Newport Beach needs people who count to count bicycles


Press Release from: Brad Sommers, PE, Senior Civil Engineer, Public Works Department, City of Newport Beach. Email provided by Vince Buck, North Orange County Bicycle Advocacy Coalition (NOCBAC)

Wed, Sep 11, 2013–As part of the City of Newport Beach’s Bicycle Master Plan, the City is conducting bicycle counts to track bicycle usage in Newport Beach. We are currently looking for volunteers to assist with the count effort.

WHEN:  Counts will be conducted on Thursday Oct. 17 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TRAINING: Volunteers must attend a mandatory training on the counting procedure the week before.  The training will be held Thursday, October 10 at 6:30pm in the Community Room at the Newport Beach Civic Center. At the training, volunteers will be assigned count locations throughout the city and given count forms and instructions.

HOW TO SIGN UP: If you are available to volunteer, please contact me by email at or by phone at (949) 644-3326 by Tuesday October 8.  Please indicate whether you can count one or both dates/times.

Thank you for helping to improve cycling within Newport Beach, writes Brad Sommers, who can be contacted at: BSommers@newportbeachca.gov949.644.3326.


News Alert: You’re invited to tour and help restore the Fullerton Fox Theater Saturday, June 22

Fox Theater Sign









You have a chance to make your community a more interesting place 9 a.m. Saturday, June22, by joining volunteers working to restore Orange County’s original Vaudeville theater, writes Volunteer Coordinator Pat Shepard.

The Veggie Biker enjoys strapping a broom to his bike and throwing a tool belt into his pannier and pedaling over to make a few more improvements in Fullerton’s central landmark at Commonwealth and Harbor.

Shepard’s invitation reads:

“Because it’s been a while, there’s going to be another work party on Saturday, June 22nd, beginning at 9:00 a.m.  This time we’ll primarily work on cleaning up the auditorium, the lobby, and the courtyard.  We’ll also be doing some cleanup around the outside of the buildings, including taking care of some weeds that have sprouted up.  Of course, there always seems to be other stuff that comes up, as well.

Remember, no open-toed shoes, and if you have some work gloves bring them.

I hope to see you on the 22nd.  Please let me know if you can make it.

Thanks for your help.

Pat Shepard
FHTF Volunteer Coordinator

ALERT! Free Metrolink ride to OCTA bike rally 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Orange


Alert courtesy Marcia Jeffredo

The Orange County Transportation Authority is sponsoring a bike ride 7:30 p.m. Thursday from the Metrolink Station, 194 N. Atchison Street, in the City of Orange to the OCTA headquarters, 550 S. Main Street, Orange. You will be riding with local elected officials, so get your biking wish list ready.

This is part of its celebration of National Bike Month.

As you can read on this poster, OCTA writes it wants to show you the new bicycles and bicycle parking equipment being introduced by the OCTA for the new BikeLink System. Because Metrolink is offering free train rides to anyone boarding with a bike, you can jump aboard at any Metrolink station and arrive at the Orange station in time for the rally.


Bicycle Travel: Does your bike belong in a Bicycle Zoo?


Photos copyright 2013 Robert R. Mercer

The Veggie Biker felt a bit like an Alice in a Wonderland when creatures from Austin’s Bicycle Zoo was spotted at the Austin Mini Maker Faire May 5. While the Veggie Biker used a Lytro Light Gathering System Camera to photograph Austin, he felt the exotic bicycles deserve even more exotic images.

Rather than use the original Lytro images, in which the viewer can zoom, focus and shift perspective, the Veggie Biker pulled out a Photography 101 assignment he created in Prague–3-D Stereoscopic Images. The assignment came about when he discovered folding stereo post cards with built-in viewers. Instead of making two images and mounting them together, the perspective shift of the Lytro allows you to make a stereoscopic image with just one exposure. You can shoot moving objects!

Of course, you don’t have an old-fashioned viewer; and you probably don’t want to order an inexpensive folding viever, so, just cross your eyes. You can cross your eyes, can’t you? Really, cross your eyes and put your nose about 5 inches away from screen. Ah, yes, that’s it.






BicycleTravel: Discovering Weird Austin

Austin may not have made the final cut behind Denver and Portland in REI’s Cycling Town Showdown, but the town remains a top destination for bicyclists looking for a long weekend escape.

The south shore of Lady Bird Lake, a portion of the Colorado River that is damed next to downtown, is lined with bicycle rental places. The Veggie Biker’s group chose Austin’s Bicycle Sport Shop to rent bikes. They have several models of pedal and electric bicycles. But they were out of electric bikes that first weekend in May because it was the Pecan Street Festival and all the electric bikes were rented. But it did seem everyone had a bike on Old Pecan Street, today famously known as 6th Street, the self-proclaimed center of live music in America.

Before you choose a weekend, you may wish to see which festival Austin is celebrating that week. The Veggie Biker’s never been there but what there were a lot of people gathered somewhere toasting something.

You can reserve a bike online at most bike shops. Bicycle Sport Shop charged $40 for the day; $52 for 24 hours. The paperwork was efficiently dispatched. Bikes were fitted to the riders. More importantly, the shop keeps the bikes in excellent repair. Everything is tight. The gears shift smoothly.

But that is not all the shop offers, the Veggie Biker learned.

The competition for the most bike-friendly city must have been close. Austin has a maze of bicycle trails along the river. There are bridges at regular intervals for those wanting to cross to the other shore of Lake Austin.

The lakes offers kayaks, paddle boards and even water bicycles. Just exploring around the lake gives one ideas for the next visit to the determinedly weirdest city in America.

Along with Austin drivers displaying a developing-respect for share-the-road, the city continues expanding its web of bike trails and lanes, plus its bike-friendly mass transit. The relatively new Capitol Metro currently has one route. It meant the Veggie Biker and company could ditch their car out in the “Silicon Valley” section of North Austin and ride to within two blocks of the Pecan Street Fest. At the end of the line on 4th Street, a quick change to the number 30 bus took us to the bike shop. A single-day pass covered train and bus.

The only real flaw in Austin’s mass transit development is the lack of a train from the airport to downtown. It is planned when the city gets money, rail workers tell you.

If the mass transit system does not always serve, the bike shop sure does. Coming back to the bicycles after choosing an Indian lunch from among the smorgasbord of ethnic food wagons, one of the tires on the three bikes was flat–like totally. A phone call to the bike shop and Steve Pierce was on the line saying, “Wait a minute. I’ll be right there.”

Yes, Austin has bicycle road service. In about 20 minutes, Steve was peeling off the tire and putting in a new tube. Minutes later, the bikes were rolling toward South Congress Avenue, directly south across the river from the Texas Capitol.

Exploring Old Austin, now “being gentrified by affluent couples with counter-culture leanings,” according to one citizen, made one realize, in Austin, you almost always ride in the shade of really large old trees.

The veggie biker and company returned the bikes to Bicycle Sport Shop. Mike Wachler offered the Veggie Biker the chance to ride a new Stromer pedal-assist elctric bike. That test ride is in an earlier post.

A walk back across Lady Bird Lake led to good bar-b-que and a train ride home.

The Austin Mini Makers Faire on Sunday, May 5 gave one a full sampler of people who help “Keep Austin Weird.” This exhibition is a collection of sustainable technologists, producers of solar collectors and rammed earth bricks; plus cutting edge technogeeks with 3-D printers and robots–and massive geegaw machinery that should work, but is not designed to make anything more than light and noise.

And everyone appeared to love bikes; and adapting bikes; and making bicycle clothing. The Lil’ Red BMX Solar tracker will keep your solar panel focused on the Sun because the inventor found the BMX bike frame served as a perfect, pre-fab pivot frame. A science teacher is building a steam-powered bicycle–well, at least it will look steam powered–with his students. And one of the “Fine Southern Gentlemen” carries his silk screen printer on a tricycle.

The highlight is the Bicycle Zoo of pedal-powered beasties that roam with glowing eyes and flapping wings. But that’s a separate post. Look for it!

Except for th drive back to the airport. Austin gives a visitor little reason to have a car–and several reasons not to. However, there are many sustainable ways to get around Austin, if not voted the most bike-friendly city, certainly it would be voted the weirdest biking town.

This happening right now! County supervisor bike expo

This just in from Vince Buck, NOCBAC leader

Just noticed this in (Orange County Supervisor) Shawn Nelson’s newsletter. Missed it by a few hours. Address is Meridian Sports Club (or whatever its name is now).Notice on-line that CSUF professor Lynda Randall was involved. Did anybody go or know more about it?

What: Cyclist Luncheon & Bike Expo
Where: 1535 Deerpark Drive, Fullerton, CA 92831
When: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm