Monday, October 31, 2011

Ignorance and Transportation Funding

As much as we'd like the bicycle to be the solution to all the world's problems, there is no single panacea that cures all transportation ills. Bikes play a crucial role in a larger system consisting of a spectrum of intermodal components ranging from pedestrians to jumbo jets.

Unfortunately America is becoming increasingly ignorant of how this system is funded. A recent study revealed that almost two-thirds of Americans believe that gasoline and diesel fuel taxes actually cover the full cost of building and maintaining the nation's highway network. The same proportion of Americans is unaware that the nation's network of freight railroads are almost entirely owned and operated by private businesses. The bliss perpetuated by this ignorance will eventually lead to a loss of prosperity for Americans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Open House for potential Bike Trail and Street Car

Open House for public feedback on two city projects! Tomorrow, October 27 from 5-8 pm at 1840 S 1300 E (Westminster). Give your feedback on the feasibility of a bike trail between 800 S and 3300 S at 1050 East, as well as on the possible extension of the Sugar House Streetcar. More info (flyer) after the break. 


Opening Celebration of 9 Line Trail!


Check out this opening of the 9 Line Trail at 9th West and 9th South next Saturday, November 5! Bike Parade, 3-legged races, local vendors, and free food to the first 150 people! More info after the break!

Biking in the City

"Biking through the minimal urban traffic is liberating and thrilling.  It’s an excuse to stay places longer.  An excuse to watch patrons come and go, knowing that you’ll be there for hours on either end of their stay.  Cycling is a way to see how new haircuts will live up to the rigors of a wind tunnel.  A method to test your jean’s crotchal durability.  A reason to yell at people opening car doors and give dirty, disapproving head shakes to oblivious right-on-redders."

Excerpt from Brody Leven's website, this post being all about his take on biking in the city of salt! Check it out!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Councilman Garrott stresses bicycle legislation, community gardens

Incumbent Councilman Luke Garrott (District 4) wants his constituents and residents citywide to know that there will be two foundations for his second term as councilman for the Downtown and Central City areas: bicycling and urban agriculture. A veritable shoo-in for a second term, Councilman Garrott is basically uncontested. His only opponent is Jack Gray, listed as “Utah’s leader” of the American National Socialist Workers’ Party, who has $3.06 in his campaign account and who has made zero effort in the current campaign.

In an article today in the Salt Lake Tribune, Garrott expounded about an important part of his current term and a central pillar of his campaign for a second term: bicycles.

One of Garrott's faithful, bicycle-loving supporters

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reality DOES Suck. Luckily bicycles don’t…



Giant’s response to GM ad – photo found on reddit.com – view full size. Thanks to James D. Schwartz from theurbancountry.com for sharing this, a similar style blog but based in Toronto. Giant Bicycles has responded to GM’s anti-cycling advertisement by coming up with an ad of their own. It reads:

“Reality DOES Suck. Luckily bicycles don’t… In fact it’s the best thing you can do to save hundreds… even thousands of dollars a year. It doesn’t matter if you’re in college, young, or old. The only thing you have to lose is some weight.. and the burden of fuel prices”.

The ad compares the price of a Giant bike ($420) to a $27,300 Chevy truck as well as highlighting the annual fuel cost for the truck ($3,600). The ad doesn’t even need to mention the insurance costs, parking costs, depreciation, repairs, registration, or maintenance. Or the fact that Americans work 2 hours each day just to pay for their cars




“Stop driving.. start pedaling.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lori Harward: The Driving Force Behind the Utah NICA League

Everything about Lori Harward exudes enthusiasm, passion and commitment, especially her involvement in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). After only meeting her once briefly at a press conference about NICA I knew I wanted to talk with her more in depth because her gusto was infectious… A few short emails later and she had eagerly agreed to meet me for lunch and discuss her current role within NICA as, Utah League Director.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stepping down at SaltCycle: My resignation letter

The “power” of being an administrator was given to me in January 2011 by former SaltCycle admin, Davey Davis. His departure to Palestine would have left a void in the organization and responsibilities of overseeing. So, he asked me (or maybe I asked him) to fill it. Ever since then, due to some great contributions from members of the cycling community, an amazing growth in comments, opinions, contributors and encouragement from individuals and organizations, the website and blog have grown incredibly.
To cite statistical information, SaltCycle saw anywhere from 2500 to 3000 visitors per month in 2010. Since the revamp of the website, a little bit of advertising, word of mouth, and great community collaboration and unity, the visitors to the website have nearly tripled, peaking at around 9200 in the month of July 2011 alone.

As the blog has grown, so has the demand of my scholastic, ecclesiastic, work-related, and extra-curricular responsibilities and I’ve realized I can no longer completely fulfill the task of being the administrator of SaltCycle. I did what I felt was best for the blog this year and feel great about its success, but it’s time for someone else to breath new life into it. I want nothing more than to see our community grow, and I believe that constant attention to and creativity on the website will provide this growth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kopchovsky Cat unofficial results and photo montage - UPDATED (with more pictures)

Pictured are the results of today's all-girls alleycat
(L to R, Top to Bottom).
Please let me know if you are in order.

It was a fine day for racing. Jessica Gilmore won the Kopchovsky All-Girls alleycat, which began with a brutal climb from Memory Grove Park up to 11th Ave and Virginia. The finishers were tired but happy. Emily asked me, "Are they [alleycats] this fun even with the boys?" Well of course!

I will allow someone else who raced to tell you about their experience. It was a very fun time. More pictures after the break.

South Carolina man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter of Utah cyclist


Matthew Burke (center) with his
wife, Bonnie, and daughter,
Anna (right)
(Photo: Paul Burke)
Today, Peg McEntee of the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the man who collided with and killed a Utah cyclist on October 1, 2010, has pleaded guilty in a plea deal for involuntary manslaughter, an offense with a maximum term of 5 years in prison. This sentence was suspended, replaced with a shorter 90 day term – to be served on weekends. For Matthew Burke’s family, it was “some measure of justice”.


According to the Tribune article,

Burke was riding with 14 friends on a country road when Johnson hit him and four others. One rider said he’d heard “a very loud rumble” — apparently when Johnson revved his engine — an instant before impact. Another said she thought he was going to buzz the group, a common irritant by annoyed drivers.

U of U implements first (but not last) bicycle-only path

Signs like this along the U's HPER mall mark the
beginning and entrances to the campus'
first bicycle-only path. (Photo: Tom Millar)

As part of the University of Utah's initiative through Commuter Services, Facilities, and Sustainability to become a more bicycle-friendly campus (and a significant achievement toward the University's goal to achieve League of American Bicyclists Bronze Bicycle-Friendly Univeristy status by 2016), the first ever bicycle-only path on campus, and perhaps in the city, was recently paved and signed in the HPER mall corridor.

The newly paved asphalt, blacktop path runs parallel to the formerly high speed, longboard-attracting HPER mall which was a speedway during campus rush hour. In an effort to improve mobility and separate uses to ensure safer travel, the University's path is one of a kind. And it promises not to be the last.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Environmentalists and Hummer Owners

There was a trend a few years ago where environmentalists were vandalizing Hummers, primarily via spray paint, in order to show their disapproval of SUVs and those who would own a vehicle that is flagrantly unnecessary in most circumstances. This strategy did two things:

(1) Owners of vandalized Hummers got new Hummers (If they can afford a
Hummer then they can afford insurance).

(2) Hummer owners, who previously might have had at least a green bent, became resentful of environmentalists and the environmental movement. 


Some people are never going to be even the slightest bit ecocentric, just as there will always be motorists who honk at cyclists as though it’s a bodily function or those that are at extreme risk for a middle finger, repeated use injury.

Riding down Emigration the other day, I followed a cyclist who, after being forced to brake slightly, appeared obligated to flip off the motorist who may or may not have intentionally cut this rider off. Regardless of intention, being on the business end of the middle finger is a black mark in the mind of that motorist who may now be less willing to slow down or give an adequate cushion of safety to the next cyclist. This is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The marginalized-cyclist mentality, and the associated negative behavior, does little to improve our standing in the road usage hierarchy. For our own sake, there is a vital need to begin giving motorists the respect they deserve. Our positive interactions are a far more influential tool in encouraging the responsible behaviors in which we would like motorists to engage.

This begs the question, how do we both exert our rights to the road while not alienating the users who are larger, more ubiquitous and often entitled? Which cyclist behaviors are beneficial in creating an attitude among motorists that cyclists belong?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mayor Becker leads international group on bike tour

A few short weeks away from this year's mayoral election, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker took time out to lead a bike tour through Salt Lake City.  On Friday, forty-two participants from the American Collegiate Schools of Planning Annual Conference (hosted this year in Salt Lake City) joined Mayor Becker to explore the bikeways and sights of Downtown and Central City.

Mayor Becker breaking in Salt Lake City's green shared lanes in 2009.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Contender Bicycles hosts CX clinic at Sugar House Park

Every Thursday till November 4th, from 5:30 - 7:30, racers from Contender Bicycles will put on cyclocross clinic in which participants will learn how to hone their skills on the obstacles that will be present on that Saturday's CX course for the UTCX CX series.

For example, this week's clinic (pictured at right) dealt with smoothly running through hurdles and mounting your bike in one fluid motion. Saturday's CX race at Wheeler Farm will have quite a few hurdles every lap, so this kind of practice was the hot topic for the evening at last night's clinic.

More info for registration, flyers, maps, and explanations from the Contender website, here:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Utah cyclocross season begins with a bang

Thanks to Grizzly Adam for an amazing video of the third race of the season at Ft. Buenaventura in Ogden. If you're interested, check out www.utcx.com for more info on races, registration and how to have tons of fun this fall.



UTCX3 - Fort Buenaventura from Grizzly Adam on Vimeo.

Monday, October 10, 2011

BBC News report may explain the recent rise in car-bicycle accidents and fatalities

Kate Dailey, writing for BBC News Magazine begins her piece this way, "As American cities attempt to make their streets more bicycle friendly, some tensions arise between cyclists and motorists." Dailey continues, reporting on the recent explosion of bikeway infrastructure in the United States and the open hostility by motorists that it may be causing. Read the full article below and then leave your opinion in the comments section on how you think this article applies to us in Salt Lake City:



Are bicycles and cars in a war for American streets?



Friday, October 7, 2011

Women-Only bike race in one week, men still needed for volunteer positions

The Kopchovsky women-only alleycat (bike race) will be only the
second all-women urban bike race in recent history in Salt Lake City

How to keep riding in Salt Lake, even during the winter

Mayor Corroon (left) and Mayor Becker brave the rain
during 2011's Mayors' Bike to Work Day
(Photo: Deseret News)
Hey everyone. How's life? Aren't bikes great? Isn't this weather awesome? I love layering up and feeling cool (pun absolutely intended) while riding a bike. Just put on another layer or two, make sure you're waterproof if it's raining and get out there!

Since there has been a lot of talk about winter riding and preparation and the necessary tools, clothes, parts, and maintenance for good, happy winter riding and commuting on the SaltCycle facebook forum page, we thought that we would post a few of those suggestions here on the blog.

A little scared about riding a bike this winter in Salt Lake City,
or in Utah in general? Well read on, and take courage, for you have knowledgeable friends who are here to help.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kopchovsky Cat! Women only alleycat

Just a quick reminder, the Kopchovsky Cat is coming right up on October 15th, be sure to come out either as a (female) racer or a (male) volunteer. The race will be challenging but not unduly so, and can be treated as a femme throwing-of-the-gauntlet for you competitive types or a chance to have a fun-scrabble scavenger hunt around the city. So check it:

Saturday, October 15 · 2:00pm
Memory Grove, Salt Lake
Bring your bikes, your bags, $5, and your most courageous temperaments.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Salt Lake County to host "Share the Canyon" event Saturday, 10/8



View of Salt Lake City from Emigration Canyon
(source: emigrationcanyon.com)
Salt Lake County and Colin Smith are hosting this year's "Share The Canyon" event this Saturday in Emigration Canyon, including very cheap breakfast at Ruth's Diner for those who ride their bikes. See past the jump for more info. Below is a description of the event from host organization, Salt Lake County:

"Join us in a community event to assess issues between motorists and bicycles and what Utah traffic law says regarding the unique conditions of this road. We’ll also consider pedestrians, joggers, equestrians, roller skiers and all users of the road.  Ruth’s Diner will be ordering a special to-go breakfast burrito with coff ee and juice. There will be games and prizes, so bring the kids! All users of Emigration Canyon Road are encouraged to attend."

The event will be this Saturday, October 8th, from 9:00am to 12:00pm. The primary location will be Camp Kostopulos, at 4180 E. Emigration Canyon Road.  To volunteer at the event, contact the Salt Lake County Mayor's Office at 801-468-2500. 

For more information, visit: www.bicycle.slco.org
 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Salva Rguez left Spain nearly six years ago to travel the world by bicycle. He has cycled through Asia, Africa, and now America, and is having a small reception here in SLC this Tuesday, October 4th at 7 PM! Lou Melini will be hosting Salva's reception and travel discussion at his home at 3348 Louise Ave (2920 S).  [The intersection of 3300 E and 3300 S is under repair, but 3300 East (Valley St) can be accessed by cutting through the Smith's parking lot. The 3300 S bus is also an option.]  Donations to Salva's cause will be greatly appreciated!