Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reflective bicycle helmet cover for winter riding

Cynthia M. Parkhill in bright-green bicycle helmet cover, reflective vest, white-clear plastic rain jacket over black jacket and blue vest.
A Jandd waterproof bicycle helmet cover, an early Christmas gift from Jonathan, had me set for an afternoon ride during a winter rainstorm.

With its yellow-green color and reflective strips in both the front and back, the helmet cover really boosts my visibility.

And with plastic rain jacket, pants, reflective vest and waterproof boots, my riding gear is every bit as comprehensive as cold, wet weather dictates.

Non-cyclists routinely volunteer to me that it’s too cold or too wet to ride, but perhaps what they really mean is that it’s too cold or too wet for them.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

‘Crunch’ by Leslie Connor

I subscribe to various email lists related to library services to children, and in response to requests for recommendations on two very different topics, one book immediately came to mind.

I posted a review of Crunch by Leslie Connor (Katherine Tegan Books, 2010) in December 2013.

More recently, I recommended the book across one of the listservs I subscribe to. My recommendation was in response to a request for books with an environmental theme.

Set in present-day, Crunch depicts what happens when gasoline supplies abruptly disappear.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rogue Valley Transit levy defeated in mid-term election

Rogue Valley Transportation District bus
Image source: Rogue Valley Transportation District on Facebook
At city and county levels, mid-term elections yielded a number of victories for public transit, according to Eric Jaffe writing for CityLab. Unfortunately, transit in Jackson County, Oregon did not share in transit ballot measures’ “general success.”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ashland to Medford: Round trip by bicycle

For the first time yesterday, I completed a round trip by bicycle, Ashland to Medford and back. Jonathan and I traveled between communities via the Bear Creek Greenway and utilized Barnett, McAndrews and Biddle to reach destinations in Medford. The Drive Less. Save More trip-logger calculated our mileage at 39.45 round-trip. Our next milestone will be to complete a Half-Century ride.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bike-share has ‘equity problem’

Bike-share bikes lined up at a bicycle rack
Image by Michal on Flickr
Licensed for use under Creative Commons
According to Eric Jaffe writing for, until bike-share resolves income disparities that keep it out of lower-income riders’ reach, “its development from niche amenity into legitimate form of public transit can’t be complete.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

‘Drive Less Challenge’ promotes transportation options

From Drive Less Connect comes encouraging news: during the 14-day Oregon Drive Less Challenge, Oregon travelers logged 1,082,491 miles of walking, bicycling, travel by public transit and other modes of travel.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Proud to be shaping ‘Future of Transportation’

“American cities have started a gigantic pivot away from complete car-reliance toward multi-modal transportation systems that balance the needs of drivers alongside those of bus and train riders, pedestrians, cyclists, and taxi users.” That’s the “clearest lesson to emerge” from an 85-story series, “Future of Transportation,” that concluded Oct. 10 on This walker, bike-commuter and rider of public transit is proud to be part of that shift.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Won a T-shirt in Oregon Drive Less Challenge

Cynthia M. Parkhill with her bicycle on a pedestrian walkway over a road.

My husband Jonathan Donihue and I took our bikes with us on Rogue Valley Transportation District's Route 10 to the Front Street Station in Medford, where I picked up an Oregon Drive Less Challenge 2014‬ T-shirt. I earned the shirt by being one of the first 100 people to log trips for the challenge. Here I am on the pedestrian walkway over E. Barnett Road in Medford, during a return bike trip that took us as far as Talent, where we boarded the bus for the rest of the way home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Take the Oregon Drive Less Challenge

Rogue Valley Transportation District bus
Image source: Rogue Valley Transportation District on Facebook
With free bus fares all day today via Rogue Valley Transportation District, it's a great day to sign up and log trips toward the Oregon Drive Less Challenge. Or hop on your bicycle or consider walking if you're taking a shorter trip.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sub-prime auto loans leave borrowers stranded

For CityLab, Sarah Goodyear documents a horrific consequence of society’s car-dependency. Sub-prime auto loans encourage borrowers to take out loans on cars that they’re unable to pay for. When they default on payments, lenders disable the cars remotely, leaving the borrowers without access to work, health care or basic goods and services.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Feminist Library On Wheels, books on custom tricycle

A woman cuts a ribbon that is stretched across a bookshelf on the back of a tricycle.
A ribbon cutting for the Feminist Library on Wheels.
Image credit: Feminist Library on Wheels on Facebook
The Feminist Library on Wheels, consisting of donated books shelved on a custom-built tricycle, is an “eclectic mix of analytical texts and more leisurely reads.” As related by Aminka Khan for the LA Times, librarians Jean Witte and Dawn Finley said they love “the crowdsourced definition of feminism on the library’s weathered shelves.” This library assistant and cyclist loves the idea of library outreach atop a bicycle.

Social sharing credit: Women Bike/League of American Bicyclists

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Transit director argues, directors should ride public transit

Houston Metro bus parked next to a street curb
Houston Metro by Sean Davis on Flickr
Licensed for use under Creative Commons
“If you’re going to be making decisions about transit, you really need to know what it’s actually like. Not what it’s like in theory, but what it’s actually like.” That’s according to Christof Spieler, as quoted by Eric Jaffe for CityLab/CityFixer.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bike safety boosted by ‘smart’ street design

New York one-way, multi-lane, street at a four-way intersection, with protected bike lane in the far left
Credit: New York City Department of Transportation
Less road space for automobiles doesn’t have to mean more congestion or delay at city intersections. At, Eric Jaffe explains how smart street design can eliminate many of the traffic problems that bike lane opponents anticipate when voicing their objections.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Women essential to future of bicycling

A recent webinar on emerging trends by the League of American Bicyclists concludes that women are essential to the future of bicycling. In fact, the industry’s continued viability depends on their participation.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Emmy nominee cycling to awards

For Mad Men writer Tom Smuts, the Emmy Awards offer an opportunity for “playful activism” on behalf of bicycle commuters. Clad in “bike-friendly” evening wear, Smuts will lead a 15-person ride from his home in Santa Monica to the Nokia Theater, with six riders granted permission to cycle up to the red carpet.

Social sharing credit goes to League of American Bicyclists

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Library outreach by bicycle

Denver Public Library's Zac Laugheed standing next to one of the library's DPL Connect bikes.
Zac Laugheed with one of the Denver Public Library's
DPL Connect bikes. Image credit: American Libraries
“Custom Library Book Bikes Roll Out Across US.” For American Libraries, Chris Francis highlights library outreach via bicycle, including recommendations and important considerations for starting a similar program.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Feminist Library on Wheels, irresistible combination of librarianship and bicycles

Two women stand holding their bicycles on a city street
Image credit: League of American Bicyclists
I’ve long been a fan of mobile library outreach; one of my projects in library school was to draft an argument for bookmobile services to the geographically spread-out population of a rural California county.

And as a bicycle rider, I’m even more enthused by library outreach on bicycle.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bitstrips: Reclaiming public transportation narrative

A cartoon version of Cynthia M. Parkhill, created with the Bitstrips app, stands waving behind a departing bus. She says, "Thanks, driver! Have a great day!" The cartoon panel's caption reads, "Part of the transportation revolution: A growing number of people rely on public transportation."

Reclaiming my public transportation narrative from the Bitstrips app: a validation of travel by bus, and identification of myself among the growing number of people who rely on public transportation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CityLab findings: Low-income commuters value cars

In spite of their awareness of transportation costs and car-related expenses, many respondents to a CityLab survey value cars for the “status” and “opportunities” they confer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Women in bicycle advertising

When we talk about sexualization of women’s bodies (as Eve Andrews does when she urges women to “take back the streets ... two wheels at a time”), we need to hold bicycle parts manufacturers and retailers accountable for their choice of advertising imagery. Are women depicted equally with men as empowered bicycle users, or are they ornaments? Bicycle manufacturers’ and retailers’ attitudes about women as consumers are symptomatic and part of attitudes about women in society as a whole.

Originally posted to Facebook

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Jackson County SMARTWorks: Mobile water station

"Water on Wheels" portable drinking water station with drinking fountain and water-bottle refill spigot

“Water on Wheels”: That fresh, clean and mobile drinking water station viewed Friday during Fourth of July in Ashland, Oregon is a service of Jackson County SMARTWorks.

Friday, July 4, 2014

‘Penny in Your Pants,’ for bicycle riding in a skirt

While on the subject of independence ... Check out this “cyclehack,” an idea that solves a barrier to riding a bicycle. “Penny in Your Pants” involves pushing a penny from back to front, through both layers of a skirt, to form a button and then using a rubber band to secure the button in place.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bear Creek Greenway: Ashland to Phoenix trip

Cynthia Parkhill, wearing bicycle helmet and jersey, with her bicycle on a bridge along the Bear Creek Greenway
Bridge along the Bear Creek Greenway north of Ashland
Jonathan and I rode our bikes up the Bear Creek Greenway on Saturday, from Ashland to Phoenix, Oregon. The trip represented enormous progress in our efforts to free ourselves from dependence upon driving a car.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Travel survey: 12 percent of households don’t have car

From the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (citing a 2009 National Household Travel Survey), come a variety of statistics about U.S. transportation that may startle and inspire. Among them, one in 12 U.S. households does not own a car and 11.9 percent of all trips in this country were done by walking or bicycling.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Bicycle publicity for Jackson County library district

Reflective vest on hangar, hanging from the handlebar of my bicycle. A sign pinned to the back of the vest reads "YES ON 15-122" in large green letters against a gold background. Smaller letters, also green, along the bottom read "KEEP OUR LIBRARIES OPEN."
Bicycle-billboard publicity for a Jackson County library district
From now until the May election, whenever I ride around Ashland, I will be a moving billboard for the Jackson County library district. Green letters against a gold background urge viewers to vote “YES ON 15-122.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Automobile bias in job interview videos

In an online discussion of videos about interviewing techniques, a classmate raised the point that an assumption by the producers that applicants will drive to an interview, is a “bit off the mark.”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Transit ridership reaches 57-year high

At 10.7 billion trips, public transit ridership was at its highest in 57 years during 2013, according to a report released March 10 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

In the words of APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy, “There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities. People in record numbers are demanding more public transit services and communities are benefiting with strong economic growth.”

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Crossing I-5’s Exit 14 with bicycle traffic signal

For beginning cyclists’ edification, here's my “review” of Oregon Department of Transportation's I-5 Exit 14 overpass south of Ashland, Oregon.

Yesterday’s trip marked my first experience with a bicycle traffic signal. It resembles the traffic signals commonly used by motorists but with a cut-out bicycle emblem.