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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why cyclists and drivers hate each other so much | WAtoday

'Dooring' incidents highlight the urgent need for better road rule education for all.


Brighton man Jeff Hunter has come forward to say he regrets his behaviour after opening a taxi door on a cyclist and failing to exchange details.
In the last week I have watched two videos shared on social media of cyclists involved in accidents. The first was from Queensland, it shows a car tail-gating a cyclist and then ploughing them down. The second is from here in Melbourne and offers a helmet-cam view of a woman being "doored" by a man getting out of a taxi; the man then refuses to hand over his details. Both videos quickly made it onto news websites, where the comments section rapidly filled with cyclist outrage and the predictable tit for tat between cyclists and that segment of car drivers and pedestrians who seem to despise cyclists.

The comments section of these articles is pretty typical of any article involving cyclists these days, and seems to be a microcosm of the ever-nastier relationship between many cyclists and drivers. But what really struck me as I read the comments was how many drivers are ignorant of the laws as they pertain to cyclists. For example, many of the commenters didn't appear to know that cyclists have the right to take up a full lane – as the Queensland cyclist was doing before he was run down – or that it is perfectly legal for a cyclist to pass on the left (as long as the car is not indicating left). Equally, the number of passengers who get out of cars in traffic and "door" cyclists on their left is a clear demonstration that they don't realise it is illegal (as is boorishly illustrated by the "gentleman" in the second video).

To me, this makes one thing clear: there needs to be much greater education around cyclists so that people understand the basic road rules. At present there seems to be an ever-growing antipathy between cyclists and drivers, and before it gets too out of control it needs to be contained. If not, it will only amplify as growing traffic problems drive more people onto bikes, and the worsening traffic means evermore frustrated drivers. If drivers understand the road rules, then perhaps it will abate some of the anger they feel when they see cyclists doing things that they perceive as illegal. It will also save lives, because at present many drivers do not see cyclists as their equals on the road, merely as impediments.

[ Read more,  and watch the video on ]

Get Your ex:ride BROMPTON | zotaku

Many cyclists end up owning several bikes. Running out of room? Well, start collecting bicycle models! 

"The Figma blog has been updated with preview images of the ex:ride Brompton you can expect when you purchase the October issue of Hobby Japan magazine. Comes in red and all you have to do is to assemble bike yourself! The bike is foldable, just like a real one!"

[ See it all on ] 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Peugeot B1K Bicycle Concept | thecoolist

Since its invention, the bicycle really hasn’t changed much.  Its basic components remain the same– a pair of wheels, a crank-driven drivetrain, a frame, a seat and some handlebars.  The components themselves have evolved, but the basic song has gone unchanged.  The design team at Peugeot Bikes, however, have created a bike concept so alien to our eyes that change may be on the horizion.  The Peugeot B1K Bicycle Concept takes on the traditional bike format by adding a chain-free drivetrain, removing the down tube and giving it a fierce new design that is as progressive as they come.

[ Read more on ]

A closer look at Oregon's plans for a 'bike pod' network | Bike Portland

A mockup of one of 12 "Deluxe Overnight Bike Pods" Oregon State Parks wants to build across the state.
Looking to take bicycle tourism to the next level — and to solidify the direct connection between bicycling and economic development — Oregon State Parks wants to create a network of covered bike facilities they say will "redefine the cycling experience." The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) call these facilities "bike pods" and "bike hubs" and if all goes according to plan there will eventually be 19 of them throughout the state, with the first one set for construction this summer.

We first reported on the "Bike Pods of Oregon" project a few weeks ago after OPRD submitted a grant application to ODOT's Connect Oregon program. OPRD is hoping to secure $348,000 from the lottery-backed funding program (the pods project will cost a total of $435,000).

Fat fine | Missoula Independent

Back in late January, Bozeman cyclists Bill Martin and Mo Mislivets rolled up to the trailhead leading to the Gallatin National Forest’s Yellow Mule Cabin a few miles south of Big Sky. It was a “beautiful, bluebird day,” Mislivets recalls, and the duo had left their travel options open, stocking the car with both cross country skis and their fat bikes—a bulkier breed of mountain bike with thick tires catered specially for pedaling through snow. The area hadn’t seen fresh snow for several days, leaving the trail up Buck Creek Ridge toward the cabin well-packed by snowmobile traffic.
Martin and Mislivets had been to plenty of U.S. Forest Service cabins, but both Yellow Mule and the Buck Ridge area were new to them. After a quick review of the signs highlighting permitted recreation, they opted to ride the fat bikes in. “Unfortunately,” Martin says, “we chose the wrong weapon of choice.”
Halfway to the cabin, which they’d rented for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, two Forest Service employees on snowmobiles pulled up to Martin. The first seemed genuinely excited to see a fat bike, Martin recalls, and wanted to check it out. But it was the second ranger’s response that sent Martin into shock.

Across America on two-wheels |

Bruce Weber claims that traveling by bicycle isn't "the contemplative, mind-meandering activity that it is generally presumed to be."
And the New York Times writer, whose Life Is a Wheel chronicles his 79-day, 4,122-mile pedal from Astoria, Ore., back to his apartment in Lower Manhattan, has a point: riding 50, 60, 70 miles a day, sometimes on busy blacktops with tractor trailers rocketing alongside, on county roads that suddenly dissolve to gravel, through endless prairies wondering if you're going to a find a place to eat, or sleep, the concerns are more immediate, practical, particular.
But when Weber pulls into a motel for the night, wrings out his sweat-soaked cycling duds and pulls out his iPad, the bigger ruminations start coming. 

[Keep reading at]

$1,000 Bike Helmet Looks Like Cornrows On Steroids

Cornrows? Brains? Multiplying challah bread? Whatever the inspiration, this new helmet by Berlin-based design duo Bless is definitely more intriguing than the usual ugly plastic headgear. The so-called Bless Helmdo will protect your head with what the brand's website calls “fluffy lightweight nylon head braiding." As virtually all helmets are kind of embarrassing-looking, you might as well embrace that fact and wear one that makes you look vaguely like that chick from Alien Vs. Predator--that is, if you're willing to fork over $1,069, the pricetag on this weird little accessory.

The Bless Helmdo is available at Creatures of Comfort here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Make a Mountain Bike Film | Filme von Draussen

Vuact Action Capture | Kickstarter

Vuact Action Capture records video and sensor data and puts the data on the video timeline. You get insight into your performance.
How it all came about...
(Story from Kalle, Vuact's co-founder) A while ago on a bike ride, we stopped to eat some blueberries (yes, while mountain biking). It was a hot sunny day, the moss blanket was comfy and there were plenty of berries under the leaves. We sat for a while, and I half acknowledged a few wasps around us. Then a few more. And more. Until we suddenly realized we were sitting on a wasp nest. Instantly, panic took over both us and the wasps. We were running like mad with the yellow jackets stinging us left and right. When we finally stopped a good five hundred yards later, there were still a number of them hanging on our clothes.
Makes a good story but it would have been even better if it had been captured on video. Not that all of the mountain biking trips are always that eventful but you just can't recreate the crazy afterwards. And you typically don't want to go over hours of video just to find those exhilarating moments.
Meanwhile, we had already been working with video for years before we founded Vuact, a startup aimed to change video viewing experience with audience insights. "Great idea", everybody said but the only problem was the big video producers didn't really care about audience insights. "If only we could gather the data automatically", Mikko was pondering. It hit us then – what would be really valuable and fresh would be combining YOUR video and YOUR data for YOU to watch.

[ Read more at ]

Battleaxe mountain bike features two chains, but very little chain slap | Gizmag

Of all the things that cause wear, tear and noise on a mountain bike, chain slap is certainly one of the most annoying. As its name implies, it occurs when rough terrain causes the chain to be flung up and down, slapping against the chainstay as it does so. While there are things that can be done to minimize it, California-based Cycle Monkey has taken a unique approach – the company has helped to design the one-of-a-kind Battleaxe mountain bike, that features a unique chain slap-unfriendly drive train.
Chain slap can occur on any type of mountain bike, but it's particularly common on full-suspension models. Putting it simply, this is because the swingarm moves up and down relative to the rest of the frame. The cassette moves with that swingarm, taking the back end of the chain up and down with it. The front end of the chain, however, remains in place, joined to the rest of the frame by the chainring. As a result, the chain doesn't always remain parallel to the chainstay, and the two can come into contact.

Working with Idaho's Oxide Cycles, Cycle Monkey developed a two-chain drive train that addresses the problem. One short chain runs from the frame-mounted chainring to a swingarm-mounted gear, then the other longer chain runs from that gear to the rear wheel.

[ Read the rest of the story on ]

Take Action: Bicyclist Safety MUST Be a Priority

Once again, bicyclists have been left out.

This morning, the federal government released a traffic safety proposal that turns a blind eye to the rising number of bicyclist and pedestrians deaths.

Last week, 700 participants at the National Bike Summit visited their members of Congress and asked them to sign on to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act. This critical bill would require the U.S. Department of Transportation establish a specific target to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Months ago, we mobilized bicyclists behind this bill because we knew DOT was unlikely to do this on their own.

Today, unfortunately, we were proven right.

The DOT just issued a proposed national traffic safety goal that doesn't include a specific target or goal for reducing the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed on our roadways.
We know that without a specific target to focus the attention of state DOTs and USDOT on reducing bicyclist and pedestrian deaths within the overall number -- we get lost in the shuffle. At a time when cities like New York and San Francisco are adopting bold targets like Vision Zero, we believe the federal government should be expecting the same thing of themselves and state transportation agencies. 

Please ask your members of Congress to sign on to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act: HR 3494 / S 1708. If you just attended the National Bike Summit, it's the perfect excuse to follow up your meeting with a "Thank you" and a reminder of your request. If you weren't at the Summit, it's a great way to make your voice heard on this important issue. 
Next week, we'll ask for your help in responding directly to the DOT's proposed safety target. Today, please join us in making sure your member of Congress supports a national goal to reduce the number of bicyclists and pedestrians injured and killed on our roads.

Andy Clarke
President, League of American Bicyclists

Click the link below to log in and send your message: 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paris makes its bike share free to cut down on air pollution | Salon

The bad news: Air pollution in northern France has been at a dangerous high for three days running now, with nearly a third of the country’s 22 regions on maximum alert. Concentrations of PM2.5 Thursday in Paris reached 100mg/m3 — four times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization.
The good news: Public transportation is free for the rest of the weekend! Due to ”significant risks to the health of residents,” transport authorities said Thursday, they’re opening access to all non-automobile methods of getting around the city, including both its bike-share system and, for an hour each day, its electric car-share system.
Warm days, cold nights and a lack of wind have contributed to the heavy pollution, RFI reports, which is expected to last through Friday. Since the alert first began, police have been cracking down on drivers, issuing over 16,500 tickets to those who didn’t follow newly lowered speed limits, along with pulling unnecessary municipal vehicles off the roads
The free public transportation is an additional bid to keep city dwellers off the roads. In a best-case scenario, they’ll like it enough to keep going even after the fares are restored.
[ From ]

Californians grow less reliant on cars, survey finds | LA Times

Bicycle riders gather to begin their ride at 1st and Spring streets in downtown Los Angeles in a CicLAvia event. A Caltrans study finds that Californians are using their cars less.
Californians aren't depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans.
Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips, researchers say a decrease in car usage and a rise in walking, biking and taking transit indicate that Californians' daily habits could be slowly changing.
What is happening in California mirrors a nationwide decline in driving, experts say: The number of car miles driven annually peaked about a decade ago, and the percentage of people in their teens, 20s and 30s without driver's licenses continues to grow.
Researchers said the Caltrans findings could help cash-strapped agencies decide how better to allot their transportation dollars.

German Gearbox Makes An NAHBS Splash On Reeb Mountain Bike | BikeMag

The gearbox adds about six pounds to the bike, but that weight’s concentrated around the bike’s crank, making for a fairly well-balanced ride.
The gearbox adds about six pounds to the bike, but that weight’s concentrated around the bike’s crank, making for a fairly well-balanced ride.
Story & Photos By Robert Annis
Crowds usually line up at the Reeb booth at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show for the free Oskar Blues. But this weekend, people were trying to get a closer glimpse at a new gearbox having its unofficial coming out party on American soil.
Reeb is one of the first American companies to incorporate the German-built Pinion gearbox on one of its bikes. The 18-speed gearbox is mounted to a specially modified Reebdonkadonk rigid fatbike frame. The Gates belt drive propels 29-inch wheels mounted with 3-inch-wide Surly Knard tires.

A DIY Approach to Slowing a City's Cars [The Atlantic Cities]

A DIY Approach to Slowing a City's Cars

Liz Patek/Right of Way
At first glance, they look an awful lot like official city speed-limit signs, bold black letters on a white background. "20 Is Plenty," they say.
Look closer, these signs are not NYC DOT issue. First, they're made of plastic, rather than aluminum, and affixed to signposts with zip ties rather than bolts. They are not reflective, the way real street signs are. And at the bottom, in white letters on black, is the logo of the DIY street safety action group Right of Way.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Halfbike, the movie :) from on Vimeo.

DIY Dust Wiper Seal Quick Clean and Lube | Ride Fox

Ride an MTB, or are you running a suspension fork on your street bike? Here's a good DIY on cleaning and lubing the dust wiper seal.

[ Click here to learn how to do it on ]

Bike the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Bike Kentucky Bourbon Trail

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour is not a geographic region or route. It’s a series of Bourbon distilleries tours created by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association in 1999 to showcase our signature industry’s rich history and heritage. We’re pleased to offer bicyclists and others seeking “the route less traveled” an alternative way to experience our legendary distilleries and gorgeous Kentucky landscape – by bicycle.

All three routes are scenic and hilly, traveling on the rural roads of Central Kentucky. For the most part, the roads are lightly traveled and stores or restaurants are generally available every 20 miles or so.We recommend these routes to experienced cyclists, as the terrain can be challenging. We hope you enjoy our routes and look forward to seeing you at our distilleries. (Please note: some distilleries lock their gates at closing–so don’t get caught with your car still on property after hours! And please wear appropriate shoes if you take a tour after you ride–no clip-shoes.)

Three maps and cue sheets are available for you to download and print. Two provide point-to-point directions traveling to all six distilleries. The longer of the two also will take you through historic Harrodsburg and Danville, and by a couple of significant Kentucky historic sites – the Perryville Battlefield and Old Fort Harrod State Park.The other route provides a more direct course focusing primarily on the distilleries.You can use these maps and cue sheets to complete the whole point-to-point tour, or if you want something shorter, you can use them to ride an “out and back” between any of the distilleries – whatever works for you!The third map/cue sheet combination provides a loop tour of Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey and Four Roses. For experienced riders, this option offers a beautiful but challenging ride that you can easily complete in one day.

We are planning safe routes including Town Branch distillery for inclusion in the future.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The History of Scandal in the Tour de France | Sport and Motor

The best cyclists from around the world have taken the stage for the 100th anniversary* of the Tour de France. Glory, prestige, and a hefty paycheck await only the most disciplined and determined athletes. With so much at stake, how far are competitors willing to go to be the first to cross the finish line?
From nails being thrown on the course to thwart racers to Lance Armstrong’s infamous doping charges, cycling’s biggest event has been riddled with scandals conducted by those who would do anything to win.
Take a glimpse into the history of the Tour de France, and the unsportsmanlike conduct that has plagued it since its humble beginnings.

[See more at ]

Haul (Almost) Anything | Bikes At Work

"Our heavy-duty cargo bicycle trailers feature an adjustable length and axle position, tie downs, stake pockets, and much more. They are available in three lengths, two widths, and two weight capacities.

Bikes At Work began in 1991 as a one-person, bicycle-powered local delivery service called "Fresh Aire Delivery Service." We originally started as a grocery delivery service, but eventually grew to providing curbside recycling pickup, newspaper and periodical delivery, local business delivery, and even a pedicab service. We have moved well over one million pounds of cargo by bicycle over the years.
We discovered early on that existing bicycle trailers were inadequate for the types of cargo we were carrying, so we began making our own bicycle trailers to meet our needs. Soon others began asking us to build trailers for them, too, so we started a second company, Fresh Aire Trailer Works, just to manufacture bicycle trailers.
This became confusing, so in 2000 we combined the companies together to form "Bikes At Work", a company devoted to providing bicycle-powered products and services to help people accomplish useful work.
Today, we primarily manufacture heavy-duty cargo bicycle trailers and related equipment in our small workshop in Ames, Iowa, USA."

Transporting produce to market

Enclosed box trailer

On the way to the beach!

[ See more at ]