Is Andy Schleck in yellow?
Letter From Rwanda
Philip Gourevitch in The New Yorker on Team Rwanda.
Over 60% Australian adults now overweight or obese, and yet the myth persists that exercise makes you eat more food and gain weight.
Work it out
Gadgets and gear
Mapping a route to an alternative
We'd be happy to hear about other interesting options.
- Parlee Cycles is building a bike that encapsulates the forward-thinking design ideas of the Toyota Prius
- Solar + Cross (e bike)
- Pedal Powered School Bus—not a lot of fun to pedal back to the depot when all of the kids have got off.
Take a tip
Urban Riding Tips—hilarious.
Tech + bike = share
SoBi interfaces with a mobile app, which lets you locate and unlock unreserved bikes around the city…The system implements a clever financial incentive to have bikes returned to strategically located hubs, charging a fee for users who prefer to leave bikes elsewhere, then offering the same amount as a credit for riders who rent that bike and return it to a hub.
In other cities
That's the beauty of a bike, a simple machine with two wheels and zero ideology. When you can turn a pedal and feel safe, it's fun and makes sense.
And anyone can ride. There have been cheesy distortions of cycling as a trendy, elite activity—to link bike paths to ongoing gentrification, and claim the city is catering to a hipster fringe.
You want to see what a fraud that argument is? Get on a bike and ride. For every Spandexed obsessive tucked on a $3,000 carbon fiber frame you'll see 100 people of every imaginable background just trying to get to work, do their job, have fun with their kids, safely spin from A to B.
On the other hand, Christine Haughney at nytimes.com:
When Julie Hirschfeld opened a bicycle boutique for women, she envisioned fashion-obsessed customers with a disdain for spandex flooding in to buy bikes and accessories they would model along New York City's paved catwalks: miles and miles of new bicycle paths…One year later, Ms. Hirschfeld has conceded that it takes more than fashion to get women on bikes…
Despite the city's efforts to become more bike friendly, male cyclists in New York continue to outnumber female cyclists three to one, just as they have steadily over the past two decades. Data tracked by the city and private groups shows the gap between male and female cyclists is even wider in areas where vehicular traffic is more concentrated.
Cyclists rule in this city. Take a population of 780,000. Reckon that 75% of them over the age of 12 owns a bike, and that over half of them take a spin every day. Then look, in amazement, at the kit they wear (or rather, the kit they don't wear). No lurid jackets or flashing lights. No protective pads, gloves or twiddly bits. And no helmets, either. Nobody wears a helmet.
"In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving," said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. "Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars."
To that end, the municipal Traffic Planning Department here in Zurich has been working overtime in recent years to torment drivers. Closely spaced red lights have been added on roads into town, causing delays and angst for commuters…As he stood watching a few cars inch through a mass of bicycles and pedestrians, the city's chief traffic planner, Andy Fellmann, smiled. "Driving is a stop-and-go experience," he said. "That's what we like! Our goal is to reconquer public space for pedestrians, not to make it easy for drivers."
Plus a little note of reassurance for nervous Swanston St traders in Melbourne:
While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has generated controversy in New York by "pedestrianizing" a few areas like Times Square, many European cities have already closed vast areas to car traffic. Store owners in Zurich had worried that the closings would mean a drop in business, but that fear has proved unfounded, Mr. Fellmann said, because pedestrian traffic increased 30 to 40 percent where cars were banned.
The city of Rotterdam is currently looking into the possibility of giving people whose bikes were stolen a new bike — well no, 'another' bike, one that was 'towed away'. Illegally parked bikes (yes, if you park it in the wrong place because the racks are too full or whatever, the city takes them away) are to be re-used and given to people who had their bikes stolen.
Riding without headphones
Problem solved: I don't wear headphones while I'm cycling.
My advice to you is that when you're out on your bike, as often as possible, look up from your Garmin, heart rate monitor and bike computer, and look around and enjoy. Maybe even leave technology at home?
- Fallen Leaves
- Northern Italy is beautiful for mountain biking. Highly recommended!
- A European super classic in the middle of northern province with the taste of ketchup.
Beauty in Utility
Hack: bike appliances
- Bike-powered sewing machine [twitterer]
- Spincycle is a washing machine that can be powered by pedalling [Thanks tom]
Watch out for the lumberjack
Doing it tough
Experts say he is the first cyclist to attempt the most difficult bike race in the world sans meat, dairy or eggs. (He will cheat slightly, he says, because he plans to eat small amounts of salmon two days per week to increase iron absorption).
Ride big: claim the lane
When the cyclist is in the center of the lane, it's immediately clear to the motorist that passing within the lane is impossible, so the driver changes lanes at the earliest opportunity.
With video demonstration.