Friday, December 31, 2010

We have (I mean, have had) a logo

There's finally a logo for this blog!...Actually, the stickers have been circulating around town for nearly several months now and the image has been on a number of event fliers, but now it's finally appearing here:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

(I drew this up w/ a pen).

One reason why this blog existed without a logo for about a year is because it was hard to settle on an image that represented a cyclist w/ mic control. I also wanted something that helped explain the name of this blog which can be confusing because it phonetically looks like it should be pronounced 'bick control,' but actually is pronounced 'bike control.' It's a play on mic control (as in microphone control) which is pronounced 'mike control,' rather than 'mick control.'

Prolly Is Not Probably said it best: 'Bic Control (think mic control)...'

Speaking of Prolly, the above image is a hand-drawing of a picture that Prolly took of Tom Mosher at the Mid-West Mayhem:

Tom Mosher has bike control and mic control. He makes shit happen. Besides being one of the founders of and being an insanely talented cyclist and self-described 'trick nerd' (see Death Pedal 1 but especially his section in The Revival), Tom is a DIY crafter to the fullest effect:

Tom and his friend Tony Mammoliti founded, run, and hand-make all products for their DIY , Toronto-based, start-up company YNOT Cycle. They specialize in pedal straps, backpacks, messenger bags, hip packs, u-lock holsters, and more. (The website isn't fully updated w/ all the bags they've made so far. For those, peep their former blog site). Support companies (w/ high-quality product) run by the kids!

So there it is--The logo for Bic Control: Bicyclists on the Mic.

Free stickers soon.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New San Diego Reader Article Does SD Bike Movement Justice

Today, the San Diego Reader published a front-page story that does the San Diego bike movement justice.

It seems that the weekly publication that once employed a man--Josh Board--who admitted to assaulting a cyclist by hitting him/her w/ a rock, then premeditated vehicular assault against cyclists and lying in court to cover it up, has come along way.

San Diego Reader writer Bill Manson has provided an accurate representation of San Diego's progressive bike world. Mr. Manson rode Halloween Critical Mass, interviewed SANDAG Bike Planner Chris Kluth, bike shops owners from Coronado to La Mesa to South Park, SD Bike Polo, and lawyers who represent cyclists in crashes. Mr. Manson even addressed the issue of violence committed against cyclists by some motorists, intentional attacks on cyclists, distracted drivers who kill cyclists, road rage, and seems to truly sympathize w/ the bike life struggle on roads dominated by motorists.

And it looks like Mr. Hanson found his way over to Bic Control at some point. Note the 9th paragraph down in the first section that reads:

Back in 2006, SANDAG (the San Diego Association of Governments) estimated that only .03 percent (point three of one percent) of San Diego county commuters were bike commuters. Compare that to Copenhagen, where nearly 40 percent bike to work. Then again, in ’06, Critical Mass attracted only about 35 riders… So something’s happening, folks.

Compare that to the Bic Control mission statement excerpt which reads:

According to SANDAG’s 2006 Transportation Model data, only .3 (point three)% of commuters in SD were bike commuters. Something is seriously wrong here. One of the purposes of this blog is to find out why. While it’s true that ridership in SD was pathetic in 2006, this bike community has transformed into one of the most progressive communities in USA. For ex., Critical Mass has grown from 35 people in October ‘05 to 1,300 people in July ‘09.

Mr. Hanson didn't site where it is that he got those numbers. I'm assuming it's from the Bic Control mission statement. I'm actually honored that he chose to focus his article's thesis around the mission statement of this blog. Mr. Hanson didn't just regurgitate info. To find out why the SD bike world is the way it is, Mr. Hanson dug deep--he rode rides for himself, tried things that weren't normal for him such as playing bike polo, raced down the strand on a high-end road bike, ventured across dangerous sections of SD w/ respected bike planners, interviewed many, and probably (based on the above comparison) read this blog.

Cheers to Mr. Hanson for great journalism. And check this cover!:

So good. Nice ode to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington who originally came up w/ the "Carlane" image. It'd be perfect if it said 'These roads are our roads, too.'

The original article is available here: here

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tomorrow @ 3pm: Ride to the first Sharrow in the City of SD & Malcolm X Library

12/29 UPDATE: This ride is being rescheduled to a non-stormy day. TBD.

An impromptu bike ride is being organized to visit the new sharrow--"bikes allowed full lane" marking--on Imperial Avenue in South East San Diego. This is the first sharrow in the entire City of San Diego! We hope it's a sign of things to come.

(Photo by Kathy Keehan, Executive Director of the Bike Coalition).

The SD bike community is ready for more sharrows--especially on 30th St., which is a plan being supported by businesses on 30th, the local community planning group, residents, the Executive Director of the Bike Coalition, and our City of SD City Councilmember.

The sharrow on Imperial Ave. is a bit of a mystery. Many bike advocates in San Diego expected the first sharrow to be on 30th--where there was and continues to be serious community demand and political will. It's unclear how much community demand there was/is for the Imperial Ave. sharrow or why the City chose this particular section to debut something that bike advocates in South Park, North Park, and Uptown area have long demanded.

Nevertheless, the Imperial Ave. sharrow is a good sign that traffic engineers in the the City are ready to install this clever lane-marking which reaffirms CVC 21200--cyclists, like motorists, are allowed to use the full lane when they decide it's safe to do so.

Check it out for yourself. Join the ride heading there tomorrow (Wednesday). Meet at 3pm at Rebecca's Coffeeshop at 30th & Juniper.

In addition to visiting the sharrow, the ride will also be visiting the Malcolm X Library, a block down the street.

(Illustration by Charles Lilly for The Autobiography of Malcolm X book cover).

(Muhammad Ali being photographed by his philosophical adviser Malcolm X after defeating Sonny Liston to become the world champ of his weight class. Photo by Bob Gomel).

By the way, I originally thought that sociologist Steven Spitzer coined the expression 'social dynamite,' until I read Malcolm X use it in his autobiography which I am currently reading. That expression--one of my favorites--has been used to define the mission statement of Bic Control (located to your right) since this blog started 18 months and 230 entries ago. Malcolm X had masterful mic control.

Bike SD: Does San Diego have a bicycle culture?

Editor's note: Sam Ollinger at Bike San Diego has written a fantastic essay about the state of bicycling in SD that has left me compelled to share. She, undoubtedly, has mic control:

Does San Diego have a bicycle culture?

Posted By Sam Ollinger on December 27, 2010

A few weeks ago, two students from the University of Copenhagen made their way over to San Diego to study the city’s bicycle culture. These women, Sidsel Birk Hjuler and Anne Grethe Pabst, are working on their Masters degree with the thesis covering what a bicycle culture means and how a city can go about attaining it.

They were comparing and contrasting a European city (Barcelona) with an American city (San Diego) to determine if there were tangible characteristics that contributed toward an identifiable bicycle culture. Both cities have a similar climate, a similar sized population and historically have had very low bicycle modal shares, or at least Barcelona did until very recently.

I spent a better part of two weeks with them riding around San Diego showing them what we did have, and what we didn’t. And the list of what San Diego didn’t have was exceedingly shocking to our Danish visitors. From the lack of continuous bike lanes and the lack of interconnected bike infrastructure to the lack of bicycle parking at destinations they finally began to see why San Diego wasn’t quite the bicycling mecca that Copenhagen or Amsterdam is.

The City of San Diego provided Hjuler and Pabst with a forum to present how Copenhagen came to be what it is along with their findings about Barcelona. In both places, the biggest source of change came from a strong political will to change the transportation dynamics.

Copenhagen Signals

Photo of cyclists in Copenhagen by Mikael Colville-Andersen

Copenhagen made a change in transportation policies after the 1973 Oil Crisis by instituting Car Free Sundays which gave its citizens a chance to reconnect with their community outside of an automobile. Then the city continued to create bicycle friendly infrastructure and promote bicycling as a viable, financially savvy mode of transportation. The city is now on track to be carbon-free by 2050.

A more recent example of change can be seen in Barcelona. The city of Barcelona implemented a bicycle sharing service that grew by over 180,000 subscribers in two years. By integrating the bicycle share service with the public transit service, residents now could go further distances by being multi-modal.

Meanwhile, here in San Diego we’ve got missing bike lanes that then turn into sharrows with no warning or announcement or even fanfare:

Imperial Ave Sharrow 3

Imperial Ave Sharrow. Photo by Kathy Keehan, SDCBC Executive Director.

Riding up various mesas and into the valley and alongside speeding traffic with no protective barrier, our Danish visitors began to understand why the bicycle modal share in San Diego is so abysmally low. But where there were no bicycle infrastructure to be found, they did find a very warm and welcoming bicycle community.

Both the students were able to take part in the Tweed Ride and wondered why Copenhagen didn’t have such a fun activity that involved a dressing up to go on a bicycle ride. During their stay, Both Hjuler and Pabst were able to talk to many planners, advocates, and other movers and shakers in the bicycle community. What they found was that San Diego was indeed in the midst of a change. While San Diego appears to lack the the political will to institute change in its transportation policy, the Danes found many citizens who were taking control to demand change for both themselves and the future citizens of this city. As a city that came of age during the automobile boom, there is much that will change in the coming years to ensure that transportation dollars aren’t unfairly being diverted to a single mode of transportation.

With American cities like Portland and New York leading the way in showing what a city of the future looks like, it only makes sense for San Diego to follow suit rather than continuing to subscribe to an old dying transportation paradigm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tomorrow, Tuesday Nite: Bike Coalition End of the Year Party @ BLAH

The SD County Bicycle Coalition is organizing an end of the year party set to take place tomorrow, Tuesday night at the bike-friendly Blind Lady Ale House. From 5pm on. Goldsprints by Richie Ditta. All cyclists are encouraged to attend.

More about Blind Lady here (click on pic):

Monday, December 13, 2010

Awarewolfs Full Moon Ride, Dec. 21

After the Thunderfuck Cross Cat throw your hoodie on and join the Awarewolfs on their ride which goes down every full moon.

Tuesday Dec. 21 is gonna go off. Can't wait.

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Saturday Nite: Acamonchi Art Show in North Park

(Acamonchi in his North Park studio. Photo by Laurie Cat Bennett).

My boy Gerardo "Acamonchi" never stops. Whether he's mashing down 30th St. to Pokez or gittin' drrrty w/ his unmatched screen-print skills, dude's always makin' moves. Despite being constantly busy, Gerardo can't help but dedicate his brain power to local bike advocacy ideas and issues. Gerardo is one of the most passionate bike advocates in the city. He's always coming up w/ great new ideas and, importantly, he follows through on them. (More on that in an interview coming soon).

In the meantime, come support and check out his art show tomorrow night, Saturday, Dec. 11 at Ray At Night in North Park:

If you're not familiar w/ Acamonchi's work, here's a taste. He painted this custom frame for Fraser Cycles:

So fresh and so clean.