quick release front hub (not figured into the cost)
  • Slotted Angle Iron (about 5 bucks) that you cut to about the width of the rear free-radical bar
  • 4 U-Bolts (about $1.50 each) – two that fit the V-racks and two that fit the hub.
  • 3 hose clamps (I always have these around for bike stuff, about $1.50 each)
  • Grease, hacksaw, fixed wrench, screw driver

This only took about an hour to do.  I hope the pictures are self-explanatory.  Two hose clamps hold the hub back against the angle iron and the third holds the angle iron down on the cross bar.  Two of the U-bolts attach the angle iron to the V-rack holders (the main strength) and the other two attached the hub down on the angle iron.  You may have to modify this a bit if you have the new bag attachment system with the nubs on the V-rack holders instead of straps.

I recommend using the stabilizer straps to the handle bars that I have shown in the picture.  The tow bike tends to want to fall down when you turn sharply without them (but they probably are optional).  With them, the rear wheel of the tow bike lifts rather than having the tow bike fall.  Keep them mostly slack when attaching them, as tightening them only flexes your frame (in a scary way) and lifts the back wheel of the tow bike up.  They’ll tighten on their own as you turn sharply.

Have Fun, click on any picture for a slideshow.  I’m open to suggestions as well!

 

 

 

In Eugene, You Can Kill a Pedestrian While Driving Drunk and be Charged With a Misdemeanor

Sometimes you don’t even have to pay a $1,000 fine in order to kill a pedestrian with your car in Eugene.  Sometimes you will just be charged with a DUII misdemeanor, but not manslaughter or murder.  On July 24th Dallin Steward (19) was driving drunk and killed Nicholas Tendick (32) as he was crossing the Ferry Street Bridge near Club Rd.  It was dark (10 pm) and judging by the lack of criminal charges, it seems the police are blaming Tendick.

If this was the end of it I wouldn’t be bitching about it.  Sometimes people do jump in front of your car and it’s not 100% your fault for hitting them (although unless your job requires it, it is your fault that you chose to drive that day rather than take the bus or ride a bike. Hell, I had a guy on bike cut me off when I was riding 20mph near Willamette and 32nd and we collided, but we both were fine because I’d chosen to ride a bike and not drive that day. If I’d been in a car the biker would have been dead.  I saved his life with my choice to bike and not drive.)

However, Steward was drunk.  If he had been sober he could possibly have seen or avoided Tendick and saved his life.  However, he wasn’t.  He was drunk. Drunk drunk drunk drunk.  He killed a man while driving drunk, and all he is getting is a slap on the wrist.  Whatever happened to automatically being at fault when driving drunk?  If Steward had chosen to drive sober, or better yet ridden a bike, taken a taxi, called friend, or taken a bus home, Tendick could still be alive.

This is yet another example of the disgusting “it could happen to me” car culture BS that we have in this country.  When you choose to drive a car you put everyone around you at risk of death or grave injury.  This is a fact. If you, like me, feel that this is unacceptable, DRIVE LESS and when you have to drive, DRIVE BETTERCars are not healthy for children and other living things.

In Eugene, a human life is worth $1,000

Michael Devon Alston was driving carelessly on November 29th, 2012 when he made a right turn in broad daylight off 18th street onto Chambers and killed pedestrian Tamara Kay Glenn.  Alston’s only penalty after pleading guilty to careless driving that lead to the death of Tamara is paying a $1,000 fine.  This is the same proposed fine that you get for talking on a cell phone while driving, stripping in an airport, having a loud party on campus, or littering.

That’s right, driving carelessly and killing someone with your car is the same at littering in Eugene.  This is car culture at it worst.  How can we pretend to be a bike and pedestrian friendly town and let this slide?

This sentence is a result of the typical “oh, it could happen to me!” attitude of other car drivers (like the judge).  Well you’re right, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, which is why when you drive a car you should drive with FEAR in your heart that you may kill someone. Treat cars like loaded guns.  They are not safe in any way.  Every time you drive you put the lives of everyone around you in danger, but rarely your own.  We need to change that. Screw up driving, and YOU GO TO JAIL, not pay a $1,000 fine.  Then everyone will drive better, or maybe even choose to drive less in the first place.

I’m tired of people outside of cars (bikers, pedestrians) being the only ones with skin in the game.  We risk our lives existing around cars, but all car drivers risk is a few dollars?  They are the drone pilots of the transportation world: free to kill, but with no risk themselves.  If we don’t increase the risk to them, we aren’t going to see better drivers and people won’t stop dying.

Maybe we should get rid of airbags and put a 2-foot long spike in the center of every steering wheel.  I bet we see some careful driving then! (Idea blatantly stolen from an Andy Singer cartoon that I can’t find online)

Eugene man pleads guilty to careless driving charge in connection with fatal crash | Local News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

KMTR News Reinforces Reckless Car Culture, Again.

KMTR ran a news story today that emphasized that all kids should wear helmets, complete with “experts.”  Their main reasoning was that a kid got hit by a car just recently and more kids are riding in the nice weather.  Nowhere in the story did they mention that drivers should be more careful since there are more bikers out.  In fact, there was NO mention of safe driving at all.

I’m not against helmets – I wear one every time I ride, but I only wear one because of the likelihood of some yahoo dipschmuck texter butthole in a car running me over.  If there were no cars, I wouldn’ t wear a helmet commuting.  I’d only wear one when riding offroad or zooming down McKenzie Pass, things that are mildly dangerous without cars. Commuting is not.  Being 8 and riding a bike around your neighborhood is not (if there weren’t cars).

So, news, stop acting like car drivers are powerless to not hit us. Stop acting like biking is dangerous.  It’s not.  Existing around idiots with motorized weapons is dangerous.  People get hit by idiot car drivers all the time while walking, should pedestrians wear helmets?  NO, drivers should stop sucking!

KMTR video link.

In related news, a man was just killed on the Oregon coast while walking on the 101 Oregon Scenic Bikeway.  The driver of the truck who killed him was not even cited.  Was there a big news story about how people should be more careful driving?  Of course not!

 

Riding McKenzie Pass

Mark of Arriving By Bike and I rode and juggled McKenzie pass on Saturday.  It was FULL of people on bikes.  It was also full of us juggling.  It’s pretty melty, so it might open up early this year, go ride it while you can! It’s really melted a lot in the couple weeks since this article.  We took some pictures and filmed the descent.  Enjoy!

Also, someone left a Cocoon bag at the top with stuff in it.  Tell me what that stuff is in a comment so I can give you your bag back.

Register-Guard focuses on helmets, again, when car driver hits a 14-year-old on a bike

A 14-year-old was hit by a turning car while riding on Hunsaker Road on Tuesday, and Register-Guard story implicitly blamed the victim:

The boy was not wearing a helmet when his bicycle was struck about 5:50 p.m. as he was pedaling along Hunsaker Drive near River Road in west Eugene, police Sgt. Kevin McCormick said at the scene.

The boy appeared to suffer only scrapes and bruises, but was taken by ambulance to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, McCormick said.

The boy apparently was riding his bike west on Hunsaker Lane when he was struck by a silver Volks­wagen Passat that was turning onto River Road from Hun­saker Lane.

It was not immediately known whether the woman driving the Passat would be cited in connection with the accident, McCormick said.

Shame on author Josephine Woolington for continuing in the media’s tradition of victim blaming whenever a person in a car fails to control their vehicle and runs someone over.  Helmets can’t stop a bad driver from running you over! It is irrelevant that the boy was not wearing a helmet!

Notably, this intersection is one of the top ten most dangerous in Eugene.

Source:

 

Separate accidents hurt bicyclist, pedestrian | Local News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

Thinking about biking to work for the first time?

Then you will really enjoy and benefit from this comic by Bikeyface!

Bikeyface » Small Steps

Enjoy the sun!  Start riding to work one day a week!  You can do it!