TIM JOHNSON: LEAVING A LEGACY FAR BEYOND RACING

April 11, 2014  by Rachel Walker from People for Bikes.com

Tim Johnson during the 2012 Ride on Washington. (Image: Jamie Kripke)

 

It’s one thing to climb through the ranks of professional athleticism and reach the top. It’s another to use that hard-won podium to advocate for a worthy cause. Tim Johnson, one of the best male cyclocross riders in the country, is doing both.

In 2011, Tim organized the Ride on Washington to raise awareness of bike advocacy. The ride traveled from Boston, MA to Washington, DC, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for PeopleForBikes. This year the ride moves to the Midwest; Johnson will lead the first Ride on Chicago in late May, which goes from Kansas City, MO to Chicago, IL.

“In 2010, I attended the National Bike Summit, which I hadn’t even known existed, as a guest of Richard Fries,” says Tim. “I realized there was a clear disconnect between the racing and advocacy communities. Our goal with the Ride on Washington, and this year’s Ride on Chicago, is to raise awareness of bicycle advocacy and its efforts nationwide among the racing community.”

By educating racers, who spend countless hours, days and months on roads, about the efforts to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, Tim hopes to bridge the gap between the two cultures. The ride raises money for PeopleForBikes, and in turn, local projects nationwide.

“Bike racers spend lots of time out on the roads training and racing, but typically aren’t aware of the effort it takes to put in just one bike lane or path,” says Tim. “It takes years of work. We appreciate it and would like to help.”

Energetic and inclusive, Tim is an ideal spokesman for the cause. At 36, he has managed to parlay a professional cycling career into an adventurous, world-traveling enterprise.

Tim during a cyclocross race. Hup hup! (Image: Todd Prekaski)

 

A New England native, Tim raced mountain bike, cyclocross and road bikes growing up. He turned pro in 2001 and joined the Cannondale team in 2006. Highly favored to win the 2014 CX Worlds in February, Tim suffered a race-ending crash.

That didn’t stop him from heading to Tokyo the following week with wife and racer Lyne Bessette, and then flying to Quebec City for some R&R. Of course, when you’re a professional sufferer, R&R is not synonymous with umbrella drinks and sandy beaches. Translation: he’s been skinning up mountains and skiing down them.

It’s all in a day’s work for Tim, who embraces the art of slogging through hard situations in search of athletic accomplishment and a clear mind. Not that it’s always easy, he says.

“One of the hardest things I push through each day is just getting out the door,” says Tim. “I’m a social bike rider, so the long solo hours of training are often the toughest challenges for me. I’d much rather get out on the bike with friends and do my ‘work’ during the ride we are doing.”

Surprisingly (or not) that can make group rides with Tim a little stressful—for everyone.

But that’s easily remedied with separating work and play. More than anything he wants to share his love for bikes with anyone who is interested in the sport.

“Bicycling has given me more than I could have ever imagined, taken me places far away and has introduced me to great people,” he says. “And I’m lucky to see time and time again that bikes aren’t just for racing or training on. They’re for moving, for transportation, for recreation, for work. They are for everyone.”

Tim (right) chatting with a friend during a ride. (Image: Dave Chiu)

Read original story here:

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Its iBikeRadio Time on 89.7 KSVG

iBikeRadio 7am on KSVG 89.7fm or www.ibikekern.com/ibike-radio/ for live feed!

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Todays show:

Paris Roubaix recap:

Sea Otter Classic re-cap:

Vision Zero Kern at Ramon Garza Elementary  & Sierra Mid School, with CHP and Bike Bakersfield for a “Safe Schools” enforcement and Education event! We had aprox 1000 students in three separate assemblies, Great Time!!

 

SF health officials recommend support of Vision Zero safety plan By Jessica Kwong @JessicaGKwong | March 19, 2014

Cindy chew/2010 S.f. Examiner file photo

  • The health commission has been urged to adopt Vision Zero, a pedestrian-safety initiative already adopted by the Board of Supervisors, Police Department and the SFMTA.

On the heels of the Board of Supervisors adopting a Vision Zero plan Tuesday to eliminate pedestrian fatalities within a decade, Department of Public Health staff recommended the Health Commission adopt it as well.

The proposal came Tuesday during the first pedestrian safety update to the commission’s Community and Public Health Committee in some two years, on behalf of DPH staff including epidemiologist Megan Wier.

Next, staff would need to draft a resolution to be brought before the full commission. In addition to the supervisors, the Police Department and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency have adopted Vision Zero.

Vision Zero’s goals are consistent with the Mayor’s Pedestrian Strategy and WalkFirst, a data-driven initiative unveiled a couple of weeks ago to address corridors with the most injuries, Wier said.

“This is something the health department has continued to prioritize,” she said.

In pushing the resolution, staff noted The City spends about $15 million annually treating pedestrian injuries, 76 percent of which is paid for by public funding for Medicare and Medi-Cal patients.

District 6, which includes the downtown and South of Market areas, had the highest total cost due to collision-related incidents, at $13.7 million, followed by District 3 to the north at $5.9 million and District 4 in the west at $5.25 million, according to San Francisco Injury Center data from 2006 to 2011.

Data is analyzed every several years, Wier said, and collision figures for 2011 showed “the same patterns.”

The most vulnerable populations were low-income, disabled, immigrant, non-English-speaking and senior residents, with the most injuries occurring in Chinatown, SoMA and the Tenderloin, according to the data.

“Usually these are communities with lower levels of car ownership and rely on public transit and a lot of walking,” explained Wier, who also co-chairs the Vision Zero task force.

The DPH, which developed a high-injury corridor map central to the WalkFirst project, is now looking at a more comprehensive surveillance system.

Work is being done to link data from San Francisco General Hospital.

“We know approximately 20 percent of pedestrian injuries are not reported on police records based on previous studies,” Wier said. “So setting up a system so we’re more regularly capturing those injuries will help understanding of injuries and where they’re happening as well as consequences.”

The SFMTA is also funding an effort to help the health department access collision data in a more timely fashion.

“Ultimately, our goal is to use this type of analysis to have more targeted interventions,” Wier said.

 

The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers

by BBC.com reporter Tom Stafford

About the author
Tom is a Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science for the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK. He is the co-author of the bestselling popular science book Mind Hacks and writes for the award-winning blog Mind Hacks which reports on psychology and neuroscience. You can follow him on Twitter at @tomstafford.

(Copyright: Thinkstock)

Something about cyclists seems to provoke fury in other road users. If you doubt this, try a search for the word “cyclist” on Twitter. As I write this one of the latest tweets is this: “Had enough of cyclists today! Just wanna ram them with my car.” This kind of sentiment would get people locked up if directed against an ethnic minority or religion, but it seems to be fair game, in many people’s minds, when directed against cyclists. Why all the rage?

I’ve got a theory, of course. It’s not because cyclists are annoying. It isn’t even because we have a selective memory for that one stand-out annoying cyclist over the hundreds of boring, non-annoying ones (although that probably is a factor). No, my theory is that motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order.

Driving is a very moral activity – there are rules of the road, both legal and informal, and there are good and bad drivers. The whole intricate dance of the rush-hour junction only works because people know the rules and by-and-large follow them: keeping in lane; indicating properly; first her turn, now mine, now yours. Then along come cyclists, innocently following what they see are the rules of the road, but doing things that drivers aren’t allowed to: overtaking queues of cars, moving at well below the speed limit or undertaking on the inside.

You could argue that driving is like so much of social life, it’s a game of coordination where we have to rely on each other to do the right thing. And like all games, there’s an incentive to cheat. If everyone else is taking their turn, you can jump the queue. If everyone else is paying their taxes you can dodge them, and you’ll still get all the benefits of roads and police.

In economics and evolution this is known as the “free rider problem”; if you create a common benefit  – like taxes or orderly roads – what’s to stop some people reaping the benefit without paying their dues? The free rider problem creates a paradox for those who study evolution, because in a world of selfish genes it appears to make cooperation unlikely. Even if a bunch of selfish individuals (or genes) recognise the benefit of coming together to co-operate with each other, once the collective good has been created it is rational, in a sense, for everyone to start trying to freeload off the collective. This makes any cooperation prone to collapse. In small societies you can rely on cooperating with your friends, or kin, but as a society grows the problem of free-riding looms larger and larger.

Social collapse

Humans seem to have evolved one way of enforcing order onto potentially chaotic social arrangements. This is known as “altruistic punishment”, a term used by Ernst Fehr and Simon Gachter in a landmark paper published in 2002. An altruistic punishment is a punishment that costs you as an individual, but doesn’t bring any direct benefit. As an example, imagine I’m at a football match and I see someone climb in without buying a ticket. I could sit and enjoy the game (at no cost to myself), or I could try to find security to have the guy thrown out (at the cost of missing some of the game). That would be altruistic punishment.

Altruistic punishment, Fehr and Gachter reasoned, might just be the spark that makes groups of unrelated strangers co-operate. To test this they created a co-operation game played by constantly shifting groups of volunteers, who never meet – they played the game from a computer in a private booth. The volunteers played for real money, which they knew they would take away at the end of the experiment. On each round of the game each player received 20 credits, and could choose to contribute up to this amount to a group project. After everyone had chipped in (or not), everybody (regardless of investment) got 40% of the collective pot.

Under the rules of the game, the best collective outcome would be if everyone put in all their credits, and then each player would get back more than they put in. But the best outcome for each individual was to free ride – to keep their original 20 credits, and also get the 40% of what everybody else put in. Of course, if everybody did this then that would be 40% of nothing.

In this scenario what happened looked like a textbook case of the kind of social collapse the free rider problem warns of. On each successive turn of the game, the average amount contributed by players went down and down. Everybody realised that they could get the benefit of the collective pot without the cost of contributing. Even those who started out contributing a large proportion of their credits soon found out that not everybody else was doing the same. And once you see this it’s easy to stop chipping in yourself – nobody wants to be the sucker.

Rage against the machine

A simple addition to the rules reversed this collapse of co-operation, and that was the introduction of altruistic punishment. Fehr and Gachter allowed players to fine other players credits, at a cost to themselves. This is true altruistic punishment because the groups change after each round, and the players are anonymous. There may have been no direct benefit to fining other players, but players fined often and they fined hard – and, as you’d expect, they chose to fine other players who hadn’t chipped in on that round. The effect on cooperation was electric. With altruistic punishment, the average amount each player contributed rose and rose, instead of declining. The fine system allowed cooperation between groups of strangers who wouldn’t meet again, overcoming the challenge of the free rider problem.

How does this relate to why motorists hate cyclists? The key is in a detail from that classic 2002 paper. Did the players in this game sit there calmly calculating the odds, running game theory scenarios in their heads and reasoning about cost/benefit ratios? No, that wasn’t the immediate reason people fined players. They dished out fines because they were mad as hell. Fehr and Gachter, like the good behavioural experimenters they are, made sure to measure exactly how mad that was, by asking players to rate their anger on a scale of one to seven in reaction to various scenarios. When players were confronted with a free-rider, almost everyone put themselves at the upper end of the anger scale. Fehr and Gachter describe these emotions as a “proximate mechanism”. This means that evolution has built into the human mind a hatred of free-riders and cheaters, which activates anger when we confront people acting like this – and it is this anger which prompts altruistic punishment. In this way, the emotion is evolution’s way of getting us to overcome our short-term self-interest and encourage collective social life.

So now we can see why there is an evolutionary pressure pushing motorists towards hatred of cyclists. Deep within the human psyche, fostered there because it helps us co-ordinate with strangers and so build the global society that is a hallmark of our species, is an anger at people who break the rules, who take the benefits without contributing to the cost. And cyclists trigger this anger when they use the roads but don’t follow the same rules as cars.

Now, cyclists reading this might think “but the rules aren’t made for us – we’re more vulnerable, discriminated against, we shouldn’t have to follow the rules.” Perhaps true, but irrelevant when other road-users perceive you as breaking rules they have to keep. Maybe the solution is to educate drivers that cyclists are playing an important role in a wider game of reducing traffic and pollution. Or maybe we should just all take it out on a more important class of free-riders, the tax-dodgers.

***13/02 UPDATE: We’ve changed a sentence in the third paragraph that readers said implied all cyclists break rules. This was not the intended implication of the original line, and we thank the readers who pointed this out.

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California Bicycle Laws from the California Bicycle Coalition

REPOST FROM CAL BIKE COALITION:

The California Vehicle Code contains the state laws that specify where and how bikes mustoperate-essential reading for anyone who rides a bike in California.

Below is a summary of CVC sections relating to bicycling, with links to the exact statutory language.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. CVC 21200

WHERE YOU CAN RIDE

Roadway: Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they’re traveling at the speed of traffic. If traveling slower than the speed of traffic, they can still position themselves wherever in the lane is necessary for safety. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as safelypractical except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. CVC 21202

Bicycle lanes: On a roadway with a bike lane, bicyclists traveling slower than traffic must use the bike lane except when making a left turn, passing, avoiding hazardous conditions, or approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. CVC 21208

Direction of travel: Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic, except when passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed due to road construction. CVC 21650

Motorized bicycles: Motorized bicycles may not be used on trails, bike paths or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. CVC 21207.5

Bike path obstruction: No one may stop on or park a bicycle on a bicycle path. CVC 21211

Sidewalks: Individual cities and counties control whether bicyclists may ride on sidewalks. CVC 21206

Freeways: Bicycles (including motorized bicycles) may not be ridden on freeways and expressways where doing so is prohibited by the California Department of Transportation and local authorities. CVC 21960

Toll bridges: Bicyclists may not cross a toll bridge unless permitted to do so by the California Department of Transportation. CVC 23330

EQUIPPING YOUR BIKE

Brakes: Bicycles must be equipped with a brake that allows an operator to execute a one-braked-wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. CVC 21201(a)

Handlebars: Handlebars must not be higher than the rider’s shoulders. CVC 21201(b)

Bicycle size: Bicycles must be small enough for the rider to stop, support it with one foot on the ground, and start safely. CVC 21201(c)

Lights: At night a white headlight visible from the front must be attached to the bicycle or the bicyclist. CVC 21201(d) and CVC 21201(e)

Reflectors: At night bicycles must have the following reflectors:

    • Visible from the back: red reflector
    • Visible from the front & back: white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles
    • Visible from the side: 1) white or yellow reflector on the front half of the bicycle and 2) a red or white reflector on each side of the back half of the bike. These reflectors are not required if the bike has reflectorized front and back tires. CVC 21201(d)

Seats: All riders must have a permanent, regular seat, unless the bicycle is designed by the manufacturer to be ridden without a seat. Bicycle passengers weighing less than 40 lbs. must have a seat which retains them in place and protects them from moving parts. CVC 21204

OPERATING YOUR BIKE

Helmets: Bicyclists and bicycle passengers under age 18 must wear an approved helmet when riding on a bicycle. CVC 21212

Head phones: Bicyclists may not wear earplugs in both ears or a headset covering both ears. Hearing aids are allowed. CVC 27400

Alcohol and drugs: Bicyclists may not ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. CVC 21200.5

Hitching rides: Bicyclists may not hitch rides on vehicles. CVC 21203

Carrying articles: Bicyclists may not carry items which keep them from using at least one hand upon the handlebars. CVC 21205

Pedestrians: Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within marked crosswalks or within unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Bicyclists must also yield the right-of-way to totally or partially blind pedestrians carrying a predominantly white cane or using a guide dog. CVC 21950 and CVC 21963

Parking: Bicyclists may not leave bicycles on their sides on the sidewalk or park bicycles in a manner which obstructs pedestrians. CVC 21210

OTHER RESOURCES

Bike Etiquette and Common Sense, from the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

Think you know the rules of the road? Take the East Bay Bicycle Coalition‘s Bicycle Safety Quiz and find out.

Bicycle and the Law: The Case of California, by Alan Wachtel, Esq.

Video public service announcements from the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition‘s Share the Road Campaign.

Pedestrian killed in East Bakersfield hit-and-run

 

http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/4981703

BAKERSFIELD, CA- Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a man overnight in East Bakersfield.

The accident happened just before midnight in the 1100 block of Monterey Street.

Witnesses described the vehicle to police as a late 1990′s, possible white, Hyundai sedan.

Anyone with informaiton is asked to call the BPD at 327-7111.

According to our count, this is the second pedestrian death so far this year.

http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/local/story/d/story/pedestrian-killed-in-east-bakersfield-hit-and-run/36321/bw-iCtzDmU61RRHN4uYEBA

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7am on 89.7fm with Zac Griffin www.ibikekern.com/ibike-radio/

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McCaa Electric's new Kits are zoo nice!

McCaa Electric’s new Kits are zoo nice!

 

A far to frequent reality for most Cyclists and Pedestrians. Changing the mindset of roadway users to understand others needs is key to the success of our community.

A far to frequent reality for most Cyclists and Pedestrians. Changing the mindset of roadway users to understand others needs is key to the success of our community.

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