My artist/serial entrepreneur friend Julian Bleecker's new labor of love is OMATA. The company and gadget that he and co-founder Rhys Newman have been working on intensely for the last year or so today officially launched on Kickstarter.
Fill in the registration form and agree to the code of conduct and you can participate in San Francisco's annual Bring Your Own Bigwheel race. Read the rest
PC Mark McKay, a police officer in Camberwell, London, tweeted this warning to locals to beware of bike racks that thieves have sawn through and camouflaged with gaffer tape; once the bikes are locked up, the thieves return, remove the tape, and make off with the bikes. Read the rest
A 1987 wind-tunnel trial established that leg-shaving was basically useless, used a miniature leg-model with hair glued to it for its control; when the experiment was re-run this year with a human leg, the savings were a whopping seven percent. Read the rest
Conversations with William Gibson are always a treat. Yesterday we sat down for a chat after our joint appearance at the Vancouver Writers' Festival, and talked about everything from how dead people use the Internet to the existential dilemmas of hipster time-travellers. Somewhere in there, Bill mentioned BagJack, a German messenger bag manufacturer that supplies some of the biggest (and most expensive) Japanese brands, and from whom you can buy at much lower prices (though the bags still run &eur;150-300).
The handmade bags really do seem lovely. I've ordered one to try out, and I'll let you know if it turns out to be the winner it looks like. In the meantime, have a look for yourself (Bill mentioned the extremely clever tablet holster that swivels around to prop your tablet open against your chest, which is awfully martian in the very best way).
Jim Saska is a jerky cyclist, something he cheerfully cops to (he also admits that he's a dick when he's driving a car or walking, and explains the overall pattern with a reference to his New Jersey provenance). But he's also in possession of some compelling statistics that suggest that cyclists are, on average, less aggressive and safer than they were in previous years, that the vast majority of cyclists are very safe and cautious, and that drivers who view cycling as synonymous with unsafe behavior have fallen prey to a cognitive bias that isn't supported by empirical research.
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The fact is, unlike me, most bicyclists are courteous, safe, law-abiding citizens who are quite willing and able to share the road. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia studied rider habits on some of Philly’s busier streets, using some rough metrics to measure the assholishness of bikers: counting the number of times they rode on sidewalks or went the wrong way on one-way streets. The citywide averages in 2010 were 13 percent for sidewalks and 1 percent for one-way streets at 12 locations where cyclists were observed, decreasing from 24 percent and 3 percent in 2006. There is no reason to believe that Philly has particularly respectful bicyclists—we’re not a city known for respectfulness, and our disdain for traffic laws is nationally renowned. Perhaps the simplest answer is also the right one: Cyclists are getting less aggressive.
A recent study by researchers at Rutgers and Virginia Tech supports that hypothesis. Data from nine major North American cities showed that, despite the total number of bike trips tripling between 1977 and 2009, fatalities per 10 million bike trips fell by 65 percent.
YouTube user Dfriel1 and a pal went out for a Sunday bike ride on a road east of Longmont, CO, when a driver in a Ford Explorer (license plate Colorado 893 EKG) pulled up behind them and rode their tails for five minutes*, blaring his horn and holding up the traffic behind them. Despite their having pulled into single file, and despite the ample room for passing, the driver appeared to either want to express a general displeasure for cyclists, or believed that cyclists should actually pull off the road in the presence of cars. They Colorado State Police have received a report, and Dfriel1 says he's located other cyclists who've had run ins with this driver.
As a Founder of TrainingPeaks.com I encourage everyone to get out and ride bikes as part of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone no matter what their age or where they may live should have the right to feel safe when riding whether it be for health, fitness or simply commuting to work.
Insane Driver who obviously doesn't like people on bikes (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
*Only two minutes are recorded here; in the narration, Dfriel reports that his camera ran out of memory at that point. Read the rest
Yeongkeun Jeong and Aareum Jeong created the "Reel," a bike accessory that invites you to create a woven container on your frame, using a clever system of adhesive buttons to keep it secure:
The concept is fairly simple. Reel comes in two parts: a long piece of strong red rope, plus a sheet of clear plastic buttons. Peel a buttons off the sheet and attach them at regular intervals along your bike’s frame (they form teeth to keep the rope in place, preventing it from sliding to the bottom of the frame). Then uncoil the rope and start looping it around the diamond-shaped hole that’s formed by your top tube, down tube, and seat tube. When you’re done, you’ll have an ad-hoc “basket” to portage everything from patch kits to baguettes (just like on the Tour!).
Although, to be frank, Reel seems like it’s tempting fate. Twisting a thick rope around your frame, only millimeters away from complex mechanical system that keep your body in motion in traffic… Well, let’s just say, we’d test it out on the sidewalk first. Ride safe!
Cycling Hipsters, if you were truly worth your ironic sideburns and artisanal grease stains, you'd abandon that fixie and mount one of these bad boys. The Smithsonian honors National Bike Month with a dive into the image archives for this photo, the forerunner of the modern bicycle: a draisine from around 1818. More about this "dandy horse," below.
A bicycle repairer strokes his dog inside a storage box on his tricycle as he waits for his customer in Beijing November 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Soo Hoo Zheyang) Read the rest