Tag Archive | "cyclists"

The A2B Metro

The A2B Metro

ultra-motor-a2b-metro

London, England — Every street in any city has its own, official name – the name the city planners give it. And then there are the names that other groups give it – the cyclists, the roller bladers, the skateboarders – names that describe the features that these individuals care for most/

For example, in South London there’s a “Crafty Slope,” a long, subtly sapping stretch of terraced houses”; “Death Row”, a “steep road that skirts the cemetery”. And then there is “Cardiac Crest”, a South London cliff-like crest that puts riders in mind of a Pyrenean climb in the Tour de France.

Neville Hawcock, who writes for the Financial Times, recently got a chance to take the A2B Metro out for a test spin.

“In appearance at least, it resembles a chunky version of an old-fashioned shopper, minus the basket at the front and with a shoebox-sized battery at the back. The motor sits on the rear hub, and is connected via a chain to the pedals in case extra power is needed and via cables to a twist-grip “”hrottle””on the handlebars. The saddle is broad and comfortable, and there is front and rear suspension. It’s sturdy and solid. Built, I thought uncharitably, for comfort not speed.”

Read the rest of the article at Ultra Motor’s A2B Metro electric bike.

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Car Safety Onus is on Cyclists

Car Safety Onus is on Cyclists

There was a report in the San Francisco Streetsblog, about a “nasty collision between a bicyclist and an SUV driver in Golden Gate Park Wednesday.”

According to the article, the driver of the SUVwas attempting to make a U-turn (illegal, in the place he was trying to do it), and since it was an SUV, didn’t have the turning radius to pull it off, so he had to back up a bit. Which he did without bothering to look if anyone was behind him.

The result, a bicyclist – fortunately wearing a helmet – collided with the SUV and actually went through the rear window. An ambulance was called and he was taken away in a neckbrace.

The driver of the SUV apparently did not receive a ticket, and will not be punished for causing an accident with a bicyclist.

Most car drivers are not ticketed, or held accountable, when they cause an accident with bicyclists, and the frequency of accidents is increasing.

Read this article entitled Blaming Cyclists for Dangerous Roads: It Goes Way Back.

All this goes to show that as bicyclists, we must ride defensively at all times, and always yield to cars regardless of whether or not they have the right of way. Suing a driver who caused an accident, and receiving a multi-million dollar payout in a lawsuit is scant consolation if involved in an accident which renders one quadrapalegic!

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More Bike Paths for Sarnia, Canada

More Bike Paths for Sarnia, Canada

Sarnia, Canada — Jim Kutyba, general manager of infrastructure and development services for Lambton County, is working to add more bicycle paths to Lambton County roads, and the various townships are also coming on board.

For example, St. Clair Township council has asked the county to consider paving the shoulders of its roads to make them safer for cyclists and Warwick Township asked Lambton to add a bike path to a section of London Line.

Oil Springs Mayor Gord Perry told the standing committee of the county council that he believes the county should look at adding bike paths to its roads, where appropriate.

The county is responsible for nearly 650 kilometres of roads in Sarnia-Lambton.

To read more, go to Bike paths gain traction.

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Introducing Hebb E-Bikes

Introducing Hebb E-Bikes

hebb-electric-bikes

Summit County, Colorado — Bill Hebb, a native of Tyler, Texas who lives part-time in Summit Cove, started Hebb E-Bikes just a little over a year ago.

There are many reasons why people would want to own an electric bike. “When the wind’s blowing hard, the e-bike comes in handy,” pointed out Hebb. There are also just a few hills in Summit County that are a lot easier to ascend with an e-bike – for example Swan Mountain Road or Boreas Pass.

His e-bike uses a lithium-ion battery to power the front wheel motor and are inexpensive to operate. They produce no emissions, unlike gasoline powered scooters. And of course, cyclists can pedal without using the motor, if they so choose.

The motor produces about 350 watts of power — or about 0.5 horsepower. The bikes Hebb sells have a solid aluminum construction frame, an internal gear shifter, and a rear carrier, speedometer and odometer. The bike weighs 60 pounds.

The e-bike is built for comfort rather than speed. These bikes are designed for commuters looking for alternative transportation, baby boomers, and those people who want to bike up and down hills but aren’t in good enough shape yet to do it.

Hebb’s bikes are on sale at Alpine Sports in Breckenridge as well as Christy Sports in Frisco, Vail and Avon for $2,000 a piece. The bikes are also for sale in parts of California, Texas and the East Coast.

Find out more about Hebb’s e-bikes at www.hebbebikes.com

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Bikes Beat Cars in 6th Annual Commuter Race

Bikes Beat Cars in 6th Annual Commuter Race

commuter-race

San Jose, CA. Bike to Work hosted its sixth annual Commuter Race on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

A hybrid bicycle competed against a Toyota Prius hybrid, a Zenn all electric car, a regular bicycle and a tandem bike duo.

All the bikes beat the cars by a good 10-20 minutes during the treasure hunt-style race that began at the intersection of Front and Cooper streets, made stops at The Buttery on Soquel and Branciforte avenues and again at New Leaf Market on 41st Avenue before crossing the finish line at the tiki on the Capitola Esplanade.

The tandem team came in first place with a time of 22 minutes.  The Zenn came in fourth place at 42 minutes, followed two minutes later by the Prius.

While there have been a couple of years where cars came in first place, the race was meant to show how efficient bike commuting can be, as well as to promote a cycling as a healthy commute solution both for people’s bodies and the environment, race organizers said. The cyclists were able to maneuver around cars and traffic, while the two cars were stuck.

All the race participants chose their own route.  The rules were to follow road laws and be safe.

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Tips On Bike Touring

Tips On Bike Touring

bike-touring

A tour is a tour, whether you are riding within 10 miles of your house or going on a 100 mile bike ride. However, beginners need to follow some easy rules, and not get too ambitious!

Take a class or two. You may think that bicycling is as easy as falling off a log, and in many cases it is. Nevertheless, there are courses in safe cycling, bicycle repair, and bicycle touring offered by many local community colleges and bike clubs, as well as online. A course on safe cycling is important for children – who hasn’t seen a child or even an adult riding the wrong way down a street? And bicycle repair is of course an important skill.

Practice makes perfect. The main complaint for beginning cyclists is that their rear ends feel sore after a while, but these are like any other muscle — once you get used to it, the soreness goes away and won’t return. Padded seats help immeasurably. On a flat terrain, even beginners will be surprised at how far they can go…however if they have to fight the wind on the return journey, that initial euphoria may quickly evaporate. Plan short bike rides to begin with and to increase fitness before trying longer journeys.

See what’s in your own back yard. To begin with, start and end your bike route from your home. Look on a map to see what’s adjacent to you, and go visiting.

Select or plan a bike route.  The U.S. has more than 38,000 miles of designated bicycle routes  that connect two or more states, and of course there are many times that amount of local bike-friendly routes, hiking/biking trails, and other roads well-suited for cycling. Check with your state’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

Don’t overspend. When you’re first starting out, there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike. It should be like a car…buy one to get started with and to gain skills, then advance to more expensive designs later. If you are commuting, think about buying a “beater” from a garage sale… if it gets stolen, you won’t mind so much.  On the other hand, the lighter the bike the better. A kid who puffs to pedal a 30 pound bike might give up the sport, but will love a 15 pound-and slightly more expensive, bike.

Safety first, last and always. Helmets and reflective clothing/gear are a must. Learn the rules of the road.  Riding safely with saddlebags (also called “panniers”) and other gear on your bike takes practice; take some training rides and specifically practice the skill of riding in a straight line and controlling your bike with the added weight.

Stay cheap. Cycle touring lends itself to camping, couch surfing, staying at youth hostels, or using the Warm Showers network — a nationwide community of fellow cyclists who will put you up for the night.

Links:
www.bikeleague.org
www.hiusa.com : Youth hostels
Warm Showers

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Diamond Cycle of Montclair Rents Hybrid Bikes

Diamond Cycle of Montclair Rents Hybrid Bikes

diamond-cycle-montclaire

San Diego, CA — An Eco-Fair took place in Montclair on June 13. Among many green displays there was a hybrid bike or two.

The  Giant hybrid is an electric bike, priced at $1,500-$2,000. It’s termed a hybrid because the battery power starts assisting the rider as soon as they start pedaling.  A computer calculates how much energy the cyclist is exerting, and the motor gives additional power.

No need to worry about hills anymore.

Of course, electric bikes aren’t just for the green crowd. Bicyclists who have lost their endurance due to an injury, or just plain cycling beginners will enjoy the hybrid as well.

Diamond Cycle in Montclair rents hybrid bikes seven days a week. A two-hour rental costs $35 including a helmet and bike lock. Owners Craig & Vicki Cornell commented that ”we’ll [soon] offer theme tours of Montclair with GPS-equipped bikes.”

Links

http://giantbicycle.com

http://diamondcycle.com/

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New Service: Switzerland Mobility

New Service: Switzerland Mobility

electric-bike-switzerland

Ever felt like biking in Switzerland, but scared off by the many mountains that you’d need to bike up, before you could enjoy the long sweeping views on the downward journey?

SwitzerlandMobility (switzerlandmobility.ch) opens up 20,000km of routes to a new audience of hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, inline skaters and canoeists. And in some areas, they offer e-bikes for rental, to help those who need help getting up those hills.

Switzerland Mobility offers complete service of accommodation, luggage transport, equipment rental and discounted public transport. (And a helpline, although that’s open only 12 hours, rather than 24 a day. But it is open seven days a week.)

The routes involved cater for all levels of fitness, from an easy lakeshore ride to the most difficult mountain-bike descent. Skate along the banks of the Rhine while your friends try to beat your time in canoes.

The Rhône, Rhine, Mittelland and Aare bike routes are all relatively flat. In addition, bike can be taken on a train and many buses, if the riders are getting a bit tired!

The Alpine Passes Tour, taking in eight passes with daily itineraries of 64-101km. Riders can also hire bikes (21-gear touring model, an eight-gear comfort bike, and mountain and racing bikes). Some locations have “e-bike flyers” available. These are conventional bikes with hub gears, but an electric motor to give a boost when the rider needs it, allowing them to get up many of Switzerland’s hills with relative ease.

Planning a trip to Switzerland? Check out their website today!

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Shifting eBike Laws in New South Wales

Shifting eBike Laws in New South Wales

bike-laws-sydney

A court ruling has found that some electric bicycles cannot be legally used on NSW roads – this despite the fact that the Roads and Traffic Authority previously advised owners they could.

The law specifies that “pedal cycles” with “one or more auxiliary propulsion motors” up to 200 watts do not require registration.

Almost 10,000 E-bikes may have been sold in NSW, therefore, on the assumption that all users had to do was wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road.

However, these cyclists are not only being stopped by police and issued citations for “driving” an unregistered vehicle, but the citations are actually being held up in court. The fine is $500

A spokeswoman for the Roads and Traffic Authority has denied that they had ever advised that E-bikes could be used without registration. Since the bikes did not meet safety standards, she claimed, they could not be registered. They could be used only in backyards and on private roads.

An outraged citizen commented:

“It’s the cheapest form of transport past the pushbike … It makes bike travel possible for people who don’t have the levels of fitness or strength to ride a normal pushbike. It just seems absurd … when we are worrying about anything from peak oil to greenhouse gases to parking, to make these things illegal.”

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