December 21, 2012

A lone video

Have a great holiday everyone!

Ma Bicyclette - Andrew Huang Ft. Side pony nation:

December 20, 2012

The Winter Cometh 2012

Last year, I stopped biking after Thanksgiving. It was unkind for my figure but the bus got me to and from work just fine.

Columbus weather forecast. Source: weather.com
Snow and cold rain are cyclists worst enemies. It looks like my bike season is quickly coming to a close with holiday/vacation coming up. At 2600+ miles, it's been a pretty successful year in biking.

Cool dry ice bubble video of the day:

December 19, 2012

Camp Chase Update

Last night I attended an update on the progress of the Camp Chase rails with trails project. A 1.1 mile section is scheduled to start construction in 2013 which will go from Hall Road to (Old) Sullivant Avenue:

Scope of work. (Source: Metro Parks)
There were visuals there which I didn't take picture of but you can see them at Columbus Rides Bikes

December 14, 2012

Bike Shelter Maintenance Stands


The maintenance stands which were highlighted in Wednesday's post about the Columbus Bike Shelter Upgrades are pretty cool. Looking closer at the stands, they are manufactured by Dero and the station is named Fixit. The Dero Fixit comes with the following :
  1. Main body: 2” pipe, 6” x 2” 11g tube.
  2. Feet:  8” x .25” steel.
  3. Tool tethers: 3/16” stainless steel cable.
  4. Manual air pump.
  5. Hand tools:
1.      Philips and flat head screwdrivers
2.      2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8mm Allen wrenches
3.      Torx wrench
4.      Headset wrench
5.      Pedal wrench
6.      8, 9, 10, 11mm box wrenches
7.      Two tire levers

Another cool addition is the QR code. The QR codes are the symbols you scan with a smart phone to get additional information about something. In this case, that something is specifics on how to repair your bike.

I was somewhat surprised to find that the Dero Fixit only costs $900. That seems like a pretty reasonable price for what it is but then again, I know nothing about what stuff should cost.

Finally, Dero has made a video of the device. It's kind of cheesy but I oddly like it:

December 13, 2012

Free tool for distances

Can I really get to all of those locations in 10 minutes?

In my post yesterday about the new bike shelters, commenter John of Xing Columbus noted that the maps that Columbus provided are simple radius maps with little relationship to where you can get to. For instance:

Cul-de-sac circles
Credit: Human Transit
These maps show that there is a difference between a radius "as the bird flies" and the area that a person can actually travel to. Human Transit did the calculation and even on a highly gridded street, only 64% of the area is within the stated distance parameter.

Area Traveled in 15 Minutes at 12 MPH from 200 W. Broad St. Generated using How Far Can I Travel
How Far Can I Travel a free web-based program which does an alright job of generating a shape based on travel time. I say alright because the shape is more jagged than one would predict which is likely due to not enough routes attempted by the program. But it's free and way better than the generic distance circle.

3 mile radius circle versus 3 miles of traveling from 200 W. Broad Street. 
In retrospect, labeling the map as x-mile radius map is more accurate than x-minute bike ride map. Overall though, I think the idea of the Columbus maps is sound in the sense that biking is often quicker than people think. There are worse faux pas in the world. 

December 12, 2012

Cool Additions to Bike Shelters

Location of Columbus Bike Shelters. Source: City of Columbus

The City of Columbus has installed or is in the process of installing 19 bike shelters around Columbus. I was initially non-plussed with them but there have been a couple of upgrades that has shed new light on them.

Columbus Metro Bike Users Map
10-minute trip radius by bike. Up is north.

Cyclist safety
Another 10-minute map. Up is south
The neighborhood name is awesome even though "Franklinton" is poorly framed in each picture. The only thing I find odd about these graphics is the last picture where South is up. I think to someone who doesn't know Columbus, this might be helpful but for a native Columbusite, it's confusing at first. I would recommend highlighting the compass.

Enough with the maps, though! The coolest part are the bike maintenance stands!

You can position your bike on the two arms at the top of the stand.

Tools
Another picture of tools
Woah! Those are slick. Bike pump, tools, and stand? Biking Columbus approves.

December 11, 2012

Louis Garneau Power Seal - Product Review

As a year round cyclist, I accumulate a lot of stuff. Particularly concerning was rain protection when I first made the transition from fair weather cyclist to extreme cyclist. One of the few products which I am actually dissatisfied with are the Louis Garneau Power Seal cover booties.

The shoes aren't obviously wet, but the socks look it.
Obviously, the main question about the effectiveness of rain-protection attire is: Does it keep you dry? I can say without a doubt, these booties have not kept me dry. The first time they failed me was at a Crew Game in 2010. They got wet early and I had wet feet the entire game.

At the recent Yay Bikes! December 2012 Year of Yay! Ride, I wanted to give them one more shot. The picture above is the result. Wet booties. Wet shoes. Wet Socks. Wet Feet. In many ways, I feel as though I would've have been drier without them as the booties prevent the shoes from drying.

In the future, I'm going to look into water proof shoes or perhaps a different booty but they're somewhat difficult to put on.

Cool video of Dutch people biking in the rain with high heels and everything:

December 10, 2012

2012 December Year of Yay! Recap

Dreary Day - Source: Weather Underground

On December 8, 2012, Yay Bikes! set out on the last Year of Yay! ride of 2012. While we all secretly wished for a sunny day, the rain, rain did not go away. But that didn't deter the ~30 people or so from joining us!

We meander, rain or shine!

The first stop was unplanned but necessary. At many of the bike shelters around Columbus, there are maintenance stands with tools and a tire pump to do basic repairs on your bike.

Overlook the pressure of your tires? No problem at the maintenance stand!
After some quick tune-ups, we cycled up High Street and turned left on Lane Avenue to go to the Trek store. Lane Avenue is like nothing when you have a whole brigade of bikes!

A brigade of cyclists. 

Time to buy supplies!
From Trek we headed for Stauf's for a coffee pick-me up and lunch. The atmosphere was great and some people warmed up with soup!

A cluster of bikes. 
#16! Yes, he really wanted his soup.
With our bellies full, we traveled onward and detoured to see some of the new bicycle facilities installed on Urlin Avenue and Watermark Drive near Dublin Road. There were mixed reactions to the bicycle facilities but they did not hinder our progree.

New bicycle facilities on Urlin Avenue.

En route to Pistacia Vera, we dropped by COSI to found out how much 30+ cyclists weigh. The answer? 4880 pounds.

           

And as expected, Pistacia Vera was the cherry on top at the end of our ride. And no, we did not see how much we weighed after dessert.

Finally, I want to throw out some recognition to our regular riders. In addition to some Yay Bikes! board members, a big shout out goes to Roger and John for attending each 2012 Year of Yay! event. Congratulations!

      

[Editor's note: Bill Ferriot took all but one photo. You can see the complete set on Facebook here. Ray George took additional photographs which you can find here.]

December 9, 2012

An Evening of Bike Adventure featuring Reveal the Path movie


[Editor's note: I'm involved with Yay Bikes! and I wanted to promote this awesome event on Tuesday. Be there or be square as the phrase goes. The post was originally made here.]

Our friends at Paradise Garage are hosting a film night on Tuesday December 11 at 7:00 PM with the added bonus of food trucks! What film you ask? Reveal the Path which is described by the film's website as:

"Reveal the Path is a genre-defying adventure film that contemplates what it means to live an inspired life using the bicycle as a mechanism to explore, dream and discover."

The food trucks lined up are Pitabilities and Crepes A La Carte.

On top of the movie and food carts, there will be raffle items from Seagull BagsReveal the PathSalsa CyclesOskar Blues and Oakley.

Paradise Garage is being very generous and 100% of the proceeds are benefiting Yay Bikes! The suggested minimum donation is $5 or you can stop off at Hal & Al's and get a Yay Bikes! pint glass for $5 and the pint glass will get you into the movie event as well. We hope to you see you there!


The what: Paradise Garage hosting a Film & Food Truck night benefiting Yay Bikes!

The when: Tuesday December 11 at 7:00 PM


The extras: Bring a chair if you want to sit!

December 7, 2012

Meta Comments on Site

As you may have noticed, it's no longer summer. In contradiction to this fact, my recent posts contain photographs of the summer time.

During the summer and fall, I continued to snap pictures for the blog. I just failed to share them. So for the next month or so, expect a lot of sunny pictures.

Guy loving live at the Paw Paw festival.

December 6, 2012

Year of Yay December 8

Hey everyone! Yay Bikes! is leading the the Year of Yay! December ride on December 8. We're meeting at 9:00 AM at Goodale Park at the outdoor shelterhouse. Find out more on the Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/events/352010724882085/

Columbus 2012 Derecho

This summer Columbus endured a pretty heavy derecho on June 29, 2012. What's a derecho? According to Wikipedia, it's a straight-line windstorm. The graphic on the page looks like the heavens vomiting on us mortals:

File:Derecho development.png
Source: Wikipedia
What does this have to do with biking? I was biking as it hit Columbus!!!!

Source: Wikipedia
I tried to haphazardly take pictures of the event but my camera was el deado. But needless to say, it looked like this:

Scene from James and the Giant Peach. Or the derecho.

It's largely a boring story because I arrived home in one piece, but I did try to seek shelter at a strangers but she took one look at me and told me that she already has a full house. I almost stopped at the library nearby but due to it being dark, I thought they might be closed. I later determined that they had a power outage. Other than that, I only remember eating dust. What a day.

The next day, Yay Bikes! led the Yelp on Two Wheels: A Food Truck Rally and with a recharged camera I took some shots of the aftermath. 

Bikers biking bikes through tree destruction.
Clintonville was hit pretty bad.
Motorists packed in a gas station.
Cyclists getting free ice cream bars due to electrical outages. Much more relaxing than the gas station.
NSFW video of the day - Tornado Song:

December 5, 2012

Cyclist Safety - Eye Contact

A lot of cyclists talk about making eye contact with motorists when nearing intersections. I have something to admit. I do not make eye contact.

Car on the bike path? Still won't make eye contact.
I still look at the cars - don't get me wrong. But eye contact seems like it's on the pathway to yielding the right-of-way and why yield when you don't have to? If the car is not slowing, I will slow just in case. Additionally, I think eye contact is seen as aggressive on the road.

Is this a good strategy? A poor strategy? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

Seriously, why was that car on the bike path?

December 4, 2012

2008 - 2010 Franklin County Bicycle Statistics


MORPC compiles a lot of regional data and one data-set is crashes. I requested access to the most recent data between 2008-2010 for Franklin County. Here is an overview of where all crashes occurred in the time frame:


As would be assumed, the gridded area of Columbus graphically looks the worst, but this picture says nothing of the severity or frequency of crashes at any particular section. Since this is a bike blog, I decided to do additional analysis on bike related crashes. 

Overall, there has been a slight increase of crashes within Franklin County. There has been a slight decrease in incapacitating or fatal crashes involving bicycles:

Inline image 1

Note that these are only three data points so it's difficult to weigh in on the statistical significance of the numbers. Similarly, we don't know the rate of crashes per bicycle rider or per # of bicycle trips. Using the American Community Survey 1-year results we can get some prospective for Franklin County:

Inline image 3

I've made maps for each year. They're coded based on severity and specifically:
  • Purple = PDO/No Injury
  • Blue = Possible
  • Green = Non-Incapacitating
  • Large Yellow = Incapacitating
  • Large Red = Fatal
Below are the maps:


Inline image 1


Inline image 2


Inline image 3

There are risks with everything we do and this information is not intended to scare people. Just be careful and keep on trucking biking.

Safety video of the day:

November 7, 2012

2012 Presidential Election

As you may be aware, there was an election yesterday. While we mostly heard about abortion, employment, Libya, taxes, and Mr. Obama's terrible Denver debate performance, one thing we did not hear much about was transportation. I would love to discuss how either candidate would affect transportation, unfortunately, I am not that good of a blogger.

In lieu of that, I liked NBC's Chuck Todd saying "Obama's only one Ohio away from victory." #IOhioOhio

November 6, 2012

Bus Stop Removals Close To Home

Regular readers may be aware that I am a big fan of removing bus stops. Public transit is the ultimate example of "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." But now, COTA has proposed to take away the stop I use for the #3. Is it defensible?


This is about a mile stretch with about 10 stops per side. In other words, every 0.1 miles there's a bus stop. The new proposal changes that to 6 stops which means that it's about every 0.17 miles there's a bus stop. Using the standard 0.25 mile radius around the bus stop, we're moving from this:

All graphics made using Free Map Tools

To this:

There's a lot less service duplication so it is largely defensible on its own. However, #6 runs nearby on Sullivant Avenue and it may be more appropriate at the service duplicated between the two lines.


What does this picture mean? I don't know. It could mean that the #3 could continue on Eakin Road to reduce service duplication. It could mean that the two services could be combined to provide more frequent service. Or at the very least, it could mean that both of these lines could have been evaluated during the bus stop removal program.

Regardless, it looks like I'll be walking a little bit farther to the bus stop starting January 1, 2013.

Cool I didn't know Barack Obama is White video of the day:

November 5, 2012

The Arab Spring

It is little known, but the Arab Spring had a giant effect on the City of Columbus (location: 1st Avenue near Neal Neil Avenue).


Tomorrow I'll have a post with more substance.
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