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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Williamsburg, VA Back from the Virginia Bike Walk conference in Williamsburg, VA. In the spirit of the conference I decided to be car-free and get there using a combination of bicycle and train. I loaded the Bike Friday travel suitcase with my bag, attached it to my New World Tourist folding bike and rode to Alexandria. The route is mostly on trails, the W&OD, Four Mile Run, and Mt. Vernon.
It took about 20 minutes to pack the bike into the suitcase/trailer but I had plenty of time as the train was about 30 minutes behind schedule. It was a pleasant trip with only a few stops: Occoquan, Fredericksburg, Ashland, and Richmond. The trip through Richmond is rather excruciating as the train is limited to about 10mph. At the Williamsburg station I assembled the bike and rode to my motel after an unintended tour of the downtown Williamsburg. We visited the city this summer as part of our Bike Virginia trip but my mental map was not as good as expected.
Thanks to a proactive planning director, local advocates, and local control of their streets, there are many bike lanes in Williamsburg. Some are not AASHTO standard width, but they exist and they work. On some more narrow sections of street they disappear but most speed limits are around 25 mph and most motorists are respectful.
The conference was informative and I met many bicycle advocates. It would have been a better experience had I not come down with a cold on the day of the train trip, but I managed to suffer through without too many problems. I returned earlier than planned, reversing the process of cycling, riding the train and cycling home, meeting my lovely wife on the ride.
On the return Amtrak trip I snapped the above photo of a stone pyramid. I had seen it on the trip down and was prepared with my camera when we passed it the second time. It was erected in the early 20th century at Fredericksburg Battlefield for the benefit of the passing rail passengers.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tour of Missouri? Yes, there is a Tour of Missouri and George Hincapie is in the lead after four stages. Levi Leipheimer won the time trial during stage three. The race ends Sunday in St. Louis.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The Wanderer I'm just getting around to reading an old New Yorker profile on Bill Clinton from September 18, 2006. The full title is The Wanderer: Bill Clinton’s quest to save the world, reclaim his legacy-and elect his wife. It's a fascinating look at Clinton’s post-presidential life. It's a long article that was hard to put down. He is doing some wonderful work fighting AIDS through the William J. Clinton Foundation. He has also raised huge amounts of money for victims of the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina. He ruminates at length on Hillary's possible presidential campaign.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Copenhagen Girls on Bikes Copenhagen Girls on Bikes sounds sexist, but at first glance it doesn't appear to be. It's a blog about Copenhagen bike culture, specifically the many faces of women cyclists in a country in which 35% of the people ride on a daily basis.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Bikes cost more to rent than cars There's something wrong with a society that charges more to rent a bicycle ($47/day) than a car ($41/day). How can it be possible to make money renting a $15-20,000 car for so little? And why are bike rental prices so comparatively high? I suppose the same amount of labor is involved in renting each, and there's probably much more demand for rental cars so the economies of scale are a factor, but the comparison still seems absurd.
Bike thefts in DC Better keep those expensive road bikes locked up when you dart into Starbucks. According to Post article As Web Fuels Bike Thefts, Victims Turn Vigilantes, more and more bike are being stolen and sold quickly on ebay and craigslist.