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Reno is going through this same transformation. #nevadabike

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Keystone – Auto-centric design

The Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission and the City of Reno Traffic Engineer proposed a road diet for Keystone in Reno at the August 28th meeting. The Old Southwest Neighborhood Advisory Board (NAB) had been working on the project for 2 years. The NAB had two primary concerns: 1) excessive speed on Keystone made it especially dangerous and 2) a large number of residents in the NAB’s area are UNR students who bicycle to school.

A road diet would address both of those issues, reduce congestion and increase safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The RTC has solid experience with road diets having installed them on Wells, Arlington, Mayberry and California, among others. Each was aggressively opposed before the project was approved, not by residents on those streets, but by motorists who used those streets only as a throughway. In each case, RTC had done their homework and were confident a road diet would benefit all transportation modes. Once installed, motorist quickly adapted and complaints disappeared.

Five people who live from one to three blocks from Keystone (four from a single street) wrote letters of opposition Alas the e-mail campaign in support of the road diet arrived too late to be in the meeting package. The City Council postponed approval of the Keystone road diet until the next meeting, and a planned Complete Streets workshop, but the tone of the meeting was quite negative.

So far, many people have written to support the road diet but nearly all are bicyclists. Of the people who care about Complete Streets, bicyclists are the most passionate and can be counted on to respond to an email blast.

My question is, “Where are the people who complained about the speeding cars on Keystone?” They need to stand up and be counted.

I’m a bicyclist but I’ve traveled Keystone much more in my car. I know that I would feel safer when in my car on Keystone if it were striped as proposed. I enjoy driving at a more relaxed pace and the road diets installed in Reno have not affected my travel times, despite the more relaxed pace. I believe the RTC when they say a road diet on Keystone would benefit all transportation modes.

Somerset – Complete Streets design

Most telling perhaps is that Steve Bunnell, City of Reno Traffic Engineer, is in favor. Among many bicyclists, Steve is considered to be biased in favor of motorists. He may resist the label of “biased.” I believe he is, at least, very, very cautious about reducing road capacity for motorists in favor of space for bicyclist. The fact that he spoke in favor of this project tells me that this road diet will work.

Let’s hope the Reno City Council comes to realize that a road diet for Keystone is very much worth approving.

Terry

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ImageBy now we’re all aware of the negative effects of smoking on our health. Smoking can lead to emphysema, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many other health problems. Despite this, statistics show that 19.3% of adult Americans are smokers. Even more sobering statistics show that smoking is the lead cause of preventable death in the US, accounting for one in five of all annual deaths (Source: CDC.gov). When we’re so aware of the potential risks, why then, do so many of us still choose to smoke? The most common reason is nicotine addiction, and an inability to quit. Quitting smoking is incredibly difficult, and the majority of smokers will have tried and failed to quit several times. In order to effectively stop smoking it is not enough to simply want it. You must have a plan in place, and you must find an alternative to smoking to keep your cravings at bay. Though it may sound strange, exercise has proven to be one of the most effective ways to quit smoking. Outdoor cycling in Nevada is a fantastic way to exercise, providing you with outdoor scenery, the opportunity to meet fellow cyclers, and quality fresh air. Which is why cycling may just be the best exercise to help you quit.

Set Your Goals

recent study conducted in Taiwan found that people who exercise are 55% more likely to quit smoking and 43% less likely to relapse back into the habit. If you’ve been looking for a sign to quit, and a reason to get your old bike out, these statistics are surely it. Before you embark on your quitting journey however, you must set yourself some goals. If you have an achievable target to work towards you are much more likely to stick to a plan and not give up when the going gets tough. Of course the ultimate target is to stop smoking, but it would be unwise to go t-total straight away. Gradually weaning yourself off tobacco using nicotine patches is advisable, and you should consult your doctor about your action plan first.

Set ongoing goals such as: ‘In a month’s time I will be able to cycle twenty miles and will be down to one nicotine patch a day’. Tying your cycling goals into your goal to quit will provide added motivation to stick to both plans. As well as small ongoing goals you should work towards an ultimate target. Try to find a bike race happening this year somewhere close by and sign up for it. Then set your ultimate goal as either completing the race, or depending on your cycling proficiency, give yourself a target time.

Make a Cycle Plan

Having a concrete cycling schedule is a great tool in helping you to achieve your targets, draw one up and make several copies of it. Put one on your desk at work, on your fridge, in your bedroom; make sure that you are reminded of it every day. So how often should you cycle? Well, the Taiwan study concluded that in order to enjoy a higher chance of quitting, you must exercise at least thirty minutes per day. This is a great place to start. Daily cycling will provide you with a frequent distraction from your cravings, give you the chance to experience outdoor Nevada, and the fresh air will help to clear your mind. If you live close enough to your workplace, why not cycle to and from work? This will cut down the amount of time per day that you are ‘passive’, and if you usually smoke in your car, will get you out of that habit. As well as short daily cycles, you should also do at least two long-distance cycles per week. Aim to do one mid-week, and one slightly longer cycle on the weekend.

Cycling in Nevada

If you agree that it is important to be able to cycle in your home town Nevada, you may wish to join Nevada Bicycle Coalition’s advocacy to improve Nevada roads to make them safer for cyclists. To offer your support for the advocacy simply write an email or letter to the editor of the Reno Gazette Journal, and join cyclists all over Nevada who are lobbying for change. Read our advocacy for more information on how to do your bit. – Jennifer Knight

ImageTerry says – Long ago I smoked and I remember how much I liked it. Or, maybe, that was “couldn’t do without it”. Then it was no big deal. Doctors endorsed cigarette brands on TV. Now the evidence of how bad it is for your health is so strong that when I see someone smoking, I think “What’s wrong with that person?” If you are a cyclist AND a smoker, why?

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Contributed by Jennifer KnightImage

People start cycling for all sorts of different reason. Maybe it’s the need for a hobby, wanting to get out in the great outdoors, or as a social activity to enjoy with friends and family. While being an enjoyable activity in its own right, cycling is also a great way to get some exercise. In fact, regular cycling is tremendously beneficial to the human body, and helps to keep a person healthy in a number of different ways. Nevada has lots of great places to ride, and tour routes like Lake Mead, Sierra Shadow, and Comstock Country are just the tip of the iceberg.

A Healthy Heart and Healthy Mind

Your heart is the muscle that you need to take best care out throughout your life, so you will be pleased to know that cycling does nothing but good for it. Much research has been conducted into the health benefits of cycling, giving you plenty of reason to hop on that saddle and start peddling. Studies carried out by Purdue University revealed that regular cycling has the power to cut an individual’s risk of heart disease by a whopping 50%. The British Heart Foundation backs up this finding, with research found that by cycling 20 miles every week you are 50% less likely to suffer from heart disease than people getting no exercise.

You might think that cycling to improve mental health is a bit far-fetched, but enjoying a recreational activity while at the same time getting regular exercise goes a long way to reduce stress and depression. Cycling can even give your brain power a boost, according to a study carried out by Illinois University. Research subjects who improved their cardio-respiratory fitness by 5 percent scored up 15 percent better in subsequent metal tests. Professor Arthur Kramer, who led the study, explained the hidden benefits of cycling. “It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s.”

Strength and Stamina

Cycling is proven to build muscles strength and stamina, and does so without putting your muscles and joints under too much stress. Your leg muscles receive the biggest workout, and the low-impact repetitive nature of cycling is fantastic for the mobility and flexibility of your knee and hip joints. With regular cycling you can expect to see gradual improvements in leg muscle tone, including your thighs, hips, and backside.

The more you ride, thImagee longer you will be able to ride, as you stamina will improve with regular cycling. Even if you do not push yourself to cycle a little bit further every time, your stamina will improve without you even noticing it. Completing an hour cycle ride might leave you out of breath now, but by riding that same hour cycle ride every week for the next few months it will gradually become much easier to complete. The fact you are enjoying the cycle ride should mean that you want to ride further when you can, in turn building on that increased stamina again.

Tips for Post-Cycle Recovery

With such a hot and dry climate in Nevada, a long ride will probably leave you tired, sweaty, and aching. It is important to rest up and relax your muscle’s after a ride, but you also need to provide them with the protein they need for recovery and growth. Oily fish, white poultry meat like chicken and turkey, or egss are all a great source of protein. If you want to give you muscles a real boost post-cycle, adding an amino acid supplement to your diet can really help with building strength. It is also need to rehydrate your body, and replace all those lost electrolytes you have sweated out. Drinking an electrolyte replacement drink high in sodium, potassium and chloride will help to give back to your body what you lost while out cycling.

An Easy Way to Exercise

The beauty of cycling is that you can do it pretty much any time of year, along any road or trail you like, and it costs you nothing (apart from buying the bicycle in the first place!) You can insert riding into your daily life, whether you choose to ride to work, to the store, or an off-road trail on the weekend. It is very accessible form of exercise which doesn’t require you to join a team, or undergo lots of training to be able to do it. Once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget, so ride for life to stay healthy and happy.

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Street designWheelchairs in the bike lanes, Cyclists on the sidewalks, are all symptoms of a car-centric universe that is finally being recognized as the road to poor human health and erosion of community. Let’s take back our streets and return to human-centric design.

AB145 – the Complete Streets bill would be a big step in that direction. The bill would provide funding – through a $2 optional fee on vehicle registration – for Complete Streets projects throughout Nevada.

Complete Streets are streets that are designed, constructed and maintained to be safe and convenient for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities, and transit users as well as motorized vehicles. Example Complete Streets projects would be crosswalk striping, bike lanes, handicapped accessible transit stops – anything that makes streets safer and more accessible for all users.

This is a great opportunity to develop local funding for complete streets projects.

For bicyclists, this means additional dollars for bicycle facilities, e.g.: lanes, paths, etc. Better facilities encourage more bicyclists to ride. More bicyclists on the streets leads to increased motorist awareness, which leads to increased safety for all.

The best way to support this legislation is to complete this form – https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/77th2013/A/

Or, even better, attend the hearing at 3:15 on March 7th. I plan to be there.

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bicycle loop detector

Three bills important to Nevada bicyclists are before the legislature in this 2013 legislative session. If you’re a bicyclist, a quick note to your Assembly Member or Senator, voicing your support, will make a difference when they are deciding how to vote. The first to be heard is…

AB117 – Left Turn on Red

Isn’t it frustrating to be waiting for a green arrow so you can make a left turn and you discover that the detector loop hasn’t recognized you? What do you do? If you’re like me, you wait to see if it’s going to pick you up on the next cycle. Sometimes I wiggle around to try to make it see me. Then, if I don’t get a green, I “run” the red light, violating the traffic law and risking a citation.

It turns out that motorcyclists have this problem, too. It’s not the mass of the vehicle or the weight that triggers the signal, I’ve recently learned. It’s the metal surface area and orientation of that metal that triggers the detector.

AB117 addresses those legal issues. Here is the formal title on the bill:

Title: “AN ACT relating to rules of the road; allowing a person driving a motorcycle, moped or trimobile or riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle to proceed through an intersection against a red traffic signal in certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.”

Essentially what it says is that it will now be legal to ride through a red left turn signal that has failed to detect you if 1) you have sat through two cycles of the light and 2) you have yielded to all of the other traffic. Probably the most important aspect of the bill is that it clarifies who is responsible in a collision. Since the bicyclist or motorcyclist riding through the red left turn signal is always required to yield to other traffic, in a collision he or she is always at fault.

AB117 will be a law that makes legal what all safe cyclists do already. That is a good thing.

Please send a note of support to the Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees and your representatives:

Assemblyman Richard Carrillo, Chair – Richard.Carrillo@asm.state.nv.us

Senator Mark A. Manendo, Chair – Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us

Find out who represents you here – – http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/

All you need to say is something like this, “I’m a bicyclist in ____________, Nevada. I support AB117 and urge you to vote for its passage”.

Here’s another way, through the system, to express your opinion – https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/77th2013/A/

Here’s a link to the full AB117 – http://legiscan.com/NV/text/AB117/id/741841

And here’s a link fpr advice on triggering the light – http://youtu.be/Sj-mNB6dLkk

(Next up is AB145 – Complete Streets)

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Much of the work of the NBC is about talking to government. That’s the path to better bicycling facilities, better laws and better law enforcement. The more members we have, the louder our voice and the more respect we get from government.

So join the Nevada Bicycle Coalitiion and add your voice to the chorus.

Here’s the membership form:

NBC Membership Form

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