Friday, December 21, 2012

BBC Airs Exc. Video About The Bicycle, its Impact, and its Past, Present and Future

From the book "It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness On Two Wheels" by Rob Penn, in the above video, the author, travels from his home in London to Italy, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland, to buy the components he needs for his dream bike. This as he also sees how a lot of his bike parts are built. Rare footage of present day  Charlie Kelly and Joe Breeze, the inventors of the Mountain bike, rolling down Mt Tam is also included. 

A lawyer who traded in his pin stripe suit for a three year bike journey around the world, his video touches on the history of the bike, how it always flourishes when times are tight, and what it means and has meant to our evolution as a species. Very well done stuff!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Repost - Here's to the Crazy Ones

Narrator = Richard Dreyfus

Here's to the crazy ones.
   The misfits.
      The rebels.
         The troublemakers.
            The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They're not fond of rules.
   And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
   disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things.
   They invent.  They imagine.   They heal.
   They explore.   They create.   They inspire.

They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
   Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Chiat/Day copywriter, Craig Tanimoto for Apple Computer, September 28, 1997

Co. Mayo, IRL's Video on How Cars S/Pass Cyclists

Not sure what the law is here, as even the Dublin Cycling Campaign people admit on their web site that there is a lot of conflicting language in how Irish law treats its cyclists. But at least this kind of stuff, that the people jointed ventured with a car insurance carrier, is out there. 

Back in California, we can't even get a simple three foot passing law, passed by the state house and senate, beyond our governor's reckless vetoes (two and counting).....

Btw: In the comments section, I found the below note.
Considering only four million people live in Ireland, the sentence I highlighted in bold is chilling......

Date: 25th May 2011
Have you ever cycled on a busy road and felt intimidated by passing cars ? A video clip is to raise awareness among motorists on how to over take a cyclist safely, one of the greatest concerns parents and cyclists have is how motorists come too close to cyclists when overtaking them. This awareness campaign is been promoted to co-inside with a national campaign to promote cycling with national bike week been held on 18th June – 26th June.
This campaign aims to prevent collisions between motorists and cyclists by educating the public about bicycle safety and encouraging cars and bikes to share the road.
A recent report by the Road safety Authority revealed Over 600 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Irish roads between 1997 and 2010. This video clip reminds motorists to allow plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist and always anticipate a cyclist having to make a sudden move to avoid a pothole or obstruction. We are also reminding cyclists that it’s everyone’s responsibility to pay attention and take care on the roads. Simple actions such as wearing a helmet and high visibility jacket, obeying the rules of the road, anticipating what drivers may do, and most importantly never use an i pod when cycling.
“ As more people are starting to cycle on our roads it’s vital that drivers know how to overtake cyclists in a safe manner. Cyclists must also practice the rules of the road. Mutual respect between the driver and cyclist will result in happy and safe roads.” Miss Eva Gannon Green Schools An Taisce
‘’The idea behind this campaign is simple – we’re asking everyone to accept responsibility to look out for each other on the roads so more people can experience the health benefits of cycling said Miss Thelma Birraine health promotion HSE West.
Improving bike safety is a two-way street, “Drivers need to know that cyclists have a right to the road and cyclists need to know that drivers are looking out for their safety. That’s why we all need to work together to take simple steps to share the road and keep our roads safe.” said Noel Gibbons road safety officer.
Thérèse Ruane, Chairperson of Smart Travel Castlebar, said:
“Cycling is becoming more and more popular. Using your bike is the fastest, cleanest and most efficient way of getting around town. But it’s really important that motorists and cyclists act responsibly on the road to ensure safety for everyone. This video clip will go along way to ensure that we can all share the road in a safe and responsible way.
Paul Moloney, Head of Corporate Affairs at AXA Insurance added: “At AXA we are big supporters of road safety initiatives through our AXA Road safe Road show series. We welcome any campaign that highlights the importance of sharing the road with other road users, as this remains a major contributing factor to road deaths in Ireland each year”.
Noel Gibbons
Road Safety Officer
Mayo County Council

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guy Writes Program to Scour Craigs List, 14 mos Later Recovers Stolen Bike

On SF Bikes, Max posted to let everyone know the beautiful machine (detailed below) he lost more than a year ago was recovered. Here is how he pulled it off. Too Amazing:


To: SF Randonneurs <>,
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 00:01:14 -0800
Subject: [sfbike] Re: Stolen bicycle: 66cm red Rivendell Atlantis

FYI, this bike has been recovered (one day short of 14 months after it was stolen).

When it was stolen, I wrote a simple script that scraped craigslist and ebay looking for potential matches. It ran hourly for fourteen months, reporting 2-4 false positives per week. Yesterday it found a very suspicious posting.

Another potential buyer contacted the seller before I managed to, but this buyer evidently remembered my stolen-bike alert, and he contacted me to check whether it was my bike, which indeed it was. I am grateful for his honesty and good memory. I then arranged a sting operation with the police, and the bicycle is now back in my possession.

Thanks to everyone who kept an eye out for the bike and offered words of support. I really did not expect to see that Atlantis again.


On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 8:38 AM, <max.,,,> wrote:
Someone broke into the garage of my home in SF, on Fell St across from the Panhandle, between 8:30pm on Wed 9/14 and 7:00am on Thu 9/15.

Main features:

- 66cm frame
- custom red paint job with cream head tube and lug details
- large black Ortlieb handlebar bag with QR mount
- black Tubus Tara front rack, with custom fork braze-ons
- black Topeak rear rack for Topeak baby seat (but no baby seat attached), with Planet Bike taillight
- Schmidt SON dynamo hub on the front wheel; DLumotec Oval Plus LED headlight

More details:

- 1980s Dura-Ace quill stem, 44cm Nitto "Noodle" bars with cream-colored handlebar tape
- honey Brooks B17 saddle on silver Kalloy seatpost
- Sugino XD triple crank (48-38-26); XT rear hub, SRAM 12-26 cassette
- downtube shifters (D-A) and Shimano 105 front/rear derailleurs
- Shimano BR-R550 cantilever brakes and Tektro R200 brake levers
- 36-hole silver Mavic T719 rims
- black Kenda 700Cx42 tires
- silver Planet Bike fenders with mudflap on front fender
- two water bottle cages
- black Jandd tool pouch under saddle

Major identifying marks:
- scratch on "A" of "Atlantis" decal on left side of downtube
- small scratches on upper part of left seatstay
- handlebar tape in need of replacement; missing handlebar plugs


Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 15:35:16 -0800
Subject: [sfbike] Re: Stolen bicycle: 66cm red Rivendell Atlantis
Many people have emailed me in the last few hours asking for the script or suggesting that I make it available as a service. So:

(1) In the interest of full disclosure, the script is attached. But it's not a standalone piece of code. It is a spider module for the Scrapy framework. See Knowledge of Python required.

(2) Sadly I don't have time right now to turn it into an easy-to-use service.

(3) But, as others have suggested, someone has already built such a service. See It's pretty cool, and I don't think it existed last year.


This is a large and unusual bike. If you see it, please contact me at <max. at gmail> or 415-xxx-xxx8.

Thank you.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

4/22/13 Tour of Golden to Kick Off Mayors' Ride

Our 2013 Mayors' Ride symbolically kicks off on Earth Day April 22 from Golden, CO. Take a look at the video above to better understand why. Here is what HiWHeel legend Steve Stevens, is saying about the tour he will be leading on that day:

My ride will cover, the Bike Park – the Mountain Bike Trails – the Lookout Mountain road.
And a few of the paved commuter and tourist  trails. It will follow the Clear Creek trail along the
National Championship Kayak Course. Along Lookout Mountain, it will  pass below the
famous “M” (for the Colorado School of Mines) on Mt. Zion right next to it and the hang gliding launch. It will come down the hill (at up to 45 MPH ) where, in 1869, 
Jim Boyd had the first recorded bike accident in Colorado -  on his wooden wheeled Velocipede.

It will also pass Wash Ave Hill where, in 1891, Golden hosted the first official Colorado “State Hill Climb Championship”.

“The Sustainable Museum of Sustainable Transportation”

2013 CA Mayors' Ride (proposed)
Sat 5/4 Tour of San Jose
Sat 5/4 Tour of Dublin IRL. (San Jose Sister City)
Sun 5/5 Palo Alto to San Francisco
Fri 5/10 Oakland Emeryville Berkeley
Sat 5/11 Tour of Oakland by ERBTC for Ron Bishop
Sun 5/12 Tour of Berkeley by Tom Ayers
Sat 5/18  Tour of Napa
Sun 5/19 Tour of  Davis
Sat 5/25 Tour of Sacramento by Ed Cox
Sun 5/26 Sacramento to Folsom on
American River Parkway in conjunction with 
Mount Rainier, MD to Washington DC Proclamation Ride 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why Raw Chocolate Rox for Athletes

The following is excerpted from my book, "How America Can Bike and Grow Rich" and the Podcast I did with the people at Sunfood, the purveyors of Raw Chocolate and other amazing super foods:

Cacao Powder was once so revered by the ancient Mayan and 
Aztec civilizations for its power as a food that it was used instead 
of gold as money. What is important to understand is that as raw 
chocolate in its purest form, it does not have an 
acceptable taste on its own. Toward that end, most of the 
chocolate most Americans consume is cooked and so processed 
and so  covered up with sugars and other taste enhancers that its 
many benefits are negated. 

While cacao may not have specific  performance enhancing 
properties  like some of the others foods I mixed it with, it, when 
viewed as a food, in its raw form, it is loaded with vital nutrients. It 
is the highest natural source of iron, magnesium and chromium. 
This not to mention that it has the highest concentration of 
antioxidants of any food in the world. In addition, it is the only food 
that contains the endorphin Anandamide that relaxes the body 
after exercise. As such, it was my nightly RAW chocolate bar that 
rewarded me well for some of the punishment I pushed myself 
through. This can be further illustrated by the fact that for 40 
years, starting in the 1930’s, heart attack sufferers were injected 
with theobromine, the smooth muscle relaxant found in chocolate 
that also dilates blood vessels. 

Amazing 'Bike Like a New Yorker' Billboard Ads

On the eve of Citi Bike NYC's expansive bike share system and to celebrate the launch of, the Transportation Alternatives people teamed up with the marketing gurus at Mother NY to create Bike Like a New Yorker. With the help of generously donated billboards and printing from Edison, Van Wagner and Duggal, Bike Like a New Yorker is broadcast on scores of billboards across New York. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

New York Times - The Bicycle is Saving the City!!

NY Times
November 1, 2012

One Way Around the Traffic Muddle in Brooklyn: Riding a Bicycle


In post-storm New York, the bike is having a moment of sorts.

With subways still not running under the East River or between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, traffic snarled in many places and lines for buses stretching for blocks, many people in Brooklyn took to bicycles on Thursday to get where they had to go.

“I’m extremely glad I have a bike right now — it’s one of the best assets you can have,” said James Emery, 22, who was riding on Thursday afternoon from Williamsburg to Red Hook to help a friend whose screen-printing business had been flooded.

Thomas Jarrels, 46, who biked home to Crown Heights from his job as a sous-chef at a Midtown law firm, said he was glad to have had an impetus to bike to work. He said he was a bike messenger in the 1980s and loved biking, but had never commuted by bike until the storm disabled the subway. Though it took slightly longer than the train, he said, he thought he would keep biking even after the subway started running again.

“It saves money, and it’s less of a headache,” he said. “It gives you time to think, meditate and get your exercise on.”

Susan Creighton, 26, a teacher who lives in Park Slope and is running in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, said she had decided to bike into Manhattan to pick up her number at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center after seeing the long lines for buses on the news.

She said she usually biked only recreationally and had been intimidated by riding on more congested routes. “This kind of showed me it’s not that bad,” she said, adding that on Friday she might bike to the school in Williamsburg where she teaches.

Many frequent bike commuters said that, with sparse traffic in downtown Manhattan, conditions for biking were ideal.

“I just bombed all the way down Broadway right now — I think I saw five cars,” said Jason Jaramillo, 34, who had just biked to Brooklyn from the Upper West Side. “I wish it was always like this.”

But David Pimentelli, 42, said that biking in some areas of Brooklyn had been frightening on Thursday, with drivers waiting anxiously in long lines for gas and little police presence.

“I’m scared to be going back to Brooklyn right now,” he said, as he exited the Brooklyn Bridge after a trip to Manhattan. “People are running red lights, very agitated, they don’t care.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Golden, CO now an Official Mayors' Ride City

Steve Stevens escorts 20006 Mayors' Ride riders down Golden's Main St

For almost as long as we have run Mayors' Rides, HiWheel legend Steve Stevens has been trying to get his home city, Golden, CO, recognized as an official NBG Mayors' Ride city. Well, here as I upload the actual coast-to-coast National Bicycle Greenway route for "How America Can Bike and Grow Rich", I am discovering that a regular visit to Golden does make sense. I had been waiting for the bike lanes on US-36 to be complete. Projected for 2015. they will make for a straight shot from Boulder to Denver. 

However, state route 93 that connects to Golden, though it does represent a small 5-10 mile detour,  has a shoulder that has been upgraded well enough to satisfy Steve. And once we get there, our path to Denver will get us back on US-40, an historic  road that dates back to 1926. Once called the Victory Highway, it ran from San Francisco  to Atlantic City, NJ. One of America's first coast-to-coast roads, as a US highway, the ascents and descents on US-40 have all been graded so there is not constant up and down hill work. Largely abandoned in favor of Interstate 80, we will have used it to get over the Wasatch Mtn Range in Utah, most of the Rockies in Colorado, most of Indiana and some of Ohio before we end on the C&O Canal Towpath in Washington DC. Upgrading those section of US-40 that we will be using to the NBG shoulder spec should be fairly easy to accomplish over the next 5-10 years.

Besides more enjoyable riding, do consider these interesting facts about Golden that Steve sent me:

Golden has the largest Brewery in the World (Free Tours, Free Beer)! 

   A few reasons you need to include Golden:

1)      It has more museums than any other city in Colorado
2)      Golden is what Boulder wishes it still was!  Boulder is a has been – a crowded big city of 130,000 people. Golden has 18,000…
3)      It has a Bike Park – with Mountain Bile trails, Pump Park, etc… It was established before Denver’s or Boulder's.
4)      Yeti has their bike factory here (all hand made bikes)… the workers ride on Lunch hour up Lookout Mountain from the factory door.
5)      It was the historic capitol
6)      It is home to The Colorado Mountain Club
7)      It is home to Outward Bound
8)      It is home to the American Mountaineering Center (and the Mountaineering Museum and the Rare Books Library (this was moved her from NYC)
9)      Each of the last 3 institutions came here in the last 10 years – rather than locating in Boulder.
10)   Golden was just ranked number 2 in the USA for Livable Cities in the small city class…. Announced in the last 6 weeks.
11)   Golden is home to the USGS National Earthquake Center (with tours)
12)   It has a professional White Water Kayak Course – and hosted the National Championships a few years ago.
13)   It is a Bicycle Friendly City – more than you can Imagine.
14)   It has EACH YEAR hosted a Start in the USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
15)   In the 1980s, it was the host city for the Coors Classic bike race nearly every year (Coors is Based in Golden)
16)   It was featured in the Movie “American Flyer” about the Coors Classic.
17)   It has the Mountain Climbing Classes for the Mountaineering Center… on real mountains in Golden.
18)   Golden had a bike club as early as 1883…
19)   Golden had a cyclist (Jim Boyd) who rode in 1869… on a Velocipede.
20)   Golden hosted the first Colorado State bike hill climb Championship in 1891
21)   The Colorado School of Mines (MIT CALIBER Engineering School ) graduated all the miners who got the resource Boom going – Including Mr Guggenheim – who has 2 museums which he created in his name… NYC and Spain. He also donated a Guggenheim Hall here with a Gold Dome
22)   You can successfully pan for Gold in Golden. On bike rides you see folks doing it.
23)   You can hang glide in Golden from Lookout Mountain.
24)   Buffalo Bill chose Golden for his final resting Place. He is here … as is his museum.
25)   You can ride from my museum at 5900 ft elevation to the peak of Mount Evans (14,370 ft) and back and call it a century – all on paved roads..The only possible century on paved roads to the top of a 14er mountain from a bike museum.


26)   When Obama was here a few weeks ago – he opened his remarks with “ Wow, it is so beautiful here! How do you get any work done?”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Greenways/Bike Lanes Heralded - John Forrester & Vehicular Cycling Debunked

The American Journal of Public Health published a Canadian study which proves that building bike infrastructure such as bike lanes, protected bike lanes, even bike paths, not only makes for significantly safer cycling but that such improvements are the preferred travel option of  regular, two wheeled  users of the road.

This contrasts with the myth long perpetrated by former Palo Alto, CA cyclist, John Forester, who long has had traffic engineers, even the League of American Bicyclists, convinced that cyclists should learn to behave like car drivers.

Good News for Greenway Builders and Improvers of Bicycle Infrastructure everywhere.


Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study

Kay TeschkePhDM. Anne HarrisPhDConor C. O. ReynoldsPhDMeghan WintersPhDShelina BabulPhDMary ChipmanMAMichael D. CusimanoMD, PhDJeff R. BrubacherMD, MScGarth HunteMD, PhDSteven M. FriedmanMD, MPHMelody MonroMPAHui ShenPhDLee VernichMSc, and Peter A. CriptonPhD

Objectives. We compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types and other route infrastructure features.

Methods. We recruited 690 city residents injured while cycling in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. A case-crossover design compared route infrastructure at each injury site to that of a randomly selected control site from the same trip.

Results. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9).

Conclusions. The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 18, 2012: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300762)

Read More:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giro, Maker of $15K Lance Helmet, Quietly Drops Him

Little have I seen this reported anywhere with the exception of this news clipping, but Santa Cruz, CA based Giro Helmets, is fading away from one Lance Armstrong. The very company that made helmets cool back in the late 80's by patterning them after racers, went so far as to create a helmet just for their hero, so he could shave a few seconds off his Time Trial in the 2010 Tour de France. Well, now that he's gone and all their racers look like drug cheats, little is heard from a company that relies a lot on promoting the athletes of a sport that is much tarnished at present. 

One has to wonder if the Skid Lid or the Bell Bucket helmet designs are set to make a comeback...

Here is an article about how they made a helmet just for Lance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday Streets Success in Berkeley + Tom Bates Podcast

Forward thinking Berkeley, led by the man, Tom Bates, who introduced traffic calming to the world (HEAR the Podcast we did with him), held their first Sunday Streets event on Shattuck Ave on Sunday October 14. 

Here's the STORY!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

77 yo Irish HiWheel Cyclist is International Trick Champion

Peter Matthews offers his UK audience seven minutes worth of tricks. Filmed in 2006, Peter was 70 years old at the time. Based in Dublin, he also HiWHeeled across the USA in 2004 with Gary Sanderson:

More photos from their ride across America

Peter still does tricks.  See them at the end of the recent interview below:

Pete with Martin Krieg and his wife Virginia

Here he is talking about some of his bikes

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Instant Bike Lanes from Copenhagen

In Denmark, a company named Bikway has come up with a way for cities to construct bike lanes in under a year for one half the cost normally expended. I am waiting for them to get back to me to see if they plan to use recycled materials such as old tires and if they have any demonstration projects trey can reference. But for now, there is this REPORT by