Show #472 – September 28, 2019

Guests: Steve Frothingham; Jeff Speck

Steve Frothingham, editor of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, talks with me about the tariffs and the effects they have had and are having on the bicycle business.

Then, I speak with Jeff Speck. He is one of the most influential city planners working today. Formerly the Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts, his company Speck and Associates is a planning firm that serves both municipal and private clients.

Jeff walks the walk, talks the talk, and give us a fascinating “civic” lesson in when and how communities thrive, how the environment is either supported or undermined, and where we find inequity in society.

Oddly enough, we have a fairly deep discussion of parking and how it affects how cities thrive – and, in fact, cities are NOT thriving! Making them more bikeable and walkable though?

Yes – bicycles, walking, and public transit play a HUGE role in all of it.

We talk about some practical ideas that even cities in dire financial straits can do to make walking and biking safer as well as controlling traffic more intentionally and successfully.

So, while his book, Walkable City Rules, 101 Steps to Making Better Places, might be a manual for professionals, I believe hearing the ideas and successes puts them into a place where you can see yourself perhaps getting involved and helping to make lasting change. You can attend council and planning meetings and, taking some of Jeff’s simple “rules” show your city there just might be room for protected bikes infrastructure.

One more thought here… many of us have abandoned the roads because of safety concerns. Instituting some of the “rules” in Jeff’s book might just put us back ON the roads – where bicycle belong!

I don’t usually air the small talk that takes place as we begin to roll for recording the show; but, Jeff sort of surprised me by asking ME questions and the interview just began to unfold – without any formal. introduction.

Show #423 – October 20, 2018

Guests: Gary Helfrich (from 2011); Jeff Speck (from 2013)

You know, I really wanted to produce a brand new episode this week but, the Universe had other plans and instead presented me with a nasty cold and wicked cough.

So rather than foist them upon you (and unsuspecting guests!) I decided to bring back a couple of my favorite interviews from past shows.

One of those is with Gary Helfrich – at the time (2011) he was part of the Sonoma County bicycle scene. And when we spoke, he talked about all the things he’d done including being the head roadie for Aerosmith and building some crazy thing for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, burying a whole titanium frame in the walls of a house in Somerville, Mass., and being the creator of one of the finest frame jigs in the world – the Arctos. The conversation was lively, fun, interesting and worth listening to a second (or third) time.

 

Then, it’s a re-do with Jeff Speck (2013). Jeff is a city planner and urban designer who, through writing, lectures, and built work, advocates internationally for more walkable cities. His book, Walkable City, eas published in 2013 and is still one of the most important on the topic.

Show #209 – August 30, 2014

Guests: Chris Coburn, Cyclocross Superstar Katie Compton, Matt Shad, Jan Michael Ramery & Jonathan Strauss

To everyone who is in and around Napa – we hope you are all safe, well, and recovering from the earthquake!

This week, we talk briefly with Chris Coburn. Chris’ brother Dr. Miles Coburn was a much loved biology professor, father, husband, son, and brother. He was killed in a bike accident back in 2008 and since then, we honor Miles and his commitment to cycling and the environment with the Ride for Miles, a commemorative ride that starts and end right here on the campus of John Carroll University.

Then we head on out to Colorado Springs to talk with SUPERSTAR Katie (FN) Compton. There isn’t a more dominant or successful cyclist when it comes to cyclocross than Katie. Amassing twenty two World Cup wins and four medals at the Cyclocross World Championships, as well as 90+ UCI wins, Katie shares her story with us this evening.

After a break and some news, we head on down to Columbus, Ohio to speak with Matt Shad. Matt is an urban planner as well as the director of the Great Placemaker’s Lab, a 3-day workshop that offers cuty planners, landscape architects, and anyone else involved in the planning, design, and management of neighborhoods and public spaces.

Topics for the workshops range from walkability, art, and retail to aging, transit, and parking. The plenary speaker will be Jeff Speck, who we interviewed back in June, 2013. Speck’s Walkable Cities is still one of my preferred books when we talk about downtowns and transportation.

And finally, we go to Miami, Florida to speak with the organizers of an event that rivals any amateur ride or race anywhere: The Road Titans 300+ Cycling Challenge. You just might want to get your low gears on and head on down to Oconee County, South Carolina for 3 days of riding, climbing, mid-November. Jan Michael Ramery and Jonathan Strauss will fill us in on all the nitty gritty details.

So, click the download button and let’s go!