Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The future of the bypass road?

I like the idea of bypassing the LANL (i.e., W. Jemez) road. Indeed the present Large Intestine is a lousy, confusing, at times dangerous design. Community passage is dependent on future, impossible to predict decisions made by the NNSA. West Road as an option is not a great one as it is substandard and besides, who wants heavy traffic bombing past the ice rink while it is in use?

But I have to ask the obvious big picture question: How many roads do we really need in Los Alamos, and how big do they need to be? Diamond is going to be a four-lane superhighway through our town. We will have three parallel roads along W. Jemez if we build the "90% design" bypass (W. Jemez, West Road, and the Bypass). How much is enough? What else do we need to do with our money?

In ten or twenty years, will we even be driving all these behemoths? Or will our roads be overkill to a fleet of small, efficient vehicles used judiciously as we condense around our communities? Will many, perhaps most of our roads eventually look like the one here: Old Pali Road on Oahu, approximately half a century after its retirement to a new road going through the mountain. Old Pali is a nice place to walk, though, as I can attest, having walked and biked it many a time. Its neglect leads to a quiet, overgrown, and lush habitat as nature retakes the initiative over man.

I wonder what our roads will look like fifty years from now. Can we sustain all this? Are we the next chapter in Jared Diamond's book "Collapse"?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jeannie Longo raced the Tour de Los Alamos

Multiple Tour de France feminin and cycling world champion Jeannie Longo was in the race yesterday. I didn't realize that!

Some pics here from Clay Mosley's wife Dina:

Tour de Los Alamos, 2008

Well, the local Tour seemed to go off without many hitches yesterday and I don't think anyone was perp-walked to the Bastille for doping. There was the usual confusion among the out of town motorists at the Large Intestine, including one guy who railed at me to the effect that we had a lot of nerve collecting tolls (!?). However, with LANL providing a separate thru lane for cyclists, the route though the Lower GI was pretty uneventful.

One of these days I'll ride it again instead of doing my bad imitation of a traffic cop at the Vehicle Access Portals.

Thanks to all who helped bring this off. I'd personally like to thank John Turner for his role as Director Sportif and LANS for its higher level of support at the VAPs. John will be leaving us for greener pastures shortly.

Hopefully the 2008 results will be posted on line soon at the usual T d LA site:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mother of all Bike Slang pages?

Neale and I recently taught a Road I course. The LAB booklet had a page or two of bike slang. This web page has it all....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

At $100 for Tank of Gas, Some Choke on ‘Fill It’

So says the NY Times. But the article isn't about Joe average but about people who bought GMC Denali XL's, Hummer H1's, Suburbans, Escalades, Avalanches, and other tidy gas sippers. That's a little like developing an appetite for filet mignon and then complaining about the cost of meat.

I almost bought a 4-Runner last year but changed my mind since I saw nowhere but upward for the price of gasoline. Feel bad for these folks, but if one chooses a high consumption lifestyle, someone has gotta pay the bills.

Of course, the article quotes Rick Hines of Omaha, who has exchanged his penchant for off-road Hummering with recumbant cycling. One can have it all, I suppose, as long as all of it is in moderation.

Maybe we need some of these signs.

We spent a week on the Maine coast visiting some old friends. The sign on the top and traffic jam on the bottom (seems there were more toy cars than real ones) were on Long Island, which is offshore of Portland in Casco Bay. It is accessable by ferry. The island is about two miles long and a half a mile across, so bikes, shoe leather, golf carts, motorscooters, cars, and other sorts of transportation all work very well. First time in a while a car pulled off so I could walk by on the road. Maybe we need some of that attitude elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Road I, July 12-26

I'll be teaching another Road I class, spread across three days:

  • July 12, 1-4pm
  • July 19, 1-4pm
  • July 26, 1-4pm

The classes will be held in Urban Park, since I can't find anywhere else
to do them, and since it's nice outside anyway.

This class will not be sponsored by LANL, so it will cost $10 per
student for materials. If you already have a student manual or can
borrow one, there is no charge.

If you or anyone you know would like to sign up for the class please
respond to this message and let me know if you'd like me to order
materials. The class size will be limited.

Email neale-bike@woozle.org to sign up.