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Soul Cycle should maybe hire Wash Cycle

I've mostly quit posting photos of cars parked in the bike lane, because it's not really news any more, but someone sent me this photo of a laundry vehicle in front of Soul Cycle that was stopping at Soul Cycle. It was parked in the cycletrack.

Soulcycle

Maybe they should hire Wash Cycle Laundry. [Not affliated with this blog in any way]

Minnehaha Creek trolley bridge with deck removed

It may not look like it, but work could complete by November. At which point this will become a bike/ped bridge.

14930405742_620260249b_k

Last seen here.

Alexandria expands Capital Bikeshare

Despite the bankruptcy of the bikeshare provider, CaBi keeps expanding. Last week Alexandria added 8 stations in the Del Ray and Carlyle neighborhoods, doubling the size of the system within Alexandria. 

The new stations are located at:

  • Eisenhower Avenue & Mill Race Lane
  • Ballenger Avenue & Dulany Street
  • Duke Street & John Carlyle Street
  • Mount Vernon Avenue & East Nelson Avenue
  • Mount Vernon Avenue & East Del Ray Avenue
  • Mount Vernon Avenue & Kennedy Street
  • Monroe Avenue & Leslie Avenue
  • Potomac Greens Drive & Slater's Lane

New CaBi bike route signage in Montgomery County

I was in Bethesda much of the weekend for a wedding and I saw that the County has installed quite a few new wayfinding signs, most of which seem to be geared toward directing cyclists towards bikeshare stations. That's great. I also saw the new section of bike trail along Wisconsin Avenue by the NIH/Medical Center which looks like an improvement since the last time I was there.

Coincidentally, someone sent me a photo of one sign that was unfortunately installed facing the wrong direction. 

Mocobike

This is at the corner of Fenton and Thayer facing south, but from here, the Metro is to the right. Hopefully it will get fixed soon.

The bride at the wedding was on crutches because she'd been hit by a car while riding her bike home from work a couple of months ago. Had to get something like 13 pins in her leg, but she still managed to walk down the aisle and dance on her wedding day. 

Helmet study author says not to consider the raw numbers

Janessa Graves, the author of the bikeshare helmet study showing that the percentage of injuries that were head injuries for cyclists went up in bikeshare cities, responded to criticism of the study. That criticism focused on the fact that the study's raw data showed that total head injuries and total injuries both went down in bike share cities, even though the rate of head injuries went down less than other injuries.

The study’s lead researcher, Janessa Graves of Washington State University’s College of Nursing, said in an email that these numbers don’t tell the whole story, which is why the researchers focused on proportion.

“Evaluating crude numbers alone, without considering the underlying population or denominator (e.g. number of riders in each city), is not entirely appropriate, even when we assume ridership increased,” she writes. “We did not have those numbers for this study, so could not evaluate the NUMBER or RATE [emphasis hers] of injuries. That is why we looked at proportions and risk.”

Graves adds that because her team did not know whether ridership increased, decreased or stayed the same in cities with bike-shares, they were reluctant to extrapolate. The total number of injuries may have gone down, but what of the total biker population?

Some critics of the study, she states “assume that the number of cyclists increased in bike-share cities and likely stayed the same in non-bike-share cities, however, we do not know this for certain. That is why we could not look at this outcome.”

Rachel Dovey concludes that 

Shares would be wise to implement policies based on the higher proportion of brain injuries reported.

I'm not sure that is true, because looking at only the percentage without considering the denominator is just as bad (if not worse) as looking at the numerator without considering the denominator.

Shares should be interested in ways to improve safety. I'm just not sure what the most cost-effective way is to do that, and I don't think this study gives any direction on that. 

Turnover in the Bike DC world

There have been quite a few changes on the government side of bike policy in the DC area

First, Heather Deutsch, the District's Trails Program Coordinator, left DDOT back in May. I don't believe that position has been filled yet.

Then, it was just announced that Chris Eatough; Arlington County's Director of Capital Bikeshare, WalkArlington and BikeArlington programs, is leaving Arlington County at the end of the month to become Howard County's first Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator. Eatough already lives in Howard County, so he'll get to work in his own community, and his hiring definitely signals that Howard is serious about bike sharing. Arlington is trying to fill his position, but I believe applications were due on the 11th. 

Finally, Charlie Strunk, Fairfax County Bicycle Coordinator, is leaving at the end of the year, and the county is looking for a replacement for him. 

New bike lane being installed on MLK Avenue in Ward 8

MLK Bikelane

Near Sterling Ave. Photo by John. 

Help ID this hit-and-run cyclist

Lest we forget that cyclists can behave badly too.

Yesterday I was testing a Fly6 camera during the Bike Rack group ride. We were close to Military Rd on Beach Dr, when a random cyclist decided to cut in between the line, clipping the front wheel of the person behind me. A cyclist hit and run: he saw the accident, did not bother to stop. Perhaps you may see the rider of that silver/blue Pinarello in your rides



Rider appears at about :42

If you can ID this person, please contact the Bike Rack (202) 387-2453 so they can pass the info on to the injured.

George Hincapie interview this Friday

From a press release:

Universal Sports Network will present George Hincapie: The Loyal Lieutenant, an exclusive, in-depth personal interview with former professional cyclist George Hincapie, this Friday, August 22, at 8 p.m. ET and PT. In the one-hour special, the 17-time Tour de France veteran, three-time national road champion and five-time Olympian offers an insightful account of his esteemed career through an era plagued by performance-enhancing drug use.

Sitting down with veteran sportscaster and co-author of Hincapie’s memoir The Loyal Lieutenant, Craig Hummer, “Big George” covers everything from his humble beginnings in Queens, New York to his role in one of the world’s biggest doping scandals that brought down his former teammate, Lance Armstrong.

“George Hincapie is one of the most successful cyclists and well-respected teammates in American history,” said Universal Sports Network SVP of Production Dean Walker. “His story remains a relevant topic of discussion as fans continue to struggle with the reality of a dark period within the sport and as George continues to be an advocate of racing ‘clean’. We hope this program can serve as a catalyst to foster conversation around doping for future generations.”

Born to Colombian parents and a cycling-loving father, Hincapie began racing at the age of 10. After a successful junior career in which he captured 10 national titles and two world championship medals, he graduated to the professional ranks with some of the sport’s top teams and became known as America’s top Classics rider. His supporting role to Lance Armstrong in all seven of his Tour de France victories made Hincapie a legend in his own right and the most acclaimed domestique in history. (Domestique refers to a rider who works for the benefit of the team leader.)

“There is a point when you become a professional athlete when you realize that talent can only get you so far,” said Hincapie about his stellar reputation as a loyal teammate. “You realize everybody at that level is amazingly good, and the small difference is your mindset, your desire to work, your work ethic - those are the things that make a difference.”

Hincapie also explains in detail how his personal involvement with performance-enhancing drugs began and the pressures that led this ultimate teammate to turn against his friends and associates.

“I thought it was going to be this really big deal, and it ended up being like going to the pharmacy and buying a pack of gum or a pack of cigarettes,” Hincapie recalls about the first time he went to buy EPO (Erythropoietin) from a pharmacy in Switzerland in 1996. “I ordered the box, she handed it to me, took my money and that was it. It's crazy how easy it was. And when I went to go inject myself, I was convinced that [doping] was the only way to continue on doing what I was doing.”

After narrowly dodging a 2006 drug test, Hincapie decided to quit doping altogether. In 2012, he retired from professional racing after a 19-year career that saw him become one of the most respected cyclists in the peloton. Following his retirement, Hincapie released a statement admitting to doping and was among 11 former teammates of Lance Armstrong who testified during the investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that led to Armstrong’s downfall.

Since his retirement, Hincapie has taken a more active role in family business interests alongside his brother, Rich, including Hincapie Sportswear, Gran Fondo Hincapie, Hotel Domestique and the professional Hincapie Sportswear Development Team.

With regard to his current involvement with the cycling community and in developing professional cyclists, Hincapie said, “Who better than me to know what's wrong and what's right because I've done both. I think that I could be a strong advocate for cycling in the future.”

Along with personal photos and TV footage from Hincapie’s professional racing days, George Hincapie: The Loyal Lieutenant also includes interviews with pro cyclist Mark Cavendish, Hincapie’s wife, Melanie, and brother and business partner, Rich Hincapie.Encore presentations will air throughout August and September. Check local listings for times. To find Universal Sports Network on your channel finder, please visit universalsports.com.

Courting Milloy? Better call on St. Jude

A couple of weeks ago, Courtland Milloy went on a bike ride with Veronica Davis as a follow up to his much-criticized column about cyclists. And he wrote a column about the ride in which he continues to complain about cyclists, although now for all new reasons. 

The City Paper has a couple of good pieces about it. Aaron Wiener writes about how little Milloy's opinions changed as a result of the ride, though he has shifted gears to a concern about the safety of cyclists. 

To Milloy, bikes and cars don't mix, at least not in a busy city like D.C. "When you're mixing bikes with cars, I don’t think that there is a feel for how much danger lurks down the road in a place like this," he says. "You’re putting bikers on a street designed for cars, trucks, at a time when you have boom cranes swinging around."

And Jonathon L. Fischer tries to make sense of Milloy's columns, both of which are pretty scatter-shot. 

The growth in bicycling in D.C. coincides with (and is certainly related to) the city's profound demographic changes, which is why bicycles and bike laneshave taken on such totemic power. And the perception that bike lanes only benefit D.C.'s mostly white, mostly young, mostly affluent arrivistes isn't helped by the fact that the city's poorest, blackest wards hardly have lanes at all. But the way to ensure better behavior by everyone toward people using other modes of transportation isn't finger-wagging columns, and it certainly isn't making life harder for one mode or another. It's having roads for everyone, with clearer signs and better rules.

But WTOP makes it clear that Milloy's opinions are not changed - not that I'm surprised. He strikes me a little like a 4 year old who has made a scene over not liking guacamole before trying it, and is now hellbent on not liking it - no matter what it tastes like.

Milloy added was asked if the experience of riding through rush hour traffic had changed his perception of cyclists. "Fundamentally no, it has not changed" he said. What about having to dodge car doors being opened into the path of his bike, or having to squeeze past trucks and cars parked in the bike lanes, did he see things from the cyclists point of view? No, he said. "What has changed is that I know for SURE that I don't belong out here on a bicycle" because it's too confusing to move through the different traffic patterns.

Milloy said "I don't know what I'm doing out here, just like most of these bikers out here."

There's plenty in here to find fault with, so let me just pick out a few. 

But I’d been too busy fidgeting with the gear shifts on my handlebars to notice. Of course, if I had collided with the car, the driver would have been at fault. That’s because in this bike-friendly city, the driver is always wrong.

This is one of those myths that pops up pretty regularly. Of course, anyone who follows the coverage of bike crashes in DC knows that it isn't true. Cyclists get assaulted and when the police show up, they get ticketed. A cyclist in a bike lane with a green light can get run over and killed by a dump truck and the driver won't even be ticketed. A cyclist can be standing out of the way, get run over by a Humvee and the driver walks away. A cyclist can be run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver, who once caught, doesn't even get a ticket

And that’s my biggest problem with bikers on D.C. streets. Too many of them bike like me. They are clueless. Wouldn’t know a “cycle track” from an Amtrak.

That's odd, because such a claim never even makes an appearance in the first column. If it's his biggest problem, why leave it out? He threw everything else out there. Furthermore, it's just not true. The average cyclist out there knows very well what they're doing - if they didn't they'd be in more crashes. And he tries to single out CaBi riders, even though the available evidence is that bike share cyclists are pretty safe. [CaBi riders ride around 2 miles per trip. If we assume that to be the average for all bikeshare riders then bikeshare is approaching 46 million miles. There was one automobile fatality every 47 million miles as recently as 1990].

Cyclists are no more clueless than drivers  something that Milloy demonstrated when he showed that he had no idea how to merge at a mixing zone,

Milloy asked how it was that cyclists and drivers were supposed to know where to position themselves in and near the green painted bike boxes, or who had the right of way though areas known as "mixing zones", those broken lines that allow cars to slide across the bike lane from the center to make a left turn.

That is something that a driver should know right? If they don't, then they're clueless. Where is the problem-having with such clueless drivers? 

To avoid a car door swinging open, bikers are encouraged to ride in the middle of the lane, “so we are completely visible to motorists,” Davis said. Bikers have a name for that. It’s called “taking the lane.” I call it impeding traffic.

Well then, Milloy is not interested in sharing the road. If after being told that taking the lane is the safest option, he still opposes it without contradicting that claim, then what he is saying is that safety is not the primary goal; the unimpeded movement of cars is. How can we have a discussion about sharing the road with someone who's values are so skewed from the norm?

When a biker cuts into a line of bikers, it’s denounced as “shoaling,” but when a biker worms his way to the front of a line of cars waiting at a light, then meanders along without letting anybody pass, it’s a right.

I'm not personally bothered by shoaling, but there are a few differences here. First is that a moving bike takes up more space than a stopped one because the cyclist moves side to side to power it, so while there is space next to a stopped cyclists, there may not be enough next to a moving one, meaning that everyone has to sort themselves out quickly. The same is not true of a car. Second is that by moving ahead of cars, bikes make themselves safer, which is why cities (including DC) are adding bike boxes. 

In the other articles he makes more errors.

"Some of the best bikers, the guys who look like they’re part of some racing team, they’re more dangerous than the ones who don’t look like they know what they’re doing," he says. Because motorists "won't run over a crow," he argues, they get "spooked" when they see bikers coming toward them at high speeds in their side-view mirrors. "Bikers, they get away with some good stuff, man," he says. "People don’t know how many fender benders are caused by that thing."

Where is he getting this stuff? Not from any experts or data. It would serve him to learn about this stuff before he talks about it. There is just no evidence that any of this is true - except that people probably do not know how many fender benders are caused by bikes. It's probably not many though. And if drivers are getting spooked by law-abiding cyclists in the side-view mirror and getting into fender benders as a result, perhaps they shouldn't drive. 

Among them, Milloy said, is having bikes registered at the local DMV, just like cars. He suggested bikes should have license plates that should be lit so that they could be seen at night.

"If we're going to play 'rules of the road apply to everything' then let's do it," he said.

That's not rules of the road, that's new rules of the road. But, following that out, I guess we should require motorists under 16 to wear helmets. And allow cyclists on interstates. And allow cars on sidewalks. That's ridiculous. Which is why we don't play  'rules of the road apply to everything.'  And no cyclist advocates for that. 

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