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Car-Free World
alternative transportation news & views

January 31, 2003
Email | BicycleAustin.info
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Research/Tips: Sideth Cchor, Mason   Contributors: Patrick Goetz    Editor: Michael Bluejay

Free Website Design, Inexpensive Hosting -- visit WebsiteHelpers.com

From the Editor

Website renamed to BicycleAustin.info

Austin-Bikes has NOT moved!

Trikes for Sale!

Who Is Jim Holt?

El Paso to Austin trip

Austin News

Shoal Creek is a done deal

Personal Rapid Transit

Regional News

Teens convicted in assault

Portland's Bike Lanes


War with Iraq

Berlin's Rent-A-Bikes

Car-Free World, a publication of and ©2003 by BicycleAustin.info, covers alternative transportation, especially bicycling. We're not opposed to cars, we're opposed to the car culture. CFW is published sporadically, and may be discontinued at any time without notice. We currently have nearly 700 subscribers. Here are links to subscribe or unsubscribe.

Articles are by the editor if uncredited. Articles by others may have been edited for grammar, clarity, conciseness, superstition, or just for the hell of it.

From the Editor
Website Renamed, Problems Fixed 

     BicycleAustin.com is now BicycleAustin.info. You can actually get to the site by typing either address, but the "official" name is the one with .info. It never made sense for it to be .com, since it's not a company, but neither did it make sense for it to be .org, since it's not an organization. But now that .info is available, all problems are solved.

     If you have a BicycleAustin.com email account, I just set it up so that it also works with BicycleAustin.info. Both addresses are active for you now, and go to the same mailbox.

    A number of you let me know that when I redesigned the site the logo was overlaid on the links. This was hard for me to solve since everything looked fine on my Mac, it was only PC's that weren't rendering it right, and I didn't have a PC. Thanks to a helpful reader (thanks, Randall!) I was able to find the problem and fix it. I also just ordered a PC laptop on eBay so I can test website changes in both worlds.

    There's still a lingering problem with the menus flashing off briefly when you move from the main menu to a submenu. If any reader is handy with JavaScript and can help me fix that problem I would be mighty grateful.

     By the way, for those of you who hate frames, I hear ya, but the reason I use them is because otherwise I have to add about 16k of menu code to EVERY PAGE on the site, which would slow the site down to a crawl for people with modem connections. In about 2-3 years when most people are on cable/DSL and can download pages faster, I'll go ahead and unframe the site, but probably not until then.

Austin-Bikes list: Same as it ever was 

     The austin-bikes email discussion list has not moved. What happened was that I moved this newsletter off of Topica and onto my own server. I didn't realize when I did that that they would send everyone an email telling them that they'd been removed from the list. Some people thought that meant that the newsletter had gone away, and others thought that it meant that the discussion list had moved. Neither is correct: You'll still get the newsletter, whenever I get around to publishing it, and the austin-bikes list hasn't gone anywhere. If the discussion list ever moves you'll get plenty of notice, trust me. Also remember that the current info for both lists is always on the front page of BicycleAustin.info.

Trikes for sale! 

      I have access to almost unlimited quantities of deluxe Worksman industrial tricycles from a big warehouse that is liquidating its fleet. Trikes great for a variety of reasons: For people with difficulty balancing or fear of falling, they're perfect, because they don't tip over. At a complete stop they're completely stable. Which is the second reason I like them: When you come to a stop sign or red light, you don't have to hop off the seat, and then hop back on when you get going again. You simply stop, and you're still sitting in your seat. Another thing that's fun about them is that you can give rides to people standing or sitting on the rear platform. I've done this at Eeyore's Birthday and at Burning Man for years. Finally, you can haul all kinds of heavy stuff when equipped with a good trailer. I moved three times with a Worksman trike, and have moved couches, a washing machine, sheetrock panels, etc. -- stuff I could never fit in a car. Here's a picture of me hauling two tandem trailers with a Worksman. Here's also a photo of one of the trikes for sale.

      The price will probably be about $350 to $500. I first need to see if there's any interest, because I have to go to Oklahoma to get them. I've already had one shipped to me to confirm that the equipment is in good working order. So how about it? Who wants a trike? If at least three or more people are interested I think I can make this happen. Just let me know.

Who is Jim Holt? 

      Here's a shameless plug, completely unrelated to bicycling: I'm playing the title character in the stage production of the highly-acclaimed musical Who is Jim Holt? It's playing tomorrow (Saturday) at 1:45pm, and Sunday at noon, at The Hideout, 916 Springdale Road (behind the Goodwill). Tickets are only $8 and are available at the door (if it's not sold out), or you can call 479-PLAY to order

      Well, actually, there's a tenuous relation to biking: one night after rehearsal the guy with the truck already left not realizing there were more props to load. No one could fit the table and chairs in their car, but they fit easily on my bicycle rickshaw.

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El Paso to Austin trip 

      Okay, you can stop asking for it now, I finally posted the travel diary (with photos) of my bike trip with Bessie Green from El Paso to Austin.

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Austin News

Shoal Creek Blvd. is a done deal

      In our earlier report on Shoal Creek Blvd. we mistakenly reported that the plan to screw cyclists out of real bike lanes still had to go to City Council for approval. In fact, the plan to screw cyclists out of real bike lanes is a done deal since the Council delegated responsibility to the UTC. It's over, we lost. (more on this issue)

Personal Rapid Transit

      First the idea was light rail. Then it was monorail. Now some citizens are promoting Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), in which riders shuttle around in 3-person vehicles. Makes us think of a roller coaster with enclosed cars, but without any crazy drops or acceleration, of course. After reviewing the voluminous information on their website, it seems like a good idea, but then again, so do light rail and monorail. We don't really care what rail system gets built, as long as Austin builds SOME rail system.

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Regional News

Seattle teens convicted in drive-by assault on cyclist

    Two teens' friends may have given changing and dubious stories about what they saw, but to a judge, it was clear: The boy reached out the car window and thumped a bicyclist on the back, and the girl drove just close and slow enough for him to do it. On Nov. 19 a King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman found the two teens guilty of second-degree assault for the drive-by attack, which left 52 year old Eastside pastor David Tinney badly hurt on the pavement. (read the full story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter)

Portland's Bicycle Lanes

    Patrick Goetz writes: If there's any doubt that bike lanes get more people out on bikes, the Portland folks don't know about it. Here is a quote from the web site cited below: "For example, in 1975 about 200 cyclists used the Hawthorne Bridge daily; today, that number has increased to 2400. We have seen similar increases throughout the City, especially in areas with new bicycle lanes."

    Portland has been experimenting with marking bike lanes with blue paint at dangerous and confusing intersections. There's been debate raging on the net as to whether this is a good or bad idea, or whether there are better solutions.


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War with Iraq

    Here's a political cartoon using oil company logos to explain one of the reasons behind a war with Iraq.

Berlin's Rent-a-Bikes
 by Patrick Goetz

    While in Berlin, I noticed these relatively sturdy, self-locking bikes sitting around everywhere. They were either put out by DB (Deutsche Bahn, the German rail network) or DB was the primary advertiser, as they were all labeled DB. The interesting thing about them is that could be activated using a cell phone. The system is you call the number printed on the side of the bike and give them your credit card or Euro Card number; then they issue an activation number which unlocks the bike and you get billed for the amount of time you use it. Presumably one calls in again when one is done with the bike, and the activation number is then changed remotely. They were everywhere, but I never actually saw anyone riding one; then again, it was late October and relatively rainy while I was there, so perhaps it's just the wrong season.

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That's all, thanks for reading!