City bikes gaining popularity with (celebrity) parents and kids

There are a lot of things to like in this photo: New Orleans, single speed city bikes, urban cycling, many (3!) kids in tow, and the fact that Brad Pitt seems to have adopted my habit of sticking ones tongue out when hauling a heavy load. Most of all I’m encouraged that cycling culture can get a bit of a plug from the celebrities of the day.

Too bad about the helmets though. Maybe the Pitt-Jolies can use a bit of their celebri-clout to engender more stylish helmets in the future. Links back to where the story came from (thanks Reno-Rambler!). I blame the Ibob folks (background reading on the Bobs) for pointing me in the right direction.



Maui Rides

The wet, windy, and stormy weather shortened most of our Maui rides and made the trip to Hana and back downright brutal at times, especially when climbing. The road conditions make for tense riding because it’s slick and unpredictable. Where you’d normally slice through the s-curves, with body english and power to the pedals, the red clay-slicked road means your riding with the bike upright and very carefully – clay buildup is also a problem. Riding Maui in the rain, beats 40 degrees in Seattle, but it’s still rain.

clay_roads.jpg

The traffic is the usual in Maui – lots of it – with the addition of construction everywhere. Once you get about 5 miles out from a town, it’s no problem, but gridlock on an island, during a vacation is especially annoying. So far we’ve ridden

  • Haiku to Hana, Highway 360 – 70 miles, 3:15 (one way), tough climbing in the wind, rain, and slick conditions.
  • Napili to the Bread Stand, Highway 30 – 35 miles, 3:00, constantly up and down, torrential downpour and clay runoff during the ride back. Mr. Steepy is always hard.
  • Kihei to Napili, Highway 31 – Highway riding, mostly flat, but wind means small chain ring for most of it. During a 5 mile stretch, I was going 28 mph without pedaling, with a tailwind.
  • Around Napili and Lahaina, Highway 30 – the condo loop, about 45 minutes on the highway and trafficked roads.

For those readers into training and racing, I ride Maui for base miles at sub threshold. You can certainly go harder, but the steady, swirling winds and undulating terrain are very good to ride a heart rate tempo. It’s also surprising how hard a gentle climb is when facing the trade winds. Also, considering the wind and terrain, I ride time and not miles.

Quick Stats

  • 20 hours
  • 16,000 ft of climbing
  • 148 avg heart rate

Modal Geared

The Modal in geared mode performed as expected – very well. It’s built for performance riding and adept at climbing, cornering, and all-day riding. The Ti frame is comfortable, precise, and controlled with minimal road vibration and shock (as you’d expect from a quality Ti frame, built by Bill Davidson). I’ll adjust the sliders for more road clearance and swap cassettes to a 27 next time.



Should Seattle license cyclists?

The PI’s got an interesting article on licensing cyclists. It’s a popular and perennial idea – it’s even come up in the Washington Legislature repeatedly in recent years. The concept generally seems to be that cyclists should pay to use roads.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to figure out that licensing cyclists to pay for roads isn’t a good idea. It generally isn’t taken too seriously in Olympia and elsewhere, the PI Sound Off section notwithstanding. The PI has actually hosted editorials on the facts of how cyclists fund roads in the past.

The PI article does a pretty good job of showing just what a bad idea this is, although you really have to read the whole article to get a full picture.

One (this one anyway) might wonder why licensing cyclists is such an attractive idea. There are several underlying thoughts: That cyclists are not paying for the roads like drivers are; that a licensing program would generate revenue to pay for additional facilities; that licenses would allow more enforcement; and would legitimize bikes on the roads.

An earlier article in the PI goes a long way in explaining away the first concern. Here’s a quote from the abstract of Whose Roads which is cited in the article

Although motorist user fees (fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees) fund most highway expenses, funding for local roads (the roads pedestrians and cyclists use most) originates mainly from general taxes. Since bicycling and walking impose lower roadway costs than motorized modes, people who rely primarily on nonmotorized modes tend to overpay their fair share of roadway costs and subsidize motorists.

The PI article yesterday by Ms. Galloway goes a long way to refute the second point. The idea that a licensing program would help pay for anything beyond administering the licensing program simply isn’t borne out in the real world. Even if a licensing program were to pay for itself entirely it would significantly increase the cost of cycling financially and logistically. What would the benefit of this additional cost to cyclists be?

The implied answer is that licensing allows additional enforcement – if you can license something you can revoke the granted licenses. That is, if you have an enforcement arm. If licensing programs don’t generate enough revenue for funding infrastructure why would they make enough for additional enforcement? More importantly, why is a licensing program needed for enforcement in the first place? There are plenty of enforceable laws to go around if we had sufficient interest in enforcing them.

Wiping these reasons out of the way leaves us with the single best reason for having a licensing program: to legitimize cyclists as users of the road. It’s pretty sad that this is the best reason because it’s almost no reason at all – cyclists have paid for road usage (see above), and have a legal right to the roads, why should we need any additional stamp or endorsement to use them?

Regardless of the reality of the situation there’s little doubt that a few people think of cyclists as illegitimate road users. I think the best outcome of a licensing program would be curing these folks of these thoughts, although even this goal is wildly optimistic. It’d be much cheaper, easier, and more effective to just ignore these folks and keep riding bikes.



Bike Hugger @ Maui

In our 21st episode of the Huggacast, we ride Maui – to the world’s best banana bread stand, Hana, and everywhere else.

Download now for iTunes, your iPod, and iPhone

Notes



Wrapping Paper

Carrying wrapping paper to the condo to wrap some presents from Santa …

wrapping_paper.jpg

Enjoy the Holidays all – the bike hugging will continue in 08 – thanks for reading and being part of bike culture with us.



Page 1049 of 1246 pages ‹ First  < 1047 1048 1049 1050 1051 >  Last › | Archives

0 Comments

To comment

Or with us.





Advertise here

About this Entry

Find more recent content on our home page and archives.

About Bike Hugger