Another Bike Post With More Naked Bikers

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.

via Designboom

“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.

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Things Bikes

Since my “green” year depended on using my bike to help me bird I have devoted many a post to what’s happening in the biking world. I have stored a great deal of bike articles in my read later app, “Pocket”. This post will clear out many of those articles.  

First I would like to share this video which I just found. It looks like it might have been dangerous to film. I enjoyed the looks on some of the peoples faces. Dark humor but it made me laugh out loud. It about getting a ticket for not riding in the bike lane and the hazards of always riding in the bike lane. Enjoy!

Suppose we lived in a country where bikes ruled. We might find this–a floating bike roundable in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Screen capture ipv Delft

You can see how it works in this video.

Of course in the Netherlands they have all sorts of bike friendly routes like this circular bridge.

Or the more traditional bridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Netherlands also have traffic lights that automatically give priority to cyclists! 

Of course here in Mendocino we have our Pudding Creek Trestle Bridge and a small Virgin Creek Bridge. Both are reminders of our logging industry history.

 

  • Virgin_Creek_Bridge.JPG

 

Bike designs are changing. Take a look at this Sandwich Bike.

Here’s another wood bike made by Bough Bikes

And another wood bike by Dan Gestoso Rivers. It the Boske Bike which can be put together with one Allen’s wrench.

Then there is the more traditional looking Peace Bikes which “has a “buy a bike, give a bike” policy – so for every purchase they’ll donate a cycle to someone in need. Proceeds will also go towards funding bicycle advocacy programs for children in need.” They have a “Kickstarter” program here.

How about this bike? “The INgSoc bicycle is a battery-assisted bicycle designed by Edward Kim and Benny Cemoli. The INgSoc bicycle has three modes: battery-powered, battery-assisted and rider-powered, which charges the bike’s battery while you ride.” Where does the rack go?

Do you think a $10.00 Cardboard Bike will catch on? “Izhar Gafni has designed award winning industrial machines for peeling pomegranates and sewing shoes. He’s also a bike enthusiast who’s designed a lot of carbon fiber rigs. But one day, he’d heard about someone who’d built a cardboard canoe. The idea drilled its way into his consciousness, and ultimately, led him to create a cardboard bike called the Alfa…The Alfa weighs 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials, yet uses a belt-driven pedal system that makes it maintenance free. And, maybe best of all, it’s project designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version), making it not only one of the most sustainable bikes you could imagine, but amongst the cheapest, depending on the markup.”

You can wear a bike helmet made out of paper with the Alfa. “So when you have a crash, what these airbags do is they go pop, pop, pop, pop, pop – and they go all the way to the bottom, without the helmet cracking. That’s what absorbs the energy.”

The rise of curbs: Protected bike lanes in the U.S. are growing up! Curbs to separate bikes from traffic is catching on. “In Chicago, Clybourn Avenue and State Street are likely to get the city’s first curb-separated bike lanes. In Seattle, the city has used two wholesale road reconstructions, on Linden Avenue and Broadway, as chances to install cement curb separations. In Austin, two blocks of 3rd Street downtown are now fitted with modular precast curbs to create a protected bike lane. And Long Beach, Calif., has been using curbs for protected bike lanes since 2011.”

Armadillo: Cool Recycled Plastic Bike Lane Dividers Keep Cyclists Safe on Roads. This might be the next best idea if curbs can’t be used.

The next breakthrough for a bike-friendly world: Protected intersections! Watch the video here.

The new Hassalo on Eighth, a residential complex in Portland, Oregon will have no less than 1,200 bike parking spots for its tenants – the largest number in North America! 

Speaking of Portland. Portland made it through 2013 with zero bike fatalities. Portland proves that some cities can do it but London proves they can’t. “London’s cycling ‘superhighways’ prove to be super dangerous.” Six deaths in one month.

That is just one of the reasons that is causing, “London’s Bike-Share Crisis”. “In order of gravity, the answers seem to be cost, danger, and patchy maintenance.”

Is riding naked going to solve London’s safety problem? Check out the video here

Bad news for Bixi: Montreal bike share is bankrupt. Another bike share program in trouble.

Bad news for Citi Bike in New York–“Citi Bike is underwater and de Blasio refuses bailout“–“One of the most unique features of New York City’s bike share program is that it’s privately funded. In most cities, bike-share programs, like other forms of public transportation, are subsidized with taxpayer money…Given the popularity of Citi Bike among the residents of New York city (assuming that’s who pays for those 99,000 annual memberships), it seems unlikely that the city will allow the program to fold completely.”

 But!!!  Start-up bike-sharing programs make inroads in US cities. “As the bike-sharing business gains traction in cities across America, two small companies, Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, Oregon, and B-Cycle of Madison, Wisconsin, are making a big difference in the lives of tens of thousands of cyclists.

Alta Bicycle Share operates bike-sharing systems in partnership with local governments in eight cities: New York, Washington DC, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, Boston, Columbus and Chattanooga, as well as Melbourne, Australia.

B Cycle, a joint venture of the Trek Bicycle Corp, healthcare provider Humana and marketing agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, manages systems in about 30 cities, including Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Madison and Boulder, as well as Santiago, Chile.

Together, they have made bike-sharing one of America’s fastest growing “green” businesses. “Bike sharing has experienced the fastest growth of any mode of transport in the history of the planet,” according to findings from the Earth Policy Institute.”

Times Square ball drop to be powered by Citi Bike. That was the headline this last New Year’s Eve.

Los Angeles Launches First Bicycle Friendly Business District. Read about it here

Here in California the trend is clear and I’m sure it all because of this blog and my “green” year:>) “Twice As Many Californians Walking, Biking, Or Using Public Transportation As In 2000, Survey Shows”

I sure could use a Cyclocable to get up Little River Airport Road. Read and watch the video here.

This bike glows in the dark when headlights hit it. My question is why don’t they have helmets that glow?

And finally!!! Norman Foster unveils plans for elevated ‘SkyCycle’ bike routes in London. This Guardian article is an interesting read and when you get to the end of it there’s this, “Finance has confounded other attempts for aerial bikes routes in the past. The California Cycleway, dreamt up in the 1890s, was planned to connect Pasadena and Los Angeles with 14km of raised timber decking, but only 2km of the track was ever built. Conceived as a private money-making enterprise, with a toll of 10 cents and 100,000 projected annual users, it never turned a profit, destroyed instead by the rise of the Model T Ford. More than a century later, will the SkyCycle team have better luck?”

Pipe dream … the California Cycleway, dreamt up in the 1890s, was never completed after the automobile industry took off. Photograph: Cycle Infrastructure/nai010

I could go on forever with this post. Still have lot’s of material that I could use. If you have gotten this far I will end it off topic. At the beginning of this post I mentioned a “roundabout” for bikes. Here in Mendocino County, because of many accidents with some deaths involved, they created a roundabout on Highway 1, south of Fort Bragg. There was of course controversy involved because this was something new and many people thought a traffic light would be a better option. I found a video that should end this controversy. MythBusters: Roundabout vs. 4-way stop intersection, which is more efficient? You can read about it and watch the video here

Another Bike Post

I’ve continued to collect various bike related stories some of them quite astounding. 

Washington Named Bike-Friendliest State. “The League of American Bicyclists, a 133-year-old bicycle advocacy non-profit, named Washington the most bike-friendly state in the U.S. in its Bicycle Friendly Community awards report, released on Octover 15. This biannual evaluation ranks states and cities based on a myriad of factors including the miles of bike lanes, number of bike fatalities, and how communty laws affecty riders.” Read about it here.

Instant bike lanes snap together like toy railroad tracks. It’s a pretty simple idea, actually: a system of tiles that click together, LEGO-style, to make a temporary, raised bike lane … wherever. There are ramps to get cyclists on and off the raised track, and the tiles themselves are made of recycled plastic and wood. City designers can buy a set, lay down a bike lane, and test it out. If it works, great — invest in making an actual lane. If not, it can be gone the next day. Either way, you can then reuse the tiles and try them somewhere else. It’s sort of like having a Sim City-like tool where you can put down squares of infrastructure with the click of a button, and then take it away just as easily.”

Portland swapped 163 on-street car parking spaces for 1,644 bike spotsThe city of Portland, Oregon, has reached the impressive milestone of 100 bike corrals. That’s 9 years after the first one was installed, and the city expects to reach 150 within 5 years and has 98 additional applications under review.

Photo: Courtesy of European Sperm Bank

The ‘Sperm Bike’ Carries Donor Samples to Fertility Clinics Around Copenhagen. Read about the “Sperm” bike here.

Everybody managed to not get killed during the first five months of New York’s bikeshareThe New York Times is reporting that Citi Bike, New York’s new bikeshare program, has now been operating for five months without a fatality.

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars. This story is here.

The Bicymple– For those of you who thought the fixed gear bike was too bare bones comes the bicymple — a chainless single-speed that looks like two unicycles fused together.

Loopwheels

 

“A complete reimagining not only of spokes but of the wheel itself, the loopwheel offers riders a mini-wheel with a lot of capabilities. Housed inside the small wheels are three spring-like bands, which contract and bounce like simplified shocks, completely eliminating spokes and making riding over curbs or potholes a breeze.”

Smart Wheel By FlyKly Could Change Everything About Commuting. “The Smart Wheel by FlyKly Bikes is a motorized bike wheel that can fit on almost any bike, instantly turning a regular bike into an electric one, opening up the options of who can bike commute, where, how far and in what terrain.”

This floating bicycle lets you bike to work even if there’s a river in the way. “Sure, Jesus walked on water, but what about his commute? He might’ve pulled a Judah Schiller and biked on water in order to get to work on time. The San Francisco resident (Schiller, not Jesus, although …) jury-rigged a floating bicycle from his mountain bike and an Italian bike kit, after he realized that the new bike path on the Bay Bridge would only go halfway across. The Grist Story is here.

‘Invisible’ Bike Helmets Are A Real Thing Now. “Are you a cyclist who is also concerned about how you look while cycling around town?” Watch the video in this link to find out how two female Swedish industrial design students came up with this design. Watch this YouTube video to see it in action.

How about an extremely beautiful but expensive bike made out of wood.

How expensive? Try $25,000 expensive. Read about it here.



 

Let’s Bike

Travel by bike is one third of my methods for birding Mendocino County. I have come across many biking articles over this year. I use an Apple App called “Pocket” to save these articles for latter reading. I’m going to unclutter my “Pocket” of bike articles with this post.

I’m going to start with a non biking article that is titled, “Americans Spent Highest Percentage Of Income In 30 Years On Fuel In 2012″. Even though Americans are cutting down on how often they hit up the gas pump, as a country we’re paying a higher percentage of our incomes on gasoline than we have in the last 30 years. The Energy Department said in a new report that U.S. households shelled out an average of $2,912 last year for gas, or about 4% of their pretax income.”

Another report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (which we are having fun imagining as a room full of stern faces) says there’s even more bad news when it comes to fuel prices — you’re probably going to spend the same amount on gasoline during your vehicle’s life as it cost to buy.”

So why do we keep driving? Maybe we’re not!

Bike Share Revolution: U.S. Fleet More than Doubles in 2013: This article states, “San Francisco’s launch of Bay Area Bike Share has pushed the United States bicycle sharing fleet above 18,000, more than double the number of bikes in service since the beginning of the year. Bay Area Bike Share launched with 700 bikes and 70 stations in San Francisco, Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and San Jose with ambitious plans to eventually expand to 10,000 bikes. There are now 34 bike-sharing programs in the U.S. with the biggest being New York’s Citi Bike, which launched earlier this year with 6,000 bicycles at 332 stations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.”

The U.S. fleet could double again next year when Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland (Oregon), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle and other smaller cities are expected to launch bike sharing programs.

Bike sharing is booming across the world, with 500,000 bicycles rolling around 500 cities in 49 countries. China operates the biggest bike sharing system in the world, with four cities that have more bikes than the entire U.S. — Wuhan, Hangzhou, Zhuzhou and Shanghai. Paris is the only non-Chinese city in the top five, coming in third. Vélibcovers the Paris region with nearly 24,000 bicycles and claims to have the highest density in the world with one bike per 97 city residents.”

Biking is the best way to get somewhere fast while getting in shape: The title of this article is obvious.

This amazing 81-year-old still bikes 30 miles a day: This article states, “

Like Noel Newton. Noel lives in Toowoomba, Australia, on the east coast — not that far from Brisbane, if you know where that is. Noel is 81, and most days he goes out for a bike ride. Generally, he’ll go about 30 miles. Why does he do it? Here’s what he told the Chronicle:

“I have always liked bike riding over running because with bike riding you can knock it back down a few cogs and you will come good,” he said.

“You could go forever.”

We’re not completely sure what “knock it back down a few cogs” is Australian for — something about drinking beer, right? — but this sounds right to us.”

RCA Students Design a Disposable Paper Helmet Strong Enough to Save Your Life: would you wear one of these?

This article will fill you in on the advantages of this approach.

DIY: Learn How to Build a Portable Shopping Cart That Attaches to Your Bike: This is a fascinating idea especially for city people.


The plans are here.

Electric bicycles to be a $11 billion industry by 2020:  Need help going uphill? Check out this article.

“Electric bikes are an extremely environmentally-friendly way to get around, so we’re all for more of them! Regular bikes are even cleaner, but the advantages of e-bikes shouldn’t be underestimated; a lot of e-bike riders might not bike nearly as much if they didn’t have an electric motor to assist them, because they have a long commute, or they live in a hilly area, or because of some medical condition, or even sheer laziness. The reasons don’t matter as much as getting more people biking!”
 
This doohickey turns your normal bike into an electric bike: “In a Kickstarter that’s actually cool, some Lithuanian guys have invented a gadget you plop on your bike that turns your steel steed electric — without the weight and cost of an e-bike. The waterproof Rubbee sits on your back tire, where it spins like crazy, propelling you up hill and over dale (why Dale’s lying in the street, I don’t know).” Read about it here.
And finally something that will take you back to your childhood days.
 
Scrooser Is a Fuelless Foot-Powered Scooter That Makes You Feel Like Superman!: “Although it looks like a something out of the Batman franchise, the Scrooser is a realfoot-powered scooter that helps commuters cruise the city at speeds up to 15 miles per hour without using a drop of fuel. The cool-looking vehicle features an impulse drive electric motor that augments the energy generated by the rider’s foot pushing off. A single charge of the lithium-ion battery should last about 25 days in Eco-Mode in an urban environment.” Read about it here and here..


Equipment Check

Made some changes to my bike. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you will have noticed that breaking spokes are a common event for me. My repair person could not figure out why. Just last week after getting my bike back I went out and broke 2 more spokes the next day. We decided to change out the wheel. He gave me a good deal and threw in labor and when I picked up the bike he said he hope he didn’t see me for a long time. So a picture of my new wheel is in order. Have used it for two trips with no problems. 

Also added a mirror. There have been times when I’ve been surprised by someone coming up in back of me. Looking over my shoulder caused me to wobble the bike. Not good if I’m in traffic. I went with the handlebar mirror because I was told that some people can’t adjust to the little mirror that attach to glasses. It’s called a Mountain Mirrycle.

Safe Biking

Most of my biking has been on the Haul Rd. where I only have to dodge people, dogs, and other bikers. Occasionally I have done some street biking in Fort Bragg and two times when my truck was in the shop I biked to the Little River Bus Stop from my house and twice I’ve biked from Mendocino to my house. Haven’t had too much trouble except going up Little River Airport Rd. I’ve found two bike safely videos that I found interesting. Both of them are on “grist”.

The first is found in an article called, “this is the weirdest bike safety video you’ll ever watch.” It’s a Norwegian ad and can be found here.

The second is called, “How to bike in the city-tips for the bicycle curious.” It can be found here.

STAY SAFE!