A mélange of design, photography, music and life from Madison, Wisconsin

10–9! What?

Posted: October 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles | Tags: | Comments Off on 10–9! What?

photo by Peter DiAntoni at Flickr

“10-9” is radio code and means “Say again” or “What?”

Messenger Appreciation Day 10/9

Let’s congratulate all bike couriers on the benefits they bring to our cities:

  1. a solution to the problems of pollution, congestion and gridlock faced by large urban centres
  2. reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the downtown core
  3. take up less space on the road and do less damage to the roads than cars resulting in better conditions and streets for all road users
  4. increase the safety of pedestrians compared to cars. (studies show that pedestrians are “250 times as likely to be injured by a car, bus or taxi” than a bike.)
  5. aid charities
  6. draw tourists and international attention to cities through events and races
  7. provide a value added service that continuously improving firms seek out as a means to reduce costs and improve efficiency (crucial to the movement of important information)
  8. are ambassadors of goodwill for the city
  9. provide a link between many of urban homeless people and the rest of the downtown core
  10. year round cyclists who promote the bicycle as a viable form of transportation and economic development

Crash and Burn!

Posted: September 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles | Comments Off on Crash and Burn!

Art by Max Papeschi

Bike lawyer, former Madisonian and roadracing superstar Bob Mionski has an excellent piece on the Toronto cyclist vs. motorist saga.

When Worlds Collide chronicles the events that left one cyclist dead and one politician struggling for his career.

The night of August 31, Darcy Allan Sheppard was on his bike on Bloor Street, riding home from his fiancee’s apartment. It was 9:45 p.m. As he approached a traffic light, he passed to the left of a Saab convertible that we now know was Michael Bryant’s. After passing Bryant, who was stopped at the light, Sheppard cut in front of his car and also came to a stop. Shortly thereafter, as the light turned green, Bryant drove forward, perhaps bumping Sheppard’s wheel. Sheppard turned his head back, in Bryant’s direction. Witnesses reported that when the light turned green, there was a toot of the horn from Bryant, and a shout to “get moving,” followed—perhaps—by a return shout from Sheppard. Then, incredibly, Bryant hit the gas, pushing Sheppard forward into the intersection, knocking him off his bike. As Sheppard struggled to get to his feet, Bryant backed up, stopped, turned his wheel and began to drive past Sheppard as he sped away.

Sheppard gave chase, grabbing onto Bryant’s car as it sped by. Witnesses reported hearing shouting, and noted that Bryant was “very, very angry.” They also reported that as Bryant sped down the street with Sheppard clinging to his car, he was driving on the wrong side of the street, at about 60 miles per hour, driving up onto the sidewalk, driving against the trees and posts and newspaper boxes lining the street in what they reported appeared to be an attempt to brush Sheppard off his car. Down the street 100 yards, Sheppard was slammed into a mail collection box, and crumpled into a heap in the street as Bryant’s rear wheels ran over him. Witnesses reported that Sheppard, who lay in the street bleeding heavily from his nose and mouth, attempted to get up, but was advised to remain still until an ambulance arrived. Bryant continued driving down the street to the end of the block, before turning in to the driveway of a luxury hotel, where he finally stopped his car.

This is not spin. It is not supposition. It is not rumor. It is fact. We know this, because remarkably, the incident was captured on security cameras, which corroborated the eyewitness accounts . Anonymous spin doctors can suggest news leads and story angles to divert media and public attention, and anonymous internet comments can invent fantasy versions of what actually happened, but the camera doesn’t lie.

And the camera shows that on the night of August 31, Michael Bryant used his car to ram Darcy Sheppard out of his way, before fleeing the scene as Sheppard gave chase on foot. Moments later, Darcy Allan Sheppard lay dying on a Toronto street as Michael Bryant sped away.

The Toronto Star has additional details. HonestEdits has been instrumental in sharing video footage.

Push comes to shove, and the cyclist is dead!


Posted: September 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Madison, Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on Gridlock’d

DO IT! Get out of the cage!

From the World Car Free Network:

World Carfree Day is an annual celebration of cities and public life, free from the noise, stress and pollution of cars. Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets and neighbourhoods to celebrate World Carfree Day and to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated societies.

World Carfree Day, promoted and supported by the World Carfree Network, is intended to advance the economic, social and environmental benefits of self-propelled or mass transportation. It is meant to promote more sustainable ways of transportation and new ways of building and thinking the urbanism of our cities, allowing streets to be a living space, rather than only a transit space.

With the global economy in freefall, carmakers are facing turbulent times and people around the world are re-evaluating their relationship with the car. So now is the perfect timing to try out the alternatives, spread the carfree word, join or start a World Carfree Day in your area! It is also time to push for a new use of car factories that could be used to build public transportation, providing employment and allowing us to build a better urban environment.

Before the 10th anniversary of World Carfree Day next year, let the 2009 edition be a showcase for how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars 365 days a year!

From Carbusters:

“Cars are the largest source of pollution and environmental destruction in the world. Almost half of all petroleum is consumed by cars – a major impetus for the looming war in Iraq. Half of the toxic air pollution, a third of the smog and at least a third of all greenhouse gasses are [also] produced by cars.”

Continuing my aggregation, Mark at Planet Bike posted this on their blog:

The Top 10 Facts on Bicycling and Walking in the United States

1) Bicycling and walking make up 10% of all trips made in the U.S., but receive less than 2% of federal transportation funding.

2) Bicyclists and pedestrians account for 13% of traffic fatalities, but receive less than 1% of federal safety funding.

3) 40% of all trips in America are two miles or less, 74% of which are traveled by car.

4) Americans spend, on average, 18% of their annual income for transportation. The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is 3.75% ($308) of an average car ($8,220).

5) A small reduction in driving causes a large drop in traffic. In 2008, the number of vehicle miles traveled dropped 3%, translating to a nearly 30% reduction in peak hour congestion.

6) Transportation sources account for 70% of our nation’s oil consumption and for 30% of total U.S. GHC emissions.

7) Simply increasing bicycling and walking from 10% of trips to 13% could lead to fuel savings of around 3.8 billion gallons a year. This is equivalent to having 19 million more hybrid cars on the road.

8 ) 89% of Americans believe that transportation investments should support the goals of reducing energy use.

9) 71% of Americans report that they would like to bicycle more. 53% favor increasing federal spending on bicycle lanes and paths.

10) For the price of one mile of four-lane urban highway, around $50 million, hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure can be built, an investment that could complete an entire network of active transportation facilities for a mid-sized city.

See the original document here

Those points mean anything to you? Time to reboot people! You don’t have to drive to work/grocery/school.

Fugetaboutit! I’m done.

F’n Brutal!!!

Posted: September 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Madison | Comments Off on F’n Brutal!!!

>>Fastforward>> to 0:40 if you dare.

MADISON, Wis. — Video taken from inside a city bus shows a Wisconsin state lawmaker running a red light and smashing into a bicyclist. Rep. Fred Clark, a Democrat, was ticketed by Madison police for running a red light on Aug. 18. The video was released this week by Madison Metro. It shows the cyclist entering the intersection near the state Capitol after the light turns green. A couple seconds later, Clark enters the intersection in an SUV and slams into the biker. Clark didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday. The biker received non-life threatening injuries. A Madison police report says Clark told an officer “I was just not paying attention.”

Bicyclist, 56-year-old Richard Rideout of Madison, suffered back and lung injuries in the accident. UNBELIEVABLE!

+ / – Cyclovia

Posted: September 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Madison, Skateboarding | Tags: | Comments Off on + / – Cyclovia

(or the H8R guide to Ride The Drive)

Cyclovia is a Latin American term for closing down the streets from cars and letting the human powered transports flow. Madison hosted it’s first this past Sunday, August 30 and I was pretty psyched about the possibilities.

We approached the Ride the Drive event from the East. Traveling by bicycle and long-board, East Washington Avenue looked gorgeous with eight lanes of pavement closed to cars and teaming with activities. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day with blue skies and 60º temps.

My take:

  • Having a cop say “Thanks for being here” as I rolled through the heavily trafficked John Nolen/Wilson/Willy St intersection
  • Bagpipes
  • Irish rave dancers
  • Drum solo rumbling through the tunnel
  • Ripping through the corner of Pinckney and East Mifflin around the square with no regard for cars, cops or traffic lights
  • All the fun art activities included


  • Bagpipes
  • Irish rave dancers
  • Styrofoam cups
  • Most popular stop: Weinermobile for free veindogs
  • Trash is still on the curb three days later
  • Constricted car traffic that was created elsewhere by the street closures
  • No other SK8RS… weak!
  • Getting yelled at by a cop five minutes after the event ended riding my board on State Street

In all, I think it was a good event and I’d love to see the city dedicate one Sunday a month all summer long. Numbers seemed kinda slim and I think the success of RTD1 would build this into a great Madison tradition.

More pix @ Flickr. Shot the day with my Canon GeeNine and cheap fisheye lens. Love the results, kinda goofy, but wtf.

My Son–Roadie

Posted: June 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Photography | Comments Off on My Son–Roadie

Shot my first road race Sunday. The boy was competing in the final race of Tour of America’s Dairyland in lovely downtown Waukesha. The Carl Zach Cycling Classic was a .9 mile loop around Main St. Road culture is such a trip. So serious and lush and white.

Shooting Jesse was exciting. Lighting was super tough at noon with the sun blazing directly overhead. Thought about bringing the flash and wish I would have, oh well. Shutter speeds were four times what I shoot at mountain bike and cyclocross events. Jesse thought they were averaging 25 mph despite strong headwinds on the backstretch and less than experienced critirium riders.

More shots here.

Jesse did great! His first season racing, his first tour and fourth place overall.

Let’s not forget a brief mountain bike racing stint back in the 80’s

Nice outfit Jesse!


Posted: June 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Bicycles, Madison | Comments Off on Segregation?

Interesting article on the Atlantic’s site about Bike Only Roads

The solution isn’t more bike lanes, many of which are so poorly designed that they make biking even more dangerous. The solution is a segregated set of roads and paths for bikes only.

Totally agree on this! Author Max Fisher links to this well developed site Bicycle Blunders. Page 5 has a thorough discourse on Planning and Engineering Blunders.

Separate bicycle facilities treat cyclists as though they are rolling pedestrians, rather than drivers.  This treatment makes them feel they are separate from traffic and encourages them not to follow the rules of the road.  Violating the rules of the road often leads to crashes.  As it is, too many cyclists on the road fail to follow basic traffic law, such as stopping for red traffic lights.

This really strikes a chord:

Generally the most dangerous bicycle facility is a sidepath (a path beside the roadway).  Such a path is essentially an asphalt sidewalk and it presents the user with the dangers of riding on sidewalks:  a potential crash scene at every road crossing and at every driveway.

I wish I knew the answer to this… The Campus Drive Bike Path is currently being rerouted and it sux hard! Tonight is a Critical Mass Ride and the massers will surely clog arteries in the downtown and eastside neighborhoods. I never quite understood this. Why build motorist hostility on the craziest day of the week on the clogged Isthmus when the real dangers are in Monona, Middleton and west suburbs?


I don’t know how many folks show up now-a-days. I used to do every ride religiously and numbers were so feeble, it never felt like a “mass” at all. Critical? Yes. Thirteen people on bikes spanning three lanes on Johnson Street in a February snowstorm is just plain stupid!

I say mass-up and ride to Rhythm and Booms Saturday. Show those motorists how easy and convenient cycling can be.

Speaking of Masses, the Airstreamers are in town

Not that I’d ever want to own one, but those stainless trailers have always fascinated me.
This Goings really speaks to me this am.


Posted: June 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Music | Comments Off on TRTS++

Hilarious video: Tortoise reviews from Phequency

TRTS official video here. Audio only here.

Speaking of Chicago, some things are just plain WRONG! World Naked Bike Ride

Oh Tom!

burn that seat!

This just in!

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Bicycles, dogs, Madison, Music, newlow, Site of the Week, Sites, Sports | Comments Off on This just in!

Crazy day! Drunk golf carting on highway, Gimmie my hotdog!, Power outages, fire alarms, life threatening heat, puppy stabbings! Crazy day I tell ya!

and then this:

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
If you’re going to keep looking over your shoulder, make sure you’re also looking ahead.

Thanks Eric!

This dude is focused down the road

Speaking of focusing on the road, I love this Ride Journal out of England. Great articles and photography. You can download the first issue in pdf format for free. How’s this for a lead?

My bike is a vehicle. It transports me both mentally and physically. It acts as a social lubricant, a reason to go places and meet people. It is the totem of my tribe, the common denominator in the web of relationships and friendships of which I am a part.


An excellent critique on CriticalMass and the 2009 solution:

There is a more effective way to move steadily towards a culture that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s something I call, somewhat revolutionarily, ‘riding your bike’. A normal bike. Wearing normal clothes. Just like the way that hundreds of thousands of people in Europe – from Ferrara, Italy in the south to Trondheim, Norway in the north – do. Will it work? Indeed it will.

This is a “Joe Everyman” bike journal. Everything from tech to race to relationship advice to ‘how to commute’ articles. Great art and photography too.

See Flickr’s Velocouture Pool for Joe Everyperson in action.

BTW, Phoenix’ Lisztomania-classixx is the song of the Summer of 09

Work to Bike Week

Posted: June 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Madison, Music, Sites, Skateboarding | Comments Off on Work to Bike Week

Here Bike to Work comes as default. I’m glad the promotion exists, but I wonder if the “Commuter Challenge” really motivates folks to get out of their cars and start cranking? With Madison’s current asphalt warzone, it really is work to bike this summer.

We like to joke about cycling as ideology, but some days it is not far from reality. What system of beliefs guides this type of behaviour?

Wednesday, June 10th
7 – 9am, Planet Bike‘s Third Annual Bacon on the Path

Join us for soon-to-be-famous Planet Bike bacon, coffee, bakery & bike repair. Capital City Trail at Broom St
(I heard they had 20 pounds of bacon and U-lock ring-toss on the agenda)

In other bike fun:

Why didn’t I think of that?

Video for “I’m Over It”, by Dinosaur Jr. Never knew Jay Mascius was a skater, but the video is great. I saw Watt looking cool in there!

And because we can’t avoid cars at this point, I gotta aim you to this extraordinary project by artist Maider López
Intentional Car Cluster

Now step away from the computer and GO FOR A RIDE!