Fuelin’ Up on Gas-Free Friday

From Peet’s Coffee & Tea’s Notes on Facebook:

This morning more than 200 cyclists converged outside the Ferry Building in support of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Gas- Free Friday campaign. The goal is to encourage more people to try just one car trip by bicycle one day a week.

Cyclists “fueled-up” at the SFBC’s Energizer Station with a fresh cup of Peet’s, Full-Bloom 12-Grain Bars (sold at Peet’s) and numerous other snacks donated by Bay Area companies. A special thanks to the Ferry Building for being our host, Full Bloom for their generous contribution and to the SFBC for organizing this very important campaign! To learn more about the SF Bicycle Coalition, visit www.sfbike.org.

More about Gas-Free Fridays
Peet’s Notes @ Facebook

Beefy Wheels = Good Wheels

I’m not sure whether it’s cutbacks in road maintenance because of the tough economy, or if it’s just the wear-and-tear of a long summer combined with litter from restless teenage drivers, but the road conditions in my neck of the woods have been terrible lately. The gutters are filled with broken glass and nails, and it seems as if there’s a pothole around every blind corner. Thank goodness for 36-spoke wheels and beefy tires!

Five Things to Ponder

We usually try to focus on the positive aspects of riding bicycles for transportation, but once in a while it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves about the hefty price the U.S. continues to pay for our addiction to fossil fuel (and the automobile).

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group (CDC)
  • In 2008, 37,261 motor vehicle occupants and nonoccupants were killed in crashes. In the same year, 2,346,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes. (NHTSA)
  • Mobile sources are the largest contributors to air toxics (pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health or environmental effects) and they also contribute significantly to greenhouse emissions. (USEPA)
  • In 2000, the 75 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.6 billion vehicle-hours of delay, resulting in 5.7 billion gallons in wasted fuel and $67.5 billion in lost productivity, or about 0.7% of the nation’s GDP. The congestion cost for the Los Angeles area alone was estimated at $9.325 billion. (TTI)
  • In 2008, the U.S. imported 3,580,694,000 barrels of crude oil, with 1,981,725,000 coming from OPEC sources. For that year, the U.S. imported $439 billion worth of energy-related petroleum products. (EIA, NCSE)

Feel free to post additional factoids in the comments below.

Practical Bike Buyer’s Guide

Peter Eland of Velo Vision has written a new book on the basics of transportational cycling called the Practical Bike Buyer’s Guide. From the Velo Vision website:

The idea of the book is provide a beginner-friendly guide to all of the bikes, accessories and techniques which make practical cycling a pleasure. So it’s a guide to all of the sorts of bikes and cycling which we cover in Velo Vision…

The book grew out of the ‘Velo Vision Buyer’s Guides’ which we published in Issues 8 to 25 of the magazine, each covering a different type of bike or component. These were of course all re-written and updated for the book.

The Practical Bike Buyer’s Guide will be especially useful, I think, to people who may have recently discovered the magazine but who feel Velo Vision assumes rather a lot in terms of background knowledge. This book covers all the basics, discussing the pros and cons of all sorts of different cycling solutions to various transport needs, and taking a practical look at the basics of important systems such as brakes and gearing. For each type of bike, for example folding bikes or workbikes, the various models available on the UK market are shown and described, with contact details and approximate prices.

Because the book is on sale (initially at least) mainly in the UK, we’ve biased the actual buying advice to UK sources, and given UK prices and contact details. But significant machines or components without official distribution in the UK are included too.

Most cycling buyer’s guides stick to the mainstream options of racer, tourer, MTB or city bike. PBBG goes beyond that for people who want to do more by bike. Topics include:

  • Folding bikes for easy travel and storage
  • Family bikes for tandem togetherness and/or child transport
  • Workbikes for carrying large loads
  • Special needs bikes which offer mobility to riders of all abilities
  • Urban bikes for reliable, thief-resistant transport
  • Touring bikes for amazing journeys
  • Recumbents for fun and comfort over any distance

The Practical Bike Buyer’s Guide measures 196 x 136 x 20mm, has 232 full colour pages, and is a paperback. Recommended retail price in the UK is $11.99.

The book should be available through all good bookshops – if it’s not in stock, they can order it (ISBN13: 9781905005857). It’s also available through online resellers. You can also buy it direct from us at Velo Vision – this is particularly appreciated for financial reasons :-)

I haven’t had an opportunity to read the book yet, but a friend has a copy and he says it’s excellent. I hope to obtain a copy and provide a review here at some point.

Full chapter preview at Issuu
Velo Vision

AAA Bicycle Roadside Service

The American Automobile Association is now offering roadside service for bicyclists in Oregon and Idaho. No actual mechanical assistance will be provided, but a stranded bicyclist will be entitled to a lift to anywhere within a 25-mile radius.

  • Bicycle transportation service is provided for the rider whose bicycle is disabled.
  • Service will be provided to any point of safety within a 25-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown.
  • Service applies to all bicycles and tandems, including rental bicycles.
  • Service is only available within the AAA Oregon/Idaho coverage area, which includes Oregon and the southern 34 counties of Idaho.

The program is a first for AAA, and if successful, it may be extended to other areas in the country. The Better World Club has offered nationwide roadside assistance for bicyclists since 2003.

AAA Oregon

The Path Less Pedaled

Those of you who follow the cycling blogs are probably aware of Russ Roca, the “Eco-Friendly Bicycling Photographer“. Russ is a professional photographer who has worked car-free in Southern California for a number of years, “living outside the lines” and getting to-and-from his photo sessions on his Bilenky cargo bike. This year, Russ and his partner Laura Crawford decided to give up most of their worldly possessions and hit the road on their touring bikes hoping to connect with like-minded individuals and document their experiences on their blog, The Path Less Pedaled:

The Path Less Pedaled is an exploration of what it means to live outside the lines. In March 2009, Laura Crawford and Russ Roca made the decision to drop out of the status quo and find others around the world who have done the same. Paring down their lives to just what will fit on two bicycles, Laura and Russ are embarking on an extended bike tour throughout the US and beyond — with the goal of connecting with and collecting the stories of people who followed a calling to live their lives in unique ways. Through photos, interviews, sketches, hand-bound books, and an extensive web presence, Laura (an art jewelry maker) and Russ (a photographer) will compile example after example of lives less ordinary — independent artisans and makers, small business proprietors, community activists and more.

Russ and Laura are presently leaving their home of Long Beach, CA for Portland, OR where they’ll kick-off their adventure with an event sponsored by Bike Portland (read about it here). If you’re in the area on Monday 8/3, drop by the event and give them a grand send-off.

The Path Less Pedaled

Civia Hyland Price Reduction

As you’ve probably already figured out, we’re pretty high on Civia bikes around here. The Hyland we reviewed earlier this year was such a hit that we made one a permanent part of our stable. Plus, the Loring we reviewed a couple of months ago is currently on our short list for when we get around to adding another dedicated cargo hauler. We love the fact that Civia has done so much to lift production utility bikes out of the realm of the mundane with their innovative thinking and gorgeous designs. We’re starting to see other manufacturers move in this direction, but Civia was ahead of the curve and they continue to lead.

Speaking of Civia, we were just informed that the retail price on some Hyland models was reduced; this is good news if you were thinking about one of these beauties but you were on the fence due to the price. From PJ @ Civia:

We will be moving to a new spec on the Hyland Alfine and with that will come a new MSRP of $1675!  At this point we need to move through the inventory of Alfine bikes we currently have so we will be marking all existing bikes down to $1675 as well. This is an amazing deal on the current spec and is available until we sell through. We will have more details on the new spec soon so stay tuned.

Also our new Hyland Drop-Bar builds are now available for $1575 and the Hyland 3-speed model will now retail for $1475.

Our dealers have all been informed of this pricing change so if you have been thinking about getting a Hyland now is a great time to get in and pick one up.

Civia Cycles

© 2011 EcoVelo™