World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami and provides bicycles to villagers to make it easier for children to get to school, help adults carry more goods to market, and provide an easier method for health-care workers to travel to villages where they educate the people on disease prevention, such as HIV/AIDS.
Ride for World Health (R4WH) is a national, nonprofit organization which advocates for improvements in the quality and accessibility of global healthcare. Each year, by utilizing a cross-country bike ride as a vehicle of communication, R4WH addresses this issue through political advocacy, fundraising and its unique Coast-to-Coast Lecture Series.
A KC staffer announced: "We are happy to announce that new King County Bicycling Guidemaps have been printed and are available free of charge at all King County Libraries. The new Bicycling Guidemap content has also been posted on the internet and is available publicly at www.kingcounty.gov/bike . The new online map allows users to pan and zoom into their area of interest and print."
"If you wish to receive hard copies of our map, please send me your mailing address, and I will mail them to you directly."
And the magic snail mail address is as follows: King County Department of Transportation Roads Services Division, CIP and Planning Section 201 South Jackson Street MS: KSC-TR-0317 Seattle, WA 98104-3856
Don't overlook the disclaimer, however, at the bottom of the map... "Disclaimer: This map is intended to aid bicyclists in choosing routes between locations. This map is not in any way warranty or guarantee as to the stability of roadway conditions or the fitness of listed routes for bicycling. Many of the routes identified on this map cross or run along public roads which are exposed to wear and tear and degradation due to weather, traffic, and other environmental concerns. Riders should remain alert as routes may contain pavement rutting, cracks, bumps, expansion joints, natural or other debris on pavement surfaces, and vegetation which may encroach on routes or portions thereof. Riders should also remain alert for areas of visual impairment and other irregularities that may impact rider and motorist ability to see each other or potential road hazards. The chance that one may come into an area of visual impairment or a route irregularity warrants special care on the part of route users.
Government resources limit the capacity to address conditions and irregularities like those described above. Accordingly, route users should maintain a vigilant lookout for these conditions and irregularities. Route users should always ride with care for their own safety and that of other users. King County does not assume liability for bicyclists travelling upon routes shown in this map. Safe route selection includes consideration of motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic and roadway or route conditions".
I remember when I was about 12 years old, I had a Schwinn (1984) Chro-mo Predator (chromed) BMX bike with 5-spoke composite BMX wheels on order, saved via lay-away. I hated waiting then, and I hate waiting now. Especially when I can close my eyes and imagine holding it in my hands, polishing the frame, and going places far removed from my cul-de-sac.
Nearly 25 years since does not lessen that feeling.
This week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: "People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized," he said. "We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities."
Photo by Jeffrey Martin courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists.
According to their web site (operated by Cascade Bicycle Club) "bikewise is a place to learn about and report bike crashes, hazards, and thefts. By sharing our experiences with each other, and with researchers and relevant agencies, we aim to make biking safer and more fun. You can help by adding your reports."
I am sure anyone who's familiar with Google Maps has now figured out or heard they have added bicycle routing to their functionality. For those who are not familiar with Google Maps, it offers a variety of geographic capabilities via the web including but not limited to finding addresses, trip routing, and Street View, which allows the user to see what they would find if they were viewing the address location and vicinity from the street - a virtual drive-by, if you will.
In specific, the trial route I plotted was shorter than what I would have instinctively chosen, however, it was on much heavier-traveled roads which have much higher speeds, roads you do not want to have any sort of mechanical failure on. Also, one stretch in specific does not have any bicycle facilities, such as a bike lane, it even lacks a wide shoulder.
Google appears accepting of the fact this feature has its kinks and encourages people to contact them to help amend their first attempt at providing bicycle routing functionality, and for taking this bold step, I give them kudos.
The JIMI is see-though plastic wallet, or more accurately, as described by the manufacturer's web site: "Jimi™ wallet is a really handy and stylish way to carry your essentials and free yourself from the clutter and bulk of the traditional wallet/pocket book. It's compact, water resistant, and translucent - as much at home in a hipster's pocket, a busy Mom's diaper bag or around the neck of an exec. breezing through airport security!"
You can easily see the cash through the wallet and also the photo ID too. [I guess I should have blurred out the ID photo too, as I looked kinda porky back then].
When open, you can see where the money slides into a clip and the cards slide behind a card keeper - you can store up to 4 IDs or credit/debit cards in there.
The loop on the end is for either fitting to a neck lanyard or I suppose you could attach a key ring to it too.
The reason I wanted one of these was I was tired of either fishing for dollars or IDs in my rear jersey or jacket pocket [I may have lost a debit card this way] and also the alternative I had been using was a Ziploc baggie [to keep things gathered together and also keep them dry] which while it does serve a purpose, makes you look a little impoverished at the local Safeway when you stop in to buy a pick-me-up post-ride. So I'd say my reasons for buying this have been two-thirds practicality and one-third style.
The only issue I have is in today's society, there are too many cards! Grocery cards, credit cards, wholesale club warehouse cards, bike club cards, frequent flier cards, etc. I have a "home" wallet I keep most things in and generally travel only with the essentials because of this reason.
So, we'll see how this trial goes. I principally want to see: 1) how dry it keeps the contents, 2) how long the hinges will last, and 3) how much can be stuffed into it. More or less, conduct a real-world commute test for a few weeks or a month and then do a Myth Busters style assault on this wallet to see what it takes for it to fail.
[Note: I am not affiliated with JIMI and not receiving any compensation for this blog post. I paid for my wallet out-of-pocket.]
[Also note: I coincidentally live in the city where Jimi the world-famous rock-n-roll guitarist is buried. Though there is likely no affiliation between the wallet makers and the musician's legacy.]
Saturday morning, I rode a portion of the Cedar River Trail (connects Renton, WA and Maple Valley, WA) with a friend for about 28 miles total ride. We were on the trail at 7:00 am and back to our starting point within about 2 hours.
The Cedar River Trail is largely an asphalt paved trail and fairly level grade, though it is a mild uphill climb heading east-bound towards the city of Maple Valley.
A typical view of the Cedar River Trail...
Hazards include: stop signs forcing trail users to stop for a number of driveways along the route, a few signalized intersections, occasional (seasonal) mossy slime or frost in shady spots, other cyclists (some group rides come through here), walkers with iPods, and dog walkers. Note: near where the trail goes under interstate 405, there is a fenced off-leash dog park, so it is an intense area for dog walkers through here. The trail has a posted 15mph speed limit.
I should note a number of those "hazards" are present at any number of regional trails or at shared facilities throughout the country and not necessarily unique to the Cedar River Trail.
Amenities: there are bathrooms near the end of the trail near the Renton Boeing Plant and the mouth of the Cedar River where it meets Lake Washington. There are also bathrooms at the Renton library or Renton Community Center (near the portion which travels under interstate 405). There are bathrooms (port-a-potties) near the dog park and a bit further down the trail in Riverbend(unsure if this is what it is called...?) park.