Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"sharrows" = sharing arrows...
I think its a great, simple solution that does not add to the visual clutter of road signs and is flexible enough to continue from a wide boulevard to narrow street...
and is clear about who has to share the road with whom :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Next Family Bike Ride: Loantaka Bike Paths, Sunday, 6/27, 11 AM

SOMbike's next family bike ride will be on the wonderful bike paths in Loantaka Brook Reservation (on the Madison side) on Sunday, June 27th. We will meet in the parking lot on Laontaka Way, where Shunpike Rd. dead-ends. If you've ever been to St. Hubert's Animal Shelter, it's right near by. There is a picnic area off the parking lot, and after the ride, those that want to bring along a picnic, please do. Also, bring water, as there aren't places right near the reservation to buy stuff.
Meet-up: 11 AM in the Loantaka Way Parking Lot
Long Ride Meet-up: Huzefa Irfani is leading a ride from Maplewood to the Laontaka Way Parking Lot. If you are interested - it's about 11 miles each way - let him know. The meet-up is at the NJ Transit Parking Lot, Maplewood Ave. & Baker,
9:30 AM. Contact him for more info:
Also, if you have any questions, please get in touch at:
If the weather is questionable, check - we'll post by 8 AM, if the ride is going to be cancelled.
Directions (but refer to map above for exact meet-up location)
From Interstate 287
Traveling North: Take Exit 35 for South Street. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp. Continue for approximately ½ mile and Loantaka Brook Recreation Area entrance is on the LEFT.

Traveling South: Take Exit 35. At the end of the ramp, turn RIGHT onto Madison Avenue. Travel to the traffic light and turn LEFT onto South Street. Continue for approximately 1.1 miles and Loantaka Brook Recreation Area entrance is on the LEFT.

From Route 124, East or West
Proceed to South Street, follow South Street. Seaton Hackney Stables and Loantaka Brook Recreation Area will be on the LEFT about ½ mile past Woodland Avenue.

To reach Loantaka Brook Reservation on Kitchell Road, continue on South Street to end and turn LEFT onto Spring Valley Road. The third road on the LEFT is Kitchell Road. Loantaka Brook Reservation is on the LEFT.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hello all, Nick DiChiaro here

Hello all, I'm Nick DiChiaro a high school advocate for the SOMbike committee. I've been riding a bike every since I could remember. At age 3 my mother took me to Toys 'R' Us to pick me up a trike for my 3rd birthday. As my mom was looking through them she noticed me whizzing by on a two wheeler twice my size. I obviously skipped the whole trike thing and went home with a brand new "big boys bike" I dont think i could have been any happier. A few short weeks later it was that time, the time that every little kid fears, taking the training wheels off! 
I vividly remember the day, all the neighbors had come out to watch. I was ready it was time to drop the training wheels and become a big boy. I remember my mom running behind me "pedal pedal, you got it pedal." A few tries later she was running behind me yelling "YOU GOT IT YOU GOT IT!" I hadnt even realized she had let go until I turned around and almost washed out on the curb.
It was a wonderful day, one I will never forget. Every since that first 2wheel ride ive been hooked! Every day after that all i would want to do was ride my bike and my my bike fast! we lived on a nice quiet street with a hill that mellowed out half way through the street. Every day id strap on helmet run to the top of the hill turn around and pedal as fast as my little legs could go. Once i felt like i had hit my max speed I would slam on the brakes and go into a long skid. 
Then there was the day where I apparently earned my tough cookie award. I was flying down the hill maybe at age 4 now and hit a huge pothole and went flying over the bars and skidding across the pavement. My dad is shock ran over brought me and bandage me up. my mom said I was done for a while and needed to take a rest. 
After all the Band-Aids were put on the first thing that came out of my mouth was "can I go ride now?"my parents were in shock that even after that huge fall I still wanted to ride.
Fast forward 7 years when I was introduced to the high paced sport of BMX racing. That sport shaped me into what I am today. From the time the first gate dropped it was pure love. I just couldnt get enough of the speed the adrenaline and pure rush of the sport. 8 guys wide going around a turn throwing elbows going over jumps and bumps. 
Ever since that first day I could never get enough. Ive been racing for 6 years now and still just as involved as I was the first day. Even more so now. 
For the past 5 years I have finished top 25 in the points system for my local track. in the past 4 years ive finished top 25 in the state. last year I finished number 1 in my age and group. which for me was one of my biggest accomplishments. Also picking up little sponsors here and there have been a huge help to me. At first it was High gear but ive moved on to Grove street bicycles which has been a huge help in my career, always pushing me to do the right the thing for the sport and myself. Also Scared4Life racing has greatly helped me out, a little company team I was put on. I've since become the graphic designer  for them, which I thought was really cool of them!!

Besides racing, like I said before BMX is my passion. 
Almost Every day im out riding my "Street BMX" bike. Jumping off curbs and ledges and makeshift ramps, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. like racing Grove street Bicycles is a huge help to me. Always willing to do what they can to get me moving in my sport. Our bmx crew does a lot of demos here and there to try to promote the sport and shop, its always great to get more people involved. I recently did a demo at MMS in the winter for a "boys night out" event. The school set me and a friend up in the gym and told us to ride for 45 and to just make the kids go wild pretty much. It was great, I've never scene so many kids screaming and jumping around becuase we were doing little tricks here and there. they LOVED it. After the show we were rushed by maybe 200 kids asking for autographs and the chance to ride our bikes. 
They loved it! it was great what the school did and i never knew some many kids were so interested in the sport. 

Riding a bike to me is one of the greatest feelings in the world. If im feeling down or upset about something I grab my bike and go out for a ride and come back with a huge smile on my face. To me there is nothing more relaxing than just pedaling around, no rules no boundaries just you and your bike. Let your mind and wheels run free, let them take you new places let them see unseen things. Always remember What riding a bike is all about, being yourself and expressing your self through your riding and of course having FUN! Besides bikes, I am very interested in the graphic art and photography. it runs in the family.
I recently was chosen out of 14 kids to attend UCTECH a vocation school in union county on a 2 year
scholarship. I work with the adobe sweet and mostly film photography, i like to call it my "second love"
I almost always have a camera or pen in hand writing down and drawing things i want to make into
some sort of project in the future.

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.

- Arthur Conan Doyle

After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable.  A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go.  You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.  ~

-- H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance

I thought of that while riding my bicycle.

-- Albert Einstein

Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.

- Grant Petersen

miniature bicycles

I hadn't heard of these until now, so I'm guessing they've fallen out of style...if they were ever in style.

MINIATURE CYCLES video newsreel film


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

South Orange/Maplewood Bike Path Plan Presented Tonight, 6/8

Maplewood's consultant is presenting the plan for hooking up Maplewood and SO bike path at Chyzowych Field tonight at 630 pm at the River Committee at Village Hall on South Orange Ave.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Discussion of Bikeway Study - Connecting Maplewood and Millburn



TAKE NOTICE that on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., a public meeting will be held at the Municipal Building in the Township Committee Meeting Room, 574 Valley Street, Maplewood, New Jersey to discuss the Bikeway study.

By: Robert E. Bratt

Acting Township Engineer

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Interested in Longer Bike Rides?

South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition is planning monthly rides of longer distances of approximately 10 - 20 miles. Just like our family rides, these rides would be organized so that no rider will be dropped. Road bikes and mountain bikes with a good road gearing range are fine. Riders should be comfortable riding in traffic and able to keep an average riding pace of approximately 12 - 14 miles per hour. Aside from the normal riding equipment (bike and helmet), riders should also bring with them water and a spare inner tube (should you encounter a flat).
If interested, please get in touch with Huzefa, at