Volunteer Open House – Good times & Good fun.

Thank you to all the great SVBC members who attended tonight's Volunteer Open House. It was great to see some new faces among the familiar. Normally at our Car Free Happy Hours conversation revolves around rides, routes, and commutes. Tonight we talked about ways to get involved in upcoming community events. Bike parking is a big part of it. Whether its at Stanford football games, Maker Faire, Tour de Cure, or the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend, there are many ways to get involved in your community in addition to meeting fellow cyclists as well. Bike to Work is always lots of fun but it's a huge undertaking as well; setting up the bag stuffing party, helping organize the energizer stations or chipping in to put on the Bike Away From Work Bash. Ernesto could always use some help, so please check out all the great ways you can volunteer for this year's Bike to Work Day. And lastly, we could sure use some help at your local city level. With over 2,000 square miles and over 2.5 million residents, the Silicon Valley is a big place. We would like you to keep us updated on what's happening in your part of the valley and report it to other members. If you would like to become an “Area Reporter” and keep us updated on a bi-monthly basis, well that would be just great. So keep checking back to our site, and as the weather starts to warm up look for additional volunteer opportunities that you can share with your friends and fellow cyclists. Thanks again...

NPR Morning Edition story – jobs, cycling, and quality of life.

In a series of stories related to the early release of the latest census data, NPR has been looking at different U.S. cities. This morning NPR's Morning Edition picked Portland; also known as Stumptown, Bridgetown, and PDX. The main focus of the story was demographics; mostly age and race, but woven through the story was issues such as cycling, brew pubs, quality of life, and outdoor sports. “Biking to work and knowing that so many of my friends and peers are in that community and that culture is great,” adds John Sterm, a young attorney who was in the process of grabbing some lunch at a Korean food cart. Later in the story the city's higher unemployment rate is explained by Oregon economist Christian Kaylor, who states that “one of the reasons we have that higher unemployment rate is because people do continue to move here even as jobs disappear.” Kaylor also mentioned the city's strong brand as a livable place makes it more attractive to companies, too. Recently, Sun Microsystems was trying to decide whether to close a plant in Portland or in California's Silicon Valley. The company asked employees from both places if they would relocate. “And the responses were night and day,” Kaylor says. “The skilled California workers they wanted to keep were enthusiastic about relocating their families to the Portland area. The Portland employees who were skilled indicated that they would quit rather than relocate in the Bay Area.” Final score: One more high-tech plant for Portland, one less for Silicon Valley. What do you think? Did you relocate or continue to live in the...

Why pillow fights will save the world; well at least San Jose

This weekend, as a precursor to Valentine's, some spirited Silicon Valley folks decided to have a pillow fight in downtown San Jose's Chavez Park. Although we pride ourselves on our innovation here in the valley, the modern day urban pillow fight was re-invented in Toronto, Ontario several years ago. Numerous North American cities have done the pillow fight thing, so on the pillow fight world stage we're just followers. In an article in this morning's paper, the Silicon Valley spin was that this was a “flashmob” and spoke of the role that uber-tech innovations such as Twitter and Facebook had in getting the crowd to the event (even stretching the link to Tahrir Square in Egypt). But that's like saying “Golly gee folks actually use automobiles to get to Sharks games just like they do at the Superbowl” …yawn. Not much of a flashmob when your own newpaper writes about it several days before. But how is this valley of almost two million starting to change in a positive way, and in a positive way for bikes? Well, several years ago, while Justin Beiber was just learning to crawl, who had heard of the San Jose Bike Party, Silicon Valley Roller Girls, Bike Soiree, East Bay Bike Party, or even Via Velo? We had not yet experienced the thrill of bike jousting, or the San Jose Bike Party bagpiper, also known as Joshua Agee. Treat-bot, the mobile mashing of karaoke and ice cream that follows the ride every third Friday had yet to hit the streets. Shorty Fatz, the locally cool and custom bikes were a few years off....

Imagine your cycling world without Caltrain

Imagine the west side of San Francisco Bay; San Franscico, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties without Caltrain linking each of the 29 cities along the way. Imagine the school children who can't get to school. Imagine the business deals that don't get signed, the job applicant who can't make the interview, or the Giants fan who can't see her world champion team.Take Action Now! Imagine an increase in auto related deaths due to more cars on limited roadways, or the increasing hours cars will spend idling on 101. Imagine losing the option to ride your bike and being one of the additional 40,000 daily riders who will be forced onto our roadways. The morning ride to the station will be replaced by a slow drive interrupted with shouting at the other drivers on the highway. That weight that you magically lost on your 6 mile daily commute to the station will quickly return once your are forced back onto the highway. Your budget that you so desperately tried to control will now become less manageable with increased gas, insurance, and parking costs. What can you do? At SVBC we believe there are four things you can do right now. Take action and send a message to your elected officials. Stay updated at the Friends of Caltrain website Share this news to your friends and workmates (via Facebook, Twitter, phone or email). Keep riding. At the bottom of the form is a box to state how you heard about the Caltrain issue. Please indicate “Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition” to let them know you are concerned about the removing bicycles...

Parking is plentiful, but hey how about bicycles?

Tonight (January 25) the San José City Council will accept the draft plan for the Diridon Station Area as well the recommendations from the Good Neighbor Committee. What does that mean for you, Ms. or Mr. Cyclist? Well for one, how about great transportation options when attending a Sharks game? Instead of paying $20 to park a car how about great options to ride your bike or take VTA light rail to the game? Your SVBC has been there from the start, showing our city leaders how important bicycles are to the area (check out our Diridon page). Right now the area is dominated by what is kindly described as surface area parking lots (see google map below). The Mercury News has an article in this morning's paper about the agenda item for tonight's meeting. For more information please follow the link to tonight's agenda (pdf). View Larger...