Thursday, December 20, 2007
Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Contest (be sure to check out the the current entries.)
So, who out there has a cool idea for a pedal powered machine?
Monday, December 17, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
I don't remember where my dad got the instructions for the studded tires. I think someone at the bikeshop might have helped him. Anyway, the icebike site has a section on home made studded tires:
http://www.icebike.org/Equipment/tires.htm (you will need to scroll a bit)
Just be careful mounting the tires. Those screws are sharp.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
What we really need is a list of Iowa City winter riding tips. You know, good routes, places to avoid, and any other general winter riding tips. So, go ahead and reply to this post with some winter riding tips.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
"The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting
calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand
miles per gallon."
-- Bill Strickland, bicycling writer and editor of Bicycling Magazine
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Mark Wyatt and Jen Bedet of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition will bring their special brand of advocacy and rabble rousing to November Bike Lunch Talk. Mark will share the Coalition's advocacy and legislative agenda for 2008. And Jen will discuss her work with the Coalition's Safe Routes to Schools program.
The format will be informal, so bring a bag lunch and join us.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Free Bicycle Lights from WABA and DDOT
I especially like the picture of the guy "sleeping" next to his bike. :)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Maybe we could build some custom bikes at the bike library this winter. They might not be all that practical, but sure would look cool in a parade or something. :)
We could even steal some ideas from Instructables.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Anyway, I got to thinking. It might be cool if the bike library could give a monthly bike seminar or something. The first one could be "How to fix a flat." We could even try to partner with one of the local bike shops. They could bring in tubes, patches, pumps etc to sell or just demo to the attendees. I can't think of a topic for the next seminar, but I'm sure someone could come up with something.
What do you think?
Monday, September 17, 2007
The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department is beginning the process of developing a comprehensive, multi-year Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan, and has hired a nationally known company to assist with this effort. The purpose of the plan is to create a vision for future growth and identify the most important needs to be implemented in the next 5 to 10 years. The consultant will be conducting a series of "focus group" sessions the week of September 17th, followed by a public forum. This public forum is being held to review information gathered from the focus groups, and to help identify what the citizens of Iowa City would like to see relative to parks, recreation, trails, facilities, programs and services. The forum will be held Thursday, September 20, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., in the Social Hall of the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center, 220 South Gilbert Street. The general public is invited and encouraged to attend and provide input.
For further information call the Parks and Recreation Department at 356-5110.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Last weekend (9/7 - 9/9) I went on a camping trip to southeast Minnesota with my 2 daughters and a bunch of people from my church. The root river state trail is a 42 mile multi-use trail through several small towns along the root river. The paved trail used to be a railroad which makes the entire trail pretty flat.
The limestone bluffs, bridges, valleys, and river make for some spectacular views. I wish I had some more pictures.
I only rode about 10 miles of the trail. Someday I'd like to go back and try to do the whole thing. If anyone is looking for a biking/camping vacation, be sure to check out root river.
One of the many bridges along the trail:
One of the biggest hills :)
A great place to fish. There were a couple people fly fishing in the river. Unfortunately, you can't see them.
If only I knew how to golf...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
BIC will be sponsoring some lunchtime discussion about cycling in Johnson County. First up on September 27th, noon to 1pm, will be Kent Ralston, JCCOG transportation planner. He will be talking about Iowa City's application to become certified as a "Bike Friendly Community" through the League of American Bicyclists. In October, we are planning to invite IC Council candidates to talk about their vision for cycling in Iowa City. In November, we will have the Iowa Bike Coalition come in and talk about what their 2008 advocacy agenda.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
1977 French Gitane Mixte Classic Commuter
Iowa Shares will be holding a silent auction from noon- 3:00pm during the Iowa Women's Music Festival. This bike will be part of the silent auction!
The French did not invent the bike, but they did perfect it. This mixte style frame is a wonderful example of the relaxed and comfortable geometry used in French touring bikes. It has been upgraded with a riser stem, classic alloy wheels, rear rack, lights, mirror and bell. There’s even a place to put you coffee for your morning commute! Make it yours and support a great organization!
Come to the 14th Annual Iowa Women’s Music Festival
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Iowa City’s Upper City Park
Noon to 6:00pm
Friday, September 07, 2007
Breakfast was great this morning! We had Cherry Almond muffins, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins, Del's Famous Corn muffins, a (still warm!) zucchini bread from Jay, and, of course, BANANAS! There was a steady stream of cyclists stopping by. The sky was a bit overcast, but the weather was dry and not too hot. Good food, good conversation, good people.
The Iowa DOT is sponsoring a "share the road" license plate. 125 plates have been purchased. 375 plates to sell before they are issued.
You can get more info from this website: http://www.iowabicyclecoalition.org/strplate.htm
Friday, August 31, 2007
I head down the alley to Summit St.
I'm enjoying the late summer flowers along Summit St. I notice that car and bike traffic has increased quite a bit since classes started again at the U.
And then I take quick a detour towards downtown...
to pick up some lunch & fill my thermos with some coffee from the New Pioneer co-op. Lots of bikes here!
It's great to see a trailer in action as a mom & daughter ride to Horace Mann elementary school.
I love passing by this zinnia patch on Dewey St.
Here at the Hilltop I get ready to turn onto a higher traffic road - the only one in my 3-mile commute. I plan my commute so that most of my ride takes place on quiet residential streets.
I usually see several other cyclists headed down this road.
I pass by this little guy on the final stretch of my commute. I'm a vegan for ethical reasons, but this morning I found myself thinking about the environmental impact of eating meat. Raising animals for livestock wastes a lot of energy and resources, and if more people adopted a vegetarian diet we could easily reduce our fuel use by a significant proportion. It would also make the cows happier.
And... here I am. Only a tiny bit sweaty, feeling energized and awake and more than a little sorry to be going indoors on such a beautiful day. But it was a real treat to spend 15 minutes of my morning riding. I feel grateful for it.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Starting June 25 Ladies' Night will move to every other Monday from 6pm to 8pm.
Ladies' Night is open, noncompetitive shop time for woman-identified individuals. Bring your own project or work on one of the Bike Library's under the guidance of female mechanics.
Ladies' Night dates throughout the summer will be July 9th & 23rd, August 6th & 20th, September 3rd & 17th.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Beside getting more folks on bikes another basic goal of the Bicycle Library is to divert metal from the landfill by salvaging parts for reuse from bikes that are themselves beyond reuse and recycling the left over scarp metal.
This load, taken today, on the Bike Library’s 8 foot trailer put us over 1000 pounds of metal recycled this year by this mode of transportation since our first run with the trailer in early March. Overall, with the help of City dump trucks last week, we have recycled 2730 pounds of metal.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
“What are the three aspects of your community most in need of improvement in order to accommodate bicyclists”.
Here's my response:
1) Engender a community-wide culture of respect for bicyclists and pedestrians through programs of education of rights and responsibilities for cyclists, police officers, and the general public; and increased enforcement of related laws, ie. lights on bicycles, failure to yeild to peds and cyclists, etc. Some of this could be done through soft enforcement, ie giving of lights to nighttime cyclist riding without lighting etc.
2) Survey citizens to find what are the barriers they preceive to using a bicycle for their regular transportation needs and address these issues.
3) Set concrete, measurable goals for improving cycling in Iowa City.
4) bonus Improve safety of I-80 crossings at Dubuque St, Dodge St. and Hoover Highway.
What would be yours?
Monday, May 28, 2007
My cycling experience has encompassed, regular commuting to work, riding for cardiovascular exercise, shopping trips, recreational trail riding, and multi-state, self-supported trips among other things. I mention this because in these various different modes, I’ve recognized that there are different routes that best suit each of them. Over the years, I’ve learned the “best” way for me for these different types of rides. Some times this has been through BIC rides, sometimes perusing of bicycle route maps produced by various government agencies or nonprofits and often by trial and error. My guess is that many of you have also developed a set of “good” routes for various purposes.
I would like not only to recommend that the county develop a set of bicycle routes, but also be in a position to guide the county in their selection. To that end, I would like to build a virtual file of routes, in the county, outside of the incorporated areas, that could be proposed. What I would like you to do to help with this effort is think of “good” routes you know in various categories and both email them to me at DelHolland@aol.com and/or post them on the Bike Library’s blog at http://bikelibrary.blogspot.com/ as comments under my post ‘“Good” Johnson County Cycling Routes’. This way you can see what others have done and not waste your time recommending a route that someone else has already done, but share new routes. I would suggest that we categorize them to make appropriate distinctions. For instance:
- Commuter-Good would probably have the characteristics of low traffic counts, direct between points, maybe few hills.
- In/Out (this would be for routes that lead out of the county to points beyond)-Good would probably include many of the features of the “good commuter route. An example, in my opinion, of a “Good” In/Out would be Black Diamond Road.
- Exercise/Recreational (This category might include two different subsets.
- Easy-I would see Sand Road.
- Challenging – I would see Sugar Bottom Road.
Please take some time, think of your favorite rides, look at the blog, add your favorites to the list and email a copy to me. If you have any questions feel free to email me or call at 338-5220.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
See you there...
Friday, May 4th
7:30am - 9:30am
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Ever wanted to bike to work or school and weren't quite sure what equipment you needed, how to dress or where to ride? World of Bikes is going to give some tips on how to do it, what to expect and what you'll need.
They will be offering this "how to" clinic on Tuesday, April 24th at 7pm at World of Bikes on Gilbert St.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
If you have questions feel free to call me.
Del (aka The Sultan of Salvage)
Friday, March 30, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Until Marcia Lowe told me, I wasn’t aware of being part of the silent majority.
In The Bicycle: Vehicle for a Small Planet, Lowe reports that in a world seduced by automobiles, the unseduced are still the majority. Bicycles outnumber cars two to one. Annual bicycle production has reached a hundred million, three times the number of new cars. As a commuting bicyclist for twenty years, I’ve been putting myself mistakenly in the minority.
In the daily traffic of the United States, where car addicts spew out of their tail pipes more pollution than form any other foulness, it only appears that a few of us are head-over-wheels in love with the world’s most efficient form of mechanical transportation. Globally, we are in the flow, in China, parts of Europe, India, South Korea, Egypt, Malaysia, and other nations, bicycles are in the majority. China has 300 million bicycles, 1.2 million automobiles. India has a ration of 30 to 1, South Korea 20 to 1. This mass transit is transit for the masses.
Lowe’s report, distributed by Worldwatch Institute, where she is a staff researcher, has 119 footnotes in 46 pages, a feast of facts for those who like conclusions and claims to be documented. The pro-bicycle arguments marshaled by Lowe would persuade anyone of even modest reasonability that this human-powered machine is superior economically, environmentally and for personal health.
Why, then, are only one out of forty US bicycles ridden for commuting and the rest used for recreation or rusting with flat tires in the garage? Car commuters pollute the air with three alibis for why they use gasoline power, not leg power:
Bicycling is slow. Let’s hope so. Hurriedness is the dominant ailment of urban living. Workplace Law I holds that those who drive the craziest get to work and save four and one half minutes by running then yellow lights are those who waste the most time settling down after they arrive.
Workplace Law II is the hurry-up-and-wait syndrome. A garage near my office regularly has a long cortege of cars waiting for parking attendants – amblers all – to snap to. Bicyclists are free of these excruciations, as we’ll tell you as we breeze by.
Bicycling is sweaty. The antiperspiration industry aside, why sweat sweat? Better to be a moist bicyclist than a dry motorist who must endure what Lowe reports: “The daily battle with traffic congestion, according to a recent University of California study, tends to raise drivers’ blood pressure, lower their frustration tolerance and foster negative moods and aggressive driving. Except when there is no alternative benefit but to ride in the same traffic stream, commuter cyclists benefit both themselves and their employers by being less vulnerable to hypertension, heart attacks and coronary disease, and arriving at work more alert. The proof that people enjoy cycling to keep fit is in the popularity of stationary exercise bikes. The irony, however, is that so many people drive to a health club to ride them.”
Bicycling is dangerous. Yes, if you’re reckless. Cautious commuters keep risks to a minimum. They know that the most threatening vehicle is another bicycle, too many of which are ridden by helmetless thrill seekers who see traffic as the combat zone and themselves as victorious road warriors. They win, until the law catches up with them – the law of averages, the most reliable of all.
In commuting, damage rather than danger should be the fear. It’s gasoline and diesel engines that damage the air with poisons. It’s gasoline and diesel engines that required oil companies to damage the environment with tankers that leak or spill in Valdez and elsewhere. It’s gasoline and diesel engines for which industrial cities give up one-third of the land for roads and parking lots. Lowe reports that for China to pave over as much land per capita as has the United States would mean giving up a total of 64 million hectares – equivalent to more than 40 percent of the country’s croplands.”
Politicians who rousingly damn drug addiction are mum on gasoline addiction. Which mayors have called for tax breaks for us bicyclists, who clearly deserve them? Which city council ask for stiff financial penalties against car commuters, as in Japan, where the government imposes a $2,000 registration fee every two years a car is used? How many Senate or House members give the public an example by getting around town on a bicycle? More than half of America’s commuting treks are less than five miles, but can anyone remember an editorial in his local newspaper urging readers to loosen up and wheel right?
Friday, March 16, 2007
I'm in the process of setting up an online calendar for scheduling volunteer hours. Now that Cody's Americorps position is over, we'll have to try to make sure that enough volunteers are showing up at the right times to keep this project going. We'll be talking more about this in the next few weeks, but for now I'd appreciate it if everyone could make sure I have an e-mail address that you check regularly. You can either give it to me at the BL (I'm there Saturday mornings) or send an e-mail to me: email@example.com. The schedule in the sidebar is a work-in-progress. Hopefully it'll be fully functional by the end of March.
(Sorry for such a boring, practical post... Here's a picture of my bike to cheer things up!)
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Last year the ICBL made it a policy to accept all donations... even bikes that had no potential to be repaired and ridden. Our primary intention was to keep bikes out of the landfill by stripping and reusing parts, and salvaging the unusable parts for steel and aluminum. Yesterday,
According to bike guru Sheldon Brown:
Department Store Bicycles
There are two entirely separate bicycle industries; bicycles intended for real use are sold primarily in bicycle shops, and also, to some extent, in sporting goods stores. Bicycles sold through this side of the industry are well made and sturdy, and are sold fully assembled, tested and guaranteed.
A parallel business uses department stores and discount stores for distribution. They concentrate on a much lower price segment, and sell a drastically inferior product. The bicycles sold in department stores are made as cheaply as possible, from the poorest materials available. The average department store bicycle is ridden about 75 miles in its lifespan from showroom floor to landfill. The manufacturers know this, and build them accordingly. Department store bicycles are most commonly sold in a partially disassembled and un-adjusted condition.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Ira Ryan grew up in Iowa City, and whenever he comes to visit, he shares his skills at the Bike Library. He now lives in Portland where he is a framebuilder. This was his first year at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show in San Jose with this as his spotlight bike, or is it a cupcake?
This photo courtesy of Jonathan Maus, and he has many other fine photos at his quality site
Thursday, March 01, 2007
It's free, and riding your bike in winter is a feeling like no other. Winter's almost gone, so take advantage!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Jen, Cody, Steve and I (Brian) talked about working out operations of the BL for the coming year. We took the list of various job duties that Cody prepared and placed them under some areas of responsibility (click on list below). We then made an initial attempt to connect people to the areas of responsibility. Not that the person responsible has to do all of the things on the list, they're just responsible to make sure things get done. Keep in mind this is a draft. Volunteer recruitment, training, placement, etc. has yet to be fully figured out. We are hoping to put together a “curriculum” and do a dry run training in the next month or so. We are thinking that the most challenging volunteer piece is the mechanics – prep and repair. And since James wasn’t part of the conversation, we did not go too far with trying to figure that out. This is a work in progress and we are interested in your comments.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Please join us at 5:30pm on Friday (2/9) at Donnelly’s,
(This will be a casual gathering.)
On Friday, Cody will finish her one year commitment as a VISTA/AmeriCorps member working with the Bike Library. Drop by and join us in celebration of her accomplishments and in gratitude for her hard work and dedication.
Thursday, February 8 : Work Night 6 - 8
Saturday, February 10 : Checkout 10 -1
Sunday, February 11 : Rental Bench 2 - 4
Tuesday, February 13 : Work Night 6 - 8
Thursday, Feruary 15 : Ladies' Night 5:30 - 8
Saturday, February 17 : Checkout 10 - 1
Sunday, February 18 : Rental Bench 2 - 4
Tuesday, February 20 : Work Night 6 - 8
Thursday, February 22 : Work Night 6 - 8
Saturday, February 24 : Checkout 10 - 1
Sunday, February 25 : Rental Bench 2 - 4
Tuesday, February 27 : Work Night 6 - 8
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Traditionally, this ride ignores the weather. Sanctuary in town offers stops and comforts, thanks to veteran organizer, Bob Oppliger. Club members offer their homes and hospitality to a roving band of gypsies. For more information, call Bob Oppliger at 338-4011.
The Bike Library will supply the usual treats, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and baked yummies.
Friday, January 19, 2007
This is his newly acquired machine, courtesy of a valiant community effort.
A nod from the Iowa City Bike Library to the heroes of this D.C. station. And, a special thanks to Chesty.