Western Wisconsin has been suffering through a heat wave for the past few weeks. Despite the heat there are still lots of bicyclists out on the road commuting to work, shop or just heading out for a cool drink with friends. Just like winter, the hot humid summers here can pose challenges for some bicyclists. Here are a couple of thoughts about bicycle commuting in a heat wave.
Timing: Try leaving for work a bit earlier when it is more likely to be cooler.
Slow Down: If you follow tip one, you should have plenty of time to ride a bit slower, that way you will sweat less. Plus you will get to enjoy the scenery more.
Axe the Packs: Backpacks and messenger bags can look cool, but they can leave you with a sweaty back. Try equipping your bike with a rack and panniers. If you have a rack but not panniers, use a couple of bungee cords to hold your pack/bag securely to the rack.
What to Wear: Light weight natural fiber clothing will keep you cooler, but will show wrinkles a bit more. A hat or helmet with a brim will keep the sun off you face and having a bandana handy will let you mop any sweat off your brow. I also like wearing my sandals and rolling up my pant legs when the thermostat goes up. Short pants or skirts are also a way to keep cool, just watch out for sunburn. Continue reading Survive the Heat
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. Continue reading DRBC Legal Notes: Rules of the Path
The City of Onalaska, Wi submitted an application for Bicycle Friendly Status in the last round of the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), Bicycle Friendly Community program. We are sorry to report that they did not receive this recognition but did receive and honorable mention. We hope for the opportunity to work with the city on achieving this status in the future, as well as working on Complete Streets. If your community is interested in applying the DRBC would be happpy to help.
The LAB has also just released the latest annual ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. This year Wisconsin slip from the number 2 spot to number 3, main based on the efforts of Maine, who was in a close 3 place last year and moved to number 2 this year. Wisconsin had held the number 2 spot for the past three years. Minnesota maintain its numbe 4 ranking for the second year in row. For more information on the program and on the scoring of the individual states go the LAB program website here.
It was another great Bike to Work Week in the Driftless Region this year. Community support and participation was up and it seemed that there were a lot more people out on their bikes than ever. With an expanded schedule this year, we worked managed tohold events in three communities and look forward to reaching out to even more next year! Read all about the great events that went on last week and find out who won the coveted Golden Helmet awards this year. Read More…
I am a new member to DRBC as well as the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. As a life-long bicyclist, I grew up in Glendale, Wisconsin in a family where it wasn’t unusual to travel to Kenosha on Tuesday nights for the bicycle races or to spend a Saturday riding the Ozaukee 64 with a group of cycling enthusiasts. My favorite bicycle tale is the summer when I was eleven; My parents took our family of seven on Amtrak with our bicycles to La Crosse, and we spent a week riding back home to Milwaukee. Bicycling has always been a favorite recreational activity for me.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Bike Summit in Madison. When I read that the Governor’s budget zeroed out $5 million dollars from the Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Fund, I knew the most important thing I could do to help the cause was to attend the Summit. As a summit participant, I agreed to speak to a legislator. Continue reading My Bike Summit Experience