Tuesday, June 23, 2015

McBike - specifically designed packaging for cyclists

I like it when non cycling companies get serious about their customers who cycle, but I won't be riding through a McDonalds drive thru any time soon.  Designing a bag/container that hangs onto one's handlebars is going to be open for criticism. I do ride with bags hanging off my handlebars , but off course I cannot really recommend this practice. I can see the lawsuits coming when having a Big Mac, Fries, and Coke attached to someones bars compromises the steering of a bike and causes an accident...

A standard paper bag of food sitting in a basket is perhaps a much better idea.

Here is the promo vid

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How much energy does it take to toast a slice of bread?

Watching Olympic medalist Robert Förstemann put out the power needed to toast a slice of bread is quite amazing. Needless to say considering the size of my legs I won't be hooking my bike up to a toaster any time soon. 

This is definitely an eye opener as to how much power we use every day. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The saga continues, thanks to the helmet.

Star Wars villain Darth Vader is being used by the German government in an initiative aimed at getting more people to wear a helmet while riding a bike.
The campaign sees Vader appear on billboards in Berlin, Cologne and Munich, with the strapline: "The saga continues: Thanks to the helmet. True for every galaxy. And on the bike."
Germany’s transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said he wanted to see more people on bikes sporting the protective headgear. "The helmet is part of promoting safe cycling," he added.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cyclist Shot

48-year-old John Jacoby was gunned down whilst cycling on a rural road Monday morning.
He had been shot twice, and was discovered by a passing driver shortly after 10 a.m. near the intersection of County Road 15 and County Road 72. You can see a news report here...

I really hope this was not  some form of road rage.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ride of Silence - 20th May

The annual Ride of Silence is coming up, so try and support your local ride.  If your not familiar with it, this extract from the webpage explains what its all about:

"On May 20, 2015 at 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. (Read the full history here...)

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honore the lives of those who have been killed or injured."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

South African Bicycle Portraits

Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler initiated Bicycle Portraits, "a photographic study of South Africans who rely on their bicycles every day, revealing who rides, why they ride, and of course why so few South Africans choose the bicycle as a primary mode of transport. With more than 500 portraits compiled over three years and 10,000 cycled kilometers, the project culminates in three published volumes as a portrait of a nation through it’s commuter subculture – uncovering all manner of societal, historical and cultural nuances never imagined. Bicycle Portraits celebrates the noblest machines ever dreamt up, and those who ride them..."

London bike shop, cafe and events venue Look Mum No Hands! are hosting the UK launch of “Bicycle Portraits” this Thursday 14th May

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Commutes Down 54%

As I type, it's 11 degrees, and I feel cold... and I wonder in amazement at this statistic from Strava. According to their statistics for 2014, Winter commutes decreased 54%, compared to summer commutes. For me thats pretty good, for sure riding in the cold and wet, is not fantastic. For sure, those who use Strava to record their commutes are more likely to be dedicated cyclists, so perhaps the statistic is not going to be reflective of the general population. But well done to all these commuters, it is an admirable statistic.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Cycling Revolution

This video from Nathan Visick and Rachel Mullins is a good overview of cycling in London, with insights into what needs to be done to make London a better place for cyclists.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Larger Bi5 Lock

Ortre has added a new longer {an extra 2 inches} BI5 U-Lock. It retains the same easy to pocket slender lines, but the added length lets you lock both wheels and your frame . 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Scary Saddles

Canadian designer Clem Chen crafted these for a saddle-up show in Vancouver, Canada where local artists modified and played with donated bike saddles. I dont know what these are made of, but the tongue looks very realistic. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tokyo to Osaka: the tunnel

Given Japan is a hilly country, there are a lot of tunnels. But what is annoying, on roads, that on a map look cycling friendly, you can find yourself at a tunnel, which you are not allowed to ride through. Or simply, bicycle unfriendly tunnels are not marked on maps. This is a problem as finding an alternate route, is not always going to be easy, and can add a lot of kilometres to your journey. 

You can however ride through a lot of tunnels, and I think its a good idea to have lights on your bike all the time, so you can turn them on quickly when needed, as the tunnels are not all well lit, and don't necessarily have good shoulders for riding. 

After I decided to make the trip from Tokyo to Osaka I did a quick search "cycling tokyo to osaka" and I came across this website "" that documents a similar trip made some years back by a group of fixie riders.  They made a short film {below} and if you look @ 5:40 they came across a tunnel which they could not ride through.

As luck would have it - I too came across this tunnel. Well, from looking at the video it seems to be the exact same tunnel, there was also a temple, and it was also on the way to Omaezaki. So possibly this tunnel is here to taunt all crazy cyclists on this trip. Anyway, in my mind I decided that I'd just ride through it, no one would know. It had been a slow day, and I needed to make up some km's.  

Upon approaching the tunnel, a voice came over a loudspeaker, and I assumed who ever it was, had seen me via some camera, and was telling me not to ride through. The same thing happened to the Fixie riders. So reluctantly I turned around.

Luckily enough, I found an alternate route with not too much trouble. The great thing was that this alternate route, was a highlight of the trip. I had to ride closer to the coast and I came across was this crazy road built around the mountain the tunnel went through. But it wasn't on land, it was built over the sea. As one person put it too me, "Japanese love over engineering".

Then I went through a series of small tunnels, sort of ironic, as some were single lane. The view of the coast was great, and the road was winding, with gentle up and downhill sections. The type of road I love to ride. If anyone does this trip, this is definitely a stretch to ride. It's Route 416, around Yaizu. 

Below are just a couple of pics: