Monthly Archives: March 2016

How not to build a bike line

Bike lines constitute an easy and visible way to put on a brave face regarding green politics. This is clearly how non- or little-cyclist believe it. In real life, it is far more complicated. Bike lines produce a false feeling of security while riding, specially when it is shared with pedestrians. Accidents are produced by distractions or by their bad locations. For example, look at the point A in the next photo.


The fact of the small distance between the bike line and the wall, makes it perfectly possible to suffer an accident. This idea is reinforced if you take into account that the building at the right is a school and children run freely in working days.

Sometimes bike lines are given in to cars. In photo number 2, the bike line curves in an almost chaotic way in order to respect the parking car. Again, most cities are proned to cars, not to people.


Few times bike line colors confound cyclists, like in the case of photos 3 and 4, both corresponding to the same avenue and different pavements. Here, red and green are used instead of define a homogeneous color.

3 4

Photo 4 also shows obstacles and potholes make riding difficult. Constructing a bike line is much more than just painting lines in the pavement. Maintenance is needed and cases like photos 5 and 6 should be avoided.

5 6

Absurdities like photo 7 can make us thinking in another reason why bike line should be on highways, not on pavements. Here, people and bikes are virtually incompatible.


Moreover, curbs should be considered to facilitate an easy riding and avoid unnecessary jumps such as those in photo 8.


Finally, if you want a free ticket to the roller coaster, just ride in the photo 9, where there are three ups-and-downs to access to car parkings corresponding to points A, B and C.


San Francisco’s Critical Mass

I’ve only done it once, but it was a blast!. San Francisco’s Critical Mass begins at 5:30 on Justin Herman Plaza. There are hundreds of bikers dressed both formally and informally, and is escorted by the police for courtesy and security.

The environment is quite festive, I remember bikes covered with flowers, bubble making machines mounted on cars, music, bikes that look like a harley davidson, etc. Plus people kindly stop cars and make sure the mass is dense and gap less.

The ride itself is nice and slow, allowing for people of all ages to enjoy it while also paying a visit to SF’s interesting spots. Additionally, the hills and the dusk light makes for great pictures, not to mention visiting the seaside and the Palace of Fine Arts at night.


Seattle’s Critical Mass

Seattle’s Critical Mass beings at 5:30ish at the Westlake Center. There, bikers socialize and, little by little, we ride in a big circle while also ringing our bells. At some random point, when most have joined, we depart without a planned destination.

Seattle’s Critical Mass always happens, rain or shine, although attendance greatly depends on the weather, ranging from tens to about a hundred. During these rides we try not to go through steep hills but sometimes there isn’t a more suitable options (or things are too chaotic to avoid them).

Still, you always get to meet people and discover interesting parts of the city. During my first Seattle’s Critical Mass I ended up on a birthday party on the other side of the city at 3am, but in other occasions we ended up riding around the International Fountain, visiting a p-path on the top of a building, and so on.