Battleground Rail Trail

Kudos to General Greensboro for highlighting this article which led me to this article. I've heard rumor of this trail but nobody had been able to provide facts relating to it. Even armed with the name of the trail I am finding very limited information about the rail-trail conversion. GDOT had this but no one else appears to be talking about this project on the Internet which I find utterly amazing.

The current phase of the project will run the trail from the end of the Bicentenial Greenway next to Mt Pisgah UMC on Pisgah Church Rd down to Markland Avenue. A tunnel will be used to get around the traffic on Cone Blvd but I wonder how traffic will be handled at the Martinsville Rd and Pisgah Church Rd crossings.

A quick look at satellite photos overlaid on the old rail alignment shows the homes and businesses that adjoined the old rail bed have taken over the space of the old rail right of way. Where I to guess about the alignment of the trail I would expect it to use Isaac Pl from Pisgah Church Rd to Martinsville Rd. Then comes the challenge of crossing Martinsville Rd. Despite a 30 MPH speed limit a large number of road users appear to confuse this street with the speedway of the same name. Combine this with short site lines and substantial traffic (frequently and issue during the evening commute for me) and you have a very difficult crossing. Add to this the fact that following Isaac Pl puts one a hundred yards east of the rail alignment and the problems start to compound. Do you follow Martinsville to get back unto the rail alignment or follow Lane Rd to Patriot Way which eventually realigns on the old rail bed.

The other alternative that I can see is to follow Isaac Pl about 200-250 yards to get around the back of the mini-mall that sits squarely on the old rail alignment. At that point follow that property lines back to the alignment. Now this reduces some of the Martinville Rd conflicts as the crossing will be closer to Battleground and eastbound motorists won't have time to accelerate to uncontrollable speeds while the sight lines to the west are improved by the higher elevation.

There still are problems though with the Pisgah Church Rd crossing though. If it is made at the original rail alignment it will be nearly 100 ft wide and eastbound traffic exiting off northbound Battleground does not have a stop sign or red light. Given my experience in Greensboro marked crosswalks mean nothing to local drivers so crossing here would be extraordinarily dangerous. Crossing from the Bicentennial Parkway to Isaac Pl is only marginally better but could easily be improved with a concrete pedestrian island to afford some protection from eastbound motorists heading for Forest Lawn Dr who might cheat over to the turning lane without checking for pedestrians or cyclists trying to cross. I really don't understand why this isn't already in place given Isaac Pl is the northern end of Bike Route 9.

On Yer Bike!


More Recalls

The CPSC has a new batch of recalls this month.

  1. First up is a chopper from Nirve. The Cannibal Chopper has a stem that can crack producing the usual control problems when the steering system fails. CPSC says to take the ride back to the vendors.
  2. Felt Cycles has a similar issue where the steerer tube can fail on their F1X cyclocross product. Felt dealers should be providing free inspection and repair.

Other than that it's been a quiet month. So unless you ride a Nirve Cannibal or Felt F1x...

On Yer Bike!


Why Isn't This in Production?

A couple shade tree mechanics in southern Maryland have cobbled together a diesel Honda Insight. With the electric drive only partially working they are getting 78 MPG driving the the Pacific Northwest. They expect to break 100 MPG once they work out the bugs in the electric portions of the drive train. Admittedly modern diesels cost more than gasoline engines but they run cleaner and last longer than those same engines while getting better mileage. Why isn't Honda or Toyota outfitting the Insight or Prius with a diesel option? The target markets have already shown they will pay the extra coin.


Avoiding The Door Zone

Here is an absolutely fantastic illustrative video about where the door zone is and how far out one must ride to avoid it. This is a must show for motorist education classes so they can have a clue as to why a cyclist MUST ride six feet away from parked cars.

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My Own Health Care Plan

With all the debate raging over the health care/insurance plan going on I thought it best to tune it out and look for something a bit more constructive. And I found it. The President's Challenge Fitness Program. Simply log your favorite activities and earn points leading to various levels of awards. There are three tiers of involvement:

  • For those trying to avoid becoming part of the couch before its to late.
  • For the moderately active.
  • For aspiring atheletes.

I signed up in the middle tier but I may need to upgrade, turns out my bicycle commute to work and back maxs out my score for the day. A little bit of feel good during a scary economic situation.

On Yer Bike!


Tax Holiday

North Carolina had its School Tax Holiday this weekend. The concept, as I understand it, is to help people save a little money as they prepare for the school year. That's all well and good. What I take issue with is the logic behind what is or isn't taxed.

How many grade school students have you ever seen wearing Lycra kit to school? I've never seen a one. Granted, just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it does exist. Most students who would be permitted to bicycle to school probably live within five miles of school, a distance were Lycra offers no benefit. What's my point? On Saturday I purchased one Lycra jersey, one pair of Lycra shorts and one pair of cycling gloves and all of it was tax free.

Now I suspect this all came under the overarching category of clothing so I'm not going to complain about law makers trying to keep a law simple. What I will complain about is the purchase that was taxed.

Juveniles in NC are required to wear a helmet while operating a bicycle. Guess which purchase was taxed? The helmet--Not a high end unobtanium feather weight model which would clearly be a luxury, but a middle of the road Bell Ghisallo. If the NC legislature wants to show they are serious about promoting transportation methods other than single occupant motor vehicles then they have some serious work to do.

On Yer Bike!


Susan Has Finished Her Fight

If you follow cycling blogs then you probably follow Fat Cyclist. Last night he released the sad news that Susan has finished her fight with cancer. Let's everyone do a few extra miles for Susan.

On Yer Bike!


National Stop on Red Week

Wish I found out about this one earlier, not that I have a problem with stopping at reds or stop signs, but so I could publicize it better. This week is National Stop on Red Week as promoted by The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running.

Here's a little eye candy to drive home the point.

On Yer Bike!