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Kidically SPRING this SATURDAY, April 18 4:30pm Maywood Park

It's Spring! It's Spring! Time to ditch those winter coats, those dark, dark mornings, those heavy gloves. And it's time to ride bikes.

The weather has been gorgeous, and this Saturday promises to continue the trend. Kidical Mass Arlington will take the opportunity to venture through two new (to us) historic neighborhoods: Maywood and Cherrydale! We'll meet at Maywood Park, and ride around one of Arlington's few historic districts - Maywood. We'll cruise down to the Custis Trail (one of the few flat sections) and over to Hayes Park. After a short break to enjoy the park, we'll hop back on the bikes, and circle through Cherrydale, back through Maywood, and back to a little hidden trail through Thrifton Hills Park. Those that wish can join us at the Lyon Village shopping center for dinner (probably at BGR).

The route is on the short side, but has some notable downhill stretches -- please double check your brakes! The route back from the shopping center to the park is short but straight uphill.

When: Saturday, April 18, 2015 4:30pm (roll out 4:35pm - come early to play!)

Meet: Maywood Park -- 22nd Street North between Irving and Kenmore, Arlington

Parking: On the surrounding residential streets.

End: Lyon Village Shopping Center -- Lee Highway and Spout Run Parkway (don't worry - we don't bike on those roads to get there or to get back - about 1/4 mile from the start, via an uphill trail


Hope to see you there!


Frequently we talk here about bicycling insurance and where to find it, and I was recently sent some promotional information about Bikeinsure. For $199/year you get three kinds of insurance coverage (up to $45,000) for expenses stemming from accidents while riding a bicycle.

(The name makes me think of Baikonur Cosmodrome). 

Capital Bikeshare Equity Town hall

From the CaBi unionization effort:

As Capital Bikeshare passes the mid-point of its 4th year of operation; institutes its first-ever rate hike and witnesses significant changes in the company that manages the system, we (CaBi members, employees and concerned community members) feel that it is a good time to evaluate its effect and contribution to our city and metropolitan area.

• Why is Capital Bikeshare raising its rates and where is the money actually going?
• Has Capital Bikeshare developed into a true transit option for area residents?
• Have our public dollars been well spent on the hardware and management of the system?
• Can we re-imagine Capital Bikeshare as a real public transportation system?
• What can public officials be doing to ensure that the needs, desires and priorities of residents—including employees of Capital Bikeshare—are given great weight in the planning and operation of the system?
• Is contracting with a private corporation the best way to ensure the responsible stewardship of a public good?
• What do we know about the new owners of the company that runs Capital Bikeshare and what are their likely motivations in bailing out the previous owners?

Capital Bikeshare has a new "boss" in a group of investors who dug into their deep pockets to bail out the financially troubled Alta Bicycle Share, the private company that operates Capital Bikeshare along with 9 other municipal bikeshare systems. In the process, they rebranded the company as “Motivate”. The group of investors participate in a family of other ventures, including Equinox (a high-end fitness and lifestyle brand, which also operates Soul Cycle) and Related Companies (one of the nation’s wealthiest real estate investment firms). Since the purchase, Motivate has been aggressively anti-union; bikeshare workers in four major systems (New York, Boston, Chicago, and DC) all voted to join Transport Workers Union Local 100 despite intense opposition from the owners of Motivate.

We will be holding a town hall meeting with fellow Capital Bikeshare members, TWU Local 100 union members, transportation advocates, and community members to discuss the past, present, and future of Capital Bikeshare on Tuesday April 21st at 6:30pm at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library Meeting Room.

Current sponsors include:
TWU Local 100
DC Jobs With Justice
ATU Local 689

Improving bicycle access to underutilized rail stations in DC

The Transportation Planning Board recently did a study on underutilized Metro/MARC/VRE stations in the DC area to see if they could be modified to make them more accessible by cyclists and pedestrians. By underutilized they mean stations that are serving fewer passengers then they were designed to handle. 

The study began by examining ridership at all 91 Metro stations and several MARC and VRE commuter rail stations throughout the region. Ultimately it identified 25 stations capable of accommodating additional riders that also have the greatest potential to see increased ridership demand in the next decade,

Having identified the 25 stations, the study then looked at potential infrastructure improvements that would make it easier to get to each of the stations on foot or by bicycle.

In all, the study identified more than 3,000 improvements, including new or improved sidewalks, crosswalks, shared-use paths, bike parking, bike lanes, and wayfinding signage. Most of the improvements had already been included in existing local plans and Metro station area plans, though some were identified by a field team organized by the TPB as part of the study.

You can see an interactive map of all 25 stations, with their improvements here. It runs a little slow for me, but it's still filled with a lot of interesting ideas and suggestions. And this list will be used to select projects for federal Transportation Alternatives funding. Here's a link to a spreadsheet with all the projects listed. 

Looking at just one for an example, the Silver Spring Metro station made the list of 25. Near it are severla projects including improved markings at Wayne and Ramsey,improved intersections along East-West highway, a trail along 16th Street, sharrows and a bike trail along Colesville Road, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, sharrows along 2nd, Wayne, Georgia Avenue, etc...

Northern Virginia Tour de Cure 2015 seeking volunteers


Tour de Cure is a challenging cycling event that allows both the avid and recreational cyclist to raise money for diabetes research, advocacy, and information programs. 1,600 cyclists in the national capital area participate as part of a team or individually. All funds raised support the American Diabetes Association in our mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Last year, our Northern Virginia Tour de Cure participants raised close to $650,000!

Why Volunteer:

Make a personal impact on the community, especially on those living with diabetes. Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. As a Tour de Cure volunteer, you are guaranteed to make new friends, expand your professional network, and boost your social skills. Not to mention the event is a lot of fun with giveaways from vendors, free lunch, free breakfast, free t-shirt, etc...

When: Volunteer Sunday June 7, Anytime from 2:00pm-6:00pm

What Volunteers will do:

Tasks vary on what time of day you arrive. Volunteer duties range from set up, clean up, greeters, registration, routes markers, food servers, bike marshals, SAG drivers, cheerleaders (perfect for kids and boy/girl scouts), crossing guards, rest stop/water stop supervisors, first aid and more.

Where Ride starts:

Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St, Reston VA 20190, ride goes along W&OD trail through Purcellville VA to Marshal, VA. We need volunteers to cover the geographical spectrum of the ride.

Who to Contact: or call 202-331-8303 Ext. 4537

Email for Details!!!!!

It happens every April

In keeping with a now annual Cherry Blossom tradition, Capital Bikeshare set a new single day record on Saturday - 17.286 trips in a single day

In 2013, CaBi set a record of 11,368 trips during the CBF and then broke that a few days later for a record of 11,372. Last year, they broke the record on Friday with 11,551 and then on Saurday with 15,746.

City Paper Best of 2015

Many of the City Paper's "Best of" categories had to do with biking this year. Here's a brief run down of them:

Best Bike Lane - L Street Cycletrack

Best Bike Trail - Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Best Bike Shop - The Bike Rack (runner-up Bicycle Space and then Capitol Hill Bikes)

Best Bike Shop for Biking Newbies - District Hardware and the Bike Shop

Best Place to Get a Flat Tire Fixed - BicycleSpace

Best Place to Get your Bike Fixed - BicycleSpace (runner-up The Bike Rack and then Capitol Hill Bikes)

Best Late Night Bike Route - Madison and Jefferson Drives

Best Place to Get Hit While Riding a Bike - Connecticut Ave NW

Best Argument for the War on Cars - Wendy's and "Dave Thomas Circle" (so named in 2005 by DDOT in Appendix B.3 of the New York Avenue Corridor Study - see below) which won it's own Best Of award

Dave Thomas Circle

Bike lanes reduce the severity of injuries, especially if you're not in them

According to a recent study of New York City bike-car crashes, 

bicyclists on roads with bike lanes who were riding outside the lane had lower likelihood of severe injuries (OR, 0.40, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.99) compared with bicyclists riding on roads without bicycle facilities.

In fact riding outside of a bike lane, on a road with bike lanes had the lowest ratio of severe injuries to total injuries of the 6 scenarios considered. That doesn't mean they were "safer", since it doesn't say anything about how certain facilities might help avoid crashes in the first place. But it might lead to safer design. Ranking the 6 scenarios (after adjusting for confounding variables and ignoring hit-and-run crashes) from highest to lowest severe injury ratio (worst to best) creates this list:

1. No bicycle facility

2, Sharrows

3. Riding outside cycle track

4. Riding inside cycle track

5. Riding inside bike lane

6. Riding outside bike lane

But that isn't really what this study is about. The study is really about how police crash report forms aren't properly designed to capture bicycle crash data. So the researchers grabbed a selected sample of police crash reports from New York City, pulled out the data they think should be included and then created the above analysis as more or a demonstration of the utility of better forms.

On current forms used in 51 states, the only data consistently included was whether or not one party was a "pedal-cyclist" and whether or not they had a helmet on. 

Our research suggests that new bicycle crash-scene variables might be informative for analysis including: 4 bicycle environments (roads, sharrows, bike lanes and cycle tracks); 18 motor vehicle potential impact points including opened car doors and mirrors; 4 bicycle potential impact points; whether in or out of the bicycle environment; 10 bicycle-crash-scene patterns (turn/impact); and motor vehicle types relevant to bicyclists. Having these new variables revealed higher crash frequency on motor vehicle fronts, bicycle fronts, no bike facility, sedan and as sideswipes.

Impact codes

It should be noted that New York City isn't exactly representative. Many of the crashes there involved taxis - hence the prominence of sedans - and I feel like NYC has far more taxis per capita then most other places. But with better forms adopted nationwide, these kinds of local oddities could be accounted for. Anther thing their analysis revealed:

Compared with bicyclists hitting the back of the motor vehicle, opened motor vehicle doors and mirrors resulted in higher risk of severe injury

These results should be taken with a grain of salt. They used a non-random selection of crash reports, with a small sample size, in a city that is very different from the American norm; but the point is that better forms will lead to better data and that better data will lead to better conclusions and designs.

If these new bicycle-crash-scene variables were entered into the existing spreadsheets, bicycling could be analysed with minor injuries as the control and severe injuries as the case. Though not as ideal as a comparison between no injury and injury, using the data in the spreadsheet at least enables a comparison between minor injury and severe injury.

The report notes that such data to could help us decide between bike lanes and cycle tracks and

If environments and crash patterns were coded for motor vehicle/ bicyclist crashes, intersections might be better understood and designed to lessen the looked-but-failed-to-see-errors. Better data leading to better analysis would also inform bicyclist and driver education efforts

They call for something I first heard mentioned years ago - police should use a tablet-computer to enter data on a digital form that asks questions based on what information has been entered so far and provides drop-down lists to make entry better. Is one person a cyclist? then ask about a bike helmet (Instead of asking about safety equipment and including the helmet on a list with car seats) At night? Then ask about lights. Etc...

As one who's poured through FARS data (post forthcoming I swear) and I can attest to the fact that the forms do a terrible job of dealing with bicycle data and are in need of a rewrite. I've spent less time with DC police reports - but even there, there is much room for improvement. (via NextCity)

Free bikes for people in need

In census data recently reported on here, the lack of a bike was listed as the 4th most common reason why DC area residents didn't bike commute. Now Pure City Cycles is doing something about it - they're giving away bikes through their "Need a Bike?" Giveaway.

Sometimes the dice of life roll against you and you need a little help to get your dreams back on track.  Over the years, we've heard from tons of happy customers and their stories about how riding has changed their lives always brighten up the office.  We've also heard from those desperately interested in getting a bike, but hindered by circumstance, calamity, or budget.  We always do our best to help, but now we want to teleport a couple people straight from that second group to the first!

That's where this giveaway comes in.  We want to hear your stories. Your goals. Your dreams. And why having a bike will help you get there.  That's it!  

Make a video, tell us who you are, why you need a bike, and have some fun!  We'll be watching all the vids and giving out two brand new bikes to the winners!

Submit your video and read the rules here.

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