Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Californians grow less reliant on cars, survey finds

Caltrans study shows walking, biking and transit use are up as auto trips fall. More young people don't have driver's licenses.

Bicycle riders gather to begin their ride at 1st and Spring streets in downtown Los Angeles in a CicLAvia event. A Caltrans study finds that Californians are using their cars less. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / October 6, 2013),0,4819684.story#ixzz2wSdgmpvv

Californians aren't depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans.
Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips, researchers say a decrease in car usage and a rise in walking, biking and taking transit indicate that Californians' daily habits could be slowly changing.
What is happening in California mirrors a nationwide decline in driving, experts say: The number of car miles driven annually peaked about a decade ago, and the percentage of people in their teens, 20s and 30s without driver's licenses continues to grow.
Researchers said the Caltrans findings could help cash-strapped agencies decide how better to allot their transportation dollars.
It is "a shift with real benefits for public health that also cuts greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollution," Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, said in a prepared statement.
From 2010 to 2012, researchers working for the California Department of Transportation asked about 110,000 people in more than 42,000 households to record the duration and distance of every trip they took during a random day, including running errands, going out to eat, and commuting to work or school.
In the decade since the survey was last conducted, in 2001, the rate of Californians walking, biking or taking transit on a typical day doubled to 22%, according to the data. During the same time period, the rate of Californians driving on any given day fell by about 12 percentage points.
From 2010 to 2012, more than 16% of daily trips were made on foot, the study said, taking an average of 10 minutes and covering one-third of a mile.
The average car trip in California was about 5.6 miles and took a little more than 18 minutes.
Daily trips on bicycles increased from 0.8% to 1.5% compared with the decade before, the data said, and the average trip spanned 1.5 miles and 18 minutes.
The average commuter rail trip, including data from Los Angeles County residents who rode the Metro Red and Purple Lines, was just under 10 miles and took nearly 24 minutes.
Nearly 8% of residents surveyed did not own a car. Statewide, households owned an average of 1.8 vehicles.
Although the decrease in driving and uptick in other forms of transportation seems promising, the study suggests an overall drop in the number of trips that could be cause for concern, said Brian Taylor, the director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies.
"It's not better for society if we reduce auto travel by having people who are stuck home and can't afford to get out," Taylor said.
He said transportation planners aim to shift people from cars to other modes of transit without reducing the total number of trips. Typically, seeing more trips means more people are working and have money to spend on errands and entertainment.
Taylor said vehicle trips should tick back up slightly in coming years if the economy continues to recover and if some of the 3.7% of Californians who are long-term unemployed find work again.
One-quarter of survey respondents did not have anyone working in the household. Of those who weren't working, nearly four in 10 were retired and about 15% were unemployed.

By Los Angeles Times


This definitely has to be luckiest cyclist EVER!

 Looking at video it appears that a passing pick-up truck dropped a mattress at the exact time he was passing a cyclist who ended riding it safely to the side of the road!!  Not sure how did his bike survived the whole thing but he lives to tell this store.
Whole thing was captured on a nearby security camera!!
Must see this video for your self!!

Via Dangerous Minds.

War vet wins right to keep name Cafe Roubaix after Specialized stands down

Story of a Small man business struggle to survive attack from BIG corporate Douchebag's at Specialized,  or what is in the name of Roubaix a small French Village that bike industry wants it so bad that they are willing to sue a small coffee shop!


Update: It looks like Specialized has worked out a deal to let war vet Dan Richter keep the name of Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio. Richter just posted this to his Facebook page:

“I had a great conversation with (Specialized founder and chairman) Mike Sinyard today, and I am happy to let everyone know that things will be working out fine.
“We thank you for your continued support. You have all been so very awesome to us!”
Here’s the story written earlier today.
Dan Richter, the war vet who was on the verge of giving up the name of his Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio in Cochrane after a lawsuit threat from U.S. bike giantSpecialized, looks to have won the battle.
Richter announced on his company Facebook page Monday night that he is back in discussions over the disputed use of the word Roubaix, a sign that he will be able to keep the name of his tiny store.
“We can announce that your voices have been heard,” he wrote. “We are now back in discussions with the other party. We are aware of recent announcements by third parties within the industry.”
Richter was referring to to a story by Stephen Frothingham in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, in which Advanced Sports International, which owns the trademark on the word Roubaix and leases it to Specialized in the U.S., announced that it will give Richter permission to keep the name for his Alberta store and brand of wheels. In essence, ASI told Specialized to back off and let Richter use the word.
“We have reached out to Mr. Richter to inform him that he can continue to use the name, and we will need to license his use, which we imagine can be done easily,” Pat Cunnane, the CEO of ASI, told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
It isn’t a done deal yet, but it’s a positive sign for the thousands of people who expressed support for Richter since I first wrote about the issue on Saturday.
The details of the deal speak to the complicated nature of trademarks in our globalized world. ASI first registered the word Roubaix as a trademark in the U.S., hoping to cash in on the storied history of the gruelling Paris-Roubaix bike race, (the same thing that attracted Richter). ASI markets a bike named Roubaix under its Fuji brand.
For the past decade, ASI has leased the name to Specialized for its own Roubaix road bike. Specialized, however, registered the word as a trademark in Canada, leading the company’s lawyers to contact Richter and threaten him with a lawsuit if he didn’t remove the word from his store.
Cunnane, however, told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News that goes against the terms of its deal with Specialized.
“We are in the process of notifying Specialized that they did not have the authority, as part of our license agreement, to stop Daniel Richter … from using the Roubaix name,” Cunnane said.
Cunnane’s futher comments mirrored the sentiment that exploded on social mediasince the story started circulating. Cunnane says he doesn’t think sharing the name with Richter will confuse consumers.
Specialized still has not commented, other than its original email to me in which it said it was simply defending its trademark when it moved to stop Richter’s use of Roubaix.
ASI, Specialized and Richter will no doubt have to hash out an arrangement, but after the huge global response to Richter’s story, this is no doubt a positive sign for those who support the veteran of the Afghan war.
Richter thanked the thousands of people who voiced support for him over the past few days.
“We have received over 3500 emails, hundreds of phone calls and messages, how many #s and @s? Tweets? Do numbers go that high?” he wrote. “Our little studio is just barely 900 sqft and cycling fans, cyclists, Velomintus, industry leaders & big shots, pro riders, and icons have all made their voice heard. Thank you.”

Original article by Calgary Herald here:

War vet wins right to keep name Cafe Roubaix after Specialized stands down

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A step Closer to Napa Valley "Vine Trail"

IMAGINE - the Napa Valley Vine Trail from Vine Trail Coalition on Vimeo.

Welcome to the Vine Trail! The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition is a grass-roots nonprofit with a vision to build a walking/biking trail system connecting the entire Napa Valley–and better join the Napa Valley to the rest of the active transportation world! WITH YOUR HELP we are working to design, fund, construct, and maintain 47 safe and scenic miles of level, paved, family-friendly, free-access Class I trail, stretching from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga.

To reed more visit Welcome to the Vine Trail! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dean's Blue Hole is the world's deepest known "Blue Hole" with an entrance below the sea level. It plunges 663 Feet deep (202 meters) in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long IslandBahamas.

"Blue Hole" is a term which often is given to sinkholes filled with water, with the entrance below the water level. They can be formed in different karst processes, for example, by the rainwater soaking through fractures of limestone bedrock onto the water table. 

Sea level here has changed: for example, during the glacial age during the Pleistocene epoch (ice age), some 15,000 years ago, sea level was considerably lower. The maximum depth of most other known blue holes and sinkholes is 360 feet (110 meters), which makes the 663 feet (202 meters) depth of Dean's Blue Hole quite exceptional.
Dean's Blue Hole is roughly circular at the surface, with a diameter ranging from 82–115 feet (25 to 35 meters). After descending 66 feet (20 meters), the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 330 feet (100 meters).

There are several freshwater water-filled sinkholes that are deeper than Dean's Blue Hole. These include the 890 feet (270 meters) Boesmansgat in South Africa, Mexico's Zacatón at 1099 feet (335 meters) and the 1286 feet (392 meters) Pozzo del Merro in Italy.

These Unique German Hostel Rooms Are Made From Camping Trailers

This unique German hostel rooms are made from camping trailers. Each trailer has diferente "theme" that cerise on the interior and exterior of the trailer.

To read more check here, however if you would like to make reservations contact them at Basecamp