Tag Archive for bikepacking

Morning Links: San Jose driver slams two bike riders, former musher’s epic bike journey, and new human bike record

Let’s start with this understated quote from a San Jose cop.

“Well, you can imagine, she hit two bicyclists. She’s obviously very shaken up and distraught,” said Tepoorten.

As well she should be.

Considering the woman killed one bike rider and left the other critically injured and clinging to life.

Although something tells me the families and loved ones of the victims are pretty damn distraught, too.

The victims were riding in a marked bike lane when the driver pulled out of a San Jose strip mall parking lot and slammed into them yesterday morning; somehow going fast enough to cause life-threatening injuries to two people, despite just leaving the lot.

“Any time you’re exiting a parking lot, you have yield to pedestrian, vehicle traffic, as well as bicycles. So, the bicyclists would have the right of way because they were already in the roadway traveling southbound on Vistapark,” said Gena Tepoorten of the San Jose Police Department. “She was exiting a parking lot, we know, when this happened.”

Particularly since parking lots are usually controlled with either a stop sign or stop light, suggesting she had to speed through one or the other to cause that much harm.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

Earlier this year, my former Iditrod sled dog-mushing brother Eric — former musher and particle physicist, that is, not former brother — wrote a guest post on here describing last year’s epic bike ride from the Pacific Northwest back to his home in western Colorado.

Now he’s off on his latest adventure, a three and a half month bikepacking journey that will take him up to Seattle, down the left coast to Tijuana, and back up to Colorado, hitting a number of national and state parks along the way.

Not to mention a brief layover at BikinginLA world headquarters in Hollywood.

I’m not active on Facebook these days, but you can follow along on his journey there if you want to vicariously take part in the adventure.

And who knows? Maybe we can all talk him into giving a talk once he gets to LA.

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There’s a new world record for the largest human-formed bicycle, beating the effort to promote the Amgen Tour of California at the Rose Bowl earlier this year.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging Cincinnati, Ohio man is being held on a charge of felonious assault for intentionally swerving in front of a bike rider and dooring him from his moving truck, leaving the victim with serious injuries.

F. Lehnerz forwards video of a road raging driver who brake checked a group of bike riders, then got out of his car to scream at them for the crime of not riding their bikes the way he thought they should. Unfortunately, no word on where this took place.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA has endorsed environmentalist and professor Loraine Lundquist in the special election for the San Fernando Valley’s 12th Council District.

Visions of Venice Blvd. Seventy-five people turned out to protest the road diet and bike lanes on the Broadway corridor in Long Beach, arguing that they make the street more dangerous. The bike lanes, not the people. Though they probably do, too.

 

State

San Diego drivers are confused by the new parking protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

No bias here. A San Diego weekly says the city’s mayor and a councilmember effectively told local civic groups to drop dead because they didn’t adopt the groups plans for preserving parking in the Mid City area; instead opting to remove 420 mostly unused curbside parking spaces to install protected bike lanes.

The Bay Area’s BART trains will now include straps to secure bicycles in the car’s bike section, allowing bike riders to ride more safely and comfortably, without having to stand and hold their bikes. Let’s hope LA Metro and Metrolink are paying attention.

Only a third of San Francisco’s fatal hit-and-runs result in charges, while a full 40% of the cases go unsolved, leading to heartbreak and frustration for those left behind. On the other hand, only 8% of LA’s hit-and-runs, fatal or otherwise, ever get solved. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole two adaptive bicycles from a Sacramental special needs boy who suffers from verbal, physical and intellectual disabilities.

 

National

Bicycling examines the futuristic Fuell Fluid-1 ped-assist ebike designed by engineer and motorcycle racer Erik Buell and Formula 1 designer Frédéric Vasseur. The magazine also lists what they consider the best bike buys on Amazon Prime Day. But check with your favorite local bike shop first before you click the buy button.

No one is using Aspen, Colorado’s new $20,000 bike lockers, even though they rent for just $40 a season and have been moved to other locations to draw more interest. For 40 bucks, I’ll take one if they’ll move it to Los Angeles. Or move me to Aspen. 

An older Boulder CO bike rider wants to know what happened to the formerly common bike courtesy of calling out “On your left!” when passing another rider or pedestrian. Good question, although I’ve found “Passing on your left” to be more effective. But whether you use your voice or a bell, some sort of audible warning should be given.

There’s also a special place in hell for whoever stole a 15-year old Idaho BMX champ’s bike, preventing him from competing this year.

Three bike riders were injured riding over rough railroad tracks on a tune-up ride for Iowa’s popular RAGBRAI, at least one after being directed across by a police officer, despite fire trucks apparently responding to earlier injuries.

A New York website says inadequate traffic enforcement is undermining Vision Zero, as killer drivers too often walk with little or no consequences for taking the life of another human being.

How to tell when an intersection is too dangerous. A bike rider in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood was injured when she was hit by a cab less than a block from where another woman was killed in a crash last month.

A Long Island doctor wants to know if anyone conducted an environmental impact report to determine how many people ride bikes before painting a new bike lane in front of the post office. Maybe someone could explain to the good doctor how bicycling could benefit his patients. Or he could just ask this Albuquerque physician. Then again, he could just be a PhD with no patients, or patience.

A group of Philadelphia seminarians will ride 150 miles in five days, crisscrossing the city to promote religious vocations.

Shreveport police are looking for a car that fled the scene after striking a kid on a bicycle, since it apparently didn’t have a driver. Thanks again to F. Lehnerz for the tip.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana residents are outraged over the murder of a 75-year old community leader who founded the city’s African American history museum; she’d been suffocated and stuffed in the trunk of a car. Sadie Roberts-Joseph was known for coordinating bike giveaways through the museum.

Naples FL is installing bike turn boxes to guide riders through a simple L-turn.

 

International

Not only have the new Vancouver, British Columbia bike lanes not led to the feared traffic Armageddon, after ten years they’ve proven to be even more successful than city leaders originally predicted.

There’s not a hole deep enough for someone heartless enough to flee the scene after killing a 10-year old Ontario, Canada girl as she rode her bike.

The UK considers whether to legalize e-scooters, though it would be kind of hard to shove the genie back into the bottle at this point.

A British neurosurgeon says skip the helmet, arguing that bike helmets are too flimsy and ineffective to do any good, and may encourage risky behavior. He also says people look at him like he’s mad when he rides in his cowboy hat and boots. Which is understandable, considering the relative lack of actual cowboys in the UK.

No bias here. A 60-year old Irish woman says she automatically rules out any man who includes a photo of himself wearing Lycra on a bicycle in his online dating profile.

Tragic news from Kolkata — formerly Calcutta — India, where a seven-year old boy was electrocuted when he went to pick up his bicycle after live wires fell on it overnight.

Inspired by the ciclovia of Bogota, Columbia, the mayor of Seoul, Korea is planning to build a network of uninterrupted bike trails in every direction through the densely populated city.

He gets it. A Vietnamese writer says humanity dies when drivers flee the scene, leaving their victims to die on the street without help.

 

Finally…

Bike sharing for people who don’t want to share their bikes. Apparently, a car’s ragtop roof matters more than whether it had a driver.

And it’s not a good idea to spank a mooning cycling fan if you want to stay in the race.

Guest Post: There and back again — a former Iditarod sled dog racer takes the long way home

It wasn’t that long ago that my oldest brother was chasing his childhood dreams through the frozen tundra.

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Eric Rogers dreamed of one day moving to Alaska and driving his own dog team through the wilderness.

Then made it come true, leaving behind a successful career as a particle physicist to compete four times in the famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

But that was before Eric discovered bicycling. And his dreams shifted from sled dogs to RAAM.

After moving down to the lower 48 a few years ago, he started bikepacking along local trails and backroads, before moving on to short bike touring trips.

This past fall, he set out on an epic solo bike tour from the Pacific Northwest back to his western Colorado home.

And took the scenic route.

Here’s his story, followed by photos from his tour.

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Why would anyone want to ride their bicycle 2,500 miles?  The answer is I didn’t.  

What I did do was get up in the morning, ride for 50 to 60 miles, stop to set up camp, have dinner and relax before going to bed.  The next morning I repeated the process.  Add some rest days, lather, rinse, and repeat until you get back home and then look at your odometer and by golly I guess maybe I did do it after all.  

So why this route?  I like the Oregon Coast, North Cascades, Glacier, and Yellowstone National Parks, have family in Portland and Idaho Falls and have always wanted to explore the Olympic Peninsula.  Connect the dots and there you have it.  

From Grand Junction you can take the train to Sacramento and change trains to Portland.  Large comfortable seats, friendly staff, no TSA, and for $20 / train you can get roll on / roll off service for your bike.  The staff are not cyclists and don’t know drive side from non-drive side so they ask you to take the bike to the baggage car where they put it in a rack, and pick it up there at the end of the ride (or to change trains) but it is a simple process.  Much easier than boxing your bike to fly or take the bus.  The fires in Northern California did complicate things some, but it all worked out.

So why do it by bicycle?  Besides the fact that I enjoy riding, on a bicycle you are an interesting, and non-threating, person.  People come up to say “hi” and ask what you are doing.  You can meet some of the best folks this way.  

Ready to ride, with kitty litter panniers

In the Olympic National Forest I put a 3 inch nail through the rear tire.  I didn’t think much about it at the time, but riding up Rainy Pass in North Cascades National Park several days later, the bike just didn’t feel right.  I could see ripples in the shoulder pavement and convinced myself that was what I was feeling.  I finally stopped to check the bike, and the rear tire was worn completely through an area the size of a quarter and riding on the Rhino Liner and the nearest bike shop was over 30 miles away.

Luckily Rainy Pass is where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses WA Hwy 20 and a gentleman was doing trail magic there.  Another gentleman going west who had stopped there took me 37 miles east to Winthrop to get a new tire and then 37 miles back to Rainy Pass so I didn’t miss riding through any of the scenery.  Those are the kind of folks I met on the whole trip.

Then how many time have you been driving and seen some incredible sight, but there is nowhere to stop and enjoy it?  On a bicycle you can move to the side, put your foot down and stay as long as you would like.

And there are the hiker / biker campsites.  Oregon State Parks are $8 / person, Washington State Parks are $10 / campsite, Glacier and Yellowstone are $5 (and an Old Fart Pass makes that $2.50!) with no turn away policies.  What a deal!

It was an incredible trip, but if I did it again I’d like to go 2 weeks earlier.  I was leaving Bozeman and intending to ride Hwy 191 through Big Sky to West Yellowstone when I checked the Weather Forecast just for grins – Big Sky (the night’s destination) was supposed to hit 6 degrees for a low. OOPS! Changed plans and took MT 84 to HWY 287. Good Choice. I fought headwinds to the point I really wanted relief. I found a three sided shelter with its back to the wind in the only campground enroute and spent the whole next day waiting out a snowstorm :-).  Luckily the second morning dawned clear and a little warmer and the trip continued.

Then riding home from Idaho Falls at about 7,000 feet elevation in late October got more than a little cold sometimes.  I was riding south 20 miles north of Vernal Utah looking for a place to camp on public land when I spotted a roadside rest area on a ridge in the National Forest overlooking private land in the valley below.  Pretty much exposed to traffic, but having an outhouse is a plus.  I set up camp and called my wife to check in.  Sunset comes early in late October and as the sun went down the temperature dropped dramatically.  The breeze picked up and I sat beside my tent shivering while trying to eat.  Dang!  Right beside me sat a windproof brick outhouse, still a little warm from the setting sun.  Culture be danged, into the outhouse, out of the wind, and ignore any odors!  Luckily it had recently been cleaned and wasn’t near as bad as it could have been – it was supposed to be an adventure, right?  The next morning it was still cold and windy and breakfast was in my unique shelter too.

Then there was Wyoming.  I was going to resupply in Sage WY, but Sage only exists on the map ☺.  There was a train siding there, but nothing else was left.  Not a problem, I always have a day’s food with me.  I wild camped in Fossil Butte National Monument and intended to resupply (now only lunch left) in Kemmerer, but it was 3 miles out of the way and downhill – not a problem I would go right through Carter WY – except Carter was another town that was not there.  The railroad doesn’t stop anymore and there are only 3 house and a couple abandoned buildings left.  OK I’ll resupply in Urie just after I cross I-80.  Urie had a restaurant, but no store.  Luckily Mountain View had a Family Dollar, but I was getting a little concerned.  I learned that in Wyoming, just because the town is on the map doesn’t mean it exists! ☺

There is much more to tell, but space is limited.  Great people, fabulous scenery, doing things I never thought I would do, and burning enough calories to eat anything I wanted.  Life just doesn’t get much better than that!

Eric O Rogers

Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast
Rain Forest
Rain Forest
Rain Forest
North Cascades
Coming into Winthrop WA
Eastern WA
Western Montana
Whitefish MT
Whitefish MT
Hiker Biker Site Glacier NP
Swan River Valley MT
Coming into Helena MT
Coming into Helena MT
Before snow – after Bozeman
Before snow – after Bozeman
Madison River – Yellowstone
Madison River – Yellowstone.
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Lewis River Yellowstone
Grand Teton NP
Grand Teton NP
Grand Teton NP
Western WY
Western WY
Western WY – the town that was not there
Western WY
Flaming Gorge
Local Politicians (Turkeys)
Almost Home
Classy Colorado Motel – the Best Western it is not
Classy Colorado Motel – the Best Western it is not
The Last Camp outside Rangely CO

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