South End Bikeway Connector Rumbles Along – Cont’d (5/18/20)

[Comments received on this post and on a related email are posted at the end.]

For the first time, a visitor to the South End Bikeway Connector site can get a clear picture of the entire route and layout from the trailhead at Old S. Pearl St. to the Albany Riverfront Park at the Slater/Dutch Apple anchorages.

  • The on-street cycle track on S. Pearl St. is complete except for perhaps signage, painting, and other “clean up” activities.
  • The portion along I-787 Frontage Road/northbound entry road is graded but needs paving a lot of finish work.
  • The “linear park” under I-787 from Church St./Vine St. to Broadway and the Hudson River is clearly visible although in the early stages of preparation. The only area that is not apparent is the bump out to skirt the massive I-787 support structure where the connector will be on-road at the Church St./Bassett St. intersection until Rensselaer St. (Church St. will be one-way south for petrovehicles in this area.)

For site photos and a complete route description, follow these links:

++++++

COMMENTS RECIVED AS OF 5-20-20:

  • I just came that way and there is a van parked there – might be the same car. I agree there should be signage and maybe there will be when it’s all complete.  The glass and other debris situation is something that was brought up at the various community meetings – with the outstanding question as to who will maintain that section.
  • That darn Van is parked there most of the time.
  • What about the glass on the section along the ramp of 787? It has been horrible.
  • Went home this way about 4:30 pm.  There were no barriers this afternoon from the bus shelter south.  Woman in the silver van was parking in the bike lane as I was passing (well there was one barrier but someone knocked it away).
  • Is this section of the trail actually completed and open?  Have not ridden this area lately since it appeared that a top coat and other work was not done, some barriers still existed.  
  • When I rode home from the rail trail, there were barriers blocking the bike lane!
  • I haven’t been on S. Pearl lately, so I’ve missed the van scofflaw, but I have been coming home from downtown via the river and Broadway/Church and then on the other 787 access road that exits at S. Pearl near McCarty and 1st Ave. (across from Cherry Hill house). I’ve noticed that the 787 access road that you note is being prepped for repaving. Let’s hope that will alleviate some of the glass issues, for awhile at least. I rode on that section last month and you are correct in that the amount of glass was extraordinary, it seemed to be covering nearly every square inch. I ended up with a flat on my rear tire. It made me wonder if there was some sort of weird religious cult that required its practitioners to go out and smash glass in places used by bicyclists and pedestrians. As I ride that way, I can also see that they are doing extensive work under 787 and in making the connection across Church St between the access road and under the highway. Last week I was able to ride a little bit under the highway as they had graded the roadway, but can’t this week as there is a sizeable gap between the curb and the proposed cycle path. Still have a hard time picturing people actually hanging out there, no matter how much they prettify it. Riding through downtown has been eerie these last few weeks, but boy, I’m going to miss the reduced amount of traffic once we return to whatever new normal we will be returning to.
  • Drove past it last night … People are using the Connector for parking.  This must be stopped before it becomes normalized.  

++++++

Leave a comment

Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Albany Riverfront Park, City Review, South End Bikeway Connector

Accessory Obsessing – Brake Lever Covers

In July 2007, the products “Lizard Skins Lever Grips” (for “greater control and comfort’) seemed (at $3.99/pr.) as exactly the right accessory for brake levers on a flat bar. So perfect that, after “testing,” a second pair was obtained and then a third (to replace the first which were worn out) in August 2019 (now $8.00). Here they are worn out . . .

These grips had a nice fabric feel with a sewn seam and a rubberized liner. They mounted easily with the ever-reliable lubricant hairspray.

When both the second a third sets (on two different flat bars) wore out, it seemed like an easy task to get replacements.

Answer: NO.

Lizard Skins  offers all sorts of neat bicycle and sports accessories but brake lever grips no longer. The best result after a lot of web searching was “not available.”

Returning to the search recently, up came “Race Ready Pro Cycling” which leads to EBay  for a similar product in silicone at $8.99 and here they are installed in black.

These would also fit “North Road” handlebars but that seems a little de classe.

Just  ordered another set in red and one in black pair at $3.19 from another vendor . . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Bike Tech, Feature, Product Review

Farmers Markets Finding Ways to Operate During COVID-19

~ or ~ Ride Your Bicycle and Eat Good Chow

NOTE: Updated 4/30 based on Times Union article.

One of the short-term COVID-19 causalities is the Troy Farmers Market, much loved by many people on bicycles. However, even closed, the Troy market has provided a way to buy direct from vendors including your favorite prepared food. Go here – https://www.troymarket.org/alternatives (updated 4/30). The Market is now accepting orders for twice-weekly, drive-through pickup at the Carioto Produce distribution center in Green Island. On the portal, troymarket.org, shoppers pay online, and their orders are sorted and packed at the pickup spot. Online orders open at 4 pm Friday and close at 9 am Monday for Wednesday pickup and close at 9 am Thursday for Saturday pickup. To ease expected traffic congestion, customer pickup times are set up by last name on each day: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., A though F; 11 a.m. to noon, G through L; noon to 1 p.m., M through R; 1 to 2 p.m., S through Z.

tumblr_65dd01054da1440dfdb46056dfc416b3_1f4ed3ba_500

NWYFCF Banner

For more tips on eating well while supporting local farmers, go to Know Where Your Food Comes Fromhttps://knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com/2020/04/08/farmers-markets-finding-ways-to-operate-during-pandemic/ This site is dedicated to “Promoting local and sustainable agriculture that cares for people, animals, land, and water.”

Farmers Markets are designated essential businesses. Here is info on some other area markets (updated 4/30 based on Times Union article):

  • Spa City Farmers Market – Sundays, Saratoga Spa State Park/Lincoln Baths. Reduced operation and appropriates precautions.
  • Saratoga Farmers Market – Opens Sat, 5/2, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM, Wilton Mall (Bon-Ton/Bow Tie parking lot). Wednesdays’ market is 3:00-6:00 pm.
  • Delmar Farmers Market – Opening 5/16, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM (TU, 4/22/20).
  • The Farmers Market Federation of New York – Provides a list of farmers markets on its website. The
  • Schenectady Greenmarket – Opening 4/26, Sundays, 10 AM-2 PM, City Hall, jay St. Smaller number of vendors spaced 10 feet apart.
  • Farmers Market Federation of New York has spotlighted the Interim Guidance for the Operation of Farmers’ Markets (3/31/20) issued by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.tumblr_544e798facbc301d77decb2a656aaa07_7372d86e_640weq

If you want to make a commitment to good food/health and local sourcing, consider a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share – more here – https://knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com/2020/03/21/march-2020-now-more-than-ever-time-to-sign-up-for-a-farm-share-in-a-csa/ where you’ll find this timely statement: “ … instead of panic, this is the right moment to build community. One way is to focus on our food, which is at the core of human existence, in good times and bad, and by mindfully knowing who is growing and producing what we eat.”

tumblr_o7wqnecdbg1ryph9xo1_640

#####

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, City Review, Riding to Get Somewhere, Troy Cycling

How to Make Cycling in Albany More Affordable

This article provided by Guest Blogger Isabella Lovett

Cycling is a popular sport and pastime in New York, where, in New York City, an estimated 787,000 adult residents enjoy a ride at least once a month, as reported in the annual Mayor’s Management Report last year. Bike riding has a wealth of proven health benefits, including stress reduction and the improvement of cardiovascular fitness and strength. It is also a considerably affordable sport, though a bike coupled with clothing, equipment and additional accessories can demand a pretty sum. If you are keen on taking up this sport and want to keep your expenses down, follow these tips to stay safe and have fun on your bike. Black Fixed-gear Bike Beside Wall

Cycling to Work – You may dream of getting away to a green trail or ultra-smooth cycling lane, but if you want to make the most of biking while reducing transport costs of driving to your chosen spot, consider cycling to work. A 2020 study by researchers at the University of Otago found that those who take their bike to work have a 13% reduced mortality rate compared to those who drive their own cars each day. The study, which analyzed data from some 3.5 million cyclists, is one of the largest ever on the subject, showing the extent to which cycling can improve human lives while resulting in a much smaller carbon footprint.

Life Insurance that Covers Cycling – If you do cycle to work, know that most life insurance policies cover cycling. [Ed Note: This is a UK reference] Check any policies you have and if they don’t cover this sport, consider switching to one that does. If, after signing your policy, you decide to take up a sport that is considered riskier — such as BMX riding or downhill mountain biking — you may be under the obligation to let your insurer know. Try to keep your expenses low by obtaining various quotes and receive guidance regarding the type of policy (whole life or term-length) is best for your situation.

Opting for Affordable Gear – There are 20 cool bike trails in Albany, making cross-country and mountain biking popular sports. Because mountain bikes require quality suspension systems, their price can run into the thousands. Lighter carbon-based frames also up the price of bikes compared to traditional alloy. The truth is that for many riders (especially those who enjoy jumps and fast downhill rides), a good bike should be considered an investment. Try to save on gear like, for example, your shoes. There are many excellent cycling shoes that cost less than $100. Gloves, clothing and protective gear can also be bought from budget stores. Some items (e.g. a helmet and good knee and elbow pads) should at the very least have features such as ventilated exoskeletons, so your skin remains dry even during tough workouts.

Flexibility Matters When it Comes to Technology – Some bikes come with incorporated GPS in their handlebars. This is a crucial feature that will ensure you don’t get lost, even when you are negotiating a whole new route. Your phone can double up as a computer. Just use a trustable mount that will keep your phone stable and visible. This gadget is actually an ideal device to have around in the even that you need help and you need to provide a precise location to friends or emergency services.

Cycling is a sport that requires a small investment. Costs include a bike itself, plus protective gear and any device you may need to bring along. Try cutting corners on items like shoes and gadgets, but don’t crimp on suspension or lightness. You will thank yourself every time your ride involves a little uphill work. Finally, don’t leave Albany to enjoy a workout; try urban cycling to work every day to boost longevity and your overall quality of life.

#####

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, Article, City Review, Feature, Riding in Albany

Pandemic Pedaling

tumblr_1d225f4edea12712c5e1537819810a81_19d5b888_500

tumblr_f98ae85825ae721249f275e322ba874c_134a4e84_500

tumblr_a649028486e2101c003e6ffada65817e_eb31a024_500

tumblr_oq1zubmJ6w1s26alqo1_1280

“Social Distance” Family Ride

 

tumblr_13e2632dc5517202d31a1504ccf5ab10_dca3d653_1280

FluAd1.jpg.662x0_q70_crop-scaleOIP

tumblr_kx7p1iM1jF1qz8odfo1_500

First Responders (?)

BikeShopLife-COVID19-2020-3-640x36047312652_1586542521418836_r

child-bike-boston-mask

Wash Those Hands

“Now go wash your hands (20 secs).”

####

Leave a comment

Filed under Activisim, Comings and Goings, COVID-19