15 October 2009

Little Black Dress on a Little Black Bike

classy cyclist in Cambridge
This classy cyclist in Cambridge has me very impressed. It got quickly cold here and I went for comfort today. Not her, she's looking good today. Her black stockings looked especially nice with her coat and heels. Bravo!


kfg said...

Very nice; and you'd almost think she's a CCC reader, wouldn't you?

Velouria said...

That's a beautiful coat. I would like to cycle in my nice wool coats, but as soon as I start pedaling I get too hot! Maybe in another month.

Dottie said...

Very cycle chic!

What's the story with that bike path? Looks nice.

Charlotte said...

Dottie, It's the Vassar Street bike path, which looks a lot better than it actually rides. I saw a young student ruin her bike into the side of a van that just didn't look at the bike lane. A more sophisticated critique of the issues with this bike lane is available here:

Velouria said...

> A more sophisticated critique of
> the issues with this bike lane is
> available here:
> ...

Wow. I do not usually cycle in that neighborhood, but I was under the impression that MIT had an excellent systems of lanes in place. This is bizarre!

Charlotte said...

Filigree - I'm not sure I agree with everything he says, but I am sure he's thought a lot more about it than I have!

kfg said...

John Allen is an engineer (MIT grad) and one of the foremost thinkers about cycle traffic management in the world; and when I say "foremost" I mean "podium," and not merely in the peleton.

I disagree with him at times, but always at the level of "how many angels can dance on the head of the pin," not in any fundamental way. This can make it appear to those who are not used to scientific/engineering debate that we disagree when we are, actually, virtually in complete accord.

Note that there is a whole new generation of European cycle paths being built; and every one of these has been found to be necessary due to failures of the older ones that John (and that other John) predicted decades ago.

Where you disagree with him you might be well advised to study what he's saying very carefully and try to pick it apart. You will find it's not an easy task. He knows his stuff. You may even, over time, not only find yourself agreeing with him, but wondering how it was ever possible that you didn't.

MELI. said...

lovely!! in motion

Steve R said...

John Allen has some cogent critiques of particular locations where side-paths create driver-bike or pedestrian-bike conflicts. He's also been a vocal proponent of reducing dooring incidents.

I have two major problems with his general approach, though:

1. Research shows that more bikers on the road = improved safety in most circumstances. So far, educating bikers about riding with traffic have netted only marginal increases in bikers on the road, whereas bike accommodations, as flawed as they may be, have netted dramatic increases.

2. Though he may have predicted problems with side-paths in Europe, the fact is that even the flawed side-paths in Europe have created considerably safer bike environments than exist in the US. Bikers are so much safer in the Netherlands, for instance, that in spite of low helmet use, injury and fatality rates are a fraction of those in the US.

Ultimately, I think, his very vocal critiques of bike paths and side paths has set biking safety back considerably, by delaying accommodations & thereby delaying an increase in bikers on the roadway.

In New York, where miles of John-Allen-disapproved lanes have recently been added and the number of bikers has increased dramatically, accident rates have fallen dramatically.

I think he's been right about many, many things... but I think he's been wrong about one big thing that outweighs them all, and that's safety in numbers.

Velouria said...

Okay - I was in the neighborhood today and had some time to spare, so I made it a point to cycle up and down Vassar St.

I was on my Raleigh DL-1 with rod brakes : )

The street was empty at the time of day I was there, but the main problem I see with the path is that there are constant exit and entrance points that go right through it - loading zones, lots, drive-ways, etc. I imagine that one must keep to a fairly low speed in order to cycle on it safely during peak traffic times - which happen to coincide with peak bike commuter hours.

As an aside, I really enjoyed cycling through this area. It's amazing how much nicer it is to get to know a neighborhood on a bicycle than in a car or even walking.

Giffen said...

"In New York, where miles of John-Allen-disapproved lanes have recently been added and the number of bikers has increased dramatically, accident rates have fallen dramatically."

That MUST be repeated again and again.

With each added separated bike lane, accidents GO DOWN around that location, despite the fact that more cyclists (especially inexperienced ones) go through that area.

As articulate as John Allen is, he's wrong. Usually the flaws in his arguments are statistical. Most frequently, he ignores selection bias. For instance, accident rates are very high on Dutch bike paths, but it's not because the paths themselves are dangerous, but because cyclists riding on them feel safe, and choose to listen to to their ipods and talking on their cellphones at the same time. The accidents aren't usually serious.