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Rails-to-trails progressing

Director expects environmental study could lead to 2009 startup

 

By KURT MOORE

The Marion Star

 

MARION - While no problems are expected to be found, it's buyer beware for the Marion County Park District as it moves closer to buying land for a Rails-to-Trails project.

 

Full story: http://www.marionstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080624/NEWS01/806240311/1002

 

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Question:  My bike says the tires should be 80 psi but I used my tire gauge and anything more than 25 lbs seems like it would cause the tire to explode. Should I really keep pumping to 80psi? Hell, the meter only goes up to 80 or 100.

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I've got a mountain bike with pretty hefty tires and I only keep mine around 60 lbs...and that seems plenty.  I'd advise to talk to your local bike shop to be sure.

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If the tire says 80 psi, then do 80 psi. Running lower is just inefficient. Plus you'll increase the chance of pinch flats. If everything is in place, proper tire/tube installation, healthy rim/spokes and rim tape (the separator between rim and tube), everything will work and you'll be much happier. Two of my bicycles run at 110psi and I wouldn't run them lower.

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Are you sure your tire gauge is working properly?  I've never heard of one not working, but I would imagine you could try a different one.  Once you're sure on that you should pump it all the way to 80 psi.  A properly inflated bike tire will feel like solid rubber almost- they're that high pressure.

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Yeah, you know what, now that you guys mention it, I think that the gauge might be broke. It was getting really hard to pump anymore air in there, yet it wasn't really going above 25 psi. Hmm. The tires are 27x1.5 so we're talking about little @ss tires and tubes.

 

 

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Bicyclists oppose lifting sidewalk ban

Riding in street safer, they say; proposal to be reviewed next week

Saturday,  July 5, 2008 3:09 AM

By Bobby Pierce

 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Bicyclists want bikes to be treated like vehicles. That's the message they are sending to Columbus officials as they rework the city's bike code.

 

Full story: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/07/05/bikelaw.ART_ART_07-05-08_B1_8PALR3R.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101

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Bicyclists oppose lifting sidewalk ban

Riding in street safer, they say; proposal to be reviewed next week

 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

 

Riding on the sidewalk with traffic increases the risk of a crash by 180 percent over riding on the road with traffic; riding on the sidewalk against traffic increases the risk by 430 percent, according to a 1994 study by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. This is why many cyclists contend that a bike's place is on the road.

 

I strongly disagree.  I don't want to risk citation so that some "cycling purist" can use highway codes to leverage some poorly-conceived vision that cyclists will be treated as equals when we all get out in the road.

 

I ride my bicycle on sidewalks as a courtesy to motorists so that they don't have to be slowed down.

 

I ride my bicycle on sidewalks because in some places it is not safe to ride on the highway.  There are four and five lane highways with A LOT of traffic where people change lanes with impunity.  A motorist three cars back is not going to know if there is a cyclist ahead.

 

There is no way that I could ride to Mentor-on-the-lake without using the sidewalk on Mentor Avenue for three blocks.

 

As for their 180% or 430% increase of risk data, we all know what that means.  A motorists turns into a driveway quickly.  Especially a wide, non-residential driveway.  The prevention for that is to watch for cars.

 

To keep your bicycle in a straight line while you look back over your shoulder, do this:  hold the handlebar with your right hand and focus on that being the steering control.  Then look back over your left shoulder.  You can keep your left hand on the bars if you prefer, it does not matter.  Just focus on the "almost extended or extended and locked out right arm"  control.  Happy cycling!

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Ann Fisher commentary:

Sorting out bike rules begins with courtesy

Wednesday,  July 9, 2008 3:14 AM

By Ann Fisher

 

The Columbus City Council is expected to deep-six legislation that would permit bicycling on sidewalks.

 

The language had been tacked onto a proposed helmet law for children, but given the lack of opportunity for debate, the plan is to put the sidewalk piece away for now.

 

Full story: http://dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/07/09/ANN09.ART_ART_07-09-08_B1_STAMNMM.html?sid=101

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http://www.ohiobike.org/bicycle-law-digest.html

 

§ 4511.711.  Driving upon sidewalk area.

No person shall drive any vehicle, other than a bicycle, upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

 

Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting local authorities from regulating the operation of bicycles within their respective jurisdictions, except that no local authority may require that bicycles be operated on sidewalks.

 

Comment:  Although this section allows riding on sidewalks, don’t do it.  Accident studies show that even low-speed sidewalk riding has about double the accident rate as riding on the road.  The danger increases with speed. If you ride on the sidewalk, every intersection and even every driveway is a potential collision site.  Motorists crossing your path do not look for conflicting traffic on the sidewalk, especially if you are coming from the "wrong way".

I disagree.  The sentence that I underlined is absurd.

 

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As both a motorist and bicyclist, I find it a lot harder to see biclyclists on sidewalks when I'm driving due to parked cars, pedestrians, and general sidewalk area clutter and (vice-versa) I find the same visual interference on those rare times I ride on the sidewalk.  So I absolutely agree with the above quote from the bike law.

 

At least if I'm riding on the street, that visibility factor isn't as much of a problem.

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Every area, every street is different.  City streets versus big suburban streets versus country roads...you just figure it out.  I'm always amused by discussions of bicyling on the internet because it's just not that tough to figure out what works, and personally I don't care about the law because they're blanket laws and don't apply practically to different kinds of streets.  I started riding long-distance when I was a kid and had no knowledge of bicycling laws whatsoever, although the two times when we rode on the interstate highway (really!) when I was about 11 I knew we weren't supposed to do that!  I've biked enough to have recieved a number of citations for riding the wrong way on a one-way, no light at night, reckless operation of a motor vehicle (4 points on my license and a doubling of my car insurance for a bicycling incident!), and a few others.  I had a meter maid try to give me a citation for riding on the sidewalk and I just took off, another time the police stepped out of their cruiser to cite some people for disorderly conduct and wanted my driver's license so I just hopped on my bike and rode through some yards and hid in the library!   

 

When I'm driving, I see bicyclists do all kinds of stupid stuff I'd never do, and this is because these individuals are stupid, not because of the laws or drivers or anything like that.  As for the sidewalks, in the city it's medium-bad but it's actually worse on suburban strips where there are many turn-outs from various businesses.  I think it's better to ride on the sidewalk against traffic in these areas because you can see what oncoming traffic is doing and ride with a much better idea of what's going on. 

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No amount of laws will stop many cyclists from being... rebels. Our Critical Masses was all about giving the middle finger to motorists, so we would completely hog up one entire lane on a busy thoroughfare -- which really didn't inflame motorists as it did to inform them that, yes, we were allowed on the roads much like they are.

 

Riding on the sidewalk may be safer for some, but you can't gain any speed with that. Motorists have a difficult time spotting cyclists on sidewalks because they tend to go a lot faster than those who walk. And so on, it's been repeated here before so I'm not going back over all of the reasons.

 

Inexperienced cyclists or those who are new to cycling tend to stick with the sidewalks. They are uncomfortable with riding in traffic or have had a bad experience somewhere along the line. They travel at slower speeds and typically use hybrid or mountain bikes. They have little or no knowledge, typically, of the various laws and ordinances for their city or state.

 

Experienced cyclists will use the roads as their medium. They are comfortable with traffic -- although some will shy away from rush hour for obvious reasons. Accidents or run-ins typically are things to shrug off or report. They travel at speeds in excess of 15 MPH on city streets and typically go faster in the rural areas.

 

Stupid cyclists will use a mix of the sidewalk and road, and don't give a shit about traffic. They will ride against traffic on one-way streets or along any road, weave unexpectedly around in the lane or lanes, have complete ignorance of the laws and ordinances, and give the middle finger to those with any disagreement.

 

The latter you need to be careful about.

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athens-121.jpg

 

In case anyone was wondering, this is what the end of the Athens-Adena Hockhocking bike trail looks like.  It stops here at Hocking College, a half mile south of Nelsonville proper.  As you can see the raiload is still active to this point with a tourist train.  Not visible in this image is the pioneer village which is operated by people in period costume.  It was always surreal to bike 17 miles through wilderness to this point, then buy a big home-grown pickle off of some lady in a log cabin wearing a bonnet and chatting on a cell phone.  If you want to go to Nelsonville, you have to bike along these tracks another quarter mile and and then carry your bike over one of those railroad bridges where there are just ties.  Then you're in a railroad yard and have to bike on gravel to the first street.       

 

All that said this is one of the best bike trails in the galaxy, almost nobody is ever on it and you can easily bike for 20 minutes without seeing anyone.  There are hardly any cross streets in 17 miles and plenty of interesting stuff to look at while you ride like abandoned railroad stuff and trailer parks.  There is nearly continuous forest cover which is a bad thing when the bugs come out, and brother they do like to party!

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There are some scary-crazy bikers. In the sixties a guy in Lima, Ohio carried a ball-peen hammer. If a driver cut him off or crowded him, he'd use it. He'd take off across yards or down alleys and between buildings to elude pursuit, and he took out quite a lot of auto glass before the cops finally caught up with him.

 

I see a scary-crazy on the greenways around town every now and then. He looks like a caricature of a bike racer from the 1890s -- wiry, intense-looking guy with a big handlebar mustache, everything but the leather helmet.

 

He rides like a demon, OK on open roads but not so much on the blind curves on the greenway, and is extremely aggressive toward anyone who interferes with his speed, be they biking, walking or driving.

 

The cross-street beside my house is part of the greenway system. One day I was standing along the far edge of the street with the city flood-control supervisor and a city engineer, showing them a section of riverbank that was badly eroded and likely to collapse (It did a month later), when the crazy man came down the street on his bike. He came straight at us as if he intended to crash into us, and then yelled something like "Get the f..k out of the road!" before veering off at the last instant.

 

He wears a helmet and all the customary colorful cycling attire and I think he has a pretty nice bike, although I've never been able to get a good look at it because whenever I see him coming, my first thought is to "Get the f..k out of the road!"

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Here are some views from 2004 of the US 33 Athens-Darwin extension, just weeks before it opened and before I got a digital camera:

 

athens-140.jpg

 

athens-147.jpg

 

Being able to bike that brand new highway that summer was a dream.  It was paved in segments so in May and June there was quite a bit of riding on graded fine gravel and having to ride around the under-construction bridges.  There was one which crossed a ravine so precipitous I had to lift the bike over one of those overpass grading machines visible in this shot, then throw it over a gap between the other end of the overpass and solid ground.  Obviously having to toss your bike across a ravine 10 miles from home is a bit risky but luckily the cables didn't get whacked out. 

 

The last day I rode the new highway was a day or two after it opened, after that so much traffic moved off of the old 33 that it became a terrific biking route.  Overall the ride from Athens to Pomeroy and across to WV was a fairly serious 50 mile ride with about four 400ft. climbs in each direction and over 2,000ft. vertical total but none of the grades were too bad, nothing approaching 10%.  The really interesting thing was in weeks preceding the opening, the highway was being used by hundreds of area residents for bikes, big wheels, 4-wheelers, you name it.  It was a lot of fun and everyone was friendly, except when the police would come along and shoo everyone off.  As soon as their cruiser was out of sight, everyone came back out from behind the bushes just like the munchkins. 

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Great write up Jake! I learned how to drive on the then-incomplete Industrial Parkway (Kentucky Route 67) in northeast Kentucky, and biked on some under-construction roads in my area. Pretty fun, and I look forward to doing that soon in the future with the extension of several highways.

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I know that my headlight owner's manual said that it increased the run time by some ridiculous amount over using the steady beam.  I personally think it is also more visible to others.  If I need the light so I can see on a dark ride, I use the steady beam.  If I'm riding in a well lit area but want to increase my visibility, I use the blinking mode.

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A blinking front and back light makes you more visible to drivers, other cyclists and pedestrians. It's extremely effective, and I have not talked to one person who recommends using the steady light versus the blink. The steady light drains the batteries very quick, and it doesn't grab the attention nearly as effectively.

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I just always figured that the blinking effect made you more visible to drivers at night.  I know several people who use two headlights (usually one on the bike, one on the helmet), one blinking and one always-on to better illuminate their path

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You can use an extra light to illuminate the path, but the most effective models cost around $250. I've done a lot of night riding in the city and only use the front and rear lights on blink, and stay on the main streets so I can effectively see the holes and obstacles.

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I use an amber xenon strobe.  It is probably 5 or 10 times brighter than any LED strobe.  I can see the flash reflecting off of street signs!

swps_2009_80211414

 

Buy the "bicycle" version that has a slower rate of flashing and much longer battery life.  I think it lasts 20 hours. 

http://www.swps.com/90300.html

Other colors and clear/white are also available.

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One caveat about blinking rear lights, and it'll be brought to your attention by other cyclists quickly enough if you transgress. Actually it's just common sense.

 

If you're riding with other people, don't put your rear light on blink unless you're at the tail end of the group. If someone is behind you and you have yours on blink, after a little while it annoys the crap out of them, especially if it's really bright. :oops:

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More people switching from cars to bikes = more inconsiderate idiots riding bikes.

 

After two encounters with sidewalk cyclists in a half-hour walk this evening, I'm thinking I might start carrying my cane again. I thought I was through with it, but it's still hanging on the coat hook inside the back door.

 

Twice this evening I was passed from behind within a couple of inches at speeds too high for sidewalk riding, without any audible warning. The first one caught me entirely by suprise and I damned near p!ssed myself. I heard the second one coming, but not because he tried to make his presence known; he just hit a ridge in the sidewalk and I heard it.

 

With a little practice I ought to be able to snag a rider right off his bike. A biker can ride faster than I can run, but I might get a head start while he's spitting out the cement.

 

I wouldn't really do such a thing, but from now on I'll condition myself to scream at them in hopes of startling them as badly as they startle me. I may still carry my cane in case one of them wants to discuss it. Right now I'm still angry. :whip:

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>After two encounters with sidewalk cyclists in a half-hour walk this evening, I'm thinking I might start carrying my cane again.

 

The only place in Cincinnati where I consistantly had bad biking experiences is on the pedestrian walk of the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.  I had a crackhead swing take a swing at me with a hub cap and had another threaten me with his little pimp cane.  After that I started riding on the roadway part of the bridge which has the added bonus of being able to wave to train engineers if there's a train crossing.   

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Tell them sidewalks are for walking and to get their ass on the road where it belongs. A bit much to yell when they're whizzing by you though.

 

Simplify.  Try this instead:

 

Street!----Now!----%sshole!

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Bicyclists familiar with path's pitfalls

Tuesday,  July 22, 2008 3:07 AM

By JOE BLUNDO

 

Except for short stretches, I won't ride a bike in traffic. It's too scary for my tastes. ... So I'm grateful for the Olentangy bike trail that runs near my house in Worthington. The path has been improved during the past few years, most recently by the beautiful new bridge at Broadmeadows Boulevard.

 

Full story: http://dispatch.com/live/content/life/stories/2008/07/22/1A_BLUN22-july_22_ART_07-22-08_D1_UEAPNCP.html?sid=101

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Most of the time, I ride on the street, but there are a few streets I will not ride on because they too heavily trafficked and are just not safe for a cyclist.    For those occasional instances I will ride on the sidewalk, but I take it slow and keep an extra eye out for pedestrians and cars pulling into driveways. 

 

Also, I'm sometimes towing a bike trailer with my son in it and in Berea, for example, there are areas where the sidewalks are in far better shape than the streets. 

 

Long story short: there are occasions when it is necessary.

 

Addendum:  I do not ride on the sidewalk in downtown Berea.  If I'm not on the street, I will walk my bike on the sidewalk. 

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Read on to get more outraged!!! I didn't see the pedestrian my ass. A body rolling on the windshield? Can't see that? Take Novak off the road!

 

The cyclist needs to be commended though!  :clap:

 

Bob Novak Cited After Hitting Pedestrian

66-Year-Old Man Has Minor Injuries After Being Hit By Conservative Columnist's Corvette

By Jonathan Martin and Chris Frates, The Politico, July 23, 2008

 

Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak was cited by police after he hit a pedestrian with his black Corvette in downtown Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning.

 

Full story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/23/politics/politico/main4286279.shtml

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^ Aggressive driver.  So, Robert Novak has the CIA operatives that were probably killed when he outed Valerie Plame and a struck pedestrian.

 

Put me in a room with him for five minutes.

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Sit-in stalls bike trail

Ownership of path is in dispute

Wednesday,  July 30, 2008 8:47 AM

By Josh Jarman

 

The Columbus Dispatch

 

HEATH, Ohio -   An 18-wheeler, a split-rail fence and a group of hot dog-grilling property owners blocked the path of paving crews working on a disputed bike trail Wednesday.

 

Full story: http://dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/07/30/biketrail.html?sid=101

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http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/26270774.html?page=1&c=y

 

City gets wheels turning on bike initiative

Signs, road markings to promote bicycling in UA neighborhood

By Bob Downing

Beacon Journal staff writer

 

 

Published on Tuesday, Aug 05, 2008

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.

 

 

 

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Such markings were first used in Denver in the mid-1990s. Today they are used in Chicago; Cambridge, Mass.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Boulder, Colo.; Oakland, Calif.; Gainesville, Fla., and Las Vegas.

 

And right up I-77 in Cleveland!

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