Search This Blog

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Art of Yelling @ellyblue | Bicycling

One day, a decade ago, I was riding my bicycle over one of the bridges across the river in the center of Portland when some guy started yelling and pointing at me in a demanding, aggressive way.
I was confused and annoyed. I was working hard to pedal up the hill onto the bridge, focused on my effort and also both proud of and a little nervous about what I was doing—crossing over to the west side of town by bicycle, something I’d done only a few times before. Usually when I ventured downtown it was in a friend’s car or as a passenger on the bus. I didn’t know my way around well yet, and found the wide, one-way streets daunting. I’d had to muster up my courage to make this trip, and now some guy was heckling me. Great.
It wasn’t until I was coasting over the flat part of the bridge that something clicked. My bike felt like it was on springs or shocks, bouncing strangely over every bump in the road. Then I realized what this meant—something that had happened to me only once or twice before—I had a flat tire. The yelling guy had not in fact been harassing me, he’d just been trying to let me know.
Since then I’ve learned a lot, like how to tell that the air in my tires is getting low, much less flat. People don’t usually yell at me anymore either, unless they really think I should be on the sidewalk, or if they’re a friend and they want to say hello. I’ve witnessed plenty of yelling, though, and done a little of it myself—most of which I regret—and learned some things along the way.
[Keep reading at Bicycling]

Friday, August 2, 2013

Kickstarter project wants to turn your bicycle helmet into something from 'Tron' [FastCompany]

Electroluminescense isn't new—hobbyists have toyed with the technology for a while, making everyday objects look like they came straight out of TronPaul Schnieder wants to use it to help make cycling at night a little less dangerous.
Paul's Electroluminescent Helmet Kit, currently on Kickstarter, is based on a simple concept: It adds electroluminescent (EL) strips to the sides and back of motorcycle and bicycle helmets. The result not only gives your helmet that oh-so-hip sci-fi aesthetic, but it can also help increase your visibility as you ride around at night, possibly preventing you from getting hit by a car.

The kit would come with a flexible EL light strip to wrap around your helmet, a battery pack (which attaches to the back of the helmet), and the necessary cables. According to Paul, his goal was to design something that's easy to operate, lasts a long time on a single set of batteries, and stays cool to the touch.
According to the Kickstarter page, the components are relatively easy to come by, which to my eyes gives it a good chance of succeeding as a product—assuming Paul reaches his funding goal, anyway. He's looking to raise $10,000 to purchase the necessary components and work toward designing the next version of the kit, and as of this writing, he's raised $316.

You do have some time if you want to back this project, though—September 5, to be exact. If the Electroluminescent Helmet Kit sounds like something you'd be interested in, visit the Kickstarter project page to find out more.

Helinox Chair One distributed by Big Agnes | YouTube

I will let you know how well this chair works after our next bike camping trip. : ) - Ray

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Handleband | Vimeo

The Handleband from EthicMade on Vimeo.

The Rise of The North American Protected Bike Lane | Momentum Mag

One-Way Protected Cycle Track NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
Courtesy of NACTO
A 3D rendering of a One-Way Protected Cycle Track with planters and parking buffer from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.
There was a time when a narrow stripe of asphalt in Park Slope, Brooklyn, was the most hotly contested ribbon of pavement in the United States. Reams of news coverage were devoted to the battle for this solitary disputed traffic lane: the Prospect Park West bike lane.

Fighting for its removal was a wealthy and influential group of nearby property owners, headed by Iris Weinshall, the wife of US Rep. Chuck Schumer. Meanwhile, on the defense was the full collective strength of America’s largest urban bike advocacy community, headed by Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group with 100,000 active supporters across the city.
The Prospect Park West bike lane was a small part of about 250 miles (400 kilometers) of bikeways that New York City had added over roughly five years, between 2007 and 2012. But most importantly, this space was part of a special class of premium bike infrastructure: a protected bike lane, separated from car traffic by a row of parked cars. That added protection, coupled with beautiful views of the park, transformed what used to be just another traffic-clogged road into one of the most attractive streets to pedal in the city.
The dispute eventually culminated in a lawsuit for the bike lane’s removal. In the end, however, New York City’s bike community prevailed over the “not-in-my-backyard” crowd. Today, the Prospect Park West bike lane stands as a crown jewel in the growing network of bike infrastructure that has helped establish New York as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States.

What's Big With The College Kids? Bike Sharing | Forbes

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio (Photo credit: Dougtone via Flickr)
Hello, Columbus! Bike sharing has come to the home of The Ohio State University, in a new program called CoGo.
The bike sharing system launched Tuesday morning, according to the Columbus Dispatch, with 30 bike sharing locations spread across the city. The program, like many across the United States, is run by the city in conjunction with Alta Bike Share. The city and Alta have a contract that calls for revenues to be split, once operating costs are covered.
CoGo will have 300 bikes, painted in gray and red (the OSU colors) and a price range similar to bike sharing programs in Chicago, Boston and New York. A daily pass costs $6, while an annual membership costs $75. If someone rides off with a bike and doesn’t return it, they’ll be charged $1,200.

Your Chamois: A User's Guide | Bicycling

Myth A chamois is little more than extra cushioning between you and your saddle
Reality Assuming you wear it correctly—i.e., without underwear—a chamois pad not only supports your sit bones, but also prevents chafing by transferring moisture away from your body and moving with you on the seat so your skin doesn't rub.

Myth The thicker the pad, the better.
Reality Your ideal chamois thickness depends on how you sit on the bike. Prefer an upright position? Look for a multithickness pad with extra rear cushioning. If you ride more stretched out, try a pad with even thickness and multidensity foam. Keep in mind that your needs may change over time.

Myth Chamois pads are made from leather.
Reality Before DuPont invented Coolmax in 1986, most cycling inserts were indeed made from animal skin. Riders used chamois cream to keep the leather supple. Today's synthetic pads don't require conditioning, but some cyclists use cream to prevent saddle sores.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Would You Ride a Bike Superhighway? | Mashable

As people become more concerned with conserving the environment and improving our health, bicycle superhighways seem to be the ideal panacea. Encouraging commuters to bike to work instead of drive in a car promotes personal well-being, a greener world and it can even encourage fresh thinking in the workplace.
Below, we outline three cities whose transit innovations are headed in the right direction, promoting healthier transportation options for both the planet and ourselves. Would you commute on a bicycle superhighway if you had one in your city? Let us know in the comments.
Copenhagen, Denmark.
Image: MyLoupe/Universal Images Group via Gettty Images
Copenhagen's Cykelsuperstier is the perfect example of a successfully implemented bike superhighway. Aiming to connect residential areas outside of Copenhagen with educational facilities and job-laden areas, the local governments teamed up to build an expansive system of 26 new bike routes.
The first route opened in April 2012 and connects Copenhagen and Albertslund, a suburb about 10 miles outside of the city. Although more than 80% of Danes have bicycles, cycling habits in Denmark has actually decreased over the last 20 years. However, the cycling within Copenhagen's boundaries has increased — 36% of all trips to places of work or study are taken by bicycle. The goal is to have 20% more riders on the Albertslund route by 2015. If this is achieved, then motorized vehicles in the country would be driving one million kilometers less each year.
In order to entice riders, the developers of the bike superhighway designed a number of strategies to make commuting as easy as possible. Using what they term "green wavetechnology," a cyclist traveling at an average speed of 20km/h should be able to glide through a wave of green lights throughout the city during rush hour, without ever having to stop. That's right, the traffic lights are timed to suit bicyclists, not cars. Furthermore, the city provides footrests to lean on at traffic lights in case you do happen to get stopped, there are tilted garbage cans along the path for easy access to riders, and "conversation lanes" are being developed where two people can ride side by side and talk as they commute to work together.
The Cykelsuperstier is being financed by the Capital Region of Denmark, as well as the 21 local governments that will be connected by the superhighway. The 26 routes are budgeted to cost 413 million Danish kroner (approximately $73.35 million USD) for the basic plan, or 875 million kroner ($155.4 million USD) for the ideal plan. It will cost an average of about $1 million per mile.
The next route to be built will connect Copenhagen with Fureso, a town northwest of the capital, and the developers are experimenting with solar-powered lighting.

Bicyclist's Condition Improving After Being Hit By Truck [10TV]

A bicyclist was taken to Grant Medical Center after being hit by a truck in south Columbus.

Police shut down the intersection at Fairwood Avenue and Marion Road while they treated the victim, but was reopened shortly after the victim was transported to the hospital.

The driver of the pick-up truck did stop at the scene.

Police said the bicyclist is expected to recover.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pedal to the Nettle

Pedal to the Nettle - Digital Edition from Edible Manhattan on Vimeo.

Checking out CoGo, the city's new bike-share program | Dispatch

My first CoGo experience got off to a rough start.
The bike-share station at 3rd & Gay refused to take my credit card. I tried again. No. I tried a third time. No. Is it my card, is it the station?
I went over to the station at Broad & High and … voila … it worked! Thank goodness, otherwise this blog post would have ended right here.
Later, someone from CoGo said there’d been a temporary glitch in the system, which they had fixed, and this is why I couldn’t get my bike at 3rd & Gay.
So, here’s my review of CoGo:cogo3
Getting started. It’s pretty easy and straightforward, although there are a lot of steps to get your day pass/code. First, you have to tell the machine if you want one or two day passes, then you swipe your credit card, hope it accepts it and then follow several prompts, including the one where you agree to pay $1,200 if the bike you rent is stolen. In other words: don’t let your bike out of your sight! It costs $6 for a day pass, which seems a little high.

How to Bike Share - Columbus' bike-share program goes live [Dispatch]

Get the app here:

Why fast pedaling makes cyclists more efficient | Active

Recently we reported that cyclists are usually more efficient on both hills and flat terrain when they pedal quickly (at about 80-85 rpm) rather than at slower cadences.
Now, a new study suggests that the greater efficiency may be related to the rapid rate at which glycogen is depleted in fast-twitch muscle fibers during slow, high-force pedaling.
To determine the actual effects of slow and fast pedaling on leg-muscle cells, scientists at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wyoming asked eight experienced cyclists to cycle at an intensity of 85% V02max for 30 minutes under two different conditions.
In one case the cyclists pedaled their bikes at 50 revolutions per minute (rpm) while using a high gear. In the second case, the athletes pedaled in a low gear at 100 rpm. The athletes were traveling at identical speeds in the two instances, so their leg-muscle contractions were quite forceful at 50 rpm and moderate -- but more frequent -- at 100 rpm.
As it turned out, the athletes' oxygen consumption rates were nearly identical in the two cases, and heart and breathing rates, total rate of power production, and blood lactate levels were also similar.

[Keep reading at Active]

Spotcycle™ helps you get the most out of your bike share system!

Spotcycle™ is a free, fast and smart mobile application that maximizes your bike-sharing experience. Created by 8D Technologies™the brains behind some of the most successful bike-share systems around the world, Spotcycle is one of the handiest apps available on the market.

BIKE stations status and location

  • Locate bike stations on the bike share system.
  • List the ten nearest bike stations.
  • Display the bike and bike dock availability for each bike station.
  • Group stations into favorites for quick access.

CREATE personalized bike routes*

  • Use your smartphone's GPS feature to record and map out your bike route.
  • Annotate points of interest to your bike route.
  • Save your bike routes to your Spotcycle account for later use.
  • Edit your bike routes or add descriptions to them.
  • Add descriptions to your annotations.
  • Class your bike routes and annotations into pre-defined categories.

SHARE your routes

  • Share your saved bike routes with the Spotcycle community and social network via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
  • Or, keep your bike routes private to edit them, and then share them when they're ready!

EXPLORE the city with shared bike routes

  • Ride out bike routes shared by Spotcycle members.
  • Add your own bike routes to the Spotcycle community.
  • Search for bike routes by name, annotations, category or by username.
  • Rate bike routes using the star meter.
  • Try out Top Rated and Top Viewed bike routes from the Top Path tab.
  • Bookmark interesting bike routes to your Spotcycle account and access them from the Bookmark tab.

Key Features


  • Displays bike and bike dock availability at bike stations using pie chart icons.

  • Displays the time of the last update below the title.

  • Search for stations by name, bike or bike dock availability.

    Search for stations by proximity to current location or to a point of interest provided
    by Google Places.

Nearby bike stations

  • Automatically lists the 10 stations closest to your current location, or customize the number of stations to display.

  • Filtered search function automatically lists the 10 stations closest to your current location
    that meet the filter criteria (available bikes, bike docks, or stations); adjusts the list
    dynamically as your location changes.

  • Displays units of measurement in metric or imperial.


  • Create and group your favorite bike stations within a specified radius or by address.

Bike paths

  • Toggle display of bike paths (in supported cities), bike stations or both using the
    layers feature.

Local amenities

  • Optimize biking directions using an address, phone contact's coordinates, your current
    position, a bike station, or a point of interest.

  • Search for local businesses provided by Google Places.

Bike routes

  • Create and save personalized and/or thematic bike routes.

  • Manage and edit your bike routes: annotate points of interest, add descriptions to bike
    routes and annotations.

  • Share bike routes with other members or with your social media community (Facebook, Twitter,
    or e-mail) and try out routes from other members.

  • Review and revise bike routes during and/or after recording. 

Timer and alarm

  • Keep track of your bike rental with a timer and alarm.

Additional Features

  • Search for nearby local businesses, such as restaurants and shops using Google Places.
  • Supports multiple cities.

Customized Display

  • Choose and customize your map views and pins.
  • Customize order of tabs in the Spotcycle tab bar.
  • Supports landscape mode.
  • Available in French and English.


  • Easy email access to Spotcycle support team and to supported bike-sharing schemes for support.