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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pedalling myths: the anti-bike lobby is flat out of plausible arguments [TheGuardian]


Woman cycling in New York
Menace to society: a woman cycling in New York. Photograph: Thomas Grass/Getty Images
If you hold the view that bikes, and bike lanes, are among the greatest evils threatening society today, you might at first have been pleased to see this week's Toronto Sun column by Mike Strobel, which has circulated widely online. Initially, it appears to stand in the fine tradition of anti-bike screeds such as those by the New York Post's Steve Cuozzo orAndrea Peyser, or the New Yorker's John Cassidy. All are on the frontlines of what's been called the "bikelash", brave fighters willing to stand firm against the growing popularity of cycling across north America. (One of the most prominent developments, New York's long-awaited bikeshare program, is due to launch next month.)
Take a closer look, though, and you'll notice that something's amiss with Strobel's piece. The average bikelash commentator, no matter how dyspeptic, considers him or herself obliged to come up with some sort of argument. That's why, for example, you'll see Peyser paying vastly disproportionate attention to the tiny number of truly awful accidentscaused by cyclists. It's why Cuozzo likes to conduct dubious amateur surveys to try to show that nobody uses bike lanes. But Strobel's rant against what he calls the "bicycult" is almost entirely devoid of argument. This is as close as he gets:
"The nitty-gritty: Streets are designed for cars, not bikes. Especially in winter, which is most of the time … Cars are common sense. They are our era's horses. They're also vastly greener and safer than your dad's Buick. They will never go dinosaur, despite the bike cult's best efforts."
Still, you've got to sympathise with Strobel's predicament. All the major cycling-related arguments have been won: bike lanes are popular; theydon't hurt local businesses; more biking doesn't lead to more accidents; bike lanes make pedestrians safer and don't impede the flow of car traffic.
To anyone who agrees that cycling, much like genocide, is a phenomenon that all decent people should condemn, the implication is clear: the anti-bike lobby urgently needs some new arguments. It's my honour, therefore, to suggest a few they might like to use:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cyclodeo is kind of like Google Street View, except for cyclists


With eco-friendliness becoming more and more of a thing these days, it's no wonder that many have turned to the ever-efficient bicycle. Of course, cycling in the big city comes with risks, which is why you might want to try out Cyclodeo before you head out.
Dutch startup Cyclodeo wants to make a comprehensive, video-powered resource for bicycle-loving people everywhere. It's kind of like Google Street View, except with videos of actual bike rides being plotted out on Google Maps. Each Cyclodeo "ride" is also outfitted with statistics like the ride duration, average speed, elevation, and distance travelled. Most interestingly, perhaps, is the fact that you can examine every segment of a route thanks to the fact that everything is geo-coded.
Right now, Cyclodeo will let you take a virtual ride through New York City, Copenhagen, Vancouver, Vienna, some bits of the Netherlands, and a few other European cities. Naturally, there are plans on expanding coverage even further.
Let us know if you see any angry polar bears chasing people down in Stockholm in Cyclodeo.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Angry Singlespeeder: Don’t “Showroom” Your Local Bike Shop [MTBR]


Brendan Collier of The Hub Cyclery in Idyllwild, CA works in front of a warm fire.
Editor’s Note: The Angry Singlespeeder is a collection of mercurial musings from contributing editor Kurt Gensheimer. In no way do his maniacal diatribes about all things bike oriented represent the opinions of Mtbr, RoadBikeReview, or any of their employees, contractors, janitorial staff, family members, household pets, or any other creature, living or dead. You can submit questions or comments to Kurt atsinglespeeder@consumerreview.com. And make sure to check out Kurt’s previous columns.
The other day I was at my neighborhood bike shop when I saw this schmucky looking dude trying on some cycling shoes. I too was checking out shoes, but only ones that were on sale because, well, I’m a cheapskate. After trying on three pairs of spendy carbon sole shoes, Schmuck seemed to find a pair he liked. So instead of putting the shoes in the box and walking to the register, he pulled out his smartphone and took a picture of the shoebox.
Considering I still rock a dumb-phone and am clueless about anything related to apps, I asked him what he was doing.
“There’s this cool app that lets me check to see if I can buy these shoes for cheaper online,” said Schmuck. “Yep, here we go. Sweet. I can get these for $75 less on Amazon!”
Schmuck got up, put the shoes back on the rack and walked out the door. For a fleeting second I thought it was a damn good idea for an app, but then I realized something; as much as I think Strava sucks, trying out products at your local bike shop, then using your smartphone to buy it cheaper online is even worse.
What Schmuck was doing is called “showrooming” and it’s become a huge issue for independent bike dealers worldwide. According to marketing research companies Aprimo and Forrester Research, one in five consumers are now showrooming, and one in three leave the store like Schmuck, and then purchase the product from a competitor.
I don’t care if you want to go to Target or some other big box, corporate-owned store worth billions of dollars and showroom a set of cooking pans or a Dutch oven for your wife, but woe to the schmucktard who walks into a local, family-owned bike shop and showrooms.

BIKEHUNTING


Continuing my recent obsession of combining riding with random activities, Gabe, Nick and I bikepacked up the Deschutes for a couple days of bird hunting and general fucking around.  We learned that (1) we need a good bird dog; (2) we can’t hit the broad side of a barn; and (3) Gabe doesn’t fuck around with boring camping food.  Stellar trip, the area is highly recommended – just watch out for the goat heads!
NOTES:
-Easy, mostly flat riding up the rails-to-trails starting at the Deschutes State Rec Area.
-The trail ends gets rougher around mile 11 (@farmhouse) and ends around mile 17.
-Good camping at miles 12, 14, and 16.

World's First Chainless Folding Electric Bike


The Footloose by Mando is doubtless going to make you want to test ride it. Asserting that it is the world's first chainless hybrid electric folding bike, Korean auto suppliers Mando Corp and Meister Inc have collaborated to bring us this beautiful design.

Designboom states it can go up to 18.6 miles with the motor alone, and farther with pedaling by the rider. "By directly transforming electricity via an alternator connected to the crank, power is generated directly from the user. The energy stored in a lithium-ion battery, which is then used to actuate the engine. Using an electronic control unit (ECU), the 'footloose' works with sensors and an automatic gear changer to monitor terrain and adjust the motor's output as necessary. It monitors the system for problems, which it displays via a handlebar-mounted human machine interface (HMI)."

It will apparently be available in the European markets starting next year.Here is a video illustrating the bike a bit more:

Five die-hard cyclists: Why they ride [InkKC]


Kaitlyn & Eric Bunch both use their bicycles to commute to their jobs in opposite directions from their midtown home.
They’re everywhere: riding to work, school, dinner, the grocery store and the dentist’s office.
In other words, they’re doing just what Kansas Citians in cars are: getting where they need to go.
While sharing the road is the law, it’s not always easy to do. Kansas City is large and spread out, bike lanes are nearly nonexistent and drivers and cyclists are undereducated about how to safely get through the morning commute.
Suzanne Hogan, a founding member of the 816 Bike Collective, struggles with these issues every day: “It’s a frustrating town to be a cyclist in,” she says. “If you think about routes to Kansas City, Kansas, or North Kansas City, there’s not a lot of options.”
Kansas City was ranked 41st of the 51 most-populated cities in biking and walking levels, according to a 2012 study released by Alliance for Biking & Walking. Organizations such as BikeWalkKC, the 816 Bike Collective and RevolveKC work to change the infrastructure problems and educate cyclists and drivers.
The city is working to remedy the frustration, too. A project was recently initiated to label, through painted pavement and signage, more than 600 miles of bike lanes, both designated and shared-use. More than 200 miles of shared-use trails will also be marked throughout the city.
But all of those issues won’t be resolved any time soon.
Regardless, Hogan thinks biking is a possibility for every Kansas Citian. “You can come up with hours and hours of excuses why you can’t ride your bike, but when you just start doing it all the time … you find it’s not that hard.”
Meet a few of these dedicated cyclists, covering 5 to 30 miles each week on their bikes: Hogan, Eric and Kaitlyn Bunch, Matthew Long-Middleton and Tara Tonsor. They explain why overcoming obstacles to bike in KC is well worth the effort and encourage everyone to give biking a shot.

Brooklyn Brewery Mash - A trip through BK in 3000 photos


Brooklyn Brewery Mash - A trip through BK in 3000 photos from Paul Trillo on Vimeo.

Cop Car Hits Cyclist, City Sends Biker A Bill For Repairs [Gothamist]


040813bill.jpgA Brooklyn cyclist who got hit by a cop car was flabbergasted to find a bill for repairs in his mailbox four months after the collision. Justin Johnsen, 31, was biking on Flushing Avenue by the Brooklyn Navy Yards on November 5th when a cop behind the wheel of an unmarked car ran into him. “I had left the bike lane to make a left turn, and I looked behind me and saw that it was clear, and the farthest car was a fair distance,” Johnsen tells the Post. But before he completed the turn, Johnsen says, "I was swiped by this car on my left side."
This car was a Ford Taurus owned by the NYPD. An ambulance took Johnsen to New York Methodist Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. He says he didn't consider suing the police, even though the cops who emerged from the car never apologized for running into him. Four months later, he thought the matter was behind him, but then he received a bill in the mail to the tune of $1,263.01, which the city demanded to cover the cost of repairs to the cop car.

Earth Day Recycling Effort - Participation encouraged!

Businesses and their employees are encouraged to participate in an Earth Day recycling effort at EASTON TOWN CENTER, THIS FRIDAY, 4/12 FROM 10-2. 

Accurate IT will have a truck parked on EASTON SQUARE PLACE EAST (behind Brio). 
Accurate IT is an R2 certified recycler and can provide certified documents of destruction for hard drives. 

If it plugs-in or charges up we can probably take it! No Freon containing items please and there is a $20 Charge for Tube TVs (which contains harmful chemicals and require special handling). 

Schedule a pick-up for larger quantities. Contact Karen Ferris, Karen@BigGreenHead.com, (614) 560-4777 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pedal Instead is looking for Volunteers!




Pedal Instead is a fenced, monitored, FREE bicycle corral located near the entrance of major events. To park your bike conveniently at a corral:
  1. Check this website for the location of our corral, or follow maps or signs at the event.
  2. Fill out a claim tag with your zip code and the number of miles you biked to the event. If it is possible you might lose your claim tag (heaven forbid), fill in your name and phone number.
  3. Grab anything you’ll need off your bike, make sure everything else is securely attached (we don’t want anything to fall off), and roll your bike to one of our volunteers.
  4. Go. Have fun. Really. We love bikes and bicyclists, we will keep your bike safe.
  5. Retrieve your bicycle with the claim tag when your revelry is complete!
Consider throwing down a coupla bucks before you ride away—Pedal Instead is operated by nonprofits and we couldn’t do this without your financial support!
Check out their upcoming events and sign up online!

The Bike of the Future

The Original Carton Cage


For the last few months, Luke and Dan, Directors and Designers at Click Industrial Design, have been working hard to bring The Original Carton Cage to the masses.
A square bicycle bottle cage, The Original Carton Cage is designed to enable cyclists all around the World to enjoy their carton of milk, juice or smoothie on the go. We’re pretty sure this the only square bicycle bottle cage in the World (and if it’s not the first, we’re damn certain it’s the best).
The Original Carton Cage holds a 1 litre carton of liquid AND standard bottle cage bottles – making it ideal for cyclists who want to chop and change between drinking water from their own round bottle and cartons of their favorite juice.
Available in jet black, aluminium grey and pastel blue, The Original Carton Cage is easy to attach to your bike using your existing bike bottle cage braze ons or a clamp. If you don’t already own a clamp and you’re not sure which one to buy, email us with details of your bike and we’ll recommend one for you.
Designed in Sheffield and made in England. The Original Carton Cage is available to buy now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Fair Share of the Road | Columbus Monthly [@yaybikes]


PHOTOS BY TESSA BERG
A renaissance in the bicycling scene in Columbus means cyclists and drivers are commuting together in greater numbers. The signs are on our roads in the form of miles of new bicycle lanes, city-built shelters and, soon, a bike-sharing program. But advocates for more and safer city cycling say an entire mindset needs to change before vehicles with two wheels and four wheels can travel together safely.
Shawn Slivinski can’t remember the crash that changed his life.
The manager for North Market coffee shop A Touch of Earth knows he set out on his bike in late April 2012 to run a work errand. He knows he left the market heading down Park Street. He was not wearing a helmet—odd, he says, because he almost always wore one. But what happened next remains a blank chapter in his mind, even a year later.
Slivinski has gleaned all the details he can from police reports and family: The driver of a Jeep parked on the side of the street opened his door, just two blocks into Slivinski’s trip. There was no time to swerve. Slivinski hit the door, flipped over it and landed on the street. His head struck the pavement.
His brain swelled around two skull fractures. He needed surgery after the ventilator helping him breathe caused his lung to collapse. There were broken ribs. Failed kidneys that required dialysis.

CRASH TALK

Some Columbus-area intersections have a greater incidence of bicycle accidents than others—with the long-stretching High Street leading the pack with 33 crashes in 2011 alone. This north-south corridor running from Downtown to Worthington is one of several areas targeted in the city’s 20-year bike plan that will add bike lanes and sharrows, among other plans, to parts of the street. Officials say they are aware of the problem areas. Below are the top bicycle crash locations in Central Ohio from 2006 to 2010.
Map
After a month in the intensive care unit and another two weeks in the hospital, Slivinski spent two months at rehabilitation centers, regaining his strength and learning how to walk again. It’s hard to picture that frail image now as he sits at home nearly fully recovered. The only visible signs of the accident are a few scars on his thin frame and an occasional struggle to remember words. He hasn’t been able to return to work, living on disability since the accident.
Other people might have given up bicycling, but Slivinski plans to ride again soon. Motivated by his own struggle, he wants to dedicate his time to making Columbus more bike friendly.
“We’re on this Earth together,” he says. “We share everything, including these roads. We need to talk about how we can all use them.”

Curb-It Bicycle Parker


The Curb-It bicycle parking and security device is designed to be very compact and easy to install so bicycle parking and security may be readily located where it is convenient for bike riders.
The Curb-It is designed to secure a bicycle parallel to a wall (or next to a curb) at a distance just far enough away so the handlebar does not quite touch the wall (1 foot).  When not in use gravity pulls the arm of the Curb-It down parallel with the wall (or curb) and the ground (or floor) so that Curb-It protrudes only  3 inches from the intersection of vertical and horizontal surfaces.  The pivot angle by which the arm of the Curb-It is mounted to the base causes it to swing in next to a wall as it drops in either direction.
To park and secure a bike, the arm of the Curb-It is lifted to approximately a vertical position and a bike lock or cable is slipped through the ring at the end of the arm and around the frame of the bike as well as through one of the wheels.  The arm of the Curb-It is  26.5” long which puts it at about 26” above the ground when it swings up and out.  This is the best height for locking to most bike frames.
The base of the Curb-It is an angle steel bracket with mounting holes in the rear for attachment to the base of a wall (or curb) and mounting holes in the bottom for attachment to a floor or concrete sidewalk.  The bracket flanges support the angled pivot housings on each side with the pivoting arm between them.  A stainless steel spring pin, pressed through the pivot housings and the pivot end of the arm, joins the arm to the bracket. Durable nylon bushings allow the arm to pivot up and down smoothly.  With a stainless steel axle and nylon bushings, the pivot is very strong and will never seize.
The Curb-It is used where compact unobtrusive bicycle parking and security is desired, but where it is not desirable or it is impossible to mount a Wall-It bicycle parking and security device on the wall.

Cycling slang you need to know


Sign of a bike on the road
From MAMILs to derailleurs and sportives to saddlebags, cycling involves a whole different language. Even with a pretty thorough knowledge of cyclospeak, there are always more words and phrases to learn and for you to use. There are things you probably do everyday on your ride yet didn’t realise there’s an “official” name for it. Here’s a small selection of some of the more inventive and fun cycling speak.
A couple of these come from the excellent Bike Snob NYC, while the rest were chosen as our favourites from the excellent dictionary of bike commuter slang at Bikehacks. Some might make you laugh out loud, others you’ll raise an eyebrow at, and some might just make you go “huh?”
Any new ones you’ve heard? Let us know in the comments?

Bike salmon (Bike Snob NYC)

A bike salmon is when a rider “swims up stream” – by cycling the wrong way down a one way street. Something I must admit I do myself each day for about ten seconds – but it does chop about 8 minutes off my journey.

Cliptastrophy

You can probably work this one out. I see it far too often – cyclists who fail to clip in or out and end up having a little bit of a wobble before saving themselves just in time. We shouldn’t laugh, but

The Chameleon

A cyclist who uses the pavement to turn when the lights are red. In the process annoying pedestrians, unless they dismount. Can also be found riding on the pavement.

Fred

A rider with excessively expensive equipment, equipment that is really designed for professional cyclists.  A Fred’s ability/experience will never catch up to the technology purchased...
Read more here

Monday, April 8, 2013

Atomic22 Infiniti3D bike security


The biggest thing to happen to bicycle security since the D-lock: infiniti3D security™

The patent pending inifniti3D security™ system will revolutionise the way you ride your bike. You can now secure every removable component on your bicycle against theft. Carry just one lock and never again worry about where and how long you leave your bike! 

We've invented and designed the highest security fasteners in the world - to ensure your bike and it's components remain yours. 

Simply replace the existing fasteners on your bike with patent pending infiniti3D security™ fasteners to prevent stripping of components and make your bike an unattractive target for theft.

Secure anything and everything

From wheels to levers, from saddles to rear mechs, from brakes to pedals, you can lock it all up using the patent pending infiniti3D security™ system! 

You also secure additional components in the future, all to match your existing key. [Keep reading at Atomic22]






How to Pick the Right Fitness Device for Cyclists


Cycling may be the most geek-friendly activity out there. You can find more gadget options here than in any other category, but we suggest focusing on the basics. A good way to start is to choose a cycling computer (with a heart-rate monitor), a cycling website, an indoor trainer, and, if you can afford it, a power meter.

The Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer

The best options

Your cycling computer is the single most essential piece of cycling tech, for the roads or the trails. A dedicated computer is easier to read than a smartphone, can include barometric pressure for better altitude, and lets you avoid killing your smartphone's batteries (helpful on those days when you flat out one too many times and need to call for a ride). Aside from keeping tabs on your speed limit, a cycling computer can track your distance and location (even more important when riding compared to running), and it can pair with heart-rate or power sensors to improve your training.
Skip the old wired models and go with a wireless, GPS-enabled unit such as the venerable Garmin Edge 500 or the Magellan Switch Up watch. If you also run, many GPS watches (especially from Garmin, Polar, and Suunto) will work for cycling too; bike mounts for these watches are widely available (and will keep your hands on the handlebars). Most models use simple maps that will display only where you've been, so step up to a Garmin Edge 810 if you want full maps. The Garmin Edge 510 and 810 can connect with your phone over Bluetooth and piggyback on the data connection to send out live updates and automatically upload your workout...

New edition reveals sights to see along rail trails [The Columbus Dispatch]


I had two big travel fantasies when I was a kid.
The first was putting a raft in the Big Darby Creek behind my house and floating — eventually — to New Orleans.
The second was even less likely: hopping on my bike and riding for hours — or even days — along scenic routes where I wouldn’t have to worry about dodging cars and trucks.
As it happens, Worthington resident Shawn Richardson had the same idea about bike trails when he was young.
“I remember as a 10-year-old kid biking along a short park trail on a Stingray with a friend, saying ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if these trails were miles long and you could go from town to town?’ ” Richardson recalls.
“And my friend said, ‘Woo, yeah, that would be cool!’ ”
Many years later, Richardson would help such dreams come true for many as a promoter and chronicler of “rail trails” — bicycle and multipurpose trails built on abandoned railroad right of ways and other routes. He was one of the founders of the effort to create the Heritage Rail Trail from Hilliard to Plain City, and, in 1996, he wrote Biking Ohio’s Rail-Trails, a guidebook and atlas of all the bicycle trails in the state.

Tubeless System from Stan's @NOTUBES


Tubeless System from Stan's NOTUBES on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

$13M later, Heritage Trail looking good [keysnews.com]


With miles and miles of new improvements, the Overseas Heritage Trail is proving that getting there is more than half the fun for locals and tourists.
The millions of dollars in improvements to the trail over the past several years is turning the Florida Keys into an international bike tour destination.
Montana-based Adventure Cycling brings small groups of cyclists to the Keys. The group offers a 10-day biking adventure that starts in Hollywood, winds through the Keys and ends in Fort Myers, said Jack Pettry, an Adventure Cycling tour guide. The riders carry their own gear and mostly camp while in the Florida Keys, Pettry said.
The trip is offered twice a year, once in the winter and once in late fall.
"The Keys have really become a destination for cyclists," said Jennifer Milyko, who maps routes for Adventure Cycling. "The conditions have really improved. Ten years ago, it wasn't as pleasant ... . The tours in the winter and fall really fill up fast. It's a great way to see the sights."
National tour companies are not the only businesses reaping the benefits of the improvements to the trail.
Key Largo Bike and Adventure Tours has seen its business increase as the trail expands, owner Mark Terrill said. The company rents bikes and other equipment and offers tours throughout the Keys.

Adventure Cycling and the National Park Service Agreement


Last week, we received a package from the Department of Interior. Adam, my colleague, snapped a photo of the envelope and posted it on Facebook. Wow! We didn't realize how excited our supporters would be to know that the final version of the national agreement between Adventure Cycling Association and the National Park Service was finally in hand.  Thank you adventure cyclists! We are excited too.

Once the agreement is signed by Director Jarvis (pictured above with me and Jim Sayer) and filed, we're looking forward to working on a number of projects, including:

[Keep reading at Adventure Cycling]

Minneapolis Bike Riders Targeted With Sticks, Rocks, Molotov Cocktail [The Atlantic Cities]


JOHN METCALFE

Minneapolis Bike Riders Targeted With Sticks, Rocks, Molotov Cocktail
Drew Ditlefsen was pedaling his Long Haul Trucker cycle Wednesday on Minneapolis'Midtown Greenway when he heard a crash of breaking glass. That was followed by a fwoooosh!and the trail behind him was suddenly lit up with fire.
"At that point I was kind of heading away as quickly as I could," says Ditlefsen, a 27-year-old delivery man for Peace Coffee. "I had the chance to look back, and there were flames a few feet high across the pathway."
The cyclist glimpsed people huddled on a bridge on 15th Avenue that he had just ridden under. It wasn't hard to put two and two together: In past trips through the Greenway, Ditlefsen has had many things lobbed at him from bridges. It's been mainly sticks and bottles, although he has a friend who claims somebody tried to drop a shopping cart on her. The Molotov cocktail was a new experience, and one that baffled him.