Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bury Your Bike Two Kicks Off Tonight

I almost forgot about posting this. Tonight is the kickoff a full weekend of drunken bike mayhem with the second Bury Your Bike Two hosted by Zombie Bikes.

The scheduled events are:

  • Thursday Night
    Midnight Mass - Meet at the Cummer Museum on Riverside Avenue. Ride starts at midnight and travels through Riverside, Downtown, Springfield and other common neighborhoods with possible drop stops at local bars. Everyone of every speed and bicycle type is welcome.

  • Friday
    5:30 - Critical Mass from the BBB (1520 N Main) through downtown to 5 Points in Riverside to join in First Fridays. Then to... This is intended to be a fairly slow ride with emphasis on keeping the group together and having fun.
    **Note: If you are not okay with metal music and heavy drinking, it's probably in your best interest to stay and enjoy First Fridays. Please don't let this deter you from riding CM, we would love your company, just a forewarning.
  • 8/9 PM - Shantytown Pub
  • Live Bands
  • Tandem PBR Races through alleys

  • Saturday
    All day and night at the BBB Starts at noon - Kick off the bike games with a 6 pack attack, then tons of bike games including foot down, zombie hunt, bike toss, leaner slalom, grilling and chilling, free food and lots of good conversations....
  • Night - Heavy Flow and The Biking Viking
  • Dance Party dj'ed by Furoche and Methadonnie and others

  • Sunday
  • 1 pm - Bike Polo at the BBB
  • Possible game of SKATE - TBA

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chastity Rettinger & Jack Hartly Ghost Bikes

On Tuesday the 14th April, mother of 2 Chastity Rettinger set out from her office to spend her lunch hour training for the MS150.

Chastity along with friend and co-worker Kristine Whitley had no reason to worry about their intended route. They would be riding along Old St. Augustine Rd. which is one of the few roads in Jacksonville that not only has marked bike lanes. But that also correctly moves the cyclist to the left of right hand turn lanes eliminating "The Right Hook" which is the number one cause of automobile/cyclist accidents.

While moving the cyclist to left of the right turn lane might end the potential of the right hook. It doesn't however protect the cyclist from the inattentive driver.

Approaching the I-95 overpass a driver was too busy fiddling with his GPS to notice the cyclists on his left as he left the right turn only lane to merge back into traffic. In doing so he hit both cyclists ending Chastity Rettinger's life and sending Kristine Whitley to the hospital.

The driver drove away from the accident scene with a minor citation.

Kristine Whitley suffered no major injuries and is back to work and still plans on riding the MS150.

On February 3rd, 77 Year old Jack B. Hartley was stuck from behind in the 100 block of Chaffee Rd. North. He died six day later of the injuries sustained from the collision.

According to the Times-Union, "The driver didn't see Hartley because he was wearing dark clothing and didn't have any lights on his bike." No information is available if the driver was cited or not. I'm going to go out on limb here guess not. We (Bike Jax) have put in a request for a copy of the Accident report once available.

So yes, Mr. Hartley bared a certain amount of responsibility for the actions that lead up to his death by not having lights. But last I checked with the State of Florida bicycle and traffic laws, I failed to find any law or statute governing clothing color.

The thing that is so bother-some about Mr. Hartley's accident is the location and the statement, "The driver didn't see Hartley." Abhishek and I didn't make it out to place the bike until just before sunset. By the time we had determined where to place the Ghost Bike and made it back to our vehicle it was well after dark. We did however notice on the walk back how well lighted the stretch of Chaffee Rd. from I-10 to Beaver St. is.

Chaffee is so well lighted that if Mr. Hartley had been dressed as a Ninja there is no reason that the driver should not have seen him other that of inattentiveness.

Divers of motor vehicles have one job to do when driving. That is to simply not hit anything. Is that really asking too much?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bike To The Jacksonville Green Expo

This weekend the Jacksonville Green Expo debuts at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Having out grown the it's former location the Morocco Shrine the Green Expo is way bigger and greener than expos of the past.

Unlike most events held at the convention center. You will not feel like you are being held up at gun point at the ticket window.

Admission is only $5 and kids under 12 are free.

Bike Jax is happy to support the Green Expo with Free Bike Valet Services. What greener way to arrive at the expo could there be? Ok, I guess walking is greener. But you can't take advantage of the Bike Valet if you do that.

The Bike Valet will be open during show hours of:

Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 4:30pm

The Bike Valet is located right off Bay St. Just past (West) of the Train Car.

Here's the perfect Saturday for you. Get on the bike and ride over to the Riverside Arts Market. Park your bike at the Bike Valet Station. Get your art and produce groove on. Munch on some baguettes and vegan funnel cake. Hop back on the bike for the quick ride over to Convention Center. Once again dropping your bike at yet another Bike Valet and get your green on. Does the Urban Core rule or what?

Fox Green It. Do They Really Mean It?

I saw these Green It Mean it. ads last night on the Fox Network. After the initial shock I wondered if someone in programing had screwed up and was about to find themselves one of the unemployed masses. Then I thought maybe, just maybe Murdoch had walked into the light and away from the right-wing conspiracy. Whatever the reason maybe, Fox should be congratulated for a very nice series of Earth Day spots.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tweeting Your Way Around Jacksonville

With the rise in popularity of Twitter. It's many uses are becoming more and more apparent for quick communication and the sharing of realtime information. And we here at Bike Jax thought Twitter would be perfect for locals cyclist to connect before, during and after the ride and maybe even help each other out in those times of need.

In our never ending string of brilliance we have created CycleJax. If you're already on Twitter you know what to do.
If you are not yet on the Twitter rampage, it's a simple signup which requires little more than you picking a name and password. Then a couple more click to set up your cell phone to Twit out your text messages while out on rides.

Please make sure you add hash-tag #cyclejax to your post so they can be found.

  • Need help finding the best routes? Tweet it out!
  • Did you just stumble across a scenic place to ride and want to share a picture? Tweet it out!
  • Want to know where the best food or coffee joints are along your ride? Tweet it out!
  • Looking for a riding partner or a group to join? Again, Tweet it out.
  • Got a group ride or cycling event to announce? Yep, you got it. Tweet it out!
  • Broke down roadside? Too bad, you suck. Ha, just kidding. Tweet it out and maybe find some help.

Please make sure you add hash-tag


to your post so they can be found.

Don't forget to follow Bike Jax on Twitter also.

High-Speed Rail - Is Jacksonville Out of the Loop?

Earlier today President Obama announced his administrations plans for High-Speed Rail throughout our great nation. I posted a map of the purposed High-Speed Corridors back in February that shows (as does the one above) a corridor coming into and out of Jacksonville.

But while a lot of rail talk in jacksonville is going on in the local media and local blogs. There seems to be a massive void in the talk about rail coming from local leaders.

And I'm afraid that if our local leaders don't pull their collective heads out their collective asses. We (Jacksonville) are going to find ourselves out of the loop on not only the greatest transportation enhancement this country has untaken in decades. But also out of the loop on what could be the biggest shot in the arm for Downtown redevelopment this city will ever get.

You can read more Obama's plan at The White House Blog. Or if you prefer you can watch the announcement via CSPAN here.

Great Moments in Pedestrian History

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finding Some Style Over Speed Wtih Abici Bikes

Tried of waiting for local bike shops to get a clue. Nest Living owner Shaan Batten has taken it upon himself to bring sensible and stylish bikes to Jacksonville.

Nest Living opened in its current Five Points location just over year ago and has since been the goto place for coolest and latest in home lifestyle fashions.

What better way is there to enhance your lifestyle than on the back of a beautiful Italian made Abici bicycle?

The Nest Living website lists a full line of the Granturismo (single speed) and Sveltina models (internal 8-speed) of Abici bikes.

Shaan told me over the phone he expects the first shipment of bikes around the beginning of May. He also offers free shipping on orders outside of Jacksonville. We'll bring you more info and pictures once these outstanding bikes arrive.

Action Wipes - Bike Valet Tested

A couple of months ago I received a package in the mail that contained something called "Action Wipes."

Being the male person I am, my mind automatically started flipping through the adult section of one-liners in my mental rolodex looking for any and everything that could relate to the term Action Wipes. After my own personal Beavis and Butthead moment of amusement I put them up in a safe place for the time being. I thought it best to wait until the warmth and humidity of Florida returned to test these things out.

In all fairness to Martha Van of Life Elements, creator and founder of Action Wipes. I had read reviews about the product on many other cycling and outdoor related blogs and sites so I already had a fair idea of what the wipes were and what they could do. Still, you know you have try out any product with a tag line of, "Your face is not a baby's butt. Don't wipe it like one!"

I won't bore you with all the little nonessential details. You don't really need to know that Action Wipes are all natural, washable and recyclable. You probably don't care that unlike those cheap store bought baby wipes, that Action Wipes contain no alcohol. You'll most likely figure out on your own that these wipes contain 100% pure tea tree and eucalyptus oils that leave your skin feeling not only clean but refreshed, and not all dried out like those cheap baby wipes. You don't need to know those things. So I just won't bother telling you.

Like I stated above, I had read about Action Wipes on various other blogs and websites. I already knew how they worked for cyclists here and here. I also knew how they faired for campers and kayakers.

But how would they stand up to the riggers and dangers in a world that is...Bike Valet. (Dum-da-Dummm)

I bet your wondering right now what makes being a bike valet so dangerous. Beside the fact that we wear white shirts around grease covered bikes. We have to park upwards of a hundred bikes. While the vast majority of the bikes owners are very cool and fun to deal with. There comes the occasional lycra covered she-devil screaming "don't hurt my Ruby" with every step you take while putting their carbonfiber machine in place. And if your choose to park that bike in a place not suitable for that bike, well you will suffer a wrath of which I wish on no one.

We also on occasion get asked to make minor adjustments to a bike. We are more than happy to add some air to your tires or tweak your brakes or shifting if needed. And in doing do we tend to make contact with the more grease laden parts of the bike. Which provided the perfect opportunity to put Action Wipes to the test.

Before the cleaning with an Action Wipe.

After the Cleaning with an Action Wipe.

As you can see from the pictures above the Action Wipes were totally up to the riggers and dangers that the world of Bike Valet imposes. And if they can take that kind of torture. Rest assured they will handle anything that you may need them for.

If you haven't seen any of the 20 or so links above. You can find Action Wipes here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Yet Another Bike Valet Post...and Some Other News

Riverside Arts Market is here again tomorrow and so is the Free Bike Valet. Both the RAM and the Bike Valet were a huge success. We both have been all over the news but only the Bike Valet was officially proclaimed as "adorable" in a recent article in the Time-Union.

We have greatly expanded our space and bike storage capacity for this week in the hope that the scene pictured below will become distant memory.

In other Jax bike news that I have just not had the time to devote proper attention to:

The North Florida TPO Thursday voted to disband the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (B/PAC). I'll post complete details and what this means for the future of Jacksonville cyclists in the first part of next week.

I apologize for the lack of posting going on here at Bike Jax. We hope to have the Bike Valet all ironed out as of this weekend and expect to resume normal posting this next week. Thanks to everyone that has supported Bike Jax and the valet service at the Riverside Arts Market. See you Saturday.

PS. If anyone knows a local printer or copyshop that might be interested in trading out 40 sheets of color copies per week for some ad space. Please let me know at [email protected]

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kickn' It Bike Valet Style

The urban core was electric with excitement and anticipation of the opening of the The Riverside Arts Market (RAM) this past week. Everywhere you turned people were talking it.

We at Bike Jax were just as excited for the opening and had spent the last couple of weeks planing and building a portable but secure enclosure and bike racks that could house around 50 bikes that would become the Bike Valet station for the duration of the RAM season which runs every Saturday from now until December.

What we didn't plan for was the overwhelmingly positive response that free parking of bikes would generate.

Like I stated above, we planed to house about 50 bikes at a time throughout the day. We really thought that we might handle about 100 bikes for the duration of the market hours. Boy, did we miscalculate those numbers.

8:30 AM:
Arrive at the Market and begin set up which only took about 30 minutes from unloading to completion despite being the first time and having to do some finishing details.

Just after we finished setting up we look up to see RAM Volunteer Jeanmarie Grimsley riding up to us and we took it as a good sign that the very first valeted biked in Jacksonville was her stunningly beautiful British Pashley Delibike.

10:00 AM:
The Riverside Art Maket opens and the first bikes start rolling in. At this point Abhishek and I are feeling pretty good.

10:20 AM:
Panic soon replaces that good feel as we quickly reach capacity and are trying to figure out what to do with the line of bikes waiting that will almost double our current bike count.

11:00 AM:
A steady Stream of bikes continues through out the morning. It's not much longer before every inch of the empty space pictured below is filled with a bike. Leaving the only way to get a bike in or out is to lift it over ones head and carry it out to the owner or into a parking space. And I'm here to tell you that beach cruisers were not built with any thought given that someone may have to lift it. If anyone found a testicle rolling around the market Saturday. It's probably mine.

12:30 PM:
We originally thought we might handle 100 bikes throughout the 6 hours of the market. But here we are at two and half hours in and we have just parked the 100th bike... In a space designed for 50. We got our ass kicked... and loved it.

For the day we parked 175 bikes and despite the over crowded parking situation, we didn't turn away a single bike. We really appreciate the support we got from everyone involved with the Riverside Arts Market. Which I hear was a huge success. I say hear because everything that happened outside of that orange fencing was just a blur. We were also stunned by the overwhelming positive comments by not only those who used the Bike Valet. But also by those that didn't.

The Bike Jax Bike Valet would never of happened without the continued help and support of Abhishek. This guy is soldier.

If you didn't make it out for the Arts Market this past weekend. I hope you will make plans to join us in the coming weeks. And plan on riding your bike. We have plenty of

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bike Valet Live Twitter Feed

Join Bike Jax as we do some Tweeting from Riverside Arts Market and the Bike Valet location. Let others know what your doing at RAM and what you think about the Bike Valet. Just add hash-tag #bikevalet to your tweets o see them on the live feed here on Bike Jax.

On your way and need some info or directions? Drop us a direct message at @bikejax or @abhishek_m.

How to Get to The Riverside Arts Market by Bike

Unless you live under a rock you have had to by now seen, heard or read about the opening of the Riverside Arts Market (RAM). Local media coverage has not been lacking for the Market as well as for the Bike Valet service we are providing.

I've received dozens of emails wanting to know the best way to get to RAM with a bike from those not fortunate enough to live within the Urban Core.

While there is ample parking around the Market. You are still going to have to deal with the traffic. If you would like to avoid that altogether here are some alternative suggestions for getting there by bike.

  • Take the bus

Every JTA bus has bike racks that are free and simple to use offering a hassle free option for getting from your burb to Downtown.

Use the JTA Trip Planner to locate the closest bus stop to your home and best route for you.

Use F.C.C.J. Station in the "Enter Your Destination" field. This is the main hub for JTA and will leave you a 2 minute bike ride from the Riverwalk (See Map Below) which will take you right to the Arts Market under the Fuller Warren Bridge.

  • Drive Your Bike Downtown and Use the Free Street Parking.

There is parking on just about every downtown street. Don't worry about feeding meters as all street parking is free on the weekends. If you're not comfortable parking on the street then there are several parking garages and paid surface lots located throughout downtown.

If you're coming in from the Westside or Orange Park you may just want to find parking in Riverside and bike or walk over to RAM. Like downtown there is street parking available on most streets.

If you chose to park in Riverside please remember that this is our home. While we welcome all of you. Don't block driveways, park in the yards or pull up on the grass.

  • Now that you have arrived with your bike to the Riverside Arts Market. Where do you secure it?

You don't. Bring your bike to the Free Bike Valet in the NorthEast Corner of the Market and let us secure your bike and accessories for the duration of your stay at the Arts Market.

Make sure you read the Top Ten Things To Know about the Riverside Arts Market. We look forward to seeing Saturday.