Catching Up

13 Nov

I usually focus my posts here on a particular news item or issue, but sometimes that — along with time constraints — means that too many things end up sitting on the “I need to post about that” list.  So I thought I’d try doing a periodic “round up” of things I’ve come across or have been sent my way but haven’t made it into a post yet.  Enjoy!

Richmond on the League of American Bicyclists Blog
Having awarded Richmond Bronze level status as a bicycle-friendly community, the LAB recently posted an informative interview with Richmond’s bike-ped coordinator, Jake Helmboldt, and Champe Burnley of Virginia Bicycling Federation and co-chair of the mayor’s bike-ped commission.  It’s a good overview of the city’s cycling past and the opportunities and challenges we face in reaching for that gold-level status by 2015.

Another Force for Cycling: BikeRVA
I stumbled onto a piece in the printed version of Grid magazine introducing BikeRVA.  I had not heard about this effort and still know no more than the piece includes, so here’s a bit of what the piece has to say:

Leveraging the RVACreates platform, and using the World Championships as a target date, BikeRVA.org and @Bike_RVA on Twitter are platforms for members of the community to share ideas to increase biking.

Richmond-based consultancy the Frontier Project, in collaboration with a growing number of partners at Richmond 2015, are currently finding ways to make these ideas happen. As with all social innovation projects, the key to success is rapidly implementing small, incremental ideas that layer one on top of the other to create significant change. The ideas have been pouring in at a steady rate, and many are highly doable.

Among the great ideas already listed: a downtown bike history trail (not the history of bicycling, but a trail to tour Richmond’s historic sites); a “2015 Charter” in which businesses would pledge to expand their bicycling amenities by 2015; bike repair stations at city libraries; store and coffee shop discounts for cyclists; a “buy a bike donate a bike” program to provide bicycles to low income individuals; and last but not least, a challenge to VCU art students to have the fellows on Monument Avenue on bicycles for the duration of the 2015 championships.

Bicycling Stamps
Did you know there are bicycling stamps?  A friend forwarded the announcement to me, which includes a much broader justification than just “celebrating cycling.”  Maybe a way to add a little “message” to your holiday cards?

The Patron Saint of Bicyclists
I’m generally inclined to emphasize the relative safety of bicycling, but accidents do happen, of course.  Well, if you are inclined to seek a bit of extra comfort and protection from saints, look no further than the Madonna del Ghisallo.  There is a chapel in the Lombardi district in central Italty devoted to her, which sits on a hill that has also figured in numerous bike races.  Check out this post on veloreviews for a more detailed account, which follows an announcement of a “blessing of the bicyclists” event held in San Francisco.  (I’m pretty sure the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC also does this every year).

When Not to Share
The illustration below is from UrbanVelo via Commute Orlando.  Apparently the image was originally created for a cyclist who was pulled over for not riding along the curb of a 12-foot lane.

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