Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stupid Headline

Sorry if it seems like I'm beating up on Bicycling Magazine too much, but this type of stuff drives me nuts.

Headline: "Fignon Wonders if Drug Use Caused Cancer"

Halfway through the article Fignon says: "I'm not going to say no that it didn't play a role, [b]ut I didn't hold back any details of my drug use with my doctors and they said, 'It can't be that. That would be too simple.'"

A little later he adds: "If there was a direct link with my cancer I think there would be a lot of other cyclists that would also be suffering from the same cancer."

I wish Fignon the best in fighting his Pancreatic cancer. It is a serious condition and 5-year survival rates are pretty low. There's no reason for him to add to his misery by blaming his drug use for the disease when his doctors and his intellect say it's not likely. And there's no reason for Bicycling to emphasize this when it's hardly relevant.

Brews and Bikes in Bicycling Magazine

Bicycling Magazine has a feature on their web site called "Brews and Bikes: The best bike-related summer beers." Being two of my favorite topics, I took a look.

First, let me say that I'm not a fan of the format they chose for this feature. You see one slide at a time and when you click for the next, the entire page reloads. They also have a popup window ("We are conducting a research survey on this site. You will be invited to participate when you leave. Please do not close this window") which, will trigger your popup blocker (I'm using Firefox) every time you click to see the next beer in the article. I switched over to Google Chrome to avoid this and to see what the fuss was about the constantly blocked popup windows. My last complaint about the article is that it does not give you a link to any of the breweries mentioned or a final list of all 12 beers. Yeah, I know, I can search for any of the breweries myself, but I shouldn't have to. This is the internet, not a magazine.

The article was well written and got me interested in trying to find at least one beer I hadn't tried, like Pike Brewing Company's Tandem Double Ale. Unfortunately, their web site had no information on whether it's distributed in my area. I also liked that the article emphasized breweries that didn't just have a picture of a bike on the label, but also showed support for cycling in some other way like Full Sail Brewing Company and Oskar Blues. In any event, I learned about six or eight bike-related beers that I can add to my "to-drink" list.

This also gives me an excuse to plug a local brewery that is heavily invested in the local cycling community, Half Acre Beer Company. I have seen these guys on the road in their Half Acre kits and at many of the cyclocross races that my faithful readers know about. I also like that their web site gives me everything I need (tell me about your beer and where I can go get/drink it) in an easy-to-navigate layout.

Oh, and that survey I was promised? Would it surprise you to learn it was to see how well Nissan's latest marketing campaign was working? After the basics, there were a lot of questions about how much you like several of their ads. "Don't care" wasn't one of the choices.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bicyclist Harassment Ordinance Passed

Via Levi Leipheimer's twitter feed and Bike Monkey, We learn of an ordinance passed by Columbia, Missouri that "makes harassment of bicyclists — including throwing objects, verbal assault and other offenses — a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine or one year of jail time"

Following the lead of South Carolina and Colorado, the ordinance "makes it a misdemeanor to do the following: throw an object at or in the direction of a cyclist, threatening a cyclist to frighten or disturb the cyclist, sounding a horn with the intention to frighten or disturb a cyclist, knowingly placing a cyclist in the path of physical injury, or knowingly engaging in conduct that creates a risk of death or serious physical injury for a cyclist."

Full story here.

Legislation that helps cyclists doesn't just happen. We have to get involved. That's why attending the upcoming meeting of the Highland Park Traffic Commission on July 22, at 6:30 pm is important (put that in your calendar now). Lina Hoffman from The Active Transportation Alliance (formerly The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation) will be making a presentation on Complete Streets. The goal is for the Traffic Commission to begin taking all users (including pedestrians and cyclists) into consideration when making decisions that impact the roadways in Highland Park. We need to have strong representation at this meeting. The meeting will be at Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Avenue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cyclist vs. Journalist

Fox journalist attacks cyclist in Central Park with his SUV:
Brian Dooda, a Brooklyn film archivist, was riding his bike on East Dr. in Central Park at about 5 p.m. on Thursday when he says a grey SUV cut him off, nearly swiping his front tire.
This escalated when Dooda caught up to the vehicle at a red light, pulled in front of it, and, in his own words (see NY Cycle Club thread), "facing the driver and, straddling my bicycle, explained to him that what he just did almost cost me my life, the speed limit is 25mph in the park and if he doesn't like it to stay out of Central Park."

The driver then accelerated, knocking Dooda and his bike to the ground. It get even worse from here (read the whole story in Gawker or the Daily News). The good news is that Dooda escaped with only some scrapes and bruises.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Last Four miles

Make no small plans...

Four of Chicago's 30 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline are not available to the public, contrary to the plan Daniel Burnham published 100 years ago. The advocacy group Friends of the Parks will be unveiling a plan (as yet unfunded) to change that.

"Called “The Last Four Miles,” the plan proposes to plug these holes with 2 miles of new parkland on both the north and south lakefronts. If fully carried out, it would create a chain of parks, beaches, lagoons and bike trails that would stretch without interruption from the Evanston border on the north to the Indiana state line on the south."

What's that expression about a journey of a 1000 miles beginning with a single step?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Indexed Help

So far the cold weather has kept them away, but they're coming...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Talking Head Book Review

In yesterday's NY Times Sunday Book Review, David Byrne reviews "Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities", by Jeff Mapes.

It's always fun to read about David Bryne using his bicycle as his primary transportation around New York. He quotes Mapes pointing out that "when more women begin riding, that will signal a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance." Byrne says that he "can ride till my legs are sore and it won’t make riding any cooler [I say that if David Byrne is doing it, it's cool], but when attractive women are seen sitting upright going about their city business on bikes day and night, the crowds will surely follow." True, that.

It sounds like an interesting book, one I will probably add to my "to-read" list.

Also of note. In the author's bio at the end of the article, it's noted that his book "Bicycle Diaries" will be published in the fall. I'll be keeping an eye out for that as well.