January 2018

Train for cyclists starts weekend runs between Tokyo and Chiba

From Asahi.com


Cyclist Toru Yoshioka didn’t have to worry about his bicycle bothering other passengers on Jan. 6 as he boarded a new weekend offering by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).

The train is offered exclusively for cyclists that connects Tokyo with the Boso Peninsula, which makes up most of Chiba Prefecture.

“In conventional trains, I have to pay attention to other passengers so that (my bicycle) does not bother them,” said Yoshioka, 32, a company employee of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. “But on this train, I can relax and enjoy a comfortable trip.”

The Boso Peninsula is regarded as a suitable place for cycling because the roads are generally flat and the climate is mild.

The train, named the B.B. Base (Boso Bicycle Base), allows passengers to bring their bicycles into the train without dismantling or folding them. About 70 cyclists boarded the B.B. Base on Jan. 6.

Starting from JR Ryogoku Station in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward, the six-car train, with a total of 99 seats, will make a one-day return trip every Saturday and Sunday. The train will run on one of four lines, Uchibo, Sotobo, Narita and Sobu, every weekend.


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Cycling Becomes Illinois’ Official State Exercise

From StreetsBlog.org


Back in September I reported on House Bill 1784, which unanimously passed the Illinois legislature on August 25, officially legalizing three commonsense bike-related practices. The laws kicked in on New Year’s Day (thanks to state bike advocacy organization Ride Illinois, which proposed the bill, for the reminder), so here’s a quick recap.

Drivers may cross a solid centerline in order to safely pass a cyclist.

On most two-lane roads, the travel lanes are too narrow for motorists to safely and legally pass cyclist by providing the required three feet of clearance, without crossing the center line. In a no-passing zone with a solid centerline, drivers can now do so with the confidence that they aren’t breaking the law, assuming that there’s no danger of striking an oncoming vehicle in the other lane.

Bike riders are allowed to ride on the shoulder of the road

This should be obvious, but the new legislation specifies that it’s legal (although not required) for cyclists to use the shoulder of the road. Making it clear that cyclists may the shoulder could be helpful in liability cases where a cyclist is struck on the shoulder, and it will also be useful for road agencies that wish to designate a road shoulder as part of a marked bike route.

Cyclists may use a taillight instead of a rear reflector

Again, this should be a no-brainer, but the legislation codifies the fact that a rear, red taillight is at least as visible as a comparably sized reflector. The city of Chicago, as well as eight states, already allow a taillight to be used instead of a reflector, and now Illinois has a more logical law in this regard as well.


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Calabasas-Based 10 Speed Coffee Races to Santa Monica

From LA.Eater.com

The owners are aiming for April to open up a bike-themed coffeehouse


The owners behind Calabasas’ Pedaler’s Fork just lined up a new space in Santa Monica called 10 Speed Coffee. According to spokesperson Gideon Kleinman, the new cafe will open in early April on the corner of 20th and Santa Monica Boulevard.

ToddRickallen caught first sight of the forthcoming coffeehouse. 10 Speed Coffee is partnering with Heirloom LA for food provisions, and works with a local coffee trader. Just over the hill, Pedaler’s Fork has a 10 Speed Coffee, a separate full bar, a bicycle-themed restaurant, and a bike shop all under one roof. 10 Speed Coffee was first founded in Oregon, but bought by the Pedaler’s Fork crew in 2012.

The busy corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 20th is full of medical buildings, and is a largely corporate coffee zone. The only independent coffee slinger is blocks away at Cafe 8 12.


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Aging boomers: Forget the car, get on a bike

From MNN.com


There are alternatives to driving that can work just about anywhere.


One of the problems we face as aging baby boomers is that most of us live in the kinds of places where we don’t have many transportation alternatives to driving. And while many people can drive safely well into old age, others cannot. Reaction times slow significantly. According to one study, “… it takes a 60-year-old driver 9 seconds to recover from undergoing a road glare, whereas this only takes 2 seconds for someone who is 30. Reaction times are also 22 times slower for someone who is 65, compared to a 30-year-old.”

For many, losing a driver’s license is a significant negative milestone. One expert told CBC News: “It’s been demonstrated and said many times, that receiving the news that you will be losing your driver’s license has the same weight as being diagnosed with cancer.”

The problem is, there are few alternatives. Even in cities where there are relatively good para-transit systems, it’s a seriously time-consuming endeavor, and cities are cutting back on eligibility because it costs so much money. When she was well into her 90s, my mom had to prove she was actually incapable of walking any distance to be eligible. But she could also get pushed in her wheelchair to a number of restaurants and stores since she lived in the city. People who live in suburbs have it far worse than she did; they can become trapped.

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When California almost built a bicycle superhighway

From Californiasun.co


Copenhagen has been hailed for its so-called bicycle superhighways, started in 2012.

But a Southern Californian had the idea more than a century earlier.

It was this week in 1900 that saw the opening of the California Cycleway, an elevated wooden path designed to link Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles.

At the time, commuters slogged along rutted roads between the suburbs and downtown, where most of the jobs were.

Dan Koeppel, a Los Angeles-based writer who has researched the cycleway, said it offered an alternative that combined the cutting-edge bicycle with a novel idea — rapid transit.

“It really was visionary,” he said.

Conceived by Horace Dobbins, a millionaire businessman and later mayor of Pasadena, the nine-mile route was to soar up to 50 feet along the Arroyo Seco river valley. The toll was 10 cents.

On New Year’s Day, the first portion opened to great fanfare, prompting news reports as far as England.


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Gran Fondo Guide California

From GranFondoGuide.com

Gran Fondo means ‘Big Ride’. Connecting cyclists to cycling events worldwide. Gran Fondo Guide is the site for cyclists looking for “Bucket List” rides.


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Bike Registration That Works

From BikeIndex.org


Cofounded by Seth Herr and Bryan Hance in 2013, Bike Index is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

It is the most widely used and successful bicycle registration service in the world with over 151,000 cataloged bikes, 460 community partners and tens of thousands of daily searches.

Seth built Bike Index when he was a bike mechanic because he wanted to be able to register bikes for his customers. Bryan developed and ran a community driven bicycle recovery service (StolenBikeRegistry.com) that recovered bikes from the first week it was created in 2004.

Merging the two services Seth and Bryan created the universal bike registration service they both dreamed of—a database used and searched by individuals, bike shops, police departments and other apps. A bike registry that gives everyone the ability to register and recover bicycles.


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San Diego Bikeway Village now open for business

From BicycleTimesMag.com


Looking for somewhere new to bike, while also possibly getting in a few surf sessions or world-class craft beer pints?  Do you enjoy sun and sand, with temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit most of the year?  How about a cycling route that requires a ferry ride across a bay to complete it?

In early October 2017, the long-awaited Bikeway Village in San Diego’s South Bay opened to the public, creating a new bicycling center in the Pacific Ocean seaside community of Imperial Beach for bike-centric activities and events. Situated on the Bayshore Bikeway, the Village serves as a two-wheeled hub between and around the cities of Chula Vista, National City, Coronado, Imperial Beach, and downtown San Diego. With political leadership from the city of Imperial Beach, most notably the mayor, cyclists now have a go-to spot when turning pedals along San Diego Bay, a.k.a. South Bay.

Bikeway Village has all the amenities you may need: A parking area with integration onto the Bayshore Bikeway, restrooms, bike racks, a water refill station, and a relaxing courtyard and deck area for taking in spectacular bay views, among other things. While sitting back and taking in the expansive view from the deck, consider that the surrounding area was a major salt-producing site.  In fact, Bikeway Village is a refurbishment of a salt factory warehouse.

At Bikeway Village, there is 2 Wheels Cycling Boutique, a new bike shop, the only one in all of Imperial Beach.  The shop team is highly motivated to address the biking needs of the community, as well as people passing through while on the Bayshore Bikeway. Luis Martinez, Guillermo Cazarez, Raul Felix, Allan Hirko, and Christian Vizcaya commented that locals come in to chat, or for a tune-up and maybe even a quick tire change.  Committed cyclists might stop by for camaraderie and a quick tune-up, too.  No matter who you are, everyone gets the same welcome when they walk into the shop.


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