Friday, September 30, 2005

Bicycle commuting in Maine

The Augusta, Maine Morning Sentinel reports on the state of bicycle commuting in central Maine.
Fewer than 1 percent of Americans commute to work by bike, according to government data. Meanwhile, 76 percent of Americans drive to work alone.

But with gas prices and obesity rates rising, bike commuting might begin to look more attractive for some. Jeffrey Miller, director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, said his Augusta office is receiving more inquires about bike commuting since recent spikes in gas prices.

Paul Mitnik bicycled for 15 years until his recent retirement. He said he rarely let weather sway him from riding; he rode all winter. "To me, it was fun," Mitnik said. "Once you start doing it, it's kind of addictive."

Katrina evacuees bike to Maine

Kurt and Betty Jo Norton are walking and biking their way to Bangor Maine with Xena the dog and Sam the cat. Hanging off the side of one of their bicycle-drawn carts is a large wooden sign that reads, "VIETNAM VET STRANDED, BROKE, WITH DOG AND CAT."

Kurt said they evacuated their hometown, Pascagoula, near Biloxi, Mississippi. They set out on foot for Maine about 30 days ago on their two bikes, carrying the few things they were able to salvage from their home.

The two started biking in Mississippi, and in Kentucky, met someone who gave them an old car. They packed their bikes and pets in the car, and made it all the way to Ohio, where the gift car broke down. They then got back on their bikes, packing Xena and Sam aboard, strapped in all their belongings, and headed northeastward. They've been pedaling or walking their bikes since, save for the occasional ride from a passing motorist.

They said they've been carefully saving the money they get from handouts and are occasionally able to stay at a hotel, so long as it accepts pets, but otherwise they're content to camp alongside the road.

They intend to save their money as much as they can and bunk down in a cheap hotel once they get to Maine. After that ....

"Work. Life," Kurt said. "We'll head back down when the time's right."

Kurt said he has learned one thing for sure from the journey. "Nothing like a hurricane to bring you closer to God," he said. "That's a very true statement."

"Man himself probably brought on with all the pollution and stuff," Betty Jo added. "You can tell we're in our last days with all these hurricanes and all these storms."

Read and see more here and here.

The Interbike Slide Show

Interbike 2005 is come and gone and people are uploading their photos. Click on a photo for more details.

Bike riding robot

This humanoid robot rides a bicycle to demonstrate Murata's sensor technologies. The integrated bike-bot "Murata Boy" is 50 cm (20 inches) tall and rides at just over 1 mph. He can trackstand forever and go backward as well as forward. In this more current photo, Murata Boy is showing off by riding on a 1 inch balance beam.

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Observations on bicycle commuting

Grant Petersen is the founder and owner of Rivendell Bicycle Works. His 30 years as a bicycle commuter more than qualifies him to offer his opinions and observations about bicycle commuting. Here are some of his more interesting points:
"There are only five types of people who commute on bikes: Athletes who use their commute as training or time-on-the-bike; People who don’t have cars or access to convenient public transportation; Bad drivers who’ve had their licenses suspended; Practicalists whose commute is easier by bike than it is by car; and People who just plain like pedaling a bike."

"Dress as much as possible like the motorists who ride along with you. That way, they’ll see you as one of them and be more likely to treat you well."

"Riding never gets easier, you just go faster, but the effort remains about the same."

"When you commute by bicycle, little things like that don’t have to matter, but they start to matter whether you plan for it or not."
Read the entire article for more.

Fixed Gear Bike Friday

Do not adjust your set. That really is a fixed gear folding bicycle you see here. Walter Lapchynski, a "Bike Travel Consultant" (aka a bike salesman) for Bike Friday wanted a lightweight commuting bike. He started with the Pocket Rocket Pro and ended up with this 16.5 pound piece of fixed-gear art.

Other Fixed Fridays are featured on Bike Friday's Fixed page. Walter also pointed me to Fixed Bike Friday bike porn from Guy and David.

I almost forgot to mention: Walter blogs about Bike Fridays, bike culture, bike transportation, and bike stuff in general. It's good stuff; check it out.

More bicycles = motorist hostility?

With the first Platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community awarded to the small city of Davis, CA, Portland has redoubled its efforts to Go Platinum Portland. For this to happen, the LAB wants to see a higher percentage of local trips made by bike rather than car.

As bicycling increases in Portland, so does apparent motorist hostility if this article in the Portland Tribune is any indication.
With the number of cyclists in the city continuing to climb, both two-wheeled and four-wheeled commuters have noticed increased tensions on the road. This summer, in particular, the traffic deaths of five cyclists in the Portland area have fanned the issue.

“I don’t really like to drive anymore,” says 54-year-old Lynette Jones of Northeast Portland. “These cyclists have basically taken over. They refuse to be polite. You honk; they just go slower and look at you like you’re crazy. … To me it feels like they’re taunting: ‘I dare you to hit me.’”
[Wow, motorists having to share the road with jerks. Bicyclists have never encountered anything like that before :-/ ]
Matt Larsen, a Multnomah County transportation planning specialist, thinks the conflicts will grow as long as more cyclists hit the streets. He leads a 12-member Bicyclist and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee that frequently takes up the issue, but nothing has emerged as the silver bullet yet.

“There’s a lot of animosity between the groups, and it seems to be growing,” he says. “For the most part it’s not a problem about cyclists as a whole or drivers as a whole — it’s just bad apples that give each group a bad name.”

In my opinion, riding lawfully or increased enforcement won't reduce motorist antagonism all that much, but it's best not to give them any ammunition.

Cyclist exposure to air pollution

Roadies and mountain bikers typically ride away from heavy traffic, but commuting cyclists often ride right in the thick of heavy automotive traffic. If you commute by bike, what is your exposure to air pollutants compared to driving or riding a bus, train, or subway?

According to this study in London, subway users have about three times the exposure to particulate pollutants than other commutes, while cyclists have slightly less exposure than car drivers. This Amsterdam study suggests, however, that cyclists may inhale more pollutants than car drivers because cyclists breathe more than drivers during the commute.

After a reader inquiry, Umbra Fisk examines the question. According to Umbra, studies show that car and public transit occupants actually have a higher level of exposure to air pollutants than cyclists and pedestrians do. This is because the fresh air intake on cars are at the front of the car -- immediately behind the exhaust pipe of the car ahead. Cyclists, on the other hand, tend to ride to the side of traffic with the 'air intake' two or three feet above that of cars. According to Umbra, "The nasties are densest at the middle of the traffic zone, and less intense on the edges." Because pollutants dissipate in a volume of space, I expect an inverse cube relationship between distance from the emission source and level of exposure. In other words, if you double the distance, you reduce the exposure level to one eighth.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Free bumper sticker

The first five people who link to Cycle-licious gets one of these bumper stickers from me for free. These are high-quality stickers with the text "SHARE THE ROAD. Same roads, same rights, same rules."

Here are the rules. From your blog or website, link either to Cyclelicious, the Boulder County Blog, or to any specific post within these blogs. Do not use the "nofollow" attribute in the link. Trackback to this post if you link to the root site; otherwise trackback directly to the post you're linking to. If you cannot trackback, leave a comment here, but consider adding trackback capability because trackbacks will have priority over comments. Ensure that I can contact you somehow to get a mailing address, either through an about or profile page that I can find or by contacting me directly. If you contact me, be sure to reference the web page or blog post you are linking from. Your content must be favorable toward bicycling -- I'll take the links from biker-haters, but you won't get the bumper sticker.

Smallprint: This offer is good only for U.S. and Canadian addresses and is void if it's somehow illegal at your location. If there's a technical glitch and I don't find out about your link, tough noogie. If I get your mailing address wrong and you never receive the bumper sticker, I owe you nothing.

Even if you're not in the first five, everybody who links to my blogs by Friday night at 6 p.m. Mountain Time (that I can track) will get a direct link back to your site in a post I'll make to Cyclelicious this weekend. More small print: I won't link to "bad neighborhoods", which are sites that can result in search engines downgrading the ranking of my site if I link to them. If you're already linked to these blogs, they don't count for the sticker giveaway or link exchange -- they must be brand new posts that occur as a result of this post. Yeah, I know this is cheesy, but I have the stickers and I need some way to figure out who to give them to.

If you can't or won't link to Cyclelicious or Boulder County, you can still buy the bumper stickers for really cheap at ProBicycle. Just be sure to select the correct link to PayPal depending on if you're paying by credit card through PayPal or if you're paying directly from a PalPal account. It makes a difference and it'll save some work for Mr. Clark.

Roadside treasure: Mayor's wallet!

A Philadelphia man found a familiar name in a brown billfold he discovered in the road as he was bicycling along Martin Luther King Drive.

Mike Monaghan, a cost accountant from Northeast Philadelphia, said the card on top in the wallet said, "John F. Street, attorney."

Putting the wallet in his pocket, Monaghan rode on, and shortly spotted Mayor Street and his wife, Naomi Post Street, on a tandem bike.

Monaghan said he rode up and said, "Mr. Mayor, you must have dropped your wallet." Monaghan said the mayor "looked a little surprised" but thanked him for returning it.

Read more.

Biking: Good for what ails you

So says the California Physical Therapy Association as part of their "Move California" campaign to educate Californians about the need for an active lifestyle. Read more here.

Interbike Thursday update

Top change agent in bicycling

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the League of American Bicyclists convened a panel of judges to select the top 25 change agents in American cycling history. At Interbike, the League announced that Lance Armstrong had the most influence on American cycling. Other names on the list include Greg LeMond, Schwinn, Shimano, and Gary Fisher.

Bikes @ Interbike

Cyclingnews covers some of the smaller brands at Interbike with their quick views and plenty of photos.

Velonews has lots of bike pictures too. There's a singlespeed cross bike (!) from Bianchi -- I suspect it's built more for city riding than actual cyclocross. Other urban bikes include several offerings from Raleigh such as the fat tire P.U.B. bike (featuring a built-in bottle opener), and the fixed gear Rush Hour for $600.

Buycycling features the $6500 Scott Ransom among other products.

At the Outdoor Demo the other day, 29 inchers are big (pun sort of intended). J-Vicious reviews several 29ers such as the Salsa Dos Niner and the Ventana El Capitan.

Celebrity watch

Velogal (author of Podium Girls Gone Bad) posted photos of Floyd Landis, Tom Danielson, Phil Liggett, Todd Wells, and Ned Overend at autograph booths.

Graham at GoClipless writes about the women of mountain biking, with a nice group shot of Luna Chix team members Alison Dunlap, Shonny Vanlandingham, Katerina Hanusova, Kathy Pruitt, and Marla Streb.

Fru fru

Bike Mecca shows us billet aluminum yoyos, a nice chainguard that doesn't require the loss of your big ring, and Stormtrooper helmets.

Blue Collar has lots and lots and lots of photos of everything taken with what seems to be a crappy camera phone. This looks like a snowski version of a Trikke.

If you're looking for booth babes, has them here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

If it's not fixed...

Fat cyclist learned to ride a fixie. Cycledog explains the cult of fixed gear riding. Gear joins the cult. Sheldon is the High Priest of the Cult.

Yesterday, Fat griped about slow delivery of his Bianchi Pista track bike and wondered about "their apparent inability to forecast" demand for the track bikes. Is it because nobody could have predicted how popular fixed gear bikes have become?

Davis: Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists recognized Davis, CA as the first Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

“We're delighted to recognize Davis as an outstanding city for bicycling,” said Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “For forty years, Davis has had one of the highest levels of bicycle use in the country – currently 17 percent of journeys to work are made by bike. This comes as a direct result of policies and choices they have made over the years.”

“Davis can now look to emulate great international cycling cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam,” said Clarke. “The city cannot rest on its laurels. Davis also has a responsibility to help other communities – such as Portland, Ore. and Boulder, Colo. who are close to achieving platinum status – learn from their work.”

Jonathan Maus of BikePortland correctly predicted that other day that Davis would be chosen as the first Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Interbike Tuesday

Here's a quick roundup of Interbike news today.

Bootleg Canyon Outdoor Demo

Lactic Acid posted his pics and reviews of the new Giant Anthem MTB and Canondale Rush XC bike.

Leanord Zinn at VeloNews wrote about trying out bikes from Santa Cruz and Maverick, as well as reporting on the results of Park Tools "Fastest Wrench in the West" contest.

Matt Pacocha provides additional coverage for VeloNews, mentioning, among other things Pacific Cycles' strong lineup for 2006. "Many of the bikes have impressive component packages for their prices points. I rode the I-Drive 1.0, GT's cross-country race/ trail bike. Mongoose, also a part of Pacific Cycles, had some impressive bikes playing off of the company's sponsorship of Eric Carter and the Mongoose team. The EXC is a race-ready mountain cross bike with a similar parts spec to that used by EC to win the National Championship in the discipline of four-cross."

Cyclingnews writes about the Giant Anthem. PezCyclingNews tells us where they'll be.

Fru fru

Go Clipless reviews a $300 pogo stick at the Outdoor Demo. The video from Flybar's website is pretty cool, but I have a feeling this would be a toy that's really cool for about two days and then it would land in the garage next to the other unused fitness equipment.
Currie electric bike

Currie Technologies
will introduce 12 new models of electric bikes at Interbike this year. Currie has licensed the GT, Schwinn, and Mongoose names from Pacific Cycles. They offer a variety of styles -- traditional diamond frames, little scooter-looking step-through vehicles, even one that looks like a toy dirt bike.

Most of the bloggers I know who will be at Interbike won't actually be there until tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have more news and pics to report on then.

Sheldon Brown podcast

Many online cycling enthusiasts are familiar with Sheldon "Captain Bike" Brown. Sheldon, who's the ambassador of Harris Cyclery in Massachusetts, has shared his encyclopedic knowledge of everything cycling for years in various online forums. He started doing email listservs in the early 90s via AOL and set up his website in 1994.

Sheldon Brown is now experimenting with podcasts. If you've wondered what he sounds like, here's your chance. In spite of his slightly twisted sense of humor, he sounds amazingly normal in his podcasts.

I haven't listened to the "Bentride" podcast yet. In his English 3-speed podcast, Sheldon talks for several minutes in his grandfatherly professor voice about the history of English 3-speed bikes (imagine that). His audio essay starts out a little slowly. Sheldon sounds as if he's reading from a manuscript (which he probably is) and there are awkward pauses as if he's flipping a page or something. He soon finds his rhythm, however, and the rest of his podcast goes smoothly.

Halfway through the podcast, Sheldon switches gears and covers the discography of the English band Oysterband. The style of this section is reminiscent of public radio classical music shows:
"In 1997, Oysterband came out with the album Deep Dark Ocean. Here's a part of the song 'Sail on By.' [short pause] [cue music]."
The MP3 files are huge so a broadband connection is helpful, but that's true of any kind of podcasting. I'm looking forward to hearing what more Sheldon has for us in the future.

Bicycle design blog

I found the Bicycle Design Blog through a comment left yesterday. James designs home decor products but he also really likes bikes. "I like to ride them, work on them, look at them, think about them, and occasionally sketch them when I need a mental design break."

He has some slick looking bikes as well as commentary on bike design and I'm looking forward to seeing more. He writes, "I will keep posting design concepts and ideas and, hopefully, will eventually get some submissions from others." Check him out when you get a chance.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Asmaa al-Assad

Does this look like the wife of a Middle East dictator? 29-year-old Asmaa al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Asssad, rides her bicycle with members of the Follow the Women Foundation, which is campaigning for peace in the Middle East, near Daraa city, about 100 km (62 miles) south of the Syrian capital September 20, 2005. About 300 women from 34 countries are travelling on bicycles across Levant from Beirut to Ramalla in a bid for Arab-Israeli peace. From REUTERS/Stringer.

Canada: 30% tax on bicycle imports

At the request of Canadian bike builders Procycle and Raleigh Canada, Canadian cabinet ministers are considering a 30% tax on top of the 13% customs tariff and special antidumping duties of five to fifty percent on bicycle imports.

Procycle and Raleigh Canada, which imports bike parts and assembles them in Canada for the low-end mass retail market, asked for the surtax to protect Canadian jobs. Retailers in Canada, on the other hand, are crying foul. "Gasoline prices are up, inner city smog and traffic congestion are up, greenhouses gases are up, childhood obesity is up and virtually everyone has identified bicycles as part of the solution. So where is the public interest in a 30% import bicycle surtax?" asks Peter Lilly of CyclePath in Toronto, Ontario.

For more analysis, see also this article at

Lance Armstrong on SNL

Lance Armstrong will host Saturday Night Live on October 29, with Sheryl Crow appearing with him as the musical guest. Another cyclist of note, "Napoleon Dynamite" star Jon Heder, will host the show October 8. Sweet!

Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community

The Bicycle Friendly Community campaign is a program of the League of American Bicyclists to recognize U.S. cities that actively support bicycling. The awards are given at four levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Out of 49 designations in 2005, only four are at the Gold level. No city has ever been awarded the Platinum level.

That will change this week when the League of American Bicyclists will announce their first Platinum level city this Wednesday at Interbike. Which city will it be? I'm guessing it will be either Portland, Oregon or Davis, California. What's your guess?

Interbike this week

I couldn't make it this year, and if you're reading this neither did you. I know a few bloggers who are there, I'll be browsing Flickr, the blogs, and the news for info about Interbike and post links here.

My predictions

Because of increased interest in cycling from the Lance Factor and gasoline prices, I predict the press will cover Interbike much more closely than they have in years past.

While there still will be plenty of amazing bling and technology for racers and weight-weenies, I predict an emphasis on bikes that are marketed to commuters and newbie cyclists -- hybrids, comfort bikes, utility bikes, trailers, HPVs and perhaps even cycles and scooters with small motors and not-so-small motors on them and other car-like features like turn signals and bright lights.

I think we'll see some interesting product introductions from Pacific Cycle brands. GT, Mongoose and Schwinn have their roots in innovative, good quality bikes, but they all were snapped up by low-end Pacific Cycles and ended up in the mass retail market. All of these brands are returning to their high-end legacies with some nice products, and I'm guessing we'll see some good things from Pacific at Interbike.

There seems to be a resurgence of small framebuilders in the U.S. Hopefully some of them have managed to scrape up some cash for the trip to Vegas to show off their wares.

Finally, because of the current bike boom, we'll see plenty of junk from people who don't know the first thing about bikes. We'll get the usual crop of airless tires, clunky automatic transmissions and chainless drive systems. It should be interesting to see what other "innovations" will appear this year.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

For the ladies

FGE is a site dedicated to treating men and their fixed-gear bikes like objects. The photos of the men in cheesecake poses with their bikes serve only to objectify and degrade men! Oh, the humanity! Via Peter Dolan.

Catching up with the news

Huffy -> Chinese

117 year old Huffy, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, will now belong to the Chinese Government. Biking Bis has details and commentary.

Ride to benefit hurricane victims

Cyclists in Nebraska raise $3000 for the Red Cross.

Boston buses to get bike racks

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will install 250 bike racks next spring on buses serving Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, Medford, Malden, Revere, Charlestown, Burlington, Lexington, Bedford, Belmont, Arlington, Waltham, Watertown, Allston, Brighton, Woburn, and Winchester. MassBike says,, "Thank you."

Armored truck driver kills cyclist

In other Boston news, Margaret 'Meg' Sanders was killed by an armored truck driver who apparently turned into Meg. Join the discussion about this collision here.

Bike riding is "wheel" fun

Yet Another Article on the benefits of cycling to work, including some how-to and advice.

Bike promotion in Qata

A think-tank has proposed making Qatar more "bicycling friendly" as part of Qatar's national policy on promoting health and protecting the environment. "The project seeks to dispel myths, social stigmas and taboos that exist among the Qatari society about riding bicycles. These taboos had so far prevented several nationals from using this economic mode of transportation and derive its various health benefits. Currently, bicycles are commonly used by low income expatriates from the Indian sub-continent, who cannot afford other means of transport for their daily use."

'For hard core bikers'

Here's Yet Another Article it the press about fixed gear riding in the Christian Science Monitor.
"But he saved money by leaving out a few key components. Like brakes - there aren't any. And gears - there's just one. And there's no free wheel, either, so he can't coast - as long as the bike is moving, he has to keep pedaling."

A shout out to Cycledog for telling me about this article.

My fixie has brakes.

Friday, September 23, 2005

EPO test problems

Erythropoietin or EPO is a hormone produced by the kidneys which stimulates the production of red blood cells. Synthetic EPO is produced right here in my hometown of Longmont, Colorado at Amgen. Amgen uses rDNA-modified hamster ovaries to produce synthetic EPO. This synthetic EPO (under the brand name EPOGEN) is used to enhance red blood cell production during chemotherapy and kidney dialysis. Cyclist Lance Armstrong took synthetic EPO during his cancer treatment in 1996.

Because EPO occurs naturally in the blood, the test for synthetic EPO depends on slight differences in the way the two kinds of EPO behave in an electrical field. To test for EPO, a preparation of urine is placed on the edge of a blotter, then subjected to the pull of an electrical field, leaving deposits in certain patterns that resemble a tiger's stripes. Some bands are more associated with recombinant EPO, some more with the natural substance. But there is considerable overlap as well.

For some people, this testing technique reeks of black magic. Cyclingnews just published a new critique of the testing method. According to Cyclingnews:
* False EPO positives can arise from proteinuria, if an athlete produces certain types of proteins after intense exercise that the test picks up.
* The antibody used is not specific enough, meaning that it will identify non-EPO proteins as EPO.
* Different labs can give different results for the same sample, sometimes calling a negative a positive, and vice versa.
* There can be a large variability in results, even when the same lab does the testing
* WADA changed the test criteria from quantitative to qualitative wihtout any scientific validation.
* A new "two-dimensional" EPO test is undergoing validation studies at the moment to iron out the flaws of the first one.
* WADA doesn't believe that it can be sued by athletes who wrongly tested positive. It maintains that the test has given valid results in the past.
The article is fairly technical and doesn't lend itself to a quick scan, but that's all I've had a chance to do before posting this article. Somebody who's a little more familiar with medical terminology or the testing please feel free to weigh in with your comments.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bike evacuation

Jose Luis Maradillaga, 59, pedals his bicycle north on Texas Highway 3, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005, leaving the city of Webster, Texas, bound for Dallas to flee Hurricane Rita. Dallas is about 260 miles from Houston.

In broken English, Maradillaga said he once traveled from Los Angeles to Houston the same way. When he traveled to the United States from his native Honduras, it was primarily on foot, Maradillaga added, walking his index and middle fingers across his left hand.

His clothes were in a black plastic garbage bag, strapped to a rack at the rear of the bike with a radio boom box. An old-fashioned, metal canteen hung over his handlebars.

Asked why he was leaving, Maradillaga answered: "George Bush: no more people," he said. "Vamanos!"

4 mph evacuation

That's what some people are reporting in the Hurricane Rita blog. After sitting in traffic for 14 hours or more, cars are running out of gas and overheating. Portseye reports, "the typical travel speed on any of the evacuation routes is roughly 1-3 mph."

The Galveston Causeway is normally closed to bike traffic, but that didn't stop Steve Wygant. He's riding his bike out of Galveston to Houston. As he rides by cars stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, he says, "I'll be waving at them, not them at me."

Cycling Dude has discovered that biking away from a disaster isn't always obvious, even to bicyclists. Huntsville and Lufkin are both about a hundred miles from Houston, which is bicycling distance for a strong cyclist. For a family with children and maybe pets, the bike is a little less practical, but sitting in traffic for two days in stifling heat and running out of gas doesn't sound practical either.


Toilet bike
Originally uploaded by fixedgear.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. Here's a toilet bike to serve your transportation and personal elimination needs. According to fixed gear, this was "one of the toilet bikes at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival."

Nigerian cycling

To protect the local bike industry, the country of Nigeria has banned the importation of bikes. Unfortunately for the racers in Nigeria, the ban also covers high-end bikes that are not available locally. In response, the Cycling Federation of Nigeria has protested the ban.

The Secretary of the Nigerian People's Democratic Party, Ojo Maduekwe, is an avid cyclist, using his bike to get around the nation's capital, Lagos. As Transportation Minister, Ojo Maduekwe pushed his policy of Organic transportation in which multiple modes of transportation -- not just cars -- are encouraged. In Nigeria, bicycling is seen as a dangerous activity, and Maduekwe's cycling campaign is seen as a bit quixotic.

Cyclelicious says more power to Ojo Maduekwe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I have a few accessories from Serfas: a bike helmet, a couple of front lights, and a tail light. Here's the short of it: The products look nice, but they're all cheap junk and I'll never buy another Serfas product again.

Here's the longer detailed version.

Helmet: It's a nice looking, comfortable, well fitting helmet. I especially like the knob on the back by which the helmet is adjusted. Unfortunately, the knob fell off and the adjusting strap is free to slide around. This helmet is a $50 piece of styrofoam junk, now.

Front light: I have the Serfas WhiteLED front light on one of my bikes and my son has one on his bike. I really like the fast flash mode and the five LEDs seems to work well to get the attention of motorists in front of me. It's small and unobtrusive on the handlebar and, frankly, I think it's the nicest looking light out there. Unfortunately, these lights are also cheap junk. My son's light has never really worked properly -- it has a tendency to just switch off spontaneously for no apparent reason. Hitting any reasonable bumps results in the cover popping off and spitting out the AAA batteries.

Rear light: I have the Serfas RedLED attached to a seatstay of my fixed gear bike. Like the other Serfas products I have, it looks sexy. The lack of a prism lens is a minor shortcoming, and the light is significantly less bright than any other rear LED light I own. No matter how much I tighten the bracket screw, the light won't stay in position -- it continually droops down so the light is pointing at the ground instead of toward the rear. It also has the spontaneous turn-off problem that my son's front light has. On a positive note, I've never lost any batteries with this light.

I also own Vistalight and Cateye lights. They're ugly but they've been rock-solid dependable for me.

Cool weather riding

In just a couple of days, the Sun will cross over the equator from north to south. This autumnal equinox will take place in the wee hours of Thursday, September 23. On this first day of fall, the night will begin to be longer than the day.

If you've been thinking about commuting by bicycle, fall is the perfect time to try this. One of the biggest hindrances to bicycle commuting is stinky sweat, but at this time of year the air is cool during the morning commute. Bicycle commuting is literally "no sweat."

Bill Milbratz lists these incentives to autumn bicycle commuting on the Icebike discussion list. (Reprinted here with his kind permission.)
  • Keep off those pounds before Thanksgiving / Hannukah / Christma / Ramadan / New Years cookies, cakes and candies attack your waistline.
  • Save commuting costs.
  • Reduce stress of car traffic and public transportation.
  • Get you to work invigorated.
  • Build your exercise routine into your daily schedule.
  • Allow you to see your neighborhood up close and personal.
  • All without breaking a sweat.
As the days get shorter, please be sure to get lights for night riding.

High school girl writes 'bikes are good'

Allysa Rueschenberg is a high school senior who gets it. This track star from San Luis Obispo High School in California rides for fitness, riding "95 percent of my mileage on regular roads." She can give some lessons, though, on how cyclists should use the paths.
I live near the Bob Jones Bike Trail, so this path starts and finishes my ride. I expect pedestrians. I ride with my hands on the brakes and call, "on your left." People get out of the way quickly and politely, often offering a "hello" or "good morning." Sometimes, I have to slow to a crawl or even stop completely for kids on trikes weaving around or speed walkers taking up both lanes, but I do it patiently and with a smile because a few years ago I had training wheels, and I love to see people and families getting exercise and having fun.
Allysa also refutes the common argument that gasoline taxes are used to fun bicycle facilities.
Mr. Anderson claims that funds for these trails come from "gas taxes auto owners pay, not bicycles." This argument does not make sense. Is this an assumption that pedestrians own cars and pay taxes, but cyclists do not? And is money even the issue here?
And what about them darn cyclists who all break the law?
I don't deny this, but I can guarantee that there are as many jaywalking pedestrians and reckless drivers as there are careless cyclists.
You go, girl. Read the entire essay here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Surfing cyclist

prepared for the waves - remake
Originally uploaded by an_agent.
A couple of weeks ago, mountain bike queen Marla Streb wrote of her attempts to go surfing my bike (via Blue Collar) after her Vanagon broke down. She should have had the rig in this picture.

UPDATE: This is obviously a commercial product, so I hunted around on the net and found the Huntington Bike Rack for only $36. A similar surfboard rack for bikes is the Side Ride Surfboard Bike Rack; this one is $60. La Jolla Surf Shop also carries The Mule for $99. The Mule is a fabric pocket that seems to attach to the seatpost into which you slide the surfboard. The surfboard trails behind the bike on some dolly wheels.

My dad surfed as a teen growing up in Orange County, using the huge boards they had back in the day. I grew up inland and have barely touched a board so this is all very new stuff for me.

Bicycle blog optimization

One of the people in my Blogroll is Jonathan Maus's Just Riding Along. He often writes about the marketing value of blogs for bicycle industry websites -- whether the websites are for bicycle shops or bicycle manufacturers.

If you've followed his advice and started a blog, you want to be sure you do it right to maximize the benefit of the time you put into creating your blog, especially as the blogosphere gets more crowded. One resource I found that's especially useful to Blogger blogs is Freshblog, a collection of hacks, tricks, and blogging tips.

I don't recommend using all of Freshblog's tricks -- doing so is a bit overboard -- but there's plenty of advice in there to help your blog rank well. Content is king in the blogosphere just as in the rest of the web, but Freshblog's tips will help people and search engines find your content.

The observant reader will note that Freshblog mentions Cycle-licious, but this post isn't mere reciprocation. Freshblog has been in my blogroll for a while and I've implemented a few of Freshblog's tricks.

Bike riding fuel as a tax deduction

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service recently increased the allowable travel deduction an unprecedented 20% to 48.5 cents per mile because of rising gasoline prices. The obvious question for some cyclists then becomes: "Can I deduct the cost of food as a business travel expense?"

One Canadian managed to do exactly that. Alan Scott of Toronto argued before Revenue Canada that because automobile expenses are deductible, he should be able to deduct the expense of the extra calories he consumes. After 15 years, he finally won his battle.

Other Canadian cyclists are cautioned that Revenue Canada will not generally allow this expense. In the U.S., the IRS absolutely does not allow for food as a travel expense.

I read about Alan Scott's case last night at the Bikes At Work website. In a weird bit of Internet synchronicity, Treehugger mentioned the Scott case today.

Lightning free

Christopher Lightning, the cyclist in Oregon accused of running a red light and killing a pedestrian in an intersection, is out of jail. The grand jury investigating the case did not believe there was sufficient evidence to bring Lightning to trial.

There's been quite a bit of discussion among cyclists about this incident, with some people perceiving that officials in Corvallis have an axe to grind against cyclists.

Bike thief run over by car

Thief steals bike. Ride it like you stole it! Oh no, it's a car. Crash! Car hits bike thief. Driver drives away! Police catch driver. Police arrest driver. Bike owner sees crumpled bike. Police arrest bike thief in hospital. Too bad. Read about the theft and accident here.

Fixie mural

Originally uploaded by renegade.
A mural of fixed riders in Clarion Alley in San Francisco's Mission District. The Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) has worked to create works of public art in the alley between Mission and Valencia Streets in San Francisco.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Kickbike Japan

"Tokyo Bike Ride" by Yohei Morita.

Lem -- an expatriate American in Chiba, Japan -- runs Kickbiking Japan!, an English language blog about kickbikes and bicycling in general in Japan.

Lem has lived in Japan, off and on, since 1982. In addition to the kickbike, he rides road and mountain bikes for recreation and transportation.

Kickbikes are kind of like a big scooter but with a lot more stability. Most kickbikers also have bicycles, but use the kickbike to have something different. According to Lem, "They exercise and develop different muscle sets; move at different speeds; position you at different heights relative to the terrain; and offer a very different set of benefits." Lem talks a little more about kickbiking in this podcast.

Lem got a kickbike to replace his Xootr. The Xootr:
"...was a lot of fun, but didn't really do all I wanted to do. Besides, the wheels were too small and turned out to be a perfect match for some of the road potholes in the neighborhood. Late one night when I was Xootring back home from the train station the front wheel decided to mate with a pothole. The Xootr stopped instantly. I didn't. No major damage, and no broken bones - just road rash and some serious bruising. The next morning, as soon as I could get my fingers on a keyboard, I started searching for something between the Xootr and a full fledged bicycle. Eventually, after a lot of research, talking to people on line, and a long distance telephone chat with Hannu in Finland, I bought and imported my Kickbike."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Full or partial feed?

I provide both a full and partial feed, but I'm considering converting the partial feed on Feedburner into a full feed. For those subscribing via the Feedburner feed: Is the lack of a full feed a real hassle for you? Cycle-licious is heavy on photography, but these are not currently included in the partial feed that most of my readers subscribe to. If enough people comment I'll probably switch to providing a full feed on Feedburner.

For those of you who manually visit Cycle-licious every day: I thank you for your loyal patronage, but for the sake of your time you really should consider using a feed reader. I use Bloglines because I use multiple computers and it works well, but there are plenty of good readers out there (and plenty of lousy ones as well). Feed readers allow you to read all of your blogs in one place and they only display the blog entries that you haven't read yet. I provide easy one-click subscription under "Feed Me" in the sidebar to the left.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bicycle commute challenge

The Edinburgh, Scotland city council staged the city's first Commuter Challenge on Friday. From four starting points, contestants riding bikes, bus, or car raced to the finish point. Bookies even placed odds on the contest, predicting that the bus riders would win, with bikes having only 33 in 1 chance of winning from one of the starting locations. I'll give the readers of this forum a chance to guess the winning mode for all starting points before you read the article describing the race. :-)

Yet Another Bike Forum

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Helsinki bike ride

Jepa rides her bike in Finland. Photo by Leksis.
Jepa whistles as she rides her bike in Helsinki, Finland. Bikes are used extensively for recreation and commuting from June to August, but biking drops off significantly in the winter months. Jepa tells me,
"It's a minority that keeps cycling through the wintertime here in Helsinki. Most mornings one has to cycle through a deep snow cover. The cars treat cyclists quite aggressively, especially in winter as they have trouble in believing that someone moves on bike this season.

"In some smaller cities here, like in Oulu and Jyväskylä, where the public transportation really sucks, more people cycle through the winter. There also people ride on sidewalks which one cannot do in Helsinki. Sidewalks are of course well snow-plowed. In other cities in Finland people don't even use studded tires when wintercycling. I don't know why, but every wintercyclist in Helsinki seems to have studded tires. Local customs, it seems. Here the buses, trams and underground system work so well that maybe the wintercyclists are all bike fanatics like me.

Is gasoline elastic?

I joked the other day about the economic term "elasticity of demand." What this means is the amount that the demand of a product changes in relation to the price. Luxury items are the usual example of an elastic product -- most of us can live without a yacht or airplace, at least in the short term. The usual example of an inelastic product is gasoline: most of us need to drive to work, school, food shopping, and errands; and if we run out of gas we usually can't delay the purchase until the price goes down.

Dr. James Hamilton is professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. He thought it remarkable that gasoline prices aren't even higher than they are now.. 56% of Gulf Coast oil production remains unavailable and 5% of total U.S. refining capacity could be shut down for an extended period of time. "Release of oil from the SPR, temporary rationalization of fuel standards, and assistance from foreign countries surely helped," Hamilton writes, "but could not be expected to reverse completely the significant lasting damage wrought by the hurricane. So why didn't the storm have a bigger effect on prices?"

His answer: "U.S. consumers are finally responding in a significant way to price incentives." In other words, there is some degree of demand elasticity in gasoline. Petroleum usage dropped a dramatic 9.5% between August and September, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In some ways, Americans are using less gasoline, either by reducing long trips, combining short trips, and using "alternate modes" of transportation such as carpooling, bicycling, or riding public transit. I know several people who aren't driving the SUV into work anymore, taking the much smaller second car.

The eRideShare carpool service reports a sixfold increase in new carpool listings over their previous record after gasoline hit $3/gallon in the U.S. According to eRideShare executive director Steven Schoeffler, "People are realizing that they can save thousands of dollars a year by carpooling. At the same time, they know that they're helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by sharing the ride."

In my local area, I've noticed an increase in bicycle commuting. People are asking me for advice on what type of bikes to buy. One local bike shop owner tells me he's been having a hard time keeping commuter gear in stock -- things like panniers, racks, and lights. The local public transit district and their drivers also report that ridership has increased tremendously over the past month.

How about you? What are you doing differently to reduce your gasoline spending? Please comment below.

Lock your bike!

With more people biking because of rising gas prices, bike thefts are apparently on the upswing. According to the National Bike Registry, a four-year college student has a nearly 18% chance of having his bike stolen. (Do 18% of college students own a bike?)

While most thefts are crimes of opportunity, locally there are guys with trucks and lock-breaking equipment on the hunt for good bikes to steal. You can, however, reduce the risk of theft with the usual advice:
  • "Uglify" your bike. It's generally acknowledged that ugly, scratched non-descript bikes will attract less attention than a high-dollar boutique bike that's in polished and mint condition. Because knowledgable thieves know how to look past the ugly to the bike underneath, Cyclelicious recommends a cheap beater bike for areas with higher risk of crime.
  • Always lock your bike. Bike theft occurs even in small, safe towns. In some areas, cable locks may be sufficient. U-locks work well for more security. Because the methods and tools required to defeat cable and U-locks are different, many people combine the two, using both cables and U-locks.
  • Remove the slack. Use the smallest lock or cable needed. Extra slack in the cable makes it more convenient for the thief to snip the cable. Extra room on a U-lock is room for a thief to fit a jack to break the lock.
  • Keep the lock off of the ground so the thief can't just smash the lock against the ground with a hammer.
  • Remove accessories. If your bike is parked for any length of time, remove lights, bells, computers and anything else that's easily removable from your bike. Consider replacing a quick-release seatpost binder with a real bolt and nut -- the thin saddle-rail cable locks are worthless.
  • Fill bolt heads. In high crime areas, experienced cyclists melt solder into allen key bolt heads. Solder can be heated and easily wicked out when service is required on the secured part; the same is not true for other similar measures such as wax or hot glue.
  • Out of sight out of mind. Some experts recommend parking your bike in a highly visible area. Bystanders observing a theft will do absolutely nothing to stop the thief, however, so a hidden location may be a better choice in some circumstances. When I go to a fast food place, I park my bike in the open -- visible from the restaurant windows. If I'm in the woods hiking, I conceal my bike as best as I can or make it look like it belongs to a ranger by locking it up to a park or forest facility (with permission).
  • Lock the bike to a secure structure. I've seen bikes leaning on a bike rack and a cable wrapped around them that aren't actually locked to anything. Be on the lookout for cheap "dishwasher" racks with loose nuts and bolts that facilitate easy bike removal. Ensure your bike can't merely be slipped up and over the object you're locking to.
  • Secure it at home. I've had friends with bikes stolen right from the front porch of their homes in safe neighborhoods.
  • Register your bike. Many localities offer free or inexpensive bike registration. If the police find an abandoned bike, it's a simple matter to look up the serial number. Write down the serial number and keep it in a safe place along with a photo of the bike; you can give these to the police to help with recovery if your bike is stolen. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has a clever "freezer registration" form here (PDF file).

Please leave a comment below about additional anti-theft tips, uglifying resources, or personal anecdotes of bike theft or recovery.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Armstrong: 'sick of this'

In a conference call tonight, Lance Armstrong said he's definitely finished with professional cycling. "I'm happy with the way my career ended. I'm not going back," Armstrong said. "There is no way I can go back [to France].

"I know if I go back there is no way I am going to get a fair shake in the lab, on the roadside, in the hotel, in my food. I am sick of dealing with this [stuff]."

There's some speculation that Armstrong might have brought the whole mess on himself after it was disclosed that Armstrong gave permission to L'Equipe reporter Damien Ressiot to investigate his drug test results. At the time Armstrong gave his permission, he did not know about the controversial EPO test.

Armstrong and his agent Bill Stapleton also pounded WADA chief Dick Pound in the call. Armstrong and Pound have had a long-running feud. According to Stapleton, Pound's allegations that the EPO test leaks came from the UCI are attempts to "misdirect and divert the attention away from himself" and the WADA. "Pound has a long-standing pattern of attacking athletes prior to them having due process and has made statements that are in contradiction of his own code." Pound alleged that the UCI itself was the source of the leak that identified Armstrong's urine samples shortly after the UCI stated that there is no evidence of doping by Lance Armstrong.

And the beat goes on.

Bill Gates pulled by sweet 10-speed

It's a lousy screen capture, but the fuzzy blob riding the roller skates is Bill Gates and the fuzzy blob on the bike is Napoleon Dynamite.
If you're a fan of Napoleon Dynamite (like I am) it's a pretty funny video and it's all over the blogosphere. Napoleon has a sweet 10-speed, and Pedro has a Sledgehammer so how can any cyclist not be a fan?

I've mirrored the "Bill Gates Goes to College" video here, but I'm fairly limited on bandwidth so I can't promise how long it will be there. Visit this blog for other mirrors.

Synopsis: Bill Gates (yes, that Bill Gates) has a roommate: Napoleon Dynamite. They work to upgrade the computer systems at the company owned by Uncle Rico and Kip. Hilarity ensues in Napoleon's understated style. Watch Bill get slapped by Napoleon. Watch Bill dance. Watch Napoleon make fun of Microsoft.

This video is a vidcam capture of the video from a developer's conference. The video is okay, but the audio quality is poor.

Snow skiing

I live in Colorado and one of my hobbies is downhill skiing. It's tough carrying thirty pounds of skis, boots, poles, ski clothing and riding a bicycle 50 miles to an elevation of 10,000 feet. I have taken the RTD Ski-and-Ride bus from Boulder to Eldora ski resort and back, but that's a little limiting and I will have two skiing children and their gear to shuttle with me. Even riding a bike one mile from my home to the bus stop is tricky with all that gear, and the local buses only have racks for two bikes. For me, a bus ride to Eldora involves two bus transfers. That's normally not a problem, but the logistics get interesting with bikes plus ski gear.

I was delighted, then, to find this ski carpool website. is a service to find other skiers who will drive up to the resorts.

The registration interface is clunky and non-intuitive, but once you get past that the search is fairly easy. You specify distance from your zip code for other skiers and the ski areas you're willing to go to. The profile asks what kind of skiing you like to do -- alpine, telemark, boarding, green / blue / black / double-diamond, trees, bumps, backcountry, and bowls -- so SkiCarpool is also handy to find skiing partners.

Incidentally, if you like attention, riding a bike with alpine ski gear strapped on is a great way to get some interesting looks.

Bristol paving stone

This paving stone marks the cyclepath on the south side of Queens Square in Bristol, England (UK). According to the photographer, Gulley, "the Bristol City Council are quite active in promoting cycle use and have established a network of marked cycle routes throughout the city for some years now."

feature photo. Tags: , ,

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Urbana-Champaign Bicycle blog

While trying out Google's new blog search tool, I found this brand-new blog about Sue's Urbana-Champaign Bicycle Commute.

I lived in Champaign County, Illinois for several years and did the year-round all most-weather bike commute for much of that time. Central Illinois has a lot of things going for it but the place is, by far, the absolute worst place I've lived when it comes to bicycling.

Other Champaign Urbana Bicycle resources:
Champaign Urbana Illinois bicycle shops:
Check out the Champaign-Urbana Drive 25 blog for traffic safety discussion.

Promote cycling for lower gas prices

Aaron is a Redneck economist who blogs from Edmonton, Alberta and values the wide open spaces and independent spirit of that province. Like many who live in the far flung frontier of western states and provinces, he wants lower gas prices. His proposal to do so? "I think the best way to enjoy low gasoline prices is to fund granola-eating initiatives such as bicycle riding and walking."

Aaron is an educated economist so he uses big educated phrases like "Hegelian Dialectic" and "elasticity of demand." Cyclelicious will endeavor to simplify his thesis for the average, bike-riding reader.

Many people want to reduce or eliminate gasoline taxes because of the high prices. If gas taxes are reduced, however, demand will go up. If gas is cheaper, that means people will buy and consume more of this limited (and declining) resource. Selling the product for the same price but with a smaller tax burden might seem like a good thing at first -- the cost for the retailer goes down because less money goes for taxes and so his margin goes up. But, guess what happens to the margin? That's right, the additional profit is taxed. Aaron believes that the final result may actually be higher taxes. He writes:
When the anti-gasoline tax crowd argues for a five cent reduction in gasoline taxes, they are perhaps not anticipating that demand will expand to drive the price up by 4 cents. This 4 cents goes directly to the retailer, assuming the upstream producers don’t increase their prices. The extra 4 cents per litre drives the profit margins of gasoline retailers up. The government taxes these increased profit margins, and the retailer can either throw the increased profits into new capital expenditures (more gas stations), pay the tax, or try to pass it on to consumers. If the retailer raises their price by an additional 1 cent per litre, the price ends up back where it was originally.

The only real way to reduce the price of gas, of course, is to reduce the demand of the product. Aaron's proposal to reduce the demand is promote alternative transportation modes like bicycling and mass transit. "Idealists benefit because their happy little bicycling paradigm has been promoted and self-interested gas consumers can go on consuming the same amount of gasoline at a lower price. Overall demand decreases; the Kyotoites and SUV owners rejoice in a resounding unison."

I think that's a Cyclelicious idea.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Commute By Bike wants YOU

Commute By Bike is recruiting a blogger. They're looking for a blogger who can update two to four times daily, who is willing to do the occasional free product review and who is committed to making the Commute By Bike site better in every way. Read Commute By Bike for more info.


Bikes to Mississippi?

Paul wants to send bikes to Mississippi.
Hurricane victims in Mississippi [are] using bicycles to scavenge food, water, and ice. Cars are demolished. Gas supplies are way down. They need bicycles. Does anyone know which national organization has taken any action to help?

Bike escape from New Orleans

Sherwood Hunter lived on a boat in Louisiana. After Hurricane Katrina hit, he got a bike, trailers, and camping gear from Wal-Mart and rode all the way to high ground in Colorado.
"We've been on the road a long time," Hunter said. "The Coast Guard took us by boat to Mobile and we've been traveling ever since. A Wal-Mart in Kansas gave us this bicycle and the Wal-Mart here gave me a pair of shoes. People have been giving us stuff along the way. A lady gave me this sleeping bag, and I found this other sleeping bag along the side of the road."

Hunter said he has averaged 50 miles a day on the donated bicycle that pulls two carts. The dog rests in a covered cart while Hunter pedals.
Correction: The article says he got his bike in Kansas after "riding the rails" and hitching rides from Alabama.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Evanston Recyclery

Marilisa is an intern at Reba Place Fellowship an intentional Christian community in Evanston, IL. She is part of a team starting The Recyclery, a non-profit organization that fixes up old bikes and sells them for a low price. They hope eventually to have workshops and after-school programs to teach bicycle maintenance and safety and promote environmental awareness.

In the photo, Marilisa is helping a neighborhood boy fix a bicycle so he could take it home. Photographer Jesse Miller tells me, "Getting a non-profit going takes a lot of energy, but seeing the joy of a kid receiving a bicycle and seeing his interest in fixing it makes it worth it."

Katrina relief by and for cyclists

Kiril, the Cycling Dude, wants to get the word out on your cycling-related Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. If you or your club is doing something to help the victims, please get in touch with Kiril so he can help get the word out. Visit his blog to see what he's already reported on.

Locally, a couple of clubs have had Katrina fund-raising rides with proceeds going to various charities. Cyclelicious has also reported on help for Gulf Coast bike workers being provided locally and nationally by members of the National Bicycle Dealers Assocation.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Cambodia bicycling

Bicycles are a way of life in Cambodian villages, where motorized vehicles and the infrastructure to support them don't exist. According to the photographer, Michaela Hackner, most of the bikes ridden by children are way too big for them. "Instead, the children stood on the pedals instead of reaching the seat with their butts" because their parents can't afford a smaller bike.

Michaela is in Cambodia as a Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellow working for Pact Cambodia, an NGO working to empower people to earn a dignified living, raise healthy families and participate in democratic life. As a Pact Associate working on working the Self-WORTH Women's Empowerment Program, Michaela is involved establishing self-supporting women's groups that evolve into village banks that generate income and provide social cohesion.

Michaela blogs from Phnom Penh about her experiences in Thoughts From The Girl Next Door.

feature photo. Tags:,