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Archive for April, 2012

So… aside from being ‘mildly’ obsessed with bicycles and placemaking, I, along with many others work hard every day trying to make our roads safe and use-able for ALL modes of transportation.  Roads aren’t owned by cars even though many drivers these days feel this sense of entitlement when it comes to OUR roads.

It’s really amazing that from riding my bike everyday, the more ‘in your face’ things become.  All the rules broken by drivers AND bicycle riders.  I was recently at my friends birthday party and another friend and I were talking and she said, ‘I was waiting a red light and I got really frustrated b/c I saw a couple bike riders just blow through the red light.’  Then she says, ‘but then on my way home, I saw a bike rider waiting at the red light and thought, now there’s a bike rider who knows how to follow the rules.’  She then says that she noticed it was my bike and it was me.  Hearing this made me so happy.  It made me realize that there ARE people out there watching and do respect when rules are followed especially when so many of us are demanding the same kind of respect.  I recently saw two police officers on their bikes actually riding in the road.  I caught up to them and said, ‘thank you for actually riding in the road instead of riding on the sidewalk.’  Most police officers on bikes I see, ride on the sidewalk.  How can we begin to educate drivers about what we as bike riders are legally allowed to do when most police officers don’t even know???

Anyways, this blog is about the’ forgotten pedestrian.’  Recently, I feel like I’m just so in tune when I see pedestrians space be over taken by oblivious, non-respectful drivers.  Many cities have formed ‘Pedestrian Advisory Committees’ which I feel this city desperately needs.  Drivers are in such hurries these days that when pedestrians have the right of way, they are still honked at b/c drivers actually need to come to a complete stop and wait for them to cross.  I see pedestrians speed walk through cross-walks which is upsetting b/c one shouldn’t feel the need to rush in order to NOT be hit by a car who can’t patiently wait 6-7 seconds.  Drivers pull up to red lights and completely over take the cross walk which you’ll see in some pictures below.  I captured a mail person who parked their mail truck in the bicycle lane that I use to get to two of my schools in the Hilltop.

I’ve been capturing these photos to display the lack of thought and the lack of respect that drivers have towards others on the roads.  Is there a ‘fix?’  Well, I’m not sure about that but a few things can help:

1.  More people being vocal about their RIGHT to have shared and safe space on the roads

2.  Re-designed roads.  So many of our roads need road dieted.  Streets like Broad St. and Nationwide St. are streets that needs to be slowed down.  There needs to be wide and well-designed pedestrian refuges in the middle of these streets in case pedestrians can’t make it across in time.  The current ‘pedestrian’ refuge on E. Nationwide Blvd….  IS A JOKE!

3.  Placemaking designs that create staying environments.  You can’t just place benches in some dead space and expect people to utilize it and think you’re doing something beneficial for the community.  It frustrates me – having engineers who know NOTHING about placemaking and smart ‘green’ design, design these spaces that you’ll see below.

This driver is well over half way INTO the pedestrians right of way.

Yes, this cross-walk is nice and wide but it doesn’t give this driver any right to wait inside it.

ALL of these cars have a red light and look where they are.  They are through the cross walk and in the middle of the street creating no through way for any cars with green lights to make turns.  All for what??  This chaos provides them NO BENEFIT.

These two drivers are in the middle of the street!  You can see the cross walk…BEHIND them!  A potential safety hazard but they obviously don’t seem concerned.

 

Good ol’ mail truck parked in the bicycle lane.  The person wasn’t in there or else when I rode passed, I would have said something.  I’m pretty vocal about  my rights 🙂

This is suppose to be a little ‘green pocket park.’  Its near the corner of Town and Parsons and its just a joke.  Do you see the trash can immediately next to one of the benches?  There’s nothing ‘welcoming’ about this ‘pocket park’ at all.  There’s no color, it looks like the benches were just placed there, and there’s actually MORE concrete than greenery.  And, do you see any kind of pedestrian lighting??

 

There’s just absolutely NOTHING enjoyable about this dead space.  Do you wanna hang out here?  This is a perfect example of a POORLY designed and implemented ‘pocket park.’  Our city planners, whomever designed this needs some serious continuing education on placemaking.

This blog post today isn’t meant to be a ‘bitch’ fest.  It’s meant to bring acknowledgment that we as pedestrians, bike riders, etc. need to be vocal and let drivers know there ARE more types of transport using our roads.  The next time you get in your car and drive, be MINDFUL of where you rest at reds.  Think about a time when you’ve been almost hit by a car turning right at a red light.  Think about when the light turns green and you have the right of way to cross and a car speeds up and turns so they don’t have to wait for you to finish crossing.  All of these things that we may not realize but when it happens, you should feel compelled to be vocal about it.  Take back your space as a pedestrian.  The drivers destination should NOT be more important than our safety.

 

 

 

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More and more women are showing off their femininity when riding their bikes rather than the racer perspective.   We need more and more of that.

My friend Will took some really chic photos of his wife and neighbor riding this past weekend.  Thanks, Will.

Nothing like riding the new Main St. Bridge with the city as the backdrop.

I don’t know this woman however, she’s beautiful and so is her gorgeous, accessorized bicycle…that I want badly!  You can’t tell me that if more women dressed this way, the stigma of ‘sweat’ and ‘recreation’ would be drop off at the waist side and ‘feminine’ and ‘acceptance’ WOULD finally happen.  More and more women here are riding and dressing for their destination which is what we need to continue to reinforce.  I hope this woman joins my newly formed ‘Two Wheels n Heels’ riding group that’s just been expanded from Cleveland 🙂  More to come on that.

More pics of this beautiful woman and her bicycle:

Seriously, when you see a bicycle like this – how do you NOT want to ride??  She needs to join the Tweed Ride Columbus coming up May 6th!

The man and woman above, I spotted them, well their bikes from five blocks down and we all ended up riding around the Topiary Gardens off of Town St.  I stopped them and obviously drooled over their bicycles which have been shipped from the Netherlands (obvious).  I told them about the Tweed Ride Columbus coming up May 6th and I really hope they’re able to join.  I’d love to officially meet with them and talk more.

The upright bicycles really show off style over speed which is what the Slow Bicycle Movement is all about.  Enjoying the journey and looking good, too!

Keep riding!

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Well, not really.   Columbus really doesn’t have ‘hills’ in my opinion.  I mean when people call that ‘dip’ going North on High St. near Nationwide, that kinda makes me giggle just b/c I began biking in San Francisco.

Anywho, last Friday our afternoon work day consisted of filming.  We’ve been filming short education videos for online viewing pleasures.  We hit up The Olentangy Trail and oh, my – it was a glorious, bicycle-filled afternoon on the trail.  Now, ya’ll know that I’m WAY MORE into capturing ‘everyday’ outfits and the idea that there’s no need to change when getting on your bike and going from point A to point B but it was just so great to see that each year, more and more folks are dusting off their bikes and using them.

Enjoy your Monday and I hope none of you (including myself) fall off your bikes with the sudden burst of tornado-esque winds we’ve been having.

Keep riding!

I saw this woman and snapped her b/c I love how I’m seeing more and more folks use their bikes in a ‘ultilitarian’ manner – just like the Europeans.  The more that this is witnessed by others, the more it reinforces that the bicycle can be used for so many things.

I’m also seeing more and more older riders and that makes me very happy.  I’m seeing more of them ride in my neighborhood.  A niche I think that needs some attention – like those High Schoolers who are about to get their licenses!

Little ‘off-road’ action

Here’s some of the crew that was part of filming.  Thanks, ya’ll!

 

And of course I saved the best for last!  Adorbs!

 

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Since you can’t enjoy .gifs currently on FB, I thought I’d post this here 🙂  There will be an Ohio Bike Challenge beginning May 1-August 31.  If you’re interested sign up here:  http://www.endomondo.com/?wicket:interface=:13:2:::

This site is pretty new to me.  I personally am not a fan of it being so bloody detailed but I do like the idea of our state challenging other  states.  Maybe I’m also just use to RideNet, the other website where I’ve been logging my rides.  I love that site.  Its easy, user-friendly and it feels more social than this one.  We’ll see how it goes 🙂  In the meantime, click on the photo to get the animation.

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This past Sat. was Gallery Hop and what a fantastic day / evening it turned out to be!  I spent most of the day in the sun and loved it.  I met my friend John down at Paradise Garage where we obtained a hefty amount of signatures for a current campaign I’m working on called ‘Connect the Core.’  It is a campaign to accelerate on-road bicycle infrastructure (bike lanes, dedicated bike lanes, etc) throughout our urban core.  When obtaining signatures, I was surprised at how many folks didn’t necessarily ‘ride’ frequently yet they were very willing to sign the petition in support of the campaign.  I was also focused on gaining ‘family’ signatures b/c I really want to work towards getting more families and women on the roads, feeling confident and secure.  If you’re in support of roads safer for ALL users go to http://www.considerbiking.org, click on ‘Get Involved’ up at the top and you’ll see ‘Connect the Core’ right after that.

Now, while obtaining signatures, I was able to capture a few fun pictures of other riders enjoying the evening.  I also rolled up to Gallery Hop in style as you will see in a couple of the pics below 🙂

A big group of BMX riders during G-Hop.  I didn’t get all of them but here’s a group of them.

Josh and girlfriend Rachel enjoying the weather and stopping by to say ‘hello.’

‘Bike thieves shot on site.’  I had to photo this up close.  I’m not sure I’d shoot them, I’d rather u-lock them in the face.

A friendly gent showing smiling big for the camera.

This is my Sophie, pre-take off to G-hop.  I had my six pack holder all ready.  My good friend Russian bought me New Belgium (I’m a fanatic for their beer) and Emily and Dan of Paradise Garage are fans as well.  Nothing like sharing a couple beers to people who really appreciate beers 🙂

The six-packer hold held up fantastic.  My sister-n-law bought me this.  I mentioned it to her a long time ago and she remembered!  I love it!

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I’ve been listening to the new Feist album hence today’s post title.  I’m headed to see her here in June at the Wex Center – WOOT!

So, if any of you don’t know I work a few nights a week in the production kitchen of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.  I’ve been working for this little powerhouse for about two years now.  I would say that I’m a walking Jeni’s advertisement.  I love what the company stands for.  I love how the employees are so passionate about the product and I’ll end it with, I love how Jeni’s is a bicycle enthused company.  So many workers ride bikes that most of the time (even during the winter months) the bike racks at the production kitchen are filled.  Now that Spring has begun those bike racks are beyond filled and folks are locking their bikes up to trees and anything else stationary.  We’ve ordered close to a dozen more bicycle racks and I’ll be excited once they are in and installed 🙂  In the meantime, I’ve recently been obsessed with spoke cards.  I feel like this is an un-tapped area where businesses (bicycle friendly) can market themselves on the cheap.  I made (4) of these spoke cards for my bikes and I love them:

How cute are they!

Here’s the Jeni’s spoke card in action.  Plus, do you see the other ‘Betty on a Bike’  in the background?  She’s one of my favs.

Now, on to the gents I captured yesterday evening.  I was heading into Barrel 44 from the production kitchen.  There were a crap ton of riders out but I was only able to catch these three:

This rider clearly looks like he just finished a workout.  He’s jamming to some band.

 

Yesterday, I stopped at the store and bought a few bunches of flowers and they were peeking out of my bookbag kinda like whatever was peeking out of this guys bag.

This rider was very focused on where ever he was headed.  Lovely bike and I’m sure he kept warm with that beard.

Happy Easter or Passover

Keep riding!

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This is probably one of my favorite photos I’ve taken thus far during my Safe Routes to School Days…..  and we’re not even half way over yet 🙂  This warms up my heart and then spills over:

Valleyview Elem girls representing two wheels!

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