Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cyclists raise safety concerns at Santa Fe City Council meeting

Carl Gable addresses the Santa Fe City Council. 
Sami Edge, Santa Fe New Mexican, photo credit

Good coverage of Carl Gable and company in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Sent this to Mayor Webber and the Santa Fe City Council

I apologize for missing last night's Council meeting but wish to second Carl Gable's concerns for safe cycling.

Traffic safety for bicyclists is a complicated issue. Road design, enforcement priorities, and both driver and cyclist competence come into play. I think all of these functions have to be working in order to have safer streets. A BTAC has to have real power to influence outcomes beneficial to bicyclists.

As far as behavior, little things matter.  Police have to put a high priority on deterring texting, distracted driving, and moving violations by both motorists and bicyclists. To fellow motorists, risky behaviors usually result in bent metal. To bicyclists and pedestrians, serious injury or death.

During my 12 years on the Los Alamos County Transportation Board, I made a point of working with Public Works, the Police Dept., and County Council to pass policies such as the Complete Streets and Bike Plan and worked one on one with Public Works and the Police Dept leadership towards safer streets. I hope to apply to the BTAC for membership in Santa Fe, if there is an opening.

We (spouse, cats, dog, me) are still getting our bearings in the City Different, tripping over boxes and bumping into walls, so I missed this meeting but agree with Carl Gable as quoted in the New Mexican story this morning. We have owned a home in Santa Fe for about 3 years and finally moved in full time. So far, my cycling experiences in Santa Fe have been good ones and indeed, I twice reviewed favorably Santa Fe's application for Bicycle-Friendly Community status for the League of American Bicyclists. I really do appreciate the five minute bike ride to my food co-op rather than the 15 mile round trip bike ride from my former Los Alamos home to the LA co-op! But as the recent spate of incidents suggests, we are not finished with the job of making Santa Fe a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Post - #MeToo Valentine Cards

First two post “Me Too” valentine cards

Roses are red
Violets are blue
My love is special
And all meant for….oh, forget it….this can only end badly

To: Our client’s special valentine
From: The Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe
Our client would like to send you a pretty valentine but wishes to receive, in advance, an affidavit stating that you will receive this card in good faith and agree to not take legal action against our client in the case of any misunderstanding as to the innocent nature of this card.
Signature_____________________, notarized before________________

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bike and Biker Day at the Capitol

NMMRO Co-Chairs Annette Torrez and Ray Gallegos 
addressing the crowd.
Click on photo for full size picture.
The Saturday rally was a good one. We had a decent turnout of folks from the lycra crowd and got a lot of recognition from the moto crowd. Recent crash victim and bike pro Irena Ossola of Santa Fe gave a compelling talk, after an intro from Jennifer Buntz (Duke City Wheelmen). Ann Overstreet (BikeABQ) and Diane Albert were recognized for making the food possible and Tony Farrar, owner of NM Bike N Sport, sponsored us as his shop is a great location to meet and then easily, for non-Fanta Seans, get to the Capitol as well as the Railyard. The moto crowd was sponsored and fed by Santa Fe Harley-Davidson.

I'm having trouble typing as I speared my left index finger while spazzing at something, and keep making mistakes. Have a great day.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Drought? Or Normal?

God speed the plow.... By this wonderful provision, which is only man's mastery over nature, the clouds are dispensing copious rains ... [the plow] is the instrument which separates civilization from savagery; and converts a desert into a farm or garden.... To be more concise, Rain follows the plow.
--Charles Dana Wilber

Since this blog bounces between bicycling for fun to more serious issues such as transportation, health, and climate, I thought I would toss this out in the interest of sustainability issues.

Yesterday the Albuquerque Journal said that "Drought Returns to New Mexico". I would argue it never left. Drought has various definitions and understandings and can be defined on different time scales depending on one's frame of reference (agriculture, climatology, ecology, etc.); it generally means "golly, we are getting less moisture than we have come to expect based on our limited experiences". I tend to think of it in climate cycles, because climate tells us what variations we can expect. As civilizations, we have to manage our societies in light of that expectation. Rain does not follow the plow.

That said, there may be a modern variation to that theme of rain vs. plow that has a lot of credibility: climate change follows the smokestack.

So in the interest of trying to understand what is going on lately as far as that wet stuff that falls from the sky, here are two graphs from a John Fleck article in a 2012 issue of the Albuquerque Journal. Just looking at a century, there appear to be both short (a few years) and longer term (about half a century) cycles.  This is not meant as a prediction or alarm bell, but two things. We can, of course, expect short term El Nino/La Nina/ENSO cycles that mean snowpack/rainfall differences on the year to year basis. We can also expect, if this trend is not an aberration (see tree ring data below), longer term cyclicity in water feast and famine due to physical processes such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and other processes, sometimes coupled or that may be teleconnected, such as the PDO and AMO. Note also that if winter precipitation decreases while temperatures increase, this is a double whammy. Snowpack may not last as long due to increased early melting and sublimation. We may see higher transpiration rates in trees that may not be sustainable. Plus, insects such as bark beetles may rev their biological engines faster.

I guess its "ask a climatologist" time. Indeed, climatologists have been studying the underlying causes of "drought" cycles in the US Southwest. Some examples here, here, here, here, and here.

Here is that century long record of precipitation and temperature variation in New Mexico, from John Fleck's 2012 article.

Another way to look at precipitation cyclicity.  Elephant Butte Lake levels, ~1910-2015,  from John Fleck's blog.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Pretty similar to the Elephant Butte Lake graph, eh?

Finally, a long term tree ring record based model of precipitation in NW New Mexico, showing century duration cycles, from the International Tree Ring Data Bank.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Annual Ride Your Age Day

Since I have a January birthday and since today was supposed to be warmer than the next couple weeks, I took advantage of the opportunity to do the old "ride my age in km". Even got in a couple extra km to bank for next year. The best news is my right shoulder didn't bother me at all. On long rides last summer it reminded me, bluntly, of its recent major rebuild.

By doing the Loop de Loops through Pajarito Acres and La Senda, adding that to the Bandelier Loop distance, and starting and finishing on N. Mesa, I could pile up a little more than the 64 clicks I needed.

Stay healthy and stay active!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Saturday, 27 January: Bike Day at the Capitol

Bike Day is on! Please be there. Holler at me if you need any additional information. The idea is to promote safe and fun bicycling and motorcycling and to advocate for laws and policies designed for complete and safe streets for all of us. We may be discussing Irena Ossola's progress after being hit and seriously injured by an inattentive driver. Click on the jpeg for a full size copy of the flyer to view or download.

There will be some Santa Fe rides in advance and of course the gathering of the faithful at BikeNSport for pre-rally eats provided by BikeABQ and other advocacy organizations. Also, show up to memorialize the late Willard Chilcott, founder of the Santa Fe Century Ride, who just went on ride the Great Century Ride in the Sky.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year and Save This Date

Hopefully, 2018 will be a good year. I celebrated the new year with a long walk with my better half, a quick blast around Kwage Mesa with the Stumpjumper that is as obsolete as I am, and finally got rid of that ten year old picture of two guys in their better days that has been sitting on the masthead of this blog. But just to annoy you...

Been a long time since 2007.

Keep the rubber side down in 2018.

On another note, the annual Roundhouse Bike Rally will be on Saturday, 27 January. Come if you can and give me a holler if you have any questions. The moto crowd is rallying from Santa Fe Harley-Davidson. The human powered crowd is still getting our shit together. More to come.