Saturday, May 23, 2015

Re: 42 years ago - "Climb on a Bike and Wheel Into the Future"

inspired some content in the very glossy Princeton Magazine this month.  

          Click here to read the article by Linda Arntzenius.

The online version is missing the "bike map" photo of Mayor Lempert, though.

I assume Henry Arnold (landscape architect) and Robert Hillier

(architect/publisher) have known each other quite well over the decades.

That same 1973 Town Topics "Outdoor Life" supplement had a wonderful

photo of Sheldon Sturges and his young family, appended below.  The

photo was taken on Mountain View Rd in Skillman, still a lovely spot.

Princeton Magazine also offers "Biking in Princeton" i.e. bike shop info.


Monday, May 11, 2015

blow by blow: a P-rade of pedestrian vs motorist commentary

March 2     Walking bad in Princeton   by Richard K. Rein  (US1 editor)

April 2   Pedestrians good for Princeton   by David Keddie     (Walkable Princeton)

April 15   The Never-ending Pedestrian vs. Motorist Debate   by Richard K. Rein

May 6    More Pedestrian Awareness Needed   by Dick Snedeker  (West Windsor resident)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

his posts always ended with the exhortation “Ride Bike!”

Influential Bay Area cycling personality Jobst Brandt (80) has died after a long illness, in Palo Alto.
The paragraph below is excerpted from "Land of Second Chances", spiced up with Jobst content.

"A key figure in Tom's Richey's development was Jobst Brandt, an engineer from Hewlett-
Packard who was a friend of his father's. In West Germany, Brandt had been the designer of 
the Porsche 911 braking system, and later in his life, he would achieve renown on cycling 
websites as a cantankerous retrogrouch with purist views of the sport. When Tom met 
Brandt, he was in his forties and famous for the sadistic rides that he led around the Bay 
Area. Brandt's routes would take the group on and off road — something unheard-of at the time — and were as punishing on their bodies as on the bicycles. In winter he would climb the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada before the snowplows; in summer, he would ride through the heat until his young crew was pleading for a break. His unforgiving stance — he would not wait if anyone dropped behind for either mechanical or physical reasons — is one that Tom still subscribes to even now. The reason Brandt's acolytes put up with the strictures was that no one else could find trails as stunning and untouched.

If you've built your own bike wheels or ridden up and down Alpine peaks, or can
remember "Usenet newsgroups" you'll probably have heard of Mr. Brandt. Or if you
tried teaching yourself how to author webpages back in the 90's, and these webpages
happened to embed images of the legendary/vertiginous Stelvio Pass near Bormio,
Italy, you may have even received an email out of the blue, and not necessarily a
friendly email, yet a memorable one, from the person shown here atop the Stelvio Pass.

So ... Ride Bike!

Windows (not the Microsoft product) and Gates (not William Henry the 3rd)

What is "the Overton window" ?

It's a policy concept developed by the late Josef P. Overton, who was vice president of the Mackinac Center for 
Public Policy. Its premise is that you can array all the possible policy actions on a given issue in a line ordered 
from accepted policy all the way to unthinkable. 

[ Policy - Popular - Sensible - Acceptable ] - Radical - Unthinkable 

The "window" is the subset or range of possible policies that are regarded as publicly acceptable to consider. Overton
argued that you can "move" that window by aggressively promoting extreme, unthinkable policies in such a way as to
make the 'merely' radical policies start to seem acceptable by comparison.

The above is taken from an interesting blog entry, "Public Policy and the Middle Ground Fallacy".

The author has much to say about bike lanes and "the fallacious middle ground", which I summarize as

"... a bike lane proposal that tries to combine the evidence-based position that a continuous network of bike lanes 
fosters more and safer cycling with the irrational position that a continuous network of bike lanes is somehow dangerous
or unfair to drivers cannot help but fail to achieve the goal of increasing the rate and safety of cycling."

"A badly designed, discontinuous bike lane network is worse than no network at all, because you end up with the situation
in <insert name of your town> in which Councillor <insert name of politician> sees a bike lane running along a short stretch
of <insert name of arterial road> and stopping arbitrarily before the <insert name of intersection>, notices that no one uses it,
and concludes that bike lanes are a waste of money."

What is "the Overton Gate" ?

Sculptor Tylur French designed a massive archway covered in recycled bicycles as a gateway for riders of the Shelby Farms 
Greenline entering Overton Park, in Memphis TN. The gateway was created through more than 300 painted bicycles, tricycles,
and wheelchairs that are mounted on top of two 13-foot steel towers.  Learn more about it at the links below.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

May is bike month

1. Classified ads - Jay's Cycles is hiring

      Jay's Cycles Is Hiring: We are looking for full or part-time help. 
      Sales and/or mechanic, preferably both. If you can change a tube
      or have mechanical ability and are willing to learn about bikes, also 
      customer friendly, we would like to hear from you. Call Jen at 
      609-924-7233 or Jay 609-240-4031.  Here's the online ad.

2. Article about "Random Acts of Community" which is in its 10th year

     In celebration of National Bike Month, the Whole Earth Center will once
    again be committing Random Acts of Community throughout the
    month of May. This town-wide program was created to thank and
    reward bicyclists for choosing to bike rather than drive in Princeton.

3.  Charity Event - 8th Annual Bike Ride for Amy

         Sunday May 31, 8AM, start/end South Brunswick High School

        The bike ride helps support the Amy Feiman Behar Foundation 
        which has provided thousands of mammograms for women without
        health insurance since its inception.  Related news article.

4.  Recently in the NY Times