Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spoke'n Word - July Comes to a Close

  • Annual Pedestrian Death Rates by Age Group WSJ  (man that's good news)
  • 360Tri will teach you how to fix your flat this weekend
  • Apparently it is okay for Loudoun cops to harass cyclists on the WOD, but when Loudoun buses come to Arlington, they dont bother to respect our laws - like not planting their buses in bike lanes.
  • Arlington Fair is next week and Bike Arlington will be there!
  • The Next Arl BAC meeting is Wednesday August 7 (note the night change)
  • Have you logged your National Bike Challenge miles?

I'd Like to Teach Coca Cola, Not to Park in the Bike Lanes! @arlingtonva #bikedc

I'd like to teach the world to sing 
in perfect harmony.  
A song of peace that echoes on 
and never goes away.
Well..... you could @$#@% start by NOT PARKING IN THE BIKE LANES!!

I'm just saying.
It's the real thing  
what the world wants today,  
That's the way it'll stay  
Dont Park in the Bike Lanes!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More on reported Stop Sign Enforcement action at National Airport @NPSGWMP

PP members recently reported a NPS Officer threatening cyclists that they need to come to a full stop at the stop-sign-for-nothing, at the southern end of National Airport, or be ticketed. According to the April minutes of the Arlington BAC, the NPS has plans to remove that old abandoned ramp, fix the pavement, and remove the stop-sign-for-nothing.
Old off ramp to DCA.  The NPS is working with the MWAA to remove the abandoned GWMP off ramp south of the Metro tracks (lower oval below).  They are considering replacing the pavement with some kind of pavers that would allow the exit to be restored in an emergency.  The modifications would take the trail crossing at that location out of the roadway, allowing for the removal of the stop signs on the trail at that location.
So, WHY, GWMP Park Service, did one of your officers harass cyclists recently about this stop sign when even you concede that it is pointless and should be removed? 

Why No @FedEx, the Bike Lane is NOT for parking @arlingtonva @bikearlington

Do us a favor FedEx.... please park someplace safer.  You know, some place where you are not bumping cyclist out into two lanes of city traffic at what is typically a pretty confused intersection.  Thanks!


Spokes - Monday 29th

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Because, well, this video is awesome.... that's why

As highlighted by our friends at @bikearlington 

404 - WABA BikeArlington Forum Not Found

To many cyclists lament, the local bike forum has evaporated into a 404 error.  According to the US Department of Labor, productivity amongst area cyclists just increased 42%.  But those of use who have a disdain for productivity and would rather yammer about the finer aspects of Crazy Ivans, Ninjas, the Intersection of Doom, and when the next Third Thursday happy hour might be, a solution awaits you.

There exists a Google+ Community dedicated to bikedc. You need only go, join, and see your productivity once again melt away as you pursue the slings and arrows of outrageous online banter.

PS:  Dont Prius drivers drive you crazy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Free Movie: Ride the Divide :: Tues Jul 30 at Arl Central Library

On Tuesday, July 30th, our friends at Bike Arlington will be hosting a free viewing of Ride the Divide, a movie about about a bike race down the continental divide.
An award-winning feature film about the world's toughest mountain bike race, which traverses over 2700 miles along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The film weaves the story of three characters' experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.
Date: Tuesday, July 30th

Time: 7:00pm (arrive early to get a good seat!)

Location:Central Library Auditorium 
1015 N Quincy St, Arlington VA 22203

Cost: FREE! But please RSVP.

Video from Arlington Kidical Mass July - Spraypark Edition

The whole ride in ten minutes!

To find out more about Kidicalmass Arlington, check out their blog!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bicycle Parking in Japan

Do you think we could get one of these things in Ballston??

I wonder how many water bottles are at the bottom of this thing??

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

APS is Seeking a Safe Routes to School Coordinator

Arlington Public Schools is seeking a Safe Routes to School Coordinator.  Applications for this position are due by August 9th.  Find the job description here under "Administrative."

Here is some of the information:


The Safe Routes to School Division Coordinator recruits, encourages, and supports safe routes to school programs at the school division level and for individual schools within a division.  The position reports to the Health and PE coordinator at the Division Office.  Training and support is provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Safe Route to School program.
RESPONSIBILITIES:  ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES OF WORK (May not include all duties performed – These are intended as an illustration of the various types of work performed. The omission of specific duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.)

• Knowledge of the Safe Routes to School program (2 main goals, 5’Es, emphasis on including all stakeholders)
• Knowledge of the benefits of encouraging walking and biking 
• Experience volunteering or working with schools at the division or local school level within the last five years.
• Skill in public outreach and marketing
• Skill in event planning.
• Experience maintaining a database, and providing progress reports
• Experience working with students, families, and staff from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
• Skill in problem solving to select, organize and logically process relevant information (verbal, numerical or abstract) to solve a problem.  
• Skill in written communication to understand written information (including instructions, descriptions and ideas), and to express such information in writing so that others will understand and, at times, be convinced or persuaded.  
• Skill in oral communication to understand verbal information (including instructions, descriptions and ideas), and to express such information verbally so that others will understand and, at times, be convinced or persuaded.  
• Interpersonal skills to interact with contacts in a businesslike, customer service-oriented manner by establishing and maintaining effective working relationships and working in harmony with supervisors, staff, students and the general public.
• Skill in using a computer and modern office suite software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 
• Ability and willingness to work a variable schedule.
OTHER INFORMATION:  This position is funded from the Federal Safe Routes to School Program, 23 USC Section 1404, along with federal and state partners USDOT, FHWA and VDOT.  This is a one-year position funded from the above grant and an opportunity to renew is based upon data showing progress in performance and additional grant funding.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Phoenix Bikes Party Fund Raiser July 20 at Dominion Hills Clubhouse

Reminder that the Phoenix Bikes fund raiser is this weekend!

Please consider attending the 2nd Annual Phoenix Rising Fundraiser on July 20 at the Dominion Hills Clubhouse in Arlington, a celebration of cycling’s tour season and the mission of Phoenix Bikes. The good folks of the Madison Manor Bike Club raised $5,000 for our new building campaign last year and plan to top it this year. Ticketing and donations can be made via the group’s campaign page on Razoo.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ELITE Cyclist versus ELITE Bike - which matters more?

The more you pay for a bicycle, the faster you go, right?  The Guardian pits an extremely expensive bike against an extremely good athlete - the bike beat the athlete in two out of three races (well, sort of).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bicycle Repair Schedule

My car came with an idiot light that tells me when to change the oil.  It also tells me to change filters, belts and other fluids.  There is a chart in the owner's manual with a recommended maintenance schedule.

What about a bicycle?  Becoming a full time bike commuter means putting lots of miles on the pedals.  And the mechanics of the pedal machine are a lot finer than that of a car.  Parts wear out, oil needs to be changes, and things need to be replaced.

I compiled a sample bicycle repair schedule for a regular bicycle commuter. Each bicycle, terrain, and rider is different, resulting in different maintenance schedules.  This sample is designed to help you develop your own routine. Linked at the bottom are several excellent sources to explore the topic further.  

Learning to do basic repairs yourself can save you a lot of money, and can help you ensure the safety of you bike.  The Washington Area Bicycle Association, Bike Arlington, and many of the local bicycle shops offer classes in basic bike mechanics.  Another option is to take advantage of the local bicycle coops like Velocity in Del Ray or the Mt. Rainer Bicycle Coop, which let you use there tools and equipment for a small fee.  Online websites and videos are excellent resources for instructions on how to do repairs. For advanced repairs, like the annual check up, that might be a good opportunity visit your favorite local bike shop.

Bicycle Maintenance Schedule
Check tire pressure, brakes, wheels, spokes, overall operation.
Every trip
Recommended air pressure should be on the sidewall of the tire. Squeeze brakes checking for proper stopping ability.
Adjust seat height; brakes
As needed
A properly adjusted seat is important for fit and will reduce stress on your knees. As brakes wear, you should be able to adjust the cable in order to maintain good braking.
Inspect frame, wheels, spokes, cables, quick release; check for loose parts (racks, water bottle cages); check lights
Every two weeks
Check for damage or cracks; tighten screws; ensure that wheels, pedals, or handlebar is not loose. Replace light batteries.
Clean and lube chain; check chain for wear. Lube moving parts, brakes, derailers, cables, pedals.
Every two weeks
More often if you are riding in a dirtier environment. Keep a rag by your bicycle parking and wipe off chain.
Clean frame
Every two weeks
Clean frame and apply a light wax like Turtle wax or Pledge (be sure not to wax what you have just lubed)
Replace chain
Every 2000 Miles
Chains stretch, and when they stretch they can damage your cogs. An easy chain-measuring tool will show you if the chain needs to be replaced.
Align derailers

Regrease parts (seat post, pedals, water bottle screws)
Take off, clean, lube, replace.
Rewrap handlebar tape

Replace cable and housing
Cable housing can get gunk in it, making it hard to shift
Overhaul bottom bracket, wheel bearings, headset
Take apart, clean, repair, regrease, put back together
True wheels
As Needed

Replace Brakes pads
As needed

Replace tires and tubes
As needed
Will vary depending on type of tire and usage. Replace when worn out, showing signs of age, or damaged. When I replace a tire, I will replace the tube and check the rim tape.
Replace chain & cassette
Every two years
Some people say replace the cassette every time you replace the chain; others say if you are good about replacing the chain, you can get more out of your cassette.
Replace helmet
As needed
If damaged or cracked, but helmets are made of foam that does not age or dry out; if it looks in good condition, it should be good. BHSI

References: Mike Munk, Road Bike Maintenance Schedule; Bicycle Repair Schedule, Bicycles: Maintenance and Repair, WikiBooks; Tips from a pro mechanic # 4 - Bike maintenance schedule, PeopleforBikes; Chris Daigle, Planning Your Bicycle Maintenance Schedule, Seattle Bicycle Club; Maintain Bike Maintenance Schedule, Alameda Bicycle.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Arlington History Bicycle Tour

Arlington has marvelous history.  The Custis Family owned land in Arlington as did the Mason family.  Robert E. Lee married into the Custis family and thus became owner of Arlington House. During the Civil War, the North seized Arlington House and turned it into Arlington Cemetery. Arlington was originally part of the District of Columbia, but was ceded back to Virginia as Alexandria County - but that was confusing with Alexandria City so it was renamed after Arlington House.  The Donaldson Family use to take their produce down to Donaldson Run to the Potomac, where they would move it by boat to Georgetown to market.  Rosslyn, well, at one time is was better known for bars and brothels. Rosslyn was the home of ARPA, the federal agency that funded and built the Internet in the 1960s.

Want to know more about Arlington History?  Check out the Arlington Historical Society.  By bike!  There is a marvelous bicycle tour of Arlington that starts there and wanders 26 miles through the hills of history, as shown recently by Bobco85.  The tour webpage linked above gives a full self-guided narrative as well as cue sheets and a link to a MapMyRide file.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Senseless - Bicycle Helmets - BHSI responds #bikedc

The June 2013 issue of Bicycling magazine with its article Senseless has caused quite a storm.  The subject matter of the article was the safety standards of helmets and whether they do much to protect against concussions.  The author suggested that they do not, but discussed a newer helmet technology MIPS which is suppose to absorb rotational impact.  I saw a MIPS helmet in the store today.  It was bigger and less ventilated.  Was wondering if I would wear such a thing on a hot summer's day. 

WABA's Bike Helmet Safety Institute has responded to the Senseless article:
Bicycling magazine's June 2013 issue had a helmet article titled "Senseless" with a summary: "Bicycle helmets do an outstanding job of keeping our skulls intact in a major crash. But they do almost nothing to prevent concussions and other significant brain injuries--and the very government agency created to protect us is part of the problem. The time has come to demand something safer."

"Almost nothing" to prevent concussion does not reflect reality. Today's helmets do help in concussive impacts, even though they are optimized to protect against traumatic brain injury and death.

We take issue with the primary conclusion of the article. It reads as if MIPS slip-plane technology helmets were the only current helmets that offer any concussion protection. (They have an extra shell inside that can slip about 5mm in an impact.) The last pages are all about MIPS, with only the patent-holder's data to support performance claims. At the end, the author reports that he has bought four MIPS helmets for his own family, a powerful endorsement. He says "You can pretend to protect your brain, or you can spend more money and get closer to actually doing it." In a subsequent radio interview he recommends the Scott brand, although he does not say he has ever seen lab test results for them, apparently based only on the MIPS technology.

Nowhere does the article mention the key flaw in the MIPS argument: in the real world, bicycle helmets are so loosely coupled with the head that a slip-plane inside the helmet structure does not add significant sideways movement in an impact. The helmet moves anyway, unless it is constrained in a lab test. We told the author that, and pointed to it on our Web page, but he chose to ingnore it and quote us and others on less basic points about MIPS as if we thought those minor points were the important ones. That is highly misleading to the reader.
. . . . .

Saturday, July 6, 2013

High-End Bikes Drive LBS Sales #bikedc

If true, this NBR story explains a lot about bike store behavior.  According to the report, high end bikes account for only 15% of unit sales at bikes stores but 52% of the dollar sales.  Commuter cyclists, those non-ELITE riders who ride normal bikes with normal components frequently lament going into bike shops and getting ignored - or receiving the hard-sell tactics from salemen who insist they need to by a new expensive bike. I have heard rumor of one LBS that has hired a specialist to attempt to train the sales force to actually listen to what the customer wants (how novel!).

I bought my last bike used from Phoenix Bikes and the bike before that off of Craigslist.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kidicalmass Arl Announces Bonus Ride for this Saturday - Start Quincy Park

Bonus Ride: Tour de Kidical!

Breaking news:  in honor of the awesomeness of the Tour de France, we're adding a bonus Kidical Mass Arlington ride!

Bonus Kidical Mass Arlington Ride
Tour de Kidical

When: Saturday, July 6, 2013 9:15am (roll out 9:30am)

Meet: Quincy Park at the Playground (Towards the corner of Washington Blvd and N Nelson)
Parking: Off of Quincy, Washington or 10th Street N.

End: Ireland's Four Courts for brunch and Tour de France watching (**still confirming this**)

Please check the Kidical Mass blog for updates.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stop Illegal U-Turns #bikedc

See John make an illegal U turn at Maine Ave and Ohio Dr SW.

See John escorted to the side of the road by a nice local police man. 

Dont be a John.  Dont make illegal U Turns