Thursday, May 31, 2012

Obree, world record bike, genius

Back a few months I reported on Graeme Obree and his plan to tackle the land speed record by bicycle, you can see it here. Obree is back again promoting his attempt, and he's been doing more than just cooking in his kitchen.  The video he has released shows his amazing bike, purpose designed for the record, and some of the thoughts behind its creation.

This guy is amazing, inspirational, I really hope he gets the record.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Handlebar Bike Hanger

Here is a very nice idea for a bicycle hanger. I found it via twitter, but is from this blog, kylethewilson, Ive snatched two pictures.

I like the use of the old tube as bar tape. I'll definitely be making a couple of these for my house.

ORTRE UX, Urban Cross Build - Part 5 - complete

Just some pics of the Ortre Urban Cross fully built, and here if you have just tuned in, the previous blogs on the build, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

but stay tuned, the bike has been built, but it has yet to be "urbanised"

$41 Million for New York Bike Share

Just saw an article on about the announcement of New Yorks 41 million dollar bike share scheme. It is to be run by Alta Bicycle Share and on their websiteI found this nice vimeo about Alta and bike sharing.

the vimeo is from Yoxi, of which I haven't heard about. Here is their description from the web.

At Yoxi, we search for amazing people who work hard to change the world, and we connect them to new opportunities by telling their stories in creative, compelling ways. We call these people Social Innovation Rockstars (SIRs) because they are original thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and fearless leaders who care about creating lasting social value.

I'll have to check out more of their Vimeo's.

Monday, May 28, 2012

ORTRE UX, Urban Cross Build - Part 4

The build process of the ORTRE UX, Urban Cross is complete (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)I'm really happy with the build because I managed to build the bike up without the need to buy any parts. My stock of old parts really surprised me, I knew there was a lot there, but little things like the Record headset cap, really saved the day. The only thing I had to buy for the project was bar tape. Here's some shots.

From the pictures you can see I went with a rather unusual choice for the brakes, instead of traditional cantilever brakes, I opted for V-Brakes. The reason for this was simple, my spare parts bucket didn't have any cantilevers. In the future I'll get some proper canti's but in the mean time the V-Brakes are performing fine. And it would be cool to do a flat-bar version, then the brakes would work even better. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Car Door

It seems like the issue of car doors and cyclists are a hot topic at the moment in Australia. I saw this article on "Cycling's door zone of death" on the Sydney Morning Heralds Website, as well as this one, "Cars doors dangerous mix for cyclists".

Here is a video featured in the article, keep your eye on the right of the screen, and you will see a cyclist getting "car doored", thats scary enough, but the possibility of being hit by the taxi itself is maybe even worse. Indeed that's what happened to a lady in new Zealand in 2010.

The press is probably all in a response to a new bill presented to the Parliament of Victoria, Road Safety Amendment (Car Doors) Bill 2012. The second article states more than 100 cyclists are "car doored" each year in Melbourne, so I guess its a pretty serious issue there. The purpose of the bill is to "make it an offence to cause a hazard by opening a door of a vehicle", stating "A person must not cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle." 

If my understanding is correct, it is allready an offence to car door someone, but this bill increases the penalty, putting it on par with driving through a red light, 10 penalty points. 

I have never personally been "car doored" but I have been close, and it is something I am very aware of when riding. A large proportion of the roads we ride on in Sydney, and elsewhere, are lined with parked cars. Many cycleways are next to parked cars. So the hazard is ever present. 

When riding alongside parked cars I constantly look at the cars for signs that a door may open. I look for brake lights, or parking lights, I look to see if there are people in the car. Then I have a good idea if a door may suddenly swing open. Most importantly though its a good idea to keep a safe distance from parked cars as you never know what will happen. 

Once I was on King Georges road and a lady walked out from in front of a parked truck. I think she assumed that she would walk far enough not to be hit bay traffic, but didn't expect a cyclist, and consequently I rode into her. I blame her for the accident. And I guess she does too, as she ran away, so I guess she was not hurt. 

Anyway, I dont think increasing the penalty for car dooring someone is going to change the incidence, which is probably the motivation for the Bill. Having adequately wide roads, and less on street parking would probably make more of a difference. If cyclists and drivers are more aware of the dangers the incidence will also be less, so maybe some clever signage for drivers in parking areas would help. And signage for cyclists to remind them to look out for cars doors in high risk areas. 

Below is a video put out by the Cycling Promotion Fund, highlighting the dangers and giving their tips on dealing with car doors. 

Stray Dog Runs 1700km With Cycle Tourists

This is a nice story, check it out. Especially if you love dogs and bikes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pegoretti - "the most important thing is you make a nice job."

Seems like some lucky guys got to learn from Dario. Love the simplicity of the frame that is built. Straight tubes, simple lugs, and Daio's quote is timeless - "the most important thing is you make a nice job."

I'm still yet to understand the whole "knitting" thing. I understand the Steinberger. Thanks to

Frog on Bike

Found this on Urban Cyclist Worldwide, words of wisdom, remember them when that driver is honking at you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tweed Ride San Francisco

Here is a video from the San Francisco Tweed ride, I love the Trandem (if thats what you call it) @ 18 seconds into the video.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bike to Work Poster

Love this poster, I saw it on Pinterest, but its originally from Bandito Design Co ,  this is there website -

Ciclavia - 100,000 attend

Sounds like the Ciclavia event over the weekend was a big success, with over 100000 attending. CicLAvia is an event where temporarily cars are removed from L.A. streets - and the streets fill up with bikes and smiles! Its a great concept. CiclovĂ­as started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets.

picture via,

Saturday, May 19, 2012

ORTRE UX, Urban Cross Build - Part 3

Campagnolo or Shimano? That was the question I was left with in Part 2

The answer, as to which group set was to be used came down to one thing, which group set was in better condition? To be honest they both weren't in great condition, but the Campagnolo probably shifted a bit better, and since the Urban Cross is made from Italian Columbus Tubing, I may as well try to keep a bit of an Italian theme.

With the groupset chosen the first  component to fit would be the bottom bracket. Just a basic Campagnolo unit, and it went in perfectly. With that done, I took the chance to get a few detail shots of the frame before I really got stuck into the build. Beautifully made dropouts and derailleur hanger, and amazing cable guides under the bottom bracket.

Brussels Express

Here is a nicely crafted documentary on Brussels, its traffic, and cycling. One of the best videos I've seen in a long time, a great message, great people, and great images.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

ORTRE UX, Urban Cross Build - Part 2

In Part 1 of the ORTRE UX build I was left with the questions:
  • Drop Bars or Flat Bars?
  • Shimano or Campagnolo?
The first question was easily answered, flat bars would be nice, but my pile of spare parts doesn't contain any suitable shifters. It does however contain two complete road groups, a Shimano Ultegra set, and a Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed set. I also have wheel options for both.  So I guess now the time old question of "Campy or Shimano?" must be asked. 

ORTRE UX, Urban Cross Build - Part 1

The first ORTRE - UX frame is ready to be built up, and we're going do do a few blogs about the build over the next week or two. The UX is essentially a cyclecross frame, with eyelets for all the goodies you might want as a commuter like panniers and mudguards. It's a frame that you can get out on the weekend and log some training miles on, or hit some smooth flowing single-track, but we see it as a utility bike, great for someone who has a fairly long ride to work.  It's a general purpose tig welded frame, but unlike others its 100% Italian Columbus steel tubing, and a 100% steel fork, A frame that will last forever.

Like many of you, I've got a lot of old parts lying around, parts that got out dated, or were just not up to par for the race bike. The UX is here to give those old parts a new lease of life. I could just throw on a new group set, but the old parts are perfect for a commuter.

Because my spare parts collection is pretty extensive Iv'e got two big decisions first up for the build:
  • Drop Bars or Flat Bars?
  • Shimano or Campagnolo?
Stay tuned for the answers - or let me know what you'd do?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

16 Million Dollar Bike Share Scheme for LA

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced that the city will open a bicycle sharing system. With an impressive 4ooo bikes, and 400 stations. It will be a privately run system, simply because the city has no money. Bike Nation will be putting up the investment and running the scheme.
Given it is a private venture, I thought it would be good to look at the costs of using the scheme. There is an upfront membership fee, or subscription. 
24 Hour$6.00
72 Hour$12.00
7 Day$25.00
30 Day$35.00
1 Year$75.00

Subsequently, all trips under 30 minutes are free, and after the first 30 minutes of each ride you will be charged a fee for each additional half hour.
Trip Fees (tax included)
0 – 30 minNo fee
Up to 60 min$1.50
Up to 90 min$4.50
Each additional ½ Hr+ $6.00
This sounds pretty good to me, especially if the stations are located within an easy 30 minutes of each other, and close to places people want to go. Taking a bike for a good length of time is definitely discouraged at $6 for every 30 minutes in excess of 90 minutes.

The bike itself looks pretty interesting, a shaft drive with an internal hub gearing system. I dont know of any other schemes using shaft drive technology. If anyone has ridden one of these Bike Nation bikes I'd love to hear a review.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sydney's 200km Bicycle Network

There has been a lot of discussion over bike lanes in Sydney, and I must say I was pretty surprised to find the map below, showing 200km of bicycle ways planned for the City Of Sydney. I knew there were more bicycle ways planned, but this is really impressive. 

The planned construction of 200km of bicycle ways will include 55km of fully segregated bike lanes, constructed by taking over existing road space, 10km of which has allready been constructed. Considering the latest bike count showed an increase in rider numbers of almost 70 percent over the past 18 months, one can only assume that with the "build it and they shall come" approach, cycling has a great future in Sydney. With the planned Bicycle network to be complete by 2030, it will be a slow process, but I think well worth it. 

The Bicycle Network is part of the City of Sydney's newly released transport strategy, Connecting our City. In this strategy it seems public transport, cycling and walking are going to be reinforced as modes of transport for the city at the expense of parking and driving. The key initiatives are to;
  • Giving more priority to pedestrians and providing safer and more enticing streets in which to walk
  • Enhancing the environment for cyclists through safe and accessible bike paths and routes
  • Managing the volume of cars using our streets while maintaining access for commercial and delivery vehicles
  • Transforming George Street into a pedestrian, retail and light-rail boulevard, linked to major public squares at Circular Quay, Sydney Town Hall and Central, and a network of revitalised laneways
  • Creating exciting new urban spaces at Town Hall Square and Central Station, enhancing the city’s appeal for residents and visitors
  • Working with the State Government to increase the convenience and capacity of the public transport system, which is essential to the social and economic functioning of the city.
There is a great  blog by the Urbanist on Crikey regarding bike lanes, and planning for the future of Sydney's transport system. Its definitely workh a read, but in short the blog points out;
  • cities with a greater supply of bike paths and lanes have significantly higher bike commute rates,
  • there is no significant difference in utility between on-road bike lanes compared to segregated bike paths,
  • the City of Sydney and other inner city Local Government Areas have demographic characteristics that suggest a population likely to be drawn to cycling if members can be convinced it is safe,
  • there’s not a significant relationship between cycling and the weather.
As a advocate of commuting by bike, or just making trips by bike, I find this information very promising for Sydney, with the implementation of the Bicycle Network, and proper education and marketing, Sydney could become a true Cycling City. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Half A Million Support People for Bikes

With the aim of getting 1 million pledges  for "a better future for bicycling", has hit the half way mark. As an organisation getting to 1 million pledges would be fantastic, as having the support of 1 in every 300 people helps open the ears of Congress men. 

It would be great for more people to take the pledge -  sign the pledge - Im sure there is more than 1 bike for every 300 people in the US. So maybe if you told everyone you know who rides a bike to take the pledge, getting to 1 Million would be pretty easy,so ask someone to sign the PFB pledge today!

I dont know what to think of the following video put out to celebrate hitting 500000 pledges, but I do think Rex T Rider Needs Your Help, as asked for at the 35 second mark.

Cyclo Femme - this coming weekend

from  .......  

"HONOR THE PAST and the emancipation of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, for the freedom to choose and the chance to wear pants. CELEBRATE THE PRESENT and the riders who keep it rolling, bringing women's racing to the forefront, pushing the limits, breaking down barriers and sharing the love of the bike with everyone along the way. EMPOWER THE FUTURE of women in cycling and the opportunity for positive social change. Teach women to ride and they will change the world. MAY 13TH, 2012"

See if theres a ride near you, 130 registered rides, in 11 Countries...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Give Me Cycle Space

There is a new campaign from Cycling Scotland, aimed at increasing driver awareness of and around child cyclists, and also to encourage more children to cycle to school. Great idea, riding to school was common place when I was a youngster, but sadly now its the exception and not the rule. 

Here is the tv commercial created for the campaign.

I like the term, "Cyclespace", and I do like the meaning that Cycling Scotland has attached to it.  Others have taken this term, use it with a different meaning, more related to physical urban space where cyclists are free to move. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wooden BIke - World Speed Record

Most people probably Know About Mr Obree's desires to break the world speed record by a bicycle. If not have a look at this previous post. You probably have not heard about Michael Thompson and James Tully, two mates having a friendly wager.

When Michael bleated out "I reckon it's possible to make a 100% wooden bicycle..." the reply was simply  "... if you build it I'll ride it" and with typical British one-upmanship, somehow adding in a world land speed record became part of the project, now named "Splinterbike". Anyway rather than reading have a look at the video below, and good luck to the guys, I'm sure they have the record in the bag

Friday, May 4, 2012

National Bike Month.

It's National Bike Month, in the US, and I just got an email from with some information on how to participate, so I just wanted to share it with everyone. 

National Bike Month is officially here! With longer, milder days, May is a perfect time to recognize bicycling for the multitude of benefits it provides – improving our health, economy, and environment. Here are three ways to make the most of this year’s National Bike Month:
1)     Go for a type of bike ride that you normally wouldn’t: If you’re a road rider, try a mountain bike ride. If you’ve never ridden your bike to work, give bike commuting a shot. And if the ride to work isn’t something you can tackle this year, ride your bike to run an errand you would normally do by car, even if it’s just a trip to the coffee shop or ice cream parlor. Remember—forty percent of trips Americans take are two miles or less, an easy bicycling distance.
2)     Introduce one other person to bicycling. Whether it’s your partner, a coworker, a family member, or just a friend, help someone find a bike and go for a fun ride. Bicycling is a pretty amazing thing, right? Why not encourage someone else to discover the activity that brings you so much happiness.
3)     Participate in one or more National Bike Month events. A list of community rides can be found at the League of American Bicyclists, and here are some key national events:
This May and this summer should be an amazing time for bicycling in America. An increasing percentage of our national leaders recognize bicycling as a simple solution for transportation challenges, jobs and economic development, and health and obesity issues. Communities are investing in bike lanes and paths more than ever, helping bicycling to become safer and stress-free. We encourage you to take advantage of these new places to ride by participating in National Bike Month!
Happy riding,
The crew