Amazing Little Things

An amazing little thing we would’ve missed had we driven a car instead of riding our bikes today.

Frosty Morning

Last night was the first time this winter our temperatures dropped below freezing. For us weather wimps here in temperate Northern California that’s pretty darned cold (though I’m sure our friends in the Midwest are chuckling at us about now). All you cold weather bike commuters keep an eye out for patches of ice on the road – it’s slippery out there!

NYPD Bike Bully Indicted

The NYPD officer who forcefully knocked a man off of his bicycle during a Critical Mass ride in Times Square this past summer has been indicted by a grand jury. The indictment will be unsealed in an upcoming hearing at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. It’s likely that prosecutors are seeking felony charges for filing false records in the police report, as well as at least one misdemeanor count of assault.

Officer Patrick Pogan claimed cyclist, Christopeher Long, ran into him during an NYC Critical Mass ride, but as the above video shows, he clearly went out of his way to assault the bike rider. Officer Pogan subsequently arrested Long on charges of attempted assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, but the charges against Mr. Long were dropped after the video went public on YouTube.

More in the NYT City Room

Gallery: Mike’s Dahon MU P8

I’ve had this bike for since this past summer but has only seen limited use, preferring to use my other bikes. The big issue for me has been the flat handlebar was causing me wrist pain.  Since my LBS converted it to a drop bar, this bike is seeing a lot more use. I use this bike mainly to ride 2 miles to my carpool meeting location (only on days I don’t drive ;) ). I fold the bike, place in the Dahon El Boso Bag, and place in the drivers trunk. My carpool is pretty cool letting me letting me do this.

I am really surprised how well this setup fits me.

Modification from the stock MU P8:

  • 155 mm Cranks with 46T chainring
  • 45 cm Nitto Randonneur handlebar and handlebar tape
  • 8 speed barend shifter
  • Tektro RL 520 Brake levers

Upgrade required new brake and shifter cables.

Commuting related items:

  • Dinotte AA headlight and tail light
  • Ortlieb Big Office Bag
  • Dahon El Boso Bag


Viva Bikes

A friend just turned me on to Viva Bikes. I don’t know much about the company other than that they’re in Denmark, they have a number of very interesting bikes in their line-up, and as of yet they’re not available in the U.S.

Viva Bikes

Obesity and the Automobile

A new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health titled, Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia, found that “active transportation” is inversely related to obesity. In other words, countries in which walking and cycling are common forms of transportation have significantly lower rates of obesity than countries where the automobile dominates. Consider these figures:

  • United States: 12 percent use active transportation and 33 percent are obese
  • Australia: 14 percent use active transportation and 21 percent are obese
  • Canada: 19 percent use active transportation and 23 percent are obese
  • Netherlands: 52 percent use active transportation and 11 percent are obese
  • Sweden: 62 percent use active transportation and 9 percent are obese
  • Latvia: 67 percent use active transportation and 14 percent are obese

Of course, many factors contribute to obesity, and the study doesn’t conclusively prove that “active transportation” reduces obesity, though it’s intuitively clear that higher activity levels coincide with improved health. And in the case of cycling, besides the health benefits, we also get the environmental benefits that come with reduced automobile use.

Holiday Cargo Haulin’

They’re doing some serious holiday cargo haulin’ over at Car Free Days.

Car Free Days

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