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
(via Kottke) Read the rest
Imagine being falsely accused of a crime, and even though you know you did nothing wrong, you’re forced to wear a tracking device that monitors every time you leave the house: where you go, when, and for how long. Even though you’re completely innocent, suddenly every errand and day trip is recorded, indefinitely, to be scrutinized, analyzed, and maybe even used against you. Go to the doctor? They know. Go to AA? They know. Go anyplace where you prize your anonymity, and the government will still know.
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I am a bicycle snob. I'm at a point where beauty and function generally win out over comfort or financial considerations. This is where non-cyclists start to get really confused. Deep down, riding a bike is about sacrifice, and that's not a popular starting point for most people. There's usually a faster way to get where you need, or a drier one, or one that causes a bit less hardship and pain. But the combination of physical challenge and childlike entertainment makes a bicycle a special thing, and this leads to a cascading series of strange decisions. Eventually, you end up riding around on tires that are too skinny, with bars that are too low and a saddle that is too hard. Read the rest
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
This man's reaction when a stranger points out he's wearing his motorcycle helmet BACKWARDS is endearing. Read the rest
Huh, I had no idea tiger tails for the back of bicycle seats were even a thing.
But, according to Loyal Supply Co., the design company behind this one, it's a throwback to an old 1959 ad campaign for ESSO fuel.
“Put a tiger in your tank,” the message read. A simple advertisement spawned a whole generation of kids using this strange attachment in a myriad of great ways.
If it seems strange that a gas company would be offering items for a bicycle, you might not be surprised that the tail was a promotional piece originally meant to hang off your gas cap, not your bike seat.
Loyal Supply is selling their version for just $4/tail. Read the rest
Elly Blue (previously) writes, "Will toilet paper be a valuable commodity after society collapses? Who will help you with your reproductive rights in the coming patriarchal dystopia? Why are humans so obsessed with gender? Are bots human? These questions and many more are answered with bicycles (and feminism!) in the eleven stories found in Bikes Not Rockets, the fifth volume in the Bikes in Space series. More relevant than ever, stories in this genre inspire visions of a future beyond the narrow status quo."
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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
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
Nigel Sylvester is back with the third in his crazy GO! video series, this time heading to Tokyo for a dizzying array of match-cut adventures on a simple red bike. Read the rest
This engineer, active in Kidderminster, England in the 1930s, appears to be the artistic ancestor of San Francisco's Cyclecide bike rodeo. (British Pathé via Weird Universe)
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For his project Velocipedia, artist/designer Gianluca Gimini asked friends and strangers to draw a men's bicycle from memory. Then he digitally mocked up the designs.
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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. Read the rest
When car drivers hear a car horn they react instantly. Bike bells, not so much. The Loud Mini bike horn sounds like a car horn. Great idea. The creators are almost fully funded on Kickstarter, with 12 days to go in their campaign. Read the rest
When I was young, I had a clunky, inefficient dynamo attached to my bike that powered the headlight when I pedaled. The Siva Atom works the same way but it converts your pedaling into power to charge USB devices and the removable 1650mAh battery pack. Read the rest
"O homem mais forte do mundo." Read the rest
Says Sploid, “This is so much cooler than seeing something poof and disappear away because we get to watch it slowly disintegrate into nothing.