Friday, May 22, 2015

The Self Charging Electric Bike

The Self Charging Electric Bike
This is the electric bike that riders help recharge by pedaling. Instead of rotating the rear wheel, pedaling this bike turns the built-in alternator that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, providing supplemental power to the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The 2 1/2" color LCD on the handle bars allow riders to easily select pedal resistance, acceleration, and speeds up to 16 MPH. The bike has a chainless hybrid drive system with an automatic dual winding motor, an aluminum frame with a carbon-fiber single fork, 20"-diameter tires, and dual hand brakes. Inside the frame, the electronic control unit’s sensors monitor the bike’s speed and slope of the terrain and automatically shifts gears to enable smooth rides up steep inclines or down declines. The battery enables up to 18-mile rides on a full charge without any pedaling or up to 28-mile rides when aided by pedaling. Recharges in 51/2 hours via included AC adapter. Folds to 1/3 its size for storage. 64" L x 46" H x 24" W. (47 3/4 lbs.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Better Block project to transform Akron's North Hill: See a map, what's on tap

Better Block North Hill.jpg
A schematic showing what North Hill will look like during the BetterBlock street festival this week. (Team BetterBlock)

AKRON, Ohio -- Head to Akron's North Hill neighborhood this weekend and you might be surprised by the pop-up shops and bike paths erected by Better Block.

Friday-Sunday, May 15-17, the vacant storefronts and barren sidewalks will disappear. Volunteers, with support of the city and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, are transforming North Main Street into a vibrant arts district the immigrant neighborhood has not seen in decades.

The Better Block project, an idea that originated Dallas, Texas, is demonstration imagining a revitalized area, and making that happen.

Small businesses will overtake North Hill weekend, buttressed by new landscaping, reconfigured bike-friendly streets and new plazas. Organizers hope the event will help neighbors and visitors alike to imagine a new future for the neighborhood, and maybe just some of those popups will decide to stay. 

Here's five things you can do in North Hill, only this weekend.

Eat and drink at brand new places: New dining options include a new art gallery espresso cafe, the Stray Dog Diner and a specialty dumpling restaurant. A new plaza will also beckon food trucks from around the region. 

Stroll on shady, tree-lined streets and sit in plazas: Better Block will transform the intersection of North Main Street and East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue into a roundabout, adjoined near a wide plaza that will feature seating and a court for bocce ball, the hand-ball sport enjoyed by Romans and 21st century hipsters alike. 

Volunteers will bring in 30 new trees, four of which will find permanent homes. 

Ride your bike all the way downtown: A simultaneous street fair will turn North Main Street into a bike friendly, pedestrian centric thoroughfare. Main will be closed off to automobiles North of downtown Akron throughout the weekend. 

Another nook will feature a small-goal soccer tournament. 

Experience new, local shopping: Anchored by Neighbors Apparel, a year-old business founded by Tessa Reeves, shops will have a three-day lease on life during better block. 

Neighbors specializes in hand-made garments sewed primarily by Bhutanese refugees who have settled in the North Hill neighborhood, using fabrics that have been imported from southeast Asia. A bike shop will also open its doors.

There will be an open air market featuring local vendors and farmers just off Main Street. 

Just imagine: Jason Roberts, the man who founded Better Block in Dallas three years ago, wants you to see what your neighborhood can be. 

If the pop-up businesses do well enough this weekend, organizers hope owners may muster the courage to set up shop permanently and start a wave of new business that can turn North Hill into a bustling business district. 

"If we create the environment just temporarily we can watch what happens. People were saying lets make this stay lets make this stick," Roberts said. "We call it speed dating for cities."

The Rider & The Wolf Trailer


Sarah Braker, communications manager
Sharing the road has its risks, and something that unites many bicyclists, from novice to experienced, is the fear of being hit by a car. But, what if it isn't just the person on two wheels, but also the one behind the wheel, who is a bike rider? As we learned from our participation study, 88% of people who rode a bike in 2014 also drove a car, so it’s possible, even probable, that drivers involved in bike-car crashes are themselves people who ride bikes. What follows is the story of one such person, a frequent bike commuter who hit another bike rider with her car. Her name has been changed to protect her anonymity, and her story proves when it comes to bike and cars, it’s much more complicated than us versus them.

Image: Flickr

The driver

My friend, we’ll call her Veronica, lives in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston and identifies as a bike commuter. She usually rides to work, three miles each way, and also uses her bike to run errands. Boston has made great strides over the past few years to become a more bike-friendly city, but Veronica says she still worries about crashes. “Not a single day goes by that I don’t think my life will be ended by a car hitting me,” she says. Driving in Boston is no picnic either, and like many of us, as Veronica started biking more, she became a more careful and vigilant driver. “I definitely am more cognizant of bikers when driving,” she says, “If I’m parked on a street, I will look in my mirror to see if a cyclist is coming and I never honk at people on their bikes.”


Oak Street, San Francisco. Photo: SFMTA. 
Protected bike lanes are now officially star-spangled.
Eight years after New York City created a Netherlands-inspired bikeway on 9th Avenue by putting it on the curb side of a car parking lane, the physically separated designs once perceived as outlandish haven't just become increasingly common from coast to coast — they've been detailed in a new design guide by the Federal Highway Adminstration.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

GRINDURO - A New Kind of Bike Race

[More at grit.cx]

How to Shop by Bike @momentummag

Photo by Lily Holman
My partner and I picked up the habit of shopping by bike shortly after we first started riding together. On the way home from a ride, we’d stop in at a butcher shop or pick up some take-out for dinner. At first, we’d hang bags from our handlebars, but we knew this was putting our purchases at risk as they swayed and bounced off our front wheels. We soon had the urge to carry more with us – without having to take transit or resort to borrowing a car.

Thousand: Finally, a bike helmet you'd actually want to wear @kickstarter


North Bend Rail Trail Bike Camping 2015 #bikecamping #coffeeoutside @salsacycles

6 cyclists. Saturday ride from Parkersburg to Salem to bike camp and ride back on Sunday. We camped in Salem along the trail. Dinner in town at the shelter.

130+ miles. 6000+ ft climbing total. Rained intermittently.

Multiple mechanicals including shifters, fenders and punctures.

Great weekend with friends on the bike.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What If You Didn't Need A Bike Lock, Because The Bike Rack Locked Your Bike For You?

Cyclists don't want to lug around locks heavy enough to truly protect their bikes. That's why this bike rack includes the lock, so all you need is a key.
After his bike was stolen, product design student Mason Holden started combing Amazon for a better lock. The problem: It didn't exist. Even the best lock on the market was easily breakable with a few simple tools. So Holden teamed up with fellow Glasgow School of Art student Daniel Harking to design an alternative.
The heavier a bike lock, the better it works. But since cyclists don't want to lug around a giant lock—one highly rated lock weighs 11 pounds, and it still can't stand up to a hacksaw—the designers took another approach. What if the cyclists didn't bring a lock at all?
"The way we saw the problem was that there's a limit to the weight cyclists are willing to carry, and that's the limit of bicycle security," says Harking. "If you look at something like a house or car, the lock is fixed in place, you take the key with you. You don't see someone going around locking their car with a padlock. So we began to look at the option if what if the lock wasn't with the cyclist, but rather fixed in place."
In the new design, called the BikeVault, the lock is built into the bike rack. With the swipe of a card, the rack activates and slides a giant bar through your bike frame and back wheel. Until you come back and swipe again, the bike isn't going anywhere. It's like a sturdier version of the Publock, another student bike rack design that also uses a card to activate.
The rack was designed to look better than the typical industrial steel loops. "If you look at existing bike racks, they're not really street furniture, just big ugly things," says Harking. "We worked with architects who told us whenever they're planning a public space, they always plan for the bike racks to be out of sight. We were acutely aware of the fact that if you make the rack more visually appealing, planners would be more likely to put it in more prominent areas."
That has an important advantage: The more public the space, the less likely a thief is to try to take off other removable parts like a light, saddle, or a quick-release front wheel. "Obviously thieves don't like an audience," Harking says. "By making the structure more appealing, it adds this social element of protection."
Though the rack is significantly more expensive to make than the standard alternative, it's designed to be free to use and free for cities to install and maintain. Funding would come from LCD advertising at each end of the rack...
Keep reading at FastCompany

VIA FERRATA from Summitride

VIA FERRATA from Summitride on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Try A Two-Wheeled Multi-Day Adventure @womensadventure

Pack It On

Combine the freedom of backpacking with the increased mobility and speed of cycling and you get the fast-growing sport of bike packing. At its core, bike packing is exploring and camping from your bike. The variety of trips, terrain, and gear options make bike packing accessible to any level of cyclist. Travel on pavement, a bike path, fire roads, or singletrack. Haul gear with a trailer, panniers, frame bags, or bungees over your rear rack. Go on a leisurely overnighter or a week-long race. Whatever flavor of bike packing you fancy, the following skills will help you squeeze more enjoyment out of your journey.
bike packing 1
(Photo by Jereme Rauckman)

Route Planning

Bike packing routes range from steep singletrack to wide open fire roads and stretches of pavement. Knowing your route helps you figure out any adjustments you’ll need to make to your bike and plan what gear to bring. Follow these tips to chart a solid trip.
Be flexible. Weather changes, bikes break, legs turn to lead. Plan several camps along your intended route so you don’t feel pressured to push on to your final destination if something happens.
Keep distances conservative until you have a better idea what mileage you can cover on different types of terrain. Riding 10 to 15 miles a day is a good place to start. If you get into camp early, dump your gear and explore with a lightened load.
Remember, no bikes are permitted in designated wilderness areas. If an area is slated to become wilderness, it might get closed to biking early—get in touch with the local management district to find out.

16-Year-Old Hacks A $5 Cell Phone Charger For His Bike

Thomas, a 16-year-old has created instructions on Instructables for a DIY wind turbine that is attached to his bicycle. Charge your phone with the wind! It's made from some scrap parts, and some inexpensive electronic parts he has purchased.

Picture of Bicycle Cell Phone Charger (Wind Turbine with build in Battery)
Charge your phone with the wind!
In his words, "I go very often to cycle in the nature where is no electricity, and during a long bike tour my phone usually discharges. These smartphones have a large capacity but its consumption is big too. I made a few weeks ago another bike turbine for the Bicycle Contest, but I think I can make a better one. So created an all in one wind turbine power bank"

The turbine shown mounted

• an old CPU fan
• toroidal inductor
• 2N2222 or 2N3904 or BC547 transistor
• 5v step-up module, (boought on eBay)
• germanioum diodes (5 pieces)
• a small perfboard
• an old phone battery or a 18650 cell
• and a small switch
• bike support element
The simple assortment of parts needed

• Soldering Iron
• Glue Gun
• Wire Stripper and Cutter

• Electrical Tape
The tools Thomas used to build it

The scrap PC fan he used for the turbine

The finished product
Go here to see the Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/5-Bicycle-Cell-Phone-Charger-Wind-Turbine-with-bui/

Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights

Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights from Alastair Humphreys on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bono Rides a Bike with Jimmy Fallon @u2 @jimmyfallon #U2Fallon



360 MILES, 75% DIRT



— FRIDAY – MAY 22, 2015 – 7:00 A.M. —

Due to the realities of living in litigious society, we are no longer taking any formal role in organizing this ride.  That doesn’t mean it won’t still happen – we fully expect folks to still show up and ride and it’s not like we were really doing anything beyond picking a date, time and route.  It just means we don’t want to potentially get sued if something happens to someone.   So even though we beat this drum repeatedly every year, here it goes again, with even more feeling:  you are really, truly 100% on your own.   You can read more about why we are doing this here.   But again, we expect our rides, including this one, to continue to go down on the same dates and times and in the same way they always have.  You can see when these rides are expected to happen in the prior link or check the Calendar page for more information.
Many thanks for the many years of great support.  We love you guys and we look forward to hitting the road with you again soon.

Shuffle! Ep. 2 - Flat vs. Clipless & Origins-Andy Willis

Video Shows Driver Attempting to Ram SFSU Lecturer on Bike @StreetsblogSF

Last night, Anthony Ryan was biking home from his job as a lecturer on fine arts at SF State University when he was nearly rammed by a motorist on Phelan Avenue. Ryan says the driver tried to door him and run him over multiple times. He posted footage taken by another driver showing the end of the encounter, when the assailant attempted to back up over Ryan.
The assault occurred outside City College’s main campus. According to Ryan, the aggression began as he was riding in the left-turn lane from eastbound Ocean on to Phelan. Ryan, who previously had a more violent run-in with a reckless driver in the area, relayed his account in a series of tweets:

[Keep reading at StreetsBlog]

Friday, May 8, 2015

Portland bicyclist photographed throwing bike lock at motorist during road-rage incident @oregonian

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.58.54 AM.png
Janet Lee said she snapped this photo of a bicyclist throwing a bike lock at her car during a confrontation on Tuesday evening. Her teenage daughter was driving the car. (Photo by Janet Lee)

Update: The second (non-bike-lock-throwing) bicyclist in the photo has contacted The Oregonian/OregonLive with his version of what happened. Read it below. 
Dear Portland bicyclists: Bike locks are for locking up your ride, not hucking at cars during the evening commute.  
A Portland woman says she has filed a police report against a bicyclist who she says threw a bike lock at her car and kicked her in the arm during a heated exchange east of the Hawthorne Bridge on Tuesday night.
Janet Lee said her teenage daughter was driving their 2000 BMW when she snapped a photo of the cyclist heaving the heavy U-lock at the vehicle.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

San Francisco Wants to Lower Bike Injuries by Raising Bike Lanes @CityLab

This fall, San Francisco will become one of the elite few cities in the United States to build a raised bike lane.
The city's Municipal Transportation Agency will oversee the construction of an elevated pathway on Valencia Street in the southern Mission District. The curb-hugging lane will be raised about 2 inches above the road surface, and will measure 6-feet wide with an additional 5-foot "buffer zone." The city will follow up with a handful of other raised lanes next year, all planned for areas with high rates of bicycle injuries.

[Keep reading at CityLab]

Do Drivers Cover the Cost of Roads? Not By a Long Shot @StreetsblogNet

This chart shows what percent of different kinds of roads is paid for by the gas tax. Image: Pew Research Center
All charts: Pew Charitable Trusts [PDF]
David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington shares this fantastic chart from a new study of transportation funding by the Pew Charitable Trusts [PDF]. Alpert explains:
This chart from Pew shows where the transportation money comes from; it’s not all drivers.
Basically, the bluish areas are revenues which come specifically from drivers: gas taxes, vehicle taxes, and tolls. The greenish ones are other revenues: property taxes, general fund transfers, and other funds.

[Keep reading at StreetsBlog] 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Families Ditch Cars for Cargo Bikes @NYTimes

Dave Hoverman and his wife, Abby Smith, in Berkeley, Calif., with their cargo bike, which can hold all four children.

When Dave Hoverman, 38, a business strategy consultant in Berkeley, Calif., goes to Costco on the weekends, he ditches his Audi Q7 and instead loads his four children into a Cetma cargo bike with a trailer hitched to the rear.
“We do all sorts of errands on the bike,” Mr. Hoverman said. “We try not to get in the car all weekend.”
Mr. Hoverman is among a growing contingent of eco-minded and health-conscious urban parents who are leaving their car keys at home and relying on high-capacity cargo bikes for family transportation.
[Keep reading at NY Times]

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Self-Deprecation and the Female Cyclist | Machines for Freedom

I’ve been planning on writing this piece for a few weeks now, but struggled with finding the right way to go about it. Wouldn’t you know it, before I got my act together and sat down and finished the thing, badass mountain biker  Stacey, posted something very similar to the draft I had begun. I considered scrapping my piece altogether, but after more consideration, I thought maybe I could build off of what Stacey had started.
So what is this popular issue? I’m calling it self-deprecation. Stacey calls it our need to apologize. 
“I’d love to come, but you might be waiting for me at the top of the climbs…” 
“I’m not sure I can handle that descent...” 
“I’m racing, but my goal is just not to be last...”

Bicycle Touring - DC to Pittsburgh to Toronto

Bicycle Touring - DC to Pittsburgh to Toronto from Levi on Vimeo.

Port Townsend

Port Townsend from Raleigh Bicycles on Vimeo.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What Does it all Mean? 27.5+ and 29+ Bikes

Your guide to the fattening

They say that there are seven stages of grief. I went through all of them when I heard that plus-size tires would be the ‘next big thing’ in the bike industry. You know–shock and denial, pain and guilt, angry-as-hell muttering and throwing of crap at the wall.
Photo by Van Swae
Photo by Van Swae
But you can’t stay mad forever. I mean you can, but if you do you usually wind up living under a bridge, coaching a troupe of dancing rats. So, I resigned myself to getting some answers to the following questions:
What the hell is “plus-size” anyway?
What are these bikes supposed to do well?
What are their limitations?
What kind of rider might like a plus-size bike?
Is this the end of ‘normal’ mountain bikes?
Why are we also getting new fork and rear axle standards? 
Ryan Palmer, Bike magazine’s gear editor, and I headed out on a cross-country journey to find those answers. It was like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” or maybe “The Fellowship of the Ring” minus the orcs and the foxy elf chick. We wound up shooting four hours of video–a mere 12 minutes of which made it into our “Blueprint” video.
Our goal with the video was to cover the broad brushstrokes. What follows are some of the more tech-oriented details–stuff that matters but couldn’t fit within the video without us making some kind of three-hour epic about spoke bracing angles and legally-mandated tire clearances in France. No one–not even the geekiest of you–would have watched that crap.
WTB's Trail Blazer 2.8 tire sure wasn't the first "plus size" tire, but it kicked off the 27.5+ boom that's making waves now.
WTB’s Trail Blazer 2.8 tire sure wasn’t the first “plus size” tire, but it kicked off the 27.5+ boom that’s making waves now.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Janette Sadik-Khan: Work Fast to Change the Status Quo @nextcityorg

Former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says a nimble, tactical-urbanism-style approach was key to her success. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Last week, former New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan spoke to a packed house of enthusiastic urbanists in Seattle as part of a Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) speaker series on the future of city transportation. Sadik-Khan is something of a celebrity in the alt transportation world for her role in implementing major positive changes to New York City streets under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Introducing her to the crowd, SDOT Director Scott Kubly said, “It’s not an overstatement to say she changed how the entire country thinks about transportation.”

Righteous Mothers Bicycle Club - Columbus, Ohio

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2014 Arizona Trail Race

2014 Arizona Trail Race from Aaron Johnson on Vimeo.
In April of 2014, about 17 of us lined up along the desolate Mexican border in Arizona, and headed north in a race across the deserts, mountains, forests, and canyons of Arizona, headed for Utah. This is the story of how my race unfolded.

The Arizona Trail Race is a self-supported mountain bike race along the famed Arizona Trail. Starting at the Mexico border, there are two distance options: 300 miles to the Picketpost trailhead near Phoenix, or the full traversal to Utah, more than 750 miles. There is no race organization, there is no support; you carry all your own gear, and must be completely self-sufficient. Resupply is allowed only at any commercial establishment.

Read more about the race here: http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

Huge thanks to Joe Polk at MTBCast for providing the call-in audio for the narration. MTBCast is a podcast that offers racers a way to call in and leave messages, sometimes the only communication that friends and family get from their racer. Check them out at www.mtbcast.com.

Call-in voices in order of appearance:
Mark Caminiti
Michael Ackerman
Aaron Johnson
Jill Hueckman
Jay Petervary
Brad Mattingly
Mike Prochaska

This race would not be possible without the tireless efforts of the Arizona Trail Association to create and maintain over 800 miles of singletrack trail across Arizona. They rely on donations to fund these efforts, so please support them and give what you can at www.aztrail.org.

Big thanks to Tucson local Scott Morris for masterminding these crazy events. Follow him here: http://www.topofusion.com/diary/

Another huge thanks to Ghost Kollective for being very willing to provide and share their amazing track, "Dance of the Seven Sisters." They originally developed this song in collaboration with photographer Nicolaus Wegner for his Wyoming Wildscapes II timelapse film, an incredible project and well worth watching. Check them out at the links below:

Ghost Kollective: http://www.ghostkollective.com/
Wyoming Wildscapes II: https://vimeo.com/80836225


"Fans" by Kings of Leon (http://tour.kingsofleon.com/)
"No Way" by David Lindley (http://www.davidlindley.com/)
"The 2nd Law: Isolated System" by Muse (http://muse.mu/)
"Meet Me There" by Nick Mulvey (http://www.nickmulvey.com/)
"Dance of the Seven Sisters" by Ghost Kollective (http://www.ghostkollective.com/)
"Step Outside" by Ki:Theory (http://kitheory.com/)

Check out my written recaps and photos of the race:
Part 1: http://mowglimedia.net/journal/2014/4/30/aztr-750-race-report-the-first-300-miles
Part 2: http://mowglimedia.net/journal/2014/5/15/aztr-750-apache-junction-to-flagstaff
Part 3: http://mowglimedia.net/journal/2014/5/18/aztr-750-flagstaff-to-utah

And finally - huge thanks to my girlfriend Megan for all her support and encouragement for the race and putting this video together, I couldn't have done it without her!