Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summerlin to Blue Diamond on The 159

Incredible morning of cycling from the Summerlin home to Blue Diamond and back. Lots of cyclists of all types out on Nev 159, the main strip for cycling as people head for Red Rock Canyon.

Kevin Cannon, a photo editor at the Review-Journal, came by and we biked the 30-mile round trip.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Las Vegas Ride of Silence: Remembering Bicyclists Lost

Job well done by Jim Little and the Las Vegas Valley Bicycle Club for organizing tonight's Ride of Silence in Las Vegas. It was a 15-mile ride to remember bicyclists killed by motorists, and rides like these were held across the USA and the world. Tonight's photos.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wednesday: Remember Bicyclists Killed By Motorists On Wednesday

Las Vegas Ride of Silence in cooperation with the Ride of Silence of Dallas, Texas.
Locally organized by members of the Las Vegas Valley Bicycle Club.

Cyclists; road, recreation, commuter, race, triathlon. All who legally share the road

The world wide Ride Of Silence™ bike rally

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Ride beginning at 7 PM

Leaving at 7:00 PM from parking lot adjacent to the Southwest Corner of W. Sahara and S. Decatur on W. Sahara
Registration at the site from 6:00 to 6:45 PM
15 mile ride on city streets and roads (not recommended for young children).

• to mourn those cyclists past and present killed by motorists
• to raise awareness (among motorists, police, and city officials) of cyclists on the road
• to have motorists know we only want to share the road we ride on
• to show that cyclists are not going away

On the third Wednesday of May, at 7 PM local around the world, cyclists will take to the roads in a silent protest of the carnage taking place on the streets.

Chris Phelan organized the first Ride Of Silence in a Dallas park in 2003 after Larry Schwartz, a local endurance cyclist, was struck and killed by a passing buses mirror on an empty road in Dallas, Texas.

The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph for approximately one hour, and participants are to remain silent during the ride except for safety reasons.  Cell phones are to be on silent mode and no head phone devices are to be used during the ride.

The ride hopes to raise cycling awareness during bike safety month to motorists, police, traffic engineers, insurance companies, and city officials. The ride is also a chance to mourn, in funeral procession style, those who have already been killed.
The ride requests black arm bands be worn, red only if you have had a bike/motor vehicle accident. Helmets are required; bright clothing, lights front and rear are required for the ride which will be taking place after sundown into early evening. There are no fees charged anyone to participate.

Chris Phelan is looking for as many cyclists as possible to ride at one of the numerous locations in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, South and Central America and the rest of the world. Last year there were over 300 locations in all 50 US states, and 18 countries including: Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Caribbean, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, and Spain.
Chris Phelan can be reached at here.

The web site is:

James Little
Local Organizer - Home # (702)360-4751 - Email:
Board Member, LVVBC

For additional information go to the LVVBC web site at:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trauma Team Saves A Cyclist

Remarkable story by the Las Vegas Review Journal about how a trauma team saved a cyclist hit by a Ford pick-up truck.

Also: Here's a terrific story about how bike lanes led to increased retail sales.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Narrow Travel Lane? Then Take It

Best and safest place to be is in the middle of this narrow lane along the Strip. Don't be a gutter bunny, too dangerous on the very edge.

Nice green lane in Vegas near downtown.

Cool art on the Russell Ave. overpass above I-15.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day To Bicycle Stories Mom and All The Moms Out There

Bicycling Before Dawn

This morning the first light was before 5 am and it was amazing to see the orange tint on the eastern horizon.

Then I enjoyed a short ride to the Red Rock area.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Smell the Roses When You Bike In las Vegas

When ride a bicycle to and from work, you see and smell everything -- like these roses at a house on Alta Drive near Rainbow in Las Vegas.

Photo: Time for bicyclists to rose up and take back the roads that we built in the first place. Seriously, bike commuting allows you to see (and smell) cool stuff along the way. I see these roses every day on Alta Drive just west of Rainbow Ave. in Las Vegas.

Big Al Fritz, Sting-Ray Bicycle Developer, Dies

Al Fritz dies at 88; Schwinn exec developed the Sting-Ray bike Fri, 10
May 2013 11:34

By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times

May 9, 2013, 7:26 p.m.

For much of the 1960s and the early 1970s, no suburban streetscape
would have been complete without them: A squadron of kids clutching
sky-high handlebars on low-slung bikes in eye-popping, hot-rod colors.

Equipped with a curved banana seat, the Schwinn Sting-Ray was
America's most popular bicycle. Its godfather, Schwinn executive Al
Fritz, became known as an industry visionary for transforming a
Southern California street fad into a national phenomenon.

"It looked incredibly sporty," said his son Mike Fritz, a bicycle
industry consultant who lives in Newbury Park. "It gave kids too young
to have a driver's license the opportunity to have the Corvette of

Fritz, the Chicago-based Schwinn manager who heeded a salesman's tip
that "something goofy is happening in California," died Tuesday in
Barrington, Ill., of complications caused by a stroke, family members
said. He was 88.

In addition to the Sting-Ray and Schwinn's 10-speeds, he is also
credited with developing the Airdyne, a stationary exercise bike with
moving arms that powered a giant fan.

"It helped bike dealers who had only a seasonal business to stay open
year round," said John Barous, a former bike retailer who now edits
Bicycle Dealer magazine. "It carried these guys through many a

Born to Austrian immigrants in Chicago on Oct. 8, 1924, Albert John
Fritz graduated from eighth grade and went to stenography school,
hoping to become a court reporter. During World War II, he served on
Gen. Douglas MacArthur's staff in the Philippines, where he was

After the war, he signed on at Schwinn, the booming bicycle company
whose factories and offices dominated his old neighborhood. He stayed
for 40 years, rising from the factory floor to the top ranks of

When, early in his career, Fritz heard that Frank W. Schwinn, the
company's volatile boss, had fired yet another secretary, he didn't
hesitate to trot out his shorthand and typing skills, recounted Jay
Townley, a former Schwinn executive, in Bicycle Retailing and Industry

"So Al was still in his welding outfit with a leather apron and
steel-toed shoes, and he washed his hands and went into the old man's
office -- which, in those days was right off the factory floor -- and
said he was there to apply for the secretary job," Townley said. "The
old man had him take a letter and it was flawless, so he said, 'You're
hired.' "

When Fritz was research and development director in the early 1960s,
he heard from one of his salesmen about teenagers around Los Angeles
customizing short-frame bikes to look a little Harley, a little hot
rod -- a little something exciting on the quietest suburban

"Dad flew to California and immediately saw the potential," said his
son Mike, who followed him into the bicycle industry. "The people who
looked at his prototypes thought it was a stupid idea, but he pushed
it on through. There were 60 different permutations on the theme and
each was more successful than the last."

From 1963 to 1968, Schwinn sold nearly 2 million Sting-Rays. At one
point, bikes in the Sting-Ray style -- competitors were quick to pick
up its success -- accounted for more than 60% of all bike sales in the
United States. Some Sting-Rays came equipped with "stick-shift"
gizmos, "overdrives," and other features designed for car-hungry kids.

With Fritz taking the lead, the company peddled Sting-Rays for girls,
offering the Fair Lady as well as the smooth-tired Slik Chik. The
Sting-Ray's distinctive colors included Flamboyant Lime, Radiant
Coppertone, and Violet. Captain Kangaroo sang their praises on TV.

"Fritz made a lot of changes within the industry," Barous said. "He
never alienated the casual rider or families. Today, a lot of big bike
companies do both."

Fritz and the Sting-Ray paved the way for the more recent BMX bicycle
craze, Barous said, and in 2010 he was inducted into the BMX Hall of

Retiring in 1985 as Schwinn's executive vice president, Fritz moved to
Florida and ran an import-export business. He returned to the Chicago
area several years ago.

PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2013

In addition to his son Mike, he is survived by a daughter, Julie
Kurasek; another son, Steve; five grandchildren and two

Fritz was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009. The following
year, his granddaughter Caitlin Kurasek, then 27, participated in a
20-mile fund-raising bike ride in his honor.

She rode one of the original Sting-Rays.

Going Road With Smooth Treads

So, I turned my GT mountain bike into a commuter bike with the main addition of 26 X 1.50 smooth road tires.

It's like a different bicycle.

I rode the bike to the Red Rock Canyon scenic loop toll booth this morning and the bike rolled smooth as silk with the pair of new tires.

Saw this morning.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bicycling Offers You Wonderful Vistas

When I bike, I get to see this. All on recent bike rides.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Bike Lane Comes To Platt Street In Tampa

Anyone in Tampa who saw one-way Platt Street with its wide width wondered why there was no bike lanes on this road that linked South Tampa to downtown Tampa. Soon after I moved to Tampa it was obvious to many bicyclists, including me, that a bike lane was a no-brainer. But five years ago check out the letter I got from Tampa's public works administrator, Steve Daignault:

But "Mayor Iorio asked me to respond to your latest e-mail re a bike lane on Platt street. The Public Works traffic staff have done a complete evaluation of Platt from Howard to Bayshore to determine if a bike lane could be installed. They discovered that the width of Platt varies sufficiently that a continuous bike lane, meeting established safety standards, could not be installed. While there are locations that would accommodate a bike lane, it would end up being intermittent and therefore not a safe installation.

"As you know the City does have greenways and trails initiatives that include bike lanes and new road construction like 40th street includes bike lanes and sidewalks. Additionally, we are about to begin planning for adding south bound bike lanes and doing other pedestrian intersection improvements on Bayshore. Connectivity is an important element when we evaluate roads for new bike lanes. Platt street does not have that connectivity at this time.Please know that we will continue to look for opportunities to include/install bike lanes in the City. Please contact me if you have any questions.


S. W. Daignault
Administrator of Public Works And Utility Services
City of Tampa
(813) 274-7883"

All I can say is that I'm glad Pam Iorio and Steve Daignault are gone. The city's transportation director, Jean Duncan, is doing all she can to find reasons to install bike lanes under the Buckhorn adminstration. That's why I was happy to see that in 2013 there will be several bicycle infrastructure improvements, INCLUDING A BIKE LANE ON PLATT STREET:

City of Tampa

The City of Tampa continues to implement the recommendations of its Walk Bike Plan. The following projects are planned to be under construction in 2013:

  • 50th St - shared lane markings (sharrows) from Fowler Ave to Serena Ave
  • Tampa Bay Blvd - sharrows from Dale Mabry Hwy to Armenia Ave
  • Serena Dr - sharrows from 46th St to 52nd St
  • Doyle Carlton Dr - bicycle lanes from Laurel St to Palm Ave
  • Laurel St & Green St - bicycle lanes
  • Platt St - bicycle lanes from Armenia Ave to Bayshore Blvd

If you live in Tampa, support Transportation Director Jean Duncan by advising Mayor Buckhorn and the City Council to devote more resources to bicycling. Here in Las Vegas, the city government -- yes, local government -- initiated a Las Vegas Bicycle Coalition and the group's diverse bicycle members from local govt and the private sector are putting on a Downtown Las Vegas 3-Foot Bicycle Ride on June 1. And neighboring city of Henderson held a recent bicycle swap meet and bike safety festival and plans to hold a Bicycle Scavenger Hunt. Local city government as bicycle activist, who would've thunk it?

Friday, May 3, 2013

First Friday In Las Vegas -- Fun, Edgy Stuff

I used the bicycle to pedal from the Review-Journal office over to First Friday in Las Vegas, where there's a stunning diversity of funky and cool mainstream music, arts and food trucks. See for yourself.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Invigorating Pre-Work Rode On The Scenic Loop

I wish I could say that cycling the Red Rock Scenic Loop has gotten easier since I moved to Las Vegas.

But it hasn't.

Doesn't matter. The climbs remain challenging, but worth it when you consider the views.