New Year's Resolution
Have we got a video?
Bike lane vs roundabout, dilemma:
How to safely turn right when motorists can go straight ahead from the lane on your right, but by law cyclists are required to stay in the bike lane on a roundabout -- and not cross an unbroken white line because that's also against the law.
Approaching from either of the other two directions the bike lane simply ends, at least then allowing you to safely choose the correct lane before riding through.
Roundabouts: a sure sign that your local road engineers don't care about bike or pedestrian movement. Discuss.
The Hurty Dozen
The rise of the child's toy
Here's a Goofy cartoon from 1943 in which alternatives to the car are sought due to the gasoline and rubber shortage:
Then like a bolt from the blue came a solution. The answer to a nation's needs. A simple device once discarded as a child's toy yet now bids fair to completely replace the automobile…
Engineering fail…no wait
When infrastructure is done right…
Bristol's Railway Path is becoming a victim of its own success and this Danish study found "that bicycle projects are likely to yield a positive economic return for society, because the benefits of the projects exceed the costs".
…but it isn't all about 'facilities'
Put down that damn phone!
Mashable reports that:
The latest findings from the NHTSA study indicate that 3,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2010 due to distracted drivers. Although the study classified distractions as talking and changing the radio to using a mobile device, it noted that reading or writing texts increases the chances of an accident by 2,300%.
The NHTSA also said that drivers who use mobile devices in any capacity are four times more likely to have an accident and injure themselves or others. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., and 16% of young drivers involved in fatal accidents were driving distracted.
"Using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol concentration level of .08%, the legal limit in most states," the NHTSA said in a statement. "Using a cell phone can reduce the brain activity associated with driving by 37%."
See also the usually thoughtful commentary on this topic by Dave Moulton
Commuters coming into North and South Stations now routinely hop on bikes to get to their offices. Tourists use it as a way to better see the sights without the wear of walking. And I personally have found that it changes things: I now readily go places I didn't. Cars are expensive to park; subways take too long. The bike is quick and easy.
Ah, is this what “cycling” is about?
Urban Riding Tips: Tip 142: Ride behind someone with a stupid set-up.: "The kind of people that install experimental portage systems are over-represented in the penal system due to their tendency to commit spur-of-the-moment crimes against the person."
Soon "normal" may be unusual
By 2025, it's predicted that 2/3 of the Australian population aged over 25 will be overweight or obese if current trends continue. To paint the picture more crudely, it means that a person of normal weight will soon be the exception rather than the rule.
Gadgets and Gear
- Old school sidewall dynamo charger for iPod iPhone Cellphone and other devices
- Revolights look pretty cool.
- Or you can go reflective and support Fiks:Reflective Rim Stripes [Thanks tom]
- Fizik Kurve bike saddle goes for the flex appeal [Thanks tom]
- Bicycle with USB ports to charge devices off a built-in dynamo [Thanks tom]
- A battery pack disguised as classic Dutch bicycle repair kit [Thanks tom]
I'm still astonished at the sheer bloody laziness of people who 'stalk' others for a parking spot in shopping centre carparks. This article on WSJ.com puts the lie to the myth that shopping centres are always short on parking spaces:
Circling around a parking lot hunting for a space is one of life's most irritating experiences, especially this time of year. Truth is, though, there are usually available spots—most mall lots fill to just 30% to 35% of capacity, research shows. Shoppers in a rush just don't want to walk.
The irony is that in taking so long to find a 'handy' parking spot, their shopping trips probably take longer.