Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fireworks to light up the night sky

Today would not be a good day for bicycling in Hawaii. We are one of the few places in the USA where New Years Eve is celebrate by a plethora of fireworks--both legal (with permit) and illegal (aerials and bomb like devices).
Hopefully the trade winds will return tomorrow, blow away the smoke, and I can get back to the serious business of riding my bike for both exercise and pleasure. M

Monday, December 28, 2009

President Obama visits Hawaii

Never a dull moment here in the islands. The Obama family is spending a well earned vacation in Hawaii. Noted that the girls were presented with bicycles to ride while they are here. I guess their Dad prefers golf.
Also, it was reported that Lance Armstrong and his family are here, and he is training on the Big Island. The weather is perfect for both families and we heartily welcome them to our state.
I took advantage of the good weather to ride around the neighborhood yesterday, and plan to take advantage of the holiday weekend to do more bicycling.
To all, Hau'oli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year) and much success in 2010.
Aloha, Marilyn

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Thirty-foot waves on the North Shore today! Guess I'll have to forego surfing. However, I got on my bike and we took some pictures in the yard. Hope everyone is enjoying Christmas Day. Be safe. Aloha, M

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bikes in the workplace and other stuff.....

I read an interesting article called "It's Time To Recycle Cycling" by Neal R. Pierce in the Washington Post of December 18, 2009 about the new interest in cycling among people like
Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation. Found out there is a Congressional Bike Caucus and the co-chair is a legislator from Oregon, Rep. Earl Blumenaur. Check out the article. This is good news because the upcoming reauthorization of the transportation bill may contain more funds for bicycle lanes etc..
While on a tour of the Tesoro Refinery in Kapolei, Oahu, on Tuesday, I noted the workers going from station to station on their bicycles. What a great way to get exercise and save energy at the same time. Using bikes in the workplace is not a new idea, but I think it is gleaning more serious consideration from the powers that be.
Beautiful day here and great for riding my bike. The road is dry, it is sunny and just a little cool. To all, a very Happy Holiday Season. May Peace , Joy and safe bicycling fill your New Year.
Aloha, Marilyn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lucky you live Hawaii!

Today is a glorious winter day with blue skies and the temperature hovering around 75. It will warm up to about 83 later in the day with soft trade winds to cool beachgoers.
My bicycle license arrived in the mail yesterday, and this morning my son John and I attached it to the red bike.
The license is permanent and does not need to be renewed. The bike shop in Aiea helped me with the application when I picked up my bike last month.
John and his new wife Ali are kind of jealous of my bike--needless to say, it is beautiful and easy to ride. The Christmas season is so hectic it is a little hard to find the time, but so rewarding when I do. Stay safe and do good this season.
Aloha, M

P.S. "lucky you live Hawaii" is what the locals love to remind themselves about despite tough times.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bicyclists are not pedestrians

The high rate of pedestrian deaths in Hawaii is being targeted by the Honolulu Police Department, and rightly so as many fail to obey our crosswalk law. Bicyclists have to obey the law as well. Please remember to use a bell or horn to warn walkers you are behind them. It is illegal to ride on the sidewalks. Common courtesy requires a least a warning to the pedestrian who cannot hear the approach of a bicycle. Courtesy will do a lot to change public perceptions of bicyclists. M

Monday, December 14, 2009

The future of bike lanes

I read a fascinating article about bike lanes in the New York Times Magazine this weekend.

Here's what the article says:

Bicycle Highways

The bicycle highway — no red lights, no cars — is every cyclist's fantasy. There are now signs that infrastructure is catching up with the dream. In October 2008, an association of U.S. state-highway officials approved the concept of a national Bicycle Routes Corridor Plan — the first step in potential American bike Interstates. But this amounts to little more than a go-ahead for states to put bike-route signs on existing roads.

Copenhagen, however, began last month to create the real thing: a system of as many as 15 extra-wide, segregated bike routes connecting the suburbs to the center of the city. These are not bucolic touring paths; Copenhagen's bike highways are meant to move traffic. Nearly 40 percent of Copenhagen rides a bike to work. On Norrebrogade, a two-mile street in the center of the city, 36,000 cyclists clog the bike lane every day.

The Bicycle Office of Copenhagen's design calls for service stations (with air pumps and tools for simple repairs) and plans to employ so-called intelligent transportation systems — not unlike the technology that makes the E-ZPass possible. Using handlebar-mounted RFID or GPS technology, for example, commuters could detect other riders on the routes, helping them to assemble into pelotons or "bike buses." These groups could in turn emit signals that trip traffic lights in their favor, resulting in a "green wave" of bicycle momentum.

But Jan Gehl, the Danish architect and infrastructure consultant, warns that as appealing as the bike highway seems, it is not the first step in creating a bicycle culture.

The bicycle highway is needed, he stresses, only after a city is comfortable for bike riders, as Copenhagen is. He considers the hundreds of kilometers of protected bike lanes in central Copenhagen to be a kind of bicycle oasis. "Some cities will go for the bicycle highways and let people fend for themselves once they reach the city," he says. "You get off the highway, and then you're in the desert. In Copenhagen we have first irrigated the desert, then built the highways." WM. FERGUSON

Click here for the original article.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home from San Diego

I arrived home from San Diego this afternoon. The first two days of my trip were beautiful and I walked around the marina area to see the sights and check out bicyclists. I was surprised and happy to meet up with Shao Ming, a young man from China who is making his second bicycle trip around the USA(he also has biked all around Europe). We had a nice conversation and I purchased one of his paintings which was of the Art Museum in Santa Barbara--a perfect Christmas gift for my son John.

The marina was a perfect place to ride a bike and I was sorry I did not have my red bike with me. The weather turned cold and rainy for the next three days and needless to say I am happy to be back in Hawaii.

Here are some pictures of me and Shao Ming.

Aloha, Marilyn

Monday, December 7, 2009

Maybe tomorrow for the Eddie Aikau?

The news tonight reports that 40 to 50 foot waves are coming in at Waimea Bay. There is a "ninety percent" chance that tomorrow will be the day for the surf competition in memory of the beloved Eddie Aikau.
The roads to the North Shore are full with hundreds who want to see the thunderous waves coming in. So far not much damage has been done, but much of the beach has been lost in some areas.
Last night I was co-emcee for the High School Christmas Concert. When I was introduced, they mentioned I may be seen around town on my red bike!
However, tomorrow I am off to
San Diego for a conference and will return to Hawaii on Sunday. If I can get some computer access there, I will report on the bike paths and bicyclists I see. When I return, hoping Christmas Holiday time will give me a little more leisure time to ride my beautiful bike.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Surf is up--really up!

Yesterday I was in The Mililani Christmas Parade. I really wanted to ride my bike in the parade, but there was no bike contingent. I spoke with the parade organizer and he was enthusiastic about having one next year. I will try to find some bicyclists who are interested for the next parade. I also found out that they are going to move a bike rack outside of the supermarket as I requested. That makes a lot of sense and will be much more convenient for those who want to use their bikes for shopping.

It is beautiful today and the big news is that "Oahu is bracing for monster surf". I would love to be able to feel experienced enough to ride out to the North Shore to look at what is forecast as 40-50 foot waves starting tomorrow, but someday I will be able to accomplish that ride. Meanwhile, I am grateful for the good weather and the close proximity of some smooth road and sidewalk to ride on in Mililani--and for the beautiful bike I am riding.

This is a very busy time of the year for all of us, but those breaks for exercise are a good thing and help me to appreciate our beautiful weather and the scenery which constantly surrounds us. The big surf actually could be hazardous to those who live near the water, and it has not been this big in years. It's height is related to an offshore storm which we don't see--only the ocean tells us it has happened. The Eddie Aikau surf competition may take place this year if the waves are big enough and organized enough.

Do good this season, Marilyn

Thursday, December 3, 2009

at brooklyn museum

at prospect park

back to paradise

I hope I am not repeating myself--I just created a post and it disappeared somewhere in cyberspace.
Sunday was a lovely day in Brooklyn and we walked through Prospect Park where there were swarms of bicyclists riding really fast and enjoying the beautiful weather. We had to wait a few minutes just to cross the street by the bike path.
There were also many bikes tethered to the railing outside of the Brooklyn Museum and at several locations along Eastern Parkway.
At 5am on Wednesday, I left the apartment for the 12 hour flight from Laguardia to Honolulu. I am kind of used to the long flight as I've done it many, many times. When we landed I was so happy to see the green trees and grass and feel the balmy breezes of home. I was pretty tired though.
Today, I had a lot of meetings and hoped to ride a bit when I got home, but a big black rain cloud changed my plans. However, the beautiful red bike was safe and sound under it's two covers, both of which don't fit very well. If anyone knows where to get a nice bike cover, let me know. The weather report for tomorrow and the weekend is good, so I will ride my bike to the bike shop and try to get the mirror installed, and then practice my skills again.
After seeing how New York City can have so many bike paths, my goal is to get some here in Mililani so children and adults will have a safe lane to ride. I envision one the length of Meheula Parkway, our main Street.
In meetings, today, we talked about how important it is to keep physically active--I am grateful to have a chance to ride this bike and keep an active lifestyle.