This bicycle has invisible wheels

The Q outfitted a bicycle with invisible wheels. It's a simple idea (while probably tricky to get right) with a rather wonderful effect.

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Mister Jalopy offers a unique approach to local retailers staying open while maintaining social distance

Maker icon and Boing Boing friend, Mister Jalopy, is one of my all-time favorite outside-the-box thinkers. David Letterman used to be fond of saying: "He (or she) ain't hooked up right." He always meant it as a compliment -- someone who marched to their own drummer, someone unvarnished, someone who didn't succumb to habituated thinking. Mister Jalopy ain't hooked up right.

In this Instagram video, he announces that his store, Coco's Variety, LA's most idiosyncratic bike shop, will remain open where so many other stores are closing. They are going old-timey and setting up a counter in the entrance to the store. Customers will approach the counter, request what they want, and the staff will bring purchases to them. They will also still work on your bike (if you're willing to have it washed in disinfectant first).

It will be interesting to see what other retailers do creatively to remain open. This is an inspiring start.

 

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Coco’s is trying to keep the doors open to keep the wheels turning. Unprecedented times in which cycling becomes more important, not less so.

A post shared by Coco's Variety (@cocosvariety) on Mar 16, 2020 at 12:51pm PDT

Image: Screengrab Read the rest

Bicycles shipped in fake flatscreen TV boxes suffer less shipping damage

In 2015, Amsterdam-based e-bike company VanMoof started shipping to the United States but found that a disproportionate number of them were damaged during shipping. So they started putting the bikes in fake flatscreen TV boxes. From VanMoof:

That small tweak had an outsized impact. Overnight our shipping damages dropped by 70-80%. We sell 80% of our bicycles online, which means we still print TVs on our boxes. More than 60,000 of them have now been shipped directly to our riders worldwide.

Now other bike companies do it too:

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Strength through progress - hundreds of MATE. ready and packed every week! ? #matebike

A post shared by MATE.BIKE (@mate.bike) on Apr 1, 2017 at 1:57pm PDT

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Kickstarting a new feminist bicycle science fiction: this one's about dragons!

Elly Blue has kickstarted a series of successful feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies; her latest is Dragon Bike: Fantastical feminist bicycle stories, for which she is seeking $6,000 ($10 gets you an ebook, $13 gets you a printed book, $15 gets you a book and a poster). Read the rest

Why we never forget how to ride a bike

There's scientific truth to the saying that you never forget how to ride a bike. Even if you can't remember phone numbers, birthdays, or where the hell you parked your car, it's likely that even if you haven't been on a bicycle in decades, you can climb on and ride away just fine. Why? Neuropsychologist Boris Suchan of Germany's Ruhr University Bochum lays it out as best we know in Scientific American:

As it turns out, different types of memories are stored in distinct regions of our brains. Long-term memory is divided into two types: declarative and procedural.

There are two types of declarative memory: Recollections of experiences such as the day we started school and our first kiss are called episodic memory. This type of recall is our interpretation of an episode or event that occurred. Factual knowledge, on the other hand, such as the capital of France, is part of semantic memory. These two types of declarative memory content have one thing in common—you are aware of the knowledge and can communicate the memories to others.

Skills such as playing an instrument or riding a bicycle are, however, anchored in a separate system, called procedural memory. As its name implies, this type of memory is responsible for performance...

According to one idea, in the regions where movement patterns are anchored fewer new nerve cells may be formed in adults. Without this neurogenesis, or continuous remodeling in those regions, it’s less likely for those memories to get erased.

"Why Don’t We Forget How to Ride a Bike? Read the rest

Watch this unusual way to teach bus drivers to be careful around bicyclists

In this video from Cariacica, Brazil, bus drivers sit on stationary bikes as a bus whizzes past. Why? To give the drivers a visceral sense of what it feels like when a 30,000 pound metal behemoth flies by less than two meters from your exposed body. The goal is to educate the drivers on why they should respect the mandatory 1.5 meter gap.

(Bicycling via Weird Universe) Read the rest

A working bicycle made of wood

YouTuber The Q spent 200 hours crafting a rideable bicycle out of wood, the glue that holds it together, and a handful of metal pieces like washers.

Why? I don't know, but it's pretty cool.

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

Watch how this chain-free bike operates

CeramicSpeed makes bikes that use a drive shaft instead of a chain. Shane Miller got a close look at Eurobike 2018. Read the rest

Self-driving cars face a huge challenge in detecting bicycles

Self-driving cars have a hard time predicting bicycle movement, and workarounds that require cyclists to buy transmitters are running into resistance from some. Read the rest

When Cyclists clash

Exhibit A: When American cyclists get in one another's way.

Exhibit B: When British cyclists get in one another's way.

Exhibit C: When Canadian cyclists get in one another's way.

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Headbadges: the lost, gorgeous bicycle hood ornaments of yesteryear

Collectors Weekly's feature on "headbages" tells the story of the 1000+ badge collection of bike-mechanic-turned-evolutionary-biologist Jeffrey Conner, who published a book on the subject, featuring an alphabetic index of photos from his collection. Read the rest

Child almost wins balance bike race but is having too much fun to care

Win? Nah, it's more fun just to keep playing.

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Look at the public bike purgatory in Hangzhou,China

The city of Hangzhou, China has more than 86,000 public bicycles. Unfortunately, when many people are done using them, they don't put them in the designated docking center but just drop them wherever. According to Wired, "police have rounded up 23,000 bikes so far this year and hauled them to 16 corrals around the city" like the one seen above. And that's not even the whole lot of 'em. Read the rest

Easy to use bicycle chain tool

Guess how I'm spending Saturday morning? This bicycle chain tool works for both my road bike and my mountain bike that loves to break its chain.

Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool With Chain Hook via Amazon Read the rest

Air-free non-pneumatic tires are coming to a bicycle near you

Few things are more annoying for cyclists than changing a flat, especially on a back tire. Non-pneumatic tires that have proven workable for off-roading and other vehicle prototypes are now getting tested for bicycles. Read the rest

Wind so intense that these cyclists can't pedal into it

Strong winds in Cape Town, South Africa disrupted the recent Cape Town Cycle Tour. If the cyclists had just turned around, the following would be their theme song:

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Watch cyclists try to retrieve a bike ensnared in an electric fence

Big DT writes: "Whilst pedalling today my mate Paul went to put his bike over a fence. Half way though he realised that it was electric! So he dropped it on the fence. This is a video of him and my mate Al trying to get it off! Please excuse the swearing and oh yes by the way the clicking sound is the electric pulsing!!"

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