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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fashion Holiday Edition: Batgirl Returns

The female compatriot of the legendary dark knight has her own personal demons to face as she fights insane villains who seek to destroy the peace and safety of the streets in her own little Gotham on the Bay.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Lane FAIL: Warning! Construction Signs Ahead

Sigh. What to you call signs warning of danger that ARE the danger? From what I’ve seen lately it’s standard operating procedure all over town, despite the guidelines from the US Federal Highway Administration. I could write something clever or get fired up for a rant, but I just don’t have the energy today. Sigh.


Do construction crews ever consider putting signs off the roadway instead of in the middle of the bike lane?

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Bike Lane FAIL

 

Fashion Friday: In the Misty Morning Fog

Hey where do we go, days when the rains come? In the misty morning fog my sweater dress was cozy under my red trench coat and my feet stayed dry in my little brown boots. A little drizzle doesn’t need full rain gear.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Will Stop to Shop

What can I say? I’m a woman. When I see a new, interesting-looking store with a sale sign in the window and folks walking in, I have to stop and see what the fuss is. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to pull over and park on University Avenue when you’re on a bike than in a car. Let me rephrase that: not just easier, possible.

About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Peak of the Month: The Bayway to San Bruno Mtn

There are peaks like Mt. Diablo and Mt Tamalpais that are destination rides for cyclists from all over the Bay Area. There are peaks like Twin Peaks that are destination drives for tourists from all over the world. Then there are peaks like San Bruno Mountain that are largely ignored, despite their impressive views of the bay and coast.

The name doesn’t help. San Bruno the city is your basic working town: more grit that glamor, more substance than style. And the peak’s principal landmark is a Hollywood-style sign that proclaims “The Industrial City.” So it was only fitting that the route for this month’s peak ride explored the grittier side of the Peninsula, the often-abused land along San Francisco Bay, the home of garbage dumps, heavy industry and even a county jail.

Located just south of San Francisco, San Bruno Mountain is 40 or so miles north of Mountain View so we planned to ride from there and take Caltrain back. The route was loosely based on the “Bayway” route that the San Francisco to Google (SF2G) long distance commuters take every day.

None of us had ridden the complete route before, but we were able to piece it together without too many stops and no wrong-way detours. In addition to the grittier side, our route along the bay offered well-built bike paths sandwiched between the freeway and the bay, the headquarters of high-tech and biotech giants, jets landing and taking off, a multitude of bridges and fewer joggers and dog walkers than I expected.

The ascent up San Bruno Mountain was relatively short, relatively steep in a few places, with views of the city and the bay, Twin Peaks and Mt Diablo. And like all respectable peaks, it had more than its fair share of aging radio towers. We dropped down the ocean side into the fog, whistled quickly through the graveyards of Colma and managed to find something decent to eat in the industrial city at the base of an underrated peak.

Do you have favorite routes that you consider scenic in an non-traditional way? What is it about the routes that appeals to you?

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Backroads

 

Fashion Friday: Déjà Vu All Over Again

The reports of summer’s death were greatly exaggerated. The heat was on again this week with temps in the 80s, so I was glad I bought the prAna dress I featured last week in two prints. With a lightweight coat and tights for the morning and late night chill, this dress took me from morning to night, from work to our bike date dinner.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 20, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Think Bike, Like the Dutch Think Bike

Have you ever wondered how different your city’s streets would be if they were designed in the Netherlands, where 30% of the people use bikes every day? Well, if you’re in San Jose you can hear firsthand the changes Dutch transportation experts would recommend at the upcoming Think Bike Workshop San José.

Next week, the Dutch Cycling Assembly will join city staff and other transportation and urban planners in a two-day workshop focused on downtown San Jose. The event includes opening and closing sessions that are open to the public. I plan to attend the closing session on Tuesday night. Having spent several days bicycling in Amsterdam last year, I’m curious to hear how they’d change our local streets.

Amsterdam is famous for its extensive system of cycletracks and a population of all ages that rides them rain or shine, summer and winter. Almost everyone takes a bike for some of their trips. The evidence is everywhere. I couldn’t take a photo in Amsterdam without getting bikes in the background. Not that I wanted to.

So what will the team recommend for San Jose? Will it be more separated bike lanes like the new ones on 4th Street? Will it be corner islands for two-stage left turns at busy intersections? Maybe bike-only signal phases?

One thing I learned is that the Dutch solution is not just about cyclepaths and bike signals. It’s also about going slower in shared spaces and giving way to more vulnerable users, not strict separation. Watch the video I shot below to see how everyone–on foot, on bikes, in cars and trams–gets through this busy intersection safely.

Do you think would be possible in your town or city? Or is it just a crazy Dutch thing?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Issues & Infrastructure

 
 
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