VOLUME 13 / ISSUE 3 SUMMER 2011
BIKE LOCALLY CHALLENGE 2011
PO Box 1115, Fairfax CA 94978 • 415-456-3469
Volume 13 / Issue 3
www.marinbike.org STAFF Kim Baenisch, Executive Director Tom Boss, Membership Director Jo Ann Richards, Membership Bob Trigg, Administrator Andy Peri, Advocacy Director Alisha Oloughlin, Advocacy Coordinator Kristin Nute; Volunteer Coordinator Wendi Kallins, Safe Routes to Schools Program Director Laura Kelly, Safe Routes to Schools Volunteer Liaison Peggy Clark, Safe Routes to Schools Project Coordinator Gwen Froh, Safe Routes to Schools Teen Program Coordinator Frances E. Barbour, Safe Routes to Schools Instructor DIRECTORS Maureen Gaffney, President Scott Klimo, Vice President Ian Roth, Treasurer Don Magdanz, Secretary Matt Adams Phil Brewer Mark Comin Vince O’Brien Scott Penzeralla Tom Woolley ADVISORY BOARD Mark Birnbaum Joe Breeze Tom Hale Deb Hubsmith Jim Jacobsen Patrick Seidler Julia Violich PEDAL PRESS Editor: Tom Boss Copy Editor: Connie Breeze Design: Jeremy Thornton Contributors: John Ackley, Tom Boss, Liz Canning, Peggy Clark, Cameron Falconer, Miguel Farias, Amanda Fin, Maureen Gaffney, James Bikes Green, Wendi Kallins, Cheryl Longinotti, Kristin Nute, Andy Peri and Scott D. Warner
IN THIS ISSUE Biketoberfest Returns...................................3 Message from Maureen Gaffney������������� 3 Meet the New Bike Locally Challenge Riders..........................................4 Cargo Bikes 101..............................................5 Electric Assist & the Cargo Bike................6
Bike to Work Day Recap SEE PAGE 12 49th Annual Marin Century SEE PAGE 17
Noci Gelateria................................................9 With My Own Wheels................................11 MCBC Thanks the Business Community.................................11 Bike to Work Day Recap............................ 12 Top Ten Yums & Yuks from Bike to Work Month.................................. 13 North–South Greenway Update..............14 County of Marin’s Prestigous Awards.... 16 49th Annual Marin Century..................... 17 Safe Routes Update....................................18 Join the Tour de Marin...............................20 Shop Talk: Flat Tire Prevention................. 21
Safe Routes Update SEE PAGE 18
BIKE GEAR REVIEWS Deuter Alpine 30 Backpack................... 22 WTB’s Freedom ThickSlicks................... 22 Brooks B-17 Saddle................................... 23 Contest.......................................................... 23 MCBC Store................................................. 24 Become an MCBC Member..................... 24 Cover Photo by Miguel Farias
BIKETOBERFEST Returns Sunday, September 25! Bikes, Beers, Food and Much More! Biketoberfest returns to Fair-Anselm Plaza in Fairfax on Sunday, September 25, from 11 am to 6 pm. The all-day event is FREE! The festival is a celebration of the bicycle, with group rides, a handmade bike show and over 100 exhibitors! In addition there is a brewfest with 20 West Coast brewers (tickets available online), great food, live music and family activities. The event is organized by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4bikes.
New for 2011 is a Cargo Bike Jubilee. This festival-within-a-festival will celebrate a plethora of utilitarian bicycles designed to haul kids, groceries and work supplies (see stories on the benefits of cargo bikes in this issue!). You’ll not only see these amazing bikes in action, you’ll be able to demo one as well. For updates and a list of all the exhibitors and brewers visit www.biketoberfestmarin.com.
MESSAGE FROM BOARD PRESIDENT MAUREEN GAFFNEY In April, MCBC said goodbye to three Board members – Terry Graham (2009-2011), Jerry Edlebrock (20032011), and Stephen Hesson (2001-2011). Jerry was the MCBC Board President for four years, and shared his vast nonprofit management knowedge with MCBC. Stephen Hesson was instrumental in the creation and growth of the Coalitions’ Valet Bike Parking services. Terry was and is actively involved in recruiting new members. We are sincerely grateful for their service. Thanks Terry, Jerry and Stephen! With three spots to fill on the Board, the membership elected Phil Brewer, Mark Comin and Scott Penzeralla.
Phil Brewer Phil has a business background and was a member of MCBC’s Fundraising Committee prior to joining the Board. He is an avid triathlete and recreational cyclist – having completed more than 25 triathlons, many
11101 State Route 1, #B Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 Tel/Fax 415-663-8125 firstname.lastname@example.org www.blackmtncycles.com
Black Mountain Cycles cross & road frames Steel road, touring, ‘cross, and adventure bikes Salsa, Surly, Bruce Gordon, Soma Swobo, Ibex, Ortlieb, Tubus Custom wheels, custom bike builds
centuries and the Death Ride. He is a regular bike commuter between Marin and San Francisco. Welcome Phil!
Mark Comin Mark, with a sales background, has been a member of the Marin Cyclists Club for six years and a regular ride leader for the club for the past four years; he brings a passion and enthusiasm for being in the outdoors, whether hiking, mountain biking or road cycling all over Marin. With Mark on board, look for more MCBC group rides in the near future. Welcome Mark!
Scott Penzarella Scott is the founder and general manager of Studio Velo in Tam Valley. A well-rounded competitive cyclist, Scott competes in MTB, cyclo-cross, and road competitions. He commutes daily to work on his bike and is a 10-year volunteer at The Redwoods, an assisted living center in Mill Valley. His passion is now his business and the cycling community that surrounds it. Welcome Scott!
The European Utilitarian Bicycle Specialist www.mydutchbike.com 575 Market Street, SF 415.644.0331
MEET THE NEW 2011 CHALLENGE RIDERS!
MCBC launched a new six-month Bike Locally Challenge in May, in an effort to get more people on bicycles. Specialized Bicycle Components contributed six bicycles this year for use by our riders, based on the success of our 2010 program and their bicycle contribution last year.
In April MCBC put a call out for participants and thirtytwo novice cyclists applied for the six Challenge spots. The 2011 contestants were picked by a panel of seven judges: they included Anna Garfink (Drake High School student who heads up Teens Go Green), Julia Violich (NorCal coach), Jason Walsh (last year Challenge rider), Kathy McLeod and Cheryl Longinotti (Challenge Mentor trainers), Ben Capron (Specialized Bicycles), and Renee Goddard (Fairfax bicycle commuter).
HERE ARE THE 2011 RIDERS! SHARON DAHME • Woodacre • Age: 63 Sharon lives and works in the beautiful San Geronimo Valley in West Marin and will ride to and from the preschool she directs. Sharon’s goal is to “make a difference not only by showing environmental consciousness by biking locally, but by being a shining example of my can-do attitude.” SUSAN DOYLE • San Rafael • Age: 56 Sue Doyle is a teacher who moved to Marin two-and-a -half years ago. She thought that living in Marin would get her closer to nature and in better health, but she found herself more dependent on the car than she expected. Then she learned about the Challenge and thought it would be the catalyst for getting her out of the car and onto a bike. She expects to discover her community better by commuting on a bike to work, and hopes her six-month Challenge will be an inspiration to her students.
Bike Locally Challenge is on Facebook
JEFFREY SCHAUB • Novato • Age: 51 As an environmental reporter for KPIX Channel 5, Jeff was familiar with MCBC and the work we’re doing to reduce carbon emissions by promoting bicycling and walking for local trips. At the time he learned about the Challenge, he was commuting by bus and train, but he still had to drive to the station. So he applied for one of the six bikes so he can become totally carfree in his commute. He is also looking forward to the health benefits and plans to document his transition from fossil fuel burning to calorie burning commuter on the radio and TV.
BRIANNA GEORGI • Fairfax • Age: 24 Brianna was commuting by car when the increase in gas prices snapped her out of the habit. She started using alternate transportation to get to the Sunday Farmers Market at the Civic Center. She was borrowing an old mountain bike to get there, but the bike was heavy and not always available. Then she heard about the Challenge and applied. Brianna teaches junior high and high school kids about nutrition. Now she’ll bike to work on her Globe Daily 3 and be a better role model for her students by promoting good health and stewardship for the planet. JAY ALAN GUSTAFSON • Mill Valley • Age: 67 When Jay learned about the Challenge he realized that his weekly car trips could all be made on a bike. Jay is retired, which gives him time to get out and have fun. Jay sees a lot of younger people riding around on bikes and by taking the Challenge he hopes to inspire people his own age to give it a try. KAREN HERZOG • Corte Madera • Age: 44 Karen started and ended her application statement by saying “don’t pick me, please!” and that’s exactly why our judges chose her. Karen was hoping she didn’t get picked because she thinks bicycling is scary, inconvenient and terrifying. But now that she’s got the bike (and some help from her cycling in-laws) Karen is a great example of what we’re trying to achieve. She’s discovering mile by mile how easy and enjoyable it is to commute by bike. All six riders are on Specialized Sirrus Elite Discs, Vitas or Globe Daily 3s. They received a bag from Timbuk2, a Vis 180 tail light from Light & Motion, a Garmin Edge 500 GPS bicycle computer, and they will be tracking their rides at Strava.com. They earn points for their rides (1 point per mile) and points for activities and documenting their trips. If they earn 500 points by November, they get to keep the bike for free! Follow their progress at www.marinbike.com/BLC or www.facebook.com/bikelocallychallenge.
Cargo Bike 101 Route 5
by Cameron Falconer
A brief overview of brands, styles and various benefits of cargo bikes available today As utility cycling continues to grow in popularity in America, many people are beginning to see the value in a bike that can haul larger and heavier items. For the self-powered person who has filled his or her panniers and backpack to capacity, the options are increasing. The verbiage of the cargo bike world can be confusing, though. What is a Cycle Truck, and is it different from a Long John? What is a Long Tail? Here is a brief overview of brands, styles and various benefits of cargo bikes available today. The most common type of commercially available cargo bike is the Long Tail or Xtracycle style. These bikes carry cargo in large bags mounted to the sides of the bikeâ€™s rear end, and on a small platform above the rear wheel. Easily identified by its extended rear end, this type is available in several guises. The original Xtracycle Free Radical is a kit that converts your bike to cargo status, and offers an excellent way to explore cargo cycling without the commitment of another bike in the garage. This type is also available as a purpose-built, integrated bike from Xtracycle, Yuba, Kona and Surly. The advantages of this style include its natural steering, narrow profile and shortish wheelbase. This style is a very good option if your cargo is mostly groceries and other small items that fit easily in the side-mounted bags. Disadvantages are mainly that these bikes donâ€™t carry very large objects particularly well, and that the cargo is behind the rider and not in view. The Long John style, also sometimes called a bucket bike or a long front, originated in Europe almost 100 years ago. If the Long Tail is a station wagon, the Long John is a truck. Defined by its large, low and flat cargo area in front of the rider and steering via a rod, these bikes are the best options for carrying bulky, heavy things, mainly owing to the very low center of gravity of the cargo area. Manufacturers include Bullitt, Metrofiets, Cetma Cargo, Bakfiets and my own brand, Falconer Cycles. Many people add a wood box to the cargo area to convert the bike to a kid hauler. The advantages of this style are its versatility and capacity. Disadvantages are weight, length and a different feel to the steering, although most people become accustomed to it quite quickly. The third style is the Cycle Truck, also called the Butcher Bike. Popularized in this country by Schwinn, this bike is defined by its large basket above the front wheel. What separates it from a normal bike with a
basket is that the basket is affixed to the frame, not the fork. This keeps the weight more stable while steering and allows a heavier load. This bike, once the most common U.S. cargo bike, is now fairly rare. This is a shame as they have several advantages, mainly that they have the same wheelbase as a standard bicycle, and good capacity for groceries and small-to-mediumsize loads. Disadvantages are a high center of gravity and poor large-load capacity. The two modern Cycle Trucks available are from Ahearne Cycles and A.N.T. Cycles, although a very heavy model is available from Worksman. The Worksman is a single speed, best suited to flat areas. I hope this brief introduction will make it easier for those interested in cargo bikes to make an informed decision and begin enjoying the possibilities that cargo cycling provides. Enjoy the ride.
Photos by Miguel Farias
Cameron Falconer can be reached at email@example.com
LIKE PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE: Electric Assist and the Cargo Bike
The kids ride side-byside in their own cabin in front; I do believe they look and feel like the king and queen of the world! We sail down our hill, around every switchback, feeling safe, secure, and magical—even fully loaded with a picnic for three, camera bag, two kids and their Skuuts. – Liz Canning
by Liz Canning with contributions from Amanda Fin
Like many of you, I choose to live in Marin because I love to ride my bike. I lived car-free until I was almost 40, commuting happily from Marin to San Francisco, but when we had twins, I thought that way of life was over. I am strong but my kids are heavy and we live atop a long grade averaging 13%, with a nice 22% pitch right before the turn onto our street. I stuffed the twins, Stormy and Rocko, into a double bike trailer and suffered through the climb home until I was actually afraid to try it, by which time the kids made it clear they were done, too. They were too small, too low, behind all the action—NOT on a BIKE. I wondered: was there a bike anywhere out there that we could all ride, happily? I began some online research and came upon what I believe has the makings of a cultural revolution: it is called a Cargo Bike. All over the internet and all over the U.S., the excitement is palpable. Here is a tool that is rapidly evolving in affordability, accessibility and transformative power. New designs make it possible to carry as much as 300 pounds and an electric-assist hub motor makes carrying this much not only doable but FUN. So much so that the bike becomes a practical, enlivening CAR REPLACEMENT—the ultimate Sport Utility Vehicle.
My wonderful husband said “yes” to my first choice, the Shuttlebug, a “bakfiets” or “Long John”-type front loader, handmade in Portland by Joe Bike. The kids ride side-by-side in their own cabin in front; I do believe they look and feel like the king and queen of the world! We sail down our hill, around every switchback, feeling safe, secure, and magical—even fully loaded with a picnic for three, camera bag, two kids and their Skuuts. As we cruise through town, people on sidewalks and in cars smile, wave, laugh and point. If we are moving slowly, onlookers ask lots of questions. If we are speeding along, the kids chant “Go Mama go!” or Rocko says “Mommy, catch that car! They can’t catch us!” It is simply a wonderful, life-affirming experience in all possible ways. At 52 pounds or so, the Shuttlebug is the lightest box bike around, but it did take some adjustments to make it a true hill-climbing machine. The riding position on a Long John is usually compact and upright to make room for the cabin. This laid-back geometry is pleasant, safe and comfortable but limits power output. A smaller beltring (yes it’s belt-driven) helped a lot, but before long we decided to make the leap to electric assist, and we haven’t turned back since! Negotiating our hill’s 22% section is no longer about giving everything I’ve got to just to make sure we move forward and stay upright; now I must consciously ease off the throttle so as not to miss the turn. Pre-electrification, using the bike meant committing to a painful, sweaty and somewhat scary ride home. Now there’s no hesitation: I can go anywhere anytime, carry whatever I need and get as much (or as little) exercise as I want. The hub of the U.S. Cargo Bike movement is most certainly Portland, Oregon. Marin bike culture—of which I’ve always been quite proud—pales in comparison as far as utilitarian cycling goes. This discovery, combined with my own experience, has inspired me to spread the word , so I am making a feature-length documentary on the U.S. Cargo Bike Revolution as I believe it will unfold over the next few years. This revolution is assisted by internet activism and the advent of e-assist. It’s been forced to fruition by peak oil and climate change. As part of this effort, Amanda Fin and I will put on The Marin Cargo Bike Jubilee, a new addition to Fairfax’s annual Biketoberfest Marin and a great opportunity for folks to learn about and test ride a wide variety of cargo bikes. To get you excited about the big event, I’d like to introduce several local riders, vendors and advocates. Andrew and Rebecca Popell live in Sleepy Hollow with their children Lila and Isaac. The drive to the kids’ school in Terra Linda takes 35 minutes, yet as the crow flies it is a two-mile trip. A bike path near the Popells’
Electric assist adds a level of complexity and weight that is just not what you want in a bicycle. Face it—a regular bike is better when it’s light! But when you need to use a bicycle instead of a car—a cargo bike—as soon as that bike gets loaded up, you’ve got to be a serious athlete to get it up a hill, and it’s wobbly and hard to get moving. house goes over the very steep Mission Pass, connecting Fawn Drive to Freitas Parkway. The grade was intimidating—until Rebecca had a brainstorm. They went to The Bicycle Works in San Anselmo and bought a Yuba Mundo. They had the Bicycle Works folks add custom seats and handlebars on the back and electric hub motors in both wheels. The school commute became eight minutes of family fun. “On the hill there’s lots of people walking dogs and they stop and say, Wow! Look at that bike!” Lila says. Andrew tells me that “At pickup time there is this huge line of cars, engines idling, waiting for their kids, and with the bike you just sort of zip right by them and there you are.” John Malugani, owner of Malugani Tire Center in Mill Valley, discovered cycling late in life and has now made it part of his business. “We have seven or eight local shops we deliver to that install tires. I go and fire my truck up and I think, God I’m only going two blocks, three blocks….” He saw a picture in the Mill Valley Herald of a bike from a developing country and it clicked: “They had huge amounts of stuff on there.” Breaking Away Bicycles in Ross sold him his blue Mundo and his neighbor built a rotating and extendable custom rack for holding tires on the back. “I can put almost 200 pounds of tires on my bike and ride it—no problem.” John is always looking for ways to take advantage of bikes. He plans to put a floor jack on the Yuba “so that if someone needed a tire fixed, on the side of the road, we could actually take the bike and go!” Lindsay McKenzie, who co-owns San Anselmo’s 3 Ring Cycles with her husband Brad, is the team leader for the Safe Routes to School program at her kids’ school. “It would be so cool to see people going up and down the bike paths on these things (cargo bikes), with all their kids, instead of the traffic jams we see every day.” Before Lindsay and Brad moved into their current home, the families in the neighborhood didn’t even think about riding to school because they all live on a steep hill. Lindsay has a five-year-old Big Dummy (a Surly one-piece frame
designed to work with an Xtracycle Longtail kit) which used to carry both children. It now carts backpacks and lunchboxes for the entire flock of neighborhood kids whom she shepherds to school every day on bikes. They added electric assist a few years ago and love it: “No excuses—I should be riding my bike every day.” 3 Ring Cycles sells both the Xtracycle conversion kit and the Big Dummy because they believe in the safety and ease of a cargo bike. Lindsay has tried all available methods and points out that with a trailer you’re dragging dead weight; kids can wreak havoc throwing their weight around on a trail-a-bike; and with child seats added to the front or back of a regular bike you’re changing the center of gravity and balance of the bike. “With the Xtracycle,” she says, “it’s got a longer wheel
– Michael Bock
At school pickup time there is this huge line of cars, engines idling, waiting for their kids, and with the cargo bike you just sort of zip right by them and there you are. – Andrew Popell
base, the weight is redistributed, the kid sits over instead of behind the back wheel… there’s more control… it’s safer.” She says it takes nothing more than one test ride to sell customers on the advantages of a cargo bike. Katie Drake of Fairfax tried transporting her two boys with a front seat on the handlebars and a trail-a-bike
I knew getting out in nature and in my community more would be “good medicine,” but I am actually shocked by the extent of the bike’s therapeutic value for my physical and vital/ emotional being. I can feel my entire system, being strengthened and re-wired to handle energy better. – Lori Tompkins
Holstein Holstein 100 100 18th Annual Bike Ride Sat., Aug. 20, 2011 100, 67, 35 & 15 Mile Routes Stunning rural scenery along coastal hills of West Marin and Sonoma Challenging ride with full support and mostly organic food Benefits West Marin Senior Services Registration and info: www.wmss.org/holstein Ph: 415.663.8148
for her eldest, but found it awkward and unstable. Now she rides a blue Yuba Mundo to Lower Brookside School and around town. “I cannot believe more people do not do it!” she says. For Katie, cycling together strengthens her connection with her children and her community. “We see things that we’d never be able to share in a car.” Amanda Fin bought a used Klein 15 years ago that she still rides daily, now with an Xtracycle conversion including a kid’s seat for three-year-old Aero and room on the deck for seven-year-old Miles (if he’s not on his own commuter two-wheeler). “My Xtracycle is a kidmover, grocery-hauler, crowded-parking-lot-avoider and endorphin-builder all at the same time. It makes me happy that on our daily bike commute, while waiting at stoplights, Miles counts cars passing with only one person in them. When we are on our bikes things slow down and we talk about what we see.” Michael Bock of San Geronimo builds and sells all sorts of electric bikes and specializes in electrified Big Dummies. He admits that “Electric assist adds a level of complexity and weight that is just not what you want in a bicycle. Face it—a regular bike is better when it’s light! But when you need to use a bicycle instead of a car—a cargo bike—as soon as that bike gets loaded up, you’ve got to be a serious athlete to get it up a hill, and it’s wobbly and hard to get moving.” The electric assist makes carrying weight up a hill, from a stop, through traffic or around a turn, much safer and easier. Michael believes e-bikes could be hugely popular if there were more opportunities to test ride them. One West Marin customer, an attorney, hated driving to her son’s school and her job in Terra Linda, but dreaded pedaling up White’s Hill at the end of day. She borrowed one of Michael’s super bikes and it clicked. She emailed Michael: “I’m just DONE with my car!” and bought the bike immediately.
“It’s really easy to retrofit those bikes that are sitting around because people thought they were going to use them, but didn’t,” says Michael. “With a little work they can become something that is used every day. I commute to San Francisco on the electric bike. I wouldn’t do that otherwise. I still get a really good workout, but I’m not completely destroyed when I get there.” Furthermore Michael says that they see no discernable increase in their utility bill, despite the fact that he is constantly charging batteries for his bike and others. And he notes that with increasing demand we will likely see great improvements in e-assist technology and affordability soon. “It’s a stretch to say that we ride these bikes to save the planet. It simply makes sense. It simply works.” Since Lori Tompkins contracted debilitating Lyme disease in 2006 she’s had to avoid exhausting herself at all costs, for fear of a relapse. This meant driving a car when she truly missed riding her bike. One spring day, after four bikeless years, she found a brand new pair of Pearl Izumi bike shorts at a Salvation Army store for $3, in her size, and could not resist. “The purchase felt overly optimistic and a bit futile because of my health and also because, since 2006, I have lived on a long, steep, narrow and winding road that I have had no interest biking up or down.” A month later the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded. By summer, Lori had taken her new shorts, her old bike and her courage out for a few short flat trips, often getting a ride back up to her house. “It all felt immensely good … immensely positive,” said Lori, but she knew anything beyond a few miles would be pushing it. “Then I saw a young man cruising by at a decent clip on his bike with his feet resting on the frame. He was moving without pedaling and instantly a light bulb went on in my head. I could ride an electric bike up my hill and out and about Marin County without getting exhausted.” Lori’s first test ride was frustrating; she didn’t appreciate the lack of instruction given by the bike shop, the area for test riding was not bike-friendly and their e-bikes were not for her. On her way home she stopped at The Bicycle Works “and within minutes I was on a beautiful bright orange E Mundo, floating (pedaling lightly) up my long, steep, narrow and winding road as if I had wings, accompanied by Michael Bock—a very knowledgeable E bike engineer—on his own E cargo bike.” Lori fell in love with the bike and the shop and all of the possibilities they afforded her. “I knew getting out in nature and in my community more would be “good medicine,” but I am actually shocked by the extent of the bike’s therapeutic value for my physical and vital/ emotional being. I can feel my entire system, being strengthened and re-wired to handle energy better.” Hallelujah!
NOCI GELATERIA: Creating Sweet Spots on the Road By Cheryl Longinotti In recent times San Francisco has blossomed with bicycle-powered food carts offering everything from chai tea and berry pies to the more traditional fish tacos and turkey sandwiches. So I asked myself, “Can a bicyclepowered business make it in Marin?” After a bit of investigating, I found Michael Orlandi, who answered my question. Michael and his wife Liana own Noci, a gelateria offering gelati, sorbetti and frozen yogurt made fresh daily from local, organic ingredients. They were ready to expand their downtown Mill Valley business but needed to do so without increasing overhead. They also wanted their handmade delights to be “a presence” at public and private events. Michael had cycled for years, so it was not a big leap to think of vending ice cream from a bicycle-driven cart or cargo bike. Finding the right vehicle took some time. Michael had studied design; a bulky three-wheeled cart was out. He wanted a two-wheeler that conveyed the hallmarks of Noci: quality and taste served with smalltown friendliness. Michael found colorful, fun models from Italy, but the euro-dollar exchange rate made them too expensive. On a walk through San Francisco’s Ferry Building, Michael saw a sandwich delivery bike that fit his criteria. It was a bike with an integrated rack that held a cooler. Michael contacted the builder, SyCip (see-sip) Designs of Santa Rosa, and work began on a custom design for Noci. Using the Ferry Building bike as a prototype, the front rack was attached directly to the frame (rather than to the handlebars) to ease steering. But the orientation of the rack was a problem. A secure center of gravity while moving required that the cooler stay in line with the frame. Michael wanted the cooler to be perpendicular while he served his customers. SyCip resolved this dilemma by making the front rack able to swivel with the removal of just two bolts. Now Michael’s afternoon ride covers Mill Valley parks and neighborhoods from Throckmorton to
Camino Alto. “It’s the best part of the job,” he says. “It’s great marketing and people love it. I’m known in the neighborhoods.” Insurance is a potential hurdle for a bicycle-powered business. It is expensive to insure an employee to ride and sell from the bike. On the plus side, as proprietor Michael can do all the riding and use sales from the bike to pay for an employee to cover the brick–andmortar shop. Intrigued by Noci’s success, I did more research and found a bicycle-based electrician (in Santa Cruz), plumber (in Portland) and a mobile bicycle repair shop (in Virginia). Clearly, possibilities go beyond food and beverage vending. Marin’s local bicycle cooperative, The Bicycle Works, sells cargo bikes and is building a fleet outfitted with electrical-assist to be available for rental. There’s no need to buy a custom bike to get one’s business “on the road.”
MCBC THANKS THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY MCBC is very fortunate to have the following community businesses supporting us in 2011. We thank them all for their commitment to getting more people on bikes. By supporting MCBC these businesses are helping expand Marin’s bicycle network with safer roads and new bike facilities!
Marin Cyclists $11,500
Specialized Bicycles $8,500
Inspirational Movie Documents the Power of the Bicycle THE SHELLEY AND DONALD RUBIN FOUNDATION
Whole Foods $5,000
Mike’s Bikes $5,000
The Fund for Santa Barbara
The power of the bicycle to change lives was celebrated at the May 15 screening of With My Own Two Wheels. Ninety-seven guests attended and some forty shared how bicycling had changed their life [http://www.marinbike.org/Resources/HowHasBiking.shtml]. A panel discussion engaged the audience with details of film production, bicycle co-ops and the empowerment of women globally and locally. The event, organized by Cheryl Longinotti and Jean Severinghaus with MCBC and Bicycle Works staff support, benefited MCBC’s Women on Wheels program and The Bicycle Works. Thank You to the Many Donors and Volunteers: Heidi Adler (catering supplies), Adrian Bennett, Jelani Bertoni, Luke Dryer, Fairfax Scoop, Pam Feagles, Marilyn Geary, Barbara Graham, Stephen Hesson, Deb Hubsmith, Paul Koch, Jonathon London, Donna McGrath (graphic design), The MYC (Pu Yen Chen, John McCloud, Olivia Owens, Daniel Solis), Vicki Newton, David Ore, Shannon Savage, Riley Sherman, Jacob Seigel-Boettner, Sol Food, Susan Starbird (social marketing), Beth Verdakel, Dom Walterspiel (Eventbrite site design), Alfrieda Wilkins, Joyce X, Kathleen Zalecki, Jane Zanetto.
Law Office of Daniel H. Rose $2,350
Marin Sanitary $2,500
Orgasm ica zza & Pi ing Comp rew B
Studio Velo $2,000
The Original Sin
Pizza Orgasmica $1,850 Sunshine Bicycles $1,750
City Cycle $1,750 Fits By Paul $1,500
Financial Network Investment Corporation $1,500
2011 Annual Reunion for Marin Cyclists The Bay Area celebrated its Annual Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 12. Marin County cyclists who visited 17 Energizer Stations numbered about 4,000 and came from various backgrounds—students, teachers, lawyers, medical professionals, tech employees. Cyclists riding for the first time on Bike to Work Day were awed by the groups that gathered at some of the stations. “Everyone was so excited and proud to be cycling on such a beautiful day in Marin. It was welcoming and I can’t wait for next year,” commented Mary Vella.
Marin County’s Bike Commuter of the Year, Julian LePelch. Golden Gate photo by David Beaty courtesy of 511.org.
New and returning cyclists used many of the County’s improved bike lanes and paths in all directions. The recently built Lincoln Hill Pathway and Cal Park Tunnel Energizer Stations were visited by over 250 cyclists on Bike to Work Day. Several of the stations provided breakfast treats. Class Cycle provided fresh fruit, Whole Foods served healthy breakfast sandwiches to hundreds of early morning cyclists, and waffles were served at the Marin Civic Center station—all wonderful treats for the celebrating cyclists. Volunteers at MCBC Energizer Stations signed up 22 new MCBC members and 26 renewing members that day. Some renewing members commented that Bike to Work Day has become their annual reminder to support the successful work that MCBC does throughout the county. Many members received great thank-you gifts on the spot, including commemorative Bike to Work Day
caps and cycling clothing, and everyone was entered in the Spring Bike Sweepstakes. MCBC co-hosted the After Party and Bike Expo at the Marin County Mart in Larkspur. Hundreds of evening commuters and cycling community enthusiasts attended. MCBC raised $400 for the Coalition and signed up a number of new members. Local VIPs attended the event, including mountain bike and transportation bike pioneer Joe Breeze, Supervisor Steve Kinsey, San Rafael Mayor Al Boro and Assemblyman Jared Huffman’s field representative, Nick Ely. The event was also used to introduce to the public MCBC’s 2011 Bike Locally Challenge riders. We also handed out Cal Park Tunnel plaques to people whose efforts helped get the tunnel open. Marin County’s Bike Commuter of the Year, Julian LePelch, was honored at the After Party and Expo. He received an honorary certificate from the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, a $100 gift card from Mike’s Bikes, a gift basket from Trader Joe’s and several other cool donated cycling gifts. After attending the After Party and BTWD energizer stations, Julian commented that he’d had no idea so many people were excited about cycling in Marin. He is excited to have many more Marin cyclists join him throughout the next year. Congratulations to each of the 27 teams that rode hard and long during the 2011 Team Bike Challenge! The winning team, with 344 points and an amazing 2,223 miles, is Carbon Cyclers from Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies . Fantastic! TV Team won 2nd place with 288 points and 1,678 miles, and Rolling Thunder won 3rd place with 287 points and 1,630 miles. Thank you to our members for spreading the word about Bike to Work Day and especially to the 100-plus volunteers who, stuffed 1400 tote bags, manned Energizer Stations and cheered on another record number of people bicycling and helped with behind-the-scenes planning. We couldn’t do this without you!
Top Ten YUMS & YUKS from Bike to Work Month By Scott D. Warner
Capitalizing on the success of this year’s Bike to Work Day, the Bay Area bicycling community should be proud of its accomplishment in May’s Bike-to-Work-Month Challenge. While participating on one of my company’s teams in the Team Bike Challenge, I myself felt a great sense of accomplishment (725 total personal miles, 1600 miles by our team, and more than 3300 total miles by the several teams in our office). I used my two wheels not just to commute to work throughout the month (with laptop and a change of clothes packed into my saddle bags every day), but also in doing common errands, such as going to the grocery store, riding to get a haircut, taking my kids to and picking them up from school events (on a tandem), picking up goodies at the Farmers’ Markets, and going to social events. As I had the opportunity to commute by bike not just in Marin County but also in Alameda County, my experiences highlighted many positives, but also many of what I will define as “continuing improvement” areas, on which I hope the bicycling community will continue to make forward progress. From my Bike-to-Work-Month experience this year, I have compiled my Top Ten Yums and Yuks which I present herein. In the tradition of “The David Letterman Show,” the list will start with No. 10 and work its way up to No. 1.
No. 5 – Yuk – I was so hungry from riding every day that I ate my lunch by 10 a.m. every morning!
No. 4 – Yum – I became much more knowledgeable about the roads to ride in both Marin and Alameda Counties, and I loved the sights of different neighborhoods I rode through. I enjoyed the sights, sounds, and scents of small ethnic cafés in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, and El Cerrito during my East Bay commutes.
No. 3 – Yuk – Although there has been some improvement over the years, the condition of pavement in many areas remains stressed and is hard on the cycling machine. The amount of glass and other threatening debris on the road also remains unacceptable.
Although 90 percent of cyclists ride safely, too many cyclists still do not follow traffic safety laws. Many ride through stop signs (without any appearance of slowing), and sometimes red lights. For me, this was extremely frustrating to see. It involved cyclists at all experience levels.
No. 2 – Yum – Combo pack: a) The Cal Park Tunnel is fantastic! b) only one flat all month; c) only one dog chase all month (a small mutt with a blue sweater in Berkeley).
No. 1 – Yum (might as well end on a Yum) – My comfort in using the trusty two-wheeler to commute to work and to many other errand-type destinations is very high. I look forward to using the bike more and more (and the car less and less) from here on!
No. 10 – Yum – Yes, it is possible to effectively bike commute from North Marin to Downtown Oakland. You can go via Route 5 to Larkspur Landing, Ferry to SF, Ferry to Oakland – then return on the Ferry from Oakland to SF, and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge back to north Novato. Taking Golden Gate Transit Bus Route 40 from Central San Rafael to El Cerrito is another “cross-bay” option.
No. 9 – Yuk – Although 90 percent of cyclists ride safely, too many cyclists still do not follow traffic safety laws. Many ride through stop signs (without any appearance of slowing), and sometimes red lights. For me, this was extremely frustrating to see. It involved cyclists at all experience levels.
No. 8 – Yum – Both offices I commuted to, one in downtown Oakland and one in Larkspur Landing, had locker and shower facilities for cyclists. I was most impressed with the setup in my Oakland office, which also had locker space and attendants who could keep an eye on the bike racks in the building garage.
No. 7 – Yuk - The Wind – all month. No need to say anything more about this one.
No. 6 – Yum – My body and mind felt great all day on days that I bike commuted. The “buzz” from riding at least 10 miles into the office – sometimes nearly 20 – stayed with me all day. 13
NORTH/SOUTH GREENWAY 2011 UPDATE By Andy Peri, Advocacy Director When MCBC formed 13 years ago, our primary goal was to create the North-South Greenway, a mostly car-free bicycle and pedestrian corridor 25 miles long, from Marin County’s southern edge at the Golden Gate Bridge through Novato to the north. Over the past year, MCBC has seen the fruits of a decade+ of work come to bear with the opening of the Cal Park Tunnel and the Lincoln Hill Pathway, two major north-south connectors. The NorthSouth Greenway still has some gaps, which MCBC continues to work on to close. Some of these projects are currently being planned or designed while others are under construction. 2010 was a year of great celebration, but the hard work continues.
1 – SMART Train and Pathway MCBC has worked with Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) since 1999 to help create the SMART train and pathway. The original SMART project followed the former NWP right-of-way (ROW) for 71 miles from Larkspur Landing (now the Marin Country Mart) to Cloverdale. In November 2008, Measure Q was approved by voters with nearly 70% approval. MCBC mobilized supporters to pass this Measure. Because of recession-driven low sales tax revenue, SMART had to reduce its project to 37-miles from downtown San Rafael to Railroad Square in Santa Rosa; now called the initial operating segment (IOS). Further deferments included a onethird cut of pathway funds. The IOS train and pathway segments are still expected to be completed and operational by end of 2014. MCBC has been working closely with SMART engineering staff to help determine the final alignment, pathway design, bicycle storage levels on trains, and station access and design (including station bicycle racks and storage). As of late-June 2011, SMART is working to close its funding gap with help from Sonoma County, Marin County and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. When the gap is closed, bonding and the first phase of rail construction on the SMART rail line will occur. MCBC is working to ensure that pathway funds are used only for the pathway and not re-allocated to other parts of the project.
2 - Lincoln Hill Pathway This $12 million pathway project, funded by Measure A and federal stimulus funds, was completed and opened for use in December 2010. This important segment of the North-South Greenway
connects Terra Linda with downtown San Rafael. It includes a break-away path to Linden Lane for community access to the Lincoln Avenue and Dominican neighborhoods, and a mini-tunnel at the top of the hill to allow riders and pedestrians to avoid the dangerous on-ramps and off-ramps on Lincoln Avenue. This pathway connects to the Los Ranchitos bike lanes, which were completed last year and which provide access from North San Pedro Road to the top of the Lincoln Hill pathway.
3 - Cal Park Tunnel Rehabilitation The Cal Park Tunnel opened officially on December 10, 2010, with much justified fanfare and excitement. Over 300 cyclists, pedestrians and elected officials celebrated before cutting the ribbon and entering the tunnel. In addition to the tunnel itself, the project includes just over one mile of pathway that connects to Anderson Avenue on the San Rafael side (near Office Depot) and the Marin Country Mart (formally Larkspur Landing) just adjacent to the movie theatre. This facility is stateof-the-art and the County of Marin has already won several awards for it. One day the tunnel will be shared with the SMART train, which will terminate at the Larkspur Landing station.
4 - Central Marin Ferry Connection Project South of the Cal Park Tunnel, the Central Marin Ferry Connection Project (CMFCP) will provide a traffic-separated crossing of East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Corte Madera Creek, linking up with the existing path at Wornum Drive. Approximately $12 million for Phase 1 of the CMFCP multiuse pathway has been designated from Regional Measure 2 (bridge tolls), highway mitigation funds, and MTC’s regional bike network funding. The Board of Supervisors allocated $2 million from the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) for environmental review and preliminary engineering, and we expect a final $3 million NTPP allocation for completing the Phase 1 construction funding needs. The project will be segmented, with Phase 1 crossing East Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to connect the Cal Park Tunnel with the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, and Phase 2 crossing Corte Madera Creek. In September 2010, the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) approved the final environmental impact report on Phase 1. Federal environmental clearance is currently being completed, allowing federal funds to be used for the project. The crossing over Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is estimated at $15 14
million, and is expected to be complete in 2014-2015. This project will provide a direct connection to the Cal Park Tunnel, southern Marin and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.
5 - Sandra Marker Trail The Sandra Marker Trail provides access to several nearby schools, including Redwood High School and Neil Cummins Elementary School. In December 2009 the City of Larkspur completed a new multiuse pathway that connects the Heather Gardens and Meadowood neighborhoods to Redwood High School, Hall Middle School, and Piper Park. This new ADA-compliant pathway replaces an informal dirt path between Doherty Drive and Heather Northwood Park that had been used for years primarily by local school children. Pathway funding was from Measure A Safe Routes to School funds, and the path features 54 newly planted trees. During spring 2011, the City of Larkspur completed new bike lanes on Magnolia Avenue that connect to the Sandra Marker Trail, creating a significantly safer route between Larkspur and Kentfield.
6 - Alto Tunnel Rehabilitation/Reopening Now that the Cal Park Tunnel is open and being used, re-opening the Alto Tunnel seems more possible than ever. The Mill Valley to Corte Madera Gap Closure Study was finalized and accepted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors in September 2010. The study looked at three routes between Corte Madera and Mill Valley: Horse Hill, Camino Alto and the Alto Tunnel. This study, funded by the Pilot Program, assessed (amongst other things) the feasibility and costs for improvement on each of the three routes. Cost estimates for the Alto Tunnel had significantly large contingencies because no geotechnical study was completed during the Gap Closure Study. MCBC is urging the County to conduct further geotechnical and property studies on the tunnel as they are key to moving this project forward. These studies would help reduce contingency costs by creating more accurate cost estimates for rebuilding the tunnel, and would help resolve conflicts and questions regarding property boundaries and tunnel easement ownership.
7 - Mill Valley Pathway and Sausalito Bridgeway Bike Lanes and Pathway Construction The County of Marin is currently processing paperwork to conduct repairs and upgrades for this trafficseparated path between Mill Valley and Sausalito. It is awaiting additional approved funding and is moving toward construction in 2013. The popular bike lanes on Bridgeway opened to the public in fall 2003. Thanks to the Pilot Program, a study is now underway to determine an alignment for a multiuse path along the railroad right-of-way from Gate 6 Road to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal. Sausalito is
also currently engaged in developing a roadway striping plan to further improve cyclists’ riding through the city.
8 – Alexander Avenue During the peak cycling season, estimates indicate that as many as 1500 cycling tourists on rental bikes cross the Golden Gate Bridge per day to explore Sausalito and the rest of Marin County. MCBC has been working with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Caltrans, Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District and City of Sausalito on a plan to improve cycling on Alexander Avenue, whose shoulders are only a few feet wide. A plan under consideration would make the shoulders five feet wide at the road’s narrowest point. This would be accomplished by cutting into the hillsides adjacent to the roadway. Other improvements included in the plan would reconstruct the intersection at the tunnel to Fort Baker and make changes to a tunnel beneath Alexander Avenue. MCBC has also been working to improve sightlines and calm traffic on a particularly difficult section of Alexander Avenue just as it enters Sausalito. Cyclists spending time in Sausalito are enjoying the 420 bicycle parking spaces that MCBC worked with the City of Sausalito to provide downtown.
LOOKING FORWARD The opening of key portions of the North-South Greenway over the past year has made MCBC very excited about Marin’s expanding, non-motorized transportation network. The greatest bike/ped challenges for Marin County tend to be short in distance and large in cost, as they are links through hills, across creeks and between existing narrow channels. As we move forward on reopening the Alto Tunnel and toward beginning construction on the SMART train and pathway and the Central Marin Ferry Connection Project, MCBC is closer than ever to completing the North-South Greenway. These projects take patience and time, and MCBC values our members’ support that keeps us involved with the decision making processes to build a great bicycle network for all of you! 15
ADVOCACY County of Marin’s Prestigious Awards for the Cal Park Tunnel and Pilot Program Projects MCBC applauds the County of Marin for the completion of Cal Park Tunnel, the WalkBike Marin program, and all of the Department of Public Works’ efforts to make the County a safer place to walk and bike. With the recent news that bicycling in Marin increased 135% on weekdays since 1999, it’s clear that the efforts are working! – Andy Peri, MCBC Advocacy Director
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition shares—with great enthusiasm—the news that the County of Marin has received three prestigious awards for bike/ped projects and programs. Two of the awards are for the Cal Park Tunnel, which was completed late last year and opened to the public on December 10, 2010 with a grand celebration. Partial funding for the tunnel came from the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP). The County’s Department of Public Works was the lead agency on construction for the visionary project. The County of Marin received an award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in their Region 9 Outstanding Small Project category. The Cal Park Tunnel was chosen out of 30 projects eligible for this award. The County shares the award with SMART,
which contributed 50% toward construction costs for the tunnel, which was designed to support future train service in addition to the bike/ped path. The Cal Park Tunnel was also awarded the American Public Works Association’s Public Works Project of the Year award for 2011. This award, given in April of this year, puts the County of Marin into an elite group of winners of APWA award winners. The County of Marin received an additional award in March 2011 from the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The award was for the Marin County Department of Public Works’ initiative, WalkBikeMarin, which was recognized with a FHWA 2010 Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives (EHEI) Award in the Education and Training Programs category for “using a range of education and encouragement activities to promote walking and bicycling.” WalkBikeMarin (www.walkbikemarin.org) was created with funding from the NTPP to help make Marin more healthy, livable, and environmentally sustainable by encouraging walking and bicycling as everyday transportation. Marin County Bicycle Coalition played a key role in bringing the $25 million of NTPP funds to Marin County.
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THE 49TH ANNUAL MARIN CENTURY The Biggest Ride in the County, hosted by the Marin Cyclists The 2011 Marin Century and Mt. Tam Double Century on August 6, 2011, promises to be another spectacular event. More than 2,600 cyclists will enjoy routes of 30 to 200 miles through the amazing beauty of Marin County. Event proceeds support cycling programs at Marin County Bicycle Coalition, NorCal High School Mountain Bike League, Whole Athlete Junior Development Team, Trips for Kids, Marin Senior Services and other youth sports and community organizations, in the surrounding Bay Area. By overwhelming popularity, the routes for the 2011 Marin Century will be the same as they were in 2010, allowing riders to experience the diverse beauty of Marin through gentle grades, rolling hills and steep climbs. Riding from the golden hills of West Marin to the Pacific coastline, riders will catch a glimpse of unique serpentine outcroppings, and have a chance to see wildlife such as red-tailed hawks, osprey, blue jays, wild turkeys and coyote. At registration, each rider will receive a detailed course map. Additionally, the route will be well marked, and sag/safety vehicles will be available to assist with unexpected events. MCBC and the Marin Century will be providing course marshals, who will ride along portions of the route and be highly visible to participants. Course rest stops provide a delicious assortment of snacks, fruits and drinks. At Vallecito Elementary School in San Rafael, riders will enjoy a bountiful post-ride lunch catered by four local vendors and other local suppliers. There they can relax and explore the post-ride Expo with over 20 exhibitors. In prior years the post-ride meals have featured BBQ chicken, pizza, vegetarian lasagna, penne pesto salad, pasta/chicken salad, green salad, a variety of ice creams, cookies, fruit and drinks. If you’re there, don’t forget to come and say hello at MCBC’s Bike Locally Outpost at the Expo! This event has put riders on our county roads since the 1960s. Each year more riders join in and share the road during the ride, making it imperative for everyone to be extra careful, conscientious, and courteous to other riders and users of the roads. In 2010, MCBC and the Marin Cyclists teamed up to create a short, informative video, demonstrating safe
group cycling and the RIDE RIGHT skill. Narrated by local cyclist, CycleTo.com editor and italygranfondo.com coordinator, Bob Cullinan, the video explains cyclists’ need to be aware of their positioning in traffic on the roads. Calling out hazards, RIDE RIGHT exceptions and group etiquette are demonstrated. This video was made possible with the expert camera work and savvy scripting of Marin Cyclist member and photographer Michael Sexton of SextonArts. Marin Century organizers encourage all riders to watch RIDE RIGHT on the website www.marincentury. com or find it on YouTube.com under ride_right.mov. California Highway Patrol officers will be on hand to facilitate cyclist and vehicle traffic flow at certain major intersections. Cyclists are reminded to stop at all stop signs and obey speed limits. Riders should not wear headphones or ear pods to listen to iPods, MP3 players or radios. Listening devices are extremely dangerous while riding, and riders using such devices may be cited by the CHP. These safety measures are in place to create an enjoyable experience for Marin Century riders and community members. By putting these skills into practice we can all ride safer. MCBC and the Marin Cyclists thank you for making safety a priority on your ride! As many know, the Century is run and organized by the Marin Cyclists and 300-plus volunteers. Anyone interested in having as much fun as the riders can contact the Volunteer Coordinator at marincentury11@ gmail.com to volunteer as an individual, or Kristin@ marinbike.org to volunteer as part of MCBC’s team.
As safety and responsibility is of utmost importance, each rider must have: • A well-maintained bicycle • A helmet (mandatory) • Necessary repair equipment (including pump and extra tubes) • Sunscreen • Enough edibles and water to make it between aid stations.
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SAFE ROUTES UPDATE
Go for the Green Safe Routes’ New Website Safe Routes to Schools has redesigned its website. You can now find out current events in every school district on the school pages. Download promotional pieces and curriculum; check out our picture and video galleries. The Teens Go Green page highlights activities for our middle and high schools. Go to www.saferoutestoschools. org and check it out. If you are on Facebook please “like” us. Find us here.
This March, Safe Routes to Schools held its second annual Go for the Green Contest in 29 Marin County elementary schools. Each classroom kept track of its daily trips by putting leaves on a tree poster in the classroom. The weekly trips were recorded on acorns and compared with the other classroom results. The winning class was awarded $100 and a certificate. Miss Bulech’s 5th grade class at Hamilton School in Novato topped all other schools with 95% green trips through the duration of the contest. Mary Silveira School recorded 61% of green trips, the highest percentage for a school. That’s a 10% increase over their fall baseline surveys. Lycee Francais School in Corte Madera had the greatest increase in green ways to school. When the year began all but 9% of the students were driven to school. During the Go for the Green Contest, 35% chose a green way to school. That’s a 26% increase for a private school with very poor access for walkers and bikers. In all, 83,300 green trips were recorded during the four-week period, reducing emissions by 35 tons of CO2.
No Cars on Campus at Drake High School
The online SchoolPoolMarin program assists with match lists of families who’d like to travel to school or after school activities together.
According to Anna Garfink, Co-President of the Green Routes Club with Carlea Winkler, Eve Penberthy, and Kayla Ruggiero, the goal was to get 10 percent of the student and staff who normally drive, to instead walk or bike to school. A much better percentage than that was definitely achieved. Satellite parking was offered to those who lived long distances from school, yet students were seen commuting together by bike and skateboard from as far away as San Geronimo Valley. Teens Go Green, a project of Safe Routes to Schools, was a proud supporter of the event. The groups gave treats to all who traveled in an eco-friendly way to school, and they awarded raffle prizes. It’s a huge undertaking to shift auto-transportation habits which are commonplace in high school, yet Drake High School showed that it is possible to motivate a change to increase the physical well-being of students and a positive effect on the environment.
Advanced Technology Meets Teens Go Green
Teens Go Green, in collaboration with Save a Gallon (www.saveagallon.org) launched a pilot program at Miller Creek Middle School as part of the Teens Go Green Spring Challenge. Instead of using paper raffle tickets, students registered online with Save a Gallon and received shoe-shaped barcode cards during their science classes. When students walked, biked, or carpooled to school on Challenge days, they scanned their card and automatically found out how much CO2 emission they saved. All participants received a morning treat and entered a raffle to win weekly prizes and the grand prize, a new iPod nano. In addition, the science class with the highest amount of CO2 saved, received cash for a party and their teacher received a gift card from Book Passage. With the excellent participation rate of 42.73% (239 students), during the four-week challenge, Miller Creek Students saved the emission of approximately 1,060 lbs of CO2.
Imagine a huge, fun-filled community event teeming with high school students and staff — all of this in a vacant parking lot where on a typical school day 120 cars are parked. Drake’s Green Routes Club achieved just that. They created Drake’s first ever “No Cars on Campus Day” on May 20th to send a strong message about the power of walking and biking to school and the possible transformation of a campus when cars are replaced with collective human celebration. Instead of hopping into cars and accelerating out of Drake’s main parking lot during lunch, students stayed to see the extremely innovative Human-Powered Vehicles created by the students of Drake’s Engineering Academy. Students raced and maneuvered their vehicles around courses set up in the vacant lot. A band played, and everyone enjoyed milkshakes made with Teens Go Green’s famous bike-pedaled blender. 18
Proud Sponsors of Bike to Work Day
Join the ride to raise money to open the Alto Tunnel! Join the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Whole Foods Market Sunday, July 24 on a 40-mile ride through scenic Marin and then watch the final stage of the Tour de France (Champs-Élysées) in the afternoon! There will be great food all along the ride, including fine gourmet cuisine from Marin artisan cheese and bread makers! You’ll ride past Big Rock, see redwood groves and horse stables, and take in a feast at the Nicasio energizer station. All ride levels welcome, no one is left behind. The ride will be well supported, with ride leaders, sweepers, course marshals and SAG (support and gear) wagon courtesy of Mike’s Bikes. Tour de Marin proceeds will help MCBC’s efforts to open the Alto Tunnel to bicycles, completing Marin County’s North/South Bicycle Greenway. Sign-up today at tourdemarin.eventbrite.com.
SHOP TALK from CITY CYCLE, SF Flat Tire Prevention Just about the most annoying four-letter words known to any cyclist—FLAT TIRE—can lead to plenty of other expletives if you experience one on the road. A flat can be especially troublesome for commuters and even more so if your bike is loaded or is more complex than your lean, fast road machine, say if it uses an internally geared rear hub, or if it’s a recumbent or cargo bike. My first bit of advice when it comes to flat repair, for any bike and for every rider, is to know how to handle the effort for your bike and to practice the tasks and techniques involved, often, so that while you’re on the road it’s as close to second nature as you can master. But let’s see what we can do to prevent a flat in the first place. That way, your mechanical skill (or lack of same) will be less likely to leave you stranded, hitching a ride or calling for help. Here are four additions that will make flat tires much less likely for any bike (prices are approximate and per pair): 1. Puncture-resistant tires: Belts under the tread and cut-resistant casings keep external intruders from getting near the air-filled tube in the first place. Up to $120. 2. Tire liners: Add a layer of puncture resistance between the inner tube and the inside of the tire casing. $20. 3. Thorn-resistant tubes: Extra-thick rubber on the outer, rolling edge of the air-filled tube takes a significantly greater puncture depth to penetrate and give air a point of exit. With these tubes, typical road debris such as tiny glass bits or small metal slivers may not be enough to give you a flat. $25. 4. Slime or other leak-sealer: A small volume (about 3 to 4 ounces) of liquid sealant inside the tube offers
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a last line of defense should a foreign object make its way through your outer layers of flat prevention. $10. 5. You can buy pre-Slimed tubes or add sealant to your existing tubes, combine any of these options to add a level of flat prevention that fits your budget, or just do it all to get your tire as close to “flat proof” as a pneumatic tire can be. Installation by a bike shop for the whole package will cost around $50, which makes the total investment up to $225. But if a flat tire means missing an important meeting or being late for your third-grader’s Spring recital, isn’t that a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’ll get where you’re heading? Although this set-up adds weight, preventing a flat may be worth the few extra ounces. Getting there is, after all, the point! Ride on…
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REVIEW: Deuter Alpine 30 Backpack One heavy-duty pack!
For starters, it holds a lot of stuff!
I received a Deuter Alpine 30 hydration backpack last summer to try out for a few months and it has barely left my back since. For starters, it holds a lot of stuff! The main compartment is large enough to hold spare clothing, food, a six pack, etc. It can even accommodate trail tools, thanks to a zipperand-snap system that permits a tool handle to stick out the top. A second smaller pocket below the main compartment is perfect for holding things like bike tools, parts and first aid stuff. A zippered divider separates the two sections, and can be removed to create one super-large compartment. A small pocket at the bottom holds a rain cover. In the summer I remove the rain cover and use that pocket for other things. There are four mesh side pockets, which are handy for holding things you want to grab on the fly. Rounding out the
REVIEW: Freedom ThickSlicks
By Tom Boss
pack is a small pocket up top, perfect for your phone, wallet, keys and snacks; and a thin vertical zipper pocket, perfect for holding maps. The pack is very solid and durable, which makes it a little on the heavy side. However, the bag feels comfortable when resting on your back, thanks to two large, vertical, cushioned Airstrips. These run down each side, keeping the center of the pack off your back and creating an airflow pocket. The pack holds a 100 ML bladder, which is sold separately. While you can stick a Camelbak bladder in the pack, I recommend buying the Deuter bladder. The material they use has no plastic taste, and that’s refreshing. The top of the bladder opens all the way, making it very easy to clean. When the bladder is full, you fold the top over and slide a plastic clip across to form a watertight seal. This pack has many nice touches, such as the snaps on the zippers, the bright yellow rain jacket and a neoprene fastening system for holding your helmet. This is the pack that IMBA chose for its National Bike Patrol, and it has become the official “sag pack” for the MCBC Fun Ride.
A fat road tire from the innovators at WTB
By Tom Boss
The tires are designed to endure the harshest urban environments, and that’s exactly what they do.
I finally put enough miles on my road bike to wear out a set of tires. Growing up in Mill Valley at the base of Mt. Tam, I’ve always been more of a mountain biker than a roadie. That changed in 2001 when I was watching the Alpe d’Huez stage of the Tour de France —the one where Lance Armstrong glanced back at Jan Ullrich and then turned on the nitro and blasted off toward the finish line. The next day I was the proud owner of a road bike. The road bike got a lot of use the first six months and then it sat at the bottom of the bike pile, until I started commuting by bike a few years ago. Yes, my rode bike is now my commuter bike and the time had come for a new set of rubber. I thought about putting on a light set of performance tires, but then I heard about the Freedom ThickSlicks and it clicked. While MCBC has made great progress pushing for road improvements along the popular bike routes of Marin, there are still plenty of rough, bumpy roads that require
a delicate touch to avoid flats and rim dents. Maybe these ThickSlicks were the answer for us rough riders. Freedom sent over a set and I threw them on the bike right away. The ThickSlicks are 700 x 25c tires with extra rubber that Freedom claims offer “twice the protection of a standard rubber casing.” The tires are designed to endure the harshest urban environments, and that’s exactly what they do. They allow me to ride as if I’m on my mountain bike. I can point the bike at potholes, cracks and debris and the ThickSlicks will take the punishment without throwing me off the bike. The tires are no lightweight champion, but then I’m not racing, I’m just trying to get to work in one piece. Look for them if you’re in the market for a good set of all-around tires. With their bold sidewall lettering, they’re not hard to miss.
REVIEW: Brooks B-17 Saddle, Part IV by Tom Boss This is the final chapter of a 12-month experiment to see how long it takes to break in a Brooks leather saddle. When I began this experiment I announced it on the MCBC Facebook Page and to my friends. Most people responded with a sarcastic “good luck with that.” The consensus on break-in time was it takes longer than the average person’s patience allows. But after 10 months of riding, a dousing of oil to the saddle and a soaking of rainwater to us both, I am happy to announce that I now have one very comfortable Brooks Saddle! Where you really notice the benefits of soft leather stretched between steel fittings is on long rides, when you’re spending five or six hours on the saddle. It took switching back to my old saddle to realize just how comfy the Brooks had become. It’s also a conversation starter; if your steed sports a broken-in Brooks, you’re going to hear a lot of stories. The saddle looks great on my bike. There is a weight penalty, but the comfort and classic look are worth the extra grams in my opinion. If you’re flush with cash, you can spend a lot of money on a Ti-rail Brooks to get closer to the weight of a contemporary saddle and pick up some copper-rivet bling.
Now that I have a broken-in Brooks on my bike, I see no reason to go back to my old saddle. When I ride my single-speed bike with modern saddle, I’m reminded how nice a Brooks is if you just have a little patience. Be sure to visit the Brooks website, where you can get a history lesson and read about all their saddles and other leather accessories. Check out their blog as well. It’s full of great stories from cyclists around the world. www.brooksengland.com
Win a Ritchey WCS Logic II Road Bar Answer these three questions correctly and enter a drawing for a Ritchey “Wet White” WCS Logic II Road Bar made from TRX50 seamless, triple butted alloy, with anatomical bend drops and 31.8 OS clamp section for improved stiffness and durability. CLUE: the answers can be found inside this issue. 1. Name one of the bikes donated by Specialized for the 2011 Bike Locally Challenge. 2. The advantages of a Long John style cargo bike are versatility and capacity. True or false? 3. “No Cars On Campus” at Drake High School has been happening for how many years? Name Phone email Address City State Zip
WHERE TO SEND YOUR ANSWERS Email email@example.com or mail this form to MCBC, PO Box 1115, Fairfax, CA 94978. The drawing will be held September 16, 2011. Thanks to Ritchey for contributing our Pedal Press contest prize.
MCBC’S CALENDAR OF EVENTS click here
MCBC STORE Visit our online store for these items. All proceeds support safer cycling efforts in Marin.
MCBCsocks - $10.00
Men’s and Women’s Tee shirts - $25.00
MCBC bike shorts - $79.00
MCBC Map - $12.00 A must-have resource for anyone riding in Marin! The MCBC jersey - $69.00
TOUR DE MARIN July 24
MARIN CENTURY August 6
BECOME AN MCBC MEMBER Name (first)
Phone (day) (evening) How you heard about us
• $40 Regular • $60 Family • $100 Century • $250 Tour de France For Century members and above select your t-shirt size: S
Make checks payable to: Marin County Bicycle Coalition, P.O. Box 1115, Fairfax, CA 94978 Credit Card # Signature
I want to volunteer!
• Do not share my name with other organizations
or JOIN ONLINE:
Street / PO Box
BIKETOBERFEST September 25
• Attending public meetings • Advocacy in your town • Data entry • Events • Newsletter distribution/mailing • Phone tree calling • Safe Routes to Schools • Share the Road • Staffing an information table • Valet bicycle parking • Other