Archive for August, 2008

At risk of sounding redundant, this is a reminder about the Farmer’s Market ride tomorrow morning. We’ll meet at Tempe Beach Park at 7 am, getting underway by 7:10. Hopefully the weather will be more favorable!

Another reminder on what to bring: method for carrying groceries (trailer/panniers/etc), cash, sunscreen, water…

I was also recently reminded that the Phoenix Permaculture Guild holds workshops at the Farmer’s Market–check their website for details on their upcoming workshops.

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Due to a small number of responses and a change in plans for yours truly, we are going to postpone the Farmer’s Market Ride until next Saturday, August 30. We will meet at Tempe Beach Park at 7 am to ride 9 miles over to the market, and we’ll plan to return by around 9:30. Again, it will be a leisurely pace of about 12 mph. I hope to see you there!

Also, stay tuned for more information about upcoming events, including plans for this year’s Tour de Fat (October 11) and another membership meeting!

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As promised, we’re going to take a ride to the Downtown Phoenix Farmer’s Market this Saturday, August 23. However, I haven’t settled on a time for the ride yet. If you want to come, and you have a preference, leave a note in the comments before Thursday, and I’ll finalize the time and will announce it on Friday morning. Some things to keep in mind:

1. We’ll travel at a comfortable pace of around 12 mph, which means the ride will take about an hour (it’s 9 miles plus stoplights).

2. The Farmer’s Market opens at 8, and to get the best produce, it pays to get there early (so the earliest we’d set out would be 7 am, leaving from Tempe Beach Park).

3. It’s still the summer, so it will get hot on the ride back. We’ll plan on spending about 45 minutes at the Market, so the total trip will take around 3 hours.

4. Useful things to bring: A method for carrying groceries (panniers/trailer/backpack), cash (they will take credit cards, but they’re a pain), plenty of water for the ride there and back, and sunscreen.

5. Some of the things you could get at the Market: fresh seasonal vegetables from local farms, delicious snacks by local chefs, eggs, handmade pasta, tortillas, sandwich bread, hummus and pita chips, Queen Creek Olive Oil, fancy chocolate, crafts…

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The Bike Commuters website has a very nice profile of Tempe bicycle commuter Paul Emerson. Paul works at ASU and commutes up and down College Ave. daily. I don’t know Paul personally, but as someone who also rode College daily to ASU, I definitely recognize him and his nice collection of Surlys – including a sweet Xtracycle!

Ride on Paul!

Check out Paul’s profile HERE

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Tom kindly brought this super-cool new program to our attention. Check out the posting (with lots o’ cool photos) at Inhabitat.com

Ikea rental bikes

(photo from inhabitat.com)

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Bicycling has been in the news quite a lot lately, for many reasons, and the press has been both positive and negative. On the one hand, much of the coverage has been about violent events that have occurred during recent Critical Mass rides: at a recent CM in Seattle, a driver plowed through a bunch of bicyclists, hitting several, but was then stopped when angry riders slashed his tires (as reported here). Meanwhile, a police officer in New York City tackled a bicyclist during a CM ride, sparking lots of outrage (as reported here).

On the other hand, many people are switching from cars to bicycles in the wake of higher gas prices and raised social pressures to rely on greener forms of transportation. As this happens, the burden is on us, the experienced and enthusiastic cyclists, to keep bicycling fun and safe and to dispel myths about it.

I’ve come across two resources in the past couple of days that speak to these goals. The first is the website of John Pucher: you might remember my posting of a lecture that he gave a while back. The nice thing about Pucher’s work is that he has done comprehensive research to figure out what American cities need to do to continue promoting bicycling. Although his publications are primarily written for an academic audience, they contain a lot of valuable, detailed information that’s vital for arguing for change (see, for example, the article titled, “Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany”).

The second resource that I came across is a nice argument debunking what the author calls the Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist. One of the most interesting parts deals with the issue of cyclists running red lights. There’s an idea being tested out by Idaho, and possibly California, to change the rules of the road to allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs, in light of the fact that signals are designed for cars and not bicycles.

In any case, let’s keep at it, folks.

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