Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cycle Style - new publication

Was looking for some new books to read yesterday and came across a new publication, Cycle Style, by Horst A Friedrichs, a London based photographer.  You can see a preview here. Its simply a collection of 200 images, depicting a diverse range of people and style within London's current urban cycling culture. I lifted the below picture from http://atticusandfinch.co.uk/2012/03/cycle-style-a-book/, to give you an idea of what can be found between the covers.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bicycle Trailer

I've never used a bicycle trailer, but I like the idea, especially for an extended cycling journey.  I just saw this neat trailer from Maya Cycle. I really like the way some thought has been put into moving the trailer around when it is not attached to a bike, the wheel barrow concept is very cool.




























For convenience when transporting the trailer around, I think the Burley Travoy is also very neat. Its use of a trolley design is exceptional. You can find a nice review of it here.





Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adelaide Cargo Bike Picnic, this weekend

Just a reminder, the Adelaide Cargo Bike Picnic is on this weekend.


Baby On bike

Recently this picture of a woman with a baby strapped to her back, riding a bike, caused a lot of commotion in Australia.






















Personally it doesn't really phase me, the lady seems to be in perfect control. The person controlling the car is another issue though, are they driving and operating a camera at the same time?

Torch Bicycle Helmet

Over at Kickstarter I found this helmet design, torch. I like the idea of a helmet with lights, indeed thats where I place my rear lights when Im cycling. The biggest downside though of the lights on the rear of your head is not always easy to tell it they are working.





I hope they can get this project going, for sure it is a daunting one, as I imaging the light assembly has solid objects, which are not really what you want embedded into a helmet that should collapse of compress upon impact.

If you are interested in getting a helmet with lights though, there is another helmet all ready on the market, the Lazer Urbanize.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Cycling not driving, better for economy

The Mayor of Copenhagen, Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard commissioned a study in 2010 to look at the economics of transport in the city. Amazingly the study found that driving cars delivers a $0.20 net loss for each mile driven. Whereas cycling creates a $0.35 net benefit to the economy per mile ridden. 
Id like to think that similar statistics would apply for all cities but I think in a city where the major form of transport is cycling, rather than driving, its not surprising driving has a negative affect. And I'm sure in a car focused city the opposite may be found. 
The study also concluded that 68% of residents bicycle at least once a week, and citywide, 35% of residents bicycle to and from work/school, more than any other transportation method. 

When taking trips of under 6 miles, bicyclists outnumber cars 3 to 1. And most commuters cycle year-round, even with an average low of 28-degrees Fahrenheit during snowy winter months and 2.5 inches of rain during summer months.

Im sure Mr Kjedldgaard was happy with the statistics. (information was found at http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/)

Sydney vs Melbourne: Cycling


Today I found an interesting article at theconversation. It looks at cycling in Australia, and perhaps more specifically the lack of cycling in Sydney. 


The article notes that according to the last census: 44,511 people in Sydney, 67,985 people in Brisbane, and 70,000 people in Melbourne cycle daily. Of these, 6,246 Sydney cyclists ride to work (0.78% of city population), compared with 10,177 in Melbourne (1.11%) and 7,274 in Brisbane (1.6%).
I've always wondered why cycling participation is so low in Sydney, especially when in comparison Melbourne has a reputation for bad weather. Some limited research however shows me that Sydney and Melbourne actually have a similar number of rainy days per year, but Sydney’s annual rainfall is twice that of Melbourne's. So this could be a possible cause, getting wet is one thing, getting drenched is another... 



Sydney is also hilly in comparison to Melbourne, and that could be a factor affecting cycling numbers. But for me if you have the right equipment it shouldn't really matter. But for sure taking a classic dutch bike up the Spit is not going to be much fun. And as the article states, San Francisco is a great cycling city, and its not exactly pancake flat. 
Sadly the article also finds that; "In comparison with other cities around the world with similar metropolitan-area-population, Sydney has one of the highest cyclist death rates." Im not really surprised by this, as I personally find it more dangerous in Sydney than in other cities around the world, and for me the reason for this is not the number of motorists on the road, but the way in which the motorists operate their vehicles. With aggression. 
The City of Sydney has introduced more bike lanes to help improve the statistics, but the article suggests that what is really needed is the development of “a proper cycling culture...
Developing and fostering a healthy cycling culture is not simply about encouraging more people to cycle, or introducing more cycling infrastructure. Behaviours and attitudes also have to change; among cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, and also among those that contribute to city planning.
Cycling needs to be perceived as a viable way to get around, as it is in so many European and Asian cities. But it should also be seen as an activity that allows more spontaneous explorations of the city and the opportunity to experience the city in a more intense and rich way. 
And perhaps in my mind there should also be some development of a healthy 'driving culture'. 
Finally the article suggests that Sydney should look to San Francisco as a model for developing a cycling culture. Where it seems that a combination of, bicycle  infrastructure projects, and events celebrating cycling culture, have created a true cycling city. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jeremy Clarkson - on bikes

Recently in the InGear section of The Sunday Times Jeremy Clarkson shared some of his insights on cycling. He may do this quite often, but it's the first I have heard. Most of his comments related to Copenhagen:


"I suspect even the Danes are baffled about why they keep being picked out as a shining example of humanity at its best. Just last week a newspaper in Copenhagen suggested it must be because, while cycling from place to place, visitors enjoy looking at all the pretty Danish girls’ bottoms. 



"In fact, I’ve decided that the world’s five best cities are, in order: San Francisco, London, Damascus, Rome and Copenhagen. It’s fan-bleeding-tastic. And best of all: there are no bloody cars cluttering the place up. Almost everyone goes almost everywhere on a bicycle.
"Now I know that sounds like the ninth circle of hell, but that’s because you live in Britain, where cars and bikes share the road space. This cannot and does not work. It’s like putting a dog and a cat in a cage and expecting them to get along. They won’t, and as a result London is currently hosting an undeclared war. I am constantly irritated by cyclists and I’m sure they’re constantly irritated by me.
"City fathers have to choose. Cars or bicycles. And in Copenhagen they’ve gone for the bike. 

I sway to agreeing with this, but it reminds me of a George Orwell quote "nearly all creator's of utopia have resembled the man who has a toothache and therefore thinks happiness consists of not having the toothache."  Why cant cities be designed to accommodate both cars and bikes?

He also goes on to say;


And no one wastes half their life looking for a parking space. I’d live there in a heartbeat."  (photo lifted from - http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com)

Cycling is a pleasant way to get about, and hopefully in more and more cities find a level of harmony between cars and bicycles. And it's great that Mr Clarkson can appreciate a place where driving an overpriced status symbol isn't the best way to get around. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bicycle Philosophy

Yesterday when looking at Copenhagenize, I came across Bicycle Philosophy - "words of wisdom and poetry printed on T-shirts and stuff",  by Copenhagenize. These words caught my attention;






















definitely motivating words, and for sure its time to "change gear." The following quote is also interesting;


























Chck out the other quotes at http://www.bicyclephilosophy.com/

Copenhagenize to Brazil

Copenhagenize will be working with City of Sao Paulo on an exciting project, according to a blog post, I am sure we'll here more about it in the future. I love the poster, as seen below, gives credit to cyclists and people who choose to walk (I think they are often left out), as well as giving kudos to those who use public transport. 





Sunday, April 8, 2012

Winter Trails

This isn't commuter riding, but at when it comes to it we love all types of riding and, this is the most inspirational riding I've seen for a long time. A beautifully put together video, a must see, found at Pinkbike.com.



Silvia - Winter trails with Matt Hunter on pinkbike.com

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TEDxUCLA - Jimmy Lizama

Here's a nice TED ralk by Jimmy Lizama, putting forward his reasons for cycling rather than driving. Well worth the watch.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holstee Manifesto

Have just been looking at Bike Commuters News and came across this so called "Manifesto", or advertisement from Holstee.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Quarterre - Furniture for bikes

In 2010 four friends – exceptional designers and bike fiends – came together in the creative London district of Clerkenwell to form design studio Quarterre. (from their site)


They have 3 different designs at the moment, branchline, shadow and hood (in same order below). 





Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peugeot Concept Bike




Peugeot have come out with a nice concept bike, found at Design Boom. I thought this was going to be an E-bike, but on closer inspection it does not appear to be.  I love the idea of having a bag in the center of the bike, but it does place limits on the ability to comfortable pedal a bike, its a format that probably does suit an E-bike better. The bike is said to have an 8 speed hub, so they have hidden the gear cable nicely, or maybe not attached it for the sake of photography.




It does remind me of this bike a spied a while ago.