What happens to an impoverished developing nation town when you flood it with 20,000 bicycles? You lift three times that number of people out of poverty. Pedals for Progress and founder David Schweidenback have been shipping used American bicycles to Rivas, Nicaragua for the last two decades and the transformation has been incredible.
Commuting in ten
Look ma, no rider!
A clever gadget but Dave Moulton remains unimpressed.
Remote controlled bike
Get it off your back
Soundtrack with cadence
cycle.jog.fm asks "I cycle at [insert cadence here] rotations per minute" and offers "the best workout songs and playlists for your cycling pace".
The strongest survive
Protect your goodies
"Chain Condom is a bicycle chain cover that attaches in less than a minute and protects your car's interior and bike's drive train."
Run the numbers
Grist has some "interesting demographic data" on the demographics of cycling in the USA.
The Age reports new findings on helmet safety:
An analysis by Norwegian researchers of existing studies has suggested previous scrutiny was biased towards helmets and relied too heavily on research into 1980s ''stack-hat'' style hard-shell helmets. They argued that today's ''soft-shell'' helmets were less effective at reducing brain injuries.
And come to that, when considering and studying the utility of the bicycle helmet, it might be helpful to define what is a bicyclist?
Meanwhile in Britain, cyclists are getting tired of being tut-tutted for not wearing an 'undignified plastic hat'.
Thoughts on your wheels
Kathleen Wilker urges you to love the ride you're with
So to everyone who's in the market for a fabulous spring bike, I wish you well in your search for the perfect bike and hope you have all kinds of great rides with your shiny new wheels.¬† And to everyone who is cruising along on clunkers that they own or that they've borrowed, may you love the ride you're with!¬† Because a set of wheels is a set of wheels.
Wall Street Journal on alpine cycling without (much) pain:
Like Italy's Dolomites and the French Alps synonymous with the Tour de France, the Swiss mountains become a sporty Eden each summer for cyclists who want to test their stamina, or just soak up the rugged countryside and rich mix of German, French and Italian culture.
Clover Moore wants more bike lanes in Sydney to encourage the cycling.
While we're on the subject, a study published in Injury Prevention finds that the injury risk of bicycling on physically separated bicycle-exclusive paths along roads is less than bicycling in the roads themselves. [twitterer]
That is, unless the lanes are painted by the City of Yarra: Spills prompt bike-lane safety fears.
The cure for doorings?
The rotary drop door for cars could be a cure for doorings, but I just don't see it catching on.
Elly Blue discusses the economic case for on-street bike parking, noting that "the solutions might seem difficult and costly … until you break them down and put them in perspective."
Most notably, "business owners are among the first to catch on that well designed, visible bike parking, built in accordance with best practices, makes it easy and attractive for customers to ride to a business".
Sarah Wilson: "I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel!" [twitterer]
Creating a company centered around cycling, however, was the last thing Perez had on his mind when he staged his first race in 2006. "I'm one of those people who has a knack for organizing things, and I just put together this mountain bike race as a fundraiser while I was still at Medtronic," he recalls. The event was so successful that friends began urging him to start a race event company. At first Perez was skeptical. Making money at something he loved so much seemed counterintuitive, he explains. But when his second race in 2007 drew twice as many participants as his first, Perez decided to take the plunge. He resigned from Medtronic and started Bike Monkey. When asked how he came up with the name, Perez says, "I don't know. The two words together just made me smile."
Gizmodo reckons these bike inner tubes wince when punctured, and then self-seal. Cool. [twitterer]
- @amsterdamized says "Dutch program tries to change driving behavior of notorious offenders, doesn't seem to work".
- The Age reports that "The number of people being seriously injured on Australia's roads is on the rise, according to new research that takes some of the shine off much-heralded reductions in road fatalities…And one of the most worrying trends was a big increase in the number of middle-aged men being injured on motorcycles and bicycles." [twitterer]
- New York Times: "A nationally representative sample of more than 800 crashes involving teenage drivers shows that almost two-thirds were due not to reckless behavior like speeding or joyriding but to three novice driving mistakes: failing to scan the road, misjudging driving conditions and becoming distracted."
On the same topics, the WHO notes that mobile phone use is part of a growing problem of driver distraction:
Distracted driving is a serious and growing threat to road safety. With more and more people owning mobile phones, and the rapid introduction of new "in-vehicle" communication systems, this problem is likely to escalate globally in the coming years…It is now evident that if you are using a mobile phone while driving you are approximately four times more likely to be involved in a crash than a driver who is not using a phone. This risk appears to be similar for both hand-held and hands-free phones, because it is the cognitive distraction that is an issue, not only the physical distraction associated with holding the phone. Text messaging appears to have an even more severe impact on driving behaviour and crash risk.
In the pristine forests above Leavenworth, Washington, there exists a world of hidden trailheads and clandestine trails. Here a sect of outdoor enthusiasts, extreme mountain bikers called freeriders, have gone underground. They are the skate punks of the forest, unwelcome and under pressure to leave. The locations of their trails are carefully guarded secrets and the riders who ride them keep constant vigil, on the lookout for US Forest Service rangers.