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The Man Who Lived On His Bike [VIDEO]

Just a fun video to start the week. Happy Cycling!

Ninth Street Derby: Spectator & Volunteer Opportunity

Message of interest from Rusty Miller, Duke Cycling Head Coach:

On Sunday February 26, bicycle racing will return to Durham.  The Ninth Street Derby is a full day of criterium bicycle racing for teams from the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference and for the community at large.  There will be a full road closure of Ninth, Perry, Iredell, and Markham Streets to make a half-mile course that competitors will lap in as little as a minute.  The finish line will be near the Regulator bookshop.

Main events for the day will be 60-minute races for the top collegiate athletes at 1:00pm, and for professionals and elite amateurs at 4:30pm.  The remainder of the day will feature beginner and intermediate races for collegiate athletes in the morning and for the community beginning at 2:00pm.  Duke will seek to defend its regular season ACCC title against strong squads from NC State, UNC, ECU, Appalachian State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia, US Naval Academy, and others.

The spectacle of criterium racing is not unlike NASCAR as packs of cyclists jostle in close quarters for the best drafting positions in the field.  Excitement is guaranteed.  A pace car will lead the pack of riders around the city streets at speeds approaching 35 mph.  Spectators can walk around the course or sit tight at one of the dozen bars and restaurants along the course.

A full schedule and race flier is up at www.pedalgogy.com.  If you would consider serving as a course marshal for a couple of hours, you can indicate that on a google form linked on the website.

We hope to see you out!

Rusty Miller
Head Coach, Duke Cycling

This spring, think outside the Triangle

I’m so happy spring is fast approaching. It was a short winter, but it was a winter all the same. I love biking, but it’s hard to enjoy it when the dry cold air makes my lips crack, my nose run and my eyes water. While you wait out the last throes of winter, check out these awesome North Carolina bike routes. Spring break anyone??

Via the NC Department of Transportation:

Amazing information on mountain biking in NC’s state parks:
http://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/bicycle/mountainbiking/

Detailed information on biking in the Blue Ridge Parkway:
http://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/bicycle/blueridgeparkway/

Order maps for longer, cross-country routes:
http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/mappubs/bikemaps/

Save travels!

Pictured: Blue Ridge Parkway in the spring. You know you want in on this.

No Time Like the Present!

I look back on my childhood now and then, as every hard-working college student must, and wonder about how simple everything used to be. The worst part of my everyday used to be eating peas at dinner time. I had only a few worries, and nothing to stress about, or at least nothing of the sort that fills my daily to-do lists now. I never had to think about how I was getting from point A to point B, because so long as my shoes were tied and someone else could drive, I was as good as there.

Counter that to today. I’m continually chasing time: a better time, fun time, and good time, yes, but above all, more time. You might even hear me say, “I’ve got no time to talk!” Really? When did that happen? I can’t remember ever consciously beginning to make it impossible to get from one place to the next even with my (yet to be mastered) skills of apparition and disapparition. So if you were to ask me why I never biked to where I was going, I’d cite my lack of time to commute.

But is this actually correct? Is the commute by bike really so long, or have I just stretched myself so thin that it’s impossible to rely on anything that I don’t consider instant? Lately, my tired eyes have been reluctant to commit to much, and so I’m more likely to agree with this latter position. Plus, it’s not so much that I didn’t have time to commute… I found myself without time to do much of anything.

For me, the decision to start using my bike again wasn’t so much motivated by the environment or a need to exercise and be outdoors. Those things are wonderful, and excellent bonuses to my real goal. But in a larger attempt to slow down and begin to value the present moment, I’ve decided to bike as a way to keep in tune with my needs and wants, without depending on instant access.

And you know what else? Biking even gets me there on time, too.

10 Lessons from the World’s Great Biking Cities

Grist.org has compiled a list of the top 10 lesson that cyclist and communities should take away from the world’s great biking cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Copenhagen. Their top ten lessons are:

  1. It’s the infrastructure, stupid
  2. Bike share!
  3. It’s safer than a sofa
  4. Say “thank you”
  5. Turn streets into backyards
  6. Let prices tell the truth
  7. You don’t need “bike clothes”
  8. Electrify it
  9. Admit it: it’s emotional
  10. It’s a virtuous cycle

You can check out the details of these lessons on this page.

Interestingly, the first, fifth, and last lessons are centered on the need for proper infrastructure/biking environment. Duke and Durham have done a lot in recent years to improve bike infrastructure by adding new bike lanes all over town and placing sharrows on roads too narrow for a bike lane. However, I would be remise if I didn’t acknowledge that there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Personally, I would like to see the abandoned railroads leading out of Duke Hospital, along West Village and near Goldenbelt converted to multi-use trails and  see continuous bike lanes from Duke’s West Campus to downtown Durham and the American Tobacco Trail. Have your own idea on how to improve bike infrastructure and connectivity at Duke and around Durham? Feel free to share in the comments section. Happy Cycling!

 

Zombie Survival Training with Duke Campus Farm

Worried that you might not have the skills to avoid a zombie apocalypse? Or are you just interested in learning to live more sustainably? The Duke Campus Farm is hosting a series of workshops throughout the spring to help you survive a litany of catastrophes, whether they be living dead-related or not.

You should definitely check out the Basic Bike Repair workshop on February 24th at Durham Cycles on Ninth Street, especially if you’re new to cycling. (No one wants to get stranded with a flat). In addition, the Beer Brewing and Cheese Making workshops look particularly awesome as well, though all the events promise to be a fun time for all.

Space at some of these events is limited (and quickly filling up), so be sure to RSVP today on the Duke Campus Farm’s website. Happy Cycling!

Benefits of a Bicycle

(via the European Cycling Federation‘s Facebook Page)

Infographic on Bike Safety

The good folks at Bike Arlington have put together a great infographic to remind pedestrians, cyclist, and drivers alike of safe practices. Check it out!

 

New Shower Map

Brian Williams at Duke Parking & Transportation has created a new map of the shower facilities available for registered bike commuters at Duke. The facilities include:

  • Fuqua School of Business, only for use by Fuqua students, faculty and staff
  • Wilson Gym, for registered commuters
  • LSRC-C Wing, for registered students and employees
  • Fitzpatrick Center, for Pratt students and employees
  • School of Nursing, for Nursing students and employees
  • Trent Hall, for Trent Hall students and employees
  • Brodie Gym, for registered commuters
  • Smith Warehouse, for registered commuters

All of these shower facilities are card access, some of which require special permission. Be sure to check the map description to find out who to contact if you need access to a particular shower facility. As a reminder, all undergraduates have access to the Wilson and Brodie Gym showers throughout their hours of operation.

Chronicle Column: Sharrow the road

Be sure to check out Liz Bloomhardt’s column in the Duke Chronicle about the benefits of sharrows. You can read it here or grab a copy from newsstands around campus.

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, the sharrow stenciling has commenced! In addition, a number of the bike lanes are also being repainted, including stormdrain grate painting. Be on the look out for these new improvements.

Also, it is important to thank Brian Williams and Duke Parking & Transportation for making cycling safety a big priority this year. Their efforts are sincerely appreciated.

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