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Monday, April 30, 2012

Obesity Makes Us Waste More Than a Billion Gallons of Gas Every Year [The Atlantic]

The health costs of obesity are well known: more frequent hospital visits, greater reliance on prescription drugs, a heightened risk for diseases like diabetes. What's less well known are obesity's economic costs. How much of a burden does obesity put on public infrastructure? On GDP? On the federal deficit?

Juanita la musicleta [VIDEO]

XtraCycle Side Car Surfin' [Video]

Detroit Critical Mass Helps Area Cyclists Find Common Ground On City Streets [Huff Post]

Critical Mass Detroit
They meet up the last Friday of every month on the corner of Trumbull and Warren in Detroit -- mostly cyclists, but sometimes skateboarders, rollerbladers and others. They come from all over Southeast Michigan to take part in a unique event, a ride called Critical Mass.
Cyclists swarm the streets, filling lanes and for a short time making motorists rethink their notions about traffic on the public roadways.
Critical Mass rides started in San Francisco in 1992 as a way for cyclists to increase their visibility on the road. The biking get-together has spread to hundreds of cities around the world. It's a decentralized movement, and some in its ranks use the ride as a way to critique modern society's over-dependence on motor vehicles. To others, though, it's just chance to go on a fun bike ride.
"Critical mass is just basically a way to contrive a lot of people to go biking together, to mass up and collectively make the public aware that there are bikers out here," said Derek Savage, 27, a Wayne State University student and office manager who's been participating in the Detroit event for about a year and a half.
Savage said Detroit's Critical Mass cyclists respect the rules of the road. Special riders called "corkers" block traffic at certain intersections to ensure bikers' safety. According to Savage, the local smaller rides tend to be free-form, while larger events have leaders who plan routes out ahead of time.
Dywayne Neeley of the East Side Riders bike club enjoys Critical Mass, but takes a less orderly view of the ride than Savage.
"It's chaos. Instead of riding in unison -- like for instance taking one lane -- they're all over the place," he said, adding that the commotion can infuriate some drivers.
Neeley said members of his club usually stick to one lane and communicate with signals when they take the whole street.

Bobbin Shopper

The ultimate 70’s style shopping bike, the Bobbin Shopper is perfect for adding laugh-out-loud fun to your nip around town.  
Cute with a capital C, it’s no surprise that girls and boys alike are under it’s small-wheeled spell. It’s easy to handle scale means the Shopper is a good choice for tight storage or putting in the back of a cab if need be.
Or perhaps you’re very petite?
Either way, just add large sunglasses and a pooch of your choice, and The Sartorialist will come a-running.

Frame: Hi-ten steel
Size: 381mm
Weight: approx 14.5kg
Grips: White rubber
Shifter: Sturmey Archer trigger
Chainguard: Painted Steel
Crank: Chrome plated steel
Gears: 3 speed Sturmey Archer
Brakes: Alloy ‘V’ brake
Wheels: 20” Alloy
Tyres: Kenda 20 x 1.75 White
Saddle: White
Seatpost: Quick Release
Kickstand: Alloy
Mudguards: Painted Steel
Carrier rack: Painted Steel
Basket: White Wire Basket
 with Quick release

Detroit Bike History: Jack VanDyke Talks Cycling In The Days Before Detroit Became The Motor City [Huff Post]

Detroit Bikes
This map of Detroit bike routes from 1896 showed cyclists the routes used to escape to the countryside.
Although it may be difficult to believe, bicycles were once nearly as popular as cars in Detroit. In fact, they helped pave a path that allowed the automobile industry to flourish in the Motor City.
Jack VanDyke is a self-educated student of the city's cycling history who works at a local bike space called The Hub of Detroit. He helped design an exhibit for the The Model T Automotive Heritage Complexthat explores the historical relationship between bikes and automobiles in Detroit and is currently working on a manuscript on the subject. The Huffington Post spoke with VanDyke about Detroit's first bicycling craze in the 1880s and '90s, and its relationship to the birth of the automotive industry and contemporary cycling in the city.
Scroll down for images of the early days of cycling.
What were the early days of the bicycle craze like in Detroit?
In the mid to late-1860s, the pedal-driven bike came over from Europe. That was the first wave of cycling mania, but it didn't last very long because it still wasn't very practical. Iron tires, wooden rims, front-wheel drive -- they were all like a kid's tricycle, but two wheels and adult-sized. It kind of came and went in the 1860s.
As the technology got better with the pneumatic tire and the wire spoked wheel, the bikes became more comfortable. They became safer. What came along in the 1880s was called the "safety bicycle" -- we now call it the bicycle. But back then, it was called the safety bicycle because it was this radical redesign that made the bicycle safe and accessible to everybody.
So what was happening in Detroit was happening all over America, and it was a mania it was really a cultural-saturating phenomenon. Many consumer products tried to latch onto the mania by using bicycles as branding with their products.

4 Bike Laws You May Not Know About []

Cyclists are protected by—and obligated to adhere to—many laws. But while most of them mirror vehicle laws, it's easy for some rules to get lost in translation because, let's face it, bikes and automobiles aren't exactly alike.
Add to it the fact that all 50 states have different laws pertaining to cyclists, and it's easy to see how misinformation and ignorance can come into play as it pertains to the legal rights and responsibilities of cyclists.
The book Bicycling and the Law by Bob Mionske does a great job of dissecting all aspects of the subject, from legal rights, traffic stops, defective bikes, bike theft and more. The book goes through many common and uncommon instances of cycling and the law intersecting.
Here are four of the most interesting—and misunderstood—bike laws the book touches on.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

We Need To Get To This Point

"Bikes as a part of life, not a lifestyle!"

- Tom Draskovic

Motorist Convenience Trumps Safety [The Urban Country]

“Driving the Volvo” – Photo by Thomas Anderson
Toronto’s chief medical officer made headlines in the Toronto media for recommending that the city reduce its speed limits to 30km/h on residential streets, and 40km/h on other city streets to “support the increased use and safety of walking and cycling”.
The Doctor’s recommendations were mocked by the media, and seemingly dismissed by the general public.
Dr. David McKeown, the chief medical officer who made the recommendations also suggested that the city adopt “leading pedestrian signal intervals" and markings for cyclists (including bicycle boxes).
The recommendations are a result of a comprehensive study that Toronto Public Health undertook which examined the health benefits and risks of walking and cycling in the city.
From a staff report released by Dr. McKeown’s office on April 16th:
This study provides clear evidence that physical activity from active transportation generates important health benefits such as reduced mortality from chronic diseases, and reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, obesity, diabetes and several types of cancer, particularly colon and breast cancer. In Toronto, 2006 levels of walking and cycling to work were estimated to prevent about 120 deaths each year.
Savings in direct health care costs arising from current levels of Toronto residents staying active by walking or cycling and averting chronic illness are estimated to result in reduced health care spending of $110 to $160 million. In Toronto, costs associated with pedestrian vehicle collisions cost over $53 million and cyclist-vehicle collisions are over $9 million. By improving safety for pedestrian and cyclists in Toronto the direct costs associated with vehicle collisions with pedestrians and cyclists could be reduced by over $62 million.
In terms of indirect costs, if estimates of lost productivity or the economic value of a life are included, the total economic benefits of active transportation in Toronto range from $130 million to $478 million.

[Keep reading at The Urban Country] 

WHY I CONVERTED from a Sidewalk Cyclist to a Street Cyclist [Blooming Rock]

Like most predators, impatient drivers can smell fear.

The other day I tried riding my bike on the street on Central and I got honked at a lot, twice by a bus, and once got run off the road. Because I didn't know any better and I was quite nervous, I was hugging the curb to stay out of the way of the cars. Big mistake!

A few days later, on Saturday, I attended the City of Phoenix's Annual Bike Summit. There I complained of this incident and was soon bombarded by generous offers to teach me how to ride my bike effectively on the street, without getting run off the road. I was also handed this book:

Arizona Bicycling Street Smarts

Of course, I had no plans to read it any time soon due to my hectic schedule, but I happened to lay it on my dining room table anyway. Monday morning, while I was enjoying my usual almond butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, the book caught my eye and I decided to take a gander.

I was immediately engrossed. Not only did this book talk about statistics and distances and other technical details, but it actually addressed how it feels to be a bicyclist on the road, which is what convinced me to ultimately change my behavior. Here's an excerpt:

"It may seem dangerous to make a motorist slow for you, but it's not. The usual reason that bicyclists feel unsafe on narrow roads is that they do not take control of the situation."

Editor's Note: Amen!

[Blooming Rock]

Wren Original


The Wren Original combines the charm of vintage style with the practicality of contemporary design and components. Purpose-built for city cycling, this sturdy 3-speed model is equipped with bespoke luggage racks to carry all you need for your day. The compact frame is especially suited to cyclists who find traditional town bicycles too large or unwieldy. Each part of the Wren Original has been hand-designed or carefully selected for quality and performance.
— Enclosed brake and gear mechanisms
   to keep maintenance to a minimum
— Unique front and rear luggage carriers
— Premium, puncture-resistant tyres
— Brooks sprung leather saddle
— Wren basket sold separately
— Available in Ivory White or Oxford Blue

Paper Bicycle

The Paper Bicycle

An introduction

Patrick Harvie MSP riding a green Paper Bicycle
A simple thing, done well. This beautiful bicycle celebrates the joy of cycling; A ride that is relaxed and nimble, a machine that just works every time you need it to, and a journey that leaves you comfortable clean and refreshed.

Enjoy the journey

The upright posture takes the weight off your hands, while the clever frame and fat tyres smooth out the road ahead. The mudguards and covered chain keep your clothes clean and dry, and the open frame makes getting on easy. All ready for a relaxed ride.


The frame design rewrites what a bike can be; The low center of gravity creates nimble handling, the oversized tubes give stiffness and strength, and the long seat mast smooths the bumps. There's even a handle to carry it, and an integrated kick stand.

Clean Machine

Big Apple tyres from Schwalbe resist punctures, while the chain, hub gears and hub brakes from Sturmey Archer are hidden from the dirt that destroys them. The hub dynamo powers LED lights, that are always ready to light the way ahead.

Hand made

We hand make these bicycles to order in Scotland; Choose any colour and design your own chain panel. Select either a single speed or 8 speed bicycle, with or without dynamo lights. Front basket, rear rack and child seats are all options.

Bookman Lights

Always follow the instructions
Picture with instruction
BOOKMAN Light is a stylish, luminous and pocket-sized set of bicycle lights. This is how simple it is to mount the light on a handlebar or seat post!

Color palette

The collection of colors includes: Goblin Green, Ghost White, Lemon Yellow, Pitch Black, Raging Red and Heavenly Blue.

About the design
The design idea was to use the simplest shape possible and let the colors do the talking. We began with a block shape and then added the few necessary functional elements; the curved underside, the oversized rubber button and the groove for attaching the elastic cord.
So here is BOOKMAN Light designed to meet the modern demands of material and energy efficiency, but most importantly to look fabulous on your bike!

Technical specification
Package content: 
1 front light (white LED) and 1 tail light (red LED).
3 modes: 
Slow flashing, fast flashing and steady light.
2 x CR2032 in each light body.
To change the batteries, loosen the screws on the bottom.

BOOKMAN Light works perfectly in all weather conditions.

Brooks Glenbrook

Width: 380 mm
Depth: 160 mm
Height: 180 mm
Weight: 990 g

Millbrook and Glenbrook are original Brooks Saddle Holdalls first produced in the 1950’s. Such designs were originally commissioned to cater for cyclists wishing to transport food, cameras, maps and handbooks and provided sturdy pockets for tools, repair outfits, oil cans and such like. These sympathetically reproduced, most stylish of designs, are suitable for both the tourers and the collectors, wishing to complement their vintage ride. The Glenbrook, which is larger, also features 2 side pockets.

Made of  faux leather like the original models
Vegetable Tanned Leater Trimmings from Europe
Made in China

Saturday, April 28, 2012

7 Reasons Not To Own A Car [Huff Post]

Margaret Thatcher earned the undying enmity of the world's transit users when she said (in her sexist and condescending way), that any "man who, beyond the age of twenty-six, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure."
Following the former Prime Minister's calculus, that makes me a loser of almost two decades' standing. But I'm not afraid to admit it: I ride the bus. What's more, I frequently find myself on subways, streetcars, light rail, metros, and high-speed trains. I've never owned an automobile, and though I'm no anti-car zealot (I belong to my city's car share program, and dutifully pay to renew my license every year) I'm proud to call myself a straphanger: somebody who relies on public transit for most of his or her urban travel.
I'm not alone. Half the population of New York, Toronto, and London do not own cars, and transit is how most of the people of Asia and Africa, the world's most populous continents, travel. In North America, the Millennial generation, who now outnumber the Boomers, are fleeing the 'burbs for old city centers by the millions, and have far fewer hang-ups about fare cards and bus passes than their parents' generation. (A recent survey found that half of American teenagers would now rather have a new smartphone than a new car. Makes sense: armed with a new iPhone or Android, they can download apps that will tell them exactly when the next bus or train will get to the stop.) Last year, ridership on the New York subway surpassed 1.6 billion, the most trips since the boom years after the Second World War. Meanwhile, though the U.S. population continues to grow, vehicle miles traveled, the most reliable indicator of automobile dependency we have, have been in decline for the last seven years.

For Sale: 2003 Jamis Eclipse steel frame 57cm

For Sale: 2003 Jamis Eclipse steel frame 57cm. Carbon front fork and Shimano Ultegra brakes also included. Frame and all parts have less then 200 miles on them. $350.00. Contact

Respect The BIke report from The Great Lakes Courier

Respect The BIke

Respect the Bike--created by Blazing Saddle Cycles, Travis Peebles, and James Rychak--was the final destination for April Critical Mass, and drew hundreds of cyclists to the Greenhouse Tavern for an exhibit of historic and current, Ohio-built bicycles. Plus, there was beer and great music. And did we mention that the Great Lakes Courier made its print debut?

  • Graham Veysey and David Jurca peruse the first issue of the Great Lakes Courier at Respect the Bike

  • Alex Nosse of Joy Machines Bike Shop arrived in styl
  • Graphic artist Amy Dwyer-Peck and artist Bob Peck

Barriers rethought after fatal bicycling accident []

MANSFIELD - Bicyclists have safety concerns regarding the metal posts known as bollards used to keep motor vehicles off of the Richland B&O Trail.
A 53-year-old man died Wednesday from injuries received in a bicycle accident Tuesday evening on the trail. The experienced cyclist, Giuseppe Maino, hit a barrier in Bellville.
Steve McKee, director of the Richland County Park District that oversees the bike trail, said the bollards have caused accidents in the past.
"It wasn't really on the horizon until this accident," McKee said of the bollards. "We've had a few people with scrapes in the past. This is going to make us take a serious look.''
Maino was a contractor at the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio National Guard base in Mansfield. He died at 1:10 a.m. Wednesday at MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital, said Richland County Coroner's Investigator Bob Ball.

Lovely Bicycle Blog

Cycling in Lower Manhattan

Julie and Kate M.
I am in New York City for a few days, with all sorts of nice cycling people who have gathered here for the New Amsterdam Show this weekend and the Bobbin Bicycles/ Adeline Adeline party last night. One of the first familiar faces I encountered was the beautiful Julie, of the Julie blog. This lady works in the fashion industry and rides all over the city on her white and pink Linus loop frame named Kate Middleton... which I think speaks for itself: Cycling in New York has certainly become more accessible over the past few years.

Cycling in NYC
On my way down here on the train I realised that I had not been to the city since maybe 2008 - which is almost 4 years ago now. I have to confess that I don't love New York. It's not that I hate it. I just fail to see the magic and romance in it that everyone gushes about. Maybe it's because my family briefly lived in Washington Heights at a time when it was anything but romantic and my impressions are forever coloured by those childhood memories. Whatever the reason, I just see New York as a very large, very crowded city where you have to watch yourself despite all the art galleries and coffee shops and lofts and trendy boutiques that have popped up in neighbourhoods that used to be considered "dangerous." 


Jeff Stephens Leaving Consider Biking

Columbus, Ohio April 23, 2012 - Consider Biking Executive Director, Jeff Stephens, has announced his resignation from thebicycle advocacy organization effective May 11th. Stephens has accepted a Government Relations position with a national voluntary health organization.

Editor's note: We wish Jeff the best in his new endeavor. 

Formigli Florentia - great looking women's bike

Let us design you perfectly fit bike. Click here  and send your request for a free frame build.   
See Florentia in Velo News
Florentia is the ancient name of what today is known as Firenze, Florence. Florentia means blooming. This name was given to the Lily opening its petals, that is the symbol of Florence. The coat of arms of Formigli, our family, is the only coat of arms of noble Florentine families, that carries the lily of Florence.
Renzo Formigli only has one bicycle in his quiver and its steel.  For many Italians, steel is the only material a true bicycle is made out of.  
Florentia's classic design is sexy, its retro, its timeless.
Choosing a steel frame is like having the perfect black dress, it will never go out of style.


  • FRAME CrMo4 Steel tubeset
  • Steel drop outs
  • FORK CrMo4 Steel
  • HEADSET 1” integrated with option for threaded *Dedda, Cane Creek or FSA headset included with frame purchase
  • SEATPOST Option for Integrated Seatpost or 27.2mm non-ISP
  • BOTTOM BRACKET Italian Thread
  • SIZES 100% Custom geometry to specifications given by customer
FIXIE If you want to turn your Florentia into a fixie, just let us known upon ordering and we will make the modifications to the frame.  Click here to view a fixie and custom Italian handmade fixie pedals that can be ordered with Florentia Fixie.

Win a frame

Mapping Abandoned Bikes in NYC [Transportation Nation]

Bike carcasses are a common site around New York City — a dented frame chained to a street sign, wheels pilfered, seat long ago appropriated, rusted chain and remnants blighting even the swankiest of sidewalks like a broken window. What’s a citizen to do?
Call 311.
Or email a picture to and we’ll add it to this map:
In late 2010, the Department of Sanitation of NY was given jurisdiction to remove derelict bikes (they also remove derelict automobiles) from public property like street signs. In January of this year, that power was extended to bike racks too. In 18 months, 40 have been snipped free to make room for functioning bikes to park.