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Archive for August, 2011

The PROBLEM

Nevada’s legislature passed two bicycle-friendly laws in the last session that become effective on October 1, 2011. The problem is that very few motorists know about them:

AB328 – increases penalties for a motorist who causes a pedestrian or bicyclist injury

SB248 – requires motorists to allow at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist from behind

These laws require motorist to change behavior so it’s important that they know about them (Duh!). However, no one has enough money to mount a big advertising campaign. So, how will motorists learn about their new responsibilities?

The OPPORTUNITY

The best way to reach the motoring public, and the cheapest, is through local news coverage. Let’s do something that will be fun and attract lots of press attention. Here’s the plan:

Let’s have a parade! Imagine 200 or more bicyclists, all riding together at a relaxed, fun pace, smiling, laughing and celebrating a Nevada that is more bicycle friendly than ever. What could be a more positive image for an occasionally hostile motoring public?

On Saturday October 1st at 9:30am, let’s get every person in Reno and Sparks with a bicycle to meet at the Reno City Hall Plaza at S. Virginia and First Street. At 10:30 we’ll ride from there to the Sparks City Hall. As the bicyclists assemble, the news media can interview the bicyclists and the politicians that support bicycling and get some good pictures of people enjoying their bicycles. The actual bicycle ride from Reno to Sparks will be mostly on 4th Street and Prater Way. The return route will be mostly on the Truckee River Bike Path. It’s about an 8 mile round trip.

Ideally, there will be about 100 bicyclist wearing their “3 Feet Please” jerseys or t-shirts. Wouldn’t that make a great group picture?

Don’t have yours yet? Order one today at http://www.3feetplease.com. If you put “GoNV” in the discount code box, $5.00 of the purchase price will go to the Nevada Bicycle Coalition to support efforts to promote safe bicycling in Nevada.

To add to the fun, the Nevada Bicycle Coalition is going to give away a “3 Feet Please” jersey to one person of the first 50 bicyclists to arrive at the Plaza. So come early to pick up a prize ticket!
Thanks to the Reno Bike Project for co-sponsoring this event.

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Be Seen!

Every once in a blue moon, a person gets some useful insight into how they are perceived in this world. Years ago in college, I was a volunteer for the Off Campus Student Association. Their Executive Director gave me this insight. He said, “Terry, I call on you at the end of a meeting because I can count on you to do a neat summary of the meeting. You are a “summarizer”.” He was right. To this day I like to boil a complex set of ideas down into a single, actionable statement. A good example of this is the online shoe retailer Zappos’ Family Core Value #1, “Deliver WOW through service” (Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, was on the Colbert Report last night).

So I’m naturally thinking about bicycle safety, as usual, and what keeps me safe when I’m sharing the road during my bicycle commute. Bicycle commuting is a complex process when you think about it. Every mile I make a dozen decisions that impact my safety. My commute includes Reno’s Plumb Lane and Mill Street where there are plenty of motorists and potholes.

So what is my “single, actionable statement”? It’s, “BE SEEN”.

Of the three or four overriding principals that guide my bicycling, “Be seen” is near the top of the list. Generally speaking, motorists won’t run you down if they see you in time. That guides my selection of bicycling clothes, gear, and how I operate my bicycle, especially at intersections.

But that’s not why I’m writing this today. I’m writing to tell you about a contest to win a very “BE SEEN” device for your bike.

Sign up and record your bicycle commutes at Washoe RTC Smart Trips (http://www.rtcwashoe.greenride.com/) and win some Monkey Lights.

Check out this video of Monkey Lights in action:

http://youtu.be/DLtbeU8FJW0

Good Luck! It might not be for you but it would be perfect for your 5 year old or for cruising on the playa.

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