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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Want to Bike Camp or Tour? Like to DIY? | Make Gear

DIY stove made from cans

DIY bike panniers - cats are optional

DIY soda can stove

DIY tarp tent

"Not only is the price of backpacking gear outrageously high, but it's difficult to find outdoor gear that exactly meets our specifications. Paying high prices for backpacking equipment, especially when it only partially satisfies our requirements, is problematic, to say the least. One alternative is to make your own homemade outdoor gear.

Homemade backpacking and hiking gear. This page is dedicated to those who have done just that and who want to share their process for doing so with other folks."

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Moving to An Area With More Green Space Can Improve Your Mental Health for Years | Smithsonian Mag

There's plenty of evidence for the idea that humans thrive when we have frequent exposure to nature—even when it's just a patch of greenery in the midst of a city's concrete jungle.
Studies have found that, after looking at nature scenes, people are kinder and more charitableThey've suggested that children with ADHD have an easier time concentrating when they spend time outdoors. A 2008 study even found that, for office workers, a mere glimpse of green through a window or a live plant on their desk were, on the whole, associated with lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction.
A new study published last week in Environmental Science & Technology underscores just how important green spaces are for our long-term well-being. When a group of researchers from the UK's University of Exeter looked at five years' worth of mental health data for 1064 participants who moved their residence during the study period, they found that those who moved to urban areas with more surrounding green space showed higher overall mental health scores—meaning that they were happier and had lower levels of anxiety and depression—for the very first year after their relocation compared to the years prior to moving.

Four reasons US business leaders want to import Danish-style cycling | The Guardian

San Francisco urban cycling protected bike lanes
Cyclists on Market Street San Francisco Photograph: People For Bikes
Cities are driving the US economic recovery, and as they do, Americans are getting on their bikes. In 85 of the 100 largest metro areas cycling is increasing. All part of a deeply healthy – and profitable – reshaping of urban economies.
"Cities that invest in biking infrastructure are going to win," predicts Jeff Judge, a Chicago-based digital marketing entrepreneur, who said the presence of on-street protected bike lanes was his number-one factor in assessing a city to locate in. "It's better for business, planning, infrastructure. It's better all round."
After years of battling "the business community" for every inch of road space, many cycling advocates seem disoriented by the idea they might now be on the same side. But from Denver to Memphis, some of the loudest voices for a move toward Danish-style protected cycling infrastructure are those who sign the paychecks. In last month's report (PDF) for US non-profit People For Bikes, which I co-authored with Mary Lauran Hall of the Alliance for Biking and Walking, we outlined four reasons why:

Protected bike routes increase retail visibility and sales volume per parking space

1886 Pausey Pioneer Cross-Frame Safety | THE ONLINE BICYCLE MUSEUM

1886 was the first year of cross-frame safeties and this bicycle is delightfully basic

The Ivel was the second cross-frame to be patented, in April 1886

Herbert Pausey manufactured ordinaries between 1879 and 1886 and, from around 1887 he traded as Pausey & Co at 52 Park Rd, Clapham.

He patented a number of innovative devices, including a bicycle that could be converted into a tandem.

One of his 1885 Pioneer Safety models had spring-loaded steering; another model was the ’Pioneer Direct-Steerer Racer’ tricycle; while the 1886 ‘Pioneer Portable Direct-Steering Racer’ could be disassembled and packed into a canvas bag.

His 1889 ‘Pioneer Safety’ had a divided diamond frame.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Melons, Trucks & Angry Dogs - Episodes 1, 2, 3 and Final

Three Continents, 14 Countries, 11,000 Miles, 102 Days: a Q&A with Adventurer Reza Pakravan | Gates Carbon Drive Systems

Reza Pakravan pictured with children he met on his journey 
Reza Pakravan is one tough cyclist. In 2013, he pedaled 11,000 miles (18,000 km) from the Arctic Circle down the length of the planet to southernmost Africa. The journey took 102 days–approximately 107 miles per day for more than three months.  Accompanied by cyclist Steven Pawley, Reza endured incredible hardships: malaria and food poisoning, torrential rains, blistering desert temperatures, dehydration, heat stroke.  Why? To raise money for schools in one of Africa’s poorest nations.

The so-called Kapp to Cape ride (named for the starting point in Nordkapp, Norway, and the finish line in Cape Town, South Africa) was dangerous and difficult, but one aspect was painless: Reza’s bike. He rode one of the world’s finest touring and trekking bikes, a Koga Signature World Traveler with a Rohloff internally geared hub and Gates Carbon Drive. Incredibly, he completed the 11,000-mile journey on one belt. No maintenance, cleaning or lubrication required.

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In One London Neighborhood 'Armadillos Boost Cycling Uptake | Core77

0armadillos-01.jpg Here in NYC, it's against the law to block bike lanes with your car. Then again it's also against the law to murder people, and we haven't quite got a hold on that one either. Ironically, the place I most often see the bike lane law skirted is down by the NYC Supreme Court Building, which has "The True Adminstration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government" inscribed in its cornice; the opposite side of the street is a dangerous obstacle course of double-parked vehicles completely blocking the bike lane. One solution for preventing cars from entering bike lanes is the Armadillo, a design put forth by bicycle infrastructure company Cyclehoop. Made from 100% recycled PVC and covered in reflective stripes, these cat-sized lumps are spaced such that cyclists can enter or exit lanes mid-stream as needed, and are large enough to serve as a deterrent to driving a car over (though emergency services vehicles can of course traverse them in a pinch).

[Keep reading at Core77]

Gravel roads catch on with cyclists roughing it | The Columbian

EUGENE, Ore. — Donnie Kolb has been organizing gravel bicycle rides for the past five years.
Usually keeping his events a bit on the down-low — Kolb's outings are unsupported, unsanctioned, have no entry fee and crown no winner — the Portland lawyer typically sees about 100 riders show up for his "bikepacking" adventures after posting the GPS coordinates of the route and a "We're doing this on Saturday morning" message on his website, Last year, his Dalles Mountain 60, a 60-mile single-day ride on gravel and dirt roads on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the Columbia River near The Dalles, attracted about 200 cyclists, most yet for a VeloDirt ride.
"The longer they are," Kolb says about his rides, "fewer people show up."

Bixi’s former partners become key competitors |

Bixi’s former partners become key competitors

8D Technologies, which developed technology for solar-powered parking meters and the software used for Bixi in Montreal, has partnered with Alta Bicycle Share to create a new bicycle-share service that would compete with Bixi. Isabelle Bettez, left, president and CEO of 8D Technologies (seen with her brother Jean-Sebastien Bettez, Chief Technological Officer) says the company has tried repeatedly to repair its relationship with Bixi despite the two companies suing each other after 8D refused an offer from Bixi to purchase all the rights to its software.


MONTREAL — Software helped propel Bixi to early success, then sent it crashing into bankruptcy protection.
Now, 8D Technologies — the Montreal company that made the original Bixi software but had a falling out with Bixi — is suddenly a key player in the bike-sharing world and has emerged as a potential buyer of Bixi’s assets.
On Monday, as news spread that Bixi had laid off its interim CEO and 11 other employees, 8D and Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, Ore., another company with ties to Bixi, announced they were forming an alliance to sell bike-sharing systems to cities around the world.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

These Maps Redraw Cities Based On How Long It Takes To Get Around Without A Car | fastcoexist

How much time will it take to reach point X by foot or public transit? That's the question that these elegant maps try to answer. Rather than plug in addresses on Google Maps, you simply click on a point and see a heat-map visualization from your current location. Red means 10 minutes. Yellow means 20 or 30 minutes. Green and blue take a bit longer.The maps were developed by Andrew Hardin, a graduate student at the University of Colorado.
Here is San Francisco:

Ode to a Stolen Bike | Elephant Journal

I’ve had a few bikes stolen in my life, and each time it sucks big time!
In high school I spent my life savings from mowing hundreds of lawns and bought a metallic purple Trek 8000.
I will never forget the excitement that I felt the day—I was over the moon!  I rode that bike all over town, every day after school and on every weekend.  It gave me my first sense of freedom: of being able to travel outside the borders of my neighborhood. It instilled a sense of adventure and exploration that has fueled my life ever since.

Duzer Across America-3,000 miles in ten minutes!

Infinity Seat

[Infinity Cycling]

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

NEMO Nocturne 15 Spoon shape sleeping bag

Can't Choose Between Biking or Roller Blading? Now You Don't Have To | Gizmodo

The Segway opened the floodgates for countless personal mobility devices, with designs that range from conservative to downright crazy. And the Aeyo—a cross between a scooter, a bicycle, and a pair of inline skates—falls somewhere in the middle of that scale.

The Aeyo is ridden in a standing position like a scooter, but instead of kicking off the ground or pedaling for propulsion, your feet are strapped into a pair of what look like inline skates, which are attached to the rest of the contraption with a pair of articulated legs. So a simple skating motion gets the Aeyo rolling, while steering and braking come courtesy of its handlebars.

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Arkel Dry-Lites - 14 oz per set

At 420gr, these are truly the ultimate waterproof light & fast touring saddle bags. Stand alone use, or combined with any trunk bag. Perfect match with Arkel's Tailrider.

• Featherweight 14 oz / 420 grams for the set! 
• Volume for the set: 32 litres / 1952 32 litres
• Waterproof roll-top design
• Ultralight horizontal stays kept bags clear of the wheel
• Reflectors on all sides for safety
• Built-in handle or optional shoulder strap
• Rolls tight for easy storage
• Dimensions per bag: 14.5” X 11” X 5.5” / 37cm X 28cm X 14cm
• Compact rolled size 15” X 4” X 2”

" I had the pleasure of testing the Dry-Lites in the perfect setting. The French "Route des Grandes Alpes" from Nice to Albertville is the exact terrain and conditions these fully waterproof and featherweight bags were designed for.A full set of evening clothes, including light shoes, rain gear, warm jacket, tablet all fit in the Dry-Lites. The rest of the quick access stuff and the occasional bottle(s!) of wine, fit in the perfectly matching TailRider trunk bag. Coupling the TailRider with the Small Handlebar Bag to carry my SLR camera, was all I needed to ride the challenging route across the Alps. We stayed in small hotels along the way. On day loops, we left either the TailRider or the Dry-Lites at the hotel depending on weather. In short, the available volume combined with the feather weight of the Dry-Lites truly make them the Formula One of bike travel bags." Paul, Arkel Owner and long-time cycle tourist.

Arkel Owner Paul McKenzie cycle touring in France
Arkel Owner Paul McKenzie cycle touring ultralight - France 2013

Domino's Pizza Safe Sound

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Joe's Great Adventure: Parts 1, 2, and 3

Bike Touring Lesotho | Pedaling Nowhere

Bike Touring Lesotho (part 1): Lesotho, Sesotho, Basotho
From the bustling South Africa coastal town of Port Elizabeth we hopped a bus and overnighted directly North to the border city and capital of the tiny landlocked country of Lesotho. From Maseru we began a eleven day journey across the ‘Kingdom of The Sky’.
Lesotho is an extremely small country completely surrounded by South Africa. One would think that Lesotho would be a miniature replicate of its surrounding giant, but that is not at all the case. Upon crossing the border we immediately felt as if we had entered a different Africa. The English language no longer gets us very far, poverty is far more evident, and, when in public, we are definitely quite the spectacle.
About half of our trek across the country was on the tarred central road that careens over the mountains and crosses massive passes with names such as God Help Me. The other half of our time was spent on an extremely rugged dirt road odyssey through a remote mountainous portion of the country that culminated with a 5,000 ft descent down the legendary Sani Pass. Here are details and photos from the first half of the passage (stay tuned for part 2 which I will preface as one of the most magical rides of my touring career):

New York Fights to Set Its Own Speed Limits | Atlantic Cities

New York Fights to Set Its Own Speed Limits
Courtesy of Liz Patek/Flickr

One of the strangest quirks of New York law is that city officials can't actually regulate speed on the city's streets. The right to set the speed limit rests almost entirely in Albany with the state legislature, a stubborn reality that has long blocked efforts to slow traffic on pedestrian-filled thoroughfares.
Now, advocates and elected officials are mounting a serious push to change that. New bills introduced in the state Assembly and Senate would give the New York City Council the power to reduce the speed limit by 10 mph on residential streets.
Currently, the limit on these streets is 30 mph, except where marked. It can't be lowered by more than five mph, except in school zones or with physical traffic-calming measures like speed bumps (the city has also designated a couple of special "slow zones").

The Fastest Face-Down, Head-First, Human-Powered Vehicle | PopSci

Graeme "The Flying Dutchman" Obree's Beastie Bike

Graeme Obree doesn’t own a car. And why would he? The Scottish racing cyclist built a bike in his kitchen that can travel at highway speeds. Last year, it even broke a world record. 

Obree is no cycling novice. In 1993, he broke the world record for distance biked in an hour: He cycled 32 miles in 60 minutes on a closed track. Another cyclist broke the record later that year, but in 1994 Obree reclaimed the title. “Winning is almost like a drug you keep needing more of,” he says.

So Obree kept competing. And after winning two races in 2007, at age 42, he gained the confidence to try something few people had ever attempted: to build the planet’s fastest human-powered vehicle. It would have to exceed 82.819 mph, a record set in 2009 on a recumbent (feet-first, face-up) bike.

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How LED Streetlights Will Change Cinema (And Make Cities Look Awesome) | Gizmodo

How LED Streetlights Will Change Cinema (And Make Cities Look Awesome)
The announcement last year that Los Angeles would be replacing its high-pressure sodium streetlights—known for their distinctive yellow hue—with new, blue-tinted LEDs might have a profound effect on at least one local industry. All of those LEDs, with their new urban color scheme, will dramatically change how the city appears on camera, thus giving Los Angeles a brand new look in the age of digital filmmaking. As Dave Kendricken writes for No Film School, "Hollywood will never look the same."

Monday, February 3, 2014

City of Cleveland Awarded $10,000 Through IMBA Bike Park Initiative | IMBA

For Immediate Release 2/3/2014
Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115
The City of Cleveland, Ohio, has been selected to receive up to $10,000 in assistance to develop new bike facilities at Kerruish Park. Key partners include IMBA Chapter Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) and Cleveland Metroparks.
"I would like to thank IMBA for their partnership and belief in the Kerruish Park project,” said Terrell H. Pruitt, Cleveland’s Ward 1 Councilman. “The idea of developing an outdoor mountain bike park in the city of Cleveland, and providing recreational access to this neighborhood is a significant game changer for our community. I look forward to taking this concept and making it a reality."
The Bike Park Initiative is an IMBA-led project designed to foster the development of world-class bike park facilities across the United States. Developed in partnership with the SRAM Cycling Fund and People for Bikes, the Bike Park Initiative identifies promising U.S. municipalities and provides them with strategic and technical assistance to create outstanding mountain bike facilities.
The Bike Park Initiative will provide up to $10,000 in planning and design services per grant, to be matched by cash from the applicant. The total of $20,000 will be used to create a conceptual site plan and report for the proposed bike park. The funds will also be used to advise the applicant on the unique aspects of constructing and maintaining a bike park, including working with the local mountain bicycling community. The intent of this effort is to get high-quality projects initiated through professional design assistance so that the applicant, in conjunction with IMBA’s advocacy network, can quickly proceed through permitting and toward construction.
“CAMBA and IMBA are excited to support this project by bringing together a passionate network of volunteers and riders to help create a vision for what will be a world class facility,” said Andy Williamson, IMBA’s region director for the Great Lakes territory. “It’s a great move to involve CAMBA from the earliest planning stages, as these local advocates will ensure that this facility will receive continuous care and support for years to come.”
In addition to the Cleveland project, IMBA, the SRAM Cycling Fund and People for Bikes are actively developing bike facilities in other U.S. cities. For example, in Chicago, Illinois, the SRAM Cycling Fund and IMBA Trail Solutions have been working collaboratively with the Chicago Park District and Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBR) on the initial planning for the Big Marsh Bike Park.

2014 Ridgetop Ramble Sunday, February 9th @SwallowBicycle #letsride

Get off your trainers and pull out your gravel-grinding machine of choice! This is a rain or shine bicycle ride on gravel roads through Shawnee State Forest on Sunday, February 9.  
Ride Details
Date and Time: February 9, at 10AM.
Ride Start Location: Click here.
Lodging: Click here.
We have two route options in store for this year’s Ridgetop Ramble, so whether you are in the mood for an all day adventure with challenging terrain and elevation, or simply a tour on the premier gravel and paved roads throughout the park, there is something for everyone. Don’t be fooled, Shawnee State Forest is not your stereotypical “Ohio plain land,” all riders should come prepared with their climbing, descending, bike handling skills, and enough endurance for 4-7 hours on the bike. 
Advanced Route: This is a 62-mile route with 7,200 ft of climbing. The terrain consists of gravel roads, bridle trails, double-track, and paved roads. GPS Link: Click here (is subject to change). 
Intermediate Route: This is a 42-mile route with 4,500 ft of climbing. The terrain consists of gravel and paved roads. GPS Link: Click here(is subject to change).
This is a “choose your own adventure” ride organized to bring together a group of like-minded cyclists to ride some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in Ohio. Everyone willing to take on the journey will be given a map and a cue sheet. We encourage folks to participate in any way they would like, whether that is riding with the group, or tackling the ride with a friend. The adventure lies within the challenge of navigating the route, conquering the terrain and supporting yourself with the supplies you need to complete the ride.
*Note to riders: This is a self-supported ride, meaning we are not providing any sag or support. You will be responsible for anything that may happen to you or your bike on the ride. It is also up to you to complete the ride whether you can keep up with a group or have to ride by yourself. If this makes you nervous, consider visiting some of our self-sufficient rider courses (starting January 26!) and train up for our next ride! 
There are also no opportunities to refuel on food and water along these routes. There is also very limited cell service and GPS is sometimes unreliable. Focus on your map, ride within you limits, and be safe!
While this is a free opportunity to ride, we will require that every rider wears a helmet, and fill out some basic emergency contact info. 
Rental Demo Program: We have a selection of Salsa and Surly bicycles available for rent for this event. Call the shop today to make your reservation! 513-MUD-BIKE (683-2453).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Beer Run!

2012 Interbike Industry Breakfast - John Burke Speech

Cargo Bike Commuting PechaKucha

Cargo Bike Commuting PechaKucha from Robert Kalm on Vimeo.

Reinventing The Bike Rack With Flexible Rubber

Who says you have to lock a bike to metal? The Loop is a new rack that won't scratch up your nice new ride--and it looks pretty cool, too.

There are dozens of designs for bike racks, from David Byrne’s typography-inspired shapesin Brooklyn to old parking meters that have been chopped off and converted for cyclists. But they all tend to have one thing in common: They’re almost always made in steel. Designers from The Federal, a design consultancy in Ottawa, Canada, decided to try something different with the Loop, a flexible rack made from rubber.
Rather than starting with the problem of redesigning bike racks, the designers started by looking at a material they had--a new type of rubber--and wondering what they could do with it. “Once we have a new material in hand, we start exploring new applications,” says Ian Murchison, co-founder of The Federal. “We look at industries that are typically dominated by one type of material, one single function.”
Continue reading at FastCompany