Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tour de Fat this weekend (benefiting Arlington's Phoenix Bikes and other bike orgs)

This weekend is Tour de Fat down at Yards Park. And it benefits lots of good Bicycle non profits.
BTW, Phoenix Bikes needs 20 volunteers for the after event tear-down (that’s their assignment) from 5pm-7pm. They would be extremely grateful for your help. Email to help.

I'm Psyched to Pbike Arlington

Monday, May 27, 2013

Long Bridge Study Update - Meeting June 6th

This is a potential bridge that would reach across the Potomac from Virginia to DC at the 14th St bridge crossing and could include a bicycle bridge.
Based on the purpose and need of the project and the feedback received from agencies and the public, the Long Bridge Study has developed a number of concept alternatives. These alternatives will be shared with the public at the next public meeting. The next public meeting is scheduled for June 6th, 2013 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church located in 400 I (Eye) Street, SW Washington D.C. 20024 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The project team will present the alternatives in the meeting to receive feedback from the public.

Please check the project website for status updates and information on the June 6th public meeting.

If you have comments or questions, please send them to Long Bridge is a two-track railroad connecting the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia. The bridge is owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. and is utilized by freight, passenger, and commuter rail service. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) received an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to study the Long Bridge. The purpose of the study is to: analyze multi-modal connectivity and operational improvements; assess the long-term multi-modal capacity improvement that include the future operating requirements of high-speed and intercity passenger rail, commuter rail, transit, bicycle, pedestrian, vehicular and freight rail services over the Potomac River; and determine the structural integrity of the bridge and make short-term and long-term improvement recommendations.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hey @Arlingtonva ACPD - should we ALSO NOT walk or drive at night as well?? Come on!!

ACPD, which was obviously just doing its job and trying to do its best... sent the following message to Arlco civic associations.
Dates to remember:
· May 8 is bike/walk to school day.
· May 17 is Bike to work day.
We recommend biking during daylight hours. Make sure you obey the laws. I have attached a couple safety brochures for you to review and share. Be safe and have fun!
WHAT?!?  Wait wait.  Why exactly does ACPD recommend that we bike during daylight hours?  Is it safety?  Cause driving a car or being a pedestrian is also more dangerous at night.  Dont see ACPD recommending against driving at night or walking at night.  So why the hell should we not bike at night?

Once again, Arlco - "Bike Friendly Community" - master of the mixed message (we want you to bicycle but not really).

Here's a better idea.  Every year Bike Arlington (another part of the Arlington County government.... obviously another part) has a light up the night event where they hand out lights, reflectors, and reflective vests... encouraging cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, and even the occasional members of the ACPD to be more visible at night. (Bike Arlington does some really amazing work).

Here's a better recommendation:  We recommend that when you bike at light, you take care to make yourself highly visible: Front lights, rear lights, side reflectors, and reflective gear.  Lights that outline your body and move (leg bands) catch a driver's attention. That's a positive bike to work day message.
Bike Madison

Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is hip on the recommendation.  Recently they announced that the WOD will be open for cyclists until 9 pm. ("Previously, the trail was considered off limits once the sun set.")  And what's NVPRA's recommendation?
All bicycles must be equipped with at least one white headlight light that is visible in clear weather from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a red reflector visible from 600 feet to the rear.  Additionally bicycles must be equipped with a taillight visible from a distance of at least 500 feet.  This taillight may be affixed to the bicycle or rider and may be steady or blinking.  Pedestrians,  are required to wear reflective clothing that can be easily seen from the front and rear and must carry a light or wear a flashing light.
We recommend that you go for a bike ride!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Question Authority

Source: Colin

Helmet Fins R Stupid

A common mistake I see people make is buying spiffy aerodynamic helmets, the one's with the fins on the back, because... somehow... this is... I guess... going to make them go faster? This is like buying a 1950s Cadillac with fins thinking that the fins are going to make that whale go faster. It aint... and if your lucky you can hurt someone with the fins.

If there comes a time that you need to actually use your helmet for something more than a style accessory - you dont want anything on the helmet that will cause the helmet to torque when it hits the ground. You want a rounded helmet that will hit the asphalt and bounce, not twist. If you have those cool pointy fins coming out of the back of your head - serving no real purpose because you dont bike nearly fast enough for that to make a smidgen of difference - you risk your helmet hitting the ground, fin first, torquing the helmet, twisting your head, and twisting your neck.

This is what is known as a bad idea.

Dont believe me? One of the great local unknown secrets is that the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute is a WABA project. Here is what they say:
We recommend smooth helmets that do not have points to snag when you crash 

The goal of the helmet if used is to absorb as much of an impact as possible, resulting in the least amount of damage to your nut as possible. Any accessories on your helmet (fins, lights, cameras) increase your risk of neck and head injury. Forget the fins - they arent doing nothing. Get a nice rounded helmet.

Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute