Friday, March 30, 2007

Fear keeping kids indoors, fat, and unhealthy

There's a lot of talk this year about an increase of bicycle use among adults this year. This sad story in the Los Angeles Times, however, shows we have a long ways to go.

One sunny afternoon as our children played nearby, I asked a neighbor
at what age she would allow her son to bicycle around the block by

"I don't think I would ever do that," she replied. "The world is
a very different place now than it was when we were growing up."

Did she really think the number of child molesters and kidnappers
in the world had increased in the last 20 or 30 years, I asked?
"Oh, yes, I think it is increasing. Because of the Internet."

At a PTA meeting, during a discussion of traffic problems around the
school campus, I asked what we could do to encourage families to walk
or bike to school. Other parents looked at me as if I'd suggested we
stuff the children into barrels and roll them into the nearest active
volcano. One teacher looked at me in shock. "I wouldn't let my
children walk to school alone ... would you?"

"Haven't you heard about all of the predators in this area?" asked
a father.

"No, I haven't," I said. "I think this is a pretty safe

"You'd be surprised," he replied, lowering his eyebrows. "You should
read the Megan's Law website." He continued: "You know how to solve
the traffic problem around this school? Get rid of all the predators.
Then you won't have any more traffic."

Read more.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Eclectic Shul Aid Matzo Test

Rabbi Aaron Winternitz bought an old school bus, planted it behind his home in Spring Valley, NY, and converted the back half to a wood-fired oven to bake matzo. At the front of the bus is a stationary bike he uses to grind wheat to make the matzo flour.

Regarding the school bus as an oven: “Think about it: they’re built very strong, and they’re made to be fireproof,” Rabbi Winternitz, a schoolteacher, rabbi and amateur inventor, said in explaining how he always thought an empty school bus would be great for matzo-making. “To me, it makes a perfect oven.”

Read more in the New York Times.

Tokyo bicycle theft

The Japanese Police always get their man.

I grew up in Japan and I'm very much aware of the low crime rate there. People outside of Tokyo habitually leave the keys in their cars. Even in Tokyo they leave their bikes unlocked all day at the train station.

So it was a big surprise to Los Angeles Times reporter Bruce Wallace when his bike disappeared from the bike rack. He assumed it was impounded because it wasn't locked at the right spot and planned a visit to the bike impound lot. Then the Tokyo Metropolitan Police called. They had recovered his bike (which wasn't even reported stolen yet) and captured the thief.

A drunk stole Bruce's bike. The police -- on foot -- ordered the thief to stop because he was riding without lights. Instead of running, the thief indeed stopped.

The reporter asks the police: But what would you have done if he hadn't stopped?

"We would have chased him on our official bikes," he says. He points to a battered bike with a basket on the back.

"Is it fast enough?" Bruce asked him.

"Oh, it can't compete with yours," the cop answers. "But we would have done our best."

They brought the drunk in for questioning. After 40 minutes, they had a confession from the drunk. The police tracked the owner down through the registration sticker on the bike. All because the drunk didn't have a light on the bike.

Read this whole incredible story in the Los Angeles Times.

Jorja Fox goes bike shopping

Jorja Fox goes bike shopping

Jorja Fox plays the brainy brunette on CSI. She demonstrates her smarts by confessing, "The only crime here is that we don't have bicycles." Jorja and Katherine of SpinDaily visit Orange 20 Bikes in Los Angeles, trying out a hybrid, a nice Breezer Bike, and even a fixed gear bicycle. Jorja needs a bike that can carry a surf board on the bike.

Some select quotes:
  • "If I had a bike, I wouldn't have to worry about two hour parking or parking meters. It would save me hundreds of dollars a year on parking tickets."

  • "Prius. That's a cop out."

  • (After trying a fixed gear): "That is awesome. You should try this, Kat. I've never ridden anything like that. It's so cool." After that, Katherine tries to trackstand and falls flat over, but big props to her for trying!
Watch the video on SpinDaily.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Austin bicycle safety task force kicks off

The City of Austin will launch its bicycle safety task force this week, some seven months after the League of Bicycling Voters (LOBV) proposed the step as a means of addressing safer cycling. LOBV led the campaign against last year’s failed proposal for a mandatory bicycle helmet law for Austin adults.

“We’re a bit perplexed as to why it has taken so long for the city to get moving with the task force, but at the same time, we appreciate the fact that city leaders are taking the issue seriously and putting a lot of effort into making it a high-profile group,” said Rob D’Amico, LOBV president.

The task force is named “Street Smarts” and was formed by the COA Public Works Department with an invitation to potential task force members from Mayor Will Wynn and seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong. The group—which is charged with coming up with a report for the City Council over the following six months—will kick off on Thursday, March 29, at 11 a.m. in the City Hall Boards and Commissions Room.

LOBV will be represented on the task force, as will other bicycling organizations, public safety officials and medical/health professionals. In all, some 39 individuals were invited to be members, although it’s uncertain how many will participate.

“In the wake of another area bicyclist being killed by an automobile Friday, it’s obvious that this task force is charged with an important duty—coming up with innovative ways to make bicycling safer while also promoting the idea that bicycling can be a safe and economical way to stay fit and get around Austin,” D’Amico said.

“It’s interesting that out of the hundreds of words used on the invitation and introduction letter from the mayor, not one was ‘safety,’ so LOBV is going to make sure that safety is at the forefront of everything this task force does, and we have a detailed list of recommendations for the task force to consider.”

Additionally, D’Amico said the LOBV will stress that the task force get immediate access to data from a current Seton Hospital study looking at bicycle injuries and correlating them with helmet use. That study began in October of 2006, but the bicycling community did not get an opportunity to review the study’s methodology or the questions that would be asked in each case. The study’s goal is to put a price tag head injuries resulting from bicycle accidents to reinforce the idea that the City Council should enact a mandatory helmet law for Austin adults. LOBV was instrumental in defeating the proposal last summer for an adult helmet law and believes such an ordinance is an ineffective and divisive way to address safety. (A current ordinance already mandates helmets for those 17 and under.)

“Aside from being shut out of the development of the hospital study, we also felt it was unfair to publicize figures for bicycle-related injuries without putting them in context by providing the figures for auto-related injuries,” D’Amico said. “The first step we’ll ask for on this task force is getting access to data and also finding out if the study is asking the right questions.”

Seattle to increase bike lanes 800%

Making bicyclists of all ages feel more secure in city traffic is a top goal of the city of Seattle, which will soon release the final draft of its Bicycle Master Plan for public comment.

At the heart of the 10-year strategy is a call to designate more than 200 miles of roadway as bike lanes, along with guidelines for safely sharing roads and trails with cars and pedestrians. While the city currently offers only 25 miles of designated bike lanes, the plan anticipates a huge increase in recreational and commuting bicyclists.

What excites Wayne Wentz, the city's director of traffic management, is that the plan was mandated by the people -- as part of a $360 million property tax levy passed last fall -- which means it comes with the funding to make it happen.

Read more in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

John Burke: More money for cycling advocacy

Trek President John Burke addressed a group of bicycle industry leaders at the Taipei Cycle Show and challenged them to contribute money and time toward bicycle advocacy. “The bicycle industry is sitting at a place in history where we are at a crossroads,” said Burke after pointing out a convergence of global issues positions the industry as a solution to obesity, traffic congestion, urbanization and air pollution, calling the bicycle the "perfect product at the perfect time."

Carlton Reid of BikeBiz took video of the talk and posted 23 minutes of the talk to YouTube.

John Burke initially gave this presentation at the U.S. National Bike Summit two weeks ago, but he was able to address a much larger audience of bicycle industry leaders in Taipei this week.

Posted here in case you missed the news here, here, here, here, here, or here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

TIme to tighten the pedal bindings

I was hammering hard this morning trying to catch some traffic in front of me. I was out of the saddle, en danseuse, when suddenly both of my feet flailed away from the pedals into nothingness. Remember, I was out of the saddle. Though quite a bit of my weight remained on the handlebars, I landed -- hard -- on the top tube.

I didn't crash or otherwise lose control. But I still experienced pain from that mishap today. And I never did catch that traffic.


I was cycling with an unoccupied trailer bike attached to my bicycle to pick my daughter up from her Brownies meeting.

A Chevrolet Suburban pulls up next to me at the light. As is common in my little mountain town, this truck is equipped with four wheel drive and knobbie mud tires that buzz loudly on the pavement. The 6 liter engine can generate 380 horsepower to move its driver, seven other unoccupied seats, and 5,500 pound curb weight down the highway.

The driver and lone occupant of the driver rolls down the passenger window and leans toward me. Apparently thinking he's funny, he says to me while pointing back at my unoccupied trailer bike, "I can't imagine what that's for."

Monday, March 26, 2007

Raleigh's Carey Schleicher-Haselhorst

Carey Schleicher-Haselhorst is the brand-new marketing coordinator for Raleigh USA, and she blogs! Although a number of Raleigh employees contribute to Raleigh Commutes, Carey is the initiator and the main voice behind that blog. Carey is an enthusiastic cyclist, but she was kind enough to devote some time for an interview about her blogging and Raleigh's plans for 2007.
Carey of Raleigh on a fixed gear bicycleCarey Schleicher-Haselhorst is the marketing coordinator for Raleigh USA.

On Raleigh's reaction to her blogging: Tim Jackson at Masi has gained some notoreity with his "ask forgiveness later" model of blogging about his employer. Carey, it turns out, did the same thing: She created the Raleigh blogs first, then she proposed them to management. "Getting management to buy-in was not very difficult," says Carey. "I convinced Raleigh that there needed to be a personal voice behind the corporation, reaching out to our consumers, dealers, and industry folk. Personally, I find value in having a human voice connected to a company. The ability to validate your passions, ethics, humor, lifestyle, and beliefs by relating with the people of the company you buy into is such a positive thing, not only from a business standpoint, but also from a human one."

Why should Raleigh have a blog presence? "I started the Raleigh Commutes blog in hopes to raise an awareness of the thoughts and feelings that are generated as we (the employees) ride, and to encourage others to share them. I believe in sharing stories; it somehow validates one’s decisions and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Plus, riding a bike to get around is a huge part of how I exist and it’s my hope that through these stories it will encourage others to jump on a bicycle within Raleigh and throughout the world."

On city bikes for commuting & transportation: "Our hopes are high in regards to addressing this growing market. It’s amazing how the commuting/comfort rider has been ignored for the past 5 years due to the overwhelming sales in road bikes, or as it’s sometimes called: the “Lance Bike Boom.” This boom is starting to slow and people are more interested in bikes as eco-friendly means of transportation or as a way to have fun with friends: getting to the coffee shop, socializing, hitting the beach, etc. Teaming up with Shimano, our Coasting bike for 2007 is an attempt to welcome these “non-riders” into the bike world by providing a bike that has a 100% fun/style factor and a 0% intimidation factor – no Lycra, no competition, no training, just pure fun.

"We are also looking at the rise in “commuter” numbers and starting to spec select bikes with fenders, racks, and bells. We all know how the story goes – bicycle commuting numbers rose this past year due to oil prices; it seems people finally kept their keys hanging on the wall at home and grabbed their bikes instead. I’m guessing these riders realized that riding a bike to work was not only beneficial to their bank account and to the environment, but to their physical and mental health as well. So, bike commuters and comfort riders are definitely playing a large role in moving the current bike market, which is incredibly encouraging. As my boss Reed Pike says, “The bicycle is the answer to the world’s problems.” With this in mind, Raleigh offers bicycles that are 100% commuter friendly directly off the shelf. Our hope is to get the potential new commuter excited about riding and to provide top-notch bicycles to the experienced commuter looking to upgrade. The end result, we hope, will be streets filled with bikes rather than cars. Notice that I end all my answers with optimism; bikes are awesome and I hope that everyone involved in this culture and industry believes the same and carries the same optimism."

What has been the reaction to Raleigh Coasting and other "comfort" bikes from Raleigh distributors and bike shops? "The Raleigh Coasting bikes have been received with such great excitement that we have already sold out of our first production run. Coasting bikes should hit dealer floors this week (03.26.07), which will be a relief to the dealers, as demand has definitely increased consumer traffic. I encourage everyone (and I mean everyone) to at least take a test spin on these bikes; they are super cool, relaxed, and stylish. Our dealers are extremely excited to be part of this movement and we are as well."

I'm looking forward to more of what Carey and her co-workers at Raleigh have to write over at Raleigh Commutes.

Raleigh bicycle blogs

Bloggers who work for Raleigh Bicycles are now blogging about their bikes and about bike stuff in general. I like what I see so far:

Raleigh Commuters: Our stories of the daily addiction.

Raleigh Bicycles blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Raleigh Coasting selling fast

Raleigh's Coasting bicycle, a hybrid bike featuring Shimano's 3-speed Coasting shifter and coaster brake, is selling faster than Raleigh can build them. According to Raleigh's USA marketing coordinator Carey Schleicher-Haselhorst, the entire first run of both men's and women's Coasting bicycles has already sold out. The next run will be available at USA Raleigh dealers in June.

See Raleigh's website for more information about the Coasting bicycle.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Internet connected remote control for cars

Here's an actual screenshot of a web-based car control application. Yes, you can control a car with an Internet-connected web browser now.

On CycleDog the other day, I joked about a GPS + Cellphone gizmo with a panic button that would locate and disable all GM vehicles near me if I wanted to play havoc with traffic.

It turns out a company called Inilex in Arizona bundles remote location, control and alert capabilities into a customizeable service that you can manage from their website. Inilex uses GPS and wireless data transmission to track your vehicle's location. The Edmunds Straightline blog has pointers to product photos, a video interview, and a demo. Of interest to me, though, is the possibility of hacking into the Inilex car control system.

So imagine the "create havoc" button on your bike handlebar. When you press the button, it sends your GPS coordinates via cellphone to the Evil Overlord's computer. The computer automatically hacks into Onstar, Inilex, LoJack and other competing systems, locates all vehicles within 100 yards of your location and shuts them down.

This is all fantasy, of course -- I would never illegally hack into a computer system. But Inilex does bring up interesting possibilities.

2007 Taipei Bicycle show

The 20th annual Taipei Bicycle Show is now underway. Masiguy posted some photos from Taiwan while Carlton Reid reports on trends for 2008 while also posting video highlights from the show.

According to Reid, the Topeak Jango and Giant City Storm concept bikes highlight designs that feature an integration of accessories on bikes. Currently, we buy lights, bells, cycle computers and other bike accessories with "universal" mounts. Bikes like the Jango and City Storm have these accessories integrated on the bike, with options designed for the bike similar to the way car buyers select options for their vehicles.

James writes quite about about the design of Giant's City Storm at his Bicycle Design blog.

Reasons to ride: Crime fighting superhero

"An 81-year-old man ran down a suspected shoplifter with his bike in the Netherlands, a country with more bicycles than people. The alleged thief, 29, had $162 worth of cosmetics on him, police said." Reported in The Washington Post. Props to WashCycle for this find and his commentary.

Update: Silly me, I Dugg this this article last week and forgot all about it!

Fitness tips for cyclists

Jesper Therkildsen coaches junior riders for the Danish national team. Because of his interest in cycling training and exercise physiology, Jesper is now a medical student at the University of Aarhus.

He now shares his knowledge of exercise physiology through his blog, Cycling Training Tips. I asked Jesper a few questions about his cycling background and how cyclists and other athletes can benefit from reading his fitness tips for cyclists.

Denmark is famous for its cycling culture. Is there much recreational road riding there in the style of much American road cycling?

Denmark is a good place for recreational cyclists and there are many great roads to ride. Also Denmark is very flat, making it easier for a broad range of cyclists to ride quite fast. Since Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France back in 1996 there have been a great increment in the number of roadcyclists in Denmark.

Why should cyclists read "Cycling Training Tips"? What type of audience benefits the most from your blog?

When serious mtb and road cyclists spend more than 10 hours per week on training, they do it because they have some goals to achieve. I hope that I can make the road to their goals shorter, smoother or at least more enjoyable. By getting some knowledge about basic exercise physiology, training planning and interval training, there is a good chance that they can improve their performance without spending more time or energy on their cycling.

Cyclists at all level from beginners to pro cyclists can benefit from learning how a power meter works and how to train intervals. Clever training is not rocket science, but I try to get more scientific approach into cycling training since there too many myths out in the cycling clubs about how we should train. The tips you get out in the clubs are almost never evidence based knowledge, but often just an old fellow telling stories about how he won races in the 70's.

My power meter project shows that strong cyclists can benefit from a structured training program with significant improvements after only 6 weeks training. These cyclists are absolutely not un-trained, what make these results even more impressing.

Would other athletes benefit? Do you know, for example, of runners, skiers or other fitness enthusiasts who read or link to Cycling Training Tips?

All endurance athletes can benefit from the basic principles about training, recovery, nutrition etc. Actually most athletes can benefit from a structured, well-planned training program. I think we will see more academic coaches in the future.

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I do some road cycling in the summer time just for fun. I work as a coach for a couple of mtb and road cyclists. I think it is a lot more fun to see them make results than watching pro cycling. I do watch the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix (cool race!), but the rest of the year I don't watch cycling on TV.

Read Cycling Training Tips for fitness tips for cyclists.

See also Jesper's Power Meter Project.

Google-branded bikes for Google employees

I can't believe Googler Warren missed this: Google is giving away 2000 bicycles to employees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Googlers will be able to choose from a range of models including a "cool cruiser" - a folding bike for those that only make part of their trip to work under pedal power - and men's and women's hybrids. The bikes are manufactured by Raleigh Europe; the bikes and helmets will be branded with the Google name.

Via Grist. More on Raleigh Bicycles later this weekend.


Parent: "I want you to evaluate my 13-year-old son."
Doctor: "Okay. He's suffering from a transient psychosis with an intermittent rage disorder, punctuated by episodic radical mood swings, but his prognosis is good for full recovery."
Parent: "What does all that mean?"
Doctor: "He's 13."
Parent: "How can you say all that without even meeting him?"
Doctor: "He's 13."

Old psychologist's joke.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Velo couture

All dressed up, somewhere to go
Originally uploaded by hen power.
Patrick and Holly started a Vélocouture group on Flickr where cyclists can showcase their stylish and functional outfits for cycling. From his post describing this project:
"There’s a widespread impression among people in the United States, cyclists and non-cyclists alike, that you have to wear some really strange clothing in order to operate a bicycle. I do understand the need for cycling-specific clothes for long or multi-day rides. However, if you’re a transportational cyclist, most of your rides are not like that. You can usually pedal away wearing normal, or even fashionable, clothing, with just a few key adjustments to how you normally dress."

Patrick goes on to give some some practical advice on stylish clothing for cycling. Read the article and view the Flickr group for much much more!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jerry Keiper

I was reminded recently of Dr. Jerry Keiper. I worked in Champaign, Illinois when Keiper was struck down by a hit-and-run motorist. Keiper was cycling northbound on Prospect Avenue; as I recall, the elderly motorist who eventually turned himself in never realized he hit somebody, thinking he hit a pothole. I don't recall any charges ever being filed against the driver.

Keiper is an individual worth remembering and emulating.
Jerry B. Keiper (1953-1995) An Obituary written by Stephen Wolfram.

Jerry Keiper, leader of the numerics research and development group at Wolfram Research, was killed in a bicycle accident on January 18, 1995 at the age of 41.

Keiper's life was a rare and wonderful mixture of brilliance and achievement with modesty and humanity. He was driven by a profound desire to do good in the world, while not burdening it with any of his own personal needs.

Keiper was born in Medina, Ohio on October 20, 1953, the second of eight children. He spent his early years on the family farm. Then, after graduating from high school, he enrolled in a technical school, planning to become an electronic technician. But he excelled in mathematics, and even though none of his family had ever gone to college before, he decided to enroll at Ohio State University. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from there in 1974, and a master's degree a year later. His master's thesis showed that the Riemann zeta function could be expressed as a fractional derivative of the gamma function--the first of many results he was to obtain about special functions.

Throughout his life, Keiper was deeply influenced by religion. He was raised as an Apostolic Christian, but in his college years joined the Mennonite church--a branch of protestantism with a prohibition against military service and a tradition of humanitarian activity. Keiper's religious views initially made him decide not to pursue a career in mathematics, and instead to become a high-school teacher. He spent a brief time in 1977 as a teacher in the Michigan public school system, but found that, in his own words, "there was very little teaching involved in the work."

Having been disappointed by teaching, Keiper spent a year constructing a pipe organ--indulging his lifelong enthusiasm for things mechanical. But in 1979 he returned to mathematics, and in 1981 he earned a master's degree in applied mathematics at the University of Toledo, Ohio. That same year he left the U.S. to work with the Mennonite church in Nigeria, and after various delays and adventures spent three years teaching at a university in central Nigeria.

Keiper returned to the U.S. in 1984, and enrolled as a graduate student in computer science at the University of Illinois. He specialized in numerical analysis, working particularly with the well-known numerical analyst Bill Gear on the solution of differential algebraic equations.

In the spring of 1987, Keiper heard about the early development of Mathematica, and approached me about working on the project. Knowing his interests in both special functions and numerical analysis, I suggested that Keiper might work on finding general methods for the numerical evaluation of special functions. Existing academic and other work had been concerned mostly with evaluating specific functions to a specific precision for specific ranges of parameters. But I wanted Keiper to make Mathematica be able to evaluate any of the functions found in standard books of tables, to any precision, anywhere in the complex plane. Many numerical analysts thought this was an absurdly ambitious project, but undaunted, Keiper set about doing it.

His crucial idea was to use the symbolic capabilities of Mathematica to automate the process of finding optimal approximation algorithms. In the past, such algorithms had mostly been worked out by hand, on a case-by-case basis. But Keiper wrote systematic Mathematica programs to find algorithms for any function. Sometimes it took a month of CPU time to generate a particular optimal algorithm. But once generated, the algorithm could be executed very rapidly. And the result was that for the first time it became possible to assemble reliable algorithms for evaluating hundreds of special functions to any degree of precision for any values of their parameters.

In addition to special function evaluation, Keiper also worked on other numerical features of Mathematica, particularly numerical quadrature and root finding. Initially he used mainly refinements on algorithms already in the literature, but increasingly he developed entirely new algorithms, typically based on integrating the numerical and symbolic capabilities of Mathematica.

After Mathematica was released in 1988, Keiper briefly returned to his Ph.D. thesis project concerning differential algebraic equations, and with the help of the capabilities he had put into Mathematica, he was rapidly able to complete his thesis, officially receiving his Ph.D. in 1989.

Following his deeply-held personal and religious beliefs, Keiper lived in a very simple manner. He wore simple clothes, ate simple food, and used a bicycle as his primary means of transportation. He also felt that to be consistent in not supporting the military, he should avoid paying taxes to the government. For a while, this meant that he would accept almost no salary. But in the end he worked out a scheme for donating all but a small percentage of his salary to charity. In addition, Keiper set up a foundation, which he named the Michael and Margarethe Sattler Foundation, after two early Mennonite martyrs. As part of Keiper's compensation, Wolfram Research then made donations to this foundation. The foundation solicited proposals, and in turn supported various colleges, giving them both funds and copies of Mathematica.

As the popularity of Mathematica grew, Keiper was very happy to see his work used so widely. But in 1990 he felt a need to contribute more directly to education, and so he decided to apply for teaching positions at a number of colleges. Assured of financial support from Wolfram Research, he sent out a resume with the line "salary goal: not an issue," and planned to ask for no salary for his teaching. The reaction he got from the academic establishment was less than appreciative, and as a result he decided to pursue his educational interests in other ways.

For about a year he moved to Kansas and helped set up an educational lab based on Mathematica, while continuing his work on the development of numerical algorithms for Mathematica. During this time, he also began writing a textbook of numerical analysis based on Mathematica, in collaboration with Bob Skeel, a numerical analyst at the University of Illinois. The book was published by McGraw-Hill in 1993 under the title Elementary Numerical Computing with Mathematica, and is now a standard text in numerical analysis courses.

Since the mid-1970's, Keiper had maintained a keen interest in analytic number theory and its investigation by computer. In early 1988, Keiper used a prototype of Mathematica to explore various relations between zeros of the Riemann zeta function. He hesitantly wrote to D. H. Lehmer, a pioneer of computational number theory, describing his results, and Lehmer replied warmly, encouraging him to publish what he had discovered.

In the course of the next several years, Keiper began to overcome his shyness, and to publish some of his mathematical work. He was particularly interested in finding formulations of the Riemann Hypothesis that would make it more amenable to investigation by numerical methods. He did many large computer experiments both on the ordinary Riemann zeta function and on generalizations and related functions such as the Ramanujan tau functions. A few months before he died, Keiper told me he felt he had made considerable progress. And when he died there were several of his programs found on computers at Wolfram Research that had been running for more than 2000 CPU hours--generating results intended for Keiper to interpret.

Although Keiper did his work on the zeta function mainly to investigate basic questions in number theory, he always made sure that relevant pieces were integrated into Mathematica. And in 1990 it was his work that made possible the six-foot-long poster of the Riemann zeta function that Wolfram Research produced for the International Congress of Mathematicians in Kyoto. This poster is now to be found displayed in most mathematics departments around the world. (A special new memorial edition of the poster is being produced.)

In the past few years, Keiper became interested in the fundamentals of computer arithmetic, and forthcoming versions of Mathematica will include some major innovations that he made in the basic handling of numbers on a computer.

Keiper attended Mathematica conferences around the world, speaking about the numerical capabilities of Mathematica. He was also a frequent participant in discussions on computer network newsgroups. He was always extremely patient, although in private he would often express his frustration at those who chose to attack Mathematica without understanding it or giving it the thought that it deserved.

Keiper was outstandingly modest about his own abilities. But in his quiet and unassuming way, he over and over again managed to far surpass what others had done. His published papers provide hints of his ability, but his greatest professional achievements are embodied in the internal operation of the numerical functions of Mathematica. And although only specialists may be concerned with exactly how these functions work, a million people around the world make use of them, executing over and over again the code and algorithms that Jerry Keiper created.

Keiper is survived by his former wife of fifteen years, Susan Diehl, as well as by his parents, five brothers, and two sisters. Wolfram Research is planning to establish a Keiper Memorial Fund which will be used to support educational programs of the type in which Jerry Keiper was interested.

Federal transportation funding and bicycling

Several bicycle blogs have reported on this issue so I'll point you to them, but the gist of it: Federal funding shortfalls means states will cut funding for several programs. Funding to programs beneficial to cyclists are in danger of cuts beyond their relative proportion to the rest of a state's transportation budget. Thunderhead Alliance urges cyclists to pressue state transportation departments to make their cuts on a proportational basis at worst. Because we have a war to pay for and all, y'know.

More commentary from: Biking Bis, Wash Cycle.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

200 kilometer baiku

Grand Street Texting by moriza.

Kent is a professional haiku writer. He reports on a recent 200 kilometer bicycle ride in haiku! Nice stuff.

Proposed law to eliminate tests for older drivers

Apparently, old people in the District of Columbia have a hard time passing their driving tests. So Washington, D.C. council member Jim Graham has introduced a bill to eliminate written and road tests for drivers who are 75 years old and older. "It does pose a real burden for older drivers, whom I've heard from in great numbers," Graham said, discussing the written and road tests.

Cyclists' guide to firearms

"Long guns like the SKS assault rifle or a combat shotgun would have a deterent effect when slung across the back. But they'd be cumbersome to use one-handed since a cyclist would have to keep one hand on the handlebar."
He assures me he's joking, but read CycleDog if you're interested in knowing more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Throwing the dog a bone

CycleDog says he's starving for attention. So go bug him some already. Leave comments and let him know how much you love wasabi-flavored soynuts.

I nearly hit a leashless golden retriever on my ride to work this morning. The dog's owner chuckled as a skidded to a stop on the rain-slick street. I gave Mr. Irresponsible a piece of my mind. Grrr.

Boilerplate news article on cycling

Warren hit the nail on the head with his generic, all-purpose news article on cycling.

Some day I plan to post an article about "How to talk to the media." Journalists report about how horrible cycling is because that's all they hear from bicycling 'advocates.' When they listen to us gripe about how hazardous, dangerous and unpleasant cycling is, it's no wonder nobody rides a bike anywhere.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A bicycle saved my life!

The author of "Free Money Finance" writes about how a bicycle saved his life. His wife left him, his dog died and his pickup truck broke down in a really bad part of town while country music still played from the 8-track when some really bad desperados came looking for their next random victim. He reached back to the gun rack, but his ex- took the gun in the settlement! All he had was the old bike in the bed of the truck. He grabbed the bike and escaped with his life!

No, not really. He had horrible cholesterol due to bad eating habits. Three years ago he started cycling. Since then, his cholesterol has dropped from 237 to 169.

Bicycling is heart healthy, and the risks of cycling are far outweighed by the health benefits. I am compelled to warn readers, however, that cycling is not a "eat everything you want free" magic pill. Marathon runner Jim Fixx, with his infamous horrible eating habits, died of a heart attack. Last year I went through a time where I ate eggs, hashbrowns and a breakfast meat almost every morning. I stopped that after a blood test revealed that my cholesterol shot through the roof in spite of my daily bicycling. I still enjoy my eggs occasionally, but usually it's oatmeal in the morning for me.

Physical exercise will allow you to consume a few more calories, but you should still watch what you eat, especially as you approach and pass middle age.

Found via Warren who posted the link to Commute By Bike.

El Camino Real bicycle commute

This is seven minutes of video of a 22 mile monday morning bicycle commute from San Jose, California to my office in Menlo Park.

I don't normally ride up El Camino Real, but I wanted to see how I'd compare against a couple of local buses that go this way. The VTA #22 left 10 minutes before me -- I passed that bus about 45 minutes into my ride. The #522 "Rapid" left 10 to 15 minutes after me and finally passed me just short of its stop in Palo Alto.

I started bicycling at 7:10 a.m. and got to my office before 8:30 a.m. The camcorder was mounted on my top tube.

DIY superbright bicycle headlight

"This page describes the construction of a bike light comprising three 3W Luxeon LEDs. This project had three main goals. 1.) Make a light suitable for use in 24-hour mountain bike racing. 2.) Use readily available material as much as possible. 3.) Offer the details to the community and invite any and all comments."

See the step-by-step instructions with photos and parts list. Some power tools and soldering skills required. Assembly required.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cops for Kids: Ride right video

"Don't be a bicycle berserko! Ride Right!" says the bike riding cop. Via.

Sharia law for bike thieves. "Fed up with having his bike stolen and wheel nuts taken, the outspoken Tory MP and cycling enthusiast wants to get tough on bike thieves. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Islington Cyclists Action Group at Islington Town Hall on Wednesday night, he called for hardline 'Sharia law' to be used on bike thieves. Mr Johnson arrived on his bike fresh from the Commons vote on the Trident missile system, fist aloft, proclaiming: 'Cyclists for the bomb!'"

10 things your auto dealer won't tell you. Money magazine tells me what I've suspected all along -- car dealers are all a bunch of crooks. I think Masiguy will tell you the same thing.

On de Young Musuem's efforts to keep Golden Gate Park roads open on Saturdays.

Video: A young Steve Jobs on why computers are like a bicycle for our minds and how the man on a bicycle is the most efficient means of locomotion on the planet.

I had the flu or something all weekend so I spent much of my time crashed on the couch coding up a new bicycle blog map mashup thing. Stay tuned -- I hope to have this online later this week, though quite a bit more work is still required.

Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

Traditionally, bicycle routes do not offer much in regards to historical lessons. Most routes are either shoulders along highways or are converted railroad beds, neither of which share a big part of history. However, with the planning and efforts of the Adventure Cycling Association, a 2100-mile route from Alabama to Canada bridges the gap between cycling and history by retracing the Underground Railroad from Mobile to Owen Sound, Ontario.

Adventure Cycling put forth a great amount of planning, partnering with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Minority Health, to develop the route. They even went as far as contacting libraries along the route letting them know that cyclists may stop in for relief or to get in contact with friends and family members.

It's great to see a group creating more than the traditional bicycle route, with history being a major part of this route. More information regarding the route can be found at this site.

Map Graphic via AdventureCycling

Friday, March 16, 2007

FREE Trek Lime Bicycle

FRIDAY ONLY! Today's DAILY GIVEAWAY on the Ellen Degeneres show is a FREE TREK LIME BICYCLE. Go here to sign up and see video of this really cool city bike from Trek. Let me know if you win!

Hat tip to Roger Kramer.

The Trek Lime features the 3 speed Shimano Coasting group. It's a nice little commuter bike. I don't believe it's even available in stores, yet.

Update: In case you read this after March 16, 2007, I've posted the video to YouTube.

Book: Bicycling and the Law

Bob Mionske -- the lawyer who writes the "Legally Speaking" column that appears in VeloNews and other cycling publications -- has written a book: Bicycling and the Law. Order by March 17 on VeloGear and get a 20% discount by using the coupon code "ESBELAW." More about this book in his latest "Legally Speaking" column.

I don't get a dime from promoting this book, but I really like Mionske's writing and what he does to inform cyclists of our rights on the road.

Bicycling And The Law

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The perfect pedal stroke

Bicycling Magazine's website has a good article about maximizing your power output on a pedal stroke for fast cycling. According to Todd Carver, biomechanist at Colorado's Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, cyclists can churn out the same amount of power at a heart rate with as many as five beast per minute lower with proper ankling (as shown in the article; not the injury-causing technique of the past). This stroke is for flat terrain at threshold, or time trial, intensity. Read more at

Bike + Haiku = Baiku

Warren posted a bike haiku which reminded me that Da' Square Wheelman also posted some interesting bike haiku news last weekend.

Warren celebrates the arrival of spring with his ode to those he shares the path with.

Da' Square Wheelman told us about the Winnipeg Haiku Cyclocross race that happened on March 11. Racers must compose some haiku while riding their laps around the course. Results are posted here. Although the Wheelman couldn't participate in the race, he provided his contribution on Samurai human disembowelment here. Poetry in motion.

Click on the haiku label below for more baiku. Remember, if you post your bike haiku and I can find it, I'll link to it.

2007 National Bike Summit news

If you're at all interested in bicycle advocacy and what's going on in Washinton, D.C., go read Jonathan's coverage of the National Bike Summit at Bike Portland. Jonathan is covering it all. See his National Bike Summit photos at his Flickr photostream.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cannondale prosthetic leg

Here's an imaginative repurposing project: A Canadian Cannondale retailer used a Leftie fork as part of a prosthetic leg, which officially counts as very cool. Read more on the Brad Blog, complete with photos. Can normal suspension forks be used similarly?

More repurposing: Nuclear powered biycles, perhaps?

MAKEzine article on large-scale molding for an Human Powered Vehicle Project.

I'm in the computer industry so I see repurposed electronic parts turned into bicycle art all the time. If I post photos of my repurposed hard drives will I get Dugg too?

Happy Birthday Albert Einstein

Happy Birthday Albert Einstein

March 14 is Albert Einstein's birthday. He said, "“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." Einstein developed many of his ideas while riding his bike. In this photo, Einstein bikes in Santa Barbara, California.

I've also just learned that today is Pi Day, because π is 3.14... and today is 3/14 -- get it? So revel in the roundness of your beautiful bicycle wheels, cogs, and rings. Without π where would we be?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Jobs in the bicycle industry

Get A Bike Job is a new job board for those seeking workers and jobs in the bicycle industry. Currently, the site lists openings for "Industry" and "Shop" jobs. The site is another creation of Crooked Cog owner Tim Grahl, so you can count on this one sticking around. You can even have the jobs appear on your site by pasting this bit of Javascript into your web page or blog template:

<script type="text/javascript"

Check Get A Bike Job if you're hiring or looking.

United Bicycle Institute also has a similar job board for both "Help Wanted" and "Will Work for Bike Parts" postings.

My gas price conspiracy theory

Gasoline prices have risen sharply over the past couple of weeks. On my bicycle ride to work this morning, I saw regular unleaded priced from $3.19 to $3.51 a gallon in my area of California. People are blaming Republicans, Democrats, Big Oil, Environmentalists, and OPEC. The usual proposals to investigate Big Oil, impose price controls, and suspend gasoline taxes all ignore the true conspiracy.

A very large number of Americans -- many of them posing as Patriots, Conservatives, and Liberals -- work together to undermine the American Way of Life by consuming huge quantities of petroleum, a limited resource. Worldwide demand for gasoline has jumped over the last year, while petroleum production remains static to dropping (mostly due to geographical constraints). In the U.S., warm, spring-like weather has induced millions of Americans to drive to their outdoor activities, spiking domestic demand just as refineries make the switch to the summer-blend of gasoline.

Folks, the price of gas has gone up because you are burning so much of it! Reducing the price through price controls or tax suspensions will only increase the demand, resulting in real shortages. Yes, oil companies are making record profits, but in our market economy that's how we control the demand. If price controls are imposed, then quotas must also be imposed on consumers for gas purchases.

New Hampshire state bike map

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is in the process of redesigning their state bike map, holding meetings across the state to discuss and show their plans and taking input from participants on what the map should feature.

Currently, New Hampshire has several region maps showing state and regional bicycle routes. The new map, designed to encourage bicycling touring and bicycling as a mode of transportation, shows trails, terrain, bus stops and train stations. The Bicycle and Pedestrian section is seeking information from cyclists on the best routes, loops, and landmarks to show.

The NH DOT's ultimate goal is to make bicycle use more common on New Hampshire roadways, giving riders a sense of safety and motorists a sense of respect for bicyclists which are legally allowed on every road except interstates.

The goal is an uphill battle, as many road agents and law enforcement officials have a "perception of what is safe and what is not safe," according to Tom Jameson of the New Hampshire DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Section

Jameson said many law enforcement officials will encourage bicyclists to ride on sidewalks and away from the road, while state law defines bikes as a vehicle. "It's a political fight to say, 'We want the focus to be on bikes not cars.'"

View the draft bicycle map and information about public meetings at the New Hampshire DOT Bicycle Pedestrian Information Center.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano

That mouthful is the official name of the UCI sanctioned multinational mountain bike competition series. See the the UCI website for the schedule which will take mountain bikers across Europe and Canada. Read more about Nissan's sponsorship BikeBiz.

The big news in bike racing over the weekend is that the Spanish doping investigation Operation Puerto disintegrated when Spanish judge Antonio Serrano declared the evidence was insufficient for prosecution. Discussion at Velochimp & Cycloblog.

In the meantime, drug-free cyclist David Millar retains the lead at Paris-Nice after winning the prologue yesterday. After Millar was suspended for two years for EPO use, he has reinvented himself as an anti-doping crusader. I wish the best in this mission.

I think of traffic congested cities as the domain of bike messengers, but they're thriving in a most unlikely place: Columbia, Missouri.

Be prepared for St. Patrick's Day.

National Bike Summit '07

The U.S. National Bike Summit begins tomorrow in Washington, D.C. The National Bike Summit brings together stakeholders from user groups, industry, government, and elected officials from around the country to share their ideas and best practices. Industry superstars, innovative thinkers, and effective national, state and local advocates will help craft a persuasive case statement for bicycling. Delegates will discover the value and impact of bicycling in the critical fields of transportation, health, recreation, tourism, energy and the environment.

California typically has the largest delegation attending the National Bike Summit, with Colorado sending the second most. These are volunteers who are positive and passionate about cycling -- it's no accident that some of the most innovative and effective cycling advocacy are pioneered in these states. If you want to see cycling advocacy in your state, you need to be involved and show up for these things.

Bloggers who will attend the National Bike Summit include: I'm sure there are others I've missed -- please feel free to comment if you know of htem. I know several of the folks going in Colorado, and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (of which I'm a member) is also sending people. I'm looking forward to some good reports from the 2007 National Bike Summit.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Veltop cycolist protection

Yay or nay? Would you ride a bike with something like this?
Veltop cyclist protection

The 4 pound Veltop attaches to the seatpost and handlebars with universal mounts, folding up to provide a waterproof cover, with additional protection on the sides if needed. Via Yago's Web.

More Sunday bicycle news

Hong Kong fitness club powered by exercise bikes. Like in Soylent Green.

The second meeting of the National Safe Routes to School Task Force will take place April 19, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The purpose of the Task Force is to advise the Secretary of Transportation on strategies to advance Safe Routes to School Programs nationwide and to encourage children to walk and bicycle to school. This meeting is open to the public and will have time allocated for public testimony. The public is welcome to present written or oral comments to the Task Force. The task force will meet at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20024. The task force does accept comments via email (last I heard) so feel free to visit the Task Force website and share your ideas.

The amount of grain needed to make enough ethanol to fill a 25-gallon SUV tank "would feed one person for a full year. If the United States converted its entire grain harvest into ethanol, it would satisfy less than 16 percent of its automotive needs."

Friday, March 9, 2007

Program your cycle computer

Most U.S. residents will "spring forward" this weekend as Daylight Savings Time kicks in. Here are links to many cycle computer instruction manuals in case you can't figure out how to change the time.

Tour de Frank

Universal Studios recently secured rights to the film "Tour de Frank," a comedy revolving around the competitive world of bicycle racing. Written by Andrea King and Andy Marx, the flick is a production of Shady Acres Entertainment and will be produced by Michael Bostick and Tom Shadyac. Read more.

More daily Diggs

Step-by-step guide to building a fixed gear bike.

Toronto councillor Rob Ford says: "I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day." Grrr. Commentary also at Industry Outsider.

More about the $3 million allocated for the Toronto bike plan. "Instead of my car being in front of Councillor Ford's car at a stoplight, or me turning left to pick up something at the variety store, my bike zooms along the side of the road and he can zoom past me," said Ward 38 Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker. "If we can get 50 to 60,000 people onto bikes, not only does it protect themselves and their families to have a cleaner, softer option to get to work, they help every single person who's in a car."

Bicycle news

Shanghai building bike lanes.

$7.3 million for cycling facilities in Minneapolis.

National Bike Show in the UK starts in April.

Bike helmet in the Hundred Acre Wood. Comment: "Because you could fall down in the 100 Acre Woods and hurt yourself. I swear, they’re going to put airbags on Barbie’s Pegasus next, and require thick corks on the point of all unicorn horns."

Kool Aid on pink, flowery bikes.

Santa Cruz: $250 discount for folding bicycles

Santa Cruz County residents can receive a discount of up to $250 on folding bikes through the Santa Cruz Area Transportation Management Agency. The Santa Cruz Area TMA started the folding bike program yesterday to encourage area resident to ride the bus.

Although Santa Cruz Metro is equipping buses with 3-bike racks, cyclists often miss the bus because the racks are full and must wait for subsequent buses. Folding bicycles can be brought into the bus.

Santa Cruz County area residents are eligible for this program by attending a 2-hour bicycle safety training class. Call the Santa Cruz Area TMA 423-9569 ext. 127 to sign up for a class. Currently, the discount is available only at three Santa Cruz bike shops: the Spokesman (Dahon), Bicycle Trip (Giant), and Sprockets (Trek, Dahon, Breezer). A representative of the Santa Cruz TMA told me that other local bike shops in the county can contact the TMA for details on how to join the program.

The Santa Cruz TMA also offers instant rebates of up to $375 for electric bicycles. Like the folding bike program, purchasers must first attend a two hour bicycle safety class to become eligible for the rebate.

Gene has a good article about the folding bikes program.

Santa Cruz TMA: Folding Bikes Incentive Program

Santa Cruz Sentinel: County launches rebate program for folding bikes.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The bicycle comes back!

An amazing article from Popular science:

THE bicycle is back. Four million Americans now pedal along streets and highways. And, last year, factories in the United States turned out 750,000 machines, nearly equaling the peak production of the gay nineties. News items from all parts of the country tell the story of this dramatic boom in popularity.

In Chicago, Ill., for instance, 165,000 persons recently signed a petition asking for cycling paths to be constructed in the city parks. In Washington, a huge crowd of enthusiastic spectators, last winter, braved frigid winds for hours to watch an amateur bike race. From coast to coast, cycling clubs are springing up. The veteran League of American Wheelmen has come back to life. The Amateur Bicycle League of America has approximately ninety affiliated clubs; the Century Road Club, promoting amateur races, has twenty-five or thirty, and there are upwards of 300 unassociated clubs in the country.

Almost every large city has bicycle rental stations, and several have schools for teaching the fine points of cycling. Railroads are running special “bicycle trains” that carry enthusiasts and their wheels to scenic spots for one-day outings. The bicycles ride in special baggage cars, where passengers may also rent machines if they so desire. Last summer, when the Boston and Maine Railroad inaugurated the idea, its first Sunday excursion to the wooded section of New Hampshire carried 200 cycling enthusiasts, in spite of the fact that the day was rainy!

Instead of subsiding, the tide of cycling popularity continues to rise. What is the secret of the bicycle’s amazing comeback?

[In Hollywood,] actors and actresses had been shown engaging in every form of athletics, wearing almost every known costume, and riding in almost every kind of motor vehicle. The publicity men hit on the idea of having their stars photographed riding bicycles. Almost overnight, Hollywood became “bicycle conscious.” What started as a mere publicity stunt turned into an authentic cycling craze.

One prominent actor pedals ten miles between his home and the studio twice a day, rain or shine. Some Hollywood stars adopted the bike as a pleasant form of exercise, others as an easy way to pedal off a few excess pounds. But most of them continued to ride because they had discovered that cycling was fun.

The bicycle craze spread up the California coast to San Francisco. Society leaders took up cycling as a novelty, and ended by adopting it as a regular activity. The popularity of cycling spread inland. Before it could reach the Atlantic coast, Boston, New York, and Washington had already been bitten by the bicycle bug from another direction.

Read more of this article at Modern Mechanix. Published in Popular Science in July, 1936.

Circular folding bicycles

Coroflot  / folding bicycle concept
Coroflot / folded bicycle
This bike is the "Locust" by designer Josef Cadek.

The circular frame allows for unusual folding. After releasing safety lock nuts, the wheels can be turned into the frame. A belt system mounted on two rollers allows the "chain" to be folded. The rear hub has internal gearing.

The seatpost folds back after pressing the red safety lock. To fold the handlebars, the cyclist turns a safety lock nut on the top of the head set. Bike is equipped with disc brake in the front and the clamshell brake at the back, so the brakes don't block folding of the wheels.

According to the designer, this kind of bike will be welcomed by people in the cities, young people, and students at the campuses. It can be use to good effect in large industrial facilities, airports, and city centers as a rent-bike.

Another use is for multimodal transportation. The commuter can park outside of the city center and then continue riding bike loaded in the trunk. Term "park and ride" will have a new meaning. This also looks perfect to bring on public transportation. The color is a safety feature.

The circular design brings to mind Thomas Owen's One Bike, which is also a folder with wheels that fold into a circular frame.

See thumbnails of more Locust folding bike images here. Seen at

Free coffee in March

Participating McDonald's are handing out free cups of coffee for the asking today (March 8).

Next Thursday, Starbucks will serve 12 oz ("tall") coffees for free from 10 a.m. to noon. Expect long lines.

After that, Dunkin Donuts will give you a free 16 oz iced coffee on the first day of Spring, Wednesday, March 21.

Let's see if Peets or anyone else jumps on the bandwagon. Seen at Yum Sugar after searching for coffee articles.

PowerGrips bicycle pedals

These are my shoes in PowerGrips pedals.

Manic Monday

Michael Downes writes in praise of PowerGrips at Bicycle Design.

For those not familiar with PowerGrips, they're a lot like the old style clips and straps. A diagonal strap of slightly flexy fabric from the front of the pedal to the side keeps your foot somewhat secure on the pedal. Unlike clips and straps, however, a simple twist and pull of your foot releases your foot from the PowerGrips strap. Insertion is the reverse -- come in slightly from the side and straighten the foot into position on the pedal automatically cinches the strap tight. It's really pretty clever.

PowerGrips site.

PowerGrips product review at

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Unibet sues Grand Tour organizers

Cycling Team Unibet filed suit in Paris yesterday against ASO, the organizers of Paris-Nice.

The Unibet pro cycling team is at the center of a dispute between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO), organizers of Paris-Nice and the Tour de France. ASO banned UCI member Unibet from participating in the French races, claiming that French law prohibits advertising of non-French gambling companies; Unibet is a large gaming operator in Europe. Belgium based Lotto, however, has been sponsoring cycling teams for nearly two decades.

UCI responded to this ban by asking all 20 ProTour teams to boycott Paris-Nice, but the UCI gave in to ASO's demands after all day negotiations on Monday. Unibet expressed extreme disappointment at this news and filed the lawsuit in response. We have invested €32 million to be a part of the ProTour to be able to take part in all ProTour events but now they're refusing us that right," team manager Jacques Hanegraaff said Tuesday. "It is obvious that Unibet was refused for arbitrary reasons because of the conflict between the UCI and the organizers of races. It's unacceptable!"

In other news, Astana made the cut on a wild card invitation to Paris-Nice.

More (in English) at

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ottawa cop bikes to work

Spring seems to be in the air in California, but several newspapers have reported recently on winter cyclists.

Graydon Patterson "... does take the bus occasionally, or gets a ride with his wife in a snowstorm. But so far he hasn’t taken a single taxi to work. He is an all-weather cyclist. The Ottawa police staff sergeant is one of a dedicated cadre of bicycle enthusiasts who don’t stop pedalling once the leaves drop and the snow flies in fall." Read more in the Ottawa Citizen.

Paul Dorn posted a good collection of similar stories at Bike Commute Tips Blog.

Boston Police: Putting the error in terror

Sorry for going off-topic, but this is too much.

In 2004, war protestor Joe Previtera stood on a milk crate dressed as an Abu Gharib prisoner. He was charged with "false report of location of explosives" and a "hoax device." Note that he did not report any explosives, claim to have a bomb, or even have a hoax device.

Last month was the ridiculous Mooninite incident, where police shut down the entire city, then irresponsibly blamed their shutdown of the city on Turner Broadcasting.

Last week, they did it again: Boston officials saw suspicious devices with wires at a street corner, shut down traffic and called in the bomb squad and destroyed the device. Turns out it's one of those traffic counters that we see almost every day in Amerika. The traffic counter was placed there by the City of Boston. No word yet which traffic engineer was arrested for placing hoax devices and endangering the public.

C'mon, Bostonians, when are you going to start taking your elected officials to task on this? You voted for them, do something about it.

Bottle cap mirrors

Vanilla Bicycle Detail by Jonathan Maus. From the 2007 NAHBS.

Step-by-step instructions from Ben Salzberg to make home-made mirrors for mounting on your eyeglasses or helmets at Instructables. Via BikePortland.

Square writes some Baiku.

Dr. Alexander Dlugi is the loser. A New Jersey jury took about 15 minutes to decide that an 11-year-old girl on rollerblades was not at fault for causing a doctor to crash his bicycle.

Ode to the Local Bike Shop.

Daily Fuel Economy Tip: Ride a bike.

Gwadzilla needs some loving.

Streetsblog: Cars conquering the bicycle kingdom (on how China is the world's number 2 car market).

Treadly recounts the story of how a psychologist fooled the Nazis to acquire a weapon of subversion: the bicycle!

Velorution: Stolen bikes and eBay.

Monday, March 5, 2007

How riding a bike changed my life

Nice article at Koen's Ride: "I rode to and from work every day. I rode around on the weekends. I wanted to ride all the time! Eventually, I found myself taking “the long way home”, just to spend more time on my bike. I loved the freedom, the flexibility, the speed I experienced even pedaling up hill. I loved the exertion, the burning sensation, the fast breath, the pure work, all of which would inevitably end up with a coast down the other side of the biggest hill I could find (this is not hard in San Francisco). I had discovered my heaven. Then my knee broke." Read more.

More discoveries from Digg

"Starting in April, Mexico City civil servants will have to ride a bicycle to work, at least the first Monday of every month, under an executive order signed by Federal District Governor Marcelo Ebrard." More about Mexico City bicycling bureacrats.

Remember the 10,000 bike bell bike I mentioned earlier? Here's video of this fish-shaped bike in operation.

These are found via this RSS feed.

Bike built of 10,000 bells

Didi Senft, also known as the Tour de France devil or El Diablo, is a renowned German inventor who has created over 100 bicycles including the largest in the world as listed in the Guinness Book of Records. His latest bicycle creation which is made up of 10,000 bicycle bells. See at Makezine.

No child left inside

Richard Louv's stirring article, "No Child Left Inside," documents a burgeoning movement to reclaim the idea of outdoor play for kids, who are increasingly under house arrest. Louv describes a vicious cycle of causes brought us to the world of indoor kids: irrational, overblown fear of stranger danger means fewer kids play outside, means that it's easier to bulldoze outdoor play spaces, means fewer kids play outside. Read more at Boing Boing.

Divinely inspired bicycle blog

Masiguy tagged me and now I need to give five reasons why I blog.

There's really only one reason: I cooked a grilled cheese sandwich and saw a likeness of the flying spaghetti monster in the sandwich. I could have sold this sandwich on eBay and made a mint, but instead I partaked of a simple communion, consuming the host and washing it down with a Dr Pepper.

The flying spaghetti monster appeared to me that night spectrally, in a dream. He was distressed at the fear generated by cyclists who continually talk about nothing except how dangerous cycling is. Everybody seems to have forgotten that cycling is fun and enjoyable. He commanded me to prophesy to the masses that riding bikes is fun. Cyclelicious was born of this supernatural visitation.

I guess I need to think of four more reasons, but what other reason do you need if you've straight from the flying spaghetti monster? Besides that, I'm in a class right now learning about the AMD64 architecture while simultaneously submitting certification results and reading bicycle blogs all at once, so I'm a little busy.

I'll tag: my friend Jerry, Tim Grahl, Shawn Kielty, Kiril, and the Cycle Dog. You guys now are supposed to give five reasons you blog.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

2007 Handmade Bicycle Show report

The 2007 North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show at the San Jose, CA Convention Center is now finished. Over 100 builders and other vendors exhibit their wares and services to thousands of attendees.

The materials varied, but the craftsmanship and artistry shined whether the bikes were built of steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, or even bamboo and hemp. I wish I had more time to talk to the artists who crafted the bikes at this show.

A good mix of all types of bikes were on display: high performance tri bikes shared the floor with touring road bikes and purely utilitarian commuter bikes. Road frames with track ends for fixed gear and singlespeed use seemed to dominate, however. Frames and built-up fixed gears of all materials covered the show floor. All of the designers and marketing people I spoke with fully expect the fixed gear trend to continue and even accelerate this year.

I had as much fun looking at the attendee's bikes in the parking area as I did at the exhibitor bikes on the show floor. The Driftwood Bike -- a recumbent made of a tree lumb and plywood -- drew quite a bit of attention. Many of the everyday riding bikes were works of art in themselves.

One of the popular new features of the show was the seminars offered to participants. These seminars offered a series of "how-to" lectures on framebuilding.

NAHBS was a great chance to meet the world's top framebuilders face-to-face. These folks are all ordinary people with a passion for their art that is evident. All of them were available to answer questions, and they love talking about the nerdy details of their bikes. They also had fun looking at the bikes from the 'competition' -- passing praises and compliments to the other designers as they examined and studied their bikes.

There were some people I missed, but I did finally meet up with BikePortland's Jonathan Maus. He's a great encouragement and a really nice guy.

Portlanders rejoiced at the news that NAHBS 2008 will be in Stumptown next year, March 7-10 at the Oregon Convention Center.

Thanks to Don Walker for putting this together, and thank you to all of the builders who participated for the bike geeks like me.

See my captioned photos from the 2007 NAHBS at my Flickr photostream.

More NAHBS reports at Babageik, BikePortland, Cyclofiend, Ride Lugged, Coconio Cycles, BikePortland again.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

2007 Handmade Bicycle Show photos

NAHBS: Calfee carbon bike

I'll have a full report soon, but enjoy the photos in the meantime. Click here for the set.

More photos from 128, Bike Portland, McBomb and I'm sure several others.

Colorado Consumer’s Choice Bicycle Shop

Buzz teaches LAB Road 1 Class in LongmontBuzz Feldman, owner of High Gear Cyclery and a League Certified Instructor, teaches the Road 1 class to his staff at High Gear Cyclery in Longmont, Colorado.
Buzz Feldman, the owner of High Gear Cyclery in Longmont, Colorado, is a personal friend of mine and I'm glad he's received this recognition. He and his staff are all first class, and Buzz has personally put in thousands of hours of his time and plenty of his money into promoting cycling for transportation in Boulder County.

High Gear Cyclery has been identified as one of the top 12 bike shops in the nation, as ranked by members of the League of American Bicyclists. During the past summer, the Gluskin – Townley Group, LLC, conducted a survey of League members. Members were asked the name and city of their one favorite bike shop. Among the reasons given were: A commitment to customer service; Support for local bicycling activities and programs; The attitude of the shop owner and staff. As a result, the League recognized High Gear Cyclery as the Consumer’s Choice Bicycle Shop in Colorado. High Gear Cyclery is located at 504 Main Street, Longmont, Colorado.

High Gear Cyclery website.