Sign the People for Bikes Pledge

PeopleForBikesWhether you’re a bike commuter, a roadie, a mountain biker or just a casual rider, by uniting your voice with a million others, we can build a national movement to improve bicycling in our country. We can make a statement through our sheer numbers by raising public awareness and demonstrating our passion to our leaders in Congress and in cities and states throughout the country.

People for Bikes is hosting a national competition to see what state can recruit the most new supporters, help us propel California to victory! Their goal is to get one million people across the country to sign the pledge to support biking. Sign the pledge.

The goal of People for Bikes is to speak with one powerful voice of one million supporters—to let policy makers, the media and the public know that bicycling is important and should be promoted. As more of us join together, we can win more funding, better bikeways, and communities completely connected with safe bike routes comfortable for everyone.

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National Women’s Bicycling Forum!

Women Bike, the new League of American Bicyclists program, is hosting the Women’s Bicycling Forum! We’re here all day and are so excited to see a packed house and fantastic styling – looking good League!

We’ll be providing updates throughout the week, including from our day on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional leaders.

Go bicycles!

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2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

A recap of the annual event, courtesy of one our Coalition members, Matt Pierle:

If you weren’t lucky enough to make it to the Sacramento Convention Center on March 2nd-4th for the 2012 North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS) you missed an exciting gathering. Well represented were custom frame and bike builders as well as accessory manufacturers from the West Coast to the East, from the U.S. and Canada to Italy, the Czech Republic and Japan. The common thread was an emphasis on quality over quantity, and the attention to detail that comes along with craft design and limited production.

NAHBS showcased just about every style of bike you can imagine but particularly well represented were track and road, touring and townie, cargo, tandem, cross country, utility and commuter bikes. Titanium mingled with steel and carbon shared the stage with more ‘traditional’ bike frame materials including hardwood and bamboo. Some builders toyed with lesser used materials including Magnesium.

Suppliers of steel, aluminum and titanium tubes set up next to makers of bike specific production jigs, tools, lugs, dropouts and ‘extras’ like trailers, bottle cages, jerseys and caps.

Bike publications doled out free copies of their magazines (Momentum, Bicycle Times / Dirt Rag, Mountain Flyer) while makers of metal lugs and dropouts exhibited their products in briefcase like hard cases like so much fine jewelry.

All told, this year’s show featured 158 exhibitors and drew over 12,000 attendees, the biggest crowd in the show’s ten year history. This is the third time the show was hosted here in California (it had  a two year run in San Jose in 2006 and 2007).

Seminars were offered on topics ranging from: Bike Building Business Basics to the History and Future of Handmade Bikes and from Fillet brazing to the “Wooden rim renaissance”.

Santa Cruz’s Craig Calfee presented on the Bamboosero, an appropriate technology development project which is spearheading the training of people in Africa to build tough yet refined bamboo framed bikes designed for domestic transportation and cargo use (load of 450 lbs. plus) and also for income through ecological tourism rentals and export sales.

Sacramento was a great venue for this year NAHBS which just happened to coincide with a Beer festival. The show’s “ARTBIKE!” events included: live music, local grub and brews, bike parades and other delicious bike fun.

By far one of the collect bikes at the show, which picked up an award for Best Experimental Design Bike was the super big wheel (32 inch!) mountain bike displayed by Black Sheep Fabrications.

photo credit: davidfolch.com

Rookie Builder of the Year bragging rights went to: Aaron Stinner of Stinner Frameworks in Santa Barbara.

photo credit: cycling news

Best of Show honors went to the über sleek “Cherubim” bike by Shin-Ichi Konno.

photo credit: bicycling magazine

Other award categories included Best of for categories including: Road, Track, Tandem, Cyclocross, City Bike, Mountain, Carbon Fiber construction, Steel construction, Titanium construction, Lugged frame, TIG welded frame, fillet brazed frame as well as Best New Builder, Best Finish, People’s Choice, President’s Choice (the President is none other than Bike Builder and NAHBS Founder Don Walker).

See the complete list of 2012’s “Best Of” Winners.

As with every NAHBS this year’s show was flush with fine finishes, smoothly curving racks, tightly sewn bags, classy cycling wear, and over the course of three days thousands of wide eyed and sometimes drooling Bike fanatics.

In case you’re wondering…next year’s show is on tap for Denver, Colorado. Dates TBD.

All photos by Matt Pierle, unless otherwise noted. Matt Pierle is a cyclist from the Great Lakes region lucky enough to be attending bike related events and cycling around the west coast this winter. He can be reached at mattpierle@gmail.com or on Skype at the handle: bikelove.

If you are interested in writing a guest post, send an email to leslie@slobikelane.org , we’d love to showcase your words, pictures, videos, on bicycles!

National Women Cycling Forum

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Currently at the National Women Cycling Forum, with an inspiring panel of women, all hoping to increase the number of women on bicycles in our country.

Veronica Davis: Co-founder of Black Women Bike
Andrea Garland: Planner at Alta Planning+Design
Nelle Pierson: Events Coordinator for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Marla Streb: Former professional cyclist of 16 years, works with all-female Team LUNA Chix
Elysa Walk: General Manager of Giant Bicycle

Did you know that 55% of daily bicycle riders in the Netherlands is female?! That’s our hope for the future of biking in our country…

Everyone’s got great ideas about how we can accomplish such a seemingly simple goal:

-Inspire someone: Find a female you know, ask her why she doesn’t ride a bike, and try to address her concerns directly. Take her on a ride around the block, show her a bike she loves, each person counts!
-Become a mentor to a younger female: Leading by example is a powerful tool.
-Continue the conversation: What do you think would help get more women on bikes? Let us know, we want to help you make it happen!
-Speak up: For products that represent you… With the ideas you have to increase the number of women on bikes… For the future female bikers of America
-Get involved: Become a member, volunteer at your local organization so they can better represent women.

There are so many great things happening for women and bicycles right now, stay tuned for more as we have time to share it with you from Washington DC!

We’re Going to Washington DC!

Next week, the Coalition Staff will is braving the cold and heading to Washington DC for the 2012 National Bike Summit, a gathering of bicycle organizations from all over the country. We will be advocating for biking and walking, and sharing your voice with our elected officials in DC.

Our message is clear: preserve dedicated funding for biking and walking. As more people choose these active modes to move around, it’s important we provide safe facilities for everyone.

You can follow our progress here on the blog to stay up to date with what we’re up to all the way across the country. We’re out there making sure your voice is heard!

If you want to add you voice to hundreds of others as we head to DC, become a member! We are proud to be YOUR voice representing bicycles in DC, and couldn’t do it without you.

Take Action, Support Complete Streets!

Now is our chance… support Complete Streets nationwide!

While we continue to work to preserve federal funding for bicycling and walking, there is an opportunity this week to ensure that federally funded transportation projects accommodate the needs and safety of all users—including pedestrians and bicyclists. This would be a real chance to see Complete Streets policies enacted in every state.

On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will consider an amendment offered by Alaska Senator Mark Begich to provide safe and adequate accommodations for all users in all federally-funded street projects. This means safer roads for everyone, including those who walk, bicycle, ride transit, and drive cars.

According to the National Complete Streets Coalition: “This important amendment would ensure that future transportation investments made by state Departments of Transportation improve safety for everyone… More than 300 communities — including states, MPOs, counties, and towns of all sizes — have already said they will plan their streets in this manner. With additional guidance and support for Complete Streets from the federal level, these localities will have an easier time building the roads they want – roads that make their communities healthier and wealthier.” (Click here for additional details on the amendment.)

We need you to voice your support TODAY. Please visit the Safe Routes to School’s online action center and have your voice heard! Senator Boxer is on the Commerce Committee, so you will see a letter asking her to vote for the Begich amendment. Senator Feinstein is not a member of the Commerce Committee, so you will see a different letter asking her to co-sponsor Complete Streets legislation.

This is the first time in more than six years that our federal representatives will take a vote on Complete Streets language — please, take action TODAY!

Transportation Funding Press Conference

The future of transportation funding is important for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, for our local economy, for job creation, and many other reasons. Congresswoman Lois Capps is going to be in San Luis Obispo to talk about these issues, and what we can do to ensure the future of biking and walking is not in jeopardy.

WHAT: Transportation Funding Press Conference (w/ Lois Capps)

WHEN: Wednesday, August 31st, 10:30 – 11:00 am

WHERE: Corner of Johnson Ave and Buchon St (map)

WHY: Join us, and various local officials, to discuss the importance of funding infrastructure for creating jobs and boosting our local economy, and how the proposed House Transportation Committee plan would cut funding by 33% and jeopardize construction jobs and transportation improvements in SLO County

Speaking in order
Congresswoman Lois Capps
Jan Marx, Mayor of San Luis Obispo
Adam Hill, Chairman of SLO County Board of Supervisors
Bruce Gibson, Chairman of SLO County Council of Governments/County Supervisor
Dan Rivoire, Executive Director of SLO County Bicycle Coalition

 

Ray LaHood at 2010 National Bike Summit

US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood recently addressed atendees of the 2010 National Bike Summit in Washington DC, here he spoke on behalf of infrastructure development for bicycles and pedestrians:

After the speech, he wrote a post on his blog that reflected on his energetic appearance at the summit:

Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.

Ray LaHood

From Ray LaHood’s blog post:

To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:

  • Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
  • Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
  • Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.

This is great news for cyclists and pedestrians alike, giving us even more of a reason to get out on our bikes and celebrate!