This video is great, but not for the reason you’d think. The tape itself is from a CCTV camera showing some dirty bastard stealing the wheels from a bike but then the owner of the bike, a musician who goes by “Shank Bone Mystic”:http://www.youtube.com/user/shankbone wrote a song about the ordeal. It’s classic YouTube and Shank Bone’s righteous anger really resonates if you’ve ever been the victim of wheel theft.
“This article”:http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_headline=accused—of-having-sex-with-his-bike–&method=full&objectid=19347288&siteid=64736-name_page.html from the always reputable “Sunday Mail”:http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/ (check sarcasm sensors) is about a 51 year-old homeless man in Britain who has been legally accused of having sex with his bicycle. My first thought is how that ever became a crime in the first place, my second thoughts are how and why?
Previously featured on Duenos:
# “Nude Cycling in Paris (and around the World)”:http://duenos.net/article/282/NudecyclinginParisandaroundtheworld.
As a member of the biking (anti-car) movement I’ve occasionally run across people who’s great passion is nude biking. Browsing the French cycling board “Vélorution”:http://www.velorution.org/articles/ I came across the organising site for the first Parisian nude ride. The site (“cyclonudiste.fr”:http://cyclonudiste.fr) is pretty slick and very informative. Nude riders turn out for a number of reasons, but 2 of the big ones that pop out are to highlight the vulnerability of bikers on the road and to protest moral prudism. French law, of course, doesn’t have a strict ban on public nudity per se, but rather considers each case as to whether or not there is a “provocative attitude.” So French.
I’ll be traveling around Europe for the next 3 weeks and so may not be able to post as frequently as I’m used to, but here is something I’m going to be sad to miss. If you’re in Paris on June 9, this sounds like fun. Of course nude bike riding is a “global movement”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Naked_Bike_Ride that happens around the beginning of June in a lot of places (see “this list”:http://www.cyclonudiste.fr/ for dates and places) so maybe I will get to participate, or at least take pictures.
One of the biggest things that gets me going is the idea of an epic quest. Ewan McGregor’s “The Long Way Round”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Way_Round, “1,000 Days at Sea”:http://1000daysatsea.blogspot.com/, and Noel Hidalgo’s “Luck of 7 trip”:http://duenos.net/article/229/Anepicopensourcejourney are all very exciting journeys. As epic as their scales are though, “this trip”:http://imagineonbike.com/ might take the lot. Barcelona native Patrick Gaño is on a bicycle trip (no motor!) that he has scheduled over the course of two years, all the way to Alaska. He’s planning on passing through France, Italy Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, China and Japan. According to the “website”:http://imagineonbike.com/ which is unfortunately really bad, he’s already made it through to Turkey and is almost into Iran. Talk about inspiring! The picture was taken on the coast of Croatia.
Believe it or not, bike helmets are not universally loved. In fact there are big groups of people in the biking world who think that they bring more harm than good. As a bike advocate, I’ve often found myself in the middle of this conversation but never knew what to believe, but now there’s more data.
Ian Walker, a psychology professor from the University of Bath, has been conducting research about how motorists react to him riding on his bicycle with and without his helmet. By attaching ultrasonic sensors to his bike that measured just how much room cars give him while passing. He found that when NOT wearing his helmet, drivers gave him an average of 3.35 inches more room while passing. In fact, if he didn’t wear his helmet AND wore a wig to look like a woman, he got an additional 2.2 inches.
I’d always heard that you get more room when you don’t wear a helmet, but it was cool to see that assertion backed up by the numbers. Is the extra respect worth the sacrifice in protection? That’s up to you to decide. More about this research at “Scientific American”:http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleid=778EF0AB-E7F2-99DF-3594A60E4D9A76B2.
Folding bikes are really great for commuters, people living in small apartments, or for traveling. The original paratrooper folding bikes, while foldable, weren’t very good as bikes. Recently that has changed as most convertibles are great at everything, although they can be somewhat ungainly to carry in their folded forms. That’s why this adaptation of the folding bike concept is so cool. The whole thing fits inside the suitcase-looking body shown above. Here’s a corny animated video showing how the folding mechanisms work:
I couldn’t find the original company website, but I got the story from “TreeHugger”:http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/04/the_suitcase_bi.php who in turn took it from “Ride This Bike”:http://ridethisbike.com/2007/04/suitcase-bicycle-video-photos-price.html.
Following successful programs in Amsterdam and Copenhagen (along with less successful programs elsewhere) Barcelona is investing in bicycles. The program, called Bicing, will consist of 200 (a goal of 1,500 knock on wood) bikes, accessed by a membership card at one of 14 dedicated racks. The group’s website offers online tracking of the bikes which should help with distribution. Free for the first half hour, the Barcelona system should be able to escape the main problem with free bike programs, accountability, by using membership cards linked to real money. If you can read Spanish, or Catalan for that matter, head over to “bicing.com”:http://bicing.com and learn more about it.
These sorts of community bike projects are an especially dear interest of mine because my first endeavor into public life was an effort at creating a “free bike” system at my “university”:http://uiuc.edu/. It didn’t work out, but the effort lives on in a bike co-op that is still running, “The Bike Project”:http://thebikeproject.org/. Thanks to “this article”:http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/006444.html from “World Changing”:http://www.worldchanging.com/ for keeping me up to date.
I recently came across this bamboo bike in front of a Japanese knick knack shop in Paris. Just thought I”d share. I”m still working out all the kinks in this format so I can”t post an example but you can see pictures “here”:http://www.elliott-herder.com/photo-index.html#BambooBike