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Car-Free World
alternative transportation news & views

June 9, 2003
Email | BicycleAustin.info
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Research/Tips: Tommy Eden   Contributors: Brian Richards & Ayleen via Car Busters
Editor: Michael Bluejay


From the Editor

Subscribe to Car Busters

Moving by bike

I've given up bicycling



Austin: CAMPO may kill bicycle funding

Portland: County Bicycle Fair

Paris: Car-Free Day

Switzerland: 38% of Swiss want Car-Free Days


Traffic kills more people than wars

Car manufacturer promotes walking


Bikes for sale

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 over 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.

The revolution will not be motorized.

From the Editor

Car Busters

     This newsletter started as a service for cyclists here in Austin, but you know the Internet -- soon people were signing up from all over the world. So I've tried to include items of interest to people no matter where they are. But you also know that I put out this newsletter as a volunteer effort and it goes out sporadically at best. And at some point I may just stop putting it out completely. I'd rather not leave you hanging, so I'd like to recommend another good email newsletter: Car Busters Bulletin, put out by Car Busters in Prague, Czech Republic. Unlike me, they publish dependably every month, and they'll probably be around longer. And one more email per month isn't going to overload your mailbox. Just send a blank email to subscribe. You can check out back issues here.

Moving by bike

     I moved twice since December, and each time I did it entirely with human power. Here's the pictures to prove it.

I've given up bicycling

     I haven't ridden a bicycle in months, and I don't have plans to ride one again any time soon. It's not that I have anything against bikes, and I still own a couple, it's just that I've had so much fun with my trikes that that's all I'm riding these days. I'm sure I'll ride a bike again at some point, though I don't know when that will be. I just couldn't resist the scandalous headline.

    Speaking of trikes:

(1) Prices have gone up by $100 for the few we have left. Don't complain to me, I gave subscribers three months to get them at a cheaper price.

(2) Test rides are no longer available. That's because the few trikes we have left need work, and we've been so busy that we don't fix one up to sell it until someone orders it from our website.

(3) About a month from now we'll be offering bargain trikes with welded seatposts at $100-200 off. If we have a trike that fits you, you'll be able to save some money, but you won't be able to adjust the seat height for other riders.

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Regional News

AUSTIN: CAMPO may kill bicycle funds
    CAMPO is the governmental body which plans and funds transportation for our region. One of their jobs is to divvy up the federal money. Of all the money they control, 10% of it is Metropolitan Mobility Funds (STP4C), and 15% of that has to be spend on bicycle and pedestrian improvements, according to policy. What this means is that 15% of 10% of the funds -- 1.5% -- is what they have to spend on bike & ped. Not much, but it's something.

    But after tonight we might not have even that. CAMPO will be considering a proposal tonight to spend that 1.5% on things some members think will be more effective at improving air quality, such as synchronizing traffic signals and widening intersections.

    Let's be honest about something: Bike projects don't noticably reduce congestion or improve air quality. That's because they don't entice nearly enough people to bike instead of drive. But that's not the reason to fund bike projects. The reason we need bike facilities is to make it easier and safer for those who do choose to bike. Cars already get 99% of the funding, it's only fair that we get our share. And after all, most bicyclists also own cars, and pay the same taxes as everyone else.

    And the idea that synchronizing traffic signals would improve air quality is simply ludicrous. That's because as it gets easier to drive, more people drive, and they drive longer and farther. It's therefore not surprising that synchronizing traffic signals has failed to improve air quality anywhere it's been tried.

    Borrowing a page from other advocacy groups, I've set up a page where with a couple of clicks you can send a pre-written email to CAMPO members telling them to keep the meager funding they have in place for bike/ped projects. Central Texas residents only on this one, please.

Send an email to CAMPO telling them to keep bike/ped funding

If you can attend the meeting you can make your comments in person. It will be at the Thompson Conference Center on the UT Campus at 26th & Red River, and the agenda item (#8) should be discussed at about 7:00 or 7:30pm.

PORTLAND, OR: County Bicycle Fair
by Ayleen, via Car Busters Bulletin

    The Portland folks are having a County Bike Fair on June 28th. Tractor-trailer pulls? Try Bike-trailer pulls! It's the authentic county fair from your childhood, with a bike twist. Funnel cakes, washed-up country singers, freak bikes, carnival games, free hay rides and more. Events every half hour in the center arena and an authentic midway experience.

Mainstage events: 2:00 Opening Ceremony, 2:30 Bike Trailer Pull, 3:00 Pepto Dizmal Clowns, 3:15 Track Stand Competition, 3:45 Foot Down, 4:15 Cavalcade of Bikes, 4:30 Slow Race, 4:45 Car Free Ceremony, 5:00 Derby, 5:30 Crowning of County Fair King + Queen, 5:45 Lariat/Lassoing, 6:00 Clowns, 6:15 Tall Bike Jousting, 7:00 Closing.

Live Music All Day: Trash Mountain Boys, American Nightmare, Randy Pants. Games, Food, Bike Marriage Ceremonies, and more. Competitions are open to all County Fair attendees.

PARIS, FRANCE: Carfree Day
by Brian Richards, via Car Busters Bulletin

    Sunday, June 1 was Carfree Day on the Champs Elysees in Paris. The entire avenue was filled with pedestrians from end to end. At the same time the French Railway celebrated 150 years of rail in France by holding an exhibition of their historic trains also along one side of the avenue. The big event started at mid-day when a train with three carriages full of passengers ran along one side of the avenue, crossing at a point just above Place de la Concorde. The mayor made an annoumcement to the press stressing how much people were enjoying themselves on the avenue which the day before had been carrying six lanes of automobile traffic. This summer he intends to repeat the closure of the motorway on the right bank of the Seine during August and convert it for the second year running into a beach with sand and palm trees - Paris Plage.

SWITZERLAND: 38% vote for car-free Sundays

    In a May 18 referendum, 38% of Swiss voters supported a measure to have four car-free days per year. Okay, so the proposal lost, but that's still an impressive show of support in a car-addicted world. Such a result would be unthinkable here in the states.

    And though this is of course characterized as a "radical" proposal, we like to put it in perspective: If the measure passed, cars would still control the roadways 361 out of 365 days a year. But apparently car domination 99% of the time is not enough for most Swiss, and giving up even 1% would be too "radical". (See an article on this at SwissInfo.ch)


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Traffic kills more people than wars

   A whopping 1.26 million people died on the roadways in 2000, dwarfing the 310k killed in wars, according to the World Heath Organization. (see full article from the Washington Post)

Car manufacturer promotes walking & biking

    One doesn't expect an automobile manufacturer to encourage people to bike and walk, but that's exactly what KIA is doing. Last year KIA UK made news by giving away a free bicycle with a vehicle purchase. And now KIA's website encourages parents to use a walking bus to get their kids to school. (The idea behind a walking bus is that a group of children all walk to school together under the guidance of a trained adult supervisor. For more see WalkingBus.org.)

Of course, the American version of KIA's website mentions no such thing.

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Bikes for Sale

Free bike ads
Ads are FREE for individuals and run for at least four months or until you tell me to remove it. Please keep it to four lines, don't write a novel. :)

2002 Giant Rincon: 17" Frame (Red). In good condition. Entry level Shimano components. Will include new brake cables. $150 10-02
Zullo steel racing / track bike, 56 mm frame, all Campy parts, derailer gearing but has one-speed dropouts for fixed gear conversion, in good shape expect for torn decal, $250., 453-0438 10-02
2001 model Marin Larkspur. 17.5". Aluminum frame, Shimano components, lock, lights, shock seat post. Great transportation. Recently purchased for $350 (have receipt), will sell for $250. Excellent condition, like new. 512-476-2887 or 512-689-9266.10-02


Used inventory at Waterloo Cycles

Inventory as of April 13, 2003. All bikes subject to prior sale, limited to stock on hand, not responsible for typographical errors, prices may change without notice, batteries not included.

ATB/Mountain Bikes

  • $199 Cignal Ranger 20"
  • $229 Diamondback Sorrento 16"
  • $369 Haro Extreme Comp 19.5"
  • $399 KHS Montana Comp 19"
  • $399 Diamondback Response 14"
  • $549 Kona Lava Dome 20"
  • $699 Cannondale F400 21"
  • $699 Kona Sex One 20"

Road Bikes

  • $ 99 Alpine Sporten 15"G
  • $549 Fuji Opus III 49cm
  • $269 Schwinn 454 53cm
  • $399 Specialized Allez 53cm
  • $549 Bianchi Campione 54cm
  • $499 Specialized Sirrus 58cm
  • $599 Diamondback Expert 58 cm

BMX/Kids' Bikes

  • $99  Schwinn Aerostar
  • $129 Diamondback Impression

Easy Street Recumbents

Recumbent bicycle sales, service, and rental for Austin. Free Urban Cycling classes with your purchase of a bike. click to visit

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That's all, thanks for reading!