Monthly Archive for February, 2010

Virginians seek Davis’ bike ideas

This was a letter published in the Davis Enterprise on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010. The editor of the Enterprise prefaced the letter with the following note: “Early next month, Davis will host a delegation of seven bicycle activists and city officials from Harrisonburg, Va. They are coming to Davis to learn about how to develop improved bicycling infrastructure and to create a more bike-friendly city. Continue reading ‘Virginians seek Davis’ bike ideas’

Kids today could be like Blister Butt Bicycle Boys

By Mont Hubbard

Published in the Davis Enterprise, Feb. 26, 2010

San Francisco, early 1930s. In a time of much greater freedom and responsibility, a group of young teenagers called themselves the Blister Butt Bicycle Boys. My father-in-law Mal Taylor, 13, and his older brother Wally were founding members.

The bicycle was both emblematic of their independence and the key to it. They lived on their bicycles, the anvils on which the steel of their characters was forged.

The purpose of this column is to share some of the joy and excitement that youth in days gone by were afforded through their bikes. Modern equivalents must be happening in Davis today, and likely more can, but I just hope all of them are a bit safer. Continue reading ‘Kids today could be like Blister Butt Bicycle Boys’

Tour de Cluck

Davis Farm to School is hosting a “Tour de Cluck: Our community bicycle chicken coop crawl” for May is Bike Month. They’ve been taking applications for chicken coop owners around the city that want to share their coop with the community. There will be a self guided tour on May 22nd to various coops that are connected to the Davis Bike Loop. At each coop their will be someone there to give you the lowdown on the chickens, the feed, the clucking and the pecking. Before the crawl starts there will be the greatest chicken event Davis has ever seen at the Farmer’s marker, including a chicken bike parade, fowl food and Chicken Art. Tickets will be available April 5th at several locations. Check out the Davis Farm to School website for more information.

Commuting to campus: bikes and more

Published in the Davis Enterprise, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010

By Kristin Lovejoy

Kristin Lovejoy, a UC Davis graduate student who administered the Campus Travel Survey for the past two years, shows off a crowded bicycle rack in front of Wickson Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Lovejoy’s typical commute to campus is a bike-train-bike combination. Photo credit: Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise

The identity of Davis as a bike town — and indeed the experience of biking here — is inseparable from UC Davis as a bike-oriented university. The bike movement in Davis started with university leadership back in the 1950s, and today students and employees at the university clearly make up most of the cyclists about town.

But as a bike university, how is UC Davis doing?

Answering this question is one of the motivations behind an annual survey conducted by the university each fall. Continue reading ‘Commuting to campus: bikes and more’

Tour de Citron coming up soon

For those of you who haven’t toured before, here’s the deal, a big ol’ group of fruit friendly folks get on their bicycles and ride all around Davis picking fruit from residents who have donated their trees to be gleaned. Bring your friends, sweethearts, kids, ladders, and fruit pickers. We’re betting we can beat our record of 1200 lbs picked in one day! Continue reading ‘Tour de Citron coming up soon’

Visitors from Virginia coming to Davis to learn about biking culture

by Robb Davis

In March the City of Davis has the unique opportunity of hosting a delegation from Harrisonburg, VA who are coming to our town to learn about our bicycle infrastructure and culture in order to promote bicycling in their town.  The delegation is made up of elected officials, city employees and bicycle advocates. Continue reading ‘Visitors from Virginia coming to Davis to learn about biking culture’

Build your own bike trailer!

by Jason Moore

Load of bicycles on a homemade bicycle trailer

Jason Moore with a homemade bicycle trailer carrying a load of bicycles.

This spring the Craft Center is offering a bicycle trailer building workshop. Bicycle trailers are a very useful detachable cargo carrying device useful for all bike commuters. You can carry your groceries, laundry… anything really. Bikes at Work have great examples of hauling big load with bike trailers. Project Compost uses one of their trailers to transport loads of compost out to the student farm. One of the most popular uses of trailers is carrying your children around. What a much more eco-friendly solution than the mini-van! So if you’ve always wanted a bike trailer and have a desire to make a custom one for yourself, check out the Craft Center’s new class. Or if you’d like to build a trailer in your backyard with minimal specialty tools have a look Community Bike Cart Design. Aaron Wieler provides open source plans for various trailer designs.

Continue reading ‘Build your own bike trailer!’

March Bicycle Madness: motivation to ride, ride, ride

By Russell Reagan

This column was originally published in the Davis Enterprise on Feb. 16, 2009, while the Tour of California was in progress and Davis had just hosted Stage 1.

Russell Reagan riding Hwy. 128 near Lake Berryessa in March 2008

Russell Reagan riding Hwy. 128 near Lake Berryessa in March 2008

As we watch the Tour of California, we in Davis know that bicycling is for everyone who is able-bodied, not just the athletes. But it takes motivation to ride.

A bicyclist I met who had ridden many 200-mile rides once described how on some days she found it hard to motivate herself to get on her bike just to ride across Davis for an errand. We may recognize the many health benefits of bicycling, not to mention the benefits for the planet. Yet even for the athletically inclined, sometimes that’s still not sufficient motivation to get on our bikes.

Encouragement is an important element in the Bike Plan of the City of Davis and other communities. In the broader challenge of switching to more sustainable transportation modes, activities of groups like the Davis Bike Club have a role to play in encouraging more people to get on their bikes. (DBC is a different group from Davis Bicycles!, the two-year-old advocacy group that organizes this column.) Continue reading ‘March Bicycle Madness: motivation to ride, ride, ride’

In a car or bike, be as courteous as possible

Published in the Davis Enterprise on Jan. 29, 2010

By Mick Klasson

Many readers of this column may have found grim satisfaction, as I did, in the recent conviction and fiveyear prison term for a Los Angeles doctor — a doctor — for pulling his car around some bicyclists and slamming on the brakes, causing two cyclists to collide bloodily with the car.

Apparently he had been angry before at the recreational cyclists who often rode his neighborhood. I have to wonder if his rage is shared by my Davis neighbor with the “One Less Bike” bumper sticker on his car.

Rage is the chemical-emotional soup that enabled our forebears to fight off grizzly bears and wolves. It can bubble up in anyone, and the human challenge is to keep it in check or at least channel it to those times when one needs to lift a boulder off a loved one or otherwise accomplish some amplified good.

I’ve caused and felt rage. One time I had just pedaled to the summit of a fire road traversing a canyon in Marin. The long, twisting trail clung like an eyebrow to the improbably steep canyon wall. I was about to experience the joyous side of gravity, and the trail was clear ahead. There was just one fold in the hill where I couldn’t see, but what was the chance that another trail user would be in that one hidden spot? Continue reading ‘In a car or bike, be as courteous as possible’