Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spokane trip

I've read some bicycling blogs lately where the writers recently visited Bellingham, WA or Spokane,WA. I've visited both places recently (I am posting this from Spokane, in fact).

Here are some pics I snapped in Spokane this weekend. Not many, I admit, but they struck me as interesting, showing some of the pro-bike attitude of what I (erroneously) thought was a pickups and asphalt kind of town.

In the river park, with paths for bicycles and pedestrians to share, it was interesting to see this kind of trail marking, though there were plenty of "no bikes" or "no pedestrians" signs around town too.

Sort of a different approach than my city is considering.

Auntie's Books had a window display of cycling books for Bike to Work month. :)

I did see this ghost bike in Spokane but wasn't close by to take a photo. A reminder for everyone to watch out for cyclists.

Monday, May 24, 2010

bike to work pics

Our bike station from 2009...

It was set-up along Burnett Linear Park in Downtown Renton, in the South Renton Neighborhood. Weather was good, we had the support of a local bike shop and coffee shop, the local neighborhood dropped by, and we had a pretty good turn out.

For 2010, here's our pics (I'm in yellow)...

We had fewer people (a few dozen) this year - it was overcast and rainy for part of the morning, we didn't advertise as much this time, had coffee, but didn't get the set-up with the bike shop dialed in like we could have. We've decided to get better organized for 2011 and do it up even more. Last year too, I had a lot of freebies to distribute - this year, I did a raffle for one gift basket of about $150 worth of commuter gear.

pushing through to the end

It's been a weird month, mainly since I've just been busy and having a schedule that's pretty full-up so I really have to plan ahead with where I am going, whether I'm riding, driving, walking, etc. A challenge to be sure, but not too daunting.

I'll post some bike station pics when I can from our BTW station.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BTW Day 2010 is tomorrow, May 21st!

We'll have a commuter station at the corner of 3rd and Burnett in DT Renton. We'll have a prize drawing for about $150 worth of commuter gear and some free giveaways too, like trail maps and some free reflective stickers.

Ride safe, have fun! (And hope for good weather!)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

bikes as advertising/displays

Two (actually three, but only two pictured) businesses in my city (Renton) use bicycles as part of their displays. The places are all eateries (two pubs, one cupcake and coffee place) which have nothing to do with bicycles, well, one (not pictured) has a Fat Tire brewing cruiser bike made by Electra(?), so that is related to beer at least.

Common Ground Coffee and Cupcakes has a yellow (Felt, I think) and black taxi-themed cruiser. They lock it up to the rack they put out in front of their shop.

Irish pub, a Terrible Beauty, just mounted a JC Higgins English (racer?) style bike to the wall of the stairs to the second floor of the building. Classic 3-speed Bendix hub and full fenders and a basket make for an attractive display.

Dog and Pony ale house is the third place I've been that has the bike on display behind the bar.

And we cannot forget kinetic bike art at Go Deli!

Shoot me some pics of businesses in your city which use bikes as part of a store display or what-not... they can be bike shops or other establishments. E-mail me at thesoftwarewiz AT yahoo DOT com. Be sure to provide your name for credit, the location (city, state, country), and the shop or establishment featured in the photo and any other details known.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

new team name: "Spokin' Hot"

That's SPOKE, not SPOCK.

The "Rotelle di Velocita" Bike to Work challenge team name has long fallen to history. Largely for two reasons:
1) It is a hard name to remember - or pronounce.
2) I'm tired of re-learning how to make the "A" with the accent on it.

I've considered whether this blog would get more hits if it had a simpler URL or name. Something like:
Commuting by Bike in the PNW
Seattle Bicycle Commuting
Stories from the Saddle

But I am afraid these might all be taken, just like if you look up AAA [type of business] in the phone book (or online directory). You'll probably find a whole mess of them, none of which are the one you're actually trying to find.

So, we'll see what happens.

flattered, I guess

OK. Spoke cards was not an original idea by any stretch when I came up with the idea to do a run of them last year for our D-I-Y bike commute station in our town. There's two wedged into the spokes of the Green Bike pictured below at our bike stop last year.

But, spoke cards were enough out of the mainstream that most cyclists, especially roadies [who didn't want to clutter up their more-expensive-than-my-monthly-mortgage-and-made-out-of-a-material-which-is-only-found-in-stealth-bombers bikes], and even more so were the noobs who hadn't been on a bike since their vacation to VA Beach three years ago who considered the act of riding *in the street* and spending the workday with "helmet hair" to be edgy and counter-culture enough.


I cannot help but feel a mix of slight annoyance (because we were going to do this again this year) and a slight bit of pleasure that the promoters of the region's BTW month activities have made up spoke cards for this year's event.

In fact, the principal reason I stopped working on developing a spoke card this year was due to me not wanting to sit at a commuter stop and hear 300x in three hours: "Hey, you guys did spoke cards too? Just like the Bike Club did this year!"

Still. Big props for them doing this. This year, we'll have to come up with something edgy, like a bag of poo you lash onto your seat post. Then next year, everyone will want one.

[Note: I might be a little bit peeved about this - more so than I normally would be - because our award-winning film contest entry was also somewhat "hacked" - concept was snatched - by someone recently to enter a different contest. I would have happily assisted them with producing their film, and done so without compensation if I was extended proper credit.]

Friday, May 7, 2010

you're killin' me, CBC!

I am so eager to start entering my miles (about 40 this week) for the Bike to Work Month Commute Challenge - but it is frustrating, as this first week of the contest, the computer system at CBC has been non-functioning!

[5-12-2010 EDIT: the web site is now back up and running. Log-in NOW to participate if it is not too late!]

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I suppose this is a natural progression for someone who's making their way northward through the world of bicycling. First came the bike shorts and jacket cut for cycling. Second came the Disneyland Electric Light Parade of LEDs attached to everything and anything they could be zip-tied to. Then came SPD pedals and specific shoes and "technical wear".

Now, I have advanced to the next level. Powered up. And like powering up for any video game, you start over at the bottom rung when you advance to that next higher level, ready to get the snot beat out of you until you learn a handful of new moves or find a secret power-up.

What have I done, you might ask? I've signed up for track racing class at Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond, WA.

Photo by Rick Takagi.

Monday, May 3, 2010

blog I found: Bike NOPA

I found this blog today (highlighted on Blogger) about bicycling and livability in the North Panhandle Neighborhood (NOPA) of San Francisco.


Check out the new series on women who bike.

Cool beans!

I'd heard recently there is a strong correlation between a community's (perceived or real) cycling safety and the percentage of women cyclists. The safer it is to ride, the more women will ride. (If I can find where I read this, I'll post it).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

bikes at WWU

I'll try to share more pics from my trip to WWU ("Western" in Bellingham, WA) for a Washington State Ridesharing Organization (WSRO a.k.a. "Whizz-row") workshop.

Here's one of bike racks in front of the student union building. So many NICE bikes and very few rattle can "bombed" ten speeds like you might find at UW or community colleges in Seattle.

And here's a parking garage with some style in DT Bellingham. It employs a French technique to fool the eye into believing there is more there than a mere ugly parking garage.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

the story gets worse

The Mayor of our city, while paying a visit to the site on the Cedar River Trail, a local multi-use-trail (a.k.a. "MUT"), where an 83 year-old woman was collided with by a cyclist, and later died of her injuries, himself got run into by a cyclist.

Please - ride safe and smart cyclists! Maybe we need a grassroots self-policing group of concerned cyclists to monitor trails and urge others to abide by trail safety rules.