Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Funnies - Who Are You?

With warm weather coming. Ask yourself, which cyclist are you?

Like us on Facebook

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sometimes 140 Characters is not Enough

Recently I engaged Philadelphia Inquirer writer Inga Saffron in a discussion on Twitter regarding her concerns over a bill being considered by Philadelphia City Council( One that would consolidate several city departments under a single authority, possibly under the authority of the City Council. Which could create a patchwork effect for future projects.

As you can see from the Twitter exchange Ms. Saffron seems to be under the impression that Mayor Nutter’s administration bears some responsibility for the lack of new bike lanes since 2012. The dialogue reached a point where I felt that a 140 character sound bite was not going to communicate what I had to say.

So let me be blunt, Mayor Nutter’s administration is not responsible for the lack of new bicycle lanes since 2012. That honor is bestowed upon the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Who in 2012 thought that giving City Council approval over the installation of future bike lanes that would replace parking or an existing lane of traffic in exchange for the Complete Streets Bill. This was the same deal that the BCGP fought against in 2011.

I don’t know what the BCGP was thinking when they made this deal. The City Council has history of trying to pass punitive bills against cyclists and to think that a City Council member would not use this option was delusional.

This point was driven home Council-Man at Large Bill Greenlee ( who declared that no bike lane would be installed on 22nd St, between Fairmont and Spring Garden. He claimed that the street needed two lanes of traffic, even though the Streets Department stated that two lanes would not fit. He also claimed that local constituents objected. But refused to allow a public hearing. The frightening thing about this is that a Council-Man at Large has no defined district. They are free to take action in district they chose, even though each district has its own councilman.

There are things I do blame the Nutter administration for. Their failure to deal with the police turning the bike lane at 13th & Arch into police parking. Even though there is public garage and a police parking lot available. Or their unwillingness to get religious institutions to stop using the Pine St. bike lane as on street parking. As most of them have arrangements for off street parking.

But at the end of the day the reason there have been no new bike lanes in Philadelphia since 2012 is because of the deal the BCGP made with City Council for the Safe Streets Bill. Not because of a failure on the part of the Nutter Administration.

If Ms. Saffron feels otherwise she can write something more than 140 characters long about how the Nutter Administration is partly or fully responsible for the lack of new bike lanes since 2012.

Like us on Facebook

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lets Go Ride a Bike

With warm weather approaching people will be turning to thoughts of love. The love of bicycling. For those of you who are looking for way to socialize and ride your bikes there many options available in Philadelphia.

Take Your Time Bike Ride -
Departing from Rittenhouse Square on the second Tuesday of every month around 6pm. These rides always include a different destination each ride. Starting in April and ending in October these rides alternate between coed and women only.

Philly Full Moon Bike Ride
Come howl at the moon with the Philly Full Moon Bike Ride. Held on the full moon of every month this ride departs from the Philadelphia Art Museum in the evening. Well attended, with a no drop policy this ride ends up at a local bar for drinks. Rides are held year round so dress for the weather and bring lights.

Philly Bike Party
Come dance the night away with the Philly Bike Party. The Philly Bike Party rides are usually on the third Saturday of the month and is 6 to 8 miles long. Along the way the ride makes several stops to socialize and dance.

Philly Kidical Mass
Kidical Mass Philadelphia is part of nationwide movement seeking to promote family friendly bike rides and bring awareness in our cities that kids are traffic too. Riding as a group Philly Kidical Mass provides safety in numbers by using routes that incorporate bike lanes and low traffic streets that are 1 to 4 miles long. These rides often end at local playgrounds giving you the opportunity to socialize while your children play with new friends.

Cranksgiving Philadelphia
Held in November close to Thanksgiving. Each rider has to purchase food from a shopping list at predesignated supermarkets and then arrive at a final destination. All of the food is donated to Philabundance. For those of you who want to race there are prizes for top finishers in several categories and a special award for the individual who brings the most food. In 2014 Cranksgiving Philadelphia had 100 participants who brought 1200 pounds of food and $700 in cash.

Held in the fall around November, the Philadelphia Tweed Ride is the dressiest social ride in town. Attracting 100 riders on average the Philadelphia Tweed Ride dress code asks its participants to dress in clothing from 1900 to 1920 England. The attire ranges from vintage clothing to vintage inspired, with bikes to match. Winding its way through Philadelphia this ride becomes a parade of its own. Complete with a stop for a picnic,  post ride drinks and awards the Philadelphia Tweed Ride is the ride of the social season.

Bilenky Junkyard Cross
The Bilenky Junkyard Cross closes out the social riding cycling season. Held in December in the junkyard abutting Bilenky Cycle Works, the Bilenky Junkyard Cross has one of the most unique courses around. Utilizing  items found in the junkyard you can expect to climb over cars, weave through auto parts and tires, and splash through puddles of unknown fluids. Each year the merry elves at Bilenky Cycle Works add their own course modifications. Pits made from sofa cushions or leaves and seesaws.