Cyclists’ Concerns

As a cyclist safety is a big concern with everyone as they’re riding through town. Whether it’s a joyride around the block or the daily commute from home to the office, being safe out there on the road is something that follows us all as we pedal forward.

Being aware of your surroundings at all times as a cyclist is the biggest tool to being safe, next to wearing a helmet at all times. But sometimes that isn’t enough.

Careless drivers have put Thomas Berry, sophomore student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, in danger in the past. A driver in Tempe cut off Berry while he was riding because the driver didn’t see him.

“There are a lot of problems with safety in Phoenix. There are not enough bike lanes for cyclists. A lot of drivers don’t respect cyclists so it gets dangerous riding on the road,” Berry said.

One thing that Berry thinks would make cycling safer in the valley would for there to be many more bike lanes than there are now.

When there aren’t bike lanes cyclists have to take to riding on the sidewalk when it is a busy street. Environmental Resource Management student, Sean Mayall, frequently rides on the sidewalk.

The roads are in poor condition frequently

The roads are in poor condition frequently

“I don’t always ride on the street,” Mayall said. “It depends on where I am and what time of day it is.”

Riding at high traffic hours can slow down cyclists and keep them on the sidewalk. Many of the sidewalks in Phoenix are in very poor array.

Every cycling related accident that I have gotten in while riding in Phoenix was on the sidewalks. Usually because of the large cracks and narrow ways on the sidewalks I’d find myself being flung off my bike with a skinned arms and knees, wishing there was a bike-lane.

But the roads aren’t much better off. In many places the roads are in poor condition too because of the hot sun that beats down on Phoenix.

Phoenix is much more biker friendly than it has been in the past, but it is still coming along. Thankfully, due to hotspots like Fillmore, Grand Avenue, and the Sonoran Bikeway cycling in Phoenix has become much more easy. But will it be perfect? Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

Guide to Flats

Just like when you’re driving a car, riding your bike can easily result in a flat tire. Especially here in downtown Phoenix where potholes, broken glass and debris plague the streets from time to time. Usually when a flat happens it is just the tube that is destroyed, but the tire can get shredded if proper care of the bike isn’t applied. Here is a quick guide to flat tires that is sure to keep your tires up and running while you’re cycling around the place you love, Phoenix.

How to Avoid getting a flat:

The most surefire way to avoid getting a flat is to keep the tire pressure up. Depending on how much tire pressure your bike needs always make sure that it is up to par at the least once a week. And in order to check if your bike has enough pressure place your thumb on your tire and firmly squeeze down on the tire. If it’s firm then you have enough air in your tire, but if the tire does give then be sure to pump it up.

Even with a good tire pressure a cyclist can still be a victim to flats. Always be aware of the road’s quality when you’re cycling. Look out for potholes, glass, garbage and anything else that might puncture your tire. If possible and always when it’s safest turn away from the debris on the road to ensure that you’ll be flat free.

bike tire

Squeeze the tire like so

To fix a flat:

Fixing a flat is a fairly easy process, but can be difficult to do on the road. You’ll need a multi-tool to take off your tire, depending if it’s quick release or not. A good one can be found here

A new tube, which can be bought at any bike shop around phoenix and a hand pump in order to pump it up is almost a must need. If you don’t know how to install a new tube here is a good video that teaches you how here.

 

 

Bike Safety From Another Cyclist’s View

Phoenix is up and coming with becoming a more modern city and with that there are many more cyclists filling the streets. According to the City of Phoenix’s safety reports there were 2,134 bicycle related accidents, with 18 of them being fatalities, making Phoenix a relatively safe place to cycle in, but not as safe as Copenhagen, a cyclists paradise. One fellow cyclist ASU Junior EJ Hernandez talked with me earlier today about cycling in Phoenix and how safe it is and what could be done.

 

 

Q: Why do you ride bikes in Phoenix?

A: I ride bikes in Phoenix to relieve the stress and to cruise around and have a good time. It’s not a bad place to look at and you can ride around and zone out and do your own thing.

 

Q: Do you think Phoenix is a good place to ride in?

A: Phoenix is a good place to ride in, there are parts where it can be better. Maybe throwing bike lanes on Central Ave. would be nice. But overall it’s a pretty good place to ride.

 

Q: Do you think it’s safe?
A: There are some crazy drivers in Phoenix, but I feel like you can find them anywhere. For the most part it’s safe, but you got to be safe.

 

Q: What do you think could make it safer?

A: Obviously if everyone wore helmets it’d be safer, having bike lanes and having drivers be more aware of cyclist on the road would be a lot better.

 

Q: What’s you biggest complaint with Phoenix and it’s bike accessibility?

A: The biggest complaint is drivers not caring too much if they go by a biker at like 30 mph, and they’re pushing you off the road. It’s rough jumping on the sidewalk and trying to make way when you only have one way to go.

 

Q: What do think could be done to make drivers more aware of cyclists and their needs?

A: Awareness and signs. Something that is much more visual to make them more  aware. Obviously wearing lights and helmets would help out. It’s as much on the cyclist as it is on the drivers.

Rider Appreciation Week

The week of March 17 the host of the weekly group social ride, Loops, is celebrating and saying thanks to all of those who ride Loops, be it the Downtown Phoenix ride or Tempe group ride.

Co-founder of State Bicycle Co. Mehdi Farsi joined in on Monday’s group ride in Phoenix to join in on the fun. After the ride, all riders were invited to come over to the State Bicycle Co. shop downtown where free pizza and brews were available for all of the riders who rode that night.

Downtown’s Loops was different as cyclists gathered in Civic Space park, the ride has been shortened and an impromptu drag race at the capital was planned for the night. When cyclists took off the everyone rode slowly as they made their way to the capital on Washington St.

On Washington St. many of the riders lined up, taking up the entire street. Wheels were lined up and when the 1, 2, 3, go was announced riders were off and sprinted their way to the capital.

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Two riders high-five each other after the race

After the race, the group ride rode over to Arizona Center’s parking garage in hopes of another race, a quick race to the top and then back down again.

As the riders lined up in the garage, a security guard sadly came up to the large group and asked everyone to kindly leave and the race was cancelled.

After that everyone made their way to the State Bicycle Co. Shop for a good time and a few laughs. Riders talked about the usual, riding, all the while enjoying pizza and free Coors.

Be sure to meet up with Tempe Loops at Tempe Beach Park for more of this week’s fun Rider Appreciation week and check the event out on Facebook here.

 

Slippery Pig Bike Shop

Video

Slippery Pig is pu on central smashed in between Lux Coffee bar and a pawn shop this Bike shop has been serving residents of uptown and Downtown for quite a while. They do everything from sell bikes, fix a flat and sell any of the gear that you’ll need on your adventure through Phoenix. Slippery Pig is one heck of a nice place with dogs walking about and friendly staff that really knows their stuff.

Phoenix Loops: A Weekly Social Ride

Phoenix Loops, a weekly social group ride for fixed and road cyclists, is hosted in Civic Space Park every Monday night at 8 p.m. by State Bicycle Co.

The route every week is different and takes cyclists all around Phoenix in a unique way.

“Its fun to come out with other riders.”

Some weeks the ride goes through sleepy North Phoenix neighborhoods, and other weeks the ride goes in the opposite direction, south to South Mountain.

This week for the 45th installment, the ride took cyclists across Phoenix, from the state’s capital to the Air Lane, a street parallel with Sky Harbor’s tarmac, in a loop that takes them right back to where they started, Civic Space Park.

Loops 45 Route

Loops 45 Route

Cody Goodman hosts Loops, and works with State Bicycle Co. Goodman sets the routes each week both for Phoenix loops and its sister ride in Tempe.

“Loops is an entry level beginner group ride, between 10 and 20 miles,” Goodman said. “So it’s a little bit less than casual, but not quite a real hard road ride.”

Adrian Brooks, a computer science major at Arizona State University, has been doing fixed races for over three years and after just recently moving to Phoenix began to do Loops.

This week was Brooks’ second ride with the group ride and he enjoys the chance to get out and ride Phoenix.

“Its fun to come out with other riders,” Brooks said. “Where I’m from its like me and two others so its really cool to see a bigger scene to be offered.”

Loops is approaching its one year anniversary and Goodman said that he is in the process of organizing a celebration for that milestone.