Sunday, May 25, 2008

Trib Gets Bike Religion

Today's Chicago Tribune devotes the Q section to a bike issue.

It's pretty well done. I'm not sure I can handle all this trendiness, though.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

From Pakistan, the Inventor Spirit

I wouldn't ordinarily post about electric bikes, but there's a post here about the bike pictured above and the man from Pakistan who put it together. It's a good story.

Instead of using expensive speed controller I've used relays to
connect batteries (4 of them) parallel and series to get 12, 24, 36
and 48 volts by a throttle switch that I designed it my self by using wood....

Most importantly I've not connected the motor directly to the wheel,
instead I've connected it to the gearing mechanism so this gives me
the choice to go for speed on straight roads and go for torque on
hills. This saves my batteries and reduces the load on motor.

With slight power of paddling it is giving me 60 km/hr these days,
I¢m really enjoying my ride to my office which is about 14 km away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thought for the day

"I delighted in the supreme sense of freedom that comes with the
first mile of a bicycle journey. No bills, no messy
relationships, no job. All I needed was stuffed into four sturdy
-- Dan Buettner, on setting out on a 12,000-mile ride across Africa

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A kid dreams of bike racing with the pros

If I had known about bicycle racing when I was 11, I might have dreamed of starring in this video.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Wheel Rage

Kevin Williams (bike commuter and Tribune writer) writes:

We're mad as hell, and it's all because of the wheel.

Cyclists are dropping [two Chicago cyclists killed in the last few days], and the whole bike-versus-car showdown has become a tinderbox...

"Those bikers had it coming. They don't obey traffic laws," says a motorist.

"SUV-driving pigs hog the road and waste resources as they try to kill me," says a cyclist.

Kevin's got a theory that's as good as anybody's:
Everybody's angry, and everybody's wrong. As a cyclist and driving enthusiast, trust me—both sides are being buttheads.

But why does this blind, festering, almost cauterizing rage seal off logic? Why does it make everyone as stupid as the day is long?

I repeat: It's the wheel. Wheels make life a race. If you are strolling 10 feet behind an elderly couple, do you break into a run to reach a spot before they do? No. Do we try to outwalk each other to work? No.

But put us in a wheeled conveyance, and it's competition.

And Kevin's thought a bit about a solution:
take these easy steps:

•Use wheels sparingly. You already know they're evil.

•Self-witness, as [psychologist Leon] James puts it. The psychologist recommends turning on a little tape recorder while driving. Verbalize all the invective you're feeling, and play it back later. Shameful, isn't it? Realization is the first step toward correction.

•Recognize that we're all vulnerable. On a bike, you earn the karma you might have spawned by buzzing a pedestrian or running a light. In a car, you buzzed a rider, now an SUV is crowding you. Is that 18-wheeler crowding you, SUV driver?

Good advice, Kevin. Or, in a word: CHILL!