Thursday, May 31, 2007

How to paint a bike and other useful tips

"Zoom" by Nesha. Used with permission.
Panda Face shows us how to strip, mask and paint a bike with unique designs over at

This Parents' Bicycle Safety Pamphlet (PDF) is outstanding. Download and print it right now. Even cooler: You can include your artwork and text to have a custom-created PDF just for your bike organization. Best of all, it's all FREE courtesy the Active Living Resource Center.

Orange County Register columnist Gordon Dillow tells cyclists to get off the road for our own good. "Regardless of who is at fault in a car vs. bike collision, it's the bicyclist who's going to suffer, physically at least. No 25-pound bike is ever going to win in a collision with a 4,000-pound car – and yet we persist in trying to mix heavy, high-speed motor vehicles with light, low-speed bikes on high-volume, relatively high-speed roads."

Speaking of non-cyclists giving cycling advice, fashion experts invited to the "Gladiator Cycle Chic Event" in Manhattan created bike-to-work outfits that were practical and professional. They had some cool ideas -- one outfit featured a clear tote bag for the sneaker-wearing cyclist to put her high heels in, for example. See photos and more info here.

Here's something that's been on my to-do list for years: The Activist's Toolkit. Thank you to the Michigan Land Use Institute for saving me the effort and for doing a wonderful job! If you're interesting in cycling advocacy, read this toolkit.

A few things to think about:
  • "For every dollar a family thinks it saves in monthly housing costs by moving to the far outer suburbs, it spends nearly a dollar more in transportation costs." Mode Shift.
  • "Researchers found that men who lived in more walkable neighborhoods tended to show fewer depression symptoms than men from less walker-friendly areas." MSNBC.
  • There's lazy, and then there's Las Vegas lazy. "It was all the walking," 27-year-old Simon Lezama said on his rented electric wheelchair. Lezama, a trim and fit-looking restaurant manager from Odessa, Texas, rented it on day three of his five-day vacation, "and now I can drink and drive, be responsible and save my feet." Found via Two Thirds.


  1. My response to the "it's laws of physics; get off the road" argument is (like yours, assuming that's you) a: do you travel on interstates? When tractor trailers cream sedans, do people say "the sedan should get off the road?"
    and b: if somebody says "you should get out of my way. It's just a fact: I can kill you if I want to." I might get out of the way... but if I'm somewhere with a functioning legal system, I'm going to file charges, and when that somebody is out of *my* way, I'm going back.
    Does he have kids? If a kiddo in that kid's class takes his lunch money because he's big enough to... I suppose his kids are going to be those big kids, and he thinks that's fine. It's just logic.

  2. I'll play the Devil's advocate, regarding suej's comment, because I think the argument could use strengthening.

    The comparison of semi v. car and car v. bike is a spurious one. In the first case, MASS is the varying factor. In the second case, MASS, SPEED, and VISIBILITY are at play.

    The MASS variance in the two cases might comparable, if you consider a fully-loaded semi v. a Geo Metro and an SUV vs. a bicycle. If you had to subject yourself to one of the two collisions, which would you choose?

    The SPEED variance is a big issue, and directly affects the degree to which the MASS issue plays in. With not only a mass difference between auto and bike, but also a much higher speed difference, you have a much higher probability of physical damage.

    Many cyclists go out of their way to have lights and reflectors all over their bikes. Even these highly-lighted bikes are less visible than a small car.

    And on a final note, it's one thing to consider a car vs. a semi, but what about a BICYCLE vs. a semi? All the above factors are multiplies several-fold in such a case.