Monday, November 23, 2015

Shinola Slow Roll in Palo Alto

Shinola hosted a group bicycle ride, called a Slow Roll, through Palo Alto. Jason Hall, president of Slow Roll Detroit, was leading the ride. Participants enjoyed a casual ride that kicked off from Heritage Park shortly after 11am on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.

Cyclists pose with Jason Hall while the group gathers at a midway point.

The ride featured some of Palo Alto's impressive bike infrastructure. The group meandered through the neighborhood before passing under the Caltrain tracks via the Homer Avenue Pedestrian/Bicycle Tunnel. After exploring the bike path behind the Westin Hotel and some parts of Stanford campus, riders returned to Heritage Park by way of Churchill Avenue.

Jason Hall, community organizer and Slow Roll Detroit co-founder, earned celebrity status when he was featured in an Apple iPad commercial. Slow Roll is a group bicycle ride that meets every Monday night in Detroit and has expanded into a Global network of community rides. Slow Roll is intended for everyone; all ages, all skill levels and any type of bike.

The Palo Alto ride was hosted by Bicycling's test editor Ron Koch, Shinola's Sky Yaeger, and Slow Roll's Jason Hall. After the ride, Shinola served brunch in the park.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Elevated bike lane on Market

The elevated bike lane on Market near Gough is an exciting experiment, but you may drive past without noticing. I was at a meeting at the Red Cross offices on Market Street last week, and I had an opportunity to see the finished elevated bike lane

Elevated bike on Market near Gough in San Francisco.

When I was previously at Market near Gough on October 19, the bike lane was blocked off for resurfacing. Although this specific project may have been in the works for some time, it's nice to see bike safety projects moving forward at such an aggressive pace.

If you've seen other implementations of separated bike lanes, you may have noticed the delimiters can get bent and smashed and curbs are covered with tire rubber from busses. This situation creates an eyesore, and the separation can be cramped for cyclists.

The elevated bike lane is preferable to other options because it provides bikes and emergency vehicles the unrestricted freedom to enter and exit the bike lane, while getting the attention of distracted drivers that enter the bike lane by accident. The experience for errant drivers should be slightly less attention-grabbing than driving on a rumble strip, but still be very effective.

Although some parts of Market Street are still problematic, biking on any part of Market Street required much more skill and courage just a few years ago. Now with these new improvements, specific sections of Market Street provide the safest routes for bikes in San Francisco.