Monday, October 8, 2012

NC Bike Routes

In the 1970s the State of North Carolina created a series of bike routes throughout the state. If you go to their site you can order paper maps of the routes, but all you get are crudely photocopied pages they are very difficult to read. And another issue is that traffic levels have changed in the 40 years since they were created. So a great system was in need of an update.

Fortunately the NC DOT agrees. They have hired Alta Greenways to revamp the system. I don't have too much detail on the timelines and plan, but they are currently soliciting input from the public via the North Carolina Bike Routes web site.

I find myself pretty excited about these routes. I have been researching the Cape Fear Run route from Apex to Southport roughly along the Cape Fear River. There are chance for camping along the route and a couple of battle fields and related museums for visiting. I would love to see a web site dedicated to planning rides on the routes, similar (but hopefully better) than the C&O Canal Bicycling Guide.

I'll be following the progress and result and keep you informed.

- Pedal For Fun

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sad Story

I hate that a tragic story has moved me to resume blogging, but I wanted to have this blog cover cycling issues in the Research Triangle Park and this story certainly fits.

On Wednesday July 4, Steven Jordan, the Director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, was killed when he was hit from behind by an empty logging truck.

The driver of the truck, Clifton Paul Ellis, struck Steven Jordan from behind. Evidently Ellis could not move farther left because of traffic. I will save my comments for later.

This is a tragic accident and I will bring more information. I am waiting for the police report to be available online. Also I have been looking at Google maps and street view. I hope to show details of the area. I will also be reporting on what I can find on the process and decision from the Wake County District Attorney's Office.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cary Versus Portland

Information Signs at Major Points
Portland is known as the having the strongest bicycle culture in the USA as well as some of the best infrastructure for cycling. But recently I saw an article on Bike Portland about new way finding signs on the off street paths known as the Intertwine. They look informative but no more so than Cary's greenway signs. Plus Cary's signs are way more attractive. So at least in one bicycling attribute a Triangle community has one up on Portland.

Portland Intertwine Way Finding
I really like the Cary signs. The information is great and the signs are attractive. When I first decided to commute on the greenways I spent a Sunday afternoon exploring the routes. The only signs just said the greenway closes at sunset. There are lots of side trails and discontiguous sections at road crossings. Figuring out which way to was very much a trial and error process. Now Cary has signs at the intersections of greenway trails like these. The post is on one side of the trail and the arrows are oriented according to the way you are facing. One the other side of the trail is a larger sign with more information about destinations and the distance from your current spot.
Looking toward Northwoods Greenway
Looking down Black Creek Greenway
More Information Across Trail

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ride On Washington

Leading up to the National Bike Summit was the Ride On Washington. This ride was organized by Tim Johnson, of cyclocross fame, who wanted to get more professional bike riders involved in the Bike Summit. This year there were 20 people doing the whole ride from Boston to DC. They used the ride as a Bikes Belong fund raiser. The had various sponsors including Volkswagen who published this video.

They had a plan for people to join the ride as thy came through DC. Since I drove to Arlington and then rode my bike into DC. I rode the Ride On Washington route backwards and panned to meet up with the group. I found a group waiting for the ride and decided to wait with them. It was fun riding in. The first part was a two-way bike lane on the side of 15th Street. Then we turned onto Pennsylvania Ave which was bike lanes in the middle of the road. It all went very smooth and I chatted with some of the local riders as well as several people who had riden all the way from Boston.

It was a good prelude to the Bike Summit. I learned my around the part of DC I needed for the Summit and started feeling some of the excitement. One of my favorite parts of the week was being around people who liked talking about bicycle issues and even bicycles themselves.

Some of the riders in front of the Capitol

The crowd wasn't all spandex and carbon fiber as shown by these two photos.

Gunnar was ready to ride
Ivette from Bikes Belong

Monday, March 19, 2012

National Bike Summit

I am heading to the National Bike Summit this week. Watch this space for reports with a North Carolina perspective.

Tuesday: Hopefully joining the last leg of Ride On Washington
Wednesday: Getting on message with the Bike League and others
Thursday: Visiting Capitol Hill
Friday: Ride with staff, Congressmen and Senators