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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dorian Anderson Does It!

If this post looks familiar to you it's because I wrote it just seven days ago. Why would I repost this article? It's because I want to show you the different reactions to Dorian Anderson's tremendous achievement and Neil Heyward's conventional if record breaking Big Year in 2013. There has been NO reaction at the American Birding Association(ABA) to Dorian's efforts nine days after his year ended. Bear in mind that he was out there raising money for them. I am going to re-tag this post to include the ABA. In 2013 I was able to connect my blog to their's using this method. Don't know if it still works but I will find out. More on this below my post congratulating Dorian Anderson.

Congratulations go out to Dorian Anderson for successfully and safely completing his Biking for Birds Big Year. This was Dorian's pledge when he started his birding adventure.

I, Dorian Anderson, will travel only by bike, foot, and kayak as I move about the continent in search of birds. My movements will be unaided by petroleum, natural gas, and electricity. I will not have a support vehicle; everything I need will be carried on my person and my bicycle. This Big Year permutation will certainly add an unprecedented level of adventure to the endeavor, and it should set a new standard for environmentally sustainable travel.

His early estimate of bird species he expected to find was between 550 and 600. His final total is 617 with the possibility of an additional Red-legged Honeycreeper if the Texas Rare Bird Committee approves it.

He visited 28 states, biked 17,830 miles, walked 493 miles and kayaked 8 miles. He had 34 flat tires, 1 broken spoke, and 1 broken dérailleur cable. He raised over $45,000 for bird conservation and birding programs.

He has set a record for the most birds seen without using a carbon producing vehicle. We will see if anyone in the birding community will attempt to break it. Most birders like to bird using the comforts of their cars. Maybe the next attempt at a birding big year should be using public transportation.

You can see Dorian's final 2014 post at his Biking For Birds Blog. You can still hit the donation button.

 

Here is an email that I sent to Nate Swick, ABA's blog manager on January 3rd.

Nate–Dorian Anderson has completed his Biking for Birds big year. In fact it's been 3 days now going on 4. He was actually out there raising money for the ABA. Why the silence on his efforts? You should be featuring him prominently on your blog just because of his efforts. I would bet that by this time last year Neil Hayward received more blog time and as far as I know he wasn't raising any money for ABA. Maybe Neil can get on a bike and challenge Dorian's record.

Richard Hubacek

Little River, CA

OK it was a little snarky! Here is Nate's reply on the fourth.

I haven't silenced his efforts. I just have a ton of other stuff backed up that I need to get published. We'll have something on Dorian very soon.

NS

Of course I hadn't claimed that he had “intentionally” silenced Dorian's efforts, it's just that no one at the ABA seems to be excited about them. Nate was excited with Neil Heyward's efforts. He was on the boat when Neil Heyward's broke Sandy Komito's record on December 28, 2013. You can read about Nate's excitement on the ABA's blog. Note the title, Neil Hayward Does It! Sort of like my title for this post. Other members of the ABA staff were out with Neil during his year especially in Alaska. To be fair I read where some members of ABA's staff met up with Dorian early in his year and one, Diana Doyle, a green birder and writer for Birding, actually rode with him. There may have been others. Nate also wrote a blog titled, Gunning For ABA Big Year on the 6th of December, 2013. There was the Hayward vs Komito: A Look at the Playing Field by Greg Neise on December 27th. There was the Congratulations Neil! by Lynn Barber on December 31st. The ABA let Neil Hayward announce the ABA's Bird of the Year during an interview. I think I'm safe when I say that there was lot's of excitement at the end of 2013 because of Neil Hayward. None so far for Dorian Anderson. Maybe it's because Dorian was setting a record and not breaking one (although I think he broke a few) but I'm afraid that it's the culture of birding in general and at the ABA specifically. I hope they make a big deal when he hands them a big fat check.

Update: Before someone makes a big deal out of it, there was one “biking” Big Year featured on January 2, 2014. It was titled, An Interview with Ron Beck: Big Green Year Record-breaker.

As for the culture of birding and the ABA mentioned above, I wrote in 2013, a post called, Is the ABA Schizophrenic? It wasn't one of my best written posts but I sure liked the title.


 

It’s a Bike Post!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a bike post. Articles about bikes and biking have piled up so let’s get rid of some of them. First off, what does Brooke Shields and Halloween have to do with a post about bikes? Take a look at her Halloween costume.

Is that Brooke Shields or a Citibike?

Let’s take a look at the evolution of the bicycle. This will be my first Vimeo video if I do everything right.

It would be great if your doctor could issue you a prescription to ride a bike in your local bike share program. They are actually doing that in Boston.

“In Boston, doctors with Boston Medical Center (BMC) can now prescribe low-income patients with a $5 membership to Hubway, the area’s bike share system…If a doctor prescribes a bike share membership, the ‘patient’ pays just $5 for a Hubway membership that normally costs $85 annually.

Subsidized members will also get a free bicycle helmet. (Hubway is a bike share system that requires helmet use.)”

It would also be great if I promised to ride it more they would give me a bike. In Sweden they are doing that.

“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.”

It would be even better if they paid me to bike.

France will be joining the growing list of countries with programs to encourage bicycling, but the French plan is novel. The transport ministry has teamed up with institutions and private companies who’ve agreed to pay their employees 25 euro cents a kilometer to bike to work, which, if my math is correct, amounts to roughly $37,000 per hectare. [Ed’s note: Nope, not even close, more like 29 U.S. cents per mile.]”

Want to bike to some strange places? How about the South Pole? For $7200 you can.

The Rungu Juggernaut will also probably get you there.

Neither of these will get you across a lake or bay. For that you will need this. It’s a Schiller X1.

“There’s nothing like a flat tire to bring a bike ride to a screeching halt (short of an accident), but this invention could have you back in the saddle in less than a minute after a flat.”

Suppose you have a flat on your way to the South Pole. With this device you are on your way in 60 seconds.

Check out this video to see how it works.

 

 

And the best biking city in the U.S. Is… Congratulations, New York City!

“According to Bill Strickland, the editor-in-chief of Bicycling Magazine, New York nabbed the best biking city award thanks to its recent increase in bike lanes as well as the city’s widely popular bike sharing program, Citi Bike. “Bikes are an indicator of the vibrancy of an urban area,” Mr. Strickland said. “We wanted to reward the entire vibrancy.”

 

The DENNY is named the ULTIMATE URBAN UTILITY BIKE.

“A bike design competition project to create and produce the “next-wave urban bike” garnered some amazing entries from design firms and their bike builder partners, and while all of the designs had some notable features, one bike rose above them all and was named as the Ultimate Urban Utility Bike.”

What do you think?

 

 

In 1930s France, recumbent bicycles were all the rage. After a recumbent broke the world hour record—the longest distance covered in an hour—in 1933, the design was banned from competition in the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) conference. Hobbyists continue to tout the comfort and ease of the recumbent, however. This model, the Sironval Sportplex, dates from 1939. Only 200 were sold.

The above is taken from a Sierra Club article on their website called, The Bicycle: Art on Two Wheels.

London designer Michael Embacher caught the bike bug about 10 years ago, when he traded his car for a pedal-powered commute. He fell in love with the bicycle’s clean, efficient design, and it transformed his life and health. More than 200 bicycles later, Embacher boasts an impressive collection of two-wheeled works of art.

Enthusiasm is best when shared, and Embacher does just that with his new book, Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design(Chronicle Books), a compendium of 100 strange, sleek, and classic bikes from his collection…

I encourage you to view the slide show at the site to get a sample of vintage bikes. Here’s another picture from the collection. It seems that cargo bikes are all the rage these days. Check out this site called 6 BRILLIANT CARGO BIKES FOR HAULING STUFF IN STYLE.

Built for transporting cargo, the Smith and Co. Long John was the longest two-wheeled freight bicycle on the streets in 1983. This bike from Denmark can support a load of more than 300 pounds, rider included.

 

Need a little something extra to get up those hills. The Copenhagen Wheel has hit the market. Seems simple enough.

Still have lot’s of bike material but I’m going to end this post with one more article.

Ditching Cars for Buses, Bikes Best Way to Cut City Pollution.

LONDON, Sept 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Encouraging people to abandon their cars and use public transport or walk or cycle around cities offers the “least pain, most gain” way to cut air pollution from traffic by 2050, a new international study said on Wednesday.

The report, by the University of California and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), proposed governments expand rail and bus transport and ensure cities are safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Researchers found that a radical change in the way people get around cities could cut carbon dioxide emissions from urban passenger transport by about 40 percent by 2050 and save $100 trillion in public and private spending.

The article can be found here. Just watch out for that bus in back of you!

A man cycles past vehicles in a gridlocked street in Jakarta December 11, 2013.

CREDIT: REUTERS/BEAWIHARTA

 

GOOD BIKING TO YOU.