Alexandria women will be heading out on two wheels from Jones Point Park onSunday, May 4th, to let the local bike shops know that they are an important and rapidly growing market for them. "Women are a powerful consumer force," says the League of American Bicyclists in its August 2013 "Women on a Roll" report on women's cycling, "but too often they do not feel welcome in bike shops or do not feel products address their desires and needs."
The ride is being organized by the Alexandria Spokeswomen, a group that formed in September 2013 out of a city focus group on women's cycling. One of the key issues discussed was that many women bike riders do not feel comfortable in shops and on rides, which are often dominated by men. The League's report, which had just been released, validated that sentiment. It also showed that bike shops might be wise to provide a wider selection of women's clothing and more women-targeted classes, events and rides:
From 2013 to 2012, the number of women and girls participating in bicycling rose 20 percent, while the number of men and boys dropped 0.5 percent.
Sixty percent of bicycle owners aged 17- to 28-years-old are women.
Any women who live in or ride in Alexandria are invited to participate in the Women on a Roll Ride, a leisurely ride for all levels of fitness. The group will meet up at Jones Point Park (just south of Old Town on the Potomac and under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge) at 9:30 a.m. and then head out on their bikes at 10 a.m. Riders are encouraged to wear green -- a not-so-subtle reminder that this up-and-coming market can make shops some green of their own. All of the shops have offered to provide refreshments and snacks for the riders. The group will visit shops in the following order:
Bicycle Pro Shop
Spokes, Etc. (Quaker Lane)
Velocity Bicycle Co-op
Big Wheel Bikes
There is no cost to ride, but all participants must wear a helmet. Online registration is available at http://goo.gl/7v8PJ2. For more information about the ride and the Alexandria Spokeswomen, visit Alexandriaspokeswomen.wordpress.com. Below is the letter that the Alexandria Spokeswomen sent to each of the Alexandria bike shops.
Citizen volunteers are patrolling the PA Ave Cycltracks and reporting scofflaws to the police. "I think he sensed my general question of "why are you doing this?" (which I'm not totally sure if I actually asked) and he told me that he once got a ticket for running a red light and he didn't want bicyclists to run red lights any more."
NPR had a story on Black Women Bike:DC and Veronica Davis. "With Black Women Bike: DC, Davis works to change the perception of just who is a cyclist. It's not just spandex-clad weekend warriors riding 30-speed carbon fiber bikes. It's moms who want to ride with their kids. It's women who are training for their first triathlon. And it's utilitarian commuters like her."
Former County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, running to regain that office said that "Montgomery needs an “all of the above” approach to its transportation conundrum that includes more transit, bike trails, and lane capacity"
More about Fairfax (what is this FABB?) - "The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted April 9 to re-allocate $11.2 million to complete about a dozen planned pedestrian and road improvement projects." Projects include bike lanes on Walney Road Bridge and the Soapstone "Trail."
I saw Argo this week, it doesn't give anything away to tell you that there is a small bicycle element to the story. According to the Wired article the movie is based on, that is at least somewhat true.
DDOT and MPD have a new safety campaign called "Toward Zero Deaths." The goal is admirable, but the bike and ped section is a little thin on substance. And one of the items "The fine for drivers who fail to stop and give right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks is $250 and 3 points" is already out of date. Starting yesterday, that fine dropped to $75. I'm actually OK with dropping fines where enforcement goes up - for example, when more speed cameras are installed - because, if the criminal cost of speeding=risk of getting caught*the cost of getting caught, then the cost of speeding probably goes up nonetheless. But this I don't understand.
The war on historic cobblestone roads. "The Transportation Department has pledged to save as many of the old cobblestones as possible. Some have been retained, but turned 90 degrees to create makeshift bike lanes, pointing in the direction of traffic flow — a visually striking intervention that the city “just made up,” Ms. Gallo mused, to promote cycling."
CaBi expansion in DC has been delayed, according to Mayor Gray's spokesperson Pedro Ribeiro "because of delays getting them from the supplier...but DDOT thinks in the next 6 weeks they will have all the stations in."
There's only one word for someone who parks in the L Street cycletrack - Fulparkerare
"There is a pot of $10.7 million for bike lanes and trails, which appears to be entirely new; formerly, there was no dedicated local bike money. The budget staff have promised to follow up to confirm this. Another $5.1 million will go to "bike-friendly streetscapes," which will be interesting to see in more detail."
The new Douglass Bridge gets fully funded.
A profile of locally-educated Alta Planning + Design president and bike-lover Mia Birk. It's interesting that in all the talk of how women are under-represented in biking, there are quite a few bike businesses operating in DC that are led by women (Alta, Toole Design, BikeStation, Capitol Hill Bikes, etc...)
"It is bike lanes. It is dog parks. It is about state-of-the-art swimming facilities. It is about recreation centers. Capital Bikeshare. Car2Go. Streetcars. It's about a way of life. Black folks want this stuff, they're just not as passionate about it.""
"This is the make or break year, so we know that we need additional revenue, the state needs additional revenue in the trust fund to actual build the Purple Line," said Madden. "So far we are optimistic, based on the discussions going on, that will happen."
When it comes to biking, women mean business. The popularity of bicycling is skyrocketing nationwide -- and women are leading the charge in this revolution.
According to a recent national poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, more than 80 percent of American women have a positive view of bicyclists and two-thirds think their community would be a better place to live if riding a bike were safer and more comfortable.
On March 4 in Washington D.C., the National Women's Bicycling Forum will unite hundreds of leaders to showcase and build on that energy and momentum. Hosted by theLeague of American Bicyclists' Women Bike campaign, this unique event will highlight the central role of women in one of the most exciting trends in America today: the power of bicycles to bring better health, economic benefit, and travel convenience to millions of Americans.
In just its second year, the Forum will feature a full-day of programming with more than 30 speakers, including keynote addresses from major leaders like:
Georgena Terry: founder of Terry Precision Cycles, the first brand of bicycles built specifically for women
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL): helicopter pilot, Purple Heart recipient, former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs -- and hand-crank bicyclist
Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan: New York City Commissioner of Transportation and architect of NYC's dramatic rise in bicycling
With a theme of "Women Mean Business," this event will provide special focus on industry leaders, entrepreneurs and the economic impact of female bicyclists. According to the 2012 American Bicyclist Survey, women represent a critical majority for the future of the bicycle movement: 60 percent of bicycle owners aged 18- to 27-years-old are women.In 2012 alone, women reported that they planned to spend nearly $2 billion on bike products.
"Clearly, women mean business when it comes to making biking better in their communities," said Carolyn Szczepanski, League Director of Communications and Women Bike. "Across the country, women are shattering previous stereotypes and stepping up to design cutting-edge infrastructure, launch innovative advocacy campaigns and take the lead in the bike industry. This event will put the spotlight on just a handful of the key female leaders who are charting the course toward a healthier, safer, more economically vibrant country -- by bike."
Highlighting the impact of women in the American bicycle industry, the opening keynote will feature a conversation with Georgena Terry, the first engineer to create women's bicycles and launch an international women's brand, and nearly two-dozen small business owners will display their products and services in the Women Bike Pop-Up Shop.
Additional high-profile speakers at the Forum will include:
We were discussing gun control recently and a friend of mine mentioned gun insurance. The idea is that gun owners would pay insurance and that would pay for any damage that guns did, there would even be a fund for people who were shot, but the gun used wasn't identified. That isn't what I want to discuss, but I thought "what if there were a tax on car insurance that would be used to pay the medical expense of bicyclists and pedestrians (and, I suppose, property owners) who were injured in a hit-and-run situations - where no driver, and thus no car insurance, can be identified? Why should health insurance, home owner's insurance, etc... have to subsidize that?" Anyway, don't know if there is any place that does that, but it seems fair.
"On November 4th, the time changed and with it, the rising and setting of the sun. While it's light out at 7am, it's dark at 5pm, a time when children are playing outside, bicyclists are in their designated lane, and pedestrians are crossing streets. And, oftentimes, they are hard to see. Be alert. Be safe. Be focused. With vehicles, cycles, and people sharing the same pathways, it is important for everyone to obey the road rules"
I'm glad that they asked drivers to be on the lookout for cyclists, but they could also be in lanes not designated specifically for cyclists. Nitpick.
Work begins soon on the Art Place at Ft. Totten, a sprawling development that half encircles the Ft. Totten Metro Station. As such, both the future Met Branch Trail and future connector to the Anacostia Trails will pass through or along it's boundaries. Hopefully DDOT has already worked with them to accommodate these sections.
What Katie Rogers didn't include in yesterday's Washington Post bike article - including a map of every reported CaBi crash location (below).
A story about bike theft and registration at Virginia Tech, where registration is mandatory, claims that registration helps alleviate theft, but frustratingly they never back that up. Is bike theft down? How many bikes are recovered? No idea. And then there is this "Tech Police purposely plant unchained bikes to racks. There are signs near certain racks, letting passerby know that a particular unlocked bike is being watched." It's like telling someone you're about to Rickroll them.