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Instead of a regular monthly column, Naomi will be frequently blogging about bicycling issues, ideas and trends.


Naomi Bloom Naomi's Biking Life Blog

by Naomi Bloom

Blogs 1 to 18 of 46

10/29/2010 10:01:24 AM
Ride in San Mateo County? Sign the Pico Petition!

Looks like cyclists are having a bit of a problem getting through to SamTrans (San Mateo County Transit agency) about that pesky gate on Pico Blvd., which blocks bike access to/from the Bay Trail in Redwood City. Yes, there have been bus-cyclist incidents, which led SamTrans to decide it was unsafe to let cyclists through.

Cyclists are steamed about SamTrans' lack of response to their pleas to open the gate. You can read more about what's been going down at Mark Simon's blog and check out the (admittedly confusing) traffic dynamics on the "Pico Problem" Google Map. Then join Ricki McGlashan, who urges us to "tell Samtrans that the closure is definitely a problem for more than just a few cyclists and that eliminating useful bicycle routes is not acceptable"; sign the petition.

So what's new? Are you still cycling? My youngest is attending UCSC, and Janis and I are celebrating our 20something anniversary this weekend. kirkrunner@comcast.net - Kirk Runner - 8/3/2011 4:14:27 PM

10/13/2010 5:29:09 PM
It's Official-Wine Tasting Bike Tours are business-as-usual

As if we haven't been touring around all the California appelations we can find -- from Anderson Valley down to Solvang and Santa Barbara -- the Stags Leap AVA is announcing "America’s First AVA to Offer Visitors Non-Vehicular Alternative for Wine Country Tours." What won't they think of next?

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9/21/2010 11:32:52 AM



In case you haven't heard yet, Bikes Belong is on a crusade, called People for Bikes, to "unite one million voices to improve bicycling in the United States." To join in, all you need to do is sign a pledge in support of biking. The goal is to help make our nation a better place to ride by sending a powerful message to our elected leaders, the media, and the public that bicycling is important and should be promoted.

Here's what you pledge:
"I am for bikes. I'm for long rides and short rides. I'm for commuting to work, weekend rides, racing, riding to school, or just a quick spin around the block. I believe that no matter how I ride, biking makes me happy and is great for my health, my community and the environment we all share. That is why I am pledging my name in support of a better future for bicycling—one that is safe and fun for everyone. By uniting my voice with a million others, I believe that we can make our world a better place to ride." Sign up now!

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9/13/2010 3:18:02 PM
A Great Loss for the South Bay Cycling Community

Don Burnett passed away on Saturday, September 11 after a long battle with cancer. We in the South Bay will miss him terribly.

I first met Don when I joined Western Wheelers in the early '80s. Then I moved to Cupertino and learned that he had pioneered our city bike/pedestrian advisory committee, known as CUBPAC (which eventually became the Cupertino Bicycle and Pedestran Commission). Then he ran for City Council and Brown Act rules meant had to step down from chairing CUBPAC. (I was thrilled to be one of those chosen to take his place -- it took three of us!). He won two elections to the council and served two years as Cupertino's mayor. You'd better bet bicycling got a lot of attention from our City's gov'ment in those days!

After retiring from Lockheed Martin and city politics, Don actively participated in rides with WW, Almaden Cycle Touring Club and Skyline Cycling Club. Every Monday morning, without fail, he would show up at Lucky (formerly Albertson's) in Los Altos to lead the "Mocha Mooch" ride to Cafe Barrone in Menlo Park. The route up was pretty straightforward -- gotta get that coffee! But Don would pick and choose the most circuitous route back that he could find.

One fine Monday many years ago, on the way up Foothill Expressway, Don and the rest of his paceline were stopped and ticketed by the Los Altos police for "tailgating." As far as I know, he didn't pull any "do-you-know-who-I-am?" shenanigans, and paid off his ticket promptly.

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9/7/2010 1:22:16 PM
Moving Day in San Jose

Bravo to the intrepid volunteers of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition! When it came time for SVBC to move into a "real" office near downtown San Jose, they didn't call a moving van. They called everyone with a utility bike and/or trailer and/or BIG panniers. Even the Mercury News covered the occasion. Oh, and that ultra-bike leading the pack is Bob Eltgroth's Surly Big Dummy, and the cargo is a bookcase(!).

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9/4/2010 4:28:56 PM
Moffett Field Bay Trail to Open on September 20

Once unguarded and open to all, this connector trail between Sunnyvale and Mountain View has been gated and locked off for the past two decades or so. Now, the San Francisco Bay Trail Project, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, are taking credit for opening up the 2.4-mile "missing link" along a 26-mile continuous section of trail between East Palo Alto and San Jose.

A dedication ceremony will take place between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm at the "Sunnyvale Gate" on the east side of Moffett Field. Access from the west side will not be available until the ceremony is over and the west gate is opened. Wanna bike there? They'd love to have you. Get more information from Laura Thompson, Bay Trail Project Manager, 510-464-7935, laurat@abag.ca.gov.

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9/1/2010 2:26:43 PM
Family Fun on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route

It was over a week ago that Jim Sayer, executive director of the Adventure Cycling Association, and his whole family pedaled through Marin on their way from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. But that's when they appeared on Amanda Eichstadt's KWMR radio show, while laying over at Pt. Reyes Station. Listen to the interview; it's pretty cool, especially Jim's description of arriving at the coast after climbing up from Leggett on Highway 1.

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8/26/2010 5:56:21 PM
Welcome Michele to the Culture of the Bike

Michele Beasly's account of her conversion to bike commuting is an inspiration! And I'm sure glad she confessed to cribbing the photo from CopenhagenizeCambridge. I was about to yell: "GET A HELMET, GAL!"

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8/24/2010 10:23:53 AM
CalTrain is actually asking for help from cyclists!

Thanks to Ken Lee for this information, which I never spotted anywhere else. It appears that CalTrain has formed an official Bicycle Advisory Committee "with considerable enthusiasm," according to Mark Simon, Executive Officer for Public Affairs of CalTrain's San Mateo County Transit District.

The first meeting of the BAC is this Wednesday, August 25, in San Carlos. Unfortunately, I don't have the time and place; use the email links below to find out where and when.

Our representatives on the BAC include: Jessica Manzi from SFMTA; Shirley Johnson from SFBC; David Cade; Darcy Forsell, City of San Mateo; Ryan Kauffman from SVBC; Cindi Choi; John Brazil, Bicycle Coordinator for City of San Jose; Carlos Babcock, SVBC; and Jerri-Ann Meyer (former president of SVBC); plus at least six members of CalTrain staff.

The BAC has its own BAC Web page on the Caltrain site. You can also find more information about CalTrain and bikes as well as Bike Program Updates.

Or email the BAC directly. If you're reporting bumps, need bike locker information, offering advice or commending/dissing a conductor, contact Todd McIntyre at SamTrans.

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8/21/2010 5:35:06 PM
Santa Cruz backs out of Tour of CA

According to an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz has decided not to participate in the Amgen Tour of California in 2011. That, the paper says, "could open the door for Capitola." Wouldn't it be a kick to see the teams slog up Old Soquel-Santa Cruz Road? Or bomb down all 13 miles to the beach?

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7/24/2010 3:50:38 PM
Get Your A** Up That Hill!

Thus spake Kevin Winterfield, the original founder of the Low Key Hillclimb Series back in 1995. (Egad, was it really 15 years ago?)

This year's first Low Key climb will be Montebello Road, the "traditional" opener, on Saturday, October 2. Staging at Stevens Canyon Reservoir parking lot will commence with registration at 9:15 am, with the mass start rolling at 10:15. Montebello is an ascent of a mere 1940 ft (591 meters) in 5.3 miles (8.5 km), but the ensuing Low Key climbs get hairier as the weeks roll by. All are welcome to tackle the climbs, from casual club riders to hardened pros using them for off-season training. I've never done a Low key myself (mass starts freak me out almost as much as steep ascents). But I know many a Bay Area cyclist who loves them.

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7/13/2010 4:19:13 PM
GQ Interviews Levi

Yesterday, while resting on the first rest day of the Tour de France, Santa Rosa's Levi Leipheimer gave this interview to GQ. He mostly struggled to explain TdF to the clueless. But he does mention the Tour of California and his hometown (though not by name).

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7/5/2010 3:24:32 PM
Ruth and Steve Riding Across America

Ten days ago my good friends Ruth and Steve boarded an Amtrak train for Tacoma with their bikes, panniers and eager anticipation. After spending a night staying with friends in Port Townsend, they ferried and pedaled their way into the heart of Washington state. They're headed for New England via Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier route and some Canadian Maritime provinces.

These two hardy senior cyclotourists are not a couple. They are longtime friends who have been riding together in the South Bay and the mid-Peninsula area for decades. This will be Ruth's third (or is it fourth?) TransAm tour. But Steve, who'd planned to do it once or twice in the past but had to cancel, is tackling the crossing for the first time.

Steve began communicating with those of us back home almost immediately. He'd purchased an iPad specifically for the task. And so far he's written daily. Now his log entries are available online at skylinecycling.tripod.com. I intend to follow their progress daily. And if you are -- or anyone you know is -- out on the Northern Tier route, keep an eye out for them.

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6/27/2010 4:44:53 PM
Local Bike Clothiers Make Good

Remember Vigorelli? No, not the velodrome in Milan, Italy. I'm reminiscing about the East Bay cycling clothes company, a pioneer in the popularity of Lycra in the '80s. I hardly knew anyone back then who didn't have at least one pair of Vigorelli shorts.

Fast forward to today's Bay Area cycling fashionistas. According to Eric Gustafson in today's SF Chronicle, natural fabrics and urban "crossover" designs have replaced Lycra as all the rage in the bike lane. Looking for a functional wool jersey, a waxed cotton rain jacket or stylish pedal britches? Check out your neighbors B. Spoke Tailor, Luce Goods, Sheila Moon, and Gwen Lutz.

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6/22/2010 4:21:16 PM
Santa Clara County Cyclists: Weigh in on Campos Sentencing

One fine day in October 2008, Rita Campos drove her car from a side road onto Uvas Road near Morgan Hill, just as Bruce Finch -- an experienced cyclist familiar with the area -- was riding into the intersection. The collision resulted in Finch's death; he left behind a widow and one child.

Campos was recently tried and convicted of a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. Probation Officer Leslie Anaya, who is handling her sentencing hearing, is due to submit a report by the end of this week.

If anyone who rides even occasionally in south Almaden Valley along Uvas Road and environs would like to express your thoughts as an addendum to her report, you may contact Anaya directly. According to the email I received about it, she can still attach your letters to the report if she receives them by Monday or Tuesday, June 28 or 29.

As Linda Kahn of San Jose put it, "This could have been any of us out riding! It galls me this woman LIED through her teeth so she would not be held accountable... ."

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6/18/2010 4:33:44 PM
Eben Weiss in SF-SJ? Who knew?

Supposedly Weiss, aka The Bike Snob, has been visiting our local haunts in the Bay Area. But he sure didn't notify anyone around here. I'm told he was to show up at a Barnes & Noble in San Jose this afternoon -- just about the time I got the email about it. Tonight he's slated to accompany the San Jose Bike Party. Not a lot of publicity going out there, Eb!

In case you've never heard of the Bike Snob (or the BikeSnobNYC as he's apparently now known), his byline appears monthly in Bicycling magazine. And now he's got a book out (which explains the B&N appearance). Maybe if I were a few years younger, I'd understand his brand of humor (if it is, indeed, humor that he's writing?).

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6/16/2010 3:26:31 PM
Oh to be in Paris...and on a bike?

It's no secret that my favorite country for bicycling is la belle France. Still, I've never, ever wanted to pedal the streets of Paris. Come to find out there's more than one outfitter offering bike tours in the City of Light. Read about one Tour de Paris, with Bubba in the Seattle Times.

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6/11/2010 4:27:35 PM
Michele is bustin' through RAAM

If you're an RAAM fan (or even mildly interested in who might be racing), check out San Francisco's Michele Santilhano, one solo racer who is determined to be first in Annapolis.

According to "Erin," who is posting to Michele's blog, she was about 23 miles away from the first cut-off in Durango on Friday. Let's keep tabs on her progress!

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