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Friday, October 26, 2012

Four friends set out to find adventure south of the border.

Mexicellent Adventure on Pinkbike

Gone in 60 secs [VIDEO]

Gone in 60 secs Parts 1 & 2 (LETS FIGHT BIKE CRIME) on Pinkbike
If you have 25 minutes to spare, watch this |||||| The London Programme investigates the £27 million pound crime wave that is seeing thousands of bicycles being stolen from the capitals streets. Our reporter catches some professional bike thieves in action and finds out how easy it is to steal a bike in central London |||||| ******** My website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heated cycle lanes to warm Dutch winter cyclists [BBC]

Towns in the Netherlands are considering a proposal to heat cycle lanes to encourage greater use of bicycles in winter.
The scheme proposes to use geo-thermal energy to prevent ice forming.
The idea has been provisionally costed at 20-40,000 euros per kilometre (£26-52,000 per mile).
But the man behind the proposal, Marcel Boerefijn, said there would be savings from fewer accidents, less salt needed to grit roads and reduced car expenses.
Mr Boerefijn said it was possible that the final net cost would be less than putting straw down on the paths.
Arien de Jong, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Cyclists Unions said: "We are very excited about the heated paths, because they could prevent so much misery. If cycle lanes are frozen over for four weeks, that results in about 7,000 more accidents involving cyclists.
"So of course we welcome all ideas to improve road safety for cyclists."


Bike lanes separated by planters, posts or parked cars aren't just more popular and less stressful than bike lanes or back-road bike routes, an important new study shows. They're safer – far safer. As reported Monday by Atlantic Cities, researchers found that in Vancouver and Toronto, protected green lanes reduce non-fatal road injuries by 90 percent. That's a huge impact. When it comes to reducing major injuries, these findings suggest that converting a painted bike lane to a separated cycle track would be twice as effective as painting the bike lane was. To see just how much safer cycle tracks are than other bikeways, you really have to look at these results on a spectrum from the most dangerous type of street (left) to no risk of serious injury at all (right): [Keep reading at greenlaneproject]

Europe’s Wonderful World Of Bike-Based Deliveries [FastCompany]

Why send loud, traffic-clogging, air-polluting trucks rumbling through our city streets when we could instead employ a network of cargo bikes? That’s the plan that an alliance of activists, logistics firms, and city officials are trying to put in place across Europe.

The last mile problem is simple to explain, but daunting to fix: It’s very easy to bring goods into cities (via plane, train, or truck), but it’s much harder to then bring the one thing you want to your house from the central point to which it was delivered. That last mile represents most of the inefficiency in the process. But is the future of last-mile delivery two wheels?
It is, according to a band of European activists, logistics firms, and city officials who say bikes are not just for fun, but also a legitimate, and wholly efficient, way of expediting the delivery of many goods.

The EU-funded alliance, called Cycle Logistics, says up to a quarter of urban deliveries could go via bike, if the necessary infrastructure and incentives were put in place. Bikes, it says, are a cleaner, more effective way of delivering small items in many European cities, many of which have space limitations, and tough rules on pollution and carbon emissions.
"Many cities are not built for [trucks]. They have narrow streets and usually the inner cities have traffic restrictions," says Karl Reiter, who coordinates the group. "You are only allowed to deliver in the morning hours. But if you come by bicycle, you can do it all day, and it’s easier."
Copenhagen has 25,000 cargo bikes among a population of 500,000. And numerous commercial services have appeared in the Netherlands, GermanySpain, Belgium, and elsewhere...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Cost Of Bike Touring: Extended Trips [TravellingTwo]

How much will an independent bike tour cost?
Here are some typical expenses and budgets from bike tourists who’ve undertaken an extended trip across multiple countries and continents.
Chris and Margo went on an 11-month bike tour from Bangkok to Paris in 2009. The trip cost $30,400 in total.
Chris & Margo on tour
Chris & Margo on their touring bicycles.
Non-daily costs were:
  • Visas $2,775 (11 visas & various Letters of Invitation)
  • Transport within trip: $1,851.96 (Boat, bus, taxi)
  • Souvenirs bought & mailed home: $500
  • Care packages from home $1,515 (Bike parts such as drive train replacements, new electronics)
In terms of daily costs, Chris and Margo spent $73 per day as a couple.
We travelled as cheaply as possible when we were younger but now we are a retired couple and we know our remaining touring days are finite. We’re no longer on a tight budget.
Costs varied wildly between destinations such as China and the final part of the trip in northern Europe in November. They cooked and camped when logistically necessary, or when there was a good wild camping opportunity. On average, they camped about one third of the time and up to two thirds of the time in some countries. The rest of the nights were spent in a range of hotels, from cheap to mid-range.
We threw the budget out the window for the last six weeks as we entered in Europe in late fall. The weather was poor, the nights were long, and we were tired. We also felt we deserved to spoil ourselves, since –when we set out from Bangkok– I had thought the chances of a pair in their late 50s actually making it across Central Asia were slim. In fact, we had to keep reminding ourselves that we’d actually done it.
Their daily costs per country were:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A New Model: Cycle Hire, for Hire [NYT]

Municipal bike sharing has rolled into dozens of American cities, from Washington to Oklahoma City to San Francisco. Now a Massachusetts start-up called Zagster aims to take the idea of bicycles on demand and deliver it to university and corporate campuses, apartment complexes, hotels and resorts.
So far Zagster has set up its “bike fleet in a box” at about 55 locations.ZagsterSo far Zagster has set up its “bike fleet in a box” at about 55 locations.
On Thursday, the company, formerly called CityRyde, announced a $1 million round of investment that will allow it to expand nationally. In essence, Zagster’s idea is to make access to bikes a coveted building amenity and corporate perk, right up there with pools, gyms, and cafeterias — at a relatively low cost.
Fontinalis Partners, a Detroit-based venture firm jointly founded by William Clay Ford Jr., and the venture capital firmLaunchCapital are among the lead investors in the expansion.
So far, Zagster has set up its bike-fleet-in-a-box at about 55 locations, including places like Yale University and the Hyatt hotel in Cambridge, Mass., where the company relocated this year from Philadelphia. [Keep reading at NYT]

Bicycle Geekery: A Visit To The World's Only Suspended Bicycle Roundabout

Bicycle Geekery: A Visit To The World's Only Suspended Bicycle Roundabout from travellingtwo on Vimeo.

A little bit of bicycle geekery: we went to see the world's only suspended bicycle roundabout, the Hovenring in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. It takes about 50 seconds to bike around it on a Brompton folding bike, while towing 25kg of baby + trailer.

The List: The World’s 9 Toughest Races [Adventure Journal]

If you build something painful, they will come. In the 21st century, it seems the only thing we like better than self-flagellating activities is self-flagellating activities with other folks, competing to see who can, in the words of Dean Karnazes, “survive the fastest.” Fortunately, we have all kinds of outlets when it comes to human-powered suffering over long distances. Here are our picks for the toughest of the tough.
1. Mountain Biking: Tour Divide/Great Divide Race
The world’s longest unsupported off-road cycling race began as the Great Divide Race in 2004, when four racers finished time-trialing the U.S. portion of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Roosville, Montana, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, in less than 30 days. In following years, a handful of racers gathered to compete, and in 2008, an additional section of the route was added to the course, starting in Banff, and the race lived on as Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile string of jeep roads, singletrack, and pavement. Most riders start en masse in Banff the second week of June, and half will finish. In 2012, New Zealand cyclist Ollie Whalley sets a course record with a time of 16 days, 2 hours, 46 minutes. Or almost 170 miles per day. 170 miles a day. LINK
2. Road Cycling: Furnace Creek 508
For most mortals, mashing out 508 miles and 36,000 feet of elevation gain would be a good week on a bicycle — it’s roughly four mountain stages of the Tour de France ridden consecutively. Competitors in the Furnace Creek 508 have 48 hours to finish all that, over 10 mountain passes in the California desert. Drafting is not allowed. IV fluids are not permitted. It’s invite-only, with about 90 solo cyclists and 50 relay teams competing each year. Roughly 60 percent of entrants will cross the finish line. LINK
3. Exercising: Deca Ironman
Completed an Ironman triathlon? Ha! That’s nothing. If you want, to paraphrase Kenny Powers, to truly “be the best at exercising,” set your sights on the September 2013 Deca Iron Italy, which is 30 Ironman-distance triathlons in 30 days. You’ll only be considered if you’ve already completed a Deca Ironman, which is 10 consecutive days of Ironman Triathlons — and more than 20 competitors have already signed up. LINK

City to pay cyclist paralyzed in crash $1.25 million [Columbus Dispatch]

Columbus has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a lawsuit that said large potholes on a city street contributed to a crash that left a bicyclist paralyzed - a decision that puts cities across the state on notice they can be held liable for streets in disrepair.
W. Justin Crabtree will be awarded the settlement after he sued the city, saying the potholes on Williams Road on the city’s South Side were a factor in his bicycle crash with a car in January 2006.
Crabtree and his friend, Terry Blake, were riding bikes when Andre Cook, tried to pass them in his car, according to court documents.
Cook passed Blake, but struck Crabtree, who was left a quadriplegic. A witness said Crabtree had to ride toward the center of the road right before the crash because of potholes in his path.
Crabtree and his attorney, John M. Alton, took the city to court saying it was negligent because of the potholes, but lost the Common Pleas Court decision. They appealed to the 10th District Court of Appeals, which reconsidered the city’s argument that it couldn’t be held liable for nuisances such as potholes or malfunctioning traffic lights.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Airport By Bike [The Urban Country]

Dutch Cargo Bike
Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country
I fly out of town for business approximately once every month. There are many different ways to get to the airport from my home downtown. I normally take public transit, but will occasionally take a taxi if I am running late or if I have an early morning flight.
I have been longing to ride my cargo bike to the airport every since I purchased it back in May. My luggage fits perfectly in the cargo box and I could certainly use some extra exercise since I have gained about 15 pounds since I returned from living in China in May.
I looked at a few different routes to the airport, and decided that safety and comfort would be my number one priority. I ended up choosing a route that added about 5 kilometres to the trip, resulting in a total distance of 27 kilometres.
My flight was scheduled to depart at 9:35PM, so I figured giving myself two hours for the trip would be plenty of time.
I left my house at 6:40PM and headed down the bike lane from my home towards Toronto’s waterfront bike path.

[Keep reading at The Urban Country]

An Infographic Breakdown Of The World’s Greenest Cities [FastCoExist]

It’s hard to quantify what makes a city "greener" than any other metropolis, but there are some clues: car ownership, green space, bicycle usage, solar installations, recycling, and water consumption are just some of the factors that add up to create environmentally responsible cities. An infographic from HouseTrip lays out what different cities are doing in an easy-to-read format.
A handful of major world cities stand out as leaders. This infographic focuses on the contest between London, New York, Vancouver, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. Three of thesecities made it into our list of the top 10 smart cities on the planet (two others were runners-up). In each of these cities, there are notable statistics worth mentioning. Amsterdam has one bike for every 0.73 people, Copenhagen has legislation requiring all new buildings to have green roofs (this will add 5,000 square meters of vegetation), and only 44% of New Yorkers own a car, compared to 95% of Americans overall. That latter point is because of the city’s robust public transportation infrastructure--and its clogged streets.

The Future of Detroit Biking: Bike City? [UHAUL]

In the future, Detroit may be known for more than its automotive achievements. Motor City is becoming more bike-friendly and commuting by bicycle is now a real possibility for many residents of the D. The popularity of this healthy, green and affordable way to travel is growing not only in Detroit, but nationwide.
Detroit BikesSmall businesses like Detroit Bikes are trying to make their start in the industry. According toa story on Model D, owner and founder, Zac Pashak, plans to build an affordable commuter bike in a factory he purchased in the city.
In another story written about him in Canada’s Globe and Mail, Canadian-born Pashak shared his reason for locating his factory in Detroit.

My cat can ride a bike better than you can [VIDEO]


Diane Jones Randall is known as an organized person.  She has a lot to juggle in her busy professional and personal life. “I like process,” says the 50-year-old Manhattan resident.
So it wouldn’t surprise people who know her that Randall took a deliberate approach to her journey into the New York City bike lanes, beginning in the summer of 2011. Two bicycles, and four bicycle seats, later, it’s been non-stop discovery and adventure.
In Randall’s stepwise approach — building confidence with each gradual advance — are found lessons and inspiration for others who are curious about adding bicycling to their urban routines.
A New Way to Explore
“I’m not a driver,” says Randall, who is director of custom publishing at iVillage. She grew up in Queens, riding a coffee-colored Raleigh roadster as a girl on sidewalks and paths near her home.
Having inherited a love of New York City history from her father, Randall, who was an editor at Reader’s Digest for 19 years, decided that a bicycle would become her vehicle both to explore the city from a different point of view, and to build her fitness.
After noticing more people on two wheels, Randall approached her younger brother, who likes to ride the Central Park Loop, for advice on bike shopping.
“He wanted me to get something rugged and sturdy that would stand up to the potholes,” Randall says of her sibling’s brotherly concern. Randall started off with a mountain bike: a Specialized Mica HT Disc.  She bought a helmet, lock, lights, bell, rack and rear “trunk” carrier. Ready to go.
The Ride That Made ‘All the Difference’
But, like many beginners in the city, she felt hesitant about riding with traffic. So, she started off pedaling her mountain bike on the sidewalks that weave through the apartment complex where she lives. “I began off the road and away from traffic,” she says.
After a few weeks, when she felt ready, Randall researched group rides, and found what she was looking for in a tour of the history of the New York City grid. The journey, from Cooper Union on 8th St., up Eighth Ave., through Central Park and up to 125th St. was her initiation to the streets.
In the company of about 20 riders, Randall says, “I rode over the potholes, and around the buses, and across the intersections – and after that I had no fear. That ride made all the difference.”