Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bikes on light rail

... light-rail trains contain hooks on the ceiling inside the cars. Bikers must hang their bikes vertically inside a car rather than load their bikes on the front exterior the way they do on a bus.

Rich Rumer, chairman of the Arizona Coalition of Bicyclists, said most cyclists he has talked to like the idea of bringing their bikes on the train. "The bike community as a whole is excited about it because it's an intermodal thing, and that should be the goal," he said.

-- Loading bike on train requires feat of strengh, The Arizona Republic, Dec 27, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Light Rail Grand Opening Celebration

The Coalition exhibited at Metro Light Rail's Grand Opening Celebration.

The booth was in Tempe on Opening Day, December 27, at Veteran's Way & College Ave.) from 10AM to 5PM.

More photos from grand opening here.

Cycling and Light-Rail go hand-in-hand since each extends the destination horizons of the other. So whether you are primarily a Light-Rail / Bus rider or primarily a cyclist, you can benefit from using both. We are asking for volunteers to staff the booth. You will be answering questions about bicycles on L-R vehicles and handing out safety fliers. If we have enough volunteers, we may have a second booth at the "Green Scene" in Tempe as well. Please contact cazbike@gmail.com if you can help.

L-R rides are free Saturday Dec 27 thru Wednesday, Dec 31 so you can help a couple hours and still have plenty of opportunity to "Ride the Rails" in smooth, quiet comfort with your (optional) bicycle on the rack (video demo).

And don't forget to review the safety considerations of operating around the Light rail.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CAzBike 2008 Year in Review

For nearly twenty years CAzBike has been YOUR advocacy and education resource in Arizona. Made up of hundreds of individual and family members, as well as many supporting businesses and clubs, we have represented you across the state and nation.
Our advocates have represented Arizona Arizona at the Bike Education Conference in Austin Texas, The National Bike Summit in Washington DC, and The Pro Bike/Pro Walk symposium in Seattle Washington. Within Arizona our advocates have served....read the rest in .pdf

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pedaler should ride light rail: Bicycling on it is a danergous choice

The following guest editorial published Dec 10, 2008 Arizona (Phoenix) Republic was in reply to a "Letter to the Editor" (see comments for original letter).

Mr. Wilson advocates the use of Light-Rail Right-of-Way for cycling. I am very glad he touts the clean and healthy effects of our great sport and mode of transportation. As a League Cycling Instructor and a specialist in rail-bicycle issues, I am aghast at his disregard of his own safety and the legitimate users of Light-Rail (L-R) and the streets. Let me detail the dangers he creates.
L-R trains have been running in our streets for over a year now and will soon be running almost around the clock. "Not-yet-in-use" is a fantasy that is clearly self-destructive to one's life.
"Pothole free" is one of his claims. In fact there are two holes in the road for every track. They are a bit more than an inch wide and miles long. They are the flange groves of the track itself that can grab a wheel in a split second. The next split second, the cyclist's body will collide with that smooth concrete, or whatever is nearby. I have such a picture in my safety materials.
L-R vehicles are fast and very quiet. Mr. Wilson may be temporarily away from automobiles, but he will encounter trains, whether he sees or hears them, or not. I say temporarily since there are intersections regularly. These intersections do have traffic lights to protect against close encounters of automobiles, pedestrians, L-R trains, and bicyclists following the rules of the road. For cyclists in the L-R Right-of-Way, there is no protection. Do we need to coin a new term here, namely Jay-rider?
Mr. Wilson claims, albeit tongue-in-cheek, that he is not "driving" on the tracks, and therefore not breaking the law. Aside from the few seconds that that argument might last before a judge says otherwise, driving a bicycle is exactly what we teach in our effective cycling classes. Riding is a passive approach that lets things happen to you. Driving is actively taking the responsibility of one's own actions while keeping in mind the rules of the road and how to anticipate and avoid mistakes of others, 100% of the time!
The irony of this argument is that our L-R system is "Bicycle Friendly". There are twice the Federally required number of bike racks on each vehicle. Additional space in the entryways may be used during non-peak hours. Lockers are provided at the park-and-ride stations. Metro Light-Rail has reached out to the cycling community recognizing that these modes of transportation go hand-in-hand. Each extends the destination horizons of the other.
My suggestion to Mr. Wilson: Drive your bicycle to the L-R station, then ride the train. Above all, "Watch Your Back, Keep Off the Track".

Gene Holmerud
PE (AZ, Electrical, retired)
Rails-to-Trails Member #6246510
League Cycling Instructor #1193
Vice-President for Rail Safety and Access, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists
Operation Lifesaver Presenter

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spring BikeEd Schedule

The Spring 2009 BikeEd Schedule has been posted. Vist the BikeEd page for dates and instant registration.