Search This Blog

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bike trips across Ohio built for two | Dispatch

Soybean rows line both sides of the road, with a forested line of hills to the left. 

At midmorning on a Saturday, a slight breeze rustles the tall weeds in the ditches — and the bicycling feels good again. 

My husband, Joe, and I flirt with the improbable conclusion that we stayed in shape during the winter. 

We’re training for Pelotonia, the summer bike tour that raises money for cancer research. 

We’re of a certain age, the age at which we refer to ourselves as being of a certain age, and we need to train for almost everything we do. 

These hills make a good start. 

On our two bicycles, we form a unit of sorts. We always ride single file — Joe in front and me behind. 

Joe has a great sense of direction, so he leads and I follow, with a small blinking “ taillight” attached to a vent in my helmet. 

He has the rain jackets in his larger bike bag, and I keep the cellphone and glasses cleaner in my jersey pockets. 

He carries the bike pump, and I have the ibuprofen. 

He sets the pace, and I remember where we passed that ice-cream stand. 

I take charge of historical markers, and he waits until I read them. 

The road turns upward, and we settle into the slow, heavy cadence of hill climbing. 

Queen is stuck in my head: “We will, we will rock you, boom, boom-boom, boom” — just that part, again and again. 

This road is a heartbreaker: At the top, it doglegs to reveal another rise. 

Our heads go down, and we hear each other clicking down through the gears until we reach the lowest. All we hear then is our own breathing. 

One last rise, and we stop at a shady spot under a large tree. I pull sunblock out of Joe’s bike bag and hand him a granola bar, slightly wilted, from my bag. 

This is the pivoting point of our ride.  [Keep reading at Dispatch]

Pedal Pushers: How Art Museums Are Promoting Bike Culture | ARTNews

Even for Portland, Oregon, it was the perfect storm: a major bike collection was opening at the Portland Art Museum while the city was hosting the World Naked Bike Ride.
And that’s how a thousand nearly naked people, who paid a discounted admission price of $1 for every item of clothing they wore, came to see “Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design,” a selection of 40 bikes owned by Vienna-based designer Michael Embacher, when it premiered at the museum early last month.
Aside from the nudity, the event resembles much of the bike-related programming art museums are developing these days: It showcases the bicycle as an object of design, as well as personal expression. It reaches out to non-traditional museum audiences. It rewards visitors for using alternative transportation. And it’s packing in the crowds. More than 20,000 people have visited the show already, says museum director Brian J. Ferriso. “Communicating that objects of great design are in our world every day opens up a door of accessibility that’s very important to an art museum,” he says.Only in Portland? Maybe just for now.

Hula Cam At Venice Beach | GoPro

More bikes, more tickets | Columbus Dispatch

Columbus police have cited bicyclists more than 800 times in the past 18 months for violations, including riding on sidewalks, parking illegally and not having required reflectors or lights.Those don’t include general traffic-code violations, such as running red lights or stop signs.The number will go higher. Hundreds of new bicycles — and likely some new riders — will hit Columbus streets this month when the CoGo Bike Share program launches.
“I think bicyclists forget they’re part of the traffic pattern and they have to obey the rules of the road,” said Lt. Brent Mull of the Columbus police traffic bureau.
In all, there were 826 violations of the city’s bicycle code, which includes some moped and motorcycle rules as well, according to Franklin County Municipal Court.

A Miami Ice Cream Cart Gets Sweet Revenge With Po-Po Pops! | Huff Post

2013-07-22-AMiamiIceCreamCartGetsSweetRevengeWithPoPoPops.jpgTime spent in jail sends a person into deep reflection; inspiring ways to better yourself or a situation. Well 26-year-old Aleric "AJ"Constantine has done just that. Even though he only spent around 24 hours in prison, every minute was put to good use devising a very sweet revenge. He was arrested on June 28th, 2013 for serving ice cream without a license... yes seriously that is what he was arrested for. AJ rigged a hybrid refrigerator-bike for his artisanal ice cream to sell during the Critical Mass bike race in Miami.

[Keep reading at Huff Post]

Friday, July 26, 2013

Shared Bike Lanes Cause Confusion For Cyclists, Motorists And Traffic Officers |

LOS ANGELES ( — Shared, or so-called “sharrow”, lanes meant to make traveling safer for cyclists and motorists are causing confusion on the road.
Wes Hijh told CBS2/KCAL9′s Amy Johnson he was driving his bike in West Hollywood Tuesday morning when he was approached by a L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The 30-year-old was wearing a helment camera at the time and posted a video of the encounter on YouTube.
“He just pulled up alongside me and started talking to me and told me I needed to be farther to the right. [I] pointed out that I was riding along the sharrow, which – based on my own research and reading of the laws and why they are there – that is where I’m supposed to be riding for my safety,” he said.

[Keep reading at]

How Biking Saves Me $10,000 a Year | Yahoo Finance

"It must have been your fault. C'mon. You are a biker." | Greater Greater Washington

Getting in a crash is one of the scariest things that can happen to a cyclist. Even worse is when police assume that bicyclists are always at fault, even if they've got evidence to the contrary.

The crash about to happen. Photo captured from MPD surveillance video.
On a pleasant March morning in 2011, I was on my way to work, biking south on 14th St NW in the center of the right lane. As I approached W Street, I looked to make sure I had ample time to cross. The light was green. As I left the intersection, an SUV driver made a left turn across traffic, directly into my path. All I could do was hit the brakes hard.
The next thing I knew, I was on my back in the middle of the street. I tried to sit up, but failed pathetically and landed back on the road. My glasses were in a mangled heap nearby. Seconds later, some cyclists stopped by. None had seen the collision, but they locked my bike at the scene and helped me to a safe place. Someone called an ambulance, which showed up a few minutes later.
In the ambulance, Carlos Carter, a DC police officer, asked me what happened, and I told him. Once the EMTs realized I had hit my head, it was straight onto a backboard and off to the emergency room.
At George Washington University Hospital, an X-ray found that my shoulder was separated and several ligaments were torn. Doctors took me to a CAT scanner to check for broken bones.
During the test, Officer Carter entered the room. He asked me to sign a ticket for running a red light. I asked him to take a look at footage since I was certain I hadn't. He wasn't interested and asked me to sign the ticket and admit fault. I didn't. He left.

Belle Vernon, West Newton Rotary Clubs foot bill for picnic shelters on trail | TRIBLive

Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Matt Terchick of the West Newton Rotary; Betsy Manderino, vice president of the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter; and Sam Cover, president of the Belle Vernon Rotary (from left) stand next to one of six new covered picnic tables along the Youghiogheny River Trail.

To support the Youghiogheny River Trail, a part of the Great Allegheny Passage, two local Rotary clubs donated six covered picnic tables available for the public's use.
The wooden tables, made with pressure-treated lumber and a shingled roof, were built and installed along the trail over the past several weeks, said Bob Hand, president of the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter.
The Belle Vernon Rotary donated $2,000 for four tables; the West Newton Rotary donated $1,000 for two tables.
“Our Rotary, Belle Vernon, is trying to partner with Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter because we think it's a great thing for the community, for young families to be able to go out and walk and see the nature,” said Sam Cover, club president and a trail chapter member. “That's a beautiful area, and it doesn't cost them anything.”
The benches are located between mile-markers 31 and 41 on the trail through Westmoreland County.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cycling in the US from a Dutch perspective

'No place for cars' in the cities of the future | The Times

  • Proposals drawn up by Lord Rogers of Riverside in 1986 showing how the Embankment along the River Thames could be turned into a public park Richard Rogers Partnership
There will be a widespread ban on cars in London within the next 20 years, according to one of Britain’s leading architects, who has called for cities to be designed for pedestrians and cyclists rather than for traffic.
The prediction from Lord Rogers of Riverside — who was behind the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the National Assembly Building in Cardiff and the Lloyd’s Building in London — comes as cities around the country consider restricting access for cars in their centres.
Lord Rogers predicted that small electric vehicles would become commonplace across the country and said that increasing the number of cyclists will solve the capital’s congestion problems. “By the year 2033 — my 100th birthday — you’re looking at a widespread ban on cars, certainly in the centre of town,” he said. “There will be a major change in the power and form of cars everywhere, with electric rickshaws and devices that resemble Segways a common sight.”

MIT Is Making a Road Frustration Index to Measure Stresses of Driving (Video) | WNYC

Kael Greco, MIT Researcher, monitors his own stress levels as he takes a test drive around the Boston area. (Courtesy of MIT Sensible Cities Lab)
Driving is stressful. To MIT researcher Kael Greco, piloting an automobile falls somewhere on the anxiety scale above giving a class presentation and below sky diving but just barely. 
Those are the initial findings of a trial for what will become the Road Frustration Index, a plan from the MIT SENSEable Cities Lab and Audi to measure the stress of driving in 30 cities.
"Intuitively we all understand that driving is stressful, but it was surprising to see how high," he said referring to the results of nine preliminary tests where he and others were wired up with a variety of stress sensors as they cruised around the Boston area. 
Greco is a graduate student at MIT and the first guinea pig for the stress sensors. He took an early morning drive around the Boston area—suspensfully documented in a slick video below—and monitored his anxiety with cameras, sweat meters, and a Microsoft Kinect. 


DRAGONSKIN from Becker Schmitz on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

why are ladies are buying vibrating bike seat covers? | Daily Mail Online

We are always being told to incorporate more exercise into our daily routines - and cycling to work is an excellent way of doing so. 
And if you were reluctant to hit the pedals before, a new gizmo could provide all the incentive you need to get on your bike. 
A firm has launched the Happy Ride - a vibrating seat cover that will make journeys by bicycle that bit more exciting. 
The inconspicuous gadget slips over the seat of a bike and incorporates 'vibration stimulation’ as you ride.
10 per cent of adults now cycle at least once a week, now the Happy Ride seat will no doubt encourage a few more to embrace two wheels...
10 per cent of adults now cycle at least once a week, now the Happy Ride seat will no doubt encourage a few more to embrace two wheels...
Manufactured with a padded lining and black nylon fabric outer surface the cover, which houses a powerful vibrator, is designed to fit all seats.

5 tarp shelter setups with a 3x3 tarp | YouTube

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The bicycle is an ingenious mobility device. It gets you from A to B and lets you observe your surroundings at a leisurely pace.
It is usually lightweight, and it provides an intimate visual, aromatic, and auditory connection to the world around you. In dense urban environments, riding a bicycle for short distances is often faster than traversing the same distance via car.
While the bicycle has many virtues, it also prompts people to go overboard. It’s often lauded as the transportation of tomorrow and the savior of cities. It is not. It is called transportation. It is not. That’s because the bicycle is not, strictly defined, a transport device. Ever try to carry a watermelon on a bicycle? (Yes, it can be done, but how much else could you carry?)
The bicycle is a biomechanical device that depends on the rider for balance and propulsion. It therefore operates under rigid limitations: the physical condition (and therefore age) of the rider, seasons and weather conditions, and terrain. If bicycles are used for multilane travel, particularly in urban context, their riders are seriously endangered. Cars making right turns are a particular threat.
Today, there is an almost messianic insistence that bicycles should be a part of the urban transit mix. Bicycle marathons in cities tie up traffic to celebrate liberation from the automobile...

Jump the Tour de France 2013 | Vimeo

Saut au dessus du Tour de France 2013 from EnchoRage on Vimeo.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The importance of taking the lane around a blind curve with the presence of parked cars | YouTube

Girls Ride - PARIS AMSTERDAM 2013

Girls Ride - PARIS AMSTERDAM 2013 - Le d├ępart ! from Renaud Skyronka on Vimeo.

The Marginalization of Bicyclists |

Image 01

Dan Gutierrez, who helped write this article, took the video from which these snapshots are taken. In the left photo, Dan's colleague Brian DeSousa is riding close to the curb in the right-hand lane of a multilane arterial. That position invites motorists to pass him within the lane, and sure enough, one does. On the right Brian is in a lane controlposition, which tells motorists they need to change lanes to pass.

How the car lane paradigm eroded our lane rights and what we can do to restore them

Not long ago I was riding in the middle of the right-hand (slow) lane on a 4-lane urban street with parallel parking and a 25 mph speed limit. I had just stopped at a 4-way stop when the young male driver of a powerful car in the left lane yelled at me, “You aint no f***ing car man, get on the sidewalk.” He then sped away, cutting it close as he changed lanes right in front of me in an attempt, I suppose, to teach me a lesson.
That guy stated in a profane way the world view of most people today: If you can't keep up, stay out of the way. My being in the right-hand lane and therefore “in his way” violated his sense that roads in general and travel lanes in particular are only for cars, a viewpoint that I call the car lane paradigm. The car lane paradigm conflicts with the fact that in every state of the union, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of vehicles.
So which is it? Do bicyclists have the same right to use travel lanes as other drivers or not? Before lanes existed, bicyclists simply acted like other drivers. But now that travel lanes are common, most people grow up with the car lane paradigm with bicyclists relegated to the margins of the road. This article goes into the history of how the car lane paradigm came to be and what we can do about it now.
Reading this is going to take a while, so here is an outline of where we're going:
  • 1897: In the beginning, bicycles were vehicles and bicyclists were drivers
  • 1930: Bicycles are not vehicles
  • 1911 – now: Lane lines are invented and become common
    • Oops, the inventors of lane lines forgot about bicycles
    • “Slower Traffic Keep Right” or “Slower Traffic Use Right Lane”?
    • What does the “or” in “right-hand lane or as close as practicable to the right” mean?
    • Do speed and might mean that travel lanes are actually “car lanes”?
  • 1944: If you can't keep up, you don't belong (in the lane)
  • 1968: Motorcyclists, but not bicyclists, are entitled to full use of a lane
  • 1975: Bicycles once again defined as vehicles, but still not entitled to use of a full lane
    • Exceptions to the law requiring bicyclists to ride far right are better than nothing, right?
  • Now: No room on the road for bicycles
    • Bicycles at the far right and laned roads are incompatible
    • What do we do now?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What The F@&% Were They Thinking Wednesday – Specialized Epic 29er | Drunkcyclist

With all the Tour coverage going on, it’s odd that a large bike company may pick these three weeks in July to release the most recent version of a mountain bike line.  Why not wait a couple more weeks for all the Tour hoopla to die down, then get all the media attention you want of your new fancy projects?  Or maybe the new version of a product line is completely fucked out, and you know it will be ridiculed by the public.  That’s what I think happened with the new Specialzed Epic 29er line released earlier this week.

Before I go balls deep into this new Specialized Epic 29er, I just want to chime in that it appears that fatbikes are officially the new fixies.  Now that Specialized is making their own fatbike (to capitalize hand over fist once again), the fatbike has become an accessory.  I hope the guys from SurlySalsa616, etc ride their collective asses over to that beacon of deuche Specialized calls a home office, and kick the company in the collective balls.  Now onto the new Epic 29er line.  I wish I could forgive Mr. LVB from VeloSnooze for writing the article and taking the pictures as an arm of the Specialized Marketing Co., but I can’t.  I would like to think I can call Logan a friend (although maybe not after this writing), and I understand that he is just doing his job.  But every word printed seems like it was written with the Specialized PR Person reading over his shoulder, making sure he hit all the high points without saying anything negative.

Whiskeydrome at Apple Blossom 2011

DC's Bikestation | Travel Channel