Since the birding has been slow and gloomy weather has kept the butterflies from flying and most of my posts are gloomy in their own way I’m needing something different to blog about. I’m thinking why not a biking post. Haven’t done one in a long time. I’ve learned that you have to start these things off with something that will attract your attention. So what will that be….? Let me think….. There is only one real sure fire way to get people’s attention and that’s nudity! Naked people riding bikes! Yes I know…you do turnoff a small portion of the public but if that’s your problem read no further. I wrote about this last year and got a few comments and this will be the first time I’ve written about it before the event. So for all you people planning to go to Portland, Oregon at the end of this month here’s your chance to participate in Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride on June 27th.
If you go to their website you will see this.
So if that bothers you don’t go there. This picture might be a little safer for you.
I made a comment last year that participation in one of these rides should prevent anyone from borrowing your bike. A former bike mechanic commented on not wanting to work any of these bikes so I want to share with you that our concerns have been taken care of.
So here’s the video. It’s really quite interesting and thought provoking and not at all salacious. Just remember that, “The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual, worldwide bike ride that highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport.”
I wonder how many people I just lost? How that I’ve gotten that out of the way let’s go on to something really sexy. A Samsung Smart Bike.
“How smart is it? The curved frame is designed to soak up vibrations from rough city streets, and encloses an arduino computer that connects to the smart phone that snaps magnetically onto the handlebar. This connects through GPS to tell you the best routes to where you are going, and to a rear view camera to see what is coming up too fast behind you.”
“Oh, and did I mention it has four lasers, to project bike lanes forward and back.”
Maybe they can pair the bike with the the Smart Bike Helmet. Unfortunately it might take away some of the sex appeal.
Photo by Smart Hat
This Grist article highlighted some of it’s features.
…An in-helmet bluetooth display with full satellite navigation, a speedometer, speed zone gauges, temperature, heart rate, and tilt sensors; ultrasonic object proximity warning; turn signal indicators; head and night lights; a retractable visor with a wiper system; a built-in digital camera; smartphone storage; an in-helmet cooling fan; batteries; a shock-absorbing impact bar option …
How that you have your smart bike and helmet you can bike down the Netherlands’ new smart bike path.
TNO worked with engineers and local government to develop a paving system, called SolaRoad, that could generate power while still holding up to traffic. “If you put a normal solar panel on the road, you’d have two main issues—one would be that it’s slippery especially when wet, and two, it would probably break very quickly,” de Wit says. “Those were the two main challenges we had to solve. It also had to be transparent enough that light could reach the solar cells.”
The new bike path is a pilot, and the researchers will use it to gather all kinds of information, including how much energy this type of road can generate. “Based on what we’ve done in the lab, we think the energy gain will be between 50-70 kilowatt hours per square meter per year,” de Wit explains. A typical Dutch household could be entirely powered by about 50 square meters of roadway.
This Thinkprogress.org article explains that the new solar powered bike path is producing more power then expected.
If you don’t want to bike over solar panels how about biking under them. Imagine yourself biking down the center of a major highway. South Korea is doing just that. Just think about the possibilities here in the United States.
Korea has created a PV-covered bike lane connecting Sejong and Daejeon which offers a clean transit option that utilizes unused median space in an existing highway, while providing renewable solar electricity.
The PV-covered bike lanes runs approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Sejong to Daejeon. Bicyclists are protected by a guard rail.
This innovative use of unused infrastructure is part of a proposed bike path network that will eventually cover more than 217 miles (350 kilometers) around the city of Sejong. According to Gas2, “Korea’s crowded highways have convinced many commuters to ditch four wheels and an engine for two wheels and pedals.”
Technical note. There is a YouTube video at the link that shows this bike path in action. Due to YouTube changing some things at their site my current blogging program can’t import them into my blog. Expect an update soon but you will notice that all the videos in this post are from Vimeo.
We all intuitively know that the costs of travel by car is more expensive then travel by bike. But just how much more expensive is it?
It is six times more expensive for society – and for you individually – if you travel by car instead of cycling. This has been shown in a Lund University study of Copenhagen, a city of cyclists. It is the first time a price has been put on car use as compared to cycling.
It considers how much cars cost society and how they compare to bicycles in terms of air pollution, climate change, travel route, noise, road wear, health and congestion in Copenhagen.
The study concluded that cars have a greater negative impact on the economy than bicycles:
If the costs to society and the costs to private individuals are added together, the impact of the car is EUR 0.50 per kilometre and the impact of the bicycle is EUR 0.08 per kilometre.
The study by Stefan Gössling and his colleague also shows that if we only look at costs/benefits for society, one kilometre by car costs EUR 0.15, whereas society earns EUR 0.16 on every kilometre cycled.
But we all knew that didn’t we? This Guardian article tells about other benefits to cycling.
Europe’s cycling industry now employs more people than mining and quarrying and almost twice as many as the steel industry, according to the first comprehensive study of the jobs created by the sector.
Some 655,000 people work in the cycling economy – which includes bicycle production, tourism, retail, infrastructure and services – compared to 615,000 people in mining and quarrying, and just 350,000 workers directly employed in the steel sector.
If cycling’s 3% share of journeys across Europe were doubled, the numbers employed could grow to over one million by 2020, says the ‘Jobs and job creation in the European cycling sector’ study which will be published next month.
The study also signals some unexpected knock-on benefits that bikes can have for local businesses. Cycling “contributes probably more to the local economy than the use of other transport modes,” because “cyclists go more to local shops, restaurants, cafes than users of other transport modes,” the paper says.
Electric bikes (ebikes) are a new up and coming idea. I’ve seen a few here locally in Mendocino County. They are already taking them to the next level–solar powered.
Photo by Leaos
As this website states:
Unlike most electric bicycles, a new carbon-fiber e-bike from Italy never needs to plugged in. As the bike sits outside in the sun—or as you ride down the street—built-in solar panels automatically charge the battery.
“We wanted to make it totally independent from traditional power sources,” says Armin Oberhollenzer, CEO of Leaos, the company that makes the bike. “We think it’s interesting for the future of vehicles to have something running on the road that is really independent. And the customer doesn’t have to do anything.”
The designers envisioned the Leaos bike as a hybrid between a traditional bike and perennially-popular Italian scooters. On a single charge, it can travel around 55 miles in a day, enough to replace short trips in a car. “It’s meant for commuters in the city—mainly people who didn’t ride bikes before,” explains Oberhollenzer.
Riders can get as much or as little exercise as they want by adjusting the settings on the bike. “It’s still exercise,” says Oberhollenzer. “But it depends on each person how much exercise they want. We have support levels, if you choose the first one, you do more exercise, if you choose the tenth, you do less. It’s always up to the rider.”
Apparently all I will need to get one is about $8500. No problem:>) Maybe this one will be a little less expensive if it makes it to the market and it looks more conventional.
The SOLAR BIKE is an innovative and sustainable alternative to the electric bike, designed to improve life.It’s battery is directly charged by using RENEWABLE SOLAR ENERGY, which makes the bike COST FREE and SETS YOU FREE. (no plugs needed). One does not have to look for a charging point.
The SPEED can be easily adjusted to your needs. (standard 25km/hour – max. 50km/hour)
The DESIGN is authentic & user friendly with integrated solar cells. It looks and works like any regular bike.The battery capacity stores sufficient energy for 70km.
The solar cells are HIGHLY EFFICIENT & SHADOW OPTIMIZED which provides 2-25km/day. (depending on the sun hours)You will NEVER GET INVISIBLE in traffic – the lights have integrated solar technology as well.
As always these bike posts get a little long so I’m going to end it here. Taking it full circle. How cool would it be to see all those naked bikers riding ebikes through Portland? “P(b)uns” intended.