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Archives for October, 2013

BART Lifts Commute-Hour Bike Blackout


BART has unanimously voted to permanently end the bike blackout during weekday commute hours in the morning and afternoon.

Starting three months ago, cyclists were welcomed to bring bikes on BART trains at all times – it was a five-month pilot program by BART management.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The policy officially takes effect Dec. 1, but since a six-month test of allowing bicycles on all trains at all times is in progress, the unrestricted access policy is already in effect.

Public comments Thursday on the proposed change drew mostly supporters, many of them members of bicycle advocacy groups or BART committees that have worked on the issue. The only public opposition came from Antonette Bryant, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents station agents and train operat0rs.

Read the rest of the post after the jump! Read more… »

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) continues to do a great job promoting bike advocacy throughout the San Francisco East Bay.

For anyone interested, they are promoting classroom and on-road skills classes that are great for both novice and advanced riders.

EBBC hosts these events throughout the San Francisco East Bay, but here are details for the upcoming Alameda classes:

Day 1: Classroom Workshop Schedule:

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Alameda Fire Department Conference Center
431 Stardust Place
Building 522 on Alameda Point
Register for this Alameda class

This session is not part of the Bike Traffic School program.

Attend this class and receive a free reflective vest!

Saturday, November 16th, 2013
Mastick Senior Center, Room D
1155 Santa Clara Ave
Register for this Alameda class

Day 2: Road Class Schedule:
Nothing in Alameda – you’ll have to head to Fremont:

Sunday, November 10th, 2013
Centerville Community Center
3355 Country Dr.
Register for this Fremont class

It’s amazing that the Bike Alameda and EBBC are working to ensure riders in Alameda are being as safe as possible when riding. A two-class seminar can help riders become more comfortable with riding on the road safely – and with many drivers blissfully unaware of people on two wheels, these classes could help you avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Alameda is one of the top 291 most bike-friendly cities in the United States, receiving a bronze status, according to The League of American Bicyclists.

Each city is ranked based on the five following criteria: “creating safe and convenient places to ride; providing education for new and less experienced  cyclists; creating a strong bike culture; ensuring safe roads for biking; and planning for bicycling as a safe and viable transportation option.”

This is a great award for a city that is clearly dedicated to helping people get around town by bike – and receiving recognition should be a good honor for the city.

I’ve ridden a bike in a lot of areas in the country, and believe Northern California has some of the most scenic roads to enjoy. The San Francisco Bay Area has plenty of great places to ride, with quite a few scenic locations within 60 minutes to Alameda.

Even when I get caught behind a draw bridge going up, it’s still such a unique situation to stumble across on your daily bike commute:

I occasionally have trouble with an overly aggressive driver that doesn’t want to give me room on the road, but riding around Alameda is still one of the more enjoyable locations to be on two wheels.

It was just a few years ago when the Alameda Police Department was criticized for being too aggressive with traffic enforcement. Fast forward a few years, and now some people say the APD isn’t enforcing traffic violations harshly enough – I think it is fine, as officers certainly are looking for people disrespecting cyclists.  (Also keep in mind, people on bikes not following the rules are often stopped for traffic violations.)

Bye-bye, Euskatel-Euskadi.

The Basque cycling squad, with its bright orange jerseys and largely Spanish roster over the years, is pulling the plug on a successful 20-year run.

Team Euskatel-Euskadi rider getting after it.

Team Euskatel-Euskadi rider getting after it.

I grew up watching pro cycling and seeing the Spaniards in their orange jerseys light up mountain stages was inspirational.

It’s a shame to see Euskatel shutter after 20 years – the poor economy in Spain caused a long-time sponsor to consolidate spending.  There was last-minute hope that F1 driving superstar Fernando Alonso, a longtime cycling supporter, would invest millions to save Euskatel. Expect to see an Alonso-backed team sometime in mid-2014, if all goes according to plan.

The team closing unfortunately means a full squad of riders, team mechanics, and other employees are largely going to be out of a job. Team Sky picked up Spanish climber Mikel Nieve and will be an important part of Chris Froome’s 2014 Tour de France squad. Expect other riders to join a ProTour team, retire, ride neo-pro, or not have a team for next season.

Read more:

VeloNews – Cycling loses something special with demise of Euskatel
Cyclingnews – Euskatel-Euskadi: an idea as much as a team