Friday, February 29, 2008

Amsterdam Bicycles

Found this great site about Amsterdam Bicycles Lots of pics too.
I am back and forth with the helmet thing so you make your own mind up.

3. No Helmets EVER - It is amazing to me coming from San Francisco, land of 100 percent helmet covered heads, but in all of Amsterdam (population 750,000) there is not one bicycle helmet found anywhere in the city. Not ONE!! Contrast this with San Francisco, for anybody under the age of 18, there is a Mandatory Helmet Law, and everybody above 18 wears helmets anyway. Now faced with this shocking disparity, I think any reasonable person must come to the conclusion that either the people in Netherlands do not value the safety of their children, or San Francisco bicyclists are clumsy pansies with soft heads and weak minds that must be protected from hurting themselves no matter how much it infringes on individual rights. more here

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Critical Mass and Leap Year Friday

Critical Mass Ride This Friday Night

Leaving @ 6:30 pm SE Corner of The Courthouse Downtown.

We are leaving at 6:30pm sharp getting on the rode at 7pm kind of defeats the pupose.

Starting in March we will be leaving at 6pm

It is also a leap year and lands on the last friday this month and will not happen again till?

BTW: Oil is over 102 dollars a barrel.

~~~ __o
~~~ _ <_
~~~ (_)/(_)

Renewables Win, Oil Loses in House Bill

Well its only a matter of time before American's have to start paying what the rest of the world does for gas no matter who we steal it from. DIm Son has promised to Veto it.
From Matter Network

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would remove tax breaks of up to $18 billion for the oil and gas industries and transfer the money to supporting renewable energy.
The measure passed by 236-182 and would extend and provide new tax incentives for using renewable energy from wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal and others.

The Senate rejected two similar measures last year, and this time may be not be any easier. Oil finished over $100 a barrel, and Republicans fear that ending the tax credits for oil would push prices higher. However, many oil companies including ExxonMobil have recorded record profits during the past few years, so you can also argue that additional costs need not lead to a price increase.

President Bush has already said he would veto this type of legislation, so any legislation would likely have to be modified to become law.

The U.S. is far behind other nations in adopting renewable energy which has proved to create jobs and stimulate the economy. While there might be some short term pain for vehicle owners, this overdue law could very well stimulate the economy more than the recent stimulus package that passed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Art Exhibit

Come on take a look I promise you will like it:) Ze Germans are nice people too.


A first look at a new movie about people, suspense, intrigue, love and potential environmental catastrophic collapse. more here

Only a Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology

There is an interesting article here about bikes and critical mass. Also discussed is how cyclists want utilitarian commuter bike paths while the authorities will only concede recreational bike paths which cost much more. Think about it use the existing roads and make room for bike paths or create these useless greenways which lead .......nowhere read it here

Drawing on a wide range of anarchist publications, "Only a Beginning" is the first comprehensive overview of anarchist theory and practice in North America from 1976 to the present. Compiled and edited by Allan Antliff,... read here

Largest Oil Spill In History 19 years ago

Exxon record profits and still trying to get out of paying. The Captain was a drunk who lost his drivers licence and Exxon still let him captain the boat. I say dismantle the company and distribute it's profits to the people!
From Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — It has been almost 20 years since the infamous Joseph Hazelwood and the Exxon Valdez loomed large in the nation's consciousness after the allegedly intoxicated captain beached the supertanker on the rocks of Prince William Sound in Alaska, dumping millions of gallons of oil into the sea.

Gas Prices Soar, Posing a Threat to Family Budget

From the NY Times. Maybe a few of us will bike but what about the rest of the people here will they take the bus, carpool, walk?
The infrastructure here is not set up for it. Are we fucked?

Gasoline prices, which for months lagged behind the big run-up in the price of oil, are suddenly rising quickly, with some experts saying they could approach $4 a gallon by spring. Diesel is hitting new records daily, and oil settled at a record high of $100.88 a barrel on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Energy Independence: How Denmark Kicked Its Foreign Oil Habit

Middelgrunden off-shore wind farm (Photo: René Seindal [Flickr])

With rising gas cost at the pump, violence in the Middle East and the upcoming Presidential Election, it’s no wonder that politicians are saying they have plans to make the United States independent of foreign oil. But can it be done? Here’s a country that has kicked the foreign oil habit: Denmark.

read more here @ neatorama

Critical Mass Bangkok

Check it out

S.F. probation officers bike to clients

Off the doughnuts and on yer bike

In a city where the local government gets the most attention for big, brash moves like same-sex marriage and universal health care, Darrin Dill is doing cutting-edge work in San Francisco's adult probation department with little more than a bike, a helmet and mirrored sunglasses.

more here

Monday, February 25, 2008

What country do you live in?

60 Minutes Report On Rove’s Dirty Politics Blocked In Parts Of Alabama Last night, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired its long-awaited report on Alabama’s incarcerated former governor Don Siegelman, featuring allegations that Karl Rove personally told a Republican operative in the state to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife.

Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted in 2006 for conspiracy, bribery and fraud. But observers from all sides of the political spectrum are now questioning whether his prosecution “was pursued not because of a crime but because of politics.”

Watch the report:

Though the report aired last night, it was not seen by everyone who may have wished to view it. In several Alabama locations, “the show was blocked - black screen - during the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes only.” Harper’s Scott Horton, who has investigated the Siegelman prosecution and was interviewed for the segment, reports:

I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama–from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down–that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee.

WHNT originally claimed last night that the blocked segment was due to “a techincal(sic) problem with CBS out of New York.” But that claim was contradicted by CBS in New York, who told Horton, that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19.”

WHNT now has a different explanation on its website:

NewsChannel 19 lost our program feed from CBS. Upon investigation, WHNT has learned that the CBS receiver that allows us to receive programming from CBS failed. WHNT engineers responded as quickly as possible to restore the feed at 6:12 p.m.

WHNT says it “will re-air the broadcast of that segment.”

$3 Gallon Gas Begins To Reduce Driving

From the Sunday Boston Globe:

Average daily gasoline consumption in the United States has decreased in each of the past four weeks from a year ago, according to recent data. In the past six months, average daily consumption slipped two-tenths of a percent from a year earlier, after growing 2.5 percent in the previous year.

In the Northeast, gasoline demand has dropped as much as 3 percent, after growing 1 to 2 percent annually in recent years, said Joe Petrowski, chief executive of Gulf Oil LP, a Newton wholesaler and distributor that supplies about 10 percent of the region's gas stations.

So why did it take so long? Apparently since the 70's we are living farther away from our jobs (in places with fewer transportation alternatives) and our disposable income has increased. It is estimated that in the 1970's a 20% increase in gas prices curtailed driving by 6%, in 2008 it's only one percent.

Tips for cyclists from a car driver

Sunday, February 24, 2008

ride today

Vintage and Cruiser Bike Ride –

* Sunday, February 24
* 2:30pm
* Huntsville Middle School on Adams Street between the back of the Woman's & Children's hospital and intersection at Lowe.
* Conversationally, fun slow pace, appropriate for heavy bikes, newbies, slowbies, tandems... all types of bikes welcome regardless of age or tire width.
* Children do need to be street safe though. Feel free to bring a friend or neighbor. Everyone’s welcome!

Cruise the downtown area / park/ historic areas or some combo for a hour or so with a coffee shop (note Stearns is closed today, so prolly Olde Towne) option (sorry, still too cold for malts).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bike Moving

Crazy college kids not following the rules.

480 Minutes Bagel Radio Friday

Today and every friday our friend Ted in San Francisco @ Bagel Radio will be playing the best : Indie , Rock, Noise, Pop live from 11am till 7pm
Tune in here

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nice One

I know I am the first to break on Alabama here, but this is a good article. You should be proud.

From The New York Times

Race Matters Less in Politics of South
Published: February 21, 2008
CULLMAN, Ala. — The racial breakthroughs have come gingerly in Alabama over the years: a black mayor there, an old Klansman put on trial here, a civil rights memorial there.

Read More Here

Amgen Tour of California Live Feed

Some Assembly Required

Bike Lanes are Death Traps (day 44)

Break It Down

The Drunk Cyclist continues to write some of the best commentary I have read in a long time.

In other news Germans are just as corrupt as everyone else, especially when they’re loaded. Maybe more so.

Germany has begun an investigation into tax evasion using information from an anonymous informant, who was reportedly paid 5m euros(£3.75m; $7.3m).

Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein, the country’s leader, said Germany had broken the law by buying the data.

Liechtenstein considers the informant a criminal and is conducting its own investigation into the affair.

Well, Im sure the millions that are owed in back taxes… no, wait… BILLIONS will go to something worthwhile. In other tax-related news let me throw this out there; While Europeans are taxed at much higher rates (as high as 50% in France) think of it in this frame. They all have health insurance. They all can go to college (if they choose). They all have the equivalent of Social Security for when they retire and are old and dying. Not some 401K gamble that can disappear in the blink of an Enron.

Looking at it in that frame, how much of your check goes to Soc. Sec? Then how much do you pay for insurance? How much do you set aside for your retirement? If you do the math and it gets to something akin to 50% of your paycheck, then you’ll see that its NOT that expensive nor it is prohibitive. It’s pain, to be sure, but changing for the better is in many ways.

Another $300 check Mr. Bu$h? No thanks. Even though I could use a Brooks saddle for each of my bikes.


1. You have to believe that the nation's current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday's gasoline prices are all Clinton's fault.

2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.

3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don't deserve theirs.

5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.

6. You have to believe everything Rush Limbaugh says.

7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.

8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.

9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn't diminish your opportunities, but you still won't vote for Alan Keyes.

10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.

11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don't pray to Allah or Buddha.

12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.

13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.

14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.

15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.

16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals.

17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.

18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Oil went over $100 a barrel yesterday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Walter Dawes from Houston is planning a 500 mile ride at Aktek Velodrome on April 12th. Walter is a veteran of the cross-country Big Fix ride in 2005, and this venture also benefits Histiocytosis Research. Check his website here for was to get involved. If you want to get involved with some sort of raffle and have something to offer, please let Walter know


99.95 powder coat for fixies

Hummer Dummer

Great site here check out the poster

BTW: if you are driving a hummer and looking at our site on your blackberry................................. I hope you

Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?

A popular video on YouTube shows Kellie Pickler, the adorable platinum blonde from “American Idol,” appearing on the Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” during celebrity week. Selected from a third-grade geography curriculum, the $25,000 question asked: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”

Ms. Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. “I thought Europe was a country,” she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. “Hungry?” she said, eyes widening in disbelief. “That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I’ve never heard of it.”

Such, uh, lack of global awareness is the kind of thing that drives Susan Jacoby, author of “The Age of American Unreason,” up a wall. Ms. Jacoby is one of a number of writers with new books that bemoan the state of American culture.

read more at the ny times here

bike lane

I rode on the bike lane on Oakwood Road or around there this morning. Has anyone else been on other bike lanes in Huntsville? I think a Critical Mass should go over there and ride single file in the bike lane sometime.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Third Amgen Tour of California poised as best yet

It’s been the biggest race in North America for the past two years, and the third edition of the 650-mile Amgen Tour of California, held over a north-to-south route from February 17-24, will be no exception.

This year’s Tour of California field includes two-time and reigning world champion Paolo Bettini and his Quick Step teammate Tom Boonen, two-time and reigning world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (CSC), three-time world champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and U.S. national champion and defending Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer in Astana’s U.S. racing debut.

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will not race for Astana, but American Chris Horner will return to the Tour of California to race alongside Leipheimer.

more at velonews here

British cyclist is king of the road

PARIS, Feb 15, 2008 (AFP) - British cyclist Mark Beaumont on Friday claimed the world record for being the fastest person ever to pedal around the world.
The 25-year-old Scotsman rode into the Paris after pedalling 18,000 miles in a world record 195 days.
Averaging 100 miles a day for over six months, he took two months off the existing world record.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic feeling to achieve the world record after six months on the road,” said Beaumont at the finish in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
Beaumont set off from Paris last August and crossed 20 countries, including Iran and the Pakistan/Afghan border.
He endured storms, floods and road rage before being knocked off his bike by an elderly woman driver who failed to stop at a red light in Louisiana.
His bike was badly damaged and he was forced to stay in a nearby hostel, which turned out to be a drug den. A fight broke out during the night and in rumpus that followed he was robbed of his wallet and camera.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cyclist’s Bill of Rights

Most people looking at this film today would probably think that our present day congested, but reasonably orderly, streets have improved, that the chaos of this old street scene has been “cleaned up.” But what has been lost? Our streets in the United States are no longer the living, breathing, admittedly chaotic spaces they once were (Or still are in many parts of the world—witness this video of a present day intersection in India). Instead, the typical U.S. street is a monolithic traffic sewer, a blighted corridor with the only purpose being moving as many cars as fast as possible.

Today, all the pedestrians in this old film would be cited for jaywalking, the cyclists for “impeding traffic”, and the various equestrians and carriages would be harassed by the entitled, luxury car driving hordes. And while San Francisco still has its trolleys, most cities, including Los Angeles, ripped up the tracks in the 1950s.

This unquestioned idea that our streets are for cars not people would be extremely offensive to our founding fathers. Since it costs, on average, $8,000 a year to own and maintain an automobile this discrimination amounts to an unfair tax and worse, an infringement of our right to traverse public space.

This is why we need to assert our rights. This is why we need a Cyclist’s Bill of Rights.

Lance Armstrong unveils his new commuting bike shop

Cyclist hopes to encourage bike use in downtown
By Pamela LeBlanc
That from Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who plans in May to open a bike shop, commuting center, training facility and cafe in a 1950s-era building at the northwest corner of Fourth and Nueces streets.

"This city is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting," Armstrong said Wednesday, gazing up at the towering 360 condos rising next to the site of his new shop. "This can be a hub for that."

Mellow Johnny's, named for the nickname Armstrong earned while wearing the Tour de France leader's "maillot jaune," or yellow jersey, will be housed in a yellow- and red-brick building next to the music venue La Zona Rosa. It is a block north of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a path that will cut east-west through downtown Austin.

Armstrong said he'd like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, Ore., where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. "Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes — because they have a safe place to ride," Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.

So how does Austin get to that point?

"The (Lance Armstrong Bikeway) is a big start," he said. Armstrong and his general partner in the project, Bart Knaggs, said they'd like to see Austin create bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic and a system like a new one in Paris where people can use a credit card to rent a bicycle from a bike rack station and return it at any of the dozens of other stations around the city.
read more here

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Environment

click image to enlarge.

Minibike Winter

Minibike Winter - Feb 14-17 - Portland, OR

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages and sizes! Step right up and prepare to be amazed and aroused! For 5 years now, in the heart of Cascadia, Portland, Oregon, there has been only one winter bicycle festival in the Pacific Northwest, and that festival is Mini Bike Winter. Created by free-fun-minded individuals as an excuse to to get krunk and wreak some havoc. A combination of thrills, chills, spills, and liquor is just what the doctor ordered to warm the cockles of your heart and in your pants in these dreary winter months. Enjoyed by all walks of life, be it Zoobombers, daily commuters, bike messengers, weekend warriors, or the occasional passer-by, Mini Bike Winter is a free weekend of bike debauchery
brought to you by the local bike community, and open to everyone who wants to have a good time. This year, all the stops are being pulled out. Stencil night, Olympic torch ride, mini bike hill climbs, downhill races, bike-drawn chariot death matches, fashion shows, bike beauty contests, live music, DJ’s, community brunches, death, destruction, mayhem, no-pants dance parties, Olympic-inspired feats of bike strength and stamina, and of course, a little bit of nudity. Ok, so more like a lot of nudity. Mini Bike Winter is a phenomenon that should not be missed, and if you do, you will be ridiculed by all of your friends and family.

BEN HURT II Chariot Wars

BEN HURT II Chariot Wars be a post-apocalyptic battle for life and limb. YAR! It be a true test of might and stoopidity. Can you ride a little girl’s bike and get hit the most hardest by a padded mace? Or would you rather cheat, (cheating is allowed) and use chicken-shit bombs made from real chicken-shit like the chicken-shit you are?! Or maybe just show up in your underwear and win anyway because you are badass? Hey, it happened last year… There will be a multitude of chariot tests, from speed to steed, gladiator to flatulator, chugger to bugger, flailing to wailing, and dying. Yes dying, and after that, drinking. Okay, fine, during too.

Just watch the video and it will all make sense. Maybe.

Thanks for helping spread the free-fun bike madness!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ted from "This Bike is a Pipe Bomb" is riding non-pipebomb in AIDS Lifecycle

Ted from This Bike is a Pipe Bomb (and tending the bar at the Hemlock) is jumping on a bike of the presumably non-pipebomb variety for this year's AIDS Lifecycle. The event will take Ted and his friend Kristen from San Francisco to LA, raising money to combat AIDS.

You can donate to either rider via these links: Kristen, Ted.

The AIDS Lifecycle will take place June 1-7, 2008, as cyclists and volunteers will travel 545 miles through California from San Francisco to Los Angeles. You can find information on the beneficiaries here.

GrassRoutes Caravan, August 2008

The Neverwood Collective in Madison, Wisconsin is organizing a bike ride to St. Paul, Minnesota, arriving a few days ahead of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in late August 2008. Dubbed the GrassRoutes Caravan, the ride will be hooking up with various grassroots organizations along the way, doing volunteer work and exploring regional struggles.

Madison is holding a counter-convention to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions called the People’s Networking Convention (PNC) August 15-17th. This ride will link the PNC to the RNC via two wheels and positive energy.


Who is riding more than Jim this month? February is extra long this year, so let's try to log over 1000 miles collectively. Bonus points for commuting. Do we want to add any group rides? Stearns in the morning? Tyler, I saw the Pista at school early this term but not since. Are you still riding to school?

Today Feb. 12 is "Darwin Day"

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809. Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin -- the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.

The Darwin Day Celebration website provides resources and publicity for individuals and institutions across the world to celebrate science and humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin's birthday. In addition to information about the life and legacy of Charles Darwin, this website provides practical examples, advice and templates for organizing and publicizing Darwin Day events. It also provides a directory of events where you can find celebrations taking place near you or register your own event for others to find.

Recognizing science as an international language accessible to all individuals and societies, the Darwin Day Celebration provides a new global holiday that transcends separate nationalities and cultures. Darwin Day can be celebrated in many different ways: civic ceremonies with official proclamations, educational symposia, birthday parties, art shows, book discussions, lobby days, games, protests, and dinner parties. Organizers may include: academic societies, science organizations, freethought groups, religious congregations, libraries, museums, galleries, teachers and students, families and friends. In Darwin Day, we are able to recognize the diversity among us, while celebrating our common humanity and the universal understanding we share.

For information, visit:

Monday, February 11, 2008

mccain the real chuck norris

We at bellovelo want to be fair and unbalanced.

At the Handbuilt Bike Show: Another Brake on a Fixie

from bikehugger

Here’s a brake configuration that I had never even thought of. Sycip Designs put a disc brake caliper on the down tube which grabs a rotor mounted to the left side of a special White Industries crank. Since the rear wheel is directly linked with no freewheel to the crank, stopping the crank stops the rear wheel. Kinda odd, but you would never have to worry about disc/caliper alignment while adjusting the chain tension and you would use a normal track hub. But I think you’d definitely want a real track hub with a reverse-thread lockring.

Group to increase number of bikes for campus program

For students waiting for a fun and environmentally-friendly way to get around campus, a fleet of 28 gold, spray-painted bikes might be the next big thing.

The Environmental Conservation Organization will release a fleet of 20 Gold Bikes on Monday to add to the eight bikes they already have. The Gold Bike program, introduced to ECO members by Cameron Walker, started tentatively with the 2007 release of eight bikes to the University community.

The Gold Bike program seeks to provide a pool of second-hand cycles for use by the University community.

At first, the program was regulated and people who wished to participate were required to register. They were then given the combination to a bike lock to secure the bike on campus.

Walker, who graduated from the University in 2007, explained the desire to keep the bikes from getting stolen.

"Originally, we were trying to figure out how to keep the bikes around," he said. "We put a lot of time into [the program] even though we didn't put a lot of money into it. We ended up deciding we would do combination locks and all of them would have the same combination."

The release of the 20 new bikes will change all of this.

read more here

Friday, February 8, 2008


Caravan/Prague is a feature-length documentary about a bicycle caravan -- with the theme, "Money or Life" -- traveling 500 miles across Europe to join the historic Prague protests against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The intent is to create a mobile utopian community which will be a living counter-example to the values of these powerful financial institutions. The landscape is beautiful, and bicycles possess their own poetry. But it's not always easy functioning without money. The authorities have their own ideas about policing the intersection of utopia and everyday life. And then there's the matter of shutting down the IMF/World Bank meeting...

More info is available at; if you're interested, please view the TRAILER

Available on Netflix

Tale of Two Cities: Bicycling in Chicago and Los Angeles

Article from streetblogs, nice to see a mayor trying to do what is right or is this the heavy hand of government you figure it out.

richard_daley.jpgTwo news stories came across the wire yesterday that highlight vast differences in the way U.S. cities treat the use of bicycles for transportation. First, there was this story out of Chicago:

Chicago bicyclists, Mayor Daley (pictured right) knows your pain.The mayor introduced an ordinance Wednesday that would slap fines ranging from $150 to $500 on motorists who turn left or right in front of someone on a bicycle; pass with less than three feet of space between car and bike; and open a vehicle door into the path of a cyclist.Daley, an avid rider, said he personally has been involved in unhappy encounters with motorists, providing them with "a few choice words" and "salutes" that he said were delivered "in the Chicago way."

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there's Los Angeles:

Last night, a group of cyclists from throughout the LA area delivered the Bicyclist Bill of Rights to the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and asked the members to deliver it to the Mayor and City Councilmembers. After leaving the meeting (10:30 pm) the cyclists were riding on Virgil and approaching Melrose when four cyclists executed a "vehicular left turn" on the approach to a red light. The car to the rear and left continued to accelerate toward the red light and only yielded to the cyclists in control of the lane at the last moment, causing him to stop suddenly. The cyclists were riding in pairs throughout the left turn maneuver. Behind the cyclists was an LAPD Sgt. who looked at the incident and decided that the cyclists were impeding traffic, all on the approach to a red light.

He pulled over the cyclists, let the motorist go, called for backup and tied up an additional three squad cars and a helicopter while he lectured the cyclists on everything from "impeding" to pedal reflectors to the difference in weight between a bicycle and an automobile....
...As Enci told the Committee members, "I was born in a Communist country with limited freedoms and rights. When I moved the United States of America, I set foot on this ground and I immediately took possession of basic rights and freedoms. Why is it that when I climb on a bicycle I become a 2nd class citizen and get treated as if I have no rights? Those days end now and I'm claiming my rights!"

Photo: Chicago Mayor Richard Daley unabashedly takes a spin on a Velib public bicycle in Paris, France.

10 of 1000 Uses for Old Bicycle Tubes

Here are some ideas for those old tires. read more here

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Anonymous Versus Scientology


A group of vigilantes--calling themselves Anonymous, or Anon--are escalating their attacks against the Church of Scientology in what they consider to be Internet censorship by issuing new video challenges. In one video posted to YouTube, Anonymous addresses the many news organizations covering the war, stating that the group has been watching. While the individuals behind the effort generally support the coverage, they also severely fault the media.

"We find it interesting that you did not mention the other objections in your news reporting. The stifling and punishment of dissent within the totalitarian organization of Scientology. The numerous, alleged human rights violations. Such as the treatment and events that led to the deaths of victims of the cult such as Lisa McPherson.

This Cult is Nothing but a psychotically driven pyramid scheme.

Why are you, the news media, afraid of discussing these matters? It is your duty to report on these matters.You are failing in your duty."

read more here

more video and Anonymous info here

A Call for Cheney's Impeachment!

support it here


from dig

Personally, I'm not in favor of bicyclists getting mowed down by cars. I've felt strongly about this since Stereolab keyboardist Mary Hansen was killed by a truck while bicycling in London in December 2002. I'd interviewed Mary for a now-defunct magazine, and besides being an integral part of one of my favorite bands, she was one of the most charming and self-effacing people I have ever conversed with inside a dingy rock club. So, just to reiterate: pro-bicyclist, anti-getting mowed down by cars.

Yet there's a certain subset of bicyclists that I have trouble relating to. A recent article in the Boston Globe about Critical Mass (a loosely organized group that advocates bicyclists' rights) included a scene of several members riding their bikes up and down an indoor hallway in one of MIT's main buildings. In the article, Critical Mass member Lindsey Barcebal argues for the group's assertiveness on Boston's short-tempered streets: "This is to show cars we have every right to take the road, even in the winter. There are a lot of fair-weathered bicyclists out there that need to be shown we can do this." You can't argue with that: Bicyclists have as much right to the road as cars do. But cars don't drive down that hallway, so bicyclists don't need to reassert their rights there. So it's hard to come away from that episode without the feeling that, basically, they were just being dicks.

That's unfortunately illustrative of the mindset of some bicyclists. By framing the streets of Boston as a one-on-one fight between cars and bicycles, they're establishing a hierarchy that puts both groups above my people, the pedestrians.

I think it's genuinely stupid to own a car in the city, so I walk as much as I possibly can. It's partially an eco-conscious choice, partially for health reasons and partially for economy: note that these are the same reasons bicyclists give when defending their choice of locomotion. We're on the same page here. So I don't understand why so many bicyclists are so openly hostile to pedestrians.

See, here's the thing: I'm very sorry that the few bicycle lanes in the Boston metro area suck, and I understand that biking on the streets around here is potentially life-threatening. But that doesn't make it okay for bicyclists to try to take over the public space assigned to pedestrians, who—in a complete inversion of the car/bike dichotomy—are smaller, slower and less safe than the bicyclists invading the sidewalks. For one thing, bicycling on sidewalks is illegal within the city limits of Boston. More to the point, it's simply rude, obnoxious behavior.

But what should really embarrass the testosterone-laden guys who blast up and down Comm. Ave.'s sidewalks is this: Riding on the sidewalk makes you look like a candy-ass. This was brought home to me when one of these guys plowed into me in front of the Paradise; when I told him to get in the street where he belonged, the guy sniveled, "Have you ever been hit by a car?" No, but I'd just been knocked over by a two-wheeled idiot who wasn't where he belonged, and I had a right to be pissed. If I were to start up an advocacy group for pedestrians ("Paths to Glory" would be a good name), one of our first tenets of solidarity with our car-free brothers and sisters would be to encourage bicyclists to follow the precepts of Critical Mass and take their fight to the street ... not the sidewalks.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Eyes on the Street: Parking Density in Toronto

This Toronto bike rack is a perfect illustration of how curbside parking sucks up valuable street space. Here, six cyclists are able to park in an area normally taken by one motorist, and since the rack was installed on the street, rather than on the sidewalk, pedestrians are unimpeded.

Photo: Spacing Toronto

Arrow Bicycles

Founded in 1972 by Jinbei Yamada, Arrow Bicycles has cornered the market with its clean designs and precision craftsmanship. Yamada has resisted the temptation to offer too many styles and instead encourages customers to choose color, frame and accessories. As a result, every bicycle that rolls out of his Tokyo atelier is bespoke but still instantly recognizable as an Arrow. So far, I've resisted packing one into the hold of a 747, but I don't think I'll be able to pass up the deep chocolate brown model with its stand-up two-wheel companion wagon on the back.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stearns movie Thursday

Join us this Thursday night for the second SCCC (and Bello Velo?) Film Festival at Stearn’s Coffeehouse at 6 PM.

The featured cycling flick is The Triplets of Belleville. It is an odd and entertaining animated story of a lonely French bike racer, his dog, his mom and some mafia plot kidnapping plot. The dog and the way over-the-top French/American stereotypes are priceless.

It was up for the 2004 Best Animated Feature Oscar and won a pile of other animation and critical awards. As French-made, dialog-free, surrealistically animated, musical bike racing movies go, it’s quite a lark, but it may not be for everyone. Folks tend to run hot and cold on this flick, more hot than cold. Just don’t go in expecting Rattatouille. Finding Nemo and Lion King fans should stay home.

No matter what, it is still about 400% better, and twice as realistic, as American Flyers. ‘Triplets’ is only 80 minutes long. It’s not a bad way to spend a cold, dark, wet February evening.

Showtime is 6:15 PM at Stearn’s Coffeehouse.


Did you ride your bike to vote today? If you're sure who you want to vote for and why, go do it. I hope someone reps it. I was going to ride 32-35 miles this morning back to school after voting, but my dad ended up not going to work. I rode with him to the grocery store and rode the 15 miles from there. I was looking forward to having the bike outside the polling place, especially since it's in New Hope with few bikes, but I wasn't going to be that adamant about it.

R.I.P. Bicycle Guru Sheldon Brown (1944-2008)

from Wikipedia:
"In August 2007 Sheldon was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. After losing his ability to balance an upright bicycle to the disease, he was able to continue pedaling by using a recumbent tricycle. Sheldon died on February 3, 2008 after a heart attack."

More info from other blogs:
The Daily Randonneur
Tin Donkey Travels
Sheldon, I never met you in person and I regret it. You have been a great influence on the many worlds of cycling, both old and new. You will be truly missed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New bumper stickers for ‘08

You know you want to rock this shit:

1. Bush: End of an Error
2. That’s OK, I Wasn’t Using My Civil Liberties Anyway
3. Let’s Fix Democracy in this Country First
4. If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran
5. Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.
6. If You Can Read This, You’re Not Our President
7. Of Course It Hurts: You’re Getting Screwed by an Elephant!
8. Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?
9. George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight
10. Impeachment: It’s Not Just for Blow Jobs Anymore
11. America : One Nation, Under Surveillance
12. They Call Him “W” So He Can Spell It
13. Whose God Do You Kill For?
14. Jail to the Chief
15. No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq ?
16. Bush: God’s Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap
17. Bad President! No Banana.
18. We Need a President Who’s Fluent In At Least One Language
19. We’re Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them
20. Is It Vietnam Yet?
21. Bush Doesn’t Care About White People, Either
22. Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?
23. You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.
24. When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46
25. Pray For Impeachment
26. The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
27. What Part of “Bush Lied” Don’t You Understand?
28. One Nation Under Clod
29. 2004: Embarrassed. 2005: Horrified. 2006: Terrified
30. Bush Never Exhaled
31. At Least Nixon Resigned

ripped from the drunkcyclist

Motivated by a Tax, Irish Spurn Plastic Bags

DUBLIN — There is something missing from this otherwise typical bustling cityscape. There are taxis and buses. There are hip bars and pollution. Every other person is talking into a cellphone. But there are no plastic shopping bags, the ubiquitous symbol of urban life.

In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags; customers who want them must now pay 33 cents per bag at the register. There was an advertising awareness campaign. And then something happened that was bigger than the sum of these parts.

Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable — on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog. read more here


This would certainly cut down on the miles of cars sitting and waiting for kids at school...... might cut down on some pollution too. from cycleliciousness

Now here's a cool variation on the 'dropping kids off at daycare' theme in Copenhagen.

I doubt that he would venture out of the busy bike lanes like this, but it serves the purpose on quiet roads in this neighbourhood.

In Denmark we have 12 months of maternity leave and three months of paternity leave, on average.

Your children get a spot in a daycare [vuggestue] from the age of about 8 months, although most people I know start them at about 12 months. At the age of three they move on to a kindergarten [børnehave] until they start in school.

This model is popular in the Scandinavian countries. Emphasis is placed on developing social skills and placing kids together from a young age serves to help teach them to be a part of a societal structure.

It is extremely rare, in my experience, for parents to keep a child at home. Not only because they have jobs, but because the child will be 'out of the loop' socially if they start later.

The best circular bike ever made

Nine salvaged bikes were reassembled into a carousel formation. The bike is modular and can be dismantled and reassembled. It is normally left in public places where it can attract a variety of riders. more here

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Ride Tonight

Yes there is a ride tonight. Meet in front of Voodoo lounge @ 5:30