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A Press Democrat Blog

Bicycling Sonoma

The spin on riding

Why the bleep do they (bicyclists) do that?

Dear Cyclist: Why do cyclists ride 5’ away from parked cars? -Frustrated motorist Gentle motorist, The door-swing zone next to parked cars is one of the most dangerous places cyclists can be.  People often open their doors without checking for or seeing cyclists.  The door can not only injure or maim the cyclist, but it can knock the cyclist into the path of you, the passing motorist, with tragic consequences.  I measured how far the door of my little Civic… Read More »

Secrets of the bike lane

BICYCLE WITH CONFIDENCE by Martin Clinton Secrets of the bike lane A bike lane seems like a very simple idea, but many motorists and even experienced bicycle riders are often mistaken about the rules controlling this part of the road. Let’s play a game of True or False! 1. Any white line at the edge of the road creates a bike lane – False A bike lane must have those words painted in the lane, or a painted bike logo,… Read More »

Feedback wanted for new Bike Beacon

A request from City of Santa Rosa staff: We just unveiled a bike project we completed on Montgomery Dr that I’d like to get the word out about.  It is an actuated bicycle warning beacon.  The idea is similar to the “bikes in tunnel” warning beacon, but in this case it’s to warn motorists of bikes on the road, in that narrow section of Montgomery Dr between Channel Dr and Jackson Dr.  Currently we were only able to construct one… Read More »

The Gutter Bunny: A Sad Story

Guest Blog: Martin Clinton Once upon a time in the woodland city of Santa Rodent there lived a rabbit who loved to ride his bicycle. But his friends called him the Gutter Bunny! Because he was afraid of cars and trucks, that’s where he rode  -  as close to the curb as possible. Riding in the gutter caused a lot of problems for the Bunny. He had a lot of punctures from the broken glass and other debris that collects… Read More »

We are to pedestrians what cars are to us

Hello fellow bike riders, I know most of you know this and are very considerate. But, I have been getting some feedback about bike riders on multi-use paths.  Example: I heard today about some impatient and rude cyclists on the trail. A walking group with very young kids experinced both recreational and training cyclists roaring by with little concern about sharing the trail or giving two year olds time to get off to the side.  As you know this is a common complaint about… Read More »

Don’t tell ME what to do!

Guest Blog by Martin Clinton If you think about it, most of the time drivers of trucks, autos, or bicycles are trying to GUESS what all those other road users are going to do. Usually the best guess is that someone will keep doing what they’re already doing, until they signal that something will change. They might show brake lights, turn signals, or hand signals to communicate their intention to slow, turn, or change lanes. On a bike when you’re… Read More »

Be vocal about your bicycle: Make yourself heard, Guest Blog

I know what you’re thinking. You think I am going to tell you to go to meetings about bicycling facilities, and write to the city council, the newspaper editor, and … ? Well, I do want you to do all those things, but this column is about something else. Stop frightening your friends. Now that the weather is getting warmer we can expect a lot more people to be using the splendid multi-use trails we have in Sonoma County, the… Read More »

Bike Lanes Serve all

GUEST BLOG: Bike Lanes Serve all   By Yvonne Bambrick Bike lanes are a non-partisan issue because they serve all. These inexpensive pieces of infrastructure are an important component of the changing realities of urban transportation — not, as many attempt to paint them, a pet project for a small number of commuters. Cities across North America have been transitioning from merely viewing bicycles as a recreational tool, to understanding that cycling is a legitimate and necessary transportation option. Bicycle… Read More »