Sunday, February 7, 2010

Local blog round-up (Super Sunday edition)

An antique bike in New Orleans' French Quarter. Image found here.

In the spirit of Super Sunday, here at the top of this week's Local Blog Round-up you'll find some links to some prominent New Orleans cycling blogs. But Colts fans shouldn't despair; at the bottom of this post you'll find an equal number of Indianapolis cycling blogs.

N'awlins blogs: NolaCycle Bike Map Project, What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today [UPDATE, Feb.8: have a look at What I Saw's chronicling of "mass high fivery" in the Quarter after the game], On the Rivet with Randy.

Hmm: "Local" and "blog" in the title are a bit troublesome, as they were last week. Ah, well. Things do happen elsewhere than the area cycling blogosphere that seem, to your correspondent, to be of interest or in some way pertain to that which we're about here at this site. So, like, Deal. And for my part, I'll come up with some permanent title for this feature that is more inclusive.

Friday's Eagle had this story about a talk given here in town by Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute. According to the article, O'Toole's talk wasn't especially Wichita-centric; it was more of a general critique of recent tendencies in urban design to create a more walkable urban core, as well as the usual methods of encouraging businesses to build downtown and the financing of such projects. Cato's reputation as a libertarian think tank precedes it, so O'Toole's observations should have come as no surprise to his audience. Personally, I'm puzzled by O'Toole's implicit support of a car-centric infrastructure; that infrastructure is expensive to build and maintain and so requires lots of (taxpayer) money, not to mention government regulation: two things that good Libertarians would resist. I'd think that the bicycle would be an excellent choice for Official Vehicle of the Libertarian Party. But I do admit I was glad to see this bit in the article:
O'Toole encountered some pushback from members of the audience who said there are a lot of Wichitans who want more walkways and bike paths.

"I don't think it's a fad like you're saying," said resident Janice Bradley.
Even better is the give-and-take in the comments section. Those supportive of a more walkable downtown acquit themselves quite well there; they respond to O'Toole's defenders there with actual, well, arguments in favor of walkability.

Keep in mind that at a certain level, the comments are worth only what they are worth. Who knows, really, the extent to which the ideals of bike-friendliness, walkability, and all the rest are becoming more prominent ideas here in town. The fact remains, though, that people are making arguments on their behalf in public fora, and that is very much to the good.

I don't think Kansas City has a Cycle Chic blog yet, but via Kansas Cyclist comes an announcement of something that not even all Cycle Chic cities can claim: a Tweed Ride, to be held on April 3rd at Loose Park. As Randy notes, Tweed Rides are popping up in lots of places with fairly well-established cycling communities; the idea is to evoke something of the elegance of cycling from a century before and have a good time while doing so (and I also think I detect a humorous hitching onto of the Steampunk movement). The KC riders' organizers are pretty self-aware (pay very close attention to the prize categories, for example), but their larger purpose is, I think, the same as that of promoters of Cycle Chic and, thus, a serious one: Not only do you not need to be an athlete to ride a bike, you don't need to dress like one, either.

On to the blogs, now:

Two bloggers went out in last weekend's snow and brought back pics. Over at Adventure Monkey, Eric went for a Sunday ride in the snow. Here's what he saw. Meanwhile, Robert of River City Cyclist went out with a friend along the Arkansas River path and later posted these pictures.

From Bike Topeka come two items of interest. First is another very nice write-up, this one in the Washburn Review, about Topeka's new Community Cycle Project. The other is that Topeka is participating in a pilot project, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, called the Capital City Wellness Project; part of that project is called the Bikes for Wellness Program. Cyclists who have a program sticker on their helmets can show this sticker at participating businesses and receive discounts for their goods. I would think that something like this would be easy and inexpensive to implement here in Wichita--and not necessarily through government agencies, either . . .

Speaking of bicycle collectives, Wichita's own version of that enterprise extends an invitation to Riders of Rohan's two-year anniversary celebration on February 26th.

And--as promised . . .

A scene from Indianapolis's burgeoning bike culture. Image found here.

Indy bike blogs are very hard to come by--surprising, given the national reputation of The Indy Cog. I gathered via my bumping around that Indy cycling culture is about as nascent as Wichita's is. Having said that, though, if folks from Indy happen to find their way here and know of some good cycling blogs, by all means be sure to let me know in comments. Urban Indy is not, strictly speaking, a bike blog, but one interested in livability issues; meanwhile, there's Indy Bikehiker, the blog of a self-described "theological jackalope" (a Wesleyan-oriented advocate of peace-and-justice issues) who also happens to be an avid cyclist.

That's all for this week. Enjoy the game!


KansasCyclist said...

Thanks for the tip on the Bikes for Wellness program; I hadn't caught that, and will get something up about it on Kansas Cyclist.

Also, I just want to say again how good it is to have you back writing about Cycling in Wichita (and beyond)!

Roadrider said...

Jered (Pez Cycling News) posted his photos from last night in the the French Quarter:

John B. said...

Randy and Randy,
Thanks to the both of you for stopping by and commenting.

First Randy, I hope the pilot goes well; it'd be good to see it implemented state-wide. But again: it seems that some private coalition could easily set up such a program as well--a group of businesses in a certain part of town, a Chamber of Commerce, etc. Thanks also for the kind words--they are much appreciated.

Second Randy, thank you for sending the Flickr link along. There are some great pics in there, and the crowds look like they are intent on having a good time--as they should. I'm certain that there's a correlation between the number and quality of cycling blogs and Super Bowl victories . . .

Christopher said...

INDYCOG has a national reputation? That's pretty awesome. I hope it's a good reputation and not like we're that floozy at the bar with "the reputation."

You're right though. Bike blogs in Indy are hard to come by, which was the whole impetus of Ben & me starting INDYCOG. The only other blogs that come close are blogs that feature cycling, but aren't cycling specific, like Urban Indy that you mention. There's also a more recent one called Indy Velonauts here:

Kenneth Gibbons LLC said...

Bike blogs are hard to come by. The other blogs don't come close to this one. I love biking and took it up for health reasons. Great Blog thanks for the information.