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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Balloonbikes - Advantages []

Balloonbikers suffer less vibrations

Balloonbikers enjoy much more comfort, because their spine, as opposed to riding a standard bike, suffers 25 per cent less jarring. A full bicycle suspension system only achieves a further eight per cent less jarring, but this makes the bike more susceptible to damage, heavier and much more expensive.

Truly more comfortable for the back

Using BIG APPLE tires (60-622, 2 bar) on a non-suspension bike reduces vibrations to the lumbar area by around 25 per cent, comparable with the same bike using a standard tire. In comparison a full-suspension bicycle can reduce vibrations on the lumbar area by around 33 per cent.

These are results obtained in an extensive study, carried out in conjunction with ‘Deutschen Sporthochschule, Köln’ (German Sports University Cologne) to determine the effects and possibilities of tire suspension. The damping action of Big Apple tires was compared both with bikes using rigid (traditional) frame construction and with others using both part- or full-suspension systems
The parameters of vibration loading and acceleration were measured by accelerometers that were attached to different places on the bicycle and on the rider’s spine. Test tracks were cobbles, stone path and a specially constructed, indoor obstacle course. Parallel to this, power was measured using an SRM crank. In each case the selected results compared a 60 mm Big Apple inflated to 2 bar with a 37 mm width standard tire at 4 bar. These are air pressures typical in everyday use. In addition the lab tests demonstrated that these air pressures produced the same rolling resistance.
Balloonbikes mostly have a compactly and powerful looking

SUPERMOTO. The fast Balloonbike tire. 60mm wide

Ballonbikers enjoy lower rolling resistance

Balloonbike tires have a different shape contact area to a narrow tire, so less energy is lost and is thus completely opposite to what is popularly assumed: Balloonbike tires are wide, but nevertheless roll more easily than narrow, standard tires.
A 60mm wide Balloonbike inflated to 2 bar rolls really easily and with a full suspension effect. Normal city or trekking bikes with 37mm standard tires need to be inflated to a hard 4 bar to achieve this rolling efficiency.

Much lower rolling resistance

At the same pressure the BIG APPLE rolls around 10 Watts lower, while the comfort of the BIG APPLE at 2 bar produces the same rolling resistance as a standard tire at 4 bar.
In practice the advantages are greater than in theory: The suspension effect of wide tires smoothes out uneven roads, so the rider is protected from vibrations and thus saves energy.

On stone paths the Big Apple tires’ showed 11 per cent lower resistance, which means 11 per cent less energy is required to ride. (Laboratory tests confirm exactly identical rolling resistance results on an even surface using the same tire/air pressure combination.)
Balloonbikes on tour.

FAT FRANK. Retro tires. 50 and 60 mm widths – in Black, Brown, Cream.

Balloonbikers stay unruffled

Balloonbikers stay calm while other cyclists are shaken around. Because bicycle tire suspension displays its best attributes on the vibrations and the short frequency bumps caused by uneven roads. Tests showed that these loads were about a third lower than with a standard bike, whereas normal frame and fork suspension was almost ineffective.
A Balloonbike has a contact area around double that of a standard bike. It hardly moves off track under hard braking or sudden direction changes, while the 60mm wide tires also cannot get stuck in tramlines.

Suspension reaction

In everyday life fast suspension response is more important than suspension travel.
The investigations of the German Sports University, Cologne showed that a voluminous tire absorbs the many small impacts usual in everyday cycling much better than a complex suspension system, which responds well only on rougher terrain.
On a cobbled test track BIG APPLE tires reduce vibrations felt at the handlebar by around 36 per cent, whereas in two parallel tests carried out on trekking bike suspension forks, they did not absorb vibrations nearly so well.
more relaxed
Balloonbikes are very agile.

more relaxed

BIG APPLE. The classic Balloonbike tire. 50,55 and 60 mm widths – in Black, Grey, Brown, Cream.



SKS developed and designed 'Airchecker', a digital gauge with a completely new design, especially for cycle tyres. Due to it's swivelling Duo Head, the backlit display with its XL-format digits is always easy to read. The display can also be switched from bar over to PSI. The reduction button allows the pressure to be regulated exactly to one

Friday, February 15, 2013

The city on bike

The city on bike from Bicycle Innovation Lab on Vimeo.

Cyclists say their rights are going unrecognized [Boston Globe]

Wellesley police spent months investigating a fatal truck-bike crash. A grand jury declined to indict the truck driver.
Wellesley police spent months investigating a fatal truck-bike crash. A grand jury declined to indict the truck driver.
It’s a common refrain among local ­cyclists: Want to kill someone and get away with it? Run them over while they’re on a bicycle.
Within Boston’s growing cycling community, a perceived lack of criminal prosecution of motorists involved in fatal bike crashes has been a regular source of outrage in recent years. That ire came to a ­fever pitch last week, when a grand jury investigation of a Wellesley bike crash with seemingly copious evidence — video footage, witnesses defending the deceased bicyclist, a truck driver who had fled the scene and had an extensive history of driving infractions — came back with no charges.
The grand jury’s decision, bicyclists contend, is evidence of a wider problem: Most people do not respect the rights of bike riders.
“The message that we got from this particular case,” said David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, “is that, clearly, members of the general public still don’t care enough about bicyclists’ safety.”
Historically, prosecutors have been seen as reluctant to seek charges in crashes ­between bikes and cars. Civil cases have long been the realm of justice for families. But ­cyclists say they want better, and they had hoped to get it in the case against truck driver Dana E.A. McCoomb, accused of striking and killing cyclist ­Alexander Motsenigos, 41, on Weston Road in Wellesley.

Kick Ass Cogs [Endless Bike Company]

ano cog photo
The same great product as the original Kick-Ass-Cogs that you know and love, now in color!
Cogs are being anodized to order. They are generally shipping 5-7 days after the order is received… sometime sooner. If you have questions, please feel free to shoot me an email.
At a full quarter inch wide (6.35mm) at the splines, Kick-Ass-Cogs simply will not damage your free hub body the way a narrower cog can. Made of high strength 7075-T6 alloy (Stronger and harder than most common steels), Kick-Ass-Cogs are precision machined insuring perfect axial and radial alignment that compliments the superior chain lines that cassette style hubs allow.
The specially engineered tooth profile on Kick-Ass-Cogs improves both cog and chain life while minimizing drive train friction. With a Kick-Ass-Cog on your bike, you can expect a smooth, quiet drivetrain for miles to come.
Like all EndlessBikeCo. Products, Color Anodized Kick-Ass-Cogs are made right here in Western North Carolina; not in some faceless factory on the other side of the planet.
Please note that not all freehub bodies are created equally (outside diameter that is). Depending on your particular hub choice, you may have to modify your Kick-Ass-Cog. We like our cogs to fit tight so there is only smooth in your drive train with no damage to that expensive freehub body.  Not sure what we mean? email us


The Wahoo RFLKT is the world's first iPhone powered bike computer! All the power of your iPhone in the size of a sleek cycling computer.  Keep your iPhone safely tucked in your jersey pocket and access all of your App data from your bars. 


  • iPhone Powered
    The Wahoo RFLKT wirelessly receives data and images from an iPhone located in the jersey pocket or saddlebag of the cyclist. Using the buttons on the side of the RFLKT, a user can control the App, change data screens, start and stop the timer, and control other App functionality such as music playback and more.
  • Sleek Profile
    Weighing in at only 2 ounces, the RFLKT measures 2.4” long by 1.6” wide by 0.5” thick.
  • Low Power
    Long-lasting, replaceable coin cell battery; no need for extra cables or recharging 
  • Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 (Smart) Connectivity
    The RFLKT has simple wireless connectivity through a Bluetooth 4.0 connection
  • Weather and shock proof
    RFLKT is IPX7 certified for riding in all types of weather and on all types of terrain
  • iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 compatible

Compatible Apps:RFLKT is compatible with the NEW Wahoo Fitness v3.0 App for Cycling, and compatibility with other top rated cycling Apps coming soon including Cyclemeter and Strava.  For the latest compatibility information, click here

[Wahoo RFLKT]

Roll out the ELF to your city. [Kickstarter]

The ELF is a solar/pedal hybrid vehicle suitable for commuting, deliveries, and other local transportation needs. This three-wheeled electric assist velomobile fills the niche between a bicycle and a car and offers advantages over both. 

Carbon lite ELF on display at Durham Centerfest
Carbon lite ELF on display at Durham Centerfest

The ELF is just the vehicle you need.

Are you tired of spending money filling up your gas tank every week? Are you plagued with nagging guilt over your personal contribution to climate change every time you hop in the car for a short trip to the store? Do you think about riding a bike to work, but don't want to show up sweaty? Does it make you nervous to see cars crowd cyclists out of the lane and hesitate to put yourself at risk in that way? The ELF is for you!
The ELF is designed to carry both rider and cargo inside a weatherproof shell that comes fully equipped with lights, signals, and mirrors. The electric motor can be fully engaged for a cool and quiet ride to work or can be used just for a boost when pedaling up hills. The lithium battery pack can be recharged using the roof top solar panels or by plugging in to a standard outlet. The tadpole configuration of the three wheels offers outstanding stability and control. The ELF is a high visibility vehicle that allows you to claim your space on the road while still fitting neatly into standard bike lanes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Self-Sealing Bicycle Smart Tubes with Slime Inside!

Self-Sealing Bicycle Smart Tubes with Slime Inside!
All SLiME Smart Tubes are factory-filled with a precise volume of Slime Tube Sealant. Smart Tubes instantly seek out and seal punctures as they occur, preventing flats, repeatedly and continuously for up to two years. Ride without worries.
26 inch tube with presta valve fits:
  • 26 x 1.75 (559 x 47 mm)
  • 26 x 1.90 (559 x 50 mm)
  • 26 x 2.00 (559 x 51 mm)
  • 26 x 2.10 (559 x 53 mm)
  • 26 x 2.125 (559 x 57 mm)
700 mm tube with presta valve fits:
  • 700 x 19-25 mm
700 mm tube with presta valve fits:
  • 700 x 28-35 mm
29” tube with presta valve fits:
  • 29 x 1.85 – 2.20 (700 x 47-52)
The valve stem length on Smart Tubes with a presta valve is 48mm.

Five Lessons for Seattle Bike Share from Boston’s Hubway [Transportation Nation]

Boston Hubway bike share docking station. (Photo CC by Flickr user JMazzolaa)
(Derek Wang, Seattle — KUOWThe plan to create a bike sharing program in Seattle is clicking into a higher gear. Puget Sound Bike Share hopes to launch in 2014. Organizers updated Seattle officials Tuesday saying they hope to hire a vendor by the spring.
Initial areas for the plan include the University District, Eastlake, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Downtown and Queen Anne.
To get some guidance for the Seattle effort, KUOW spoke with the founder of one of the fastest-growing systems in the US, Nicole Freedman. Freedman started Boston’s program, The Hubway, which launched in 2011. It has 105 stations, more than 1,000 bicycles and 9,000 members. Members have taken about 675,000 trips; more than 500,000 of those trips were taken in the last year. Freedman is also an Olympic cyclist and has studied city planning at MIT and Stanford.

The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers [BBC]

The psychology of why car drivers hate cyclists
(Copyright: Thinkstock)
It’s not simply because they are annoying, argues Tom Stafford, it’s because they trigger a deep-seated rage within us by breaking the moral order of the road.

Something about cyclists seems to provoke fury in other road users. If you doubt this, try a search for the word "cyclist" on Twitter. As I write this one of the latest tweets is this: "Had enough of cyclists today! Just wanna ram them with my car." This kind of sentiment would get people locked up if directed against an ethic minority or religion, but it seems to be fair game, in many people's minds, when directed against cyclists. Why all the rage?
I've got a theory, of course. It's not because cyclists are annoying. It isn't even because we have a selective memory for that one stand-out annoying cyclist over the hundreds of boring, non-annoying ones (although that probably is a factor). No, my theory is that motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order.
Driving is a very moral activity – there are rules of the road, both legal and informal, and there are good and bad drivers. The whole intricate dance of the rush-hour junction only works because people know the rules and by-and-large follow them: keeping in lane; indicating properly; first her turn, now mine, now yours. Then along come cyclists, innocently following what they see are the rules of the road, but doing things that drivers aren't allowed to: overtaking queues of cars, moving at well below the speed limit or undertaking on the inside



NAHBS | North American Handmade Bicycle Show

FEBRUARY 22-24, 2013




February 22, 2013
Friday 9 AM – 11 AM Industry and Media Only
11 AM – 6 PM Show Hours
February 23, 2013
Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM Show Hours
February 24, 2013
Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM Show Hours


1 DayFriday$18.00$22.00
1 DaySaturday$18.00$22.00
1 DaySunday$15.00$19.00
2 DayFri/Sat$33.00$41.00
2 DaySat/ Sun$30.00$38.00
3 DayFri/Sat/Sun$46.00$58.00
Seminar PassFri/Sat/Sun$150.00$150.00
Kent EriksenFramebuilders Only$75.00$75.00
ChildrenPer Day$8.00
Cutoff date for online registration is February 20th at 11 PM
Cutoff date for the hotel reservation is February 8th, 2013.


Hilton Garden Inn:

$129 per night.Reservation Link:

The Crowne Plaza: (Host Hotel)
Availability: Thursday and Friday (sold out on Saturday) $109 per night/ February 8th, Cutoff


Cielo Tanner Edition
The 2013 NAHBS is approaching rapidly and, in anticipation, Chris King’s Cielo brand has hooked up with fellow Portland locals, Tanner Goods, on a project that’s sure to impress the judges. The collaboration is a heady mix of the craftsmanship both brands are famous for: well tailored waxed cotton, leather and finely crafted steel.
The Tanner Goods Edition will be based on the Sportif and Cross Classic models from the Cielo lineup and are as versatile as they are stylish. Tanner have contributed a handmade handlebar bag, a saddle bag, mudflaps and a frame bag that can be slung over the shoulder for close-range pedestrian portage. They all work seamlessly with the Cielo frames, custom painted with matching fenders.
It really is a summation of the renewed interest in traditional American industry — goods and services that are well made, reliable and long-lasting. Both Tanner Goods, a collective of designers and craftspeople, and Chris King, a scion of quality engineering, have established that the market desires much more than faceless offshore pop-outs.
See more on the Chris King flickr and in Denver at the 2013 NAHBS.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Roll With It Baby [@WD40Bike]

The Big Man threw everything but the four horsemen of the apocalypse down on Louisville, KY for the 2013 World Cyclocross Championships.
Mud, snow, ice, floods, freezing rain, freezing temperatures and a particularly frozen parking attendant (“LOOK AT ME!”) ruled the week.  Through it all, the city of Louisville, race organizers, racers, spectators and the trusty WD-40 BIKE Tech Support Team rolled on.
The Masters races were hit with the coldest temps of the week, with mud and ice being the nastiest obstacles.  As events progressed, the Ohio River swelled to near record levels, forcing all Elite racing into one day of competition.  A herculean effort by the city kept the river at bay until the final Rainbow Jersey was awarded. (For more on that, click here.)
The WD-40 BIKE Tech Support Team managed the all-important bike wash area in the pits.  Our stellar crew enlisted legendary mechanic TJ Grove, and some trusty volunteers, to help handle the dirty work.  A model of efficiency, the team kept a usually a chaotic scene under control, and executed all Elite events with zero wait times.  Team mechanics from around the world commended WD-40 BIKE’s efforts. 
Overall, it was an amazing cap to the 2012-2013 ‘cross season.  In the words of WD-40 BIKE wrench/poet Chris Bondus: “We stood in our pit, cold, wet and muddy during the last lap of the men's race and watched Nys and Vantornout battle it out as it started to snow.. Doesn't get much better than that.” ‘Nuff said.
Horndasch executing the text book "top-down" wash technique.

[Keep reading at WD-40 Bike]

Shopping by Bike: Tips and Tricks for the Commuter Cyclist [Mother Earth News]

Bike culture is exploding in cities across the world. Whether people are riding folding bikes to the commuter train, slipping through traffic on streamlined single-speeds, or carrying children and groceries on their cargo bikes, bicycles are making urban life more dynamic and enjoyable. Carrying cargo — following shopping trips, or just as part of the normal commute — on most bikes can be a challenge, but it’s far from impossible. In this excerpt from On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life (New World Library, 2012), cycling enthusiast Denise Wrathall gives great tips on shopping by bike and hauling items with just a little bit of planning.  

Every cycling enthusiast has a “big fish” story. For urban cyclists, it’s sometimes about the weirdest or biggest thing we’ve carried by bike: furniture, pets, toilet augers. Before you bungee your new armchair to your bike, here are a few basics to get you started.

Shopping by bike is the hippest way to shop, hands down. We shop by bike because it’s faster than walking. We shop as we commute. It’s easier to carry things by bike than on the bus. We exercise as we shop. It costs nothing. It reduces our carbon footprint. Parking is right at the door. It’s easy to make several stops. It soothes our environmental conscience.
Why, then, do so many shy away from shopping by bike?
Stowing and hauling all that stuff can be a bit intimidating. And yet there are many options. Here we look at all the ways to shop using a conventional bicycle.

Read more:

Paul Gino Light Mount

Some of the best ideas are the simplest, and the Gino Light Mount is a clever part with a simple design.
The Gino Light Mount can be used to mount lights to any M5 threaded eyelet, rackmount, or braze on.
By mounting a light at mid-fork or dropout eyelets, it casts light on the ground at a much shallower angle, better revealing contours and bumps in the road.

Tech Info:

Material:6061 Aluminum
Anodized Color:Silver or Black
Mount Size:ø 26.0mm
[Paul Component Engineering]

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

If You Build Bike Share, Riders Will Come [Atlantic Cities] - Columbus gets Bike Share soon!

If You Build Bike Share, Riders Will Come
The health benefits of riding a bike are obvious, and they seem to outweigh the risks of other city hazards — collisions, pollution, biased newspaper editorials, etc. Recent data models on cycling in the Netherlands and Barcelona concluded that the upside of physical activity was much larger than the combined downsides of traffic accidents and inhaling toxins. So in addition to improving a city transportation system, bike riding might elevate public health.
One way to expand urban biking is through a bike share, but since these systems are quite young in North America, there's not a great deal of evidence to show how much they increase ridership. Bike shares certainly make it easier to access a bike in the city: you no longer have to buy one, or rent an apartment big enough to fit one, or live in a building decent enough to store one. Still, giving better access to existing riders isn't the same as creating new ones.
To get a better handle on the potential public health benefits of bike-share systems, a group of Canadian researchers led by Daniel Fuller recently evaluated the ridership effects of Montreal's great program, BIXI. In the March 2013 issue [PDF] of the American Journal of Public Health, Fuller and company report that if you build it, the riders will (eventually) come:

Ridgetop Ramble Recap 02102013 organized @SwallowBicycle

40+ cyclists
44 miles (for me, others mileage varied)
3600+ feet climbing (for me) - Route of 50 miles was billed to have 5000 ft climbing
10.5 mph average (for me)
One cyclist broke derailleur hanger, several flat tires, Roger blew up his chain
Mostly gravel roads through Shawnee State Forest
Great ride, group of cyclists and hospitality from Swallow.
We had 10 cyclists in our group from Columbus

Sugar Grove Ride Recap 02092013

10 or 11 cyclists (I never could figure out final total)
40 miles for our group, Roger had more miles
2800+ feet climbing
More of the gravel roads are being paved : (
One broken ice shelf right after we snapped the photo
Tim flatted
Brett disappeared and Roger went to look for him


Super Hero Kit for Road Biking @heroenterprises

The Super Hero Kit for Road Biking is designed to address the most common repair issues a cyclist might encounter on a ride.  An innovative, time-saving, and economical combination of high-quality tools and materials, and detailed instruction manual, as well as a tube, pump, and bike bag - it's an all-in-one solution - that's ready for your next ride.  A $145 value for $89, it is everything you need to help you with the most common repairs on the trail. [Hero Kit]

Monday, February 11, 2013

Want to hit the road for PFB? They are hiring.

Four amazing people are at the heart of the movement. They are our events crews, and they travel the U.S., hopping from bike festival to bike festival, to collect pledges for PFB and spread the bike love. We're looking for our 2013 PFB events crews—one pair based in the eastern U.S. and another based in the west. If you have a love for adventure, a passion for bikes, and want a crazy fun job for the summer of 2013, read on.
adam and christy

Job Description:
We are seeking four new staffers (two separate teams of two individuals each) to help grow our (PFB) pledge base even further in 2013. The Seasonal Events Crews coordinate and lead all seasonal events for the PFB campaign. We are seeking to represent PFB at multiple events throughout the United States. One team will be based mostly in the western half of the country, and the other team will serve events on the eastern half. This position is seasonal, with employee status, along with a set compensation of $12,500 per person for the duration of the project (roughly six months). While on the road, most expenses will be absorbed by Bikes Belong (within a daily per diem guideline). Start date for part-time work (hours are flexible) is March 1, 2013. Must be available full-time beginning April 1, 2013. Work hours from May through September require weekends, with driving and occasional events on weekdays. A new Volkswagen branded vehicle will be provided for transportation to and from events.
Duties and Responsibilities: 
• Research the best events for PFB and plan seasonal events schedule
• Orchestrate all details for each event (i.e. shipping, arrival/departure times, space requirements, materials needed, etc)
• Organize volunteers to assist at each event
• Travel to all events
• Make travel arrangements for you and your partner for each event
• Handle the logistics of setup, takedown, and booth maintenance at each event
• Lead efforts to collect pledges for PFB at each event
• Act as an ambassador for the PFB and Bikes Belong programs, answer questions knowledgably and professionally
• Capture photos and video clips at each event
• Upload photos/video/short messages about events to social media channels
• Write monthly blogs
• Strive to make connections at each event that will lead to further promotion of the PFB movement
• File trip reports and other regular documentation on a recurring basis
• Visit retailers, suppliers, and other businesses that support PFB
• Other duties as assigned
Job Qualifications:
• Previous experience managing events
• Ability to act as a professional and responsible ambassador for our brand
• Good “people person” with strong customer service and oral communication skills
• Team-oriented and able to accept ideas and strategy from other individuals
• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
• A positive attitude and the ability to be flexible in the face of changing priorities and requirements
• Ability to compose well-framed photos
• Proficiency creating basic videos
• Experience using social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr
• Ability to work independently with minimal oversight
• Willing to travel regularly
• Must possess a valid drivers license, a clean driving record, and be willing to drive between events as needed
• Direct experience in the bicycling industry, outdoor industry, or nonprofit desirable
Beneficial Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s Degree in Business (Marketing/Public Relations, Communications, Management) or related field
• Anyone is welcome to apply, but couples have historically worked well given the unique nature of working with a partner for long periods of time, away from home
• A love of travel and a sense of adventure
• Enthusiasm for bicycling in all its forms (commuting, recreation and sport)
Compensation and Benefits:These contracted positions are seasonal with a set compensation of $12,500 per individual for the approximate six month commitment. In addition, a per diem is provided to help offset or absorb all necessary travel expenses. Consequently, due to the nature of the position, most of the standard living expenses are covered. 
How to Apply:
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references as one PDF file to Sarah Murer, Marketing Coordinator, at
• All materials should be received by February 15, 2013
• Telephone inquiries are not accepted.
• Please include “Seasonal Events Manager” and your name in the subject line of your email application.
Bikes Belong is an equal opportunity employer.

Chattanooga Bike-Share: Lessons for Smaller Cities [DC Streets Blog]

Chattanooga, Tennessee, was, in a lot of ways, not an ideal city for bike-sharing. It’s a somewhat sprawling city, without a strong culture of cycling and walking. In addition, only a small percentage of area residents use transit to get around, so not many are leaving the car in the garage.

Chattanooga is blazing trails as a small bike-sharing city. Image: Times Free Press
But local leaders didn’t use these challenges as excuses not to act to improve public health. This city of 170,000 launched the Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System last July, with 30 stations and 300 bikes dispersed around a 2.5-square mile area of downtown. In doing so, little Chattanooga beat larger cities like New York and Chicago to the punch.
“Our purpose with bike-sharing was to put a large amount of cyclists on the street in a short time, to change the dynamic, to improve our air quality, our health and active transportation overall,” said Chattanooga Bike Coordinator Philip Pugliese, at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City last week.

The Cargo Bike: A Vehicle That Will Change Your Life [Momentum Mag]

Francois Bernaudin and his daughters on a Yuba Mundo
Photo by Kamil Bialous
Francois Bernaudin is ready for a ride on the Yuba Mundo with his daughters Louanne (very back) and Eléa near Vancouver, BC’s Commercial Drive.
I started using a cargo bike when my roommate let me borrow hers for some errands. I had been stuffing incongruous things: bread, hand-tools, potting soil, into a swollen backpack, acting as if it was bottomless. It wasn’t, and the seams burst one day, my possessions erupting all over the street.

I started with short jaunts to the store to fetch feed for my chickens. Initially it was a little awkward. The thing felt as long as a canoe, and its center of gravity was low. Pushing off took some getting used to, but once I got my balance and figured out the gearing, I was fine. Since then, I’ve hauled away curbside furniture and carried plants from a local nursery, as well as trekking my roommate’s daughter to the grocery store and back.
I’ve noticed that they’re becoming more ubiquitous: I see longtails parked outside co-ops or with kids straddling the platform on the back. I sometimes get stuck behind a B-Line, an urban cargo bike delivery service, crossing the Hawthorne Bridge. I get coffee at a farmers market at the specially-designed mobile cafe-bike operated by Trailhead Roasters, which was custom designed by Portland bike-builder Metrofiets.

Franklinton CycleWorks Bike School is March 6th.

Franklinton CycleWorks is hosting another round of Bike School beginning March 6th.
The west side’s bicycle cooperative is offering a four week course, totaling 6 hours of classroom time, which will provide participants with a general understanding of bike anatomy/functionality and how to perform common bike repairs. Whether you’re an aspiring mechanic looking for a place to start, or just want to be self-sufficient in basic maintenance, this is the class for you. Class sessions are limited to 12 participants and the total cost is $50. Discounts and partial refunds are available to current volunteers or those committed to volunteering.