A companion site (THE PRACTICAL CYCLIST) is home to
genuinely practical information about using bikes for transportation.

Friday, July 25, 2008

DIY LED Bicycle Lighting Project List

Traffic Gloves

I love these things. They're probably not too comfy for riding, since they have the "Stop" on the palm. The image is linked to Alert Shirt, which also sells high-visibility clothing. Most of their items are designed for professional traffic or industrial safety purposes, but look as though they would work well for personal safety too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bikes Belong has this terrific page on its website:

Better Bicycling in Your Hometown A toolkit for individuals

The path to better bicycling often starts when concerned citizens recognize the need to get involved. Here are some simple steps you can take to improve riding conditons in your community...

Cyclist View

In contrast to the previous post...

Dual Chase Productions creates on-road bicycling-related educational materials using innovative helmet camera technology.

These materials include PowerPoint presentations (with integrated video elements) as well as stand-alone DVDs. They are marketed to bicyclists, bicycling advocates, educators, law enforcement, and government officials, although average motorists and pedestrians would likely increase their awareness of traffic dynamics by watching the video segments.

None of the videos are staged - they show real bicyclists in real traffic situations. More samples like the one below are available at the Cyclist View website.

The Rights and Duties of Cyclists (04:21)

In this segment, certified League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors demonstrate the rights and duties of cyclists in the United States. The video shows cyclists acting as drivers of vehicles making normal vehicular maneuvers including lane control, lane sharing, left and right turns, through movements and a freeway ramp crossing. This video is intended to show cyclists and motorists how it looks when cyclists act and are treated as vehicle drivers in normal urban traffic in the City of Long Beach, California. These skills are taught in the League of American Bicyclists' BikeEd program. A course schedule for each state is available on The League's website.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vermont, c. 1900

Walter Adams of Adams Family Farm riding a safety bicycle in front of the farmhouse, probably before 1900. (Photo: Adams Family Farm)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bicycle How-To Vids

Rivendell Bicycle Works has made some excellent how-to videos, such as this one:

How to Mount a Tire Caution: if you don't like Bob Dylan's music, hit "MUTE" now.
The rest of Riv's vids are HERE. I love their production style - the antithesis of slick. I also like to take the tire completely off the wheel when fixing a flat, but other some people like to take off just one side, and pull the tube out. Both ways work fine. There is no single correct way, just as there is no single incorrect way.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New finding: Bicycle No Substitute for Morality, Ethics, or Common Sense

Photo: Annie Leibovitz
From the Oregonian:

Tour de Suisse

Tour de Suisse, originally uploaded by Bikerescue.

This looks like a nice path to ride, and a nice bike to ride on it. The photo and the previous one are from a flickr contact who I've never met, but sure has some stylish bikes.

Royal Enfield, rescued (not by me)

Royal Enfield, finished., originally uploaded by Bikerescue.

New from A.N.T

LR in Cream & Light Blue, originally uploaded by antbike.

Mike done it again! A.N.T. stands for Alternative Needs Transportation. OH. YEAH.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alice Rowan Swanson


A high school classmate of Ms Swanson posted this comment on a DC-area blog:
I went to high school with Alice. She was the sweetest, most kind person I ever knew. She was also incredibly bright. She cared deeply about people, the environment, all things good. She lived her life to better humanity. From what I’ve read and heard about what happened, the accident was due to a traffic situation called a “right hook” and it’s dangerous for cyclists, and trucks have larger blind spots which makes it more dangerous. The truck driver feels terrible about what happened. It sounds like it truly was an accident, and I doubt her family will press charges. Alice was a very compassionate person, and I can’t speak for her, but I would imagine she wouldn’t want the driver to suffer more than he already is with the guilt of running over such an amazing girl that was loved by all she knew. I think she would want everyone to learn something from this incident - to be careful, and aware of what’s going on around you, for motorists to watch out for and always yield right of way to pedestrians and cyclists. I can’t stop crying thinking about this. When I got the phone call, all I could think was, “no, not Alice!” She was such a good person. I always thought she would grow up to be an ambassador in the UN or something, and help bring about world peace or make some huge great difference in the world. Hopefully people will learn from her death, and this will prevent anymore future “right hook accidents”. Hopefully DC and other cities with that traffic situation will change their roads to promote safer conditions for everyone. I just can’t stop crying… July 9th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I did not know Ms Swanson, nor did I witness the incident, but I do know that a large percentage of automobile-bicycle collisions are caused by auto- and/or bike-driver errors, and are preventable. This fact seems to make Ms Swanson's death even more tragic, if that's possible. Perhaps that is one of the reasons so many people with no direct connection to the incident have such strong feelings about it.

After looking up some accurate bicycle safety information, another reader wrote, "Almost everything I know about biking is wrong." His sentiment is not uncommon. That we know how to ride bikes does not mean that we know how to drive bicycles safely and effectively. A little education would go a long way, but most people never get that education.

The League of American Bicyclists (The League), a non-profit membership organization based right here on K Street, promotes bicycle education through local and regional advocacy groups around the country. The League has developed a strong curriculum called BikeED, and certifies bicycle educators. BikeED, addresses a variety of user groups with age-appropriate subject matter and trains educators in effective teaching styles. Pedestrian and bicycle safety could easily be a required part of elementary school curriculum. It’s a good idea, if you ask me.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Broadway Bicycle School

Broadway Bicycle School is a good place to buy things like bicycles, bicycle parts, and bicycle accessories. It's also a good place to learn about bicycle maintenance and bicycle repair. And that's my friend David, he's a little blurry, but still cool.

Bike there, with directions: