Getting More Women on the Bike

Please check out the Streetsblog post on women bicycling, at http://streetsblog.net/2010/03/19/getting-more-women-on-the-bike/.

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Google Maps gets bicycling directions

googlemapsGoogle Maps finally has a beta of bicycle routing!

The League of American bicyclists has a press release / post on their blog. The link for Google Maps indicated in the blog takes one to a map centered on San Francisco, showing a large number of bicycle routes. The video explains that the dark green lines are bike paths, the light green lines are streets with bike lanes, and the dashed green lines are recommended routes. These are available on the Bicycling layer, so they can be browsed as well as used for routing.

In Carson City, there are only two bicycle routes shown, Route 395 from Murphy Dr to Kings Canyon Rd, and a small piece of the Route 6 multi-use trail in Moffat Open Space. These are two corrections I had submitted recently to Google. I will see how I can get the rest of our bicycle route information into Google, and hopefully they will send their “street view” bicycle here sometime in the future.

This is only the first step, but it is exciting.

2010 Northern Nevada / Tahoe Regional Bicycle Summit

On February 3rd, 2010, Muscle Powered and Bike Carson attended the 2010 Northern Nevada / Tahoe Regional Bicycle Summit in Reno, hosted by the University of Nevada Reno Cycling Team and the Tour de Nez Outreach. Over 40 cycling groups met in the UNR Student Union to give a brief presentation of who they were and what they were working on. The groups represented just about all the facets of cycling that you can imagine, from racing, advocacy groups, trails organizations, city and state government, urban planning, law enforcement, on and off road cycling clubs, disabled groups, various causes, and more!

Bike Summit
Post Meeting Social: Mike Henderson, Colin Loretz, Nico Aguilera

Each group did around a 5 minute presentation, and by the end, I think everyone was pretty amazed at how many people are putting in their time to make cycling better in Northern Nevada. Rather than try to discuss all that was presented, I’ve compiled a list of attendees with links to their organizations. Some groups weren’t able to attend, and others showed up that aren’t on the list below, so let me know if your group is not represented or if the links are not accurate. I wasn’t able to find links for all the groups, but it’s nearly complete. Go explore these links and see what’s going on in Northern Nevada! It should keep you busy for a while…

A Special Thank You to Tim Healion, Executive Director of the Tour de Nez Outreach Organization. Thanks for getting us all together and directing the summit!

Attendees:

Bike Summit
2010 Northern Nevada / Tahoe Regional Bicycle Summit

Multi-use path open!

The path crosses under the freeway
The path crosses under the freeway

The multi-use path is open from Roop Street to Moffat Open Space. The western section, Linear Park, is now joined to the eastern section from Moffat Open Space near Mexican Ditch. The middle section was part of the Phase 2A of the Hwy 395 freeway that just opened. The path crosses under the freeway alongside Eagle Creek.

This 2.8 mile trail offers close up views of the ditches along Linear Park and the creek that eventually flows into the Carson River (often called Eagle Creek, but it has no official name), with willows, cattails, cottonwoods and a lot of birdlife. This is a less developed part of the valley, and it feels like you are a long ways away. Once the cottonwoods come back along the “Eagle Creek” wetland, this should be a really beautiful ride. The Linear Park section has several interpretive signs. The new section, just opened a few days ago, is already getting quite a bit of bicycling and walking use. Continue reading “Multi-use path open!”

Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge Report

There was a little confusion on the start time for this event, but in the end I think it worked out well for everyone. The bus didn’t arrive until after 5pm, but from 3pm to 5pm would’ve been too hot to be enjoyable anyhow. I towed the bike trailer full of Muscle Powered goodies, and Kristy and Charlie rode the tandem. We rolled up sometime after 5:30 and were greeted by the usual cast of characters.

Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge Tour
The 2 MC Tour Bus

The first order of business was to check out the Tour Bus. I imagined the bus as sleeping/living quarters for the crew, but the whole thing was designed for people to walk through and learn. Big screen computers and many informational signs were available from the back of the bus to the front. In case you’ve missed the message of the tour in previous posts, the 2 Mile Challenge is challenging people to use their bike for trips of 2 miles and less. Clif Bar says that 40% of U.S. urban travel is 2 miles or less, so it’s pretty easy to imagine the huge savings in money and energy consumption we’d all realize if we all rode our bikes more. Not to mention the cleaner and friendlier neighborhoods we’d create. The bus and crew were here to help people accomplish this task. Getting out of your car and using your bike more IS a challenge. The world and our minds are accustomed to using the car for everything, and it’s hard to make the leap.

Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge Tour
Inside the Bus

There were some fun urban bikes out front to check out. The crowd favorite was the stretched townie. By pedaling the bike for just a minute or so, you could generate enough power to play the stereo on the back for several minutes at a pretty high volume. Pretty amazing really. Possibly even better than something the professor on Gilligan’s Island could come up with. You couldn’t even ride that guy’s bikes.

Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge Tour
Playing the Tunes with Human Generated Power

Shortly after 7pm we got the movie Seasons started in the Community Center theater. We had a pretty good crowd at this point, and the big theater was great for watching this film. The movie focused on the mountain bike world of BIG AIR and INSANE SPEEDS. There were no insane climbs like we saw in Off Road to Athens during bike to work week. This movie was kind of on the other end of the spectrum. It was pretty entertaining though, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge Tour
Gears Not Gas

Another great thing about the tour is that they helped us raise money for Muscle Powered. All the movie goers dug deep in their pockets and generously donated over $160 for bicycle advocacy in Carson City! Clif Bar kicked down some very nice merchandise to help offset the pain of the big donations, and everyone went home happy. Jerseys, hats, DVDs, socks. Great stuff!

Thanks again to everyone who showed up and helped promote this event. And thanks again to Clif Bar for coming to Carson City!

Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon Loop

As energy costs steadily increase, it is becoming more important to change our habits to conserve these vital resources. In years past, there was no consideration to throw the bike in the car, and drive up to Lake Tahoe for recreation. Fuel was cheap. These days are over, and it’s time to start thinking of new ways not only to get around town, but to get our favorite recreational areas too.

Looking Towards Carson Valley

Last weekend some friends and I decided to explore some of the Lake Tahoe Trails by beginning our ride from Carson City. In the end, the ride was much more rewarding, knowing that we had made the whole journey using only Muscle Power.

Please come read the story of our ride that took us from Carson City, up Kings Canyon to Spooner Summit, up to Marlette Lake, down to Hobart, and finally back to Carson City down Ash Canyon. The story can be viewed on the Bike Carson site by clicking HERE.

Bicycle Trip to the Dentist

I had a dentist appointment today, and I decided to ride my bike. The problem was that I had no idea if there was secure bicycle parking, and when I arrived, I realized that there wasn’t. The lobby of the office was too small to expect them to allow my bike to stay in there, so I ended up chaining up to a handicapped parking marker. It was just a pole, but thankfully it was pretty tall.

I spoke with the Dentist about the parking issue, and he mentioned that someone had visited just yesterday on a bike too. He said it was probably time to get a bike rack, and we discussed some of the options.

This conversation led to another conversation with my hygienist about bicycle commuting. She thought maybe she should give bicycle commuting a try, living less than a mile from work.

The lesson I learned today? It doesn’t take much to convince people of the need for proper bicycling infrastructure. Sometimes all you need to do is show up on your bike to create a demand! Also, showing others that you conduct your business without a car can be a powerful message.