JPL Cycling Club Home

The JPL Bicycling Club is a group interested in all aspects of cycling - commuting, recreation, technology and safety.  Come back here for the latest information on current JPL cycling events. 
Feedback on the Club? Send it our way: jpl.bikes@gmail.com

Most of the Cycling Club correspondence is conducted through the Club's email list: jpl-bikes@jpl.nasa.gov   



Cycling Club Roundup - August 14, 2017

posted Aug 16, 2017, 11:51 AM by JPL Bikes   [ updated Aug 16, 2017, 11:55 AM ]

Road Safety on Lab: Mariner Road

We’ve had several complaints about cyclists riding the wrong way on the one-way portion of Mariner Road. The Protective Services Division receives these complaints and takes them very seriously as a safety issue.  

If you’re riding the wrong way on Mariner, please, please, please stop. Since not every cyclist on Lab is on this email list, please spread the word to others on bikes.

Bike Parking on Lab

Summer’s here and parking on Lab is tight, even for bikes. Rishi Verma created this terrific community generated Google Shared Map of bike racks and Fixit stations. Thanks for this map, Rishi and everyone, please continue contributing to this great map! 

Please avoid parking your bike in walkways and other areas where they could be a safety hazard and what the Lab describes as “a visible nuisance."

Fixit Stations

Thanks to the hard work of many, including Charles Dandino, JPL Rideshare, and JPL Pitchday, we have three Dero Fixit stations with deluxe pumps (which work with both presta and schraeder valves) http://www.dero.com/product/fixit/

You can find them on the Mall in front of 168, On Mariner Rd in front of 321 and just inside the East Gate (see the map link above).

Ride Bike Wednesdays

Wednesday is the day of the week with highest demand for parking at the Lab, so if you’re thinking about riding your bike one day a week, make it a Wednesday.

There are no incentives to participate in this effort: no subsidies, rewards, participation medals, coffee, t-shirts, hats or atta-girls/boys, just the warm feeling of giving a parking spot to someone who might really need a spot on a Wednesday. If you see another commuter on their bike on a Wednesday, give him/her a thumbs-up for participating in Ride Bike Wednesday.     

Commute Options, Metro Subsidy and Bikeshare

There was a lively discussion recently on the Slack channel #jplbikes about using the Metro Subsidy for the Bikeshare program. After consultation with the Commute Options Office and the Office of Contracts Management, we have an answer: No. This isn’t the answer we wanted, but we have clarity on this and other questions that keep coming up in the JPL cycling community.  

Q: Can a person apply the Rideshare subsidy to Metro’s bikeshare?
A: No, JPL does not have a bicycle commuting subsidy program.
A club member asked if a person could apply JPL’s Metro Rideshare subsidy to Metro’s Bikeshare program in a split with normal Metro ridership to solve the last mile problem. The IRS does not permit someone to get subsidized for both types of commuting in the same month i.e., you cannot receive both a Metro subsidy ($50) and a bicycle subsidy ($20) or even split the $50 subsidy between the Metro and the Metro Bikeshare program. In either case, the IRS does not permit someone to get subsidized for both types of commuting in the same month.   

Q: Does JPL provide a $20 tax-free commuting subsidy?
A: No, JPL does not have a bicycle commuting subsidy program.
There’s an ongoing discussion within the JPL cycling community about whether there is/could be a $20 tax-free commuting subsidy. The reasoning is the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2008: “employers who provide bike parking, bathing facilities, tune-ups, or other support for bicycle commuting, can deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income.” (source: http://www.bikewalk.org/bca.php)

Q: If I commute by bike 100% of the time, I do not receive the transit, vanpool or parking tax-free benefit, can I receive the bike commute benefit instead?
A: No, JPL does not have a bicycle commuting subsidy program.
The Office of Contracts Management outlined: in accordance with the IRS, the monthly $20 tax-free bicycle commuting benefit cannot be given in any month that the employee receives any of the other tax-free transportation benefits for highway commuter vehicle (vanpool), mass transit or parking (which JPL doesn’t subsidize). The IRS requires the bicycle to be regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment and they do not receive any other type of commuting subsidy for that month, then they would be eligible for a $20 tax-free bicycle subsidy. There also needs to be qualifying expenses in order to be subsidized. However, it is important to note again, JPL does not have a bicycle commuting subsidy program.

 

Bike Month Wrap-Up

posted Jun 1, 2017, 7:40 PM by JPL Bikes

The Lab celebrated Bike-to-Work week from May 8-12th and the Club organized several events over the week. We hosted a noontime bike maintenance and repair clinic, led Bike Trains and rode to Happy Hour at the Altadena Ale House. 

The Club cooperated with the Commute Options (Rideshare’s new name) Office to organize a noontime Bike Fest, which included a terrific raffle, refreshments and a Security vehicle escorted parade ride around the Lab on closed roads.

On Metro’s Bike-to-Work day on May 18th, Jim Chaffee (Section Manager for Security) and John Miranda (Commute Options) presented the commuting analytics from the 2016 AQMD commute survey and solicited ideas to promote bike commuting at the Lab. Feedback included:
  • Monthly $15 gift card: Give the reward more often than 1x monthly; higher $ value (transit subsidy increase to $50/month was cited); less administrative overhead to distribute.
  • Lab Bike Space: workspace, tool and supply storage, bike wash station, showers, lockers
  • More and better maintained showers
  • Lab support for bike contests, events etc. Fitlab or another employer-led effort, not done by the volunteer labor of the Bike Club
  • Lab bikes e.g., Bikeshare program


 


JPL Cycling Club Kit

posted May 10, 2017, 7:32 PM by JPL Bikes   [ updated May 10, 2017, 7:50 PM ]

The JPL Cycling Club kit was designed by local cycling apparel brand, súpərdomestik.cc. We asked súperdomestik to volunteer their time and talent to design a kit and they produced two beautiful options for our club (black and white) that surpassed all expectations for a kit we're proud to wear. We know the kits are cool, but here's some background on the design from Nic Griffiths of súperdomestik:

With this kit, there wasn’t really a design brief other than just make it look good! Fortunately it's JPL, which has a lot of inspiring source material. My instant thought was space and spacecraft. The simple black and white markings seen on rockets and shuttles make for a good canvas. Hence the black front, white arm and back with a checked arm band and the USA flag echoing the arm of a space suit, or the side of a rocket.

I tried experimenting with simple white vector illustrations of satellites approaching a large moon on a black background but this made it seem too literal and too NASA. It still had to be a cycling kit and not just a nice diagram of a spaceship. I wanted to show something that gave more of nod to travel and distance, something that instantly suggests space but also relevant for the people who will be wearing it. This is where the blue lines on the front and rear come from. While they make for a lovely abstract visual they are in actual fact loosely based on the spiraling transitions and different orbits of Cassini. It was impossible to depict this literally, as it would have been too dense with lines and not as clean, so I had to take a few liberties. It suggests rather than depicts.

By combining the simple markings of a space craft with relevant logos and flags along with using the front and back of the jersey to depict a flight path (or orbit), you quickly get to something that looks fit for purpose as a kit for JPL.

We sincerely appreciate súperdomestik's generous contribution to the JPL Cycling Club. We're looking forward to another round of kit orders in the next month and proudly representing JPL thanks to súperdomestik. Watch the Club email list and this site for details on the 2017 kit order.



Gate Closure at Gabrieleno Trail Access Road

posted May 3, 2017, 11:05 PM by JPL Bikes   [ updated May 3, 2017, 11:12 PM ]

The gate at the foot of the Gabrieleno Trail access road outside of the east gate will be periodically closed until further notice. There is an opening you can go through with your bike, but you'll need to ride on dirt for about 10 meters.

The East Gate entrance to JPL is not closed. The closure is on the other side of the bridge, preventing car access to the Gabrieleno Trail.

In the email thread on this topic, it was noted that not everyone rode to Lab on the Gabrieleno Trail, which is safer than Explorer Road. 


If you've never taken this route, here's a northbound photo journey from the intersection of Windsor Ave. and Ventura St.:

There's a fork near the Lab, take the LEFT FORK

Closed gate, but it's surmountable -- stay to the right for ~10 meters:

Opening in the fence within sight of the East Gate JPL entrance:

Reverse these steps when leaving Lab:

Safe travels! 

2016 Amgen Tour of California

posted May 24, 2016, 7:19 AM by JPL Bikes

There was no better way to kick off Bike Week than to have the Amgen Tour of California race past the Lab on Monday during lunch.  The JPL Bike Club organized a bike ride down to the Oak Grove/210 bridge where the pelton flew past.  Here's a few photos: https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNdxJFPdp-4Anw1LZZWwV2TPKwrp6JevQnRXJO0.

Got any more pictures?  Send them to us at JPL.Bikes@gmail.com.

Construction at the JPL Gates

posted Feb 29, 2016, 11:55 AM by JPL Bikes

The Bike Club Board met with the representatives of the construction project to enhance the infrastructure at the JPL entrances.  The Club provided input on how to best accomplish the construction while still providing easy access for bicycles.

Please read the meeting minutes and view the slides.

New Club Calendar Tool

posted Feb 17, 2016, 12:37 PM by JPL Bikes

Cyclists, John has created a JPL Bike Club Calendar that anyone with the link can post rides or events to.

The calendar is on the TeamUp website.

Marc

John's Excellent Adventure

posted Oct 15, 2015, 3:11 PM by JPL Bikes

John May went on a 6-day bikepacking trip in Oregon this summer.  He made a slide presentation and shared it with the Club at the September 17 meeting, enjoy!: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byupe6tk7j8RcThxVjFZUjRTdHc/view?usp=sharing.

City of Pasadena Transportation Plan

posted Oct 15, 2015, 3:03 PM by JPL Bikes

Rich Dilluvio, Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Pasadena gave a presentation at the October 15, 2015, Club meeting on Pasadena’s master plan and current progress for bicycle lanes.  The full plan is posted on the City’s website: http://cityofpasadena.net/transportation/BikePlan/.  A copy of the presentation can be viewed here.

Getting Ready for Bike Week...

posted Apr 21, 2015, 7:06 AM by JPL Bikes


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