Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The FHWA Press Room coughed up this one yesterday:
Highway Trust Fund Revenue Falls $3 Billion in Single Year as Americans Drove Almost 11 Billion Fewer Miles This September
Eleven-Month Decline in U.S. Driving Shows Need for New Way to Finance America's Road, Bridge and Transit ProjectsWASHINGTON -- The Highway Trust Fund, the federal government's primary source for financing highway, bridge and transit projects, took in $3 billion fewer in Fiscal Year 2008 as Americans drove 90 billion miles less over 11 months of the same fiscal year, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today. The trend underscores the need to find a new way to finance transportation projects in America, she added.[...]
"Our current approach has us encouraging Americans to change their driving habits and burn less fuel while secretly hoping they drive more so we can finance new bridges, repair interstates and expand transit systems," said Secretary Peters. "We need a new approach that compliments, instead of contradicts, our energy policies and infrastructure needs."[...]
The Secretary noted that, if VMT continues to decline, the Highway Trust Fund may experience another shortfall sooner than expected. For this reason, she again urged Congress to fundamentally change the nation's approach to financing and managing transportation systems.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
YouTube's "Project: Report" entries include this piece on bicycling in the nation's capital:Aside from the emphasis on the perception of danger without a presentation of evidence to the contrary, this is a great little video. I guess you can't ask for everything in four minutes.
Monday, November 17, 2008
This one's for you, Nick:
Shamelessly ripped photo from the Copenhagenize Blog
Here are some very stylish long-john type bakfietsen: Larry v. Harry
Here is a socialist cycling site: Fahrradsozialismus.
It has a nice comparison of "typical cyclists" and Sentai (Japanese for super heros, aka Power Rangers). This reminds me of a crude but brilliant animated piece from a few years back with the three alien bicyclists riding through the city. Now I can't find it, a little help?
Some nice looking practical bikes: Paul Frank bikes.
Finally, dekochari. This is a word for which I have been looking.
Friday, November 14, 2008
- Hi-tensile steel frame.
- 8-speed Sram X5 drive parts.
- One size, they say, fits 5'-0" to 6'-6". This troubles me a bit, but I'm only looking at a picture. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes.
- Monkeylectric Bike Wheel Lights M133S (quantity two?)
- R.E.Load's Pro Tool Pouch, tan; or a 12-Pocket Leather Tool Roll
- Xtracycle's KickBack kick-stand (FreeRadical version)
- Velo-Orange Saddle Model 7, or 8
- Efficient Velo Tools' "Right Arm" workstand clamp
- Pretty much anything made by Efficient Velo Tools
- Hershberger Baker's Basket
- Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brakes (really just the front one for now)
- Velo-Orange Grand Cru Seatpost
- Surly Big Dummy Frameset, 16" or 18" size
- V-O Threadless Stem Adapter
- V-O Retro Bottle Cage
- Stainless Steel Flat Top, for my Kleen Kanteen
- Safety Vest with 16 integrated LEDs (available at lotsa other places too)
- Sturmey Archer 8-speed or Sram i-Motion 9-speed hub (w/ drum brake)
- Down-Low Glow, you pick the color!
- Soul Cycle "in-the-pocket" Head Unit
- Yuba Mundo Cargo Bike
- Ergon GP1 Grips
- Rainmates Bicycle Rain Chaps, size M if you please
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I saw this bike, and several others from this builder, at NAHBS 2008. Nice designs, nice lines, also nice graphics work.
I love the fly-by-wire approach to steering linkage.
Over-simplified? Yes. On the right track? Yes. I think this is a pretty good primer on globalization, stringing together a lot of important concepts. I often get overwhelmed trying to keep it all in my head, trying to remember how it all fits together. Besides, I’m a proud member of the Society for the Restatement of the Obvious.
Just had a new thought (rare for me): it took us a little while to construct the tangle that we’re in, so its probably unrealistic to think we can untangle ourselves quickly and easily. Of course, it’s hard to sell that to the peeps. Going the right direction will involve slow and hard going, that’s not a good enough reason to continue going the wrong direction. Not really a new thought, I guess.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In October, Councilmember Jim Graham, chair of the DC Council's Public Works and Environment Committee, introduced Bill 17-981, the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008. The recommendations contained in the bill are the result of discussions that followed a crash that casused the death of a bicyclist in DC earlier this year. After the tragedy, WABA developed a list of recommendations to help better protect cyclists from heavy vehicles. Many of WABA's recommendations are contained in the bill.
The Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act includes the following:
- A requirement that blind spot mirrors be installed on all DC owned heavy duty vehicles
- New bicyclist and pedestrian awareness training for DC heavy vehicle operators
- A new law requiring that motorists give three feet of space when passing cyclists
- A fine for the use of restricted lanes (bus/bike lanes and bike lanes) by unauthorized vehicles
What You Can Do to Help:
- WABA urges you to contact the DC Council to express your support for the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act. We have provided a sample letter for you to send to the Council, but please remember that personal messages are much more effective.
- A hearing on the legislation has been scheduled for Friday, November 14th at 2pm. If you'd like to testify in person at the Council hearing, please contact Maria Angelica Puig-Monsen at 202-724-8195 or firstname.lastname@example.org TODAY.
- Written statements of support for the bill can also be sent to Ms. Puig-Monsen via email.
- Say thank you and congratulations to the WABA folks for all their hard work.
Thank you, and congratulations, WABA folks. --d
Choosing Muscles Over Motors
By Tamara Dean
I haven't read this book - I don't even own it - but I'd like to.
Here's the description from New Society Publishers, where you can buy it for me, or for yourself:
...The Human-Powered Home is a one-of-a-kind compendium of human-powered devices gathered from a unique collection of experts. Enthusiasts point to the advantages of human power:
- Portable and available on-demand
- Close connection to the process or product offers more control
- Improved health and fitness
- The satisfaction of being able to make do with what is available
This book discusses the science and history of human power and examines the common elements of human-powered devices. It offers plans for making specific devices, grouped by area of use, and features dozens of individuals who share technical details and photos of their inventions. For those who want to apply their own ingenuity, or for those who have never heard of human-powered machines, this book is a fine reference. For those who are beginning to understand the importance of a life of reduced dependency on fossil fuels, this book could be a catalyst for change.
Tally ho. --d
New Society's Blog is a good read too.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Little of the land around us (where I live, anyhow) is public property, so I get insensed when it gets infringed upon. Even more than bicycle accessability, pedestrian accessability is crucial for a functional civil society.
Therefore, I recommend that any and all pedestrians who encounter unsafe conditions make fevent conplaints to relevent State or municipal agencies. If you live in Montgomery County, MD, here's the information you need to do so:
Power to the People, Particularly the Peds.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The Lamest Duck:
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
You know what I think is interesting? Here's what:
None of the campaign material from the presidential elections I have witnessed as an adult (1988 - 2004) has prominently featured the image of the candidate. That is, until this year when Barack Obama's image became the focal point of numerous posters, buttons, etc. And not underground material--the official stuff. It's interesting and surely not coincidental that Barack Obama is also the first Black candidate nominated by either of the two principle political parties in the US. Issues of race in the US are so complicated I can barely begin to understand how and why this happened.
Unfortunate PS: as I hunted the web for the images here, I came across a literally ungodly number of horrible and disturbing altered photos of B.O. Let's all rise up... all one or none.
Monday, November 3, 2008
The Safe-Zone Helmet-Mounted Mirror
It's made in the USA by a small company call Efficient Velo Tools (EVT). The company asks consumers to support independently owned local bike shops, so contact yours and ask for the Safe-Zone Mirror, from EVT. The suggested retail price is $40. If your local dealer is not friendly about ordering one, you can order direct from the company for $40 each, postage paid. They say "Satisfaction Guaranteed," and I'm pretty sure they mean it.