Friday, October 26, 2007

We can get there from here

The "Getting There..." conference seems to have been a success. It wound down yesterday with a rally at the State House where 30 or so cyclists and transit activists showed up to make some noise about better alternatives to the ol' ball and chain. You know what I'm talking about: the coffins with cup holders that pollute our air and make us bomb oil rich nations into submission.
Now lets follow up. Word is that five letters on a particular issue to a State Rep or Senator is usually enough to get onto their radar screens. Lets shoot for 10.

For your state representative contact information, go here.

For your state senate contact information, go here.

Keep it simple. Let them know that bikes are good transportation and should get more consideration in future plans for our urban transportation network. Let them know that an adult on a bicycle equals one less car on our astronomically expensive highways and public road network. Let them know that you're a voter (you do vote don't you?).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Really Big Bike Rally

Alright. Listen up. If ever you wanted to make your voice heard regarding tax payer support for safe and effective bicycle infrastructure, ride your whip down to the State House next thursday (10/25) at 5:30 for a good, old fashioned rally. Make a sign, paint your face, or just get ready to be counted as one of the many that would like to see your tax dollars used to make our urban streets more bicycle friendly.

The event is the evening segment of a conference sponsored by the Sierra Club of RI on the future of sustainable transportation in our little state. The conference will feature discussions on the future of mass transit, creating more bike-friendly streets, and neighborhood walkability.

Following the evening rally at the State House, we will ride to Local 121 on Washington Street for more discussion and a film. (Major props to State Rep and Local 121 owner Josh Miller for hosting the event)

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 5, 2007


I got that familiar sickening feeling when the driver's side door opened in front of me. Luckily, I was able to get past before I heard the thud of the lock in my bag put a mark into a brand new Cadillac. So I stopped and turned to go back to make sure everything was OK. Right away the old dude gave me attitude. "no", he said, "everything is not OK".

Thinking of the 15 stitches in my chest from receiving the "door prize" a few years before, and this guy's lack of any concern for me, I pointed to the huge mirrors on the side of his elephant of a car. "that's what those are for. next time you should take a look."

He gestured to the line of car traffic passing along Broadway which is plenty wide for all to share. "Those cars aren't even close...there's no need to look".
" might find a guy on a bicycle going by."
"Why would I? I don't see a bicycle lane."
And on. And on.
Finally he said "you're a typical Rhode Islander: Rude!"
"So why don't you back to where you come from?"
"I am from here!"

So once again I'm left scratching my head at the complete breakdown of communication between "us" and "them". Of course what may have prevented the whole incident would have been the striped bike lane along Broadway that the City has been promising for the past several years. As it is there are no stripes on Broadway even for the car traffic. Some drivers actually imagine that there are two lanes along this busy residential street which leads to ridiculous displays of muscle flexing and muttering.

Of course the only thing more ridiculous than this whole confrontation would have been to point to the pavement where the lines will someday be to explain to an individual who simply doesn't think of bikes in the same 21st century way that I do.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Attention Ladies...

...Steph requests your presence Sunday mornings. Its not exactly breakfast, its not quite lunch...its a social ride for women only. Show up at the Hub at 8:30 Sunday mornings for 2-2.5 hours. Distance is up for debate, but be reasonably prepared to get the ol' heart going. You'll return to the Hub when the rest of us roll in around 11:00. Questions? Give a call into the shop T-Sun 11-6. 401.383.9934. Hope to see you then.