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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Solar FREAKIN' Roadways!

Bike Share’s Rough Ride | NY Times

IT’S been a year since Citi Bike started in New York City, and the program has been a tremendous success, with more than 100,000 annual members and over seven million trips to date. Or, if you prefer, in Citi Bike’s first year, the program has struggled financially and is in urgent need of tens of millions of dollars.
Both are true, so take your pick.
The story of bike share in New York City has been one of contradiction and antagonism, even before its inception:
“$10 to ride a bike? That’s for rich people!”
“A bike share station in front of my building? How is the doorman supposed to hail me a cab?”
By the time the program was ready to roll, the calamitous prognostications came pell-mell. This town’s too tough for bike share! The streets would run red with the blood of hapless tourists and the helmetless! All 6,000 bikes would be stolen by America’s most industrious bike thieves!
None of these predictions came to pass. In our egotistic frenzy, we had forgotten a few things, such as that the average person can ride a bike just fine, tourists aren’t as hapless as we think they are and bike thieves aren’t interested in stealing big, clunky bikes equipped with GPS trackers. We had assumed a kind of New York exceptionalism, when similar bike share programs were already running successfully in Paris, London and Washington. [Keep reading at NY Times]
CreditOscar Bolton Green

DC Beer Crit 2014

DC Beer Crit 2014 from on Vimeo.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Orbit City Bikes is Columbus' electric bike store #letsride

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Contact: Tom Bennett 614.284.1299

(Columbus) A new kind of bicycle store has come to Central Ohio. Columbus now has its first ever Electric bike store. Orbit City Bikes at 3030 North High Street, Ohio’s largest electric bicycle retailer, is celebrating its first spring in Columbus.

Orit City’s electric bikes or e-bikes have a battery powered motor that gives riders a boost, especially on hills. E-bikes not only empower seasoned bicyclists to extend their range, they allow older riders or people with mobility issues who can’t ride an ordinary bike to take long bike rides.

“About 9 years ago I started having arthritic knee problems that made it basically impossible for me to ride an ordinary bike.” said Tom Bennett, owner of Orbit City Bikes. “When I discovered e-bikes, it was like a new world opened for me. I was able to ride again. It was thrilling.”

Orbit City Bikes is located on the corner of N. High Street and Weber Rd in Columbus and is open from noon to 7pm Wed-Fri, 10 to 5 Saturdays, and noon to 4pm Sundays. Tom encourages visitors to the store to take a test ride.

“When customers get their first experience on an e-bike they just can’t believe how they can move.” said Bennett. “Everyone returns from a test ride with a big smile on their face. Most questions are answered with a test ride and people tell me how great it is."
E-bikes are great for the environment and great for the health of the rider. E-bike customers report that they frequently replace car trips with an e-bike trip.
An Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium study found that e-bikes turn people into daily riders. 55 percent of e-bikers rode their standard bike weekly or daily before the purchase. After the purchase, weekly or daily biking rose to 93 percent. Even the few (6%) who had never ridden bikes as an adult were now riding weekly or daily.
Visit Orbit City bikes on the web at or on Facebook:

Why bikers should live by the same laws as everyone else | Grist

cyclists and peds on city street
All of us who ride bikes know the feeling of not wanting to stop completely at an intersection when there’s no one coming. It’s an understandable impulse. Far more often, though, I’ve been legally walking across a street and had a bike roll through the crosswalk, forcing me to freeze in mid-intersection as it breaks the law and crosses my path. Sometimes, it zips frighteningly close.
But some cycling advocates argue that we should make it legal for bikes to go through a red light, after stopping to check that there are no oncoming cars and pedestrians. This is called the “Idaho stop.” Legal only in Idaho and a few towns in Colorado, it also allows bikes to roll slowly through stop signs, treating them essentially as yield signs.
The idea has been picking up steam for the last few years in local blogs from San Francisco to New York, thanks partly to this oddly popular video. In a recent, widely read article in Vox, Joseph Stromberg compellingly laid out the case, drawing on the authority of physics: “So many cyclists do these things … because they make sense, in terms of the energy expended by a cyclist as he or she rides. Unlike a car, getting a bike started from a standstill requires a lot of energy from the rider. Once it’s going, the bike’s own momentum carries it forward, so it requires much less energy.” (Of course, if we made traffic laws primarily about physical efficiency instead of safety, we’d all be roadkill.)
Jeff Miller, president of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, argues that because bicyclists can more easily see and hear pedestrians than drivers can, rules designed for cars should not necessarily apply to bikes. “We don’t perceive any concern or threat on the part of pedestrians” from the Idaho stop, he says.
But bicycle advocacy groups are split on the issue. Miller’s coalition has not taken a position on the Idaho stop; many of its member organizations support it, but other leading cycling organizations don’t.
Even if the Idaho stop is good for bike riders, it’s not good for cities.
Advocates never put it in these terms, but Idaho stops essentially allow bikers to impose on pedestrians’ green lights and rights-of-way. Bikers would be prohibited from going if a pedestrian is in the intersection, but if a biker gets there first, a pedestrian would have to wait at the corner until the bike passes, possibly running out of time to cross. Do we really want to create a mad dash to be first at an intersection and claim right-of-way? As our population ages, and empty nesters return to cities, this would have a particularly negative effect on the elderly.
Idaho stops favor bikes instead human beings on two feet. But pedestrians are the lifeblood of a vibrant city.
[ Read more on ]

Who Wants Vehicular Cycling? | Streets MN

There are a few reasons that vehicular cyclists give for their opposition to segregated bicycle facilities; they can’t ride fast on them, they have to stop too often, there are too many bumps and too much road furniture (signs, mailboxes, etc.) in the way, they are more dangerous than the road (like bike lanes in door zones), and sharing with unpredictable pedestrians and dogs is dangerous.
I mostly agree.
These though are issues of bad design, not of segregated bicycle facilities themselves being problematic. This is like saying that we don’t like cars because the Trabant we once had broke down every two days.
The bicycle network designed by Dutch Engineers generally doesn’t have these problems, except on some very old facilities. Riding 20-25 mph is not often a problem. There are actually fewer stops than on the motor network thanks to bicyclists ability to negotiate with each other through their own intersections. Pathways in The Netherlands are wide, smooth, unobstructed, exceptionally safe, and generally free of pedestrians, who have their own safe sidewalks and crossings.

Motorist Road Rage on DC Bicycle Route

Motorist Road Rage on DC Bicycle Route from Evan Wilder on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Track Attack - Part One from Michele Colucci

Cycling on Stage

Temper Tantrum on Spruce Street

Temper Tantrum on Spruce Street from Keri Caffrey on Vimeo.

Green Drinks bike hop is on Wednesday, May 28 #letsride @Green_Columbus

May is National Bike Month! Join us to celebrate and raise awareness for all things bike-related by partaking in our annual Green Drinks bike hop on Wednesday, May 28. 

As a group, we'll bike to some of our favorite Columbus watering holes where we'll toast to bicycle awareness and learn more about bike commuting in our fair city. 

Our schedule is as follows, feel free to join us (with or without your bike) at any stop on the route: 

6:00-6:45pm - We'll kick things off at Strongwater Food and Spirits (401 W. Town Street) with happy hour drink prices as well as a special green-themed cocktail.

7:00-7:45pm - Next up is Brothers Drake Meadery (26 E. Fifth Avenue) to enjoy a glass of mead (or another drink) and participate in a conversation about bike commuting facilitated by Green Columbus founder and active bike commuter, Tad Dritz.

8:00-8:45pm - We'll end the night at The Crest Gastropub(2855 Indianola Avenue) to enjoy one last drink, or a meal, as a group. The Crest is offering us special food and drinks discounts for the evening.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

URGENT - Ohio's Three Foot Law

We've received a message from REP HENNE - there has been a change of position so he needs another VOTE to get the 3 Foot Law out of committee - he is asking if ANYONE is a constituent of Ohio House Representatives JOHNSON, GREEN or RUHL and if so to FLOOD THEIR INBOXES with MESSAGES URGING PASSAGE OF THE THREE FOOT LAW - HB 145!

Doug Green  R from House District 66 - Mt. Orab - Email Rep Green 

Terry Johnson R from House District 90 - McDermott - He introduced "Annie's Law" - HB469, which would require a 1st time offender to use a small breathalyzer to start a car. Email Him

Margaret Ruhl - R from House District 68 -  Mt. Vernon -

Email Rep Ruhl



If you've been wondering what to do with a 3-D printer besides make little plastic toys, here's a Kickstarter that begins to hint at the possibility of the technology. Clug is simple: a little clip that mounts on your wall and holds a bike in place. But it's a product that isn't just a good idea for a 3-D printed device: it's a good idea, period. It's both incredibly cheap and the smallest and least obtrusive bike mount I've ever seen--and if you lose it, you can always print another one.
It's not a floating bike mount, exactly; the Clug keeps your bike in place, but it isn't strong enough to solely support a bike's weight. Instead, Clug is a little U-shaped plastic clip that keeps your bike in place while a wheel or two rests on the floor. The base of the U mounts on your wall, and you slip your bike's tire in between the U's outward-facing open arms, keeping it in place.

That makes it a bit less flexible than a true floating mount, which can be mounted at any height, but the convenience makes up for it. You don't have to search for a wall stud to mount it, and the Vancouver-based creators even say you can forgo the two-screw mount and use strong tape to keep it in place. At the moment, the Clug is compatible with standard road bikes, but if the Kickstarter hits a few loftier cash goals, they'll make a version for hybrids and mountain bikes as well.
The packaging is pretty cool, too: the Clug comes in a little box that unfolds to become your template for mounting on your wall. And as you screw it in, the box will catch any sawdust or paint that falls from your wall.

Clug will be made using conventional means (in this case, plastic injection molds), and sold for $20 CAD a pair. Those with access to a 3-D printer will be able buy the files for $5 CAD and simply print as many as they want. For a few dollars more, you'll get a professionally made Clug, as well as those files. The team says the first Clugs, specifically for Kickstarter backers, will ship in mid-September.

In Sweden, Free Bikes To Commuters Who Promise To Drive Less

Many people never bike because they've never tried it. This program wants to get everyone riding.

Even though more people are starting to commute by bike, few cities match up to ultra-bike-friendly Copenhagen, where around half of the population cycles to work. In the U.S., Portland leads the list of larger cities, but even there, only 6% of commuters bike. What does it take to get more bikes on the road?
The obvious answer is better infrastructure like decent bike lanes. But a new program in Sweden is taking a different approach, based on the theory that one reason many people don’t ride is that haven’t really tried it. In Gothenburg--a city with bike commuter rates on par with Portland--the government is giving some people the chance to try a bike for six months in exchange for the promise that they will ditch their cars at least three times a week.

“We think biking has the potential to fulfill most transport needs for most groups,” saysRickard Waern, a project manager for the Energy Agency of West Sweden. “This is especially true in light of all of the new types of bikes that have appeared on the market in recent years.”
Continue reading at FastCompany

An Electric Pedicab Powered By Human Energy, Designed For Short City Trips

On the Mellowcab, pedaling doesn't propel the vehicle forward. It helps charge an electric battery and get commuters to work on time.

Getting to work in South Africa can be a painful process, unless you happen to be among the wealthy few who own a car. Most people commute on overcrowded, notoriously dangerous minibus taxis that end up in around 70,000 crashes every year and kill an average of three people every day. The taxis are also responsible for ever-increasing congestion and pollution in cities like Cape Town.
One solution, at least for short commutes, might come in the form of a new electric pedicab called the Mellowcab. Designed to fill the "last mile" gap for commuters, the Mellowcab is powered both by a hydrogen fuel cell and human energy--pedaling doesn't propel the cab forward, but helps charge an electric battery. The cab also captures energy every time the driver brakes.
The designers say using electric power was an obvious choice. "Electric vehicles are very efficient, maintenance is minimal compared to traditional cars, and it has no direct emissions," says Neil Du Preez, founder of the company behind the Mellowcab. Over time, he plans to build renewably-powered charging stations for the cabs as well.
Inside the cab's recycled plastic frame, things are nothing like the typical South African taxi: Riders have plenty of room, a place to charge a mobile phone, and a tablet they can use to provide real-time feedback to the cab company about how safely the driver is maneuvering through traffic.
More at FastCompany

Share your vision for the future of Columbus Recreation and Parks

As a valued member of the community, your input and knowledge has been crucial in developing recommendations that will guide the future of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. We will be hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, May 21 from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Martin Janis Senior Center to share and discuss our findings and preliminary recommendations with you.
Since we last met with you, we have:

·         Completed a citywide public survey effort
·         Updated our recreation facilities and parklands inventory
·         Consistently presented this information and have received guidance from the Park Board, an internal staff Steering Committee and an Advisory Committee representing a cross-section of the Columbus community.
·         Internally assessed and evaluated existing recreation programs, operations, management protocols, as well as the financial expenditures and budgetary aspects of the CRPD

Our community outreach effort, in concert with the department’s assessment of existing inventory and operations, has revealed both general and specific recommendations for the CRPD to consider and possibly adopt. These planning and study efforts have been directed to provide high-quality and accessible park spaces, facilities, programs, and recreational experiences that meet the need of the entire community in a fiscally responsible manner. 

It is extremely timely and critically important for you to participate and contribute to ensure that your input will help direct and shape the 2013 Columbus Recreation and Parks Master Plan and your community for the next 10 years. Attached is a flyer for the meeting if you have not already received one, feel free to pass this along to others!

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you at your public meeting,

NYC Streets Metamorphosis from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jyrobike - Auto balance bicycle with control hub in the front wheel @Jyrobike

[Jyrobike website]

GoPro: Danny MacAskill Sunday Ride

Swallow Bicycle Works Athens Ohio S24O ride

Location: Athens, Ohio
Last weekend Tom, Mary and I geared up for our final pre-ride/camp-out before we head out West for Oregon Outback (a 360-mile dirt road ride across Oregon). I have always wanted to explore the appalachian landscape, and glacial cave systems out near Hocking Hills so what better way to explore the region than high mileage bike ride. My goal with the route was to include as much dirt and distance as possible to get us ready for what our first day goal for the Oregon Outback is; to reach The Cowboy Dinner Tree for our 7:30 PM reservation (115 miles of dirt roads in under 12 hours). 
Day one was tough. I had planned for us to ride about 90-ish miles west of Athens, to Tar Hollow, then north to Hocking Hills from there. At mile 15 we hit what looked like a fantastic double track gravel rail-trail, the catch was that all the train bridges that once crossed the deep creek gullies had been removed. Rather than turning back and taking a major paved detour around the trail, we all chose to push forward, a decision that ultimately made for a lot of hike-a-biking, 6 creek crossings, a 3-hour time penalty, and more water consumption than what we had planned for that distance. At mile 30, it was 3 o’clock, we were running low on water, and had (what we thought at the time, “only” 60 miles to go…). At this point we were solely focused on finding easy water and going the distance.  We found salvation at a glorious water spigot in Tar Hollow which would be the only water we would take until mile 90. Gradually, night rolled in, hiding the landscape from view. We could easily feel that we were nearing Hocking Hills as the grades became steeper, and steeper (13-25% grades with heavy bikes!!). I wish we could have seen some of those roads in daylight. Climbing steep, loose, cat litter gravel, and then bombing down the backside becomes a different, smoother, blacker thing in the cool night. Our headlights flashed scenes of rock walls dripping wet and fern covered as we pressed on in survival mode. The whole time I was thinking “my mom and dad are going to kill me for torturing my sister like this!” but the kid won’t crack. She’s tough stuff.

Monday, May 19, 2014

This Folding Electric Bike Tries To Include Any Feature Bike Commuters Might Want

It's electric. It folds up and locks itself. It even charges your phone while you ride. The Gi Bike tries to have it all.

As more people start to commute by bike, designers are trying to tackle the various pain points involved with riding in the city--whether that’s finding ways to help cyclists squeeze bikes on public transit, adding electric motors so riders sweat less, or preventing theft. A typical design might focus on a couple of features at a time, but the Gi Bike, a new design that just launched on Kickstarter, attempts to include every possible detail a commuter could want.
“There are no full-featured bikes on the market,” says Agustín Augustinoy, the chief technology officer for Gi Bike. “If a bike folds, it has 20-inch, circus-like wheels. Electric kits look like DIY projects. No electric bike comes with lights, motor, and everything else integrated and working on the same battery with only one charging point.”

The Gi Bike can fold up, so it easily goes on subway cars or elevators, and can be stored in a small closet. But when it’s in use, it looks like an ordinary full-size bicycle. Flip a lever, and in three seconds, it fully transforms into a compact folded shape that can be wheeled around like rolling luggage.
"The rest of the bike is basically made around the folding mechanism," Agustinoy explains. "For us it's the proper way to fold a bike. It's the only way you don't need to lift the bike from the ground."
For riders who live in hilly cities or have a long commute, the bike comes in an electric version that can carry someone 40 miles without pedaling. It’s also smartphone-integrated, so it can give directions and send alerts if there's construction or heavy traffic on your route. It hooks up with social media accounts in case you have the urge to auto-tweet your bike rides. The bike can even charge your phone.

Once you get wherever you're going, the bike can lock itself--both wheels and the folding mechanism lock automatically when you walk 10 feet away. Eventually, the designers hope to connect it with tracking technology as well.
To help keep riders safe, the designers added built-in front and back lights. Since their research showed that most cyclists are hit from the side, the designers also added LED lights to the sides of the front wheel. The lights automatically brighten at night.
It's a long list of features, but Agustinoy says the team thinks that each is necessary, despite the steep price (The electric version will eventually retail for $3,590 but is available on Kickstarter for slightly less). "We believe it's the perfect bike to commute to work," he says.

Portable bike # 14 | Drew's Mini Blog

Still rideable with your standard touring tires, but it gets more challenging down the trail.

Having ridden portable bike #13 for about 6 years, I came to the point where I needed to make a new one from scratch. The event that was a catalyst for this was my ride on the OC&E trail I did last year. The largest tires the bike fits are 50mm (2.0). It just wasn't a large enough footprint to ride on the surfaces I encountered on the trail. A bigger tire would make the gravely and loose sections easier to negotiate. So I figured I would make a new one with bigger tire clearance; having signed up for the Oregon outback ride (although I cannot make the group ride this year).  It will be easier to take Amtrak with this bike, just fold it up and put it in the luggage area as I board the train.

The new fork would be an inch taller. The rear triangle would need extra space. The new design would increase the folded size slightly, but it would allow for the fattest tires out there for the BMX size- 20x2.4 (or 406-65). Shod with 406-50 schwalbe big apple tires, the folded size would be 28x11x21 (that includes racks and fenders) on the new bike.   With the super-fat 20x2.35 BMX tires installed the folded bike gets about a half inch wider and taller, but the same width. Still meets the 62" length/height/width requirements for airline baggage andGreyhound bus.

[Keep reading at Drew's Mini Blog]

New Lexington Gravel Grinder Recap - Broken Chains & Kittens 05182014 #LifeinCbus

Broken chains & kittens gravel grinder. New Lexington start. 9 riders. 37.5 miles. 3300+ ft climbing. 1 broken chain, broken twice. Two kittens. One great day in the saddle with beautiful weather and great friends.

Revisiting Donald Appleyard's Livable Streets

Revisiting Donald Appleyard's Livable Streets from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.