Rule-Breaking Riding in Berkeley

For a college town like Berkeley, it can be pretty dangerous to bike, walk, and drive anywhere. A lot of rule-breaking seems to be at the root of this road anxiety.

Drivers have to look out for swarms of jaywalking students and swerving cyclists. Pedestrians need to stay alert for cyclists coming up from behind at very quick speeds. And because cyclists in Berkeley share both the road with cars and the sidewalks with pedestrians, they are in as much danger of hitting a pedestrian listening to their iPod as they are of getting hit by hurried drivers.
So far this year, 129 bicyclists have been injured in Berkeley. President David Campbell of the Bicycle Berkeley-Friendly Coalition suggests that reckless riding might be one reason for accidents. According to Campbell in a recent Oakland Tribune article, many cyclists don’t follow road rules because they have never learned them. Because unlike driving, where a test and a license are required, cyclists need only a bike to start roaming the streets.
As a result of complaints from the community, Berkeley police have been on the lookout for rule-breaking riders with citations ready. Last Thursday, within just two hours, officers handed out 19 citations, some costing cyclists more than $200.

Berkeley police are hopeful that this crackdown will encourage cyclists to pay attention to the rules. And to aid in their mission, the BBFC is offering free classes to teach rules of riding, the basics of which are, “Stop at stop signs, yield to pedestrians, stop at red lights, don’t ride on the sidewalk and don’t ride in crosswalks.”

Map My Ride – “Empowering Active Lifestyles”

Map My Ride combines technology with exercise. In this modern age, cyclists can record and share interesting bike paths in their local areas for other exercise enthusiasts with the ease of clicking a mouse.

Though still in the early stages of development, this site could potentially be of use to cyclists looking to get off the beaten path and head for a new challenge, whether it be for hobby or sport.

Walk to School Day – October 6th, 2010

The Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) movement is holding its second year of Walk to School Day this upcoming October 6th.

Walk to School Day is a global, annual event promoting “safe and active walking and bicycling.” And this year, SRTS’ San Francisco chapter increased its participants by 10 schools on top of last year’s 5.
According to the SRTS website, the primary goals of their program is to:
  • Increase bicycle, pedestrian, and traffic safety around schools;
  • Decrease traffic congestion around schools;
  • Reduce childhood obesity by increasing number of children walking and biking to school; and
  • Improve air quality, community safety and security, and community involvement around school

In addition to Walk to School Day, the SRTS is also partnered with San Francisco’s Bike to School Day which is to be held on April 7th, 2011.

Both of these programs were started recently in the bay area (SRTS in 2009 and Bike to School Day in 2008) and will hopefully get the attention of more schools in these upcoming years!
For more information regarding these events and programs, visit:

Learn How to Repair Your Own Bike

Pedal Revolution clinic

This nonprofit storefront provides employment and job training for at-risk youth and offers free in-store clinics – including a lecture and demonstration – geared to the experience and needs of the participants. Clinics cover basic topics such as flat repair, bike maintenance, bearing adjustment and wheel repair. 3085 21st St. (415) 641-1264, www.pedalrevolution.org.

REI maintenance basics

Learn how to lube a chain, fix a flat tire in record time, and make other minor adjustments to your bike. No experience necessary (links.sfgate.com/ZKDY). REI‘s Expert Advice section online ( www.rei.com/expertadvice) offers videos and articles on bicycle repair and maintenance for learning at your own pace. 840 Brannan St. (415) 934-1938.

Sports Basement classes

Sports Basement offers a variety of ongoing free classes at each store. (There are four in the Bay Area and two in San Francisco: 1590 Bryant St., (415) 575-3000; 610 Old Mason St., (415) 437-0100.) See a listing of free classes at links.sfgate.com/ZKDZ.

Bike Kitchen’s help center

The Bike Kitchen is a do-it-yourself bicycle resource run by volunteers. On the second and fourth Fridays each month from 6-9 p.m., the group offers classes for “women, trans/gender queer folks, femmes, or anybody else that has had gender be a barrier to learning mechanics.” No one is turned away. The Bike Kitchen also has basic and advanced classes for nominal fees. 650H Florida St., (415) 647-2453, www.bikekitchen.org.

Bicycletutor.com

My searches for complete online bicycle maintenance and repair resources came up short, but the videos at www.bicycletutor.com seem well-done and informative. The site has guides to basic and advance repair tools, detailed repair instructions, suggestions for picking out products and a Q&A; forum.

S.F. Bicycle Coalition

Join the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and put all of your newfound bicycle repair and maintenance skills to work with discounts on parts and accessories at shops all over the city. Your membership also supports the work that is making streets safer and more inviting for cyclists. Go to www.sfbike.org for participating stores and specific discounts.

Bike About Town is presented by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an 11,000-member nonprofit dedicated to creating safer streets and more livable communities by promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation. For more biking resources, go to www.sfbike.org.

Smooth Riding in the Howard Street Bike Lane

Although we counted on the old, decrepit, pot-hole riddled, cracked, debris laden Howard Street to feel like we were getting some use out of the “mountain” part of our mountain bikes–real off-roading like, the newly paved, smooth as a baby’s bottom, Howard Street bike lane is like butta’. Now instead of fretting about falling into a point of no return hole in the street, all you have to worry about is the random peds darting into the bike lane, and of course, car doors being flung wide for no apparent reason. 1 less hazard to contend with and this makes us pleased as punch. Thanks SFBC…and you too CCSF.

SFBC MISSION SUNDAY STREETS!!

Stroll and Roll Mission Sunday Streets

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Come out and play with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and tens of thousands of people for Sunday Streets, this Sunday, July 11 from 10am-3pm when Sunday Streets does an encore in the Mission. Four miles of Mission District streets will be transformed into a people-powered party from Dolores Park to Garfield Park along Valencia, Harrison and 24th streets. Enjoy the open streets with dancing, yoga, rollerskating, and of course biking. The SF Bicycle Coalition and Presidio YMCA have organized biking activities on Harrison Street, like urban cycling classes and Freedom From Training Wheels. Bike maintenance booths and bike rentals can be found on Harrison Street at 17th and 25th streets (in Garfield Park). We hope to see you there enjoying the fun, make sure to stop by our orange tent and say hello.