The 2014 car-free season is kicking off this weekend on April 20th with the first Atlanta Streets Alive of the year. Nearly three miles of roads will be closed to car traffic, and instead filled with free activities and local business. This isn’t your typical street festival — no carny food stands or games, only the businesses local to the route opening their doors and spilling into the street. “By opening up our streets to human-powered activity, this event makes it possible for people of all ages and fitness levels to experience the cultural and architectural delights of the West End with their kids, their dogs, their bicycles, or just their own two feet,” said Rebecca Serna, Executive Director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Some 15,000 people are expected to participate in one way or another, see more details about the route and activities at www.atlantastreetsalive.com
Even with the wider availability of SPD compatible casual shoes, some commuters and all around riders prefer to use mountain shoes for the generally higher performance fit and sole, and to cross over into their weekend or after hours rides with the same shoe. Most mountain shoes are based on XC racing platforms, with large lugs better suited to deep mud than walking on pavement. The Giro Terraduro combines a race-rigid sole and top end uppers with a Vibram outsole for low profile, off-the-bike performance. The $180 shoes aren’t going to pass walking around the office, these are definitely high end cycling specific kicks, but you’ll be able to walk into the grocery store without tap dancing across the floor. The rubber toe cover extends around the entire upper, providing protection from abrasion and wear. The Vibram sole and armoring does have a slight weight penalty of about 70 g for the pair as compared to similar race shoes, but the shoes remains far lighter than most of the more casual offerings out there. I can see this one appealing to the super commuters and cross over mountain riders out there, especially the available all black version. The men’s Terraduro and women’s Terradura version available direct at www.giro.com
Riding the streets of San Francisco never gets old, and watching videos of gifted riders rip it just makes me long for another visit.
Something About Cleveland in Urban Velo #40 helped shine a light on what’s up in the cycling world in the home of the Browns. Refresh your memory, and then check out this update from contributor Joe Bauer.
Following a slew of critical examinations of Cleveland cycling infrastructure—rather the lack thereof—the City of Cleveland is finally taking action with the approval of Bike Cleveland, the city’s premiere bike advocacy organization.
This past January, the City of Cleveland announced a plan that prioritizes the implementation of bicycle facilities by aligning priority bikeway routes with their Capital Improvement Plan. In total, the City of Cleveland plans to install 70 miles of bikeways over the next four years, adding much needed infrastructure to the city’s paltry 47.5 unconnected miles that currently exist.
Adding to the excitement of cycling in Cleveland is the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s recent announcement of their inaugural NEOCycle event taking place September 27 and 28. The event is billed as “an urban cycling festival consisting of competitive races and unique rides connected by live entertainment and an interactive, action-filled festival at Cleveland Metroparks Edgewater Park on the shores of Lake Erie.”
Races and rides include a criterium, a night ride, fundo, cyclocross, and laps at the velodrome. City partners believe this could become Cleveland’s signature event, like SXSW in Austin or Bonnaroo in Tennessee.
Back to the City’s cycling plans; the goal is ultimately to connect every neighborhood in the City of Cleveland with safe and accessible bikeways. The important missing piece, however, is what type of bikeways will be developed—painted lanes, cycle tracks or the much-maligned “sharrows” that advocates, backed by research, say does little to increase cycling traffic.
“As the number of people riding bikes, either by choice or necessity, continues to grow across Cleveland, it is important to balance the needs of all users,” says Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob VanSickle. “We look forward to working with the City on identifying the bikeway types that will create a truly world-class bikeway network in Cleveland.”