Monthly Archive for March, 2010

The bike accident in my family

Fran Keller, the author, hugs her daughter, Rachael, who was hit by a car while riding her bike to school. Rachael sustained a concussion, but recovered.

By Fran Keller

Published in the Davis Enterprise on Fri., March 26, 2010

My daughter Rachael, a Da Vinci High School junior, was hit by a car while riding her bike to school in January. It sounds abnormal. How, in Davis, could someone hit a child riding a bike? At a bike light, too? My children have ridden their bikes to school since the fourth grade. Sometimes they ride with others and sometimes they ride alone.

I have driven my kids to school. Yes, I have gritted my teeth en route to Holmes Junior High and secretly yelled in my head, as I turn onto Drexel from J Street, “What are you doing? Oh my goodness, get out of the road, don’t you see the stop sign? Where is your helmet?” Continue reading ‘The bike accident in my family’

Announcing Le Tour de Fritter

- Eric Senter

To celebrate the end of March Madness and get a jump on reducing the calorie deficit incurred this month, I am sponsoring an epic stage race to selected bakeries in Yolo and Solano Counties. The first annual Tour de Fritter, a grueling one-day, four-stage race, will be held next Wednesday, March 31 (Cesar Chavez Day, a state holiday). After each stage, riders will be required to consume at least one deep-fried pastry of their choice, though time bonuses will be awarded for eating fritters. The exception is Stage 4, where riders may choose to drink a litre of beer in lieu of eating a fritter. Riders refusing to eat a whole pastry or drink a litre of beer will be relegated or disqualified. Continue reading ‘Announcing Le Tour de Fritter’

March Bicycle Madness Limericks

- John Whitehead

The Davis Bike Club gets a little crazy during the month of March. As if competing for the most miles cycled in a month is not enough (a few people have exceeded 4,000 miles each in past years), there is a tradition of posting poetry on the club’s email list.  Below is a recent limerick, inspired by the annual pancake breakfast at the West Plainfield fire station, 6 miles from Davis.  This rural volunteer fire department hosts a rest stop at mile 190 of the Davis Double Century, and is also a beneficiary of the DBC philanthropy department.  For March Bicycle Madness riders, the breakfast is an excuse to start riding early on the first Sunday in March.

Eating pancakes, surrounded by voices
Discussing more rides – many choices
Out of five Sunday spins
The smoothest one wins
It’s better than driving Rolls Royces

Davis students saving gallons … and bucks

Dustin Tillman, an elementary school student

Dustin Tillman, an elementary school student, walks to school with his trumpet. He won a prize for most days logged in the Save A Gallon contest in January.

By Trish Price

Published in the Davis Enterprise on Fri., March 12, 2010

Imagine you’re 8 years old and in the third grade at Birch Lane School. What could you possibly do to help save the planet? Maybe more than you think.

“I ride my bike to school every day unless it is raining hard,” says one Birch Lane third-grader. “Even then, I am not driven to school. I walk to school with my mother in rain gear and splash in all of the puddles with my rain boots.”

Hundreds of Davis students are committing to alternative transportation like this student through a citywide contest run by Davis Bicycles!

This school year, the Save A Gallon contest encourages all students in the Davis Joint Unified School District to find an alternative to being driven to school in private, gas-guzzling vehicles. The Save A Gallon contest kicked off in October and has grown to more than 370 loggers who have spared the air some 26 tons of carbon and saved their families about $8,000 on fuel.

Continue reading ‘Davis students saving gallons … and bucks’

The Travails of the Environmentally Conscious Menstruating Wyman

Glad Rag

Have you ever tried biking in glad rags? I, being an environmentalist, do this once a month for several days in a row. For those of you who don’t know about them, Glad rags are reusable menstrual pads that we, environmentalist chicks, like to wear to cut down on waste and in general feel better about ourselves during a time when we generally feel the worst about ourselves.

However, the act of biking with glad rags is akin to masochistism. You at both feel proud for how hardcore you are- biking in the rain with cramps with a wad of cotton between your legs- and at once in pain. For every time you hit a bump, the cute little snap that fastens your glad rag to your panties crushes into some of the most sensitive tissue in the female body, leaving you cursing all it means to be a environmentally conscious wyman. Continue reading ‘The Travails of the Environmentally Conscious Menstruating Wyman’

Learn to Ride

Steve Jo, having taken a fall from his fixie in the livingroom

I can't recommend learning how to ride (or riding) a bike in a living room.

I learned how to ride a bike using training wheels. When the training wheels came off, down I went, and this cycle repeated until I somehow managed to stay upright. Looking back on the experience, it is a testament to the resilience of children, and my stubbornness, that I ever rode a bike again.

Last summer a friend in her 20′s mentioned that she had never learned how to ride a bike, and living in a bike-centric area, would like to learn. Since she was clearly too tall to learn on a bike with training wheels, and I wanted her to enjoy riding a bike, I set off to find some alternative teaching method. What I found makes perfect sense, but is apparently not very widely known. Continue reading ‘Learn to Ride’

Just Ride

Moring Glories growing through the rear wheel of a bike.

Davis is a wonderful place to get into cycling. It has better infrastructure for cycling than many other towns of its size and it is extraordinarily flat. There is also a resident population of bike users, ranging from people who use their bike for weekend recreation to those who use bikes for everything. How you want to interact with the city and your bike is up to you, but here are basic starting tips and advice.

First off, you’ll need some sort of bike. Davis is flat, so the type of the bike is less important than how it fits you and how comfortable you feel on it. Of course, if you aren’t going to be riding off-road, changing out big chunky mountain bike tires for some slick pavement tires will make the on-road ride easier. If you lack a bike, see if a friend who is about your size will let you borrow one or stop into a bike shop and see what they suggest. Continue reading ‘Just Ride’

California and the Idaho Stop Sign Law

I wrote the following in late January in response to a Handlebar post asking if Davis Bicycles! should consider lending its support to any state legislation that would, if passed, allow cyclists to treat “Stop” signs as “Yield” signs as is currently the law in Idaho. State Senator Lowenthal was reportedly thinking of authoring such a bill. Although the deadline for introducing new bills this session has since passed, such a provision could be amended later into an existing bill.

At the time I wrote this post, I was not aware that Sen. Lowenthal was not considering including the other major provision of the Idaho law that allows cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs. I have left my critique of this law in my comments below because someone would likely ask about it, and there’s certainly the possibility that any attempt to enact similar legislation in California might include both provisions. To read the complete text of the Idaho law, visit

http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title49/T49CH7SECT49-720.htm Continue reading ‘California and the Idaho Stop Sign Law’