San Francisco candidates spar over bike licensing

Bicycle LicensingFive days ago I ran across an article in the San Francisco examiner titled “Time to mandate bicycle licenses.” I did my obligatory eye-roll and read the article. It was the same arguments we hear over and over again:

  • Don’t get mad at me, I’m a cyclist myself
  • Cyclists need to be held accountable
  • Cyclists need to be treated the same as (those poor) motorists

Funny the article was titled “Time to mandate bicycle licenses.” As if the idea hadn’t ever been suggested before, but now is different. Now is the time.

Yesterday, the plot thickened…

Keep reading →

Those darned self-entitled cyclists

A parking lot for bicycles in Niigata, Niigata, Japan
A parking lot for bicycles in Niigata, Niigata, Japan

We hear it all the time. “Those damned self-entitled cyclists!” We hear the word privilege thrown around too. Terms generally used to refer to socio-economic issues. They are often invoked in discussions about running through stop signs and stop lights. I’ve always found it frustrating, as I suspect that many of the people that are saying it are using it as a slur without really understanding what it means.

So what is the term “self-entitled” even supposed to mean, if anything? I think we can all agree to the context there. It implies that some people believe that cyclists believe they have a right to ignore certain traffic laws. Yes – I know that was confusing, some people believe that cyclists believe… I’ve always tried to be very pragmatic about stop sign and stop light running. We all know it is illegal in most places. Many are working to change that, but until then I couldn’t imagine any cyclist honestly believing that running through stop lights was their “right.”

Damn I’m naive…  Keep reading →

Sacramento woman recovers bike from Craigslist ad

From CBS Sacramento

Bike thefts linked to Strava

Strava_Feed_iphone6A recent news story from Albuquerque, NM ends with a dire sounding warning about using GPS tracking apps:

Authorities also say a big tip to prevent having your bike stolen out of your home is to avoid using any GPS tracking apps to map and share your routes. That can lead thieves straight to where you store your expensive ride.

“High-end bike owners, retailers believe theft ring taking stolen cycles to Juarez”

The implication here is that bike thieves are monitoring ride-sharing sites like Strava and Map My Ride, figuring out where routes start or end and targeting those houses for theft. How much of a threat is this really, though? Keep reading →

California DUI law and bikes

20150711_152006The vast majority of people I talk to either think that DUI laws apply equally to bikes, or not at all. But both of those groups are wrong.

Up until recently, I myself was in the first group. The group that believe that the same penalties and fines for driving a car while intoxicated apply to bikes. I imagine this line of thinking has to do with the “bikes follow the same laws as cars” mantra. You know, the phrase that is constantly used against cycling when someone rolls a stop sign, but completely ignored when we’re told to get out of the lane.

On first glance the law would actually seem to support this notion as well. While many states have DUI laws that refer only to “motor vehicles,” California does not: Keep reading →

One earbud only please…

Do you recall that scene in The Hunt for Red October where Sean Connery’s character asks to verify the distance to target… one ping only… ?

Well California SB 491, which became enforceable Jan 1 2016, now says “One earbud only, please.” Keep reading →

Create demand. Suppliers will follow.

20150910_171233As long as there are people willing to buy stolen bikes, there are people willing to supply them. While we can all do things to help protect us as individual riders, and our bikes, it doesn’t really go to the source of the problem. Many local jurisdictions have come up with some great and creative programs to try and stem the supply. But as long as bike theft is a relatively safe activity (as far as illegal, slimy activities go) it will continue to run rampant.

This is actually part of what was driving my recent post about bicycle licensing. Sure, the original article was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek (something that the folks over on reddit seemed to have missed.) It is easy to argue for bike licensing as an anti-theft activity, because, well, bike licensing ain’t ever gonna happen™. But it drives to a real, different way of thinking about bike theft.

Keep reading →

SURPRISE: I’m all in favor of bicycle licensing

bikepl8Let’s be clear what I’m talking about first. I’m not talking about a special license for people that would be required to operate a bicycle on the roads.  As as been stated over and over, most cyclists are actually already licensed drivers. What I’m talking about is a license (or registration) on the bicycle itself. Yup. I’m actually 100% in favor of this. This will probably surprise some of the motorists that like to bring this up as a requirement or them to feel like they need to share the road with me.

And I will undoubtedly piss off some of my fellow cyclists. But let me tell you why… Keep reading →

Tacky Behavior

NBC Bay Area reports that the CHP is investigating the dumping of tacks on a popular local cycling route. Kings Mountain Road, which climbs to Skyline Blvd near Woodside, CA, has generated several reports of cyclists getting flats. Keep reading →

So true

I found this comment in response to a Facebook post I made about some legislation happening in San Francisco. I thought I should share it outside of the neighborhood community it was targeted at.

stop-sign-commentary