|Right before the ride.|
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
|A view from my coffee cup.|
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
|Brooks B-18 Lady from the Unique Collection.|
Sunday, December 16, 2012
|City cyclists at CityScape.|
|The vintage Dahon owner, unmasked!|
|Jeremy, that other Planner Guy.|
|Tim, and stylish bike-riding companion - they rode a tandem.|
|The Mayor, the Bike Coordinator and the Bake Lady.|
Okay, back to His Honor, the Mayor: here he is with his helmet and sporty cruiser. Mayor said Councilman Simplot is also a big fan of bike infrastructure so I hope to meet him on the next ride. I wonder if the Mayor or the Councilman have ever considered organizing a community meeting/group ride focused on downtown bicycling initiative and infrastructure? They could also do neighborhood meet-and-greets by bicycle. My former boss, recently re-elected Louisville Metro 8th District Councilman Tom Owen, carves out a few weeks of every summer doing just that thing and they are very popular with constituents. Tom doesn't take a police escort with him, by the way. He doesn't even take his Legislative Aide; it's that low-key.
|Winter fun in a desert!|
I haven't spend much time in NYC but is their outdoor skating rink shielded from pedestrian view? I don't think it is. Anyway, I think it's a bit of a missed opportunity because the rink was packed with people who looked like they were having a great time. Why hide all that fun?
|Thumbs up for cops on bikes!|
|Is it really from Maine?|
|It was soooo yum!|
Can there possibly be a better way to end a bike ride than a lobster roll? These would probably be great after ice skating, too.
Monday, December 10, 2012
|Fashion and bicycles at The Duce.|
|Not my drink but it looks really good.|
We hung out for drinks and chatting for about 20 minutes. Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this place. It's going to take much more than 20 minutes so I will be back.
Mayor Stanton is clearly an extrovert, which is probably a desirable characteristic since nearly everybody want to bend your ear. And snap your picture. He rolls with both.
And shabby chic, which I've loved since my late twenties since it's all about recycle and reuse.
|This interaction drew quite a crowd.|
|Bob, possibly living out a childhood fantasy. It suits him, though.|
I got the chance to get a close up shot of the Boogud bamboo bike, referred to in the previous post. The bamboo is from a farm down in Tucson but the bikes are manufactured locally. Bob's been interested in bamboo bikes for a while now and plans to sign up with Derrick Loud to build one. For every bike sold Boogud's partners in Kenyan will put a child in that country confined to a wheelchair achieve mobility. Check out their website to learn more!
Finally, a cycle chic moment with Dorina Bustamante! I love how she cycles carrying a little clutch bag!
Sunday, December 9, 2012
|Me, a few minutes after we arrived.|
|City Bike Czar, Joe Perez, in the safety green t, explains the route and the rules of engagement before we head out. Mayor Stanton is to the right of the shot holding a helmet.|
|The Lycra clad and people in street clothes proved we can all get along.|
|John is one of the owners of Tempe's Bicycle Cellar, and hopes to bring a facility to downtown|
Phoenix. I see a really cool post on this subject sometime in the future.
|One of two journalism types interviewing participants. I don't think they went along for the ride.|
|Guys, talking bike gear. I've learned to stay out of these guy bonding moments.|
|High visibility footwear!|
|Some chic cyclists.|
|I just love Marines!|
|Lining up to hit the streets.|
|Just what is he thinking about?|
|Catherine, aka "The Cookie Bitch" delives daily baked items to |
the Royal Coffee Bar, which I will visit very soon.
|A guy on a bamboo bike! More on him later.|
|Bob and I were near the end of the pack. A bike cop was just to the left of us. You |
can see a cop on a motorcycle several feet ahead of us.
|Clever positioning of the headlight, too.|
Speaking of safety, one of our fellow riders attached video camera to the front and rear of his bike. His cameras seem to be equal part safety measure and creative endeavor. I've been reading a lot about frustrated cyclists arming their bikes with camera to record potential bad driver behavior but I'd never met anyone who did it.
|Besides, the cameras, isn't this bike so pretty?|
Friday, December 7, 2012
|Look closely for my neatly folded Brompton; recognize the Dahon?|
|Cousin Angie and partner in crime.|
The big takeaway for me was that the challenges of extending and enhancing bicycle infrastructure in Phoenix is not only that of funding but of overcoming physical barriers imposed by decades of city planning that prioritized car culture. In most cases, current and forward planning does not allow physically, financially or politically to rip out the in-place infrastructure, built up over some 40 - 50 years (probably much more) and put in the outstanding bike and pedestrian infrastructure that alt transportation advocates and readers of this and other bicycle blogs dream of. Especially when we live in a country (and certainly in Arizona) where ideas like community, collective responsibility and public good are viewed a threat to freedom and liberty and the path to community tyranny. The fact is that a lot of people love their cars and don't think a bicycle is a viable transportation option.
For those of you who have not had the good fortune of being a public employee, news of a "road diet" or the elimination of curbside parking spaces for the installation of almost always are followed by angry phone calls and emails from business and property owners worried the financial impact of change, and people convinced the government is trying to take away their cars. Occasionally, they result in threats of violence against elected officials and city staff. I am not joking; this was going on long before the "Tea Party" crowd started shouting down politial candidates at public forums.
So what's a transportation cyclist who values locking up to an elegant bike corral next to her office more than shelling out $500 a year to park five blocks away to do? Well, Grasshopper, consider the art of patience. Portland and Copenhagen weren't built in a day - and let's face it, they had the advantage of a much more collectivist-minded populace. We need to be attending and participating in public meetings and forums on transportation and community planning. City and county websites post the dates and staff really do want your input. Probably a dozen people showed up for last night's Bicycle Initiative Subcommittee meeting, and that's not including staff and committee members. In the world of public meetings, that's actually pretty good attendance. And people asked questions and gave comment. What else can you do? Invite other potentially interested people to attend. I invited three, and two of them showed up. What else can you do? Well, you, and I, can send emails to your elected officials and let them know how and why you support bike lanes and other alternative transit options. I tend to focus on dollars and cents issues. Biking saves me money. When we bike to the Suns games, the money we save in parking is spent at nearby restaurants after the game. The money I save on gas supports local artists, boutique owners and coffee shops. Finally, we can all be a constant P.R. campaign for city cycling. Without fail, people notice how happy I look on my bike. Someone, mostly perfect strangers, remarks on that very thing to me nearly every day. A couple of times a week, including last night after the meeting while Angie and I were waiting for the train with our bikes, someone asks me about how I like getting around by bike. Love it, I say. It's usually the best part of my day. And it's true. I'll never know how many seeds I've planted in the last four years but I certain that there have been one or two.
So, I'm done with my little soap box for the moment. Just thought I'd share some thoughts from last night. I learned Mayor Greg Stanton is leading a community bike ride on Saturday, December 8 beginning at 4 p.m. I have a policy paper to work on but I might just go if I have the time. The plan is to stop at the Phoenix Museum of Art and end at Indian School Road.. Helmets are required but hey, there will be food carts!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Bob asked me to do a little office party Christmas shopping for him today, to which I happily agreed as it would give me a chance to visit a few places on Roosevelt Row that I've been curious about. As it happened several murals were also nearby so I decided to take a few extra minutes to pedal around and capture them for your viewing pleasure.
I'll just add that when you're in a car it's much harder to just stop and admire them, what with having to hunt around for a place to park and all.
As you can see traveling by bike allows the view a more up-close and personal art experience.
Maybe I'll get the chance to mention that tomorrow afternoon when I attend the City of Phoenix's Bicycle Initiative Subcommittee meeting. It's open to the public so if you are a Valley resident and would like to let your representatives (both elected and appointed) know that you think bike lanes, multi-use paths, bike corrals and other helpful bike infrastructure are worthwhile use of funds, please come on down.
The meeting (rescheduled from November) is from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St., downtown Phoenix. The purpose of the meeting is to get Valley residents on bikes "by making biking safer, easier and more comfortable." Sounds like a great idea to me.
|Hope to see you at City Hall tomorrow night!|