The weekend has arrived!
While there is a chance of scattered thunderstorms on Sunday (and when hasn't there been a chance of scattered thunderstorms lately?), temps in the 60s and 70s will beckon us to get out and ride. With the fierce March wind dying down, it's the perfect time to rediscover bicycling.
My personal recommendation is easing slowly into spring riding by taking advantage of the many area forest preserve "loops" (like the Cuba Marsh trail) or a nice out-and-back on a local bike trail. Check out the RTC's Trail Link, pull up Google Maps (select directions and click on the bike icon), or visit the Cook, DuPage, and Lake County Forest Preserve sites to find great bike paths near you.
It was another interesting week in bicycling with the GOP-controlled House refusing to reconcile the Senate's transportation bill and settling on yet another extension of the current bill. Considering February's awful House bill that eliminated bicycling and pedestrian project funding entirely while changing the formula for mass transit, this isn't the worst case scenario for patrons of alternate transportation. We all need to keep the pressure on our elected officials and fight for reconciliation of the Senate's Map-21 bill.
Articles continued to emerge throughout the past week as a result of the positive responses from the National Bike Summit which concluded one week ago. Take a minute to visit the League of American Bicyclists' site for complete details. Don't forget to sign up for the Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge while you're there.
Several interesting stories popped up on different blogs this past week. One that appeared on Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood's Fast Lane was about four women riding across the country to raise awareness for Safe Routes to School. Their 5,500-mile, 3-month trip from Key West Florida to San Francisco will raise $25,000 for the program.
Locally, John Greenfield shares another interesting bike adventure on newcity.com. Checkerboard City: Mission to Madison details an early March ride up to Wisconsin's Capital. Over on Grid Chicago he adds today's A sneak preview of "Bikes the Green Revolution" exhibition, introduces a guest article, An outsider's Chicago bike itineraries, and posts a review of the Cycle-Pedia print show.
Meanwhile, John's partner-in-crime continues to blog daily about Chicago's bicycling needs. Last weekend's post directly asked Chicago cyclists to weigh in on which bike issue concerns you most? Other great posts focused on the bike count project and three devoted to hit and run crashes (deaths in the media, outcomes, and two hit and runs / three deaths in one day). If you're a cyclist that rides in the City, Grid Chicago should be on your daily must-read list.
Over at the Active Transportation Alliance's blog, read a great post about Communicating with elected leaders. While the ATA is continually working on our behalf to present the needs of cyclists to national, state, and local officials, our elected representatives still need to hear from each of us individually. You know what they say about squeaky wheels... This is another site that should be on your must-read list.
I wrote a post earlier in the week regarding the great work the League of American Bicyclists is doing for each of us. Were you aware that they've been championing for safe roads for cyclists since the 1890s? Take a few minutes to read The Petition that Paved America on the Roads Were Not Built for Cars blog. Armed with historical evidence about Colonel Albert Pope and the League of American Wheelmen, you'll be able to speak authoritatively about the role bicyclists played in shaping America's Federal transportation infrastructure policy.
If you bicycle for transportation and like to tweet, go to Twitter and follow the hashtag #letscleartheair. Begun earlier in the week as a contest from Bike Radar and Fiat, it features great talking points to "clear the air" between cyclists and motorists. Add your voice to the dialogue.
Don't forget that 30 Days of Biking starts on Sunday! Are you ready?
Upcoming Events: I'm taking the easy way out and linking you right on over to the chainlink's calendar, starting with tonight's Critical Mass Ride and continuing with tomorrow's Group Riding 101 and Sunday's Liar's Ride. Future events appear there, as well.
Finally, if you're interested in selling or servicing bikes, Trek Bicycles on Michigan Avenue would like to talk with you!
Keep riding and be safe!
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