Friday, May 28, 2010

SANDAG Approves $435 Million for Bike Infrastructure!

Earlier today the San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors approved $435 million to follow through on bike infrastructure commitments described in the SANDAG Bike Plan! A portion of the funding will also go to fund education programs and encouragement events like Ciclovias! Wow!

For San Diego political standards, this is absolutely huge.

Congratulations to SANDAG Associate Regional Bike Planner Chris Kluth who I've been told was instrumental in making this happen.

Thanks to Bike Coalition Executive Director Kathy Keehan for the info.

Details to follow as they emerge.

Tonite!: SD's Most Popular, Free Bicycling Tradition

San Diego Critical Mass, the most popular free cycling tradition in SD history, is goin' down tonite.

Last month a new SD bike/ped advocacy group called Streets For People--whose primary goal is to bring a ciclovia event to SD--was successful at leading the 1,000+ person Critical Mass ride down down 30th street last month in lieu of the 30th On 30th event. Key 30th On 30th event organizers aim to make the event more bike and people friendly and have been in communication w/ Streets For People. The reason for leading CM down 30th last month was to fuse core principles of SFP, CM, and 30th On 30th together--that being the idea that some streets are better without constant flow of automobile traffic.

Before SFP intervened w/ CM last month the ride had gone straight into downtown for about 5 months in a row. SFP helped break the downtown-first trend and helped lead CM back into the center-city/mid-city area.

We'll see what happens tonite!

The ride meets at the Big Fountain at Balboa Park at 7pm, as per usual.

SD Bike Advocates & Planners on KPBS' Mic

Two of my favorite bike advocates in SD, Kathy Keehan (Executive Director of the SD County Bike Coalitin) and Chris Kluth (Associate Regional Bike Planner, San Diego Association of Governments) were on KPBS radio last week talking about Bike To Work Day, bike plans in SD county, bike infrastructure, the socio-political nature of taking the lane, and of course the benefits of bicycling.

To hear the recording of the interview or read the transcript click here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tomorrow: Bike Away From Work Day

Tomorrow, Friday May 21 is nationally-recognized Bike To Work Day. This is a day for you.

I agree that everyday should be bike to work day, but BTW Day is rad because it offers extra incentives for people to ride. For example, there will be over 50 pit stops w/ free energy bars, drinks and water throughout San Diego county.

SANDAG, who funds SD BTW Day, has put together an updated list of all the pit stops in the county, available here.

Recommended pit stops include the following:

-Adams Ave. Bike Shop who will be offering free minor repairs from (2606 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights)

-Thomas Bike Shop who will be offering a full-on breakfast (1635 1/2 Fern St. in South Park)

-Clean Transportation Committee for the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership (aka Sustain San Diego) shared w/ Move San Diego (5th Ave. & University Ave. in Hillcrest). The Clean Transportation Committee is a new group working to improve conditions for zero-emission forms of transportation in SD.

-Velo Cult Bike Shop (Juniper St. and Fern St. in the heart of South Park).

All pit stops will be open from 6am to 9am.

There are two shops in SD organizing "bike away from work pit/party stops;" Adams Ave. (from 3pm to 7pm) and Velo Cult (from 4pm to 7pm). Velo Cult will have free beer so make moves!

This is your day. Claim it...and everyday thereafter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Historical NYC Messenger Photos Surface

James Moore, an NYC bike messenger during the 1980s-early 90s, recently published an excellent series of photographs depicting messenger life from that era. These photos, published on Urban Cyclist Worldwide Cyclehawk Network, are a window into a past and help piece together the identity and evolution of urban cycling:

(James Moore, himself, in this picture which he titled 'Catching A Wave.' This picture makes bicycles look clean and futuristic while making cars look dirty and clunky. Which mode looks like an outdated form of technology? Excellent photo for that very reason).

(Damn! Peep that lean. One speed: GO! James Moore is so dialed in here).

(James Moore and his crew at the 1st Messenger Championships in Berlin, Germany).

('DC Boys,' according to James Moore. Bringin' that east coast city hustle tip to Berlin at the Messenger Championships in 1993.).

(Oh shit! So sick. Gotta love the black tape on the solid yellow drop bars).

(Known as 'The X Messengers.' Check out that gear!--Knee pads, elbow pads, forearm pads, and the motocross chest protector. Imagine if the law required you to wear that much gear. That would suck. I'm sure bike ridership would drop by at least half of what it is today if that law were introduced nationally next month. There's a good chance that an anti-cyclist advocate or politician in Australia is working on such a law right now. (For those that don't know, AUS has a mandatory helmet law for ALL cyclists, even adults! After the law was introduced, bike ridership plummeted, riding bikes became more deadly, and the likeliness of dying from a head injury on a bicycle actually went UP!)).

(Straight chillin' at Washington Square Park. Definitely one of my favorite summer spots in the world. Classy stuff. Speaking of which, I want that dude's red and blue fanny pack).

James Moore and his crew (sorry, I don't know the names of the other riders) were far ahead of the curve. I wonder if any of the messengers back then predicted that urban and fixed gear cycling would be as big as it is today.

If anyone has any links to anymore messenger photos from this era, please do share.

Thanks to Prolly Is Not Probably for the link to this killer collection. Check out more of James Moore's photos at Urban Cyclist Network.

Discussion or Action?

Wow! That was the longest gap in updates ever! Sorry about that.

Lately I've been more into doing bike advocacy than blogging about it. Discussion is great, but sometimes you gotta put your money where your mouth is and just take action. Instead of writing about this group, or that plan, or an event or an idea, someone needs to step up and make it happen, in person. So, why not be that person?

At this exact moment, we're at the cusp of an amazing pro-bike and urban re-planning livable streets movement taking place across the U.S.. There are more people taking action on those issues than ever before! More and more people are starting bike 'zines, films, blogs, advocacy groups, encouraging their friends to ride, writing books, crafting, building frames, writing letters to their mayors, winning federal 'livable streets research' funding, pushing their local municipalities and encouraging them to improve conditions for cyclists, and most importantly taking to the streets via two wheels in historical numbers.

If you're one of those people, I applaud you.

Mic control (which, academically speaking, translates into 'persuasive discourse founded in research or real-life experience') will always be essential for any movement to effectively take place. But for an idea to become reality, someone must act on it...With that said, I'm going to start spending more time taking action rather than reporting on action.

Behind the scenes of this blog, I'm working on a number of exciting local bike advocacy projects right now that are not associated w/ this blog. (If you want to know more shoot me an email). But one project, which I'm extremely excited for, will be associated w/ this blog. That event is set to take place at The Che Cafe in July. Details to come.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tonite! Japanther & Jehovas Fitness at Che Cafe!

It's not too often that I blog about shows on here. But tonite's show warrants an entry.

Japanther and Jehovas Fitness will be playing at The Che Cafe tonite!

There are only a few bands in the U.S. that know how to have as much fun and facilitate fun as well as Brooklyn-based Japanther.

(Japanther singer/drummer, Ian Vanek, in Long Beach, CA. Photo by Chanty Cheryl).

(A flier--by Nicholas in Vienna--for a Japanther show in Vienna).

Japanther band mates, Matt Reilly and Ian, love to ride. At their live shows, they often dedicate songs to cyclists. Their 2007 album, "Skuffed Up My Huffy," is probably my single most listened-to album. While Japanther's love for riding is a plus, their music stands on its own.

Playing before Japanther will be Jehovas Fitness. As I wrote last year, I don't think there is a single musician in San Diego who has as much mic control as Jehovas Fitness singer/songwriter/spoken word artist, Danny Munoz. Danny has played numerous bike-related benefit shows at the Bike Kitchen in addition to playing Bike Prom '08 and '09.

(Danny Munoz has mic control. Photo by Daryl Rysdyk, taken at the Che Cafe).

Plus, The Preteens, the two-piece who played the 21+ premiere of The Revival last year, will also be playing tonite. The Preteens are also daily cyclists who enjoying frequenting San Diego Critical Mass.

Pull out your magnifying glass to peep this miniature flier for tonite's show at the Che Cafe located on the southern portion of the UCSD main campus: