Category Archives: Article

Dead, Dying, and Born Again . . . Plus the Winners

Update on changes and stability in the bicycle magazine world.

Urban Velo – Dead. Urban Velo passed away at issue #45, December 2014 with an all-black cover. ABC fondly recalls that Urban Velo sponsored our showing “Premium Rush,” a 2012 bicycle messenger action-thriller, at the Madison Theater and gave us multiple copies of the magazine and frame stickers. Uraban Velo’s content had been slipping slowly away during 2014 . . .Urban Velo DEAD 12-14 COMP

They closed with this statement: “It has been a good run. . . . Most every city has taken it [cycling facilities] up to some degree, with the best featuring a spider web of lanes and dedicated paths, ample bike parking, and a healthy and diverse bike culture. Large-scale bikeshare was unthinkable not long ago . . . Simply riding a bicycle is hardly countercultural at this point, and there is no doubt that some of the closeness of the relatively under-the-radar city bike culture has gone to the wayside as the pool has gotten larger. The change isn’t without growing pains and nostalgia for the way it was, but the way it is shaping up to be the way we always wanted it to be. It is a good time to be a bicycle believer.”

Read more here.

“Bicycle Times” – Dying. Losing its way. Once editor Karen Brooks departed (abruptly – boom!), “Bicycle Times” seems to be lost in space and seems to be recreating itself as a music and beer mag. Have to watch how this develops. . .

Bicycle Times 2011 COMP

“Bicycling” After years of imagining that everyone on a bicycle wants to be super fast and thin, ride on carbon only, and is rich, “Bicycling” has recognized that there are other markets out there – cargo carriers, commuters, fat-tire fans, parents, e-bike advocates, women, people who can’t spend $12,000 on bicycle No. 26 and $425 for a GPS, and so on. So far, “Bicycling” seems to be hitting a nice mix with the last several issues. Now if they could just get past the cutesy language, the superlatives, and meaningless personal reminiscences in their reviews, we’d be all set.

Bicycling July 13 COMP

And the winners are . . .

“Momentum” – Remains the ultimate “unracer” bicycle magazines for the real world with lots of practical (and some impractical) tips, pointed reviews, great layout, and news for people on bicycles. Well worth the modest subscription price (print – $19.95, digital – $4.99) or pick up a comp copy at the Downtube Bicycle Works.Momenturm Winter 2014 COMP

“Bicycle Quarterly” – The absolute best from a technical viewpoint. No poetic baloney to wade through (like “Bicycling”). Hard hitting reviews, technical competence, clear editorial theme, tremendous photos, great ride stories, and no ads for cars, beer, sex toys, or “Blue Lagoon Skin Care” (again, a la “Bicycling”). Not only are the reviews plainly presented but also the manufacturer is given an opportunity to comment on the review as part of it – great strategy.

Bicycle Quarterly Spring 2014COMP

Special Interest  . . .

Two other special-interest mags are Adventure Cyclist and American Cyclist. Under the editorial leadership of Michael Deme, Adventure Cultist has a nice mix of ride narratives, product reviews, and bike touring tips. American Cyclist, the bi-monthly published presence of the League of American Bicyclists, features legislative/lobby efforts and successes and victories for people on bicycles and promotes education, cycling, bicycle clubs, and the benefits of the cycling lifestyle. Both of these are very well done and are provided as part of membership in the sponsoring advocacy organizations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Article

People on Bicycles – Welcome to Albany!

The City of Albany recently installed bicycle lanes on Northern Blvd. at Rt. 377/Van Rensselaer Blvd.  This is one of the major entries to the city.  The new lanes run from Van Rensselaer Blvd. to the Rt. 9 overpass.  The understanding from Albany Police Department’s Division of Traffic Safety is that, at some point, the lanes will be extended on into the city passing Memorial Hospital, a couple charter schools, and the (former) Livingston Middle School (being converted into residences).

??????????????????????????????? A closer look shows 5+ foot paved shoulders, 6 foot bicycle lanes, 12-foot right-hand (inside) lane on the south-east side (11 on the north-west side), and a left (outside) lane of about 11 feet.

Installation of the new lanes comes after a long dry spell since lanes were put in on Clinton Ave. (from Ten Brock to Lexington).  The Northern Blvd. area has always been a challenging ride.  The presence of the bicycle lanes should cause some traffic calming and may encourage more people to commute on bicycles.???????????????????????????????

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Bike Lanes, City Review

Is There Hope for I-787?

tumblr_l3fmm8IrTN1qzl4rno1_500On 3/4/15, the Times Union stated that “Supporters of the effort to give downtown Albany more access to the Hudson River should take heart from what’s happening 300 miles to our west” and then described how Buffalo/Niagara falls is ridding itself of  a 2-mile stretch of parkway to allow enjoyment of the Niagara Gorge and Falls.

Read the complete story here.
Albany now has a chance to right a 50-year-old disaster, the riverside I-787 and return it to a surface street with city-appropriate speed limits, traffic patterns and cross streets.

I-787 is just one of many misguided “all-car-all-the-time” projects that plague Buffalo, Binghamton, Endicott, Syracuse, and other cities across the state and nation – four-lane, limited access highways that cut cities and neighborhoods in half, block views of architecture, lakes and rivers, and add to noise, congestion and crashes.

Depending on which plan is adopted, the I-787 change may cost between $30 million and $50 million.  Not cheap, but there always seems to be plenty of public funds for local motor-centric projects like the following:

  • $99.7 million to add two more motor vehicle lanes to the 7 miles between exists 23 and 24 NYS Thruway ($14 million per mile)
  • $18 million for the fly over etc. on Fuller Road
  • $29 million for the repaving the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge (Kosciusko, 1746 – 1817, Hero of America and Poland)

The paper noted “. . . the Riverfront Arterial, the steel and concrete roadway that became Interstate 787 was part of the massive Empire State Plaza project. Thousands of state employees needed [it] to get in and out every workday. A massive highway system was deemed more important than maintaining access to the scenic Hudson River.”

Stay tuned for public meetings where those who care about a new and lively Albany can speak their piece.

tumblr_loptfhMnk81qzu3e6o1_1280

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, City Review, Riding in Albany, Support the Cause

Time is Running Out – Protected Bicycle Lanes Needed in Albany

tumblr_mbppcbAY5g1qz7afco1_1280If we want protected and/or separated bicycle lanes, we need to push for them. Remember, if you are getting this e-mail, it is likely that you are already interested in cycling or in supporting cycling. However, please recall that protected bicycle lanes may not be for YOU but they are for those who want to ride but who are unaware of this campaign.

Please support your desire for progressive bicycle facilities by writing to the mayor (or the addressee you prefer).

       The Honorable Kathy Sheehan

             Office of the Mayor

             City Hall, Rm. 102

             24 Eagle St.

             Albany, NY 12207

If you live, work, or do business in the City of Albany, you should feel more than comfortable writing to the mayor. If not, write to your town supervisor or other official instead.

Author a to-the-point letter on why you want safe protected or separated cycling facilities in the City of Albany. Your request could be in general or specifically for both Madison Ave. AND the link connecting the new Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail to the re-built Quay St. protected bicycle lanes at the Albany Corning Preserve.

Use your own arguments or chose from the following Protected Bicycle Lane benefits:

  1. Protected Bicycle Lanes shield people on bicycles with a physical barrier. They are the safest, most inviting way to ride.
  2. Local business benefit from Protected Bicycle Lanes.
  3. Safer for all – 40-50% fewer crashes for people on bicycles, on foot, or in cars.
  4. Protect people on bicycles with a physical barrier. Ordinary bike lanes not protected from traffic.
  5. Less pollution and wear and tear on streets.

 

If you want a sample letter to get you started, go here.

If you want to review and use other points, go here.

Sign and mail your letter.

If you have additional addresses (e.g., town supervisor, Common Council member, NYS Assembly or Senate member, neighborhood association) who you think need to get behind Protected Bicycle Lanes, send then each a similar letter/e-mail.

If you do not feel that protected bicycle lanes are a good fit for part of Albany’s bicycle route system, would you write to support your own ideas for making a better place for people on bicycles? How about: education about on bicycles for people in cars, way finding signage, conventional bicycle lanes, re-engineered roadways and intersections, bike boxes at some intersections, advance green lights for people on bicycles, maintenance of existing bicycle and shared lanes (e.g., Clinton Ave. and Western Ave. in Guilderland), special training for police officers on investigating crashes involving people on bicycles hit by cars, removing pejorative laws that impeded cycling, adding “no bicycles” signage on sidewalks, city-sponsored League of American Bicyclists “smart cycling” classes, or whatever else you think will help.

After you’re done and if you have not done so already, “like” both of these Facebook sites:

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, City Review, protected bicycle lanes

Bike Fit Seminar – Savile Road – 3/26/15

Bike Fit Seminar - Savile Road 3-26-15

RSVP – 477-5000 or 439-4766

Dr. Richard Shade joined the office of East Greenbush Chiropractic in 2009. Dr. Shade is here to provide quality chiropractic care for you, your friends, family, and those in need of specialized care. Dr. Shade attended college at Greenville Technical College and received an Associate of Science degree. His chiropractic education was completed at Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg S.C. After graduating from Sherman, he completed extensive postgraduate studies at the world renowned Pierce Chiropractic Clinic in Spartanburg S.C. with Dr. Walter “Vern” Pierce Sr., author, lecturer, and inventor. His externship was completed in Hendersonville N.C. with Dr. W.V. Pierce Jr.”

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Article