Friday, December 18, 2015

‘The Red Bicycle’ by Jude Isabella

Book cover: 'The Red Bicycle' by Jude Isabella. A young girl stands holding a red bicycle amid a market scene of baskets on the ground that hold a variety of goods. In the background, a woman sits in the shade of an umbrella.
In North America, a young boy, Leo, saves the money he earns by doing work for his neighbors so that he can purchase a new bicycle. When he outgrows “Big Red,” his beloved red bicycle, he donates it to a bike-relief organization that transports it to the West African country of Burkina Faso.

“Big Red’s” story is told in The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella with illustrations by Simone Shin (Kids Can Press, 2015).

This book offers an informative look at what can be accomplished by bicycle, when the luxury and privilege of automobile driving simply do not exist.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Take back the tap for ‘environmental justice’

Ashland Food Co-op in Ashland, Ore. has eliminated the
sale of single-serving bottled water.
Photo from the Ashland Food Co-op website, 
Continuing with my suggestion that a nonprofit organization focus on individual impacts as part of an “Environmental Justice” campaign, “taking back the tap” could be another essential plank in an “Environmental Justice” platform.

Friday, December 11, 2015

‘Environmental Justice’ campaign must emphasize personal choices

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."

In correspondence to an organization planning an “Environmental Justice” campaign, I urged that it consider the role of individual choices made by organization members.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Transit agencies honored as ‘Bicycle Friendly Businesses’

The League of American Bicyclists has released this year's list of Bicycle Friendly Business awardees. Most interesting to me are transit agencies profiled among this year’s awardees. In the words of Rob Borowski, sustainability officer with Capitol Metropolitan Transportation Agency, “It’s only natural” to connect bikes and transit. “It’s the best way to expand the transit shed, and it greatly increases the flexibility of both modes of transportation.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

MicroLED lights for night bicycling

Cynthia M. Parkhill wearing yellow-green bike helmet, rain jacket and vest atop her bicycle at night. MicroLED lights form green circles of light along the rims of her tires.

Winter holidays coincide with the year’s fewest hours of daylight and it gets dark ever earlier. Fortunately MicroLED lights lend a festive flair to my rides. They were an early Christmas gift from Jonathan. Add a bright yellow-green reflective rain jacket from the local hardware store and I’m confident that I’m doing the utmost I can to make myself visible to motorists.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Oregon drives less, reduces CO2s

White-against-green roadway sign displaying a bicycle in profile above the caption, 'Bike Route.'

“Making a difference ... one trip at a time” was the latest Drive Less Connect headline, paired with an email subject line that emphasized collective impact. Drive Less Connect declared this year’s Oregon Drive Less Challenge a success, with a total of 777,119 miles in bike, bus, train, carpool, vanpool and walking trips, plus teleworking reported in 14 days.

Its newsletter notes that if those miles were driven alone, in a single-occupant vehicle, those miles would have resulted in 548,457 pounds of CO2 emissions. So those are 548,457 pounds of emissions not created, because people walked, rode their bicycles or took the bus. It feels great to be part of the solution, every day, every week, all year.

Blog posts classified with Dewey numbering

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been researching Dewey Decimal classifications for the subject tags in my blogs, beginning with my blog about library service and now extending to “Librarian on a Bicycle.” The project seemed thematically appropriate, with both blogs’ emphasis on librarianship.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Comments help justify ‘MORE ZIP in SIZE LARGE!’

From Nutcase Helmets’ Twitter account, here is feedback I like.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why no large Nutcase helmets?

Nutcase helmet company's 'Lumberjack Matte' bicycle helmet, red and black plaid on the helmet's sides with a wide green stripe bordered by yellow and green narrow stripes along the center of the helmet dividing it front to back
Large, please
Guest writer Jonathan Donihue asks why the Nutcase company’s most colorful helmets are not offered in large sizes.

I recently bought a Nutcase helmet for my wife. We were both very pleased to see that your company has extremely high quality products and imaginative designs. I decided to purchase one for myself but, on visiting your website, I was discouraged to see that all your most imaginative and artistic designs are only available in small and medium sizes.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Appliqued bicycle jerseys

A black cat, Miss Starfire, reclines behind a bicycle helmet, patterned in swirls of green, yellow and brown, that has been positioned atop two folded sports jerseys. The left jersey, a mint-green v-neck, is decorated with a green peace symbol aplique sewn onto a peace of worn blue floral brocade fabric. The orange scoop-necked jersey on the right is decorated with a piece of mustard-yellow on mustard-yellow embroidery inside a 'picture frame' of patterned fabric, light-brown leaves against a darker shade of brown.

Applique designs give exciting new appeal to second-hand bicycle jerseys. On the mint-green V-neck, the peace medallion was made of T-shirt knit fabric layered onto brocade.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mystery bicycle light

Bike light in green clamp wrapped around front-left fork of bicycle near wheel rim

Here’s a mystery twist to my bicycle commute. I worked at Bellview Elementary School this morning, then rode to Body Support Systems, Inc. Someone attached this light to my bicycle fork at some time during the day. When did it arrive? At which work site did someone attach this to my bike? I didn’t notice it when I left Bellview, but the light’s cheerful green contrast against my bike’s teal frame caught my attention right away when I left Body Support Systems, Inc.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cross-country librarian

Laurie Chipps is a librarian and a cross-country cyclist. On May 10, she quit her job at the Art Institute of Chicago and began a cross-country bicycle trip from Yorktown, Virginia. On Aug. 10, she arrived in Astoria, Oregon — completing a 4,477-mile ride across the United States along the Adventure Cycling Association’s Transamerica route. Chipps told DNAinfo writer Justin Breen that after visiting with friends in Portland, she planned to move permanently to one of her stops along the route, Missoula, Montana — chosen for its accessiblity to trails and because “she really liked the lifestyle there.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

Zagster bikeshare in Ashland, Oregon

Yellow bikes attached to bikeshare docking stations off Water Street in Ashland, Oregon

There’s something so cheerful and optimistic about this bright-yellow bikeshare fleet, viewed off Water Street in downtown Ashland, beneath the Lithia Way Overpass.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

‘Like riding a bike’

Cartoon image of Cynthia M. Parkhill's Bitstrips avatar riding a bicycle on a residential street, rendered in bright pastels with a smiling sun and fluttering butterfly to suggest an idealized setting. The caption reads, 'Just like riding a bike.' Would it be obnoxious if someone said that to you?
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
I'm always fascinated when the links I read and share, speak to seemingly disparate interests. A recent Wall Street Journal headline resonated both with my interest in colloquial expressions and my passion for traveling by bicycle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

‘Bikenomics’ by Elly Blue

Book cover: Bikenomics by Elly Blue. Cover image depicts a bicycle  with birds flying past behind it. The entire image and title text is against a blue background.
My latest “Suggest a Title” recommendation to my public library concerns Bikenomics, How Bicycling Can Save the Economy by Elly Blue (Microcosm Publishing, 2013).

In a recent eNewsletter, Utne Reader magazine directed my attention to an excerpt from chapter 1, “The Free Rider Myth.” In it, Blue challenges the “myth” that auto users pay for the roads they drive on.

Blue argues that drivers only pay for half the cost of our roads. The rest is paid for through sales, property or income taxes — whether or not we drive.

And much of the money goes to pay interest on loans that financed road construction projects.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bicycle-assisted yarnbomb

A bicycle provided more than transportation, it also lent necessary height during an installation by yarnbomber Jenny Brown at her local library. Her adventure installing the Truffula Tree Yarnbomb makes an entertaining read and as a fellow cyclist (who rides a yarn-bombed bicycle), I appreciate Brown’s crocheted seat-cover.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

ALA Conference by bicycle or bus

How many library professionals will travel by bus or bicycle during the American Library Association conference (happening in San Francisco this year)? Sarah Stone, a librarian in the Collection Development Office at the San Francisco Public Library, has compiled tips for getting around via public transit, ride services and bicycling. Her essay was published on the official blog of the Association for Library Services to Children.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Rogue Valley travelers log 4,000 miles by bike

White-against-green roadway sign displaying a bicycle in profile above the caption, 'Bike Route.'

Rogue Valley travelers logged more than 4,000 miles by bicycle during Go By Bike Week, according to recent email correspondence from Rogue Valley Transportation District. “That’s equal to a reduction of 4,360 lbs of CO2 from our air vs. driving alone in a car.” And even though, in a sense, National Bike Month is observed every month in my family — ever since we joined the 12 percent of U.S. households that do not have a car — I’m still proud to contribute toward a concerted effort to reduce society’s dependence upon automobiles.

Monday, May 11, 2015

‘Bike to Work Week’ encouragement

Need help or encouragement to ‪ride your bike‬ during Go By Bike Week, May 11 to 16 (alternatively known as National Bike to Work Week)? For Time Inc. Network’s “Money,” Brad Tuttle offers tips for first-timers with a photo gallery of the best places to walk or ride.

Social sharing credit: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

Saturday, May 9, 2015

National Bike Month and Go By Bike Week

Heraldic shield divided into four quadrants, with the words 'Bike Month' superimposed across the upper portion of the shield. In the upper left quadrant, partial view of black bicycle against a green background. In the lower right, a black bicycle gear with the word 'May' against a green background. Black and white diagonal striping occupy the upper right and lower left quadrants and the entire shield image is outlined around its edge by a green bike-chain design.
Source of image: Rogue Valley Transportation District
I work at four part-time jobs and commute via bicycle for all of them. In that sense, National Bike Month is something that I observe every month, every day. But each year May offers a chance to showcase biking’s benefits.

From the League of American Bicyclists, comes an encouraging statistic: that commuting by bicycle increased by 62 percent from 2000 to 2013. But the league points out that National Bike Month is about “so much more than just getting to and from the office.”

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Roller-derby librarians!

These librarians aren’t on the usual sort of “wheels” that I showcase, but I couldn’t resist passing along an article from the Arizona Daily Star, which proclaimed that “Librarians become new selves when not between shelves.”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ashland, Oregon: Bike lane connectivity through downtown

White-against-green roadway sign displaying a bicycle in profile above the caption, 'Bike Route.'

Fliers about a proposal to connect existing bike lanes through downtown Ashland, Oregon have been taped up next to bicycle parking racks at locations around town. A meeting has been scheduled to inform the bicycle-riding public about the proposed “East Main" project.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yarn-bombed bicycle

Bright teal-blue, diamond framed bicycle, with yarn bombing tags around the top tube, head tube and down tube of the frame. Knit swatches assembled into a seat-cover are tied over the bicycle seat.

On Facebook, I accepted an artist’s invitation to post photos of my own art (in a sort of art-sharing chain called the “Facebook Art Challenge”). Today I shared an image about “yarn bombing.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rogue Valley Transit: Saturday service ends in March

Photo by rickie22 on Flickr. Reused under terms of Creative Commons
From Rogue Valley Transportation District comes word: the last day of Saturday service will be March 21. This will be a disappointment, but it doesn’t inconvenience us nearly as much as it would have one year ago.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Test-riding the Sirrus Sport

I’ve been test-riding bicycles, and so far my preference is for a Specialized Sirrus Sport sold by Siskiyou Cyclery Inc. in Ashland, Oregon. It’s bright teal blue, has a diamond frame and with a 700-cm wheel size, its height and weight are ideal fits for me. Most significantly, it has three- and nine-gear shifters, which would effectively double the gears available to me when I ride my seven-speed Schwinn. Considering the range of elevations I face when I ride around Ashland, it will be nice to have extra assists when climbing steeper hills.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bracing for cuts to Rogue Valley Transit

Rogue Valley Transportation District bus
Image source: Rogue Valley Transportation District on Facebook
A loss of bus service on Saturdays and reduced-frequency of weekday routes will make a huge difference in when and how my family travels between Ashland and Medford, Oregon.