Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Trampe the Bicycle Lift
TRONDHEIM, Norway - Here is an innovative way to cope with hills that could be very useful in a city like Portland. It's probably a tad bit cheaper than a tram.
Excerpt from www.trampe.no
Hilly cities normally have a low share of cycling. How come that Trondheim, the third largest city of Norway, has the highest share of cycling compared to all the other Norwegian cities? We believe there are there reasons: 1. Trondheim is a university city with 30 000 students, 90% of whom using their bicycles as their main transport tool
2. During the last 20 years, there has been invested more than 20 mill NOK in a bicycle roads network and bicycle transport infrastructure in Trondheim
3. One of the most important infrastructure elements is the bicycle lift Trampe. Since the opening in 1993, it's pushed more than 220 000 cyclist up the very steep hill BBrubakken in the historical heritage part of the city center
There is no doubt that Trampe has inspired students as well as other people living in Trondheim to take to their bicycles. In a user survey, 41% of the lift users claim they're using the bicycle more often due to the installation of Trampe.
Here is another view of the lift from KyleLC at YouTube.
Monday, January 22, 2007
MASA CRÍTICA CORUÑA
CORUÑA, SPAIN - Enjoy this musical slide show of a Spanish Critical Mass. Music is "Revolucion" by AMARAL,the song speaks of an anonymous revolution and secret books ("calmar el tráfico"). Words that go well with the photos.
A Coruña is a galician city in the northwest of Iberian peninsula. There has been an active and growing critical mass since October 2005. This video summarizes one year of their activities.
Critical Mass is has become a world wide phenomenon. Just follow this search at YouTube to see the variety of places, tactics, and issues behind the event.
CM has an anarchist heart and it's flavor can't be generalized from place to place. However, I think one can safely say that CM is a demand made by cyclists to take back their share of the streets. This "presumptuous" and disruptive demand... the arrests, altercations, and inconvenience to motorists is what creates the controversy behind critical mass.
Is it a good tactic? I believe it's an important tool for cycling advocates especially in the initial stages of bringing community awareness to bicycle issues. Controversy gets media coverage and can start enlightening conversation. On the other hand it can be divisive. For example, I know of two motorists who had their cars damaged during critical mass (one car was kicked and the other keyed). I don't see how this this type of destructive action helps the cause.
My view is passive resistance is the best response. Attacking automobiles is not going win sympathies and it may even put more cyclists at risk. When you carry out an act of civil disobedience you must be prepared to be injured or arrested for your cause. Even though self defense or violent reaction may be justified you can't control the spin that action unleashes. It's better to take your lumps and win sympathies.
One day we will reach a true critical mass where motor vehicles are no longer the suffocating rulers of our transportation system and pedestrians and cyclists will safely travel anywhere. The sooner we get there the better.
Monday, January 15, 2007
New Delhi Cycle Rickshaw Ride
Here is great slice-of-life video from Xnomad.com
New Delhi, India-
A typical ride from Central Market to Laj Pat Nagar on a bicycle rickshaw. This rickshaw walla made 5 ruppees for this 10 minute jaunt. Currently about 10 cents. Rickshaw drivers in India make their living by transporting people and goods in the cities and towns. Although there are now motorized rickshaw scooters, most of the major cities still have hundreds of men who make their living by operating cycle rickshaws. Many of the men who are employed as rickshaw drivers have recently migrated to the cities leaving their families behind in the villages in order to tend their fields. They may not return to their villages for months at a time. Consequently, at many locations in any Indian city you can observe enclaves of rickshaw drivers who live, eat and sleep next to the roadside. Rickshaws which are operated by the driver running on foot and pulling the rickshaw behind him were outlawed by the government, with the exception of Calcutta, where the union of rickshaw drivers refused to accept the legislation. View more photos and videos at http://xnomad.com
Also check out the Bike Earth photo collection.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
BicycleXC - New Blog, New Videos
Here is a fixed gear ride, the latest from bike blog turned vlog: BicycleXC. It's run by Thomas Mackay who works for Family Bike Shop, and is a student in Crofton, MD. His goal for the site is to promote and report on cycling in his community. I, of course, am glad to see he has decided to use video and am looking forward to more.
At speeds up to 35 mph Mackay used a hand held Sony Cybershot which is a digital still camera with a video option.
Music is by Beck. (If you are Beck fan be sure to check out his latest. It comes with really cool stickers and DVD with fun videos).
Here is Mackay's text from BXC:
While Jim, Old Man Jon, Tom, Jonathan and Dave ride for the glory- Trevor seems to have plenty of luck with his new wheelset-all of it being bad. "Why am I having such a hard time this morning?!"
Big thanks to Crank My Chain for tons of advice. Awesome ride- Awesome folks- Awesome Morning.
Yea Trevor! Ryan fixed it up now, maybe it wont throw anymore.
My favorate part is when Dave's bike is focused in on- Beck sings "forces of evil in a bozo nightmare", could he be talking about the derailleur?
Monday, January 08, 2007
Amsterdam Canal Jump
Friday, October 20, 2006
Cycle Denmark- Johnny Stardust *Exclusive*
How do you make a world class cycling city? Join CrankMyChain! video correspondent, Johnny Stardust, as he takes you on a tour of bicycle friendly Copenhagen. We'll find out that it doesn't happen by accident and some of the solutions may make some American's uncomfortable, e.g. hefty taxes on gasoline and automobiles.
Enjoy an original score by Danish Composer, Chris Juris.