Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 Points Merchants Say Screw It & Install Bike Rack

When it comes to bicycle infrastructure it is very safe to state that Jacksonville is lacking. That lacking infrastructure is not limited to bike lanes and paths, but also includes bicycle parking. It is also beyond impossible to get the city to respond to the demands of the public when it is pointed what and where it is lacking and no one is more aware of this than the merchants of 5 Points.

Take a walk thru 5 Points shopping district just about anytime and it's completely within the norm to find bikes locked to just anything that will stand still long enough. Add to the narrow pedestrian unfriendly sidewalks that line the storefronts stacks of bikes and mobility around the area can get pretty cramped.

Merchants in 5 Points have been asking the city for over 2 years to improve the situation and put bike racks in. After finally having been given the run-a-round around by the city for the last time, the merchants said "screw it" and purchased a rack themselves and installed it.

While one rack will not do much to alleviate the bike parking situation in 5 Points. It is a start and welcome sight.

Is this rack legal and will the bike rack stay? According to Jacksonville Municipal Code, no:

Sec. 616.102. - Bicycle racks on sidewalks.

No person shall place any bicycle rack on any sidewalk or in the space between the sidewalk and the roadway of any street without obtaining a permit from the Council for that purpose. The Council may grant a permit under such terms and conditions as to it shall seem advisable for the protection of the interests of the City. Violation of this Section shall constitute a class C offense.

As historically inattentive as the city is to bicycle infrastructure I doubt anything will come of the improvements the merchants have made and I think that if the city won't respond to a communities needs. Then the communities are within their rights to do what they can to meet those needs themselves.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Commuter Profile - Sam Holcombe

Meet Sam Holcombe, third place winner in the English moustache division at the World Beard and Moustache championships. Some of you may have have already met Sam during his days working at Native Sun. He is originally from Oklahoma and has been working and going to school in Jacksonville for the last 4 years.

What do you use your bike for?
I use my bike for transportation and fun.

How long have you been commuting by bicycle and what was that inspired you to start?
I always felt guilty about driving: buying gas, spending so much money on every little thing. I would commute off and on for a few years and on new years I gave up driving completely.

How many days of the week do you commute by bike?
Six or seven depending on the week.

What would you say to convince someone who is considering commuting by bicycle to give it try?
It can be done. It is not always easy but it can be done.

What could the city do to make biking better?
Bike lanes! And not ones that cut out for no apparent reason. It is safer to have a bike line and make the trip that much more enjoyable.

What reaction do you get from co-workers?
A few people I work with don’t have cars and it is seen as normal to get to work by other means.

What’s the best thing about commuting by bicycle?
Not driving. I feel better about not driving and I stay in shape.

Can you give a brief description of your route?
I don’t ride on the safest roads. I take University to Phillips to get to school, Phillips to get to work and Atlantic to go back home. If I have school and work it’s about 19 miles.

Where are your favorite roads or paths to bike in Jacksonville? Least favorite?
I like the Baldwin trail and going up the Acosta, one of the only hills in Jacksonville. I don’t like Atlantic Blvd. Drivers seem to be the worst on Atlantic.

What do you like about biking in Jacksonville? And dislike?
Jacksonville is flat. If this town had bike lanes you could actually use to commute it wouldn’t be that bad of a town to bike in. Jacksonville is also huge but the more you bike the smaller the distances seem.

Have you ever combined transit and biking or used a bus bike rack?
Yes, sometimes it’s a nice break to use but I find it easier just to bike than use the bus system here. I have also been kicked of the bus for having my folding bike.

Do you commute in cycling or street clothing? And if cycling clothing, how do you handle the change to street/work clothing?
I commute in both. I change in a bathroom when wearing cycling clothes

Any bike gadget/gear cyclists should not go out without?
All you need is a bike and a bag. I have a few gadgets like bike trailer when I need to carry more stuff but it is not necessary.

Are you a member of any cycling organizations/clubs? If so, which ones?

Scary bike stories?
I have been hit by two purple Dodge Caravans.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

$10 Bike Detailing Now Available at RAM Bike Valet

For two seasons now Bike Jax has been happy to provide safe and secure free bike parking to the patrons of the Riverside Arts Market. Bike Jax like every other advocacy group is continually seeking funding sources, but we are uncomfortable and unwilling to beg for it since we understand how tight everyones budget is. We would rather provide something of value for our supporters. Bike Jax is happy to announce that we have teamed up with the Bicycle Clinic to offer complete Bicycle Detailing. Not only can you relax knowing that your bike is being is being watched over. You can now go and enjoy all that RAM has to offer and make that ride home with your baked goods, veggies and local art on a spotless and shiny bike.

Complete Detailing Includes:

  • Environmental Friendly Waterless Cleaning of:
  • The Chain, Entire drive train, Front & Rear Derailleurs, Hubs, Rims, Frame, Spokes & the Cassette.
  • Lubing of Drive Train
  • Polishing of Frame (all frame materials) to give that showroom finish.

All for $10 every Saturday at the Riverside Arts Market Free Bike Valet.

Don't have the time to get your bike done on Saturday's? Live too far away from the Arts Market? We'll come to your home or business and detail your ride during the week. $20
Call Matt at 904.335.8166 for an Appointment.

Need more than just a clean and shiny bike? Not a problem. Alex of the Bicycle Clinic is offering a

$49.95 Bicycle Detail & Tune-up Special

It includes:

  • The Complete Bicycle Detail Listed above Plus:
  • Same day service
  • Free Pick Up & Delivery
  • Replace all Cables
  • Adjustment of brakes and gears
  • Inspection and adjustment of all components to assure they functioning correctly
  • Inflating tires to proper pressure
  • Lubrication of hubs, headset (if needed)
  • Inspection of Cables housings
  • True wheels

Call Alex at 904.422.1144 for details and arrangements.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Customer's bike accidentally sold at estate sale

Let this be a lesson to why you should always lock your bike. Even when you're in "safe surroundings" or "just right over here."

Via: Pensacola News Journal

PENSACOLA -- When Jim Rodney visited an estate sale on Saturday, he parked his bicycle near the carport so he could go inside to examine the merchandise.

When he came out he discovered that his bike -- his sole means of transportation -- accidentally had been sold, for $5.

Rodney, 56, said his bicycle, a chrome, 27-inch, 21-speed Schwinn Super Sport, had a value of about $450. Super Sports models on the Schwinn website sell from $450 to $950. He said that his bicycle apparently had been the victim of poor communication between the buyer and the family member helping with the estate sale, who had been haggling over another, older, bicycle in poor condition.

The organizers of the estate sale, held at a home on Dunwoody Drive, felt bad about the mix-up and offered him $100, Rodney said.

"I thanked them, but I told them that that wouldn't help me get my bicycle back," Rodney said. The organizers of the sale could not be reached for comment.

Since giving up his car about a year ago, Rodney has ridden his bike everywhere -- to work, on errands, etc. -- and had just had the rear tire and some cables replaced in preparation for a journey to Kansas.

"I'm hoping that the person who bought the bike will see this and realize that a mistake was made and have the kind-enough heart to get it back to me," Rodney said.