Saturday, August 30, 2008

C'ville Bike & Tri Swap & Sale Sept 6th + 7th

The 13th annual "stir the pot" will be held at 8am Saturday- sell your stuff, get some cool new old gear or new new gear. It's all there. Come early for the good stuff, or sleep in for junk.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Road Shwag?

Has anyone found any cool stuff on their morning or evening commute? I am sure there's plenty of interesting items littering the roads of Charlottesville. I found a hat this morning. It was rain soaked and grungy and I certainly will not put it on my dome until it gets a thorough laundering, but I will post a pick once it's fit for human consumption again.

What have you found on your commute to/from work (that was worth keeping)?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


alright y'all,
send in your mustache photos. we all know Marty is the coolest but, can you top him?
let's see 'em

send to:

Monday, August 18, 2008


Hopefully a lot of the folks reading this blog have heard something about the "MCP" project. If you haven't here's the translation:

MeadowCreek Parkway (aka MCP)

This project has been around in the Charlottesville/Albemarle region for decades. Tonight, by a 3-2 vote, Charlottesville's City Council gave the green light to move forward with the final land acquisition in order to build a significant portion of the project. This portion will cut through McIntire Park. Since this is a cycling blog, I'll keep this post relevant to cycling.

The project calls for the development of a two-lane parkway beginning at Route 250 and McIntire Road and extending through the park past Melbourne Road to Rio Road. The plans call for pedestrian and bicycle facilities to be built along with the roadway.

Tonight, the city council gave the green light to move forward with the development of this project. As a cyclist there are reasons you should be concerned about the project. As a citizen of Charlottesville there are even more reasons to be concerned. First, as a cyclist this project is yet another example of how most of our public dollars get spent on infrastructure supporting motorized transport. Fortunately we've made a little progress as a society to the point that some of that money at least gets allocated to support basic bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. But, if you look at the percentage of money spent on supporting motorized transport, only a very small slice of the pie goes to non-motorized transport. Second, as a citizen of Charlottesville we should all be questioning this project based on its merits as a transportation project. Basically, it has little merit in terms of transportation. It is essentially an economic development project that everyone wants to call a transportation project. It solves no significant transportation problems in the city or the county according to any studies that I have seen. Yet, most of the city council supports the project because it will help downtown business. Thus, it is an "economic development" project masquerading as a transportation project.

I realize that this may not be directly related to cycling but as a cyclist you should be concerned. The more that we allow our governments to build unnecessary road projects that serve to support urban sprawl and do little to address real transportation problems, the fewer resources we will have to dedicate to improving our existing infrastructure to make it usable by all modes of transportation. If you have an interest in cycling as a mode of transportation beyond sport you should consider paying some attention to this issue and others like it. There are numerous ways that you can support cycling in Charlottesville. One way is to get involved in the public participation process for transportation projects.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Electric bikes

Today I encountered an news article on the use of electric bikes for commuting, which would seem to be an interesting way to make bicycling as a way of commuting more accessible to more people. After all, with an electric bike, it might be that much easier to get up those hills with your child(ren) and groceries in tow, or to even commute longer distances. (Or, to help you keep up with your riding buddies who are much faster than you.)

Since I don't really know much about electric bicycles, I pursued a few of the links to sites which promote electric bikes, in particular NYCeWheels, and was fascinated with the variety of models out there. If one is not interested in purchasing a whole bike, there are bicycle conversion kits, which can convert your existing bike (any type, apparently) into an electric bike. The one system that I read about was the BionX bike motor system. I thought the video below about the BionX motor system, though slightly cheesy, was fascinating. There's even footage of a guy riding his newly motorized Trek mountain bike off-road.

Also, for you weight weenies out there, don't worry!
"Depending on the system you order, the Bionx kit will add as little as 15 lbs to your bike."

I also ended up at the site for BikeLid "secure" bike parking systems. It's being demonstrated in NYC in the next couple weekends during the NYC's Saturday Summer Streets events in August (involves at least closing some streets to automobile traffic, allowing more comfortable bike commuting to newer riders).

I'm not sure what I think of the system in terms of its claims for superior security. I'm sure it protects bicycles from the elements, but takes up lots of space. But, it seems to me that the weakest link in the system is that it relies on the security of the user's lock. I'm pretty sure that bike thieves are pretty familiar with how to get around most lock systems these days.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Bikes vs. Cars

There is an interesting story on the VeloNews website about bikes, cars and road rage.

This issue has been around for a long time, but is getting national press given the increase in commuters.

I'm sure most everyone reading this blog has a few stories about confrontations with cars.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Moving Targets", decent NYT article

In retrospect to G-Money's latest post,

I was catching up on my news this week since I've have miraculously fallen into 2 weeks off from work: a decent article in the New York Times concerning the rise in cycling in the commuter realm of the transportation world. Gives both sides of the story, though, slightly pointed to favor the cyclists (of course, certain parts make the non-cyclists look a little... puerile). Interesting, no matter which perspective.


Monday, August 11, 2008

More bicylists on the road -- good news?

Guest Editorial

I'm not sure how broad the readership is on this blog, but hey, if I'm preaching to the choir so be it. I've been wanting to get some discussion going and this blog seems like a good forum for it. Ok, so ....

Anecdotally, I think most people have seen that there are more bicyclists on the roads these days. Here in Charlottesville it is very apparent due to the small population and geographic area, but across the country most cities are reporting substantial increases in bicycling as a mode of transportation. This is the good news. And, from what I have read, most reasonable people see this as a positive development.

There are however, a significant number of people that see bicyclists as an irritation. This is the bad news. My sense is that as the number of cyclists on the road increases, driver frustration will increase as well. There are some reasons to be worried about this as the combination of inexperienced cyclists and hostile (even homicidal) motorists comes to a boil.

This is my first post to this blog (or to any blog for that matter), so I intend to tread lightly here. But, I'm curious, how other Cville cyclists are feeling these days out on the road on their bikes. Are the drivers the same as usual or have you noticed things getting better or things getting worse? My own experience has been a little worse here in Cville. Inattentive and hostile drivers. What about other folks? Leave your observations in the comments section.

Its an interesting time for cycling in general. This summer a young woman was killed by a garbage truck while riding legally in a bike lane in Washington, DC in the Dupont Circle area. The reaction was impressive. There were vigils, news reports, and an ongoing investigation. My sense is that cycling has reached a new segment of people in big cities that previously had ignored cycling as a hobbie or sport. These people are professionals with influence and they are getting behind cycling as a legitimate mode of transportation. I would like to see more of that here in Charlottesville. If you have thoughts on how to broaden the reach of cycling here in this community beyond enthusiasts please also leave your thoughts.

Ride safe.

Friday, August 1, 2008


...i'm gone to the beach to check out the cursers. this week, the blog's all up to you!!

and send more mustache photos!!