Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kidical Mass Arlington Rocking in the New Year

Happy Holidays!  Kidical Mass Arlington will be riding around the streets of North Arlington on New Year's Day to peep some holiday lights and to start 2014 off right.  I could use your help spreading the word.  And of course, you're welcome to come along for the ride!

When: Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 5:30pm
Meet: Westover Beer Garden (Plenty of parking in the lot behind the shops)
End:  Northside Social

More info:

Here's hoping Santa brings you all the bike-stuff you wish for!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trail closure: Woodrow Wilson Bridge Bike Trail Today 10 am to 3 pm

@VADOTNOVA is tweeting "Today at 10am-3pm: We will close the bike and pedestrian trail on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to allow crews to perform bridge inspections@VA"

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2013 Bike Maintenance Classes with Arlington Adult Education

 December 2013 Bike Maintenance Classes with Arlington Adult Education

Classes held at the Arlington Career Center, 816 S Walter Reed Dr, 22204

Arlington Adult Education, a program of Arlington Public Schools, is sponsoring the following two bicycle maintenance classes this month.  The classes will meet on consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9:30 PM at the Arlington Career Center816 S Walter Reed Dr, Arlington VA 22204.

BICYCLE MAINTENANCE & REPAIR. Lecture/demonstration on bike fit, breakdown repairs, and the inspection, adjustment, lubrication, and renovation of diverse components. Bike not required. One 3-hour session. $45 residents/$55 non-residents, seniors $35/$45:  Class # GI813D: Tue, Dec 10, 6:30-9:30 PM.

BICYCLE MECHANICS WORKSHOP. This self-directed, hands-on sequel to the Bicycle Maintenance & Repair class lets you tune up, fix, or modify your bicycle or practice inspection, maintenance, or repair procedures. Bring bike(s), supplies, and inspiration. One 3-hour session. $45 residents/$55 non-residents, seniors $35/$45: Class # GI814D: Tue, Dec 17, 6:30-9:30 PM
Advanced registration with Arlington Adult Education (703-228-7200) is required.  Enroll online at [ ] .

For questions about the instruction, please contact the instructor, Allen Muchnick at allenmuchnick at yahoo dot com or 703-625-2453.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Next Phoenix Bikes Informational Meeting Dec. 4 #bikearl #bikedc

"Phoenix Bikes and the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation will co-host a second a public meeting to discuss various options for a new education center for Phoenix Bikes and public restrooms along the W&OD trail and Walter Reed Drive. This meeting will give you background on Phoenix Bikes and its work to empower youths as well as information on developing a facilities. The meeting is Wednesday, December 4 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Park Operations Building Conference Center, 2700 S. Taylor Street."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Long Bridge Study Meeting Dec. 5

"The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration are hosting the 3rdand final public meeting for the Long Bridge Study. The purpose of this meeting is to present a project update, bridge alternatives and analysis conducted.

Thursday, December 5, 2013 
4:00pm to 7:00pm St. 
Augustine’s Episcopal Church
600 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20024 

"Comments can be provided at the meeting, mailed or submitted electronically to . For more information, please contact: Lezlie Rupert, Long Bridge Study, 100 M Street SE, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20003-3515. You can also visit"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Flashy Light Crossing on GW

"The National Park Service, George Washington Memorial Parkway in consultation with the Federal Highway Administration, will be temporarily installing a flashing beacon warning system at the trail crosswalk of the northbound lanes of the Parkway, just prior to Arlington Memorial Bridge, one mile north of I-395. Temporary installation is planned for the week of November 18th and be in place for approximately thirty days as a trial to help inform the upcoming Environmental Assessment (EA) process that will evaluate long-term safety and traffic improvements in the area. "

Public comment will be open starting Monday at:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Public Meeting re Phoenix Bikes

"Come to a public meeting to discuss various options for a new education center for Phoenix Bikes and public restrooms along the W&OD trail and Walter Reed Drive. This meeting will give you background on Phoenix Bikes and its work to empower youths as well as information on developing a facility. The meeting is Saturday, November 23 at 1 p.m. at the Park Operations Building Conference Center, 2700 S. Taylor Street."

NPS EA for Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation

NPS has an Environmental Assessment open for comment until December 2 regarding the rehabilitation of the memorial bridge.  There are two concerns here.  First, when the rehabilitation takes place, a major cycling artery into DC will be closed for months.  Second, what form the rehabilitation takes - ensuring that the bridge remains a cycling artery - and perhaps improving access to the bridge on the DC and VA sides.
The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is proposing to rehabilitate the Arlington Memorial Bridge. The historic bridge is an important element of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and of the transportation network of the Washington, D.C. area.

Arlington Memorial Bridge is more than 80 years old and has not undergone a major rehabilitation project in many years. Several temporary repairs have kept it operational to meet the needs of the traveling public. However, like many other older highway bridges across the nation, this bridge needs comprehensive repair to ensure service for decades to come.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act, and other laws, regulations and policies, the National Park Service is developing alternatives to be studied in the Environmental Assessment. The Environmental Assessment will evaluate potential impacts of these alternatives to the natural, cultural, and human environment. Information on the NEPA and NHPA processes can be found at:

The preliminary alternatives developed by the NPS and FHWA for the rehabilitation of the Arlington Memorial Bridge represent different approaches to address issues identified by project staff, visitors, and other interested parties. Together, these preliminary alternatives represent a range of possible actions that are reasonable and consistent with other special mandates and laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act. The preliminary alternatives that follow are specific to the treatment of the bascule span:

Alternative 1A - Replace the Bascule Span with Precast Concrete Box Girders (Beams)
Alternative 1B - Replace the Bascule Span with Steel Plate Girders
Alternative 2 – Replace the Bascule Span with a Concrete Arch Span to Match the Approach Spans
Alternative 3 – Replace the Bascule Span with a Fixed Span of Welded Steel Truss Construction
Alternative 4 – Rehabilitate the Bascule Span

Each preliminary alternative involves many common elements that would occur regardless of which alternative is selected for implementation. Elements common to all the preliminary alternatives include:

- repair of the concrete arch approach spans and bridge piers;
- replacement of the existing bridge deck;
- replacement of the existing sidewalks;
- resetting of light poles and improving its wiring system;
- improvements to the existing drainage system;
- resetting or replacement of the granite curbs; and
- repairs to the existing bridge railings and stone work as needed.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

FCC Certified as Silver Bike Friendly Business #bikedc #fcc #bfb

Today the League of American Bicyclists announced that the Federal Communications Commission (aka the Federal Cyclists Commission) has been certified as a Silver Level Bike Friendly Business. This achievement came about as a result of a marvelously committed management that works closely with staff to create a positive environment for bike commuters.  This came about as a result of an agency dedicated to fulfilling Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (calling for the reduction of greenhouse gases). The FCC has excellent secure bike parking, available fitness center showers, bicycle pumps and repair facilities.  The FCC is a Silver Partner with Capital Bikeshare (and we are looking forward to one day having a CABI station in the 12th and D SW neighborhood). The FCC celebrates bike to work day and month, has internal educational classes and promotes excellent WABA classes, and regularly participates in cycling challenges. Some of the top staff at the FCC are cyclists and bike to work.

Thank you League of American Bicyclists for your fabulous Bike Friendly America program.  This is one of those instances where the journey is more important than the destination.  I am thrilled that the FCC has been certified as a Silver Level BFB; but I am particularly thrilled about how important the BFA program has been to getting there.

Let me put it this way.  In the communications industry, we have best practices.  There are best practices for keeping power in the network.  There are best practices for keeping the network secure.  There are best practices that remind people to run their backup generators regularly.

And the BFA program is exactly that:  it is a list of best practices that promote cycling.  It is a list of best practices that sets out how to have excellent bicycle parking, that it should be secure, and that it should be at least as convenient (if not more convenient) as car parking.  It is a list of best practices for showers, for education, for having a bike coordinator, and much more.  The BFA program is a professional, expert list of best practices that I, as bike coordinator, can take to an wonderful management, partner together, and produce great results.

Thank you League of American Bicyclists for your excellent work.

And thank you FCC!  The best part of my day is my commute; biking along the Potomac River while watching the sun rise over the U.S. Capitol. I love my commute. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kidical Mass Arlington Halloween Ride

Kidical Mass Arlington Halloween Ride - the details are up! 10/27 5:30pm FreshBikes Arlington (Quincy & Wilson). Details:
Tricks courtesy of N. Jackson St. Treats courtesy of FreshBikes.
That's right, Kidical Mass Arlington keeps rolling on through the Fall!  Thanks to sponsorship from FreshBikes, we're having an AWESOME Halloween ride - with lots of treats.

When: Sunday, Oct. 27, 5:30pm
Meet (and finish): FreshBikes Arlington (3924 Wilson Blvd; Arlington, VA 22203)
(Plenty of parking in the lot).
Route: 3497262

The fun continues once we return to FreshBikes: we'll have candy, juice and hot chocolate (assuming we can figure out some logistics ) for our own little Kidical Mass Arlington Halloween Party.  Come in costume and enjoy some time to mingle with fellow family bikers.

Note: this is an EVENING ride -- you should have lights on your bikes, especially if you're planning to bike home after the festivities.

Special thanks to FreshBikes for the treats!  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Combined Federal Campaign

The CFC is underway (even though I have not heard that much about it this year). According to the CFCNCA catalog, the following bicycle related organizations are participating in CFC (in no particular order):

LEGAL NAME: Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Advocates for safe cycling conditions, promotes bicycling as healthy and sustainable transportation, provides bicycling safety information, and educates youth and adults in safe cycling.
PHONE (202)518-0524
5 DIGIT CODE 93587

LEGAL NAME: USA Cycling, Inc.
Dedicated to advancing the development of cycling; training coaches and athletes (including Olympic team); sponsoring competitions/events; promoting proper cycling techniques; supporting sports science technology.
PHONE (719)434-4200
5 DIGIT CODE 10293

LEGAL NAME: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Converts thousands of miles of unused railroad corridors into public trails for walking, bicycling, hiking, skating, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, wildlife habitats, and nature appreciation.
PHONE (866)202-9788
5 DIGIT CODE 10641

LEGAL NAME: Pedals for Progress, A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation
Promote self sustaining businesses. We collect/recondition used bicycles and sewing machines/ship them to developing countries where they become effective tools for self-help.
PHONE (908)638-4811
5 DIGIT CODE  12261

LEGAL NAME: League of American Wheelmen Inc
The League of American Bicyclists (Wheelmen) promotes cycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.
PHONE (202)822-1333
5 DIGIT CODE 11563

LEGAL NAME: Bikes for the World, Inc.
Mentoring youth and engaging adults, promoting an environmental ethic and international awareness, through collecting donated bicycles for productive use by the poor locally and globally.
PHONE (703)525-0931
5 DIGIT CODE 21964

LEGAL NAME: Adventure Cycling Association
Promoting environmental and personal health by inspiring people to travel by bicycle for fitness/fun/self discovery and advocating for better cycling conditions since 1974.
PHONE (406)721-1776
5 DIGIT CODE 10054

LEGAL NAME: Bikes Not Bombs, Inc.
BNB uses donated bicycles as a tool for empowerment in our youth leadership programs, international development projects, and vocational training center and retail shop.
PHONE (617)522-0222
5 DIGIT CODE 12431

LEGAL NAME: World Bicycle Relief
Provides bicycles and trains mechanics to service them in Africa to improve healthcare delivery, help children attend school, and improve economic development. Builds independence, livelihoods.
PHONE (312)664-3604
5 DIGIT CODE 95568

LEGAL NAME: Bike & Build, Inc.
Through service-oriented cycling trips, Bike and Build benefits affordable housing and empowers young adults for a lifetime of service and civic engagement.
PHONE (267)331-8488
5 DIGIT CODE 80303

LEGAL NAME: Bikes Belong Foundation
Encouraging children to bike while making bicycling safer. Building a mutual respect among motorists and cyclists ensuring safer routes for everyone to ride.
PHONE (303)449-4893
5 DIGIT CODE 54808

Monday, October 21, 2013

Be. More. Visible.

With the falling of autumn leaves comes the shortening of daylight and commuting after dark.  Now is an excellent time to invest in and enhance your visibility.  My rule is that the right number of lights is one more than I have.
Everyone should have front and rear lights (this includes joggers who increasingly use head lamps).  Lights are measured in lumens; but don’t assume that the brightest light is the best light.  Bright lights are good for dark trails but provide high contrast between what is lit and what is not - making it hard to see outside of the beam of light.  I ride with two AA powered LED headlights that help define me as a bike and provide sufficient light on an urban trail.  Strobe or flashing lights are commonly used for safety to ensure that bicycles are seen by cars.  But strobe lights should not be used on trails where they blind oncoming bicycle traffic.  Please set your lights to solid, and point them down at the ground in front of you (not into oncoming traffic's eyes).  If you ride with strong lights, consider dimming or placing your hand over the light in the presence of oncoming traffic.
Be visible from the sides as well.  Side visibility can be provided by reflectors, spoke lights, and ankle lights.  Research has found that one of the strongest indicators to a car that what is in front of them is a bicycle is ankle lights or reflectors.  The circular motion of the ankle is an immediate tell of peddling.  There are also fun computer-enhanced spoke lights that turn your wheels into electronic art.
How good are your reflectors?  Here is a simple test: take your bike out at night and take a flash photo.  Any reflector on your bike should light up in the photo, showing you what you would look like in the headlights of a car. Of course I have a rear reflector, but I also have reflectors in my tire sidewalls.  Capital Bikeshare bikes have these and they are brilliant. I also place reflector stickers on my helmet.
Finally, your high-visibility clothes aren’t worth anything at night.  Research has shown that once the sun goes down, hi-viz is as dark as any other part of your clothes. Use lights and reflectors for visibility after dark.

Monday, October 14, 2013

We can never have enough of nature #coffeeneuring #4

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms… We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature… Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed... Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders…. We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep.  I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of people to elevate their lives by conscious endeavor.  It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.  To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts…. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this." - Henry David Thoreau

Springfield > CCT > Vienna > WAD > Custis > Home (28 miles) 
McCoffee in Vienna because the indie coffee shop I know there did not appear to be open.
McCoffee Mocha in McVienna

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I. Just. Want. a Damn. Cup. of Coffee!! #coffeeneuring

It rained and in rained and it rained.  Until we had gone quite insane.

The puppies awoke and began to chatter.  The hound dog awoke and felt obliged to let me know that the puppies were chattering.

Fine. If I get out early, there will be no one else on the trail.  Except for all the other people who believed, if they got out early, there will be no one else on the trail.

Someone drove off the GW and smashed in to the MVT boardwalk under the TR.  There is pebbles of safety glass everywhere, along with tire tracks carving up the embankment. The MVT is in bad condition (this very spot had just been smashed by a tree) but I dont suppose this will be fixed till after the shutdown.
MVT under TR
I had set up my ride with RidewithGPS and my Garmin.  Still at novice at using this feature.  Enjoyed the ongoing chatter of my GPS:  BLEEP ("Off Course").  TWERL: ("Course Found").  BeeP: (telling me to take a turn that I cannot identify because I left my glasses on the counter at home).

Made it to Misha's in Alexandria.  No seats inside but there was a wet plastic chair outside.  I was already wet.  While I sat there and enjoyed my Mocha and Scone (noooooo, it wasnt a milk shake.... sheeeeeez!), look what some a$$clown tied to my bicycle.  I guess my bicycle looks like a good hitching post.
I love Labradors! (Misha Mocha on my Bike Rack)
Made it through Cameron Run up to Holmes Run, and then lost the course on the Garmin. Not sure what I was suppose to do, but I knew how to get back on course.  Holmes Run looked like it might pose some difficulties.
Holmes Run
Apparently they had opened up a new trail in Holmes Run that connects it to Columbia Pike.  This is a good thing.  But the stream crossings look like this, and that's a bad thing.

I lugged my bike over several stream crossings until I got to one that looked like this.  The jogger I was next to and I agreed that water gushing down the trail, instead of being in the stream, is generally not a good thing.

The jogger turned around, but home for me was forward.  I soldiered on and discovered the source of the water - a fountain of youth it was not.

Tell me now; does that not somehow remind you of a Dalek.  When I got upstream of this park feature, I, um, took an impromptu bath in cleaner stream water, washing off whatever that was.

Made it home and took a nice shower.  A really, really nice shower. 26 Miles total.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ray LaHood Speaking at GMU Arlington Oct. 16

Ray LaHood will be speaking Oct. 16 at GMU Arlington Campus.  LaHood was the former head of the Department of Transportation under the Obama Administration and was responsible for advancing smart transportation and livable communities ideas, including supporting bike transportation.

Register now!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

W&OD Alert :: Bluemont Park :: XC Championships Later this Afternoon

@WashLeeXC tweets
Arl. XC championships at Bluemont 5-6:30 tonight. Police directing traffic on W&OD but pls be alert.
Please be alert and courteous 

Monday, October 7, 2013

What are you afraid of?

In 2011, in the United States
  • There was 32,367 traffic fatalities;
  • There were 677 cyclist fatalities as a result of traffic incidents;
  • The leading causes of death among adults age 45 to 64 was
    • Cancer 32%
    • Heart Disease 21%
    • Accidents 7%
    • Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 4%
    • Liver Disease 4%
    • All other causes 32%
  • There were 6 terrorist fatalities.
There is a lot of bad shit going down.  And the bad shit gets on the headlines of mass media, who replay the video over and over and over until the images are burned deep into our psyche.  It breeds fear and it breeds hysteria.

And it breeds an environment where in the face of bad shit being replayed by mass media, something must be done. And frequently while something must be done, it isnt the right thing, and it doesnt make things better.

But here is what didnt make it to the 3 minute sound bite at the top of the hour: Cyclist Struck on Route 50; Van Strikes Boy on Bicycle in Pottstown; Driver Cited After Hitting Man on Bicycle

If we must do something, let's do something about the greater risk. First, let's be damn sure that do-something-security-theater doesnt make us less safe (placing obstructions in traffic in the name of fighting terrorism that do little to help but do lots to make the road less safe). Second, let's worry about what should be worried about.  You are 5333 times more likely (did I do the math right?) to die in a traffic accident than to die as a result of terrorism.

Sez to me, if we must do something, then we must focus on making traffic safer.

Sources: 2011 Motor Vehicle Accidents, Overview, DOT; Terrorist Deaths, Injuries, Kidnappings of US Citizens, State Dept. 2011; Integrated United States Security Database (IUSSD): Data on the Terrorist Attacks in the United States Homeland, 1970 to 2011; National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, A Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, Based at the University of Maryland; Deaths in the United States 2011, NCHS Data Brief; Death rates from terrorism, United States and Israel, 1985-2013