Search This Blog

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bike Porn from NAHBS via Dirt Rag

[See the rest here at Dirt Rag]

Is Urbanism Slowing the Rise of Car Travel? [The Atlantic]

Is Urbanism Slowing the Rise of Car Travel?

Early last week the State Smart Transportation Initiative, a sustainable transport program funded by the Department of Transportation, released some charts on the continued decline of vehicle-miles traveled in the United States. Overall VMT dropped 1.2 percent in 2011 from the previous year, reaching its lowest total since 2003, and per capita VMT fell 2.1 percent to levels not seen since 1998:
Researchers have been saying for several years now that cities in the United States and other developed countries may have reached "peak driving" — a level of vehicle miles at or near the saturation point. The idea is that the sheer volume of VMT can't possibly rise at the same rate it did in the second half of the 20th century, so mileage will either increase far more modestly than it has in the recent past, or perhaps even start to decline.

Why It’s So Important to Keep Moving - NYT

Simply moving may be the key to staving off disease.Coneyl Jay/Getty ImagesScientists are coming to learn how staying active helps stave off illness.
Phys Ed
Hoping to learn more about how inactivity affects disease risk, researchers at the University of Missouri recently persuaded a group of healthy, active young adults to stop moving around so much. Scientists have known for some time that sedentary people are at increased risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. But they haven’t fully understood why, in part because studying the effects of sedentary behavior isn’t easy. People who are inactive may also be obese, eat poorly or face other lifestyle or metabolic issues that make it impossible to tease out the specific role that inactivity, on its own, plays in ill health.

Velominati - The Keeper of the Cog

We are the Keepers of the Cog.  In so being, we also maintain the sacred text wherein lie the simple truths of cycling etiquette known as The Rules.  It is in our trust to maintain and endorse this list.
For those struggling to understand exactly what it means to be a Rule Holist and embrace all these Rules, please review the following material:
  1. Rule #1
     // Obey The Rules.

  2. Rule #2
     // Lead by example.
    It is forbidden for someone familiar with The Rules to knowingly assist another person to breach them.1

  3. Rule #3
     // Guide the uninitiated.
    No matter how good you think your reason is to knowingly breach The Rules, it is never good enough.

  4. Rule #4
     // It’s all about the bike.
    It is, absolutely, without question, unequivocally, about the bike. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously atwatwaffle.

Ride your bike to the airport (in Pittsburgh) - via Bike Pittsburgh

Attend the Grand Opening of the New Montour Trail 6.3 Mile Connector to the Pittsburgh International Airport   

At 11:00 AM on March 20, 2012, the first day of Spring, theMontour Trail Council and the Allegheny County Airport Authority will celebrate the Grand Opening of a long awaited connection between the Montour Trail and the Pittsburgh International Airport.
The festivities will take place on the concrete, unused exit area where the new asphalt trail ends and crosses into the airport’s Extended Parking Lot (Section 16D).
If people want to ride their bicycles to the event, they can use the well marked connector which begins at the 5 way intersection near Mile 8 of the Montour Trail, just upstream of the Enlow Tunnel. The Pittsburgh Major Taylor Bicycle Club will lead riders to the event from the Enlow Ballfield, leaving there around 10 AM or so, if you would like to join them for the 6 mile ride and arrive en masse.

URBAN BIKING: Tips for Buying an Urban Bike [VIDEO]

URBAN BIKING: Tips for Buying an Urban Bike from Laura J. Lukitsch on Vimeo.

Are you ready to start urban biking? Buying a bike can be an intimidating process as there are so many choices on the market today.

It took me six months before I was ready to buy my first commuter bike because I was suffering from information overload. However, going shopping with a friend and following the seven easy tips from Ron Bishop from the Bay Area Easy Riders (featured in this webisode) I finally made the leap. It's been over a year since I purchased my bike and I am still happy with my bike!

I hope these tips will help you find the perfect bike for your needs.

Thanks to the volunteers who helped make this video possible. Camera work: Adam Anderson; Photos: Simon Gatrall; Editing: Summers Henderson; Bike Buyer/Commuter: Jane Ann Chien; Advisor: Ron Bishop, Bay Area Easy Riders; Bike Shops: Sports Basement; Mike's Bikes' Fresh Air Bicycles

And thank you to Sports Basement for supporting this series.

Respro I-Shots: Stickers for your safety



Everyone is rushing, drivers are talking on mobiles and pot-holes are getting bigger by the minute. Add low light conditions and you get a picture of the daily assault course that UK cyclists have to deal with.

To remain safe, cyclists must initially ‘catch the eye’ of other road traffic and then continue to keep their attention. However cyclists want to feel comfortable and stylish without being garish and lit up like a Christmas tree! The Respro HI-VIZ™ range is designed to achieve this.

I-Shots are pre-cut shapes that can be sited in key ‘eyeshot’ areas on the bicycle, jackets, gloves, trousers, jerseys, shorts, backpacks, school bags... This helps personalise bikes, accessories and clothing as well as allowing maximum visibility when riding. Available in Star, Triangle and Chevron shapes. They can be affixed to soft and hard material products including woven material, rubber and hard plastic.

By increasing their visibility profile, cyclists will stay safe. Each sticker kit contains one sheet of same shape I-Shots. For more information click on to our Hi-Viz™ e-catalogue


  • Easy application
  • Can be placed anywhere
  • No heat required


  • Silver Scotchlite™
  • No heat required
  • Pre-cut shapes
  • Applicable for hard surface and soft fabrics

Ay Up Lighting Kits - Everything but the kitchen sink

What you get in a V TWIN SPORTS kit

  • 1 x Light
  • 2 x Handlebar mounts
  • 4 x Light mounting bands
  • 1 x Gecko Light kit (Helmet Mounting Kit)
  • 1 x Gecko battery kit (Helmet Mounting Kit)
  • 1 x Half Epic high / low & flashing battery (3 hours high / 6 hours low) & fuel gauge
  • 1 x Half Epic battery pouch
  • 1 x Half Epic battery anchor strap
  • 1 x 110V - 240V Adaptor (for battery charger)
  • 1 x Single Channel Lithium Polymer Charger
  • 1 x 12 Volt Adaptor (Car Cigarette Lighter Adaptor for battery charger)
  • 1 x Extension cable 1200mm long, enables battery to be placed in backpack or pocket
  • 1 x Handlebar rubber packer kit to suit Diameters 25mm & 32mm bars
  • 1 x Bundle of 4 cable ties
  • 1 x Headband kit
  • 2 x Red Saxon caps
  • 1 x AY POD case
  • 1 x Silicone Wrist band with website
  • Documentation - instructions

Reelight - Battery free lighting

For handlebar

SL500 front light is mounted on the handlebar. The light is via a small cable connected to the generator. The generator is mounted on the front fork and the magnets on the spokes.

Key features: No Batteries, flexible mounting, wide-angel optics, permanently mounted, always light on Maintenance-free, no friction

Contents: 1 front light, 1 generator, 2 magnets and 1 mounting bracket.
Weight: 200 g

Friday, March 2, 2012

Momentum Magazine - March/April

It's almost springtime and there is lots to celebrate, including the very first issue ofMomentum Mag that you can find on the newsstands!  We've also added 40 pages for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy! - Electric (and Gas) Motor Kits

3 Feet Please - Bike Jerseys and More!

About Us

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. -John F. Kennedy

My name is Joe Mizereck. About three years ago the idea for the “3 Feet Please” Campaign was born after a particularly frustrating ride. Knowing about the Florida 3 foot clearance law I chose to use my cycling jersey as a billboard to remind motorists that they needed to give me at least 3 feet clearance when passing me from the rear. I selected a bright yellow jersey and placed the words “3 Feet Please” on the back. I asked several of my friends what they thought about the idea and they thought it just might make a difference. Fueled by their enthusiasm I placed an order for a couple hundred jerseys from Voler, built a website and launched the “3 Feet Please” Campaign…never imagining that it would grow into a campaign to save cyclists’ lives around the world.

Today, from Jerusalem to Singapore to Austin to Seattle to Boston to good ole Tallahassee to Nova Scotia, you can find cyclists wearing the “3 Feet Please” jersey and the “1 Metre Please” jersey. And the most common feedback I hear from those cyclists is that they believe more motorists are giving them more space more often…the jersey is working…and saving cyclists’ lives.

While cycling is safe, sharing space on our roads is becoming hazardous. As the numbers of cyclists on our roads continues to grow we must find ways to protect ourselves and each other. In addition to knowing and following the rules of the road, we can solve many of our problems by riding visibly and predictably. Our jersey helps motorists see cyclists so we have the visibility part covered. But, our work goes beyond making a cyclist visible. Everything we do is focused on saving lives. And at the heart of this focus is our determination to help motorists and cyclists coexist. To reach this goal we must encourage all stakeholders to take reasonable steps to provide clear standards for behavior and ultimately safer roads for drivers, runners, cyclists and pedestrians.

Please understand, our campaign is not about painting the motorist as the bad guy. Unfortunately, we have scofflaws on both sides and the key is to lay down the rules for all parties to follow, make sure the parties know the rules and then enforce them…hold people accountable…including cyclists.

It gives me such great joy to ride. And I want to continue to love and enjoy riding my bikes…and I know you do too. The “3 Feet Please” Campaign is all about keeping and spreading that joy. To succeed we have to push aside all the meaningless noise, roll up our sleeves and do whatever we can to make riding a bicycle an even safer form of transportation, exercise and leisure than it already is for the millions of people around the world who love to ride their bicycles.

Please join me in this grassroots campaign to save cyclists’ lives around the world…and spread the joy of riding bicycles.

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

Thank you,
Joe Mizereck
Founder, The “3 Feet Please” Campaign

CycloFemme is May 13th, 2012


HONOR THE PAST and the emancipation of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, for the freedom to choose and the chance to wear pants. CELEBRATE THE PRESENT and the riders who keep it rolling, bringing women’s racing to the forefront, pushing the limits, breaking down barriers and sharing the love of the bike with everyone along the way. EMPOWER THE FUTURE of women in cycling and the opportunity for positive social change. Teach women to ride and they will change the world. MAY 13TH, 2012


Urban Tree to Bicycle [VIDEO]

Urban Tree to Bicycle from Spots Unknown on Vimeo.

Bill Holloway and Mauro Hernandez of Masterworks Woodworking in San Jose, CA, salvage condemned city trees, then build beautiful bicycles out of them. The story of these bikes goes from the felling of a family's guardian tree, through the woodworking process, and finally, the completion of art you can ride.

Check out the sweet San Francisco locations.

Original music by David Molina:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Coexisting With Bicyclists: 10 Rules for Drivers [Edmunds]

Horrific accidents involving bicyclists and drivers have made headlines recently, including a 2010 collision between an SUV and a bicycle in Largo, Maryland. On the bike was 30-year-old law student and Green Party candidate Natasha Pettigrew. The driver thought she had struck a deer and kept driving, according to news reports. Pettigrew later died from the injuries.
Traffic accidents involving bicyclists and vehicles killed 630 people in the U.S. in 2009, the latest available figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Another 51,000 bicyclists were injured, sometimes critically.
Bicycling advocates say drivers can play a big role in reducing those grim statistics, paving the way for peaceful coexistence. It's a two-way street, of course. Bicyclists have responsibilities, just as drivers do.
For this story, asked bicycling advocates, bicycling-accident attorneys and other experts to give their recommendations on how drivers can coexist more peacefully with bicyclists. In a companion story, we'll outline bicyclists' responsibilities. But for you drivers, here are our 10 rules of the road for driving near bicyclists.

Guerrilla Wayfinding in Raleigh [The Atlantic]

In response to last week's story on the curious art or urban wayfinding, reader Andy Little pointed us to some cool guerrilla wayfinding going on in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is understandably a concept you may be even less familiar with (relative to non-guerrilla wayfinding, that is). We're not sure anyone else out there is doing this – mounting walkable direction signs around town, under cover of darkness.
In mid-January, a group calling themselves Walk Raleigh posted 27 such signs at three intersections around the city, and we hear (by reading their Facebook page), that the stunt has actually caught the eye of city officials who may look to make the signs permanent. This is tactical urbanism at its best: a fly-by-night citizen-led escapade whose whimsy could ultimately prompt real improvements to city amenities. So, kudos to these brave urban guerrillas (whom we assume traveled by foot in between installations):
... and the wayfinding they've left behind:

A gal­lon of milk is 40% heav­ier than this bicycle.

world's lightest road bicycle (15)
This road bike weighs in at 6lbs (2.7kg): Lighter than the lap­top you’re prob­a­bly using right now.
The bike you’re about to see was an idea orig­i­nally started and cre­ated in 2008 by a Ger­man guy named Gunter Mai who logged over 20,000km on the machine for a cou­ple years and it weighed at around 3.2kg.  Early in 2011 he parted out the bike and sold each piece indi­vid­u­ally around the world.  Some of the key parts were bought by some guy in Col­orado who com­mis­sioned Jason Woznick of Fair­wheel Bikes in Tus­con, Ari­zona to cre­ate even lighter parts to fin­ish a new build of it.
Every part on the bike is com­pletely cus­tom made and can­not be bought unless you wanted it made spe­cially for you.  Even if you did want it made for you, you would have to con­tact man­u­fac­tur­ers who already make the light­est parts and then ask them to make a cus­tom piece for you that is even lighter.  Woznick guessed that if you tried to recre­ate the effort put into this bicy­cle, it would cost you at least $45,000.
As a result, this new machine weighs in at 2.7kg or just about 6.0lbs.  I can’t imag­ine what it would be like to hold such a large item that weighs two pounds lighter than a gal­lon of milk, but it must feel like noth­ing!  Even the car­bon fiber used in the wheels isn’t read­ily avail­able (even if you have the cash for it) as it’s a spe­cial grade that was got­ten from some For­mula One guys.
As a result of some of the cus­tom work, this has allowed man­u­fac­tur­ers to push their lim­its.  Both of the pro­to­type Dash hubs will actu­ally be going into mass pro­duc­tion this year, for exam­ple.  Any­way, enjoy the pic­tures as there isn’t quite a bike as exotic as this in all its min­i­mal glory.

Wireless Bicycle Brake Only Fails Three Out Of A Trillion Time [FastCompany]

Wireless Bicycle Brake Only Fails Three Out Of A Trillion Times

Would you trust your stopping power to a wireless signal? It’s the future of braking, and it could save your life.
Wireless technology is all around us. It’s just starting to penetrate the transportation industry, with wireless charging for electric vehicles, wireless road trains, and more. Now researchers at Saarland University in Germany are bringing wireless to one of the lowest-tech (but most efficient) transportation technologies out there: the bicycle.
Image by Angelika Klein
The wireless bicycle brake--which only works on cruisers for now--removes the need for a brake cable and brake lever, replacing them with a wireless sensor that automatically tells the brake to activate when a rubber grip on the right handle is squeezed (the harder the squeeze, the more the bike brakes). The system consists of a cigarette pack-sized plastic box on the handlebar that sends signals to a receiver at the end of the bike’s fork. That signal is in turn sent to an actuator that turns the radio signal into mechanical power to activate the disk brake. Additional senders attached to the bike ensure greater reliability.
Professor Holger Hermanns, one of the researchers involved in the wireless braking project, had this to say in a statement: "Wireless networks are never a fail-safe method. That’s a fact that’s based on a technological background." Not exactly comforting stuff, but Hermanns says that the system has 99.999999999997% reliability (how precise!), which means it will fail just three times in a trillion braking attempts. How safe do you feel about that metal cable?
Hermanns is currently in talk with bike brake manufacturers. Anti-lock wireless braking (to prevent skidding in wet conditions) and traction control may not be far behind. And if the wireless bicycle braking system ends up being commercialized, the researchers might move on to the next step--planes, vehicles, and trains.
Anyone excited about the prospect of wireless anti-lock brakes may have to wait awhile. The cumbersome wireless system needs to be shrunk considerably before it makes sense for most cyclists.