Idaho Stop

We have had a few emails from readers on an issue (see comment about safety at the bottom) that has just passed the Utah House of Representatives and is now on its way to the Senate. It is bill HB155 or as many know the law the ‘Idaho Stop’ law. The Idaho Stop essentially lets cyclists treat stop signs as yield signs. This does not mean that the cyclist can treat the stop sign as invisible. Just like with a yield sign the only way the cyclist can go through the intersection is if there is no cross traffic and no pedestrians. The bill was first presented and passed in Idaho (obviously) over 29 years ago. Since the bill passed there has not been an increase in bicycle accidents including accidents at intersections even though the State has seen incredible increases in bicycle ridership. Some have said that Idaho is a very rural state and that is the reason for the low crash rate. In reality, if Boise was in Utah, it would be our biggest city by almost 30,000 people. The draw to this type of legislation is with the increased efficiency of bicycle riding (no stops) you will get more people riding bicycles. Here are some numbers on the difference this law makes in riding efficiency;

“…on a street with a stop sign every 300 feet, calculations predict that the average speed of a 150 pound rider putting out 100 watts of power will diminish by about 40 percent. If the bicyclist wants to maintain her average speed of 12.5 miles per hour, while still coming to a complete stop at each sign, she has to increase her power output to almost 500 watts. This is well beyond the ability of all but the most fit cyclists.” Access Magazine

This could mean a lot for many of the riders here in Provo. Specifically those who live south of the BYU campus. Not only could this help riders get from A to B faster it makes side streets a better and more efficient option to main thorough fairs. While many are calling this bill an Idaho Stop bill it does have its own flavor.

  • This law would only apply to those 18 years or older. If you are a minor you are still required to stop.
  • Like the Idaho Stop you must slow down at the approach of the sign and make sure that you are clear to continue. If you are not clear you must stop.
  • The Idaho Stop in Idaho treats red lights like stop signs. The Utah version keeps stop lights as regular stop lights.

Personally I think this will be a good thing for bicycling and the bicycle community. I am a transpirational cyclist for the most part. I believe that bicycles should be on the road not the sidewalk. I also believe that if a cyclist does not feel safe on the road then they need to work with their city to make that road safer for all users. I can see a lot of benefits from this bill and I believe that it is a step in the right direction of recognizing bicycles as road users but not necessarily as cars. We are legitimate road users but, do not have a couple thousand pounds to crash into things. Also on a bicycle you have a lot more un-obscured vision and hearing allowing you to safely assess an intersection before continuing through it.

On the safety note I have shown that there has been no increase of incident in Idaho over the last 29 years however, I would like to put to rest a misconception that has been brought up before. I have heard the case made (as in the article from the link at the top) that out of the 2000 reported bicycle crashes in UT 1/4 of them take place at intersections. This fact is true however, they always seem to forget that according to the U.S. Department of Transportation almost 50% of car accidents take place at intersections. Already these numbers show that bicycle riders are 50% more safe at intersections than auto drivers.

I think this bill will be a great addition to Utah’s 3 foot rule and a great stride in supporting bicycles and bicyclists as actual road users and not just kids or recreational riders.

The video below was put together for Portland’s efforts in trying to get the Idaho stop to pass in Oregon. It has some Portland specific information just pay attention to the way that this law would work.

Bicycles, Rolling Stops, and the Idaho Stop from Spencer Boomhower on Vimeo.

NAHBS!

We mentioned the National Handmade Bicycle Show a few posts ago and, now it is here. UrbanVelo has some great pictures from the show that you can find here. Also BikePortland has a great write up as well. Keep your eye on these sites for the next few days they are sure to be having some awesome photos and updates on one of the greatest bicycle events ever. We will be showing off some of our personal favorites here at BikeProvo. My favorite so far is this bike polo build from Geekhouse (below). It has SS couplers, beefy wheels, mallet strap, disk brakes and, built in disk brake guards. As always aesthetically pleasing while kicking butt and taking names. Tells us what some of your favorite rides are from NAHBS in the comment section.

Moving Beyond the Automobile

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Biking from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Our friends over at Streetfilms.org have done it again. They have a great series going on right now entitled Moving Beyond the Automobile. This is the second installment which is (as I am sure you have guessed) about bicycles. It highlights not only some of the great facts and figures of bicycling but also some of the best pro bicycle people and cities in the nation. Every time the frame changed to a new person I kept seeing the caption read, “John Curtis Mayor of Provo City.” One day I suppose. We hope you enjoy.

Open House Tomorrow: Provo State Street Multi-User Path

Provo is currently designing a multi-user path for South State Street. Come to an open house tomorrow night to learn about the project, ask questions, share your thoughts, and show some support for bikes in Provo. Everyone is welcome.

Here’s how the city explains the project:

“The Provo State Street Improvement Project is primarily focused on improving safety on south State Street between 900 South and 1860 South. Provo City and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) are planning to add or improve the parkstrip, curb, and gutter along the east side of the street. Plans also include shoulder widening and a 10′ multi-use path. The project is currently in the preliminary design stages.”

The Details:

Thursday, February 24, 2011
5-7 p.m.
Spring Creek Elementary
1740 S. Nevada Ave.

An Excuse to Ride

We here at BikeProvo have many riding styles. A few of us even ride year round. I am on of those year round commuters/riders. I will ride by bike on any day in any weather (except the awful inversion). I know that many people do not take this approach including many of my close friends who are die hard riders. They tend to call me crazy and, maybe I am. Either way all I know is I love to ride my bike and will ride it as long as I can. However, this brings me to an interesting phenomenon which happens around this time of year every year. As the weather starts to give all of us windows that we can go for rides and, as the season begins to change I get stuck in Bicycle Limbo. I look at my bike and think, “It has been a long winter and this weather is tricking us into thinking about Spring.” As the days wear on I am extra tired riding around and feel, dare I say, a little bored. Not necessarily bored with my bicycle or my ride but bored with the cold and, the dirty snow and, the wearing of layers. The best remedy for this I have found is to add something to my cycling artillery. I would say that I am a simple guy but, from time to time, I like to buy or make a handy little do-dad for my bike. It spices up my ride and makes me want to take it out for a spin just to show it off.

Basically getting something bicycle related from time to time often gives you an excuse or inspiration to ride. The National Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is right around the corner and you can bet we will be showing off some of the awesome stuff coming from there. Until then there are two things I stumbled across lately that have caught my eye which I wanted to share with all of you. The first is a company out of Salt Lake City. I do not know much about them except that they are a design firm and they are working on getting a great seat clamp into production. The clamp is a normal quick release with a surprise, it also has a bottle opener. Basically this combines my three favorite things: bicycles, glass botteled soda (Mexican Coke/Virgils Root Beer) and, buying local. Head over to their website and check them out.

Next up is a new t-shirt company geared towards gears. Their name is GoVelo Wear and I will let them explain themselves,

The GOVELO mission is to promote bicycling culture through design. We create apparel inspired by our love of cycling in all its forms: as transportation, as a sport, as a hobby, as a passion, as a way of life. Whether you ride 3 times a day, once a month, or are a rabid member of the tifosi, our shirts let you display your love of the bike.

Riding a bicycle is the right thing to do. Go ride, go velo!

They have some incredible shirts which I will be purchasing in the near future. My favorite is the Jens Voigt one. For those of you who do not know Chuck Norris wishes he could be Jens Voigt. For further reference go here and here.

These are a few things I have been looking at to get out of Bicycle Limbo. With NAHBS quickly approaching we will have a post up about some of the most beautiful bikes from around the globe and, I will have some fuel to get me through until Spring is here for reals. If you have not ridden in a while jump in the saddle and just go for a quick ride you will not regret it.

New: Report a Provo Road Incident

catcubed instructs the tweeders on etiquette
Creative Commons License photo credit: greenkozi

A new feature on BikeProvo lets you instantly report a bike incident. Did you have a dangerous encounter with a car? See debris blocking a bike lane? Meet a friendly police officer who waved as you rode by? Reporting your bike-related road incidents helps us solve problems for cyclists and compile data that can be used to promote more bike lanes and safe routes for cyclists. Let us know what you encounter on the road, either positive or negative. Don’t be afraid of posting too often. By reporting your road incidents regularly, you help make Provo a better place for bikes.

You can create an instant report by clicking on the Report a Road Incident link on the top menu bar. Happy cycling!

New Bike Facilities Planned: Lakeshore Drive Trail Head


The new bike lanes on Lakeshore drive will soon have some company in the form of a trail head park complete with bike racks, bathrooms, and a staging area for bicycle races.

The plans for the Lakeshore Drive Trail Head were recently presented to the city council by Provo Parks and Rec. Although the plans seem ready-to-go, there is currently no funding for this park. However, completing it will be relatively inexpensive and cyclists are hoping that the funding can be found and allocated to this promising project soon.

Happy Valley Bike Fashion Show

I just recently stumbled across this incredible could be event and want to make sure that everyone knows about it. Nick Moore (who I have heard is doing better thanks to your help) and, what looks to be a bunch of other rad guys, are putting together a night of bicycles, movies, fashion, and fun. Here is the official lowdown from the event, followed by one of the best ideas I have ever heard:

Basically, the goal is to bring your dope bike, sit on it and watch life cycles. The date isn’t set in stone, hopefully we can do it at demon…or possibly uvu. Brian Washburn and I were talking about it…just trying to see if there’s interest

From John Washburn

‎’could happen at Raintree… Dirt Jumps, Ramps “fezzari” We would just need power, a sheet and projector. I think a local party will bring more of a casual audience, i.e. girls (which are always scarce at these parties). BikeFest in ways. We could have fixie games, Bike polo, High jumping contests. Game of “bike” at the jumps. Sidehack races!!! kiddie bike races. Fastest tube changer contest. Makeshift foampit. Awards could be fun. I know, too much jabber. St pattys party last year was amazing, Just saying- It could be bigger!

Bike polo! High jumps! Sidehack races! This sounds like a dream. Even if you do not want to do any of these things you have to admit that they would be fun to watch. To make sure this happens go to this Facebook page and sign up. It looks like the whole thing will be put on by Demon Dirt which is a great company who really does care about the bike. Make sure to swing over and check them out, I particularly like the Penny Farthing shirt. I will be crossing my fingers and, working on a sidehack, for the next month or so in hopes that this happens.

Portlandia

Whether you are a transportation nerd, a cyclocross fiend, or a freak bike addict, Portland has it all. As it turns out, they also have a T.V. show (may not be everyones cup of tea). The show makes fun of the little eccentricities that you can find pretty easily in Portland. Obviously, it does not leave out bikes and bike riders. Below is the bicycle specific clip (the ending is a little painful). Favorite part is when he asks the birds if they have little bikes.