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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Handling Cycle Paths: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson [VIDEO] Bike Driven Commerce

John Thackara (from Doors Of Perception) mailed us last month looking for someone who could help produce some content for the City EcoLab - a significant part of the Biennial of International Design at Saint Etienne. The initial brief for us, in John's words was:
"The content brief is basically to communicate, to a (mainly) European audience (of 80,000 people, over two weeks) the variety and vitality of people selling things from or on bicycles in (I presume) Delhi.  The objective is to sensitise people to the fact that bike-based commerce does not have to be backward looking or boring....

My first idea was to make some kind of sound installation, in which the cries of different vendors would be projected in a focused way along the "street" which occupies one side of our event. But we are open to a variety of ways to do this installation, including the possibility of print and/or online elements."
Taking this as the starting point for our work, we began recording sounds and taking pictures in Delhi.

This was turning out to be great fun :-) So even after we sent John and his team the content they needed for their installation, we kept shooting pictures, recording sounds and started shooting some video too. This website, and all the other stuff on it, is the result of doing just that. We really believe that we have, thanks to John, stumbled onto something that we are all extremely interested in, and can contribute to in an even more interesting manner.
At the time of writing this (7 am in St.Etienne with a deadline for this website in some hours :-), we hope that this site can be an impactful, rich media archive for velocommerce, and would be of interest to a multidisciplinary audience. There are more things that will be uploaded in the next 2 months, and we hope that the site can then be grown with user-generated content using the link
If you are interested in knowing more about this project, or just getting in touch, write to

Longfellow St.[Long Beach] Redesign Borrows From Netherlands Approach [LA Streets Blog]

New Slow Street Design On Longfellow, Incorporating Sustainability Oriented Features.

This week marks another milestone in new approaches to street design in the city of Santa Monica. A two block segment of Longfellow St. receives a makeover, taking cues from the mixed use woonerf concept from the Netherlands. Longfellow St. had always been too narrow to include both street parking for adjacent apartments and sidewalks, making it an ideal candidate for promoting mixed street use. Its formally unappealing design and poor lighting was also felt by some to be a contributing factor to crime in the area. Now vehicle traffic is calmed with cues from new plants and textured surfaces.  Solar powered pedestrian scale lighting with LED bulbs were installed along the street. Other ideas are being considered for further traffic calming enhancements later, that would eliminate the need for traffic control signage all together.

2012: Do you ride in the road? [The ride so far]

On the road with Linda, late 1980's.
“So, do you ride on the road?” is question that finds its way into many conversations with non-cyclists, and even with bicycle shopping customers I interact with. There is a level of concern in their asking, and in some cases out-and-out fear. The un-said statement is that “the road” is a dangerous place to bicycle, and why do you ride there. 

Dozen’s of answers can roll throw you mind when that question pops up. You can cite the statistics, or personal experience. Everything in life has risks. Waking up, taking a shower, a flight of stairs, eating a meal, or the drive to work all carry the possibility of an unexpected demise. Living in the midwest with tornadoes, a coast with hurricane, or California with earthquakes all present risks. 

[Keep reading at The Ride So Far]

Perhaps the single most alarming public health trend in the United States today is the dramatic rise in the number of people who are overweight and obese, bringing serious risks of heart disease, diabetes and other consequences leading to life impairment and premature death. This is bad enough as it is, but I contend that it is particularly unfortunate that we do not sufficiently recognize the extent to which these trends are caused by environmental factors, particularly the shape of our built environment. [Atlantic Cities]


The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets

The True Cost of Unwalkable Streets

Perhaps the single most alarming public health trend in the United States today is the dramatic rise in the number of people who are overweight and obese, bringing serious risks of heart disease, diabetes and other consequences leading to life impairment and premature death. This is bad enough as it is, but I contend that it is particularly unfortunate that we do not sufficiently recognize the extent to which these trends are caused by environmental factors, particularly the shape of our built environment.

[Keep reading at The Atlantic Cities]

Curana Mudguards CLite

These are the lightest fenders ever! The weight is prox. 30% less than plastic extrusion fenders and this is combined with very high stiffness.
The fenders have a very clean look and a smart quick-assembly stay mounting.
For bicycle manufacturers we can create customised fenders without the need of specific tools. Widths are available as from 30mm up to 65mm, in 2 types of profiles, deep and medium deep, and in every wheelsize from 20" up to 28".
For dealers and consumers we offer the Clite mudguards in a range of dimensions, in black and silver. The available collection is depending on the country. More info at thedistributor of your country.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Safer Biking With Glow-in-the-Dark LED Handlebars []

Safer Biking With Glow-in-the-Dark LED Handlebars

Kimberley Mok
Transportation / Bikes
March 29, 2012

© Mitchell Silva
Hundreds of law-abiding cyclists die each year on the roads -- sometimes intragically gruesome circumstances. Besides wearing a helmet, having a rear-view mirror and other safe riding tips, there are other ways that cyclists can ensure that they're clearly seen by motorists -- especially in the dark.

© Mitchell Silva
Via Yanko Design, from Boston-based industrial designer Mitchell Silva comes Glo-Bars, an interesting prototype for a cost-effective handlebar system that has integrated LED lighting in them. The LEDs light up the path for the cyclist, while also rendering the rider very visible to everyone else around.

© Mitchell Silva
The Glo-Bar system also includes turn signals (accessed via buttons near the front stem of the handlebars) and braking lights behind, increasing the safety factor for its rider. Silva describes the design process:
For the construction of the prototype, I cut long strips out of the bars and installed plastic tubing on the inside of the bars to help keep them rigid. I then installed approximately 40 high-efficiency LED bulbs in the inner plastic tubing, and installed a momentary actuator button on the back of the bars. The whole system runs off of a watch battery.

© Mitchell Silva 

© Mitchell Silva
It's a nice workaround having to wear lights on yourself to the point you mightlook like a Christmas tree. Though Silva is now in the process of improving this prototype by ensuring that the handlebars' strength isn't compromised by the installation of the lights, it's nevertheless a cool idea that we hope to see used more often on the streets. More over at Mitchell Silva's Coroflot website.

3-Way Street [VIDEO]

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

By summer 2010, the expansion of bike lanes in NYC exposed a clash of long-standing bad habits — such as pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running red lights, and motorists plowing through crosswalks.

By focusing on one intersection as a case study, my video aims to show our interconnection and shared role in improving the safety and usability of our streets.

The video is part of a larger campaign I created called '3-Way Street'. Please see for more details.

Music: Peter Gunn Theme by Art of Noise, available on iTunes


“Hot Bike” revolutionizes the taco truck concept with a two-wheeled kitchen
San Francisco – February 2012- Rose “Slam” Johnson, a Bay Area chef, youth educator, queer activist and 2011 SF Bay Guardian “Hot Pink List” honoree, is combining her many talents to launch Hot Bike, the first fully-functional bike to house a mobile taco kitchen.  Hot Bike seeks to bring locally sourced, handcrafted, bike-kitchen-cooked tacos to the mouths of hungry and on-the-go San Franciscans.  As a Community Supported Culinary Adventure (CSCA), Hot Bike is seeking to raise $5,000 in a Kickstarter campaign between February 14th and March 15th.
“I was looking for the perfect vehicle in which to share the food I love,” Johnson says, “and I found two: the corn tortilla and the bicycle.” Hot Bike is a specially designed Yuba Mundo cargo bike that includes both ingredient-transportation and mobile heating surface modifications to serve as a kitchen.

Joey's Bike Shop: It's all we do.

Bicycle Pump Polka - Lester - Melodeon [VIDEO SONG]

Giro Reverb

A classic take on cycling style for today's urban environment. The Reverb's compact, classic lines are a perfect match to the clean new style that is driving urban cycling. The light-yet-tough In-mold shell wraps around to the inside of the helmet to resist dents and dings from life on the streets, and a self-adjusting fit system eliminates the need to dial-in the fit when wearing a cycling or winter caps. The finishing touch is a simple, removable cycling cap-style visor that adds a touch of style without compromising cooling ventilation in changing weather.


Death to the McMansion [Slate]

Small house.
Is America done with the McMansion?

Susan Law Cain/iStockphoto.

On March 23, Future Tense—a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University that explores emerging technologies, policy, and society—will hold a live event in Washington, D.C., on the concept of resilience. Academics, policymakers, and other experts will discuss resilience in the environment, business, national security, even the Constitution.Slate’s Matt Yglesias and Emily Bazelon will be there, too. To learn more and to RSVP, click here.
Recently, Japan and Korea have begun to express deep concerns about the “ability of the United States to address profound problems in its political and 
economic system.”

Look Columbus - Cycle tracks with BICYCLE traffic signals! [The Urban Country]

Rural Bike Infrastructure in the Netherlands

Amsterdam bicycle traffic signal
Bicycle traffic signal in Amsterdam – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country
It is 1:00PM and the train is stopped at a station in a northern Belgian town. The train will be leaving one minute later than its scheduled departure time so that the passengers can have a minute of silence to pay their respects and condolences to the 22 children who died just a few days prior in a terrible bus tragedy.

[Keep reading at The Urban Country]

Coolest Glowing Beach Cruisers! Brite Bike Mission Beach July 4th 2011 [VIDEO]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Women bicycling across US for Safe Routes to School [FastLane DOT]

The journey from Key West to San Francisco takes about 6 hours by plane, or 3 days by car.  Jane Ward, Jeanie and Chelsea Ward-Waller, and Stephanie Palmer are completing the trek of more than 5,000 miles in a little less than 3 months--on their bicycles.
At the National Bike Summit last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Jane's husband and Jeanie and Chelsea's father, Stephen Waller.  Stephen told me about the inspiring journey that these four women embarked upon to support the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
Jeanie, an avid cyclist and triathlete, first came up with the idea to ride across the country. "I wanted to bike across the country for a cause that I really cared about," she says.
An environmental science teacher in West Virginia, Jeanie decided to take a semester off and make this dream a reality.  She planned a 5,500 mile route through 13 states and 20 major cities to raise $25,000 and create awareness for the League of American Bicyclists and Safe Routes to School.
Both Jeanie and Jane rode their bikes to school as children. "Active commuting, starting early in childhood can become a lifelong habit," Jane says. "Children who exercise on the way to school and during the school day, do better in school."

One mile on a bike is a $.42 economic gain to society, one mile driving is a $.20 loss [grist]

Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen.
Copenhagen, the bicycle-friendliest place on the planet, publishes a biannual Bicycle Account, and buried in its pages is a rather astonishing fact, reports Andy Clarke, president of the league of American Bicyclists:
“When all these factors are added together the net social gain is DKK 1.22 per cycled kilometer. For purposes of comparison there is a net social loss of DKK 0.69 per kilometer driven by car.” 1.22 Danish crowns is about 25 cents and a kilometer is 6/10 of a mile, so we are talking about a net economic gain to society of 42 cents for every bicycle mile traveled. That’s a good number to have in your back pocket.
[Continue reading at]