Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:58 pm Post subject: BMX stunts... on cliff edges
Crap Cycle Lanes
Was this the world's first-ever cycle? A Chinese historian has recreated what he claims was the first pedal-powered cycle ever invented - which he says was in use over 2,000 years before the first western bicycle.
Academic Xu Quan Long has taken his bizarre contraption to the streets of Beijing to show people his discovery - which has raised more than a few eyebrows with other road users. 'It is quite slow and looks like very hard work to steer and control,' said one of the large, wooden device, which requires complicated gearing to allow it to even move.
Xu said he stumbled across the discovery while studying the works of legendary ancient Chinese inventor Lu Ban, who was born more than 2,500 years ago. Lu is credited with inventing devastating military weapons like a counterweighted 'cloud ladder' for storming castle defences, and a 'wooden bird' that could supposedly glide for three days without landing.
The earliest verified examples of cycle-type devices weren't developed until the 19th century - first in the form of the 'draisine' or 'velocipede', a walking-powered two-wheeled device invented by German engineer Baron Karl von Drais in 1817, and briefly popular with dandies. A variety of pedal-powered devices with varying numbers of wheels appeared over the next few decades, but it wasn't until the invention of the metal-framed 'boneshakers' in France in the 1860s that cycling really began to achieve any popularity.
But Xu now wants to challenge the accepted history, and is asking Chinese government officials to recognise Lu Ban as the cycle's true inventor.
Sounds like this Lu Ban chap was a bit of a Leonardo...
Motorist in Brazil ploughs through Critical Mass cyclists A dozen cyclists were knocked down after a motorist appeared to deliberately plough his car straight into them.
1st March 2011
Richard Neis, 47, a bank worker, has been questioned by civil police in Brazil about the incident after being identified as the driver. The cyclists were at an event organised by Critical Mass, which promotes cycling as a sustainable form of transport, in the southern city of Porto Alegre. At least three were taken to hospital for treatment after being hit by the black VW Golf, which video footage appears to show deliberately accelerating through the slow-moving group.
"The car passed by my side. It was a horrible scene. There were people being thrown all ways," said Lenise Ghiorzi Correa, 21, a cyclist. The car was found abandoned the day after the incident last Friday.
Mr Neis's lawyer, Luis Fernando Coimbra Albino, told the Brazilian news website Zero Hora that his client would plead that he acted in defence of himself and his 15-year-old son. He said Mr Neis had felt threatened after cyclists started to bang on his car roof and broke its windows. "He felt cornered, he acted to protect his son who was in the car", said Mr Albino. Brazilian media reported that Mr Neis could face charges of attempted murder if it is shown that he acted deliberately.
Critical Mass began in San Francisco in 1992 but events are now staged in more than 300 cities around the world, typically on the last Friday of each month.
It's amazing that no one was killed.
VCA 2010 RACE RUN
Get that dog off the course!!
Mayor drives armoured vehicle over car parked in cycle lane
Vilnius, Lithuania apparently has a problem with entitled luxury car owners who use bike lanes as their personal free parking. Itï¿½s become so widespread that the mass media have picked up on the meme of people posting photos of these parking scofflaws to social media networks.
Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas decided to take action and ï¿½reminded [these drivers] of the rulesï¿½ as he posted photos of a crushed Mercedes-Benz to his Facebook page. Mayor Zuokas learned to drive an Army BTR armored personnel carrier for the task, showing drivers that ï¿½Iï¿½ve had enough of these drivers parking their luxury cars on bike lanes and pedestrian crossings. This tank is a good tool to solve the problem of parking in the wrong place.ï¿½ This setup, alas, was staged, with a junked car used to represent the scofflaw.
Cyclist leads police in 60mph chase on motorway
5 April 2012
This unbelievable video shows a reckless cyclist leading police in a 60mph chase down the motorway. Ignoring the blaring siren and pouring rain, the Czech rider tears down the busy road at great speed, before slipping past a white van. But this rider is no Bradley Wiggins or Sir Chris Hoy, the rider is using a technique called 'drafting' - using the slipstream of a van in front to reduce the effects of drag. It allows a vehicle to travel much faster than it would be able to otherwise.
The police car accelerates to 75mph to catch up, but undeterred, the cyclist moves behind a black van and repeats the same trick. As they approach some roadworks, the brazen cyclist passes the van and then slows down to around 30mph. But his daring fails this time and he is caught by the shouting police.
Any skilled cyclist would be capable of the trick, according to Gizmodo. The drafting world record is now 167mph, set by Dutch cyclist Fred Rompelberg in 1995. He beat John Howard's previous record, which was set in 1985.
Drafting is used to reduce wind resistance and is seen most commonly in bicycle racing, car racing, and speedskating, although it is occasionally used in cross-country skiing, running and even swimming. It is similar to when geese and some other birds fly in a V formation - allowing air movement from the front bird to circulate past those behind.
the titles showing speed and time on the video have been added to the video, so I'm not sure how genuine it is. You definitely can get up to some speed if the wind resistance isn't there, but once you're past 'topping out' on the gears, pedaling is pointless...
Urban runaround: The 'Flintstones' bicycle with no pedals or saddle German inventors say the design could be the ultimate urban transport
6 September 2012
It is a design that is sure to turn heads around town. German designers have revealed a bizarre bicycle with no pedals.
Instead, riders are strapped into a harness and move by walking or running. Called the FLIZ, this bizarre new bike needs the user to build up speed by running and then lifting their legs. Momentum then sends the rider and bike on their way, a little like cartoon stone age man Fred Flintstone’s car.
I'm not sure that it would be much good, but I wouldn't mind having a go
Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:40 pm Post subject: Possible earner for big city unemployed ?
Cargo cyclists replace truck drivers on European city streets
September 24, 2012
Those with strong cycling legs have ever more jobs up for grabs in Europe these days. A growing number of businesses are using cargo cycles, a move towards sustainable and free-flowing city traffic that is now strongly backed by public authorities. Research indicates that at least one quarter of all cargo traffic in European cities could be handled by cycles. And, by using special distribution hubs, larger vehicles and electric assist, this proportion could be even larger.
A cargo cycle is at least as fast as a delivery van in the city - and much cheaper to use, giving a strong economic incentive to make the switch. Cargo cycles also bring important economic advantages to tradesmen, artisans and service providers.
Picture: a cargo bike in Germany (source: "Ich ersetze ein Auto").
Cyclists Do Not Emit More Carbon Than Cars, State Legislator Admits
March 05, 2013
Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt has apologized for saying "the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider," after an email with a bike shop owner sparked criticism. Here, a cyclist rides in Seattle last year. Days after angering cyclists with his contention that people who ride bikes don't help pay for roads — and stating that "the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider," Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt has apologized for his words, and any confusion they created.
Bike shop owner Dale Carlson had written to Orcutt, who's on the House Transportation Committee, to say that a proposed $25 bike tax on many models was misguided and would harm bicycle stores that must compete with Internet merchants. "People who choose to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car actively reduce congestion, save wear and tear on our roads and bridges, and reduce the state labor needed to patrol our highways," Carlson wrote. "Additionally, bicyclists produce fewer emissions and reduce healthcare costs through increased physical fitness."
Orcutt replied, "Since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride." He noted that cyclists' heart rate and respiration go up significantly.
Within a week, his email was posted on the Cascade Bicycle Club site. Local cycling blogs picked up the issue; so did national media. The Republican representative has now apologized for his remarks, saying that his take on cyclists' carbon emissions "was over the top" and shouldn't be part of the conversation. But while Orcutt apologized, he also reiterated his view that cyclists should help pay for the infrastructure — bike paths, etc. — that they're seeking. To that end, he said he sees merit in Democratic legislators' "proposed $25.00 tax on the purchase of any bicycle $500.00 or more."
In the current legislative season, Orcutt has fought against plans to raise Washington's 37.5 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax. He has also moved to end the practice of periodically replacing car license plates, calling it "nothing more than an excuse for state government to get more money from the public."
Why the war between drivers and cyclists?
Duncan Walker & Tom de Castella
BBC News Magazine
A motorist's tweet boasting about hitting a cyclist created uproar when it went viral. What does it reveal about the battle on the UK's roads? Toby Hockley was on the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk when he says he was struck by a car and flung into a hedge. The driver didn't stop. Hockley emerged from the hedge, sore but intact. It sounds like a run-of-the-mill depressing incident from the UK's roads. But the shocking part came later.
A young woman tweeted: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists." The post was retweeted hundreds of times and took on a life of its own. Soon cyclists had informed the police, identified the woman, tracked down where she worked and told her employer. Norwich Police tweeted the woman back and told her to report the collision at a police station. "We have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us".
The incident and the speed of the backlash on Twitter with the hashtag #bloodycyclists being appropriated by bike users, highlights the simmering tension on the UK's roads. "I am a #bloodycyclists just trying to get about London. Would be nice not to risk my life every morning just trying to get to work," tweeted @lennyshallcross.
There appears to be a burgeoning, visceral anger in the cyclist-driver relationship. The recent explosion of cyclist numbers in the UK's cities has changed the dynamic of driving. In heavy traffic cyclists are often the fastest things on the roads, more agile at getting through gaps than motorbikes. Drivers do not always see them. They may forget to check their mirrors. It can be difficult for bikes getting through clogged traffic with lorries and vans blocking both sides of the lane. Cyclists complain of drivers winding down their windows to hurl abuse. Drivers make a similar complaint about being shouted at.
Cycling campaigners are calling for a new law in Scotland to make motorists automatically at fault in an accident. The UK is one of only five European countries - Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland being the others - that does not currently have the "strict liability" law. Some cyclists now wear helmet cameras to record anti-social behaviour.
The cyclists' response to the Norfolk tweet is a sign of the growing social media "enforcement" action taken against drivers who are seen as having either endangered or threatened two-wheelers. "It's relatively common because there are a lot of cyclists out there with helmet cams and they will post licence plates and video of bad motorists," says cycling journalist Carlton Reid. Then there are deliberate attempts to scare cyclists, some commentators allege. "Many cyclists have been on the receiving end of 'punishment passes' [driving to instil fear] which can be extremely close, or can even see people being hurt," says Reid.
In 2011, 107 cyclists died on the roads in Britain and more than 3,000 were seriously injured, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. But there's a flipside. Cyclists, to many drivers, are serial flouters of the rules - jumping traffic lights, weaving in and out of the traffic, not signalling and failing to stop at zebra crossings. There's "huge antipathy" between people on bikes and in cars, says motoring journalist Quentin Willson. "We've got a minority of cyclists and car drivers who are aggressive," he says. "It results in a war of attrition between two and four wheels."
Today it is perhaps less politically correct to attack cyclists than drivers - but anecdotally many will privately curse cyclists passing them in traffic congestion. John Griffin, boss of minicab firm Addison Lee, has argued that an influx of novice cyclists could lead to more accidents. "It is time for us to say to cyclists, 'You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up'," he wrote.
Willson is sympathetic to the plight of cyclists. But an aggressive minority have become a metaphor for everything drivers hate. "They're dressed exclusively in Lycra and wraparound shades, they ride on the pavement, go the wrong way down one-way streets and straight through red lights. And that's why motorists hate them."
Cyclists argue that the minority who break the rules are simply more conspicuous when they misbehave. Drivers stuck in a queue of traffic have plenty of time to watch as an errant cyclist jumps a red light, for example. There is also a sense of frustration as car drivers watch a pedal-powered vehicle overtake them. "The very fact that cyclists are able to filter through traffic grates on many motorists and they take that out on cyclists," says Reid.
The tweeting motorist's claim that she had a greater right to be on the road because she paid road tax is a widely held but inaccurate belief, says Reid, who runs a blog called - with deliberate irony - ipayroadtax.com. The reality is that there is no "road tax", he says. Road construction and maintenance is paid for by everyone through general and local taxes. The Vehicle Excise Duty that motorists pay is levied according to engine size or CO2 emissions. Critics miss the point that bikes don't emit CO2 and that many cyclists also own cars and are paying VED anyway, he says.
While there is bad behaviour on both sides, it is an unequal relationship. The driver is protected by a metal shell while the cyclist is exposed. "It's scary as a cyclist because you are the vulnerable road user," says Rob Spedding, editor of Cycling Plus. "You have someone in a few tonnes of metal bearing down on you and you are just flesh and bone. It's potentially fatal."
Hey CAR DRIVERS, stop being dangerous and inconsiderate dicks
Aug 27, 2013
The other day when I came out of my house in Brooklyn, an ambulance was just pulling up to the curb around the corner from me. A crowd of people had gathered on the sidewalk, and the story quickly started to come out: a young man on a bicycle had been knocked down when the driver of a delivery van opened his door into the cyclist’s path. The victim was conscious and moving all his limbs when I saw him being loaded onto the stretcher, and there was no blood on the scene. But from the way he was acting – clearly in pain and favoring one side – it looked like he might have broken or at least dislocated his shoulder or arm.
Getting "doored" by drivers or passengers exiting a car is one of the greatest hazards facing a person on a bike in the city. It’s also one of the most unnecessary. In Chicago, which has led the way in documenting such crashes in the United States, there were 250 doorings in 2012 – up from 170 in 2011. You can see a map of the 577 such incidents reported in the city between 2009 and 2012 at WBEZ’s website.
Checking for cyclists should be a routine and heavily emphasized part of driver education
Doorings can easily kill a cyclist, as in the case of the 23-year-old Brooklyn woman who was killed when she fell under a bus after being doored in 2010 (that driver allegedly left the scene to go to a baby shower after completing her parking job). In Chicago last October, 32-year-old Neill Townsend – an experienced bike commuter – was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer when he swerved to avoid being doored on his way to a work meeting. There are countless similar cases.
The saddest thing about these cases is that dooring is perhaps the most preventable conflict between drivers and cyclists. For the person on the bike, staying out of the "door zone" by riding farther from the line of parked cars is the best solution. But the onus should really be on the person exiting the car. Chicago recently doubled its fines for dooring violations to $1,000, which sends a welcome signal to drivers that the city takes the problem seriously. But fines won’t reverse crashes that have already happened.
Checking for cyclists should be a routine and heavily emphasized part of driver education, especially now that many more cities are encouraging cycling and installing painted bike lanes, which often put cyclists right in the door zone unless they are riding at the lane’s far edge. Using your mirrors and also turning to look over your shoulder are the best way to do it – just the way you avoid crashing when changing lanes in traffic.
But I’ve recently seen a few mentions of what seems to be the simplest and most elegant fix of all: train drivers to open their doors with their right hands when they’re exiting the car, forcing them to turn their bodies so that they are automatically looking over their shoulders (in countries with right-wheel drive, obviously, the hands would be reversed).
I’ve heard that this practice is taught to Dutch drivers as part of their education, but have recently seen that claim disputed by Dutch drivers in various comment threads. Considering how hard it is to get a driver’s license in Holland – taking between 30 and 60 lessons before you pass is not uncommon – drivers there are already much better-trained and more conscientious then they are in the U.S. Almost everyone there has spent a lot of time using a bicycle for transportation as well, and so consideration for cyclists just makes sense. So maybe Dutch drivers don’t need the right-hand-door-opening trick.
But in American cities, with an exploding population of cyclists and still-oblivious drivers, it could just be the perfect way to prevent more doorings and more deaths. Try it yourself. Spread the word. It could save a life.
Imaginate is Danny MacAskill's new ground-breaking, boundary-pushing trial biking project. Shot over 18 months, we see Danny go from career threatening injury to riding lines which to date, he had only ever dreamt of.
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