I’m in this months Urban Velo – made sure to add the Candy Cranks website at the bottom!
November 23rd, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
October 5th, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · 1 Comment
Final Friday was a huge success, it happened September 30th and they switched things up a little this time. Started out at the usual place, did some competitions.
This was the first year there were girl sprints, and four girls competed – and I won.
They also did guys sprints, a foot down competition which is when you ride in a circle that gets smaller and smaller and try to knock people off of their bikes – last person on their bikes wins, and a skid competition.
We then went to our friends warehouse which has a bmx park in it and had a little fun. It was a great night with lots of free stuff and I can’t wait until next year!
My camera recently broke so these pictures are thanks to my friends Chris Escobar and the Final Friday crew.
September 28th, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
This coming Friday, September 30th is the annual Final Friday Fixed Gear Jam!
September 23rd, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · 2 Comments
I just started my new school year here in Springfield Missouri and things have been extremely eventful. Met a ton of new friends, got my new roommate to start biking, and things have just been great. So finally I can start posting things again!
Before I left Chicago I was riding around with my mom a lot. She basically lived on her bike when she was younger (she always brags about the Bianchi she had) – and now over 30 years later she got herself a brand new bike.
I also started up a girls bike ride again – I didn’t think I was going to this school since last year it wasn’t too successful. Yet when I got back I had a few people asking me about it and it’s been going great so far! Every Tuesday night at 6:15 we meet at the Patton Alley Pub in Downtown Springfield
My friends also had a couchsurfer come through who was biking from Pensacola, Florida to the West Coast and he rode a cool mountain bike with an “extend a bike” contraption on the back of it
And here are just some random pics from some of the bike events that have been going on!
June 25th, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
I’m home in Chicago for the summer and went to Critical Mass tonight. It was a lot of fun, and its always great to go on a slow ride with some friends, and look at all the wonderful bikers in Chicago. I think what I love most about Critical Mass is checking out everyones bikes. Seeing the different set ups, styles, colors, components – I always get kind of inspired to do more to my bike.
It was a lot of fun – until I got a flat, then my friend Jeff fixed it – then I got another one about 2 blocks down. Oh well!
April 27th, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
I head back to Chicago in 19 days for the summer where I will probably be biking everyday. I keep up with the forums and everything and I posted a few weeks ago about some of the problems that it seems Chicago is having.
One of the issues I mentioned was that bikers were calling for the Illinois Department of Transportation to record and count dooring accidents as car/bike accidents. And even though Chicago reported the accidents to the state, they were not counting them because the car wasn’t in motion.
I was pretty excited this morning to see this article: Illinois to start tracking bicycle ‘dooring’ collisions
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn read a previous article which I mentioned in my last post about the dooring accidents not being counted and he immediately tried to change it. They’re announcing the change Monday and it will take effect immediately.
“Anyone who rides a bike can tell you that dooring is a serious issue,” Quinn said. “One of the best ways we can increase public safety is by making sure we’ve got the best and most comprehensive data possible. That’s why we’ve made this change.”
It’s nice to see that a government official heard about a problem and handled it directly and efficiently. Some of the comments from IDOT was that it would create more paperwork, and create a police burden, etc. and I’m glad that they were overruled.
Definitely a win for bikers!
April 23rd, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
April 20th was the 10th Annual Pub Cruise on Bikes and it was a black tie affair which I was super excited about. We started out at Harlows, biked to the local university campus for a group picture, then to two other Pubs before heading back to Harlows. This was my first time on this ride and I was stoked about it. Everyone looked quite dapper (in their own way at least), and the night started out chilly but after some bike riding everyone was fine.
At one of the stops we counted 65 bikes!
I think one of my favorite things about biking – especially in Springfield, Missouri – is how many friends you meet and how much fun you have just because we all have a common interest that we love.
Thanks to my friend Jasmin for letting me use some of her pics!!!
April 18th, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
Tuesday April 19 will be
at the Patton Alley Pub
This month is a double feature, we will be showing
Joe Kid on a Stingray – The History of BMX
and then the other movie is a surprise!
Starts at 7 pm.
I am super excited about this ride! I wasn’t able to go on it last year, so this is my first time going! I’ve never ridden a bike wearing a dress but there’s a first time for everything!
April 3rd, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · No Comments
I’ve only gone a couple times with my friends to this indoor skatepark here in Springfield, Missouri but it is fun. We go after hours so its only us and ride around and this time I even tried to go up a couple ramps and I can’t wait to go again!
I love it because it’s just us hanging out doing whatever we want – and hey there’s even a foam pit!!
March 24th, 2011 · Samantha - Springfield, MO · 4 Comments
I feel like I’m the “unofficial” writer for Chicago since it’s my hometown and I spend 4 months of the year there (the other 6 I’m here going to school in Missouri).
I frequent the Chicago cycling forums to see if anyones posted links to articles about biking in the city, or anything else interesting and it seems biking is getting a lot more attention these days!
One of the first big articles was this one, New bike study measures where rubber meets road, where on a part of one of the busiest streets for biking they counted 3,121 cyclists in one day. This street is one of the few diagonal streets in Chicago and goes from NW side of Chicago, through some of the more “hip” neighborhoods, and SE right into downtown. So for commuting its one of the fastest and most convenient ways to go. I used to ride it downtown every friday for a few months and I was always amazed at how many bikers were riding with me! I’m excited they actually counted because now we have some attention and hopefully more bike lanes will be built and some steps to safer cycling in Chicago.
Now for the problems…
Bikers call for state to count “dooring” accidents – Currently Chicago does keep track of the number of dooring accidents and reports them to the state, but unfortunately the Illinois Department of Transportation does not count dooring accidents as car/bike accidents since the car is not in motion. Now this isn’t even the worse thing – at the bottom of the article you’re allowed to comment – and wow I couldn’t believe what some people are saying! Such as:
I lump these biking folk into the same catagory as I put smokers crying that they can’t pollute our collective lungs. If they are stupid enough to ride a bike in traffic, are they really worth saving from themselves? You know the risks yet continue this destructive behavior? In the end you get what you deserve then.
And there are worse comments than that. When I’m in Chicago I ride a lot – to work, to hang out with friends, to see family, to go grab some groceries. You have about 3 feet in a bike lane, between moving cars and parked cars. So now I’m making sure no car is in the bike lane, and watching the intersection in front of me, and looking at parked cars.
Sometimes people are parked for awhile before they get out of the car, I’ve almost gotten doored PLENTY of times. Once even by a semi truck who’s passenger was getting out in the middle of traffic! Luckily the door was high up and I could duck/swerve right in time. Plus I’ve almost ran into random people walking out to their car while talking on cell phones and they walk right into the bike lane.
I really don’t think a solution is going to come anytime soon. And I’ll admit, I see a lot of dumb cyclists in Chicago. Mostly people running yellow/red lights, not looking both ways at intersections, but I also see a lot of dumb drivers on their cell phones and don’t signal when they turn.
And last but not least: “Why drivers hate cyclists” – this was a response to the comments on the dooring article. To summarize the article the the author wrote:
As a driver, cyclists scare me, they make me tense and wary, because I know how easy it would be for me to hurt them. I think there are a huge number of Americans whose reaction to being afraid, especially in their cars, is rage. They can’t acknowledge that they’re afraid, so they channel it into anger.
So to conclude – bikers need to be more careful, cars need to be more careful, and hopefully one day more respect will be there for each other.