Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gran Fondo: Taos, Mora, Angel Fire August 1, 2015

Gran Fondo: Taos, Mora, Angel Fire
August 1, 2015.

Online registration ends tonight at midnight.  Save yourself $10 and register today!

The weather forecast is looking better (for cycling, not drought reduction) this weekend!  Hope to see you in Taos Saturday.


On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM, Jennifer Buntz <> wrote:
If you are interested in riding Saturday, cooler temperatures and new scenery, join us in Taos for this great annual ride.

Distances include 46, 65 and 105 miles.  There are many other activities going on in Taos this weekend, something for the whole family or your non-cycling friends (see below).

Register at

Packet pick-up, late registration (4-7 pm Friday) and Start/Finish at the Taos Youth and Family Center

Ride is a benefit for the Taos Sports Alliance

Post ride party is at the Taos Mesa Brewery

Hope to see you there!  Email me if you have any questions.

Jennifer Buntz
bikefunsafe at gmail dot com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

" I Thought He Was Gonna Hit You"

This morning as I bicycled to work, riding south on Diamond past the Diamond/Canyon intersection, a guy heading northbound on Diamond turned left to enter the high school student parking lot just as I was riding through the intersection. He came within a few feet of me before finally stopping, as I did. Then he threw it into reverse and motored behind me, possibly clipping the curb in his effort to get to the parking lot.

So if you are that driver, just a couple reminders. One, a bicyclist in a bike lane is thru traffic and the bike lane is like any other oncoming traffic lane--left turning traffic yields to thru traffic.  Secondly, I'm not sure what was going through your mind, but I guess getting that Jeep parked was more important than driving safely.

The title of the post was uttered to me by a lady exiting the access road who along with about five other motorists, saw what happened. I replied that practice makes perfect, as far as situational awareness and bike handling....

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yet Another Reason We Need Vision Zero

Andrew Wright of
Bicycle Technologies International
 Andrew Wright, who until the last few days was co-owner of the bicycle wholesale business Bicycle Technologies International based on Santa Fe, met his fate last week in a fiery crash at the intersection of I-25 and NM-599, while riding home from work on his Ducati motorcycle. According to KOB News,
"...Santa Fe police say the driver of the Jeep appears to have been at fault in the crash and will likely be cited. Police said the driver pulled out in front of the motorcycle, which was already in the intersection..."

 These things happen all too often, and Andrew's name will be memorialized this winter at the annual bicycle-motorcycle rally at the State Capitol, where we lament that we cannot do a better job of making the roads safer for all of us.

We need Vision Zero. Now. The details need to be worked out. The philosophy, that roads should be safer for users, needs adoption, way ahead of "Level of Service" or speed.

I've not heard of any plans for a memorial or anything. Holler if you do. Meanwhile, let's be careful out there. Especially those of us on two wheels.

Scene of the crash, as photographed by someone. From the KOB story.

Aftermath, from the KOB story

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Are Urban Cyclists Really Risk Takers At Heart?

"Don't forget your helmet, dear"
Photo of Norio Okamoto a 
23-year-old Kamikaze pilot.
Peter Fenton wrote an essay, "Are Urban Cyclists Really Risk Takers At Heart?" that was published in the Washington Post and reprinted in the Santa Fe New Mexican, where I saw it today. The gist of it is that cyclists have to be nuts to ride in cities and that they routinely run red lights and engage in risk taking. Quoting the title of a British author's book, he suggests “The Only Way to Survive as a Cyclist is to Behave Like You’re Suicidal,”

Not sure I buy into any of that. As someone who recently helped evaluate Santa Fe as a Bicycle Friendly Community with the LAB's BFC guru Steve Clark, and having been riding as transportation in urban and suburban settings since 1979, it seems to me that cycling is not growing in popularity because more and more Americans want to tie that Rising Sun bandana around their head and dive heedlessly into a car, but because more and more cities are responding to cycling's popularity by implementing designs meant to improve the safety of cyclists (whether all of these designs actually improve safety is worth a post of its own), thus encouraging the public to see bicycling as accepted, within the design envelope of surface transportation, and thus safe and attractive. Couple with that bicyclist education programs (LAB's Smart Cycling and the alternative Cycling Saavy program are the two highest profile ones), the idea is to make cycling popular and safe via good facilities and competent cyclists. Both Santa Fe and Los Alamos are using a combination of on and off road facilities to encourage safe bicycling, while cyclists in both cities have the opportunity to take cycling education courses from trained instructors.

As far as studies of red light running, etc., one can fish around and find data suggesting anywhere from 94% of cyclists obey the light to almost the opposite, and others suggest it is in between. One can fish for similar studies suggesting motorists are equally guilty of flaunting traffic law, such as this one on speeding. Whether motorist or bicyclist, scofflaws all have their excuses and justifications, most of which are made of baloney. The one legitimate reason bicyclists may have to run a red light (with due caution) is that some on-demand lights are not set up to see a bicyclist, either because it is an old design or is improperly adjusted. Good engineering/maintenance or the Idaho Stop are two cures. Other than that, enough already with the excuses.

Urban cycling is not a death wish or a form of recklessness. A cyclist, especially one with a reasonable level of traffic skills and situational awareness who is riding on reasonably built roads or separated facilities is at least as safe, in deaths per exposure hours, as a motorist. Mr. Fenton's analogy to the fighter pilot is also misdirected. A fighter pilot, unless planning to crash into a carrier deck, maintains high levels of situational awareness to be safer, not to be a senseless risk taker. Indeed, Mr. Fenton should look more carefully at the crash numbers. While bike trips have increased, bike fatalities are flat to decreasing, suggesting that on a per trip level, bicycling is becoming safer. That is the real message. Let's put aside weird, myopic mythologies. They certainly don't do cycling any good.

Illustrations below from People for Bikes, with permission.

A shortened version of this has been published in the Santa Fe New Mexican for publication.