Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

Author Archive

Zigs vs. Zags

Posted by Adam Bee on April 22, 2009

Have you ever noticed that right-to-left turns are much more difficult than left-to-rights?

That is, if you’re crossing some large ugly six-lane traffic sewer to get from one lovely back road to another, it seems much easier to me if you have to go LTR instead of RTL.

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Posted in Commentary, Facilities, Routes | 2 Comments »

Best Connections: In Praise of the Cul-de-Sac Killers Among Us

Posted by Adam Bee on April 20, 2009

A few days ago I wrote about my least favorite non-links, or “missed connections” in Michiana.  Now I would be remiss if I didn’t applaud the “best connections”, where some kind soul went out of her way to link neighborhoods rather than force traffic onto congested arterial “traffic sewers”.

Here are my top five:

1.  Wembley to Brighton:  Perfect example.  You can even see the old curb on Brighton.  Without this connection it would be impossible to get from Darden to Darden.  Now it only requires an ugly little right-to-left along Ironwood.

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Posted in Commentary, Facilities, Routes | 1 Comment »

Missed Connections: The Worst Non-Links in Michiana

Posted by Adam Bee on April 18, 2009

A few days ago I wrote about Virginia’s law outlawing cul-de-sacs, and how they’re one of the biggest challenges to route planning in Michiana and especially Granger.

Here are my top five most infuriating non-links in Michiana:

1. Park to Catalpa: This is the worst in my book.  Just a few more yards of pavement and Catalpa would connect all the way to Edison Lakes Pkway, Meijer, and Walmart.  As it is, I take a short zag on Main to cut through the parking lot of a nice orthodontist.

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Posted in Commentary, Facilities, Routes | 2 Comments »

An end to cul-de-sacs

Posted by Adam Bee on April 16, 2009

Virginia now has rules that new subdivisions must have through streets that link to other through streets:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/21/AR2009032102248.html

This is one of the biggest hurdles we face when trying to get around by bike in these times, especially in Granger.  Mishiwaka’s Grape Road big box district has the commercial version of the cul-de-sac problem, non-linking sidewalks.

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Posted in Commentary, News, Routes | Leave a Comment »

GOOD Magazine’s Livable Streets

Posted by Adam Bee on April 14, 2009

http://awesome.goodmagazine.com/transparency/web/0904/livable-streets.html

I can’t speak personally about other Michiana cities, but the South Bend planners are actually more forward-thinking than you might suppose from the current condition of the city’s infrastructure.  Check out the new roundabouts on Douglas, Lincolnway, and Portage, for example (although I’m worried about the awkward banishment of cyclists from those).

Maybe someday the streets of Michiana could look like this!

Posted in Commentary, Facilities | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Best Climbs in Michiana

Posted by Adam Bee on March 28, 2009

Where are they? Have are my fave five:
1. Bertrand west of St. Joseph River
Long, smooth, winding, easily accessible, with moderate traffic.  I hit this on at least 90% of my rides.
2. Garland in south South Bend, east of the south end of Twyckenham
A punchy, short, steep climb in a neighborhood filled with inclines. It lends itself unusually well to repeats since you can easily loop it rather than having to turn around at the top like most climbs. The massive houses are fun to look at, too.
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Posted in Routes | 5 Comments »

Contact Your State Representative TODAY

Posted by Adam Bee on March 27, 2009

SB 553 will come to a vote on Monday, March 30.  This bill has many new updates to better regulate and protect modern cyclists, including:

  • 3-foot passing requirement
  • Use of either right or left arm for signaling
  • Ability to proceed through an intersection, when clear, if unable to trigger the traffic signal sensor

BUT, one provision has been added which is problematic.  The bill would restrict cyclists to ride single-file on all state and federal highways.

Why is that a bad idea?  Because it actually worsens safety and convenience for cyclists and drivers.

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Posted in Advocacy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Maryland Considers 3-ft Passing Law

Posted by Adam Bee on March 26, 2009

A Baltimore columnist makes the case for why even obnoxious cyclists should be protected:

Delegates, imagine your best friend has a young adult son or daughter who is enjoying a glorious day pedaling through the scenic valleys outside Baltimore. That bicyclist is obeying the law, staying as far right as possible. But the driver coming up from behind at 50 mph is in a hurry, feeling stressed and in a bad mood.

Consider the worst – and how you’d explain a “No” vote to your friend.

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Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

“Heads collided with bullets flying the wrong way”

Posted by Adam Bee on March 24, 2009

Matthew Yglesias says it well:

Four people ranging in age from 19 to 21 were killed early yesterday in Culpeper County, Va., when their car collided with a vehicle that was going the wrong way, Virginia State Police said.

Nobody would ever write “four people ranging in age from 19 to 21 were killed early yesterday in Culpepper County, Va., when their heads collided with bullets that were flying in the wrong direction.”

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Posted in Commentary | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Notre Dame Race Weekend: March 21-22

Posted by Adam Bee on March 2, 2009

The Notre Dame Cycling Team is hosting its first-ever weekend of collegiate racing on March 21st and 22nd.  Scholar-athletes from across the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference will fly around the roads south of Buchanan on Saturday and Rum Village Park on Sunday for glory and points toward a conference championship.

Spectators are welcome at both events, but the criterium at Rum Village (March 22) is the more spectator friendly of the two, as the peloton flies by every two minutes or so.

We still need a few more volunteers; if you’re interested you can sign up here.  Email me at cbee (at) nd.edu if you have any questions or would like to sign up for a half- or quarter-shift.

Preliminary race flyers can be viewed here.  Mark the weekend for a thrilling spectacle of speed and power!

Posted in Events, News, Racing | 6 Comments »