Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bills before the Legislature--Online locator


UPDATE: The bill to increase the penalties for careless drivers who kill or injure is alive again as SB 290.

Here is the master link. For your ranting and raving pleasure.

http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_locatorcom.aspx?year=13

HB 32 and 31, which would have toughened penalties against predicate drunk drivers, were tabled by the Democratic members of the House Consumer and Public Affairs committee, citing the cost of keeping repeat DWIs incarcerated. See the Journal article for the story.

House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

Costs of a traffic fatality. I wonder if the House committee did the math right.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

E-Bikes: The Future of City Travel?

We were shopping in Santa Fe last week and grabbed a couple things in a local natural pharmacy store (don't ask me to define a natural pharmacy store). While waiting to check out, I spied on the magazine rack a publication I had never seen before, Momentum magazine.I snagged a copy for general edification on how the other bicycling half lives.

There were several articles about E-bikes in this issue (see link above for the table of contents). I think its an important topic, since the big push in the magazine and e-bike circle is to convince more folks to ride bikes by providing a mild electric power assist. If gasoline ever gets really expensive in the States, this mode could find a big following.

To be sure, there are some details to work out. I sent in this comment (slightly edited here) in one of the articles, "E-Bikes: Boom or Bust in North America".

============================

This industry is, at least in the U.S., still in its youth, if not infancy. E-bikes could not make it past the laugh test prior to the invention and development of modern, reliable, lightweight and high performance batteries and electric motors. The e-bicycle industry must mature this technology with better integrated designs that are attractive enough to get people out of their cars; given the low cost of gasoline and car-centric culture of the US, that is a daunting task. At present, all but the “lightest” of these bikes is ponderous by any measure compared to a normal human powered bike of equal cost, meaning that in any but dead flat locations, one will be dependent on the electric power rather than human power. Nothing wrong with that from an environmental standpoint if the choice is between an e-bike and Old Belchfire, although the physical fitness benefits of cycling will be largely missing.

Second, Momentum magazine implies the market for the e-bike to be for potential, not current riders, as an alternative to the car. While the exchange of a car for an electric bicycle is laudable in terms of its drastically reduced carbon footprint and storage space requirements in the built environment, an e-bike is still a bicycle, subject to all the forces of gravity, friction, and momentum and completely lacking in air bags and crumple zones. New riders riding a bike that can reach high bicycle speeds (15-20 mph) with little or no training in bike handling nor any bicycling experience will be at elevated risk until they master the new vehicle. So will the rest of us sharing facilities with them. We must ensure that efforts to encourage e-bike use for non-cyclists are matched by equal efforts to make sure these folks learn some basic bike handling skills and bike law, since every electrically-assisted uphill is matched by a fast downhill. There are enough bikes collecting dust in garages now, put there after naive riders took a bad spill.

Finally, while Momentum criticizes government regulation for hindering development, we must be sure that e-bikes, especially those intended for use on bicycle facilities, look and act more like bicycles instead of electric mopeds; designs and regulation should be standardized enough to allow a manufacturer to sell in all fifty states. Designs, if intended to be used on bicycling facilities, should not put human powered bicycling at risk. Again, since these will be intended for general purpose transportation, some concerns must be given for providing Federally-standardized safety features such as speed limiters, brakes, lighting and even perhaps fenders to keep crud off of their lighting surfaces. Currently, the laws regulating safety equipment on bicycles are designed for the bicycle as a toy, for example, the CPSC mandated all reflector rule. The resulting crazy quilt of bicycling equipment, coupled with lack of enforcement, leads to cyclists taking senseless risks with their lives, especially when riding at night or in inclement weather.

As a longtime utilitarian as well as sport cyclist (I started riding to work in 1978 and only later started riding for endurance and sport), I welcome this new development and hope for better, lighter designs as the technology matures.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Biker Day at the State Capitol, 2013

Keep the Date Open
Also, any chance one of the Santa Fe bicycle shops will team up with Santa Fe H-D for lunches?

9th ANNUAL

BIKE DAY AT THE CAPITOL

Saturday February 23, 2013

1:00 PM
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Round House Rotunda
(State Capitol Building in Santa Fe)

Leave ThunderBird Harley Davidson Dealership at 10 AM
Lunch Provided by and at Santa Fe Harley Davidson

Meet your State Representatives and Senators

The motorcycle and bicyclist communities invite all to join us in support to protect our rights and liberties on issues, laws and regulations involving safety and awareness on our highways.

For More Information contact Annette Torrez @ 505-730-0435
or Courtney Farris @  505-379-2327

E-mail:  atorrez2@msn.com

Web-site: www.thenmmro.org

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bicycle Dreams to screen in Albuquerque and Santa Fe


BICYCLE DREAMS,
AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT RACE ACROSS AMERICA, COMING TO ALBUQUERQUE ON JAN. 24

Bicycle Dreams, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the Race Across America (RAAM), will premiere in Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico’s Rodey Theatre on Thursday, January 24 at 7 p.m. The screening is presented as a benefit by the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico. Bike NM will host a second screening the following Thursday, Jan. 31 at The Screen in Santa Fe.

Guest speaker at the event will be Lisa Dougherty of Los Alamos, who will be competing in her first RAAM this summer. Lisa will be in the lobby at both theatres 30 minutes prior to the showing, to answer questions and show off her bike and gear.

Dougherty first qualified for RAAM in 1996 by winning the women’s division at the 573-mile Bicycle Across Missouri race. She went on to win the UMCA World 24-Hour Championships in Iowa in 1997, 1998 and 1999, qualifying again for RAAM in 1999 when she covered 406 miles in the 24-hour race.

Following a stint as an ultradistance runner – completing the Leadville 100 three times – she returned to cycling and this past November finished second in the women’s division at the World 24-Hour Time Trial Championships in California behind six-time RAAM winner Seana Hogan. Dougherty completed 416 miles at the event and qualified for RAAM 2013. She is racing as Team Los Alamos Schools to raise funds for the PTO’s of the Los Alamos school district. To get a finish at RAAM, she must cover 3000 miles in less than 12 days. For more information about RAAM, go to www.raceacrossamerica.org .

Tickets will be $10 in advance and $15 at the door the night of the show. To purchase advance tickets, order online at www.unmtickets.com. The Rodey Theatre is located at 230 Cornell Drive NE on the UNM campus.

The film, which has won numerous awards at film festivals all over the world, “is an up-close look at what RAAM riders go through,” says Stephen Auerbach, the director and producer of Bicycle Dreams. “They deal with searing desert heat, agonizing mountain climbs, and endless stretches of open road. And they do it all while battling extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. It’s a great subject for a film.”

Bicycle Dreams also has been named one of the top 10 adventure films of all time by both The Matador Network and Playground Magazine, calling it the best bicycle film since “Breaking Away.”

The mission of the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico is simple and succinct: to increase the number of bicyclists in New Mexico by promoting cycling, providing education and advocating for the rights of cyclists throughout the state. For more information, visit www.bikenm.org.

For more information on the film, go to www.bicycledreamsmovie.com or visit us on Facebook.

Media contact: Garry Harrington 603-209-5010 gharrington3165@hotmail.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Santa Fe Declares War on Jaywalking Pedestrians

Do speeders or red light runners in Santa Fe get threatened with jail time and hundreds of dollars in fines? Do they face misdemeanor charges? Who is more dangerous to others, a jaywalking pedestrian or someone barreling down St. Francis Drive at 50 mph in a 35 zone in 6,000 lbs of machinery while talking on the cell phone? Hence why I can't understand the Santa Fe Public Safety Committee's recently suggested draconian approach, especially in a city where decent crosswalks can be few and far between and where drivers vie for the title of Most Prolific Red Light Runner.

According to an earlier Journal article, "...Accidents involving jaywalkers tend to especially happen on Cerrillos Road, St. Francis Drive or near downtown Santa Fe...".  Cerrillos and St. Francis are anything but bike and ped friendly.

Again, from the Albuquerque Journal:  "...Previous versions of the proposed “tougher” ordinance would have mandated that jaywalkers appear in Municipal Court and potentially face a fine of up to $300 and up to 90 days in jail. The Public Safety Committee approved such a proposal in November..."

While this committee suggested jaywalkers face misdemeanor charges and be welcomed as guests at Mayor Coss' Municipal Bed and Breakfast, your speeder in an SUV, egged on by road design and public indifference to the hazards imposed by speeding, could likely mail in or electronically pay a penalty assessment, like this smiling guy is doing.
What, me worry?
from http://www.dmv.org/nm-new-mexico/traffic-tickets.php

Fortunately, someone got the message that this looks bad for human beings not sitting in cages: "...The Finance Committee recently sent the ordinance back to the Public Safety Committee for what councilors said was clarification on issues, including whether the city’s crosswalks give pedestrians enough time to walk across the street."

Umm...you mean "enough time to walk across the street" wasn't considered in the first place?? Sometimes, jaywalking is safer than trusting a motorist to make a right on red after STOPPING!

So where it stands now seems to be "A city advisory committee is recommending that Santa Fe’s elected officials pass a watered-down version of an ordinance aimed at deterring jaywalking.  Members of the Public Safety Committee agreed on Tuesday that the fine for the crime should be no more than $150."

Santa Fe's cell phone ordinance, which only applies to hand held devices and in my opinion is widely ignored, holds a $100 penalty. According to the New Mexican, it was once almost repealed.  Meanwhile, for the despised pedestrian, do the crime, do the time.

Go figure. Arlo Guthrie couldn't do better.



All quoted material from the Albuquerque Journal. The rest is my $0.02.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Hey, Filippo, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am...."


Uh-huh...yeah, sure, etc., etc.

Patrick O'Grady over at Maddogmedia has been updating this story with current references, and folks posting comments have added a few more. Interested parties should wander over to the Dogpatch.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bomb Town Cyclist to tackle the Race Across America


Lisa, courtesy of the Daily Post
Lisa Dougherty, who many of us know from her running and biking adventures, is training for this summer's running of the Race Across America, which starts on June 11th. As discussed in the Los Alamos Daily Post story, (I won't steal Carol's thunder, go read the full story over there) she is looking for crew volunteers. If interested, read the Daily Post story and contact Lisa at her web site.

I guess once you get comfy riding from Barranca to a job down on Pajarito Road, the rest of the coast to coast journey is easy! See? You too should bike to work!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Drill, baby, drill???


Once again, the oil industry confidently displays why we should trust them with offshore drilling in sensitive places like the Arctic Ocean. Sheesh....can we do better than this?