Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ditch all your chores and go biking on a Huffy

Huffy, the venerable Dayton-based maker of bikes founded by
George Huffman, and therefore connected to the two bicycle
mechanics whose early/secretive flight testing took place
at Huffman Prairie in 1904-5, has launched an ad campaign
targeting moms.

On their website, get to know Susan, Sarah, Melissa, and Lena.

As explained in this Adweek article, their print ads/posters
feature trees made of feather dusters, houses made of dish
scrubbers, and a protagonist not wearing helmet or curlers.

More background about the campaign is in this NYT article,
which links to a YouTube channel starring the precocious/
brilliant 10 year-old "spokeskid" Grace Blais. The videos
are really quite well done.

Here's a link to the network of bike trails around Dayton OH.


Friday, May 23, 2014

article about Princeton U's upcoming bike share program

Bike-share program coming to town this year

Princeton later this year will join New York City and other municipalities
around [the] country that have publicly accessible bikes that anyone can
rent, a bike-share program that Princeton University is underwriting. 

Ten bikes will be located at the new Princeton train station that is due to
open this fall, the school said last week. The university said it envisions the
bikes as a travel option for rail riders coming to town on the Dinky, the shuttle
train that runs between the town and Princeton Junction.

Click here to read the entire article.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

from NPR: "Don't Salmon, Don't Shoal: Learning The Lingo Of Safe Cycling"

The recent attention-getting of actor Alec Baldwin, who was handcuffed by police Tuesday after he allegedly rode his
bike the wrong way on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and argued with officers who tried to ticket him, has inspired
journalist Marc Silver to write a piece about "bicycle-ese".
            "More and more people are bicycle commuting, but many haven't mastered the intricacies of bike
            etiquette. What the heck is a sharrow? Knowing that can make for a safer trip by bicycle or (gasp) car."

   Follow this link to read the article:
Of local interest, Marc Silver had previously written about the origins of Pi Day.

            "Even if you hate math, you'll love Pi Day. Why? Because there's pie." 

PBAC puzzler:   During one part of its migration, a salmon swims upstream at 6 mph. The current flows downstream
                         at 3 mph at an angle of 7°. Where is the Grand Cascapedia River ?     Answer due:  March 14, 2015.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NYT article: "Mayor De Blasio Looks Toward Sweden for Road Safety"

STOCKHOLM — Across this Scandinavian capital of graceful cyclists and speed-regulating
shrubbery, cabbies who drive Volvos and pedestrians who look over their shoulders before
jaywalking, a simple figure rules: 

Zero. It is the number of people permitted to die in Swedish traffic, according to national law.

Click here to read the entire article:  De Blasio Looks Toward Sweden for Road Safety

event for kids: Princeton "Wheels" rodeo this Saturday, 10AM-2PM

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Google's bike-friendly "doodle" for Mother's Day

It looks like this (or link to it here). The Googler behind the doodles is Dennis Hwang.

“The Sourlands" (film) + Sourlands Cycles (bike shop) + environmentalism

Here's a post with info about, including drawings of, Hopewell's new bike shop. It says the
projected opening is now mid-October. Their Facebook page is here

Also noted:  The Sourland Conservancy's new 25-minute documentary film, 
"The Sourlands — A New Jersey Treasure, will be premiered Sunday, May 18, 
at 7PM at  Off-Broadstreet Theatre, 5 S. Greenwood Ave., Hopewell. Tickets are $25.
The 25-minute film will introduce viewers to the Sourlands, the largest contiguous 
forest between New York City and Philadelphia, and to spark a desire to protect 
the area place for future generations.

Happy Mother's Day to Mother Earth !  May is Bike Month - but it's also Asian
Heritage Month in the US and Canada. From Wikipedia: "The month of May was
chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States
on  May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental 
railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were 
Chinese immigrants."

Living legend and Japanese-Canadian David Suzuki, who spent part of his childhood
in an internment camp during WWII, is interviewed by legendary broadcaster Bill
Moyers. The PBS episode is called "Time to Get Real on Climate Change".

Further reading:   Bike Lane Infrastructure Pays Dividends by David Suzuki.

Professor David Suzuki urges his university president to take action (1989).

The Nature of David Suzuki (magazine article)


Saturday, May 10, 2014

take the challenge: Bike-to-Work Week starts Monday

As I may have mentioned, May is Bike Month! Click here to feast
on all the posters.

Greater Mercer TMA, which is also the TMA for Ocean County, is
sponsoring a few contests. You can register for Bike-to-Work week,
and get a free GMTMA T-shirt. Click here to learn about this option.

Also happening is the Visions of Cycling" challenge:

       To celebrate Bike Month and the beauty that is bicycling,
       GMTMA is hosting a photo contest. We want to see what
       bicycling in Mercer and Ocean counties looks like. Our only
       requirement is that the photo be taken somewhere in Mercer
       and Ocean counties, and includes a bike in the shot. At the
       end of the month, we will feature the pictures on our blog and
       Facebook page and website, and ask the public to vote for their
       favorite. The winner will get a free bike helmet, reflective strap,
       bike light, and Bike to Work t-shirt!  And we'll advertise the
       winner in a press release and on our websites and social media sites.

For the truly intrepid, the so-called strong & fearless, the warriors
out there who say "you can never own too many T-shirts!" there is
also, you heard it here first, the Princeton PBAC challenge. There
are 2 ways to win: you can simply post something interesting/useful
here, on the public forum, sometime before May 22 (date of PBAC's
next meeting).  Or you can supply us with a half-dozen or so new
email addresses of people who'd like to be on this email distribution.

The winner, to be announced May 23, gets one of PBAC's hard-to-find
"08540" T-shirts, just like this one.  Disclaimer: not all sizes available.
Also, if you've already scored a shirt from me, you won't get another.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

hooray, hooray - the Month of May ( ... is Bike Month!)

Washington state is ranked, for the seventh year in a row, the most
bike-friendly state. This according to the League of American Bicyclists and
and its affiliated anonymous adjudicators. The governor of The Evergreen State
declared "As a bike rider I get to see firsthand all that Washington
has done to make bicycling part of a sustainable transportation system.
Bicycling helps make healthy communities, healthy people and a rich
quality of life.  There's always more to do, but being named the most
bike-friendly state shows we are moving on the right path."  Read more.

last year, with a score of 53 points compared to Washington's 67. But
things could be way worse: Alabama jumped by 41% but still has the
fewest points (17) - and are the veritable lanterne rouge (crimson?) of
this race! North Dakota, home state of US Bicycling Hall-of-Famer Andy Hampsten,
rose an amazing 279%, climbing from dead last to 35th place, as if
tutored in climbing technique by Andy Hampsten himself.

Speaking of Washington State, here is the description of NYT journalist
Bruce Weber as he traversed the Palouse region during his cross-country ride.


Princeton awarded NJDOT grant for road improvements

"Nearly $3.6 million in grants will be split among Mercer County's municipalities 
to improve safety and weathered roadways without burdening local property 
taxpayers, state officials announced yesterday." News article is at this link.

"These grants promote motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, mobility 
and quality-of-life projects," said state Department of Transportation 
Commissioner James Simpson.

Princeton will receive $283,507 from NJDOT for Valley Road improvements.

Municipal resolution 13-254 from last September, in support of the grant
application, can be viewed online as a PDF, at this link.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Revolutionary Road (re: Princeton's inaugural Ciclovia tomorrow 1-4PM)

Have you been wondering why the Ciclovia is happening on Quaker Road
tomorrow, and why Quaker Road is where the Ciclovia needs to happen ?

Before you say "that sounds loopy", let me ask a few more questions: have you
ever walked for a distance of 11.5 miles ?  Have you ever done this after the
second day of January, wearing badly-made shoes ? In the dead of night ?
Have you ever gone on such a walk, only to encounter, once you reach your
destination just after dawn, hundreds of men in red coats shooting at you ?

The above tries to depict the famous night march of Washington and the main
body of his army (roughly 6,000 soldiers) prior to the Battle of Princeton, and
why Quaker Road is so historically important, and has been preserved
for us to appreciate.

You can view a rough map of the route taken that cold night, at this link

As you bike (or skate, or walk, or roll) along Quaker Rd at the Ciclovia
tomorrow afternoon, you may notice the granite obelisks which trace
the route, and are now 100 years old. For those interested in this
episode of US history, scroll down on this page to see the location
of all 12 of these obelisk/markers.

Note also that Trenton owes its city status, and its importance in Colonial
days, to being on "the falls of the Delaware", or "the (water)fall line", a 900-
mile escarpment where the Piedmont meets the coastal plain. Map & info here.

Trenton (originally "Trent's town") grew up at the junction of the Delaware River
and Assunpink Creek. The latter meanders from its source near Clarksburg, NJ,
passing through Assunpink Wildlife Management Area and Mercer County Park,
where a flood-control dam (eh?) was built in 1975 to form Mercer Lake, flows under
Quakerbridge Road, and eventually to Trenton and the river. Bicyclists should
be aware of a plan in the works, the proposed "Capital-to-Coast Trail", which
partly follows the course of the creek.

References to "two-wheeled revolution" or "revolutionary ideas" in the context 
of bicycle advocacy or green transport, are easy to find, such as here or here.

But what isn't so easy is to actually do something - to soldier on … to show up,
which according to Woody Allen, is eighty-percent of success. By the way, there
exists a London-based collective named "Magnificent Revolution" which has been
running open-air cycle-in cinema as an alternative to drive-in cinema. Which
gives us some ideas about what we might want PBAC to try an organize next.