2015 saw us (JustAnotherCyclist and VeloReviews) recovering and retooling after devoting almost all of our resources into a bike shop and bicycle retail in 2014. After some serious soul searching and deciding how to proceed, there is a great plan in place to take us forward into 2016.
A lot of things are on the horizon. Some are just sketches of ideas at this point, and some are just about ready to see prime time. Here’s a sneak peak of only some of the items in store for the new year: Keep reading →
Yup. Today is my birthday (cue Beatles song.) And lucky me, I got the most important stuff. First off was the bikey desk trinket. Because there is no such thing as too many bikey desk trinkets. I mean, if you’re stuck at a desk, you should really invest in things that remind you why you’ve chosen to be stuck at the a desk in the first place.
And then the commute gave me a gift too. You see, one of the advantages of having a birthday right in between Christmas and New Years is one of the least driven weekdays out there. Couple that with a week where New Years falls on Friday and we might as well just shut the city down. I think I passed more joggers than cars this morning…
So celebrate my birthday with me. Go out and ride. Because, just like the proper number of bikes, the correct number of bike rides is N+1.
I’d been waiting all day for the phone call that was supposed to come around 12:30. It was almost 12:45 and I’d taken to looking at the time every 3-4 minutes. Finally, the phone rang. I was practically in the elevator before I even thought to answer it. She was done with her meeting. It was time to walk the 4 blocks to our designated rendezvous point.
I had to contain myself as I made the hike. Somehow it seemed that, right then, everyone on the sidewalk was hell bent on walking directly in front of me… slowly. I made it to the address. She was supposed to be standing outside. Oh god… I don’t even know what she looks like.
But then I spotted it…
After spending my night watching TED Talks on Netflix, I felt compelled to start today with a little preaching to the choir. Presenting Mark Martin.
…now there’s a mouthful. The low carb high fat lifestyle (LCHF) is a way of eating that has been applied to many different goals. Also known by the synonym ‘Ketogenic diet,’ the idea is to switch your body from burning carbohydrates to fats. While also sometimes compared to the Paleo diet, there are some subtle differences there.
For some, LCHF is a temporary transition with the sole purpose of causing your body to burn off body fat. Here, the primary goal is weight loss, and often it is adopted only for a short period of time – weeks to months. In addition, many athletes have adopted the approach for performance reasons only. As with all things diet related however, there is ample conflicting information regarding the success of this approach.
Washington State centered Cascade Bicycle Club announced a merger with Washington Bikes in an email to members on Tuesday, Dec 8. A press release on their website shared the same information. The new, merged organization is now being billed as the “…largest statewide advocacy organization in the nation.”
At the decision of both organization’s boards, as of Jan. 1, 2016, Cascade Bicycle Club will be the name of the 501(c)(3) tax-deductible wing, focused on education, diversity and inclusion programs, most of the signature events and advocacy work. The organization’s 501(c)(4) arm, to be called Washington Bikes, will address statewide policy and outreach, selected statewide events and activities, and candidate endorsements.
To continue to explore the potential links (or perceived links) between cycling and gentrification, I thought it would be important to solicit unbiased opinions from outside of the cycling community. For this, I reached out to Rashawn, long-time resident of the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco (and the neighborhood inhabited by yours truly.) Below is a series of questions and answers via an email conversation. Rashawn’s perspective provides an extremely valuable outside perspective that all of us interested in bicycle advocacy and advancement need to consider. It can become quite common for advocates of any cause to find themselves constantly “preaching to the chior.” Only by actively soliciting, and taking the time to understand, the opinions of those that are outside our group can we truly find ways to expand the cause we are advocating for.
Note: Any links included in the below transcript were added by me (after the fact) to help provide context for those unfamiliar with the Bayview community, or items referencing what can reasonable be considered “local knowledge.”
JustAnotherCyclist: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Can you tell us who you are, and a bit about yourself?
Rashawn: I am a Black woman who has deep roots in Arkansas and Louisiana. My family began migrating to the Bay Area during WWII, drawn by the promise of opportunities in the shipyards and looking for a better life. My grandmother came here in 1945, and sent for her children (including my 10 year old mother) a few years later. My parents settled here following my father’s stint in the Army. I was born and raised in San Francisco, and have never lived anywhere else.
Pedaling and riding. Sound synonymous. But to me the two have some very different connotations.
Pedaling is using the bike to get from one place or another. Generally speaking, pedaling is focused on the destination. You are trying to get somewhere. In that regard the fact that it is done on a bicycle is pretty arbitrary – you could have accomplished the same goal using public transportation, a pair of sneakers, or (Gasp!) a car.
When riding, however, the destination is often completely arbitrary. Rather, it is the act of being on the bike that is the primary goal and motivation. Riding is what you are doing when you get the endorphins pumping. It is what you are doing when you are trying to get up that hill faster than ever before, or just trying to hang on the wheel of that faster group of cyclists. It is crossing yet another county line… to cross yet one more state line.
As 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.