Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Carbon Filtered Water Bottle

Black+Blum an Anglo-Swiss design partnership who have set themselves the brief of designing "functional products that will charm and entertain."  Its a nice mission, and one that they do live up to, just have a look at some of their projects at . Their latest product, Eau Good, an organic and stylish looking water bottle that makes tap water taste great, was recently brought to my attention. 
Wanting to create a bottle that would filter tap water as you drink the team enlisted Japanese carbon filters that reduce chlorine and chemicals, add minerals to the water and balance the pH. 
Whilst this bottle is not bicycle water bottle cage friendly, it may be a great bottle for stashing in your bag, and would help alleviate the pain of paying crazy prices for bottled water when your out and about. Wow, remember when we used to drink from the tap!!!

Nothing to do with cycling, but I also like this design -

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bicycle ART

Take a look at Bike Art. This unique book takes a look at "bicycles in art around the world". The author Kiriakos Iosifidis presents us with an array ograffiti, paintings, remarkable bicycle designs, complex constructions, and various types of bicycles . Over 250 international artists, illustrators, painters, sculptors, industrial designers, photographers, and organizations are represented. Looking through the book, and at art and popular culture in general it seems that the humble bicycle is taking on a new role; it seems to be evolving into a symbol of freedom, utilitarianism, environmentalism and perhaps the future. Indeed the status once pinned to car ownership, may possibly be being handed over to bicycle ownership. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Top US Cycling and Walking Cities

The Alliance for Biking and Walking published the Benchmarking Report, ranking the top ten States for bicycling and walking levels as follows:
Top ten states in ranking of bicycling and walking levels:
1. Alaska
4. Montana
5. Oregon
6. Hawaii
7. Massachusetts
8. South Dakota
9. Wyoming
10. Maine
and the top ten cities as follows:
1. Boston
3. San Francisco
4. Seattle
6. Portland, OR
7. Minneapolis
8. Philadelphia
9. Honolulu
10. New Orleans

And to put this in some perspective, the report found that 1 per cent of all trips are made by bicycle and 10.5% made by foot. Figures also suggested that commuting by bicycle rose an impressive 57 per cent from 2000 to 2009.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Free Magazine: Bicycle Tourer

I've listed some free online publications before. Here is another I just came across, the Bicycle Traveller. I'm preparing for some cyclo-touring, something I have never done, so there may be a few more posts upcoming with a touring theme.

Ortre: Cinco5 urban utility bike

Just looking over some photos that I took a while back, and thought I'd share them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Summer of cycling

In 2012 UK cycling events organisers, charities, NGOs, industry manufacturers, retailers, Government bodies  are joining together to promote a summer of cycling. The campaign aims keep up the momentum of the cycling renaissance taking place in the UK, and introduce more people to cycling than ever before. There isn't a great deal of information on whats in the plans, but I'm sure we will find out soon. 

Scaled World Subways

Neil Freeman, artist and urban planner, has a cool website, fake is the new real. The name itself is so true.

Anyway - its not really bike related, but I love his artwork, the following two pieces are meso looks of NYC. The first is all the streets centre'd, and the second the subway.

On Ya Bike Warney

Perhaps Australia's most infamous cricketer has recently tweeted his views on cycling;

Sadly a few days post this spate of Twittering it seems Shane had an altercation with a cyclist who has released pictures of damage to his bike (below).

I wont go into the details of the event, as I'm sure details in the press are a bit blurry from both parties. The real issue though, is the anger that exists between motorists and cyclists in Australia. I think that everyone needs to be a bit more easy going on the roads, we're all just trying to get from A to B.

WOW  - this was the 100th post on ortre.blogspot

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Your Best Bike Stories of 2011 - at Artcrank

Over at artcrank they are currently featuring people's "best bike stories of 2011."  Its worth a read and it made me wonder what my best bike story of 2011 is.....

Well, I did a lot of riding, well over 10,000 km. Rode in a lot of new locations. Made quite a few new friends. The stand out ride for me was riding the second day of the Tour Of Friendship in Thailand. It wasn't a epic 200km, there weren't thousands of vertical meters climbed. There wasn't even any amazing scenery. What there was, was lots and lots of rain.  

In fact it was bucketing down, so much so that my tyres were submerged for the majority of the ride, I could barely see, and in tropical Thailand, I was freezing. It was memorable for being the single most dangerous ride I have ever done. I was amazed I didn't crash, with the roads submerged you could not tell if there were potholes coming, and there were an amazing number of joins in the road (in reality huge gaps) just waiting to swallow up my wheels. Sadly, a lot of people did crash, some right in front of me, for no apparent reason, several to the side of me when crossing railway tracks, but I'm pretty sure no one was seriously hurt. 

Looking for some pictures of the race I stumbled across Daniel Carruther's Blog on the race, where there a quote from Wade Wallace of Cyclingtipsblog fame, “Today was THE craziest day of bike racing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve done a lot of bike races, so that’s a pretty big statement.” 

The above picture is from the start of the race, the calm before the storm. Below is a picture from a support vehicle. Oh - the roads were not closed to traffic for the race.

I am planning to go back again this year - and hopefully it will be rememberable for other reasons. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Paris: Fed Ex Tricycle

FedEx has engaged four electric tricycles in Paris, with additional plans to increase the fleet to 12. The tricycles are from Urban Cab,  a transportation service with 22 pedal-powered “rickshaws” around the city. On their site they say that their Urban Cab's offer "unrivalled ways of negotiating the heart of the city centre, " and that they are specialists in "micro trips".

Sunday, January 15, 2012

URBAN CYCLING - written and designed by Katie King Rumford

Urban Cycling is a book dedicated to addressing the problems of biking in urban areas by suggesting alternatives and solutions to problems. This sweet book was developed as a final student project for a graduate level graphic design program by Katie King Rumford, I "believe that cycling is the future of transportation in San Francisco. It's efficient, inexpensive, fast, freeing, and fun. Why not ride a bike?"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bike Promotion Seoul

It's Sunday afternoon, killing time, and have come across a nice site, Described as 'an online resource for sustainable transport news, research and “best practice” solutions from around the world.' Its definitely a site I will keep an eye on. 
One article that took my attention was this, "Seoul Give Bike Subsidies to Commuters", in short its a program to promote public transit use. "Bicycle commuters are encouraged to ride their bikes to subway stations, park at designated kiosks and receive their subsidies upon retrieving their bikes by scanning traffic cards." For me its good to see more cities realising that bicycles need to be part of a whole system of transport, and should be integrated into existing infrastructure. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tripod inspired bike

Spotted this bike at Yanko Design, inspired by the camera tripod, the T-Bike by Reza Rachmat Sumirat uses telescoping tubes as a means of adjusting the size of the bike, and of course there is a mount for a camera. Definitely some interesting ideas on in this design, but what I like most is that the computer modelled bike still needs a bike stand. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Moving PVC Pipe Sculpture

Over at MYMODERNMET I spied these cool sculptures made out of PVC pipe. Created by Korean artist Duck-Bong Kang the figures are an exploration of human relationships and communication, but you can read more here

Monday, January 9, 2012

Architecture Considering Cyclists

Most large scale architecture tends to make consideration for motorists, i.e. they put in parking. Indeed most developed countries will have rules regarding the minimum amount of parking large scale buildings must have. For sure one of the major reasons people don't ride to work, or in this case university, is that their workplace does not adequately attend to the needs of a cyclist. Lets face it, non cyclists don't like you fumbling around whilst negotiating a less than friendly swinging door, walking your bike through the lobby, or cramming it in the elevator.

So its great to see the considerations taken for cyclists in the development of a new building for the Oregon Health and Science University. To start with, a dedicated entrance for cyclists. Nicely tucked under a main entrance, and at street level.

Once entering the building the cyclist will find 150 parking spaces, aswell as lockers, bathrooms and six unisex shower/changing rooms, two changing rooms without showers, and an interior stairway leading from the bicycle area into the main building lobby. In addition to the internal facilities for cyclists the building site will also have 268 short-term parking spots scattered throughout the sidewalk and plaza areas, making a total of 418 bicycle parking spots. And provision has also been made for an extra 150 indoor spots. 

Its not surprising this development is in Portland, definitely a cycling friendly city, but I hope that developers and architects take note and we see these cycling amenities become the norm in new buildings. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beautiful Power Assisted Bicycle

Nowadays there is a lot of talk about electric bikes. In my mind they definitely have a future, but I must say, I have never seen a truly beautiful electric bicycle. This may be something that is holding back their acceptance to many potential consumers. The other day however, I came across this motorbike/bicycle.

I have never heard of the brand before, but its a Mobylette,  a pedal motorcycle produced by the company Motobecane in France, launched in 1949 and produced until 1997. In my mind its a beautiful bike, I am sure you wouldn't get too far pedalling it, but you'd feel pretty happy with yourself cruising about on it. 

So i call out to all E-Bike manufacturers to try and produce some E-Bikes with a bit more style. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

23 and a half hours

This is one of the nicest presented videos I have seen. Its not exactly relevant to cycling, but more so health, wellbeing and fitness.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sweet Bamboo Bikes

Theres a lot of bamboo bikes out there now, but these are the sweetest ones I've seen. Check them out at I dont know too much about the bikes, but they seem to be personal projects by Eng, if I find out more I'll update the post. 

Singapore Bicycle Parking & Phone Holder

Recently on a visit to the City State of Singapore I came across four bikes parked where they were not supposed to be. Which is pretty easily done in a country with a severe lack of bicycle racks.

Of course the bikes weren't in anyones way , but the authorities had found a significant disliking to the bikes being there, and attached a nice warning sign for the owners.

I found this very amusing, and very Singaporian, but I do hope the owners of the bikes, who assume to be foreign workers, managed to get back to their bikes before the inevitable forceful removal. Of even more interest was the home handiwork displayed on the bike in the form of a custom made phone holder attached to the stem of the bike. 

Its amazing what can be made out of some miscellaneous packaging tray, and some zip ties. Given the overall design I don't think its made for the latest Iphone, most likely a more modest but practical phone.

Anyway, it is a pity that Singapore is not a bit more cycling friendly for commuters. It has supported excellent infrastructure for recreational cycling, but has really neglected commuters. Since distances for travel are short, and the island basically flat Singapore should be a fantastic city for commuting . The main problem holding it back is probably the climate, sporadic rain, and 100 percent humidity. I think though, if office buildings had better facilities for people to change and shower, and public transport were also more cycle friendly, usage of folding bikes could take off in the same direction as Taipei.

The foreign workrs have no problems riding to work so perhaps the locals should take their example.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Commuting by bike double in NYC since 2007

A report in the Gothamist states that DOT (I assume the Department Of Transport) has released a report on cycling in NYC determining that the number of people who commute by bicycle has increased 8% over 2011. In addition bike riding has increased 102% compared to 2007. As a cyclist its great to hear news like this, and one only hopes that this is a continuing trend. The following video is a celebration of cycling in NYC in 2011from Streetfilms. I wonder if people who drive to work watch videos of people driving to work....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bicycle Table

This is a nice table by Supermachine, designed for the offices of Saatchi & Saatchi in Thailand. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Birdhouse Bike Rack

I like the concept of living with less promoted by Graham Hill at Looking at the site this morning I came across this nicely designed bike storage unit. Its designed by Dimini who create small things for small homes. I snatched this picture to show you.