NYC Critical Mass
A New York judge has ruled that it’s lawful for NY Police to arrest Critical Mass participants who don’t apply for a parade permit. Cyclists will be allowed to ride in groups smaller than 50 riders without a permit, but if they want to ride through town in a group larger than that, they’ll need to wade through the bureaucracy of city hall. It’s a huge loss for cyclists. No more massive group rides in the city and one more hurdle for alley cat races.
The BikeSnobNYC argues that Critical Mass is moving New York backwards in terms of cyclists’ rights. He argues that we started with no regulations, and that thanks to Critical Mass, we’re losing those rights. The New York order essentially takes away your right to freely assemble (on a bike and then ride around).
Either way you look at it, one thing we have to look forward to are groups of 49 riders staged a few minutes apart rolling around town.
Portland’s $600 million plan to wind bike lanes through the entire city has been kicked off with a $20 million infusion from the city board. The plan passed unanimously. These aren’t your crappy, bike-lanes-painted-on-the-ground that never see maintenance and serve mostly as overflow parking for cabs; they’re going to be lanes that are segregated by curbs and boulevards. It’s amazing what the West Coast can accomplish with $20 million when they don’t have to use half of it to pay off mob-run construction unions.
Not a lot of hills around here, are there?
A bill that would make it illegal to drive within three feet of a cyclist is winding its way through the South Dakota state senate. The distance, roughly an arm’s length, would mean that drivers that sideswipe a cyclist or are observed driving too close to them would be slapped with a misdemeanor. Opponents of the bill point out that enforcement is practically impossible, but the point is that if a biker gets hit by a car, at least they have one thing they can charge a driver with. Senate Bill 70 is slated for discussion in the transportation committee tomorrow morning. This is the same state that legalized drunken bike riding. I never thought South Dakota would be a national leader in commonsense cycling laws.
Bike Gov press conf.
A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin – Madison that seems to be primarily interested in justifying the city’s bike lanes has been a great success. A friend described Madison as, “An overgrown college town that’s hell to drive in.” That might be accurate, but it’s a divine city for cycling. Madison consistently scores near the top of those lists about ‘Best Outdoors Cities’ that magazine editors love putting together, and it’s thanks to their network of great bike lanes. The latest study found that cycling generates over $1.5 billion annually in Wisconsin and creates 13,193 jobs.
A new bike in every garage...er, home.
South Korea is leading the way in lowering carbon emissions with a plan to build a nationwide network of bike paths that will be completed by 2019. The network will cover 3,100 kilometers, more than seven times the length of that country’s longest expressway. Meanwhile, Copenhagen’s Minster of Finance has recommended that everyone in her country use their stimulus money to buy another bike. Sounds like a damn fine deal to us. The U.S. might be too big for an extensive, national bike lane network, but there’s no excuse for not building them out in cities. Oh wait, Ford had a banner year, so I guess we need room for all those new cars.
Listen to the NPR coverage
NPR has a short report on the surging sale of electric bikes around the world. About 200,000 electric bikes were sold in the U.S. last year, while China has over 120 million electric bikes are already on the road. We have a ways to go to catch up. They also point out something I didn’t know: Best Buy is selling electric bikes. Oh man, we’re going to be seeing tons of poorly built electric bikes coming into the shop. At least people are out there buying them.
The time is upon us, here is a link with info on the event, get crazy in the race, or if you are not up to it, get crazier at the after party…. there is a cool video as well, see you there!
photo stolen from allhailtheblackmarket.com
This is one of those things that briefly crosses your mind whenever you’re at a bar on your bike. A man in Florida was charged with a DWI after police stopped him for riding his bike Saturday night without any lights. His eyes were bloodshot and he had a couple empties in his front basket, so the police tried to give him a breathalyzer. He refused the test, and was charged with a DWI, refusing a breathalyzer, and an open container. He was arrested and is being held on a $9000 bond. Biking while drunk might not be a fantastic idea, but at least you’re only endangering your own life. It’s not like you’re going to run over a van full of orphans. The lesson here is to just consent to a breathalyzer. It’s tough to imagine that a judge would crush you for riding your bike while drunk once you make it to court. And even if you do get crushed by the judge, at least your car insurance won’t go up and you’ll know you’re on the right side, morally.
Someone get this kid a PBR.
A 7-year-old Briton with media-savvy parents managed to raise over $240,000 for Haiti. They kid came up with an idea to squeeze his relatives for about $1,000 in donations by getting them to sponsor a 7-lap ride around a park by his home. He began taking pledges from family and friends of family, and his media-minded mom threw up this website. A few incoming links later and he was up to the $200,000. The good news is that he successfully rode out the five miles, so he won’t have to give all that cash back to the donors.
Ask this guy to help you move.
A Massachusetts company was hired by the city to haul recyclables from residents’ homes. They’ll also deliver firewood or get your groceries to your home. I’m thinking about getting them to drag my coffin to the cemetery when I die; I can just imagine how bad drivers would feel about honking at the funeral procession. The Pedal People might sound like a novelty, but since 2002, they’ve moved 341,000 cubic feet of trash. They can haul up to 300lb per load. One unforeseen advantage might be that residents seek to create less waste knowing that someone will be carrying all their refuse away on a bike.