Category Archives: bike safety

Biking On Campus

Two weeks of the fall semester is underway and I’ve seen tons of students commuting by bike around the Tempe campus. It just warms my heart! Or maybe it’s the fact the temperature is still lingering in the three digit temperatures and probably will be for quite awhile still to come.

But anyways, it’s good to see lots of students on bikes. So many actually- I sometimes can’t find a bike rack with an empty spot on the Tempe campus. Maybe it’s when I’m on campus that is just really busy or possibly more and more people are making the choice to ride a bike for transportation.

One morning last week, I rode around for awhile looking for a spot to park my ride. I finally found an open spot and locked it up with two locks: a thick cable woven through my tires and a Kryptonite U-lock to seal the deal. It’s important to secure your bike with two locks in order to discourage bike thieves from tampering with it. Many other students have a method that works for them, but because I have been a victim of theft in the past, I now take these precautions. I even saw some bikes leaning on their kickstand and locked with a U-lock through a tire to prevent the bike from moving. As this technique can probably work, it does leave many other parts susceptible to be broken off or stolen. I am no expert, but just stating an unintended possibility of locking a bike this way- especially in a town that is known for bike theft.

My bike suffered a minor issue today, as when I unlocked the bike I noticed my chain had popped off. I normally don’t like to get very dirty, but I knew my bike was an important element in getting me from place to place for the remainder of the day. So I manned up and stretched out the greasy chain until I thought it was back in place. Hooray! I actually fixed something! Or so I thought….until I began to ride. The chain was moving alright, but it was making all kinds of clinking sounds that continued even after switching gears back and forth. At least I made it to my next class. I guess I’ll deal with it later.

So as soon as class let out, I unlocked my bike and rode it clink-clinking my way to the other end of campus and paid the guys at the Bike Co-op a visit. They were pretty busy today, so I guess others were having bike issues, also.

Luckily the chain was an easy fix for the bike experts on campus. They saved the day and sent me on my way to my next class. Thanks a bunch!

New Twitter Account

Two-Wheelin’ Tempe has been borrowing my Twitter handle for far too long and finally I decided to reach out in the Twitter world through a separate, but also wonderful, Twitter account. If you enjoy stories from cyclists, biking tips, information about gear, bike rides and events in Tempe- make sure to follow @TwoWheelinTempe! Thank you for stopping by!

 

#GoRideABike :)

Second Saturday Bike Rides

If you have been wanting to join in on local group bike rides and enjoy activities that usually stop or end near a bar, you will have more chances each month on Second Saturdays, all year!

Thanks to Tempe Bicycle Action Group, also known as TBAG, for scheduling these rides, making them fun and open to anyone! You don’t have to be an experienced cyclist like Lance Armstrong to participate. But remember to be safe. Bring a bike light, reflective gear and your U-lock!

ALL RIDES BEGIN at the Tempe Town Lake entrance on the NW corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.

Here is the bike ride schedule for:

TBAG SECOND SATURDAYS 2012

March 10- Mustache Ride: Whether you have a mustache or not, buy one, grow one or draw one on for this fun ride! Here are some fabulous ‘staches to aspire to!

April 14- Hotel Bar Ride: How often do you frequent the hotel bars in this area? Give them a chance tonight! Actual hotel bar locations to be announced.

May 12- Prom Ride: If you can still fit into your Prom getup from high school, wear it! If not check out a local thrift store or your parent’s closet for your evenings attire.

June 9- ‘Steers and Beers’ Cowboy Ride: The perfect excuse to wear cowboy boots and saddle up on your bike for a fun night!

July 14- Second Saturday Ride

Aug. 11- Trailer Park Ride: Did someone say jorts? Find a outfit that Kid Rock would appreciate.

Sept. 8- Second Saturday Ride

Oct. 13- Zombie Ride: Prepare for Halloween with the Zombie Ride.

Nov. 10- Harvest Ride: Enjoy a bike ride in the crisp fall weather. Celebrate the season in any way you see fit!

Dec. 8- Eggnog Ride: The annual holiday lights viewing ride. Wear an ugly, holiday sweater and bring a thermos of eggnog!

Jeremy Staat’s Wall-to-Wall Cross Country Bicycle Ride

4,163 miles… 15 states… 100 days…

    … and lots of determination!

Some of you may not know who Jeremy Staat is… but you may have heard or read that he is coming to ASU, as a stop on his Wall-to-Wall Cross Country Bicycle Ride.

ASU Alumni, former NFL player and Iraqi War veteran, Jeremy Staat

Staat played professional football for the Pittsburg Steelers, St. Louis Rams and arena football for the Los Angeles Avengers. But before all of that, he began his football career at ASU and was friends with our local hero, Pat Tillman. After the tragic loss of Tillman, Staat lost interest and decided to leave his career in football. He chose to join the United States Marine Corps, and is now an Iraqi War veteran.

Staat formed the Jeremy Staat Foundation to raise awareness and support for the nation’s veterans and veterans organizations. By stopping at ASU, Staat hopes to promote veterans centers on college campuses.

Staat and fellow Iraqi War veteran, Wesley Barrientos, are riding more than 4,163 miles starting at the Wall of Valor in Bakersfield, Calif., to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Barrientos is a three-time Iraq War veteran, three-time Purple Heart recipient and a double amputee who rides a hand-crank bicycle. Both Staat and Barrientos are both from Bakersfield.

Wesley and Jeremy taking a short break

The Wall-to-Wall Bicycle Tour will arrive outside of Sun Devil Stadium around 2 p.m. on March 8. The ride will conclude in D.C. on Memorial Day.

Keep up with Jeremy and Wesley: 

  • Click here to follow the ride schedule.
  • You can also keep track of where the riders are right now on the website.

We can’t wait to see you at ASU on Thursday!

For related articles:

Walk Your Wheels Campaign on ASU campus

If you use a bike, skateboard, longboard, scooter or other method of wheeled transportation on Tempe campus, you may be aware of the Walk Your Wheels campaign, brought to us by the Undergraduate Student Government put in place to make crowded areas safer. The Walk Your Wheels campaign started in the beginning of the 2011- 2012 school year and the purpose was to encourage safety in congested mall areas, by asking people on bikes or other wheeled means of transportation to dismount while in the crowd. I have seen the signs in a few spots on campus and depending on if the foot traffic around me was heavy or not, I have obeyed the request. But what do you think? The USG wants student input for the future of the campaign. Walk Your Wheels could become a stricter program, not allowing wheeled transportation on campus at all, or the program could dismantle if people are not happy with the results. If this campaign effects you- make your opinion known! Take the survey to ensure that your voice is heard!

Click here for more information on the Walk Your Wheels campaign. The State Press has also covered this topic multiple times and I included links to a few recent articles below.

From an article by The State Press(Photo by Shawn Raymundo)

Some related articles from the State Press:

Walk Your Wheels campaign falls short (Feb. 28, 2012)

USG makes final push for Walk Your Wheels campaign (Jan. 11, 2012)

Students weigh in during Walk Your Wheels forum (Nov. 3, 2011)

Walk Your Wheels to officially launch (Sept. 18, 2011)

 

 

Minutes From the Tweed Ride

Speeding my bike along the lake was the perfect way to commute to the Tweed Ride on Saturday evening at Tempe Town Lake.

When I arrived I saw a group of well dressed lads with their bikes near the entrance of the park.

Where did you buy your tweed?

The weather had been warm all day, but at the 5:30 p.m. meeting time, the breeze was just right for wearing tweed!

People gathered with their bikes for photos taken by Ryan Guzy, of Tempe Bicycle Action Group. We know the bike activist group in Tempe, as T.B.A.G.

Finally the ride began!

Someone bellowed, “Off to Robbie Fox’s Public House!”

(Remember to practice bicycle safety and use a bike light or two after dark.)

A line of cyclists took off down Mill Avenue towards the first destination.

The group chimed bells throughout the ride signaling we were on our way.

At a stop light, near Mill Avenue and Fourth Street a man in a large white truck asked about the bike group. Someone quickly explained about T.B.A.G. The man nodded as he told us to “be careful”!

Robbie Fox’s had a few tables on the patio reserved for the crew. We all locked up bikes behind the patio.

Plaid looks good on you!

The next stop was Canteen Modern Tequila Bar, which did not require a ride- just a short walk, as it neighbors Robbie Fox’s.

I sat at the bar for a quick shot of pineapple infused tequila, which was recommended by the bartender.

The group enjoyed a cocktail or beer while chatting and getting to know the newcomers.

After a few drinks and socializing, prizes were awarded for the best dressed and other categories.

Then the signal was given to move on to the next location, Casey Moore’s Oyster House.

Sampling from the beer selection

The sun went down and everyone needed to use bike lights and attach extra reflectors. While crossing the street, one cyclist pointed out an instance when bikers should wait for a car speeding by.

Once the crew had all showed up at Casey Moore’s, Ryan took a group shot. Although it was difficult to see in the dark, he did a great job!

The Tweed Crew

Other bars on the map were Yucca Tap Room and Boulders on Broadway.

Upcoming bike ride:

Excuse me. I must asche you a question.

Photos by: Lauren Fach and Ryan Guzy

Bike After Dark

Thanks to a reader’s comment on the ‘BlackBerry Night Bikes Commercial’ post, I learned about Bike After Dark.

Katrina said I had to check out, “These awesome in-wheel bike lights from Bike After Dark. When you are biking with them it’s like you are have a Tron bike! Super cool!”

So I went to their website…

And this image repeatedly flashed on the screen sending their message loud and clear.

It’s important for bikes to be seen better at night.

I really like the safety aspect and it seems cool!

Bike After Dark, based in Texas, designed a rechargeable, water-resistant LED light system for bikes. I wonder if it’s easy to install the lights. Check out the Bike After Dark blog and website.

The full wheel costs $69

The half wheel is $39

Here are the details from the website: (I figured I didn’t need to include specs for both full and half. You get the jist. And if not, I linked to their site all over the place. :))

The Fireball Mark II is Bike After Dark’s first creation. It is a rechargeable, water-resistant, LED bike light system that will keep you visible during those awesome night rides. The half wheel pack comes with one Fireball Mark II spoke attachment, 3 installation ties, and a charging cable. The Half Wheel pack weighs 1.5 oz per wheel. (Wall chargers are sold separately!) 

Finally, safety meets cool!!

I found a close up photo of the wheel. Not to say I now understand how it works, but I thought the bike mechanics out there might get it.

The Fireball Mark II light system

This one below is from Facebook. I think it’s the best one yet. If I was to buy these lights, I would definitely want the full wheel.

Community Bike Rides

In the Tempe and Phoenix area, many local bike organizations have scheduled bike rides occurring each week.

The best part is that they are free and open to anyone. That means you or I could show up at any of these scheduled rides and participate.

As Winter Break is quickly approaching, I made of list of things to do and going for a long bike ride tops the list!

Below is a listing of weekly bike rides:

**FYI- According to the active.com website, a “no-drop” ride means that no rider is left behind and you can count on an experienced rider to stay with you.

Monday- Hardcourt Bike Polo

  • Hosted By: AZFixed
  • When: Every Monday from 8-11 p.m.
  • Where: Perry Park at 32nd Street and Virginia Avenue
  • Description: Bike polo, anyone welcome, sometimes we start earlier
  • Check official Bike Polo thread on AZFixed.com for updates

Tuesday- CRAP Ride= Bikes, Food and Beer

  • Hosted By: Car Resistance Action Party (CRAP)
  • When: Every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Social no-drop greenbelt ride to the Orange Table restaurant in Scottsdale
  • More Info: azcrap.org
  • Click for a map

Wednesday- PISS Ride

  • Hosted By: AZFixed
  • When: Every Wednesday evening, meets at 7:50 p.m. rolls out at 8 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: 30+ miles, fast-paced night ride on curvy roads with hills, sprints and plenty of drafting. It is mostly fixed, but any bike that can keep up is welcome. An understanding of group riding etiquette is essential for this ride.
  • More Info: azfixed.com
  • Click here for a map
Here are websites to learn about group riding etiquette.

Thursday- People’s Ride, LUX Ride, Tribe Ride

People’s Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG- Tempe Bicycle Action Group
  • When: Every Thursday morning at 6 a.m.
  • Where: NE corner of Fifth Street and Mill Avenue
  • Description: A friendly no-drop 1.5 hour, ~20-mile ride, Essence Bakery for breakfast and coffee after the ride
  • More info: www.biketempe.org
LUX Ride
  • Hosted By: AZFixed
  • When: Every Thursday, 10:30 p.m.
  • Where: LUX Coffee Bar, 4404 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
  • More info: azfixed.com
Tribe Ride
  • Hosted By: Tribe Multisport
  • When: Every Thursday, meet at the shop before 7 p.m. because it rolls out at exactly 7 p.m.
  • Where: Tribe Multi Sport on Scottsdale Road just north of McDowell Road
  • Description: Fast paced ~10-mile ride around North Tempe and South Scottsdale.
  • Click for a map

Friday- First Fridays Ride, TBAG Third Fridays, Phoenix Critical Mass

First Fridays Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG and AZFixed
  • When: The First Friday of every month, times vary
  • Where: Tempe Beach park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Ride from Tempe to Phoenix First Fridays Art Walk.
TBAG Third Fridays
  • Hosted By: TBAG
  • When: Third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park Entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue.
  • Description: pub crawls, drive-in-movie rides, bowling alley rides, theme and costume rides. You name it and we’ll make it a ride.
Phoenix Critical Mass
  • Hosted by: Critical Mass Phoenix- a bicycle celebration to create awareness of bikes and cars sharing the road
  • When: The last Friday of every month at 5 p.m.
  • Where: Steel Indian School Park at Third Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix
  • More info: Look for a thread at azfixed.com

Critical Mass bike ride- Oct. 29, 2010 (Courtesy of Facebook)

Weekend Rides

Monthly Cruiser/Chopper Rides
Cupcake Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG
  • When: Approximately once a month, dates vary
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Easy beginner ride to Sprinkles
Farmers Market Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG
  • When: Some Saturdays
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Ride to the Phoenix or Scottsdale farmers market, sometimes combined with the cupcake ride.
CRAP WIPE
  • Hosted By: CRAP and the Extreme Picnicking Society
  • When: Times vary
  • Where: Bike Saviours on 601 W. University Dr.
  • Description: Hot Fresh Local Bike Touring. Ride from Tempe to one of the local mountain parks in the evening, eat a giant picnic, sleep under the stars, ride back the next morning. More Info: www.biketempe.org/forum, or ask anyone you see singing sea shanties while riding.


Afraid of the dark? A bike light will save you!

One law that all cyclists should know is to use a light when riding at night. This is for your safety as a biker- to help others see you.

When I first bought my bike, the salesman at Earnhardt Schwinn recommended that I buy a bike light. Thinking he was just trying to sell me add-on items I said no and told him that I wasn’t planning on riding at night. It was true, I hadn’t been biking in years and didn’t feel confident enough to go for a night bike ride. Well I stayed at the library studying too late one night and I eventually needed a bike light.

The next day I went to Tempe Bicycle to buy a light. They range in price from about $12 to $20 depending on the quality and style. Some can be easily removed and others can be fixed to your bike. Beware if left on your bike, the light could be stolen. I find that most people will leave your bike alone, but if no one is around the bike rack- some people will help themselves to objects that can be removed quickly like bike lights, horns, tires and seats. It’s true, it’s happened to me!

Here are some cool bike lights.

Planet Bike Rear(red) and Front(white) Light

Alternative ways to light your ride:

A bike light is not the only answer to riding safely at night. Here are a few options to help with visibility.

Reflective stickers – $6, LED Bicycle Lights- $50 and a headlamp ranges from about $20-$40.


Just be careful out there and use your head! Cycling is fun and is a great form of transportation, whether it’s day or night. But make sure you have a bike light!

Bike Safety in Heavily Traveled Tempe

When I was a kid, my parents would only let me ride my bike in the backyard or on the side street.  I wasn’t allowed to ride on the busier streets where cars might not see me. There’s no side street for me to stay on anymore. I have places to go and need to use my bike as transportation.

Being on the road as a cyclist can be scary and dangerous. Cars fly by at much higher speeds than a bicycle and this could mean disaster if one of you isn’t following the rules. Bike safety is a two-way street, meaning there are guidelines for both cyclists and drivers.

Let’s first start with the responsibilities of the cyclist:

  • Ride on the right with the flow of traffic. If you ride against traffic, drivers may not see you.
  • Obey traffic signals, signs and laws.
  • Ride in the bike lane if there is one available.  Sidewalks are also acceptable most of the time, but avoid pedestrians and make sure that cars can still see you.
  • Use hand signals to communicate your next move. Read more