Archive | November, 2007

Bike Love in the Tri-Cities

26 Nov

This is the emotional second part of the Tri-Cities bike review. So I’ll get the gushy part out of they way: Regardless of how much work needs to be done I am so proud of how much is being done.

The are two main active cycling clubs:

The Tri-Cities Bicycle Club: Which is leading the charge the to make the cities official Bike-Friendly Communities.

The Chinook Cycling Club: They have regular rides and are road, mountian and cyclocross friendly!

both of these clubs have lots of information for rides and if I lived in the community I dare say I would be a proud member of either club.

It’s easy to find road rides listed on the club sites or searching around on the internet but as far as mountain biking there are two great places to start. Badger Mountain and the Chamna preserve. Chamna is a fun place to go if you just have an hour or two. It has a great series of trails and some pretty fun jumps.

There are several bike shops in Kennewick and Richland and while none of them have a website you can find there information in the phone book on in the bike maps below.

Lastly a bike map has been created that can be gotten at the visitors centers or downloaded here. I like the make I just wish there was more effort to get it into the hands of the community.

It seems like more people in Richland are getting the idea. I talked to a happy bike commuter and the Richland bike shop where I was fixing my flat. I saw 10 people out on bikes in the cold and a little girl riding a unicycle. I don’t always see that many people on the esplanade going to school in the mornings. I even noticed an xtracycle parked infront of a book store.

An Xtracycle in Richland, Washington.

Anyway keep up the good work in the Tri-Cities and if your visiting feel free to bring your bike.

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Cycling in the Tri-Cities

26 Nov

The one thing I have noticed is how cycling seems to be improving in the Tri-Cities. Kennewick, Richland and Pasco are adding bike infrastructure in hopes of at least attracting tourist that ride bike but it could have an affect on the community.

Kennewick:

Kennewick as stripped a large amount of bike lanes though the city and added no parking signs along the lanes to let people know that they are not for. It also seems that one of the bike lanes is actually marked as a bike lane; this lane runs along Canal Dr. starting at Volland. It is make with a cyclist figure in the lane as well as signs that say bike lane. I feel the bike lanes are awesome and much needed to encourage people to ride.

One problem I see is how have these been marketed to the community. How many people ( drivers and potential riders) know these are bike lanes? Could Kennewick do more to encourage the community to take simple trips by bike? Sure they could but it’s nice to see any effort at all in these realm. Kennewick’s bike lanes also have some of the problems they do here in Portland. The lanes end without warning and at or near trouble intersections. Some of the lanes are narrow and feel more like a gutter than a full bike lane (maybe they are since it’s not marked). And lastly people park in the bike lanes just as they do here in Portland.

I am happy Kennewick is making any effort since it is the most car centric of the three. With some education riding could be viable here.

Pasco:

Pasco has more foot and bike traffic than Kennewick but little city wide has been done beside the continuation of the beautiful path along the Columbia river. In most of the older part of town or East Pasco as it is called there are many side streets and traffic is fairly calm which makes it easier to negotiate.

West Pasco is a nearly different city entirely. Clusters of fenced off subdivisions with a sprawling shopping area in the middle makes West Pasco very difficult to to ride in for any real tasks.

Richland:

Richland is easily the most bike friendly city of the three. Although Richland has few bike lanes they have marked bike routes on lower traffic streets. The older core if Richland stretching towards WSU Tri-Cities and Hanford is easy to travel trough with a path along the river opening up to parks and residential neighborhood and lower traffic streets make Richland more easily ride-able than Pasco or Kennewick. They also have a path that runs along the by-pass highway on the other side of town.

Richland like Pasco also has an area of sprawling growth to the Southeast of the city. This area had many problems in common with West Pasco but the hilly-in is also a deterrent to many would be cyclists.

Click here for the bike love review of the Tri-Cities where I talk about bike shops, clubs and where to get a bike map!

Puncture Vines and other things that arn’t funny at 25 degrees.

26 Nov

Well after several days with my family I decided to get go for a ride down by the Columbia river in Richland Washington.  I was excited even though it was terribly cold.  Basically I wanted to kick the butt of the girl I was about four years ago.  I headed out and was working my way towards WSU Tri-Cities when I got a flat tire.  If there is one thing Yakima and the Tri-Cities have in common for cyclist it’s goat heads,  I got about five miles out when it happened a flat rear wheel.  After I built a new wheel we skimped on the tire, I was afraid of this a friend of mine had gotten four flats in Portland with the same tire.  I had been considering replacing it but it seemed perfectly good.  but after that I walked to the closest open bike shop and got a new kevlar tire.  Lesson learned:  always have strong tubes and tires when riding in Eastern Washington and perhaps use that green goo as well.  If anyone has even told you any different they have never ridden here.

Proud of your home town.

18 Nov

I am gearing up to head home for thanksgiving.  I’ll be done with school on Tuesday and off to the Tri-Cities by Wednesday.  I was debating which bike to bring, did I want to catch up with my desert mountain biking (the snakes are now hibernating) or did I want to conker rides that once frustrated me on my road bike.  After discussing it with and old friend and former Tri-Citian I opted to bring both.  In true form I decided to critique the Tri-Cities riding experience as I recently did with yakima (1), (2).  I have seen added bike lanes and other things of that nature and now I find out they are trying for a League of American Cyclists “Bike Friendly Community” status.  I feel shocked and very proud.  I can’t wait to tell you about the possible improvements later but for now I am off to work.

Terribly frustrated, will I join the reflective set?

16 Nov

    It was dark and wet today.  It’s getting into that dark and rainy time of year and after an incident today I think I may be due for a rain jacket upgrade.  It was at the corner of NW 9th and Johnson, I creeped up to the stop sign turning left onto 9th from Johnson.  There where no cars at the intersection and although I did not put my foot down I was going slow.  As I proceeded left a black ford explored started t o turn left into the Post Office truck lot.  She was a good 10ft at least from the actual intersection.  She hit her gas to turn then slammed on her breaks when I entered the intersection.  Because she stopped I proceeded at which time she gave me two thumbs up for what she must have thought was my bad maneuver.  The problem with her side is that she had not come to the intersection and I could not see her because and SUV was in the way.  Secondly she wasn’t at the intersection so I wouldn’t have expected someone to turn 10ft or more back.  I don’t know what to do under this situation, I thought about talking to her but when I realized I could I was already too far gone.

The biggest thing I am wandering about is if a different colored jacket would have helped (I was using my lights even though it was 12:30).  If you’ve been reading for some time you may be well aware of my jacket tirade earlier this fall.  I opted for the better build jacket that was an unfortunate olive green.  I do like olive green but not if it’s causing me undue stress.

So today I find myself in a similar place.  So until they make awesome cycling jackets in my size I must choose which is more important dryness or visibility.  Not that that would solve all my troubles.

Consumed by consumption

12 Nov

Marketplace on NPR has been doing a series called Consumed: is the consumer economy sustainable. It’s nice to see money oriented institutions dealing with these issues because eventually this will effect ALL of us. It’s defiantly worth checking out. Listening to the audio segments. They even have a video game similar to the Eco Footprint Quiz which if you have never taken is quite illuminating.

Anyway I want to try and promote more thoughtful and simple living snd these seemed pretty interesting.

awesome bummer

9 Nov

I just sprained my ankle last night heading to a friends house after class. My foot got hung up in my right pedal as I was falling to my left. I caught myself but not before I wrenched my ankle. I’m resting up today and I hope to be riding again soon. Maybe by the Rallies planned next week I’ll be back up and at ’em.