Finally, non Subzero weather

The elation of not having to deal with riding in subzero weather is amazing, uplifting and very welcome.
It really isn’t hard to ride in below zero temperatures. Put some layers on and go.
My winter beater (named the ‘Wynott’) has been reliable all winter. More reliable than my summer bikes. No flats, no chain problems, no brake problems (no brakes), no gearing problems (1 gear) and only one day I had to walk the bike (1 block) because the snow on the road was impassable (I did slog my way about 10 blocks before just not being able to find a track). Not bad for my 5 miles per day commute plus 3-10 miles for entertainment rides (music and bar hopping mostly). I did have (normal?) saddle problems on longer rides (cheap saddle) and will skip the graphic description. Solved with bike shorts.
So, as one of the ‘extreme’ riders, I admit to a little hardship. I admit that riding year round takes effort. It just takes putting in your head that this is how you get around. I suppose the same thing could be used if you only had a horse for transportation. Think of the maintenance on that vehicle!
The big drive for me to use a bike as transportation is the money and time I save (yes, I said time). If I had a car, I figure I would have to work a second job to be able to spend money the way I do. Plus time and bloody knuckles fixing and maintaining a late model car (there goes my Saturday or Sunday afternoons). I have been there and done that on cars. We always had two. Now with just one, I keep it better maintained (I can afford to pay ‘the man’) and it lasts longer (this one is 10yrs old and will probably last 10 more).
I do seem to keep bring up the same thing when I write about bicycle commuting. Sorry, guess it emphasizes the truth of it. I admit to have an ‘ideal’ commute, but then, I live and work where I do on purpose. I chose a job near my home. I chose a home near the places I need and want to go to. Sometimes it takes time and planning, it did for me. Now I have it. If you want it, plan for it, execute the plan, then, enjoy the benefits. End bicycle commuting rant…;-)

Springtime is upon us. It will snow again, it’s still a bit chilly, but at least we can remove ‘Polar Vortex’ from everyday use.   

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Action Alert! I90 Bridge Bike/Ped Accommodations

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Action Alerts, Advocacy, Bike Paths 

It’s finally time to weigh in on the importance of MnDOT following through on providing  access for bicycles and pedestrians on the upcoming I-90 Bridge at Dresbach.  As you may have learned, MnDOT has agreed to design the new bridge so that accommodations can be attached in the future, once WisDOT has upgraded some bridges on their side of the river with bike/ped accommodations.  So, it’s all about commitments for “future” accommodations, and it would be good to show, by lots of people in attendance, how important those future accommodations ARE to us.

On Wednesday January 25th, 2012  5 pm to 8 pm there will be a Public Open House on the Dresbach Bridge. The Open House will be held at La Crescent High School Cafeteria. This open house will cover all aspects of the Bridge including the recently added future accommodation for Bicyclist and Walkers.  

There will be 20 minute presentations at both 6:00 PM and at 7:00 PM by MnDOT. Following the presentations there will be an opportunity to ask questions or offer input for about 20 minutes and then MnDOT will be manning ‘poster stations’ to answer individual questions. There will be 2 court reporters to take oral testimony and forms for written comments.

The Working Group will be submitting testimony on the need for the completion of the bike trail when the I-90 bridge decks over Round Lake and French Slough are replaced. These decks will likely need replacement within the 15 years following the completion of the Mississippi River Bridge and planning for design, approval and funding should begin immediately. 

To achieve the capacity to install a trail over the Mississippi River it was necessary for the community to interrupt last June MnDOT’s plan for approval, without a bike trail, and insist on a successful reassessment.It is now appropriate for the Bike Riding Community to show up and endorse the inclusion of structural elements to support the future trail. This  is your opportunity to endorse the outcome and reinforce the need to complete the trail as soon as is practical.  

We encourage you to show up and complete a form supporting the need. It is our responsibility to show that after 7 months of work; resolutions by the LAPC and 2 Counties; 3000 miles and 3000 hours of community advocacy—that the right decision has been made!! 

Please make time for this meeting; 15 minutes can make a difference. Wednesday January 25th, 2012 open house 5 pm till 8 pm.

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La Crosse Area Bike Map now available!

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Bike Lanes, Bike Paths, Commuting 

 

Electronic copies are availabe here. Paper copies are available at:

  • City Hall – City Planning Dept.
  • All bike shops
  • 3 Rivers Outdoors
  • Downtown Mainstreet, Inc.
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • UW-L Rec Center
  • Convention Bureau at Riverside Park
?
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Please Volunteer for the Annual Bike Count Sept 20th 6am-6pm

September 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Action Alerts, Advocacy, Bike Lanes, Bike Paths, Commuting 

The La Crosse County Health Department will be conducting an annual bike count Sept 20th 6:00am-6:00pm (2 hours time slots) at various locations. 

If you would like to volunteer;

1.       follow one of the links below 

2.       Insert your name and cell phone number in the time slot you would like to count. 

http://www.doodle.com/d4v7cibkvbhxwqag – Corner of Nakomis and Clinton St. French Island

http://www.doodle.com/tzc8d9svsgm5eynq – 3rd and Main St. Onalaska

http://www.doodle.com/smakq695adsp4gee –  7th and Farnam St. La Crosse

http://www.doodle.com/bchrth4i3yecavge – 7th and Main St. La Crosse

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DRBC Legal Notes: Rules of the Path

August 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Bike Paths, Commuting, Legal Notes 

By Ross Seymour

Bicycling on trails.

Wisconsin has a short statute on how people are to use bike/ped paths.  Those rules are found at Sec.  346.803 of the Wisconsin statutes.  The rules apply to “Bicycle Ways.”  Bicycle ways are defined as any path or sidewalk designated for the use of bicycles by the relevant governmental body.  (Sec. 340.01(5s))  Bicycle ways are distinguished from bicycle lanes.  Lanes are for the exclusive use of bicycles while ways are not exclusively for bicycles (presumably to include pedestrians).

First, the bicyclist must exercise due care and give an audible signal when passing another bicyclist or a pedestrian.  Due care would mean giving a wide enough berth while passing or taking care to pass on a section where it would be safe.  While most bicycle ways around here have good sight lines there are a few places where you can’t see far ahead enough to pass safely.  On a regular road these sections would have “no passing” signs or markings.

The audible signal requirement actually comes out of the Rule of the Road for motor vehicles.  A little known requirement is that when passing another automobile, the passing car is required to give an audible signal while passing (presumable a toot of the horn).  (Sec. 346.07(3))  An “audible signal” is left undefined by the statutes. Read more

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