I remember attending a Peoria City Council meeting back in the 1980s with the local bicycle club’s bicycle advocate. The advocate had spoken to the council before, but on this occasion, was more or less told that he didn’t need to return to City Hall, because everyone “around the horseshoe” had heard everything he had to say.
It’s been a long time since the meeting, but I felt the general consensus of that august (verging on january) body was that the Rock Island Trail extension through the city would solve most bicycling issues, if in fact, people who rode bicycles had any issues at all.
That extension, by the way, is not quite complete in 2013.
The great thing about the trail from a city standpoint, then and now, is that it belongs to the Peoria Park District, which neatly absolves the city’s Public Works Department from virtually any involvement in bicycle infrastructure at all, save for the odd path/road interface.
Other mysterious issues to various members of the council back then included 1) why bicyclists don’t use sidewalks, 2) why the city should be interested in infrastructure improvements given that it isn’t a college town (leaving the status of Bradley University somewhat in doubt) and 3) why the city should work on improvements for people who ride bikes when it snows in Peoria during the winter.
I bring up these elderly memories, not to complain about Peoria, but to cheer on Minneapolis, which despite an obviously disqualifying meteorological condition, is attracting more bicyclists all the time. (Minnesota Daily)
Talk about your disqualifying meteorological conditions. Bicycling magazine contributor Elly Blue says her next Taking the Lane zine will be released in April. The upcoming “anthology of feminist science fiction about bicycling” is simply titled Bikes in Space. (Taking the Lane)
Here’s an article that wasn’t published in Bikes in Space but is far scarier than any H.G. Wells dystopian vision: the Complete Guide to Bottom Brackets. If your experience, like mine, is limited to “the ways things used to be” with the exception of one bicycle featuring external bottom bracket bearings, this explanation of all the so-called standards that now exist is likely to make your blood pressure rise. Repeat after me (unless you’re in marketing, of course): “Bicycles are supposed to be simple; bicycles are supposed to be simple; bicycles are supposed to be simple…” (Bike Radar)