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{ ride a bike… everyday, everywhere }

Change?

This video and the message their site is typically putting forth is great. Watch the video, while it’s primarily focused on New York, the message is clear: something needs to change, doesn’t it? When are we going to see change? Soon I hope. We need to start talking about it, continue talking about it, and/or start talk about it louder.

At about the six and a half minute mark, the gentleman being interviewed is talking about free parking and public space, this quote provoked an especially pleasing perspective, “…why is this good for the city that you get to store your personal property in public space?” The personal property the dude is talking about are our blessed cars; the street it’s being parked in is as much mine as it is yours, right? The images that follow: people taking over those parking spaces with grass lawns and picnics is brilliant and wonderfully beautiful. Let’s see some action like that here in Seattle, what’s stopping a picnic from spontaneously forming in an empty spot for a few hours rather than some automobile taking up the space? What about something like this here. Is there any law against that?

The video’s original page here. Personally I think a kerosene soaked cardboard apartment might pose a couple problems with comfortability.

This site (streetfilms.org) and it’s related streetsblog.org are greatly informative sites for these issues. I enjoy reading them, they get me thinking. Locally we’ve got The Daily Score and it’s parent site Sightline also chock full of facts and opinions on these matters. I’m sure a lot of you out there are already aware of these sites and visit them; this post is for those who aren’t familiar with them, they’re all worth spending some time on. No matter what part of the country or world you’re in, I think the issues addressed at these sites are applicable and can at least be used as examples—spread the word yourself on these valuable resources.

Sometimes I get backed up with so much to read with the copious blogs out there, these are a few of the areas I find most intriguing and most important to focus on, eventually I’d like to begin doing more that just reading. I’ve already changed my life substantially in efforts of sustainability. I know there’s still more that I can change—I need to get more involved (as suggested in this recent post at Sightline). Eventually we’re all going to have to change something about ourselves. The sooner the better.

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Once a Decade Sale

So, I’m still at Wright Bros clinking away. Some people have noticed a bit of a change there, a bit of the clutter has been cleared, some of the scrap is starting move, but there’s still several wine bottles laying about. If you haven’t been there in a while, you should come by and check it out; with the fire going, the back co-op space is downright cozy!

Not only is that all nice and dandy, Charles also has a sale going on, as stated on the Wright Brother’s website:

HOLIDAY SALE, NOVEMBER 24TH TO DECEMBER 22ND. 25% off inventory, special orders are welcome. Does not include labor,membership, or classes.

Swing on in, we’ll paint tiger stripes on your bike!

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Calendar

I’m not keeping up with the Upcoming calendar that much anymore, but here’s a few events that are upcoming nonetheless:

  • The annual Filmed by Bike Film festival

    Evidently a date for the show hasn’t been set yet, but as you may or may not have checked the link to the right, the deadline for submissions is March 1st! What a day!

    More details forthcoming.

  • Another film festival to be aware of, the Dead Baby International Independent Film Festival

    Entries due the first of April the showing will be the first of May (location to be determined). Keep your submissions as exacting as they indicate please.

  • And today, locally, is the Bikes To Rwanda Alley Cat yet another good cause!

  • I’ve also gotten word of some events elsewhere:

  • Apparently still in the works, but pending is a charitable alleycat in the Midwest, Cycle Bingo Alleycat Race. All proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House. Keep an eye on the Rochester Flyers site for more info.
  • And there’s an alleycat happening way down in Florida, the Pensacola Beachcat. They’re looking for sponsors still too.

  • Keep the cameras and the wheels arollin’!

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    Burnt Sugar

    A couple of weeks ago a couple girls came into the shop and one of them had gotten themselves pairs of arm warmers. Nice woolen knit arm warmers. I had to comment, “now those are sweet looking warmers.” To which they replied I could find them at Burnt Sugar down the street. Familiar with the place, I had to check out what other colors and patterns they had.


    Wooden Ships! Get yourself a pair, get your girl a pair, rad!

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    Ball Bearings

    The recent incident of a cyclist being shot by a BB-gun this weekend really inspires confusion and rage. What’s being done about it? The BMP?

    I’m not so sure the BMP is going to alleviate all of the issues this city seems to be suffering from concerning cyclist relations. If this BB-gun incident is because of some perceived cycling issue, the city desperately needs to better address the education of all road users. I referred to other points of education in a previous post. Educating motorists is just as, if not more, important as educating cyclists about the rules of the road. That said, simple consideration, respect, and apparent safety are things we shouldn’t take for granted or forget when dealing with others around us (be they motorists, pedestrians, cyclists).

    I’m not even going to waste my time reading the comments in the Sound-Off section of the PI’s article. Sure to be there, raising my blood-pressure and pissing me off further, are the comments stating that the cyclist deserved it, or that more motorists should arm themselves against cyclists “in their way”. This is the regressive movement (contrary to the idea that Seattle is at all a progressive city), we should all learn to ignore them if given the choice. The first comment starts the age-old argument off:

    As a cyclist… how about more education for Cyclists about the law? Why do we always make it a problem of the cagers?

    Cagers, I’m assuming, mean the motorists. BMP is all about laws and education for cyclists. But how is that going to prevent getting your ass shot with a BB (or worse) in the future if there is no education and laws for motorists. Should we arm ourselves similarly? I sometimes think those Hummers all over the roads deserve some of the same treatment their military brethren experience. Leave your grenades at home people—all kidding aside, this is not the direction we should, or should have, to take.

    How often have you been buzzed by a car, engine roaring in your ear? Doesn’t feel very respectful does it? Can we teach respect to these motorists? Didn’t they learn to be respectful in elementary school? How many times have you had a motorist talk/yell/inform/scream at you while they’re driving by you? Just the same as the advice (no law yet) against driving while talking on your cell phone—drivers you shouldn’t be sticking you head out the window, it’s not safe. And it screams aggression; that if we don’t heed your warning we’ll suffer your bumper.

    This city has a reputation of being passive aggressive, it’s drivers should be educated about why it’s wrong and dangerous to be aggressive in any sense of the word when behind the wheel. I don’t need you revving your engine behind me, it’ll only make me to go slower. You won’t intimidate me either. I don’t need you cutting me off, I don’t want the headache, and you don’t need the lawsuit if you cut it too close. I don’t need you spouting off inaccurate road laws to me with your head out the window, I need your eyes on the road. Hopefully some of this is what the City Council president means by “education for motorists about city efforts to promote bicycling”.

    Now, motorists using pellet guns in their acts of aggression takes the cake. I can only hope it is an isolated incident, never to be repeated or duplicated. Seriously, we all have more important things in life to deal with, let’s not add to that the threat of getting shot on the streets for riding our bikes. Maybe it’s simpler than that of course, maybe the cyclist was just a target and the shooter was just a malicious idiotic individual with a gun. In any case, for that matter, shooting anyone with a BB-gun, a .22, or a grenade launcher is violent, aggressive, and is just not right.

    Filed under: Cranked Magazine

    Semantics

    I know we all have to limit our skepticism and cynicism sometime, but today I don’t feel like it. I’ve been perusing the Proposition 1 overview pamphlet I received the other day and I find it annoying.

    Proposition 1 to me seems like a lot of the same rubbish I’ve noticed in Seattle for the ten or so years I’ve lived here. Briefly, here’s my take. I’ve read the bit in the papers about it, and maybe it was just the PI or the Times depiction of it, but the few things I noticed about it really has the hairs on the back of my neck raised.

    1.) …of all the various debated “actual” costs of this thing, each projection is A LOT of money. Too much money honestly—likely too much paycheck padding for some undeserving bureaucrats. Of all the proposed quantities of money collected through taxation, they all just about indebt several generations of Seattleites.

    2.) …it’s not even definitive. I can admit that nothing in life is definitive, but couldn’t we at least try? Prop 1 doesn’t really give a quantifiable amount of the money needed for these proposed projects. These projects, outlooks, estimates, and supposed benefits: they’re all proposed. That’s why it’s called a PROPOSITION. The government is merely proposing these roads, transit, ease of life, commute benefits, environmental gains, etc. Proposing doesn’t mean promise, no guarantee. Proposing doesn’t mean anything has to be done, let alone began or ever completed. There are no guarantees with Proposition 1. Trust the government? I don’t think so, these people are literally trying to sell us a bridge.

    3.) …the only thing that IS guaranteed with Proposition 1 is my point #1 above. The fact that we will be taxed and that they will collect whatever quantity of taxed dollars they want. There’s our guarantee.

    I haven’t even mentioned the fact that while it touts environmental benefits it is still endorsing and supporting more roads and how this fact contradicts these environmental gains. They plead with us stating that it’ll move us forward into the future, the future is going to happen with or without Prop 1. Envisioning an actual change on our streets is a real vision of the future: having fewer cars on the roads is the future I would like to happen. Adding more roads ALWAYS puts more cars on those roads—that doesn’t sound like reduced congestion. According to the pamphlet it’s not even aiming high with the road improvements. Their key corridors are proposed to be reduced in travel time by “up to 15 minutes.” What’s the rush? If I’m going to be part of spending billions of dollars on something that’s going to save me time, it had better save me more than that and I had better not have to sit in a car while I’m at it.

    Let’s not guarantee the government a pile of money for something they cannot even guarantee in writing themselves. They don’t need a blank check, these taxes are not ever going to go away if they’re enacted. There’s differing statements as to how long this debt will last, I’ll either by 67, or 87 years old when it’s “paid off” by two accounts. Either way, I’ll still be riding my bike to get around. Besides why write a blank check to someone with an already bad track record. Let’s not forget this city’s history of “indecision”: did we want those paired stadiums in Sodo? Where’s our monorail? Are we going to have bike lanes on Stone Way or sharrows, evidently this decision hasn’t been made yet, regardless of the fact that the street has painted one method already. I’m sure there’s copious other examples.

    (…this message is paid for by Cranked Magazine).

    Filed under: Cranked Magazine, Select

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