Bicycles are fun for everyone,
Whoever you are !
Not only is it a wonderful way to get around, it provides you with your daily dosage of exertion and activity as well. So while Bicycles have principally been a means of transport for a long time now, that is no longer the case.
Bikes keep you fit. Bicycles can add adventure to your day. Bicycles also keep the surroundings cleaner. And for the more self righteous ones – bikes make you feel like you are doing the world a favour!
What to consider:
So you’ve decided to buy a bicycle, now the first thing you’ve got ask yourself is:
* Who’s going to be using it?
* What it will be used for?
* How much are you willing to spend on it?
and Most Important…
* Your Reason for buying a Bicycle
Among many bicycle lovers, while most choose to bicycle casually, either to school, university or even work; some more adventurous ones have also been a part of stunt biking groups, professional cycling clubs or mountain biking associations.
Cycling is a great hobby and with so many options to choose from, you can decide how best you associate with this great invention! However, before you jump to any of that, you do need a bicycle. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing a bike either for your kids or for yourself.
Purchasing a bicycle for your toddler
So you’ve decided to initiate your toddler to the wonderful world of cycling; now the right time to get your toddler a two wheel bike is when they have reached age 3. By this age, kids have properly developed motor skills as well as a sense of balance and self sufficiency.
Buying a bike for your child requires some research. Just knowing the brand and the colour preference is not enough. The bike needs to be comfortable enough for the child to ride, especially if the child is starting out learning to ride a bike.
Bicycle sizes are classified via the size of the wheel. There are recommended wheel sizes for all age groups.
When purchasing a bike for your child, pick the bike with the correct wheel size of 12 or 14 inches. Take your child with you for bike shopping. Make sure her legs reach the floor. When riding a bike, this will give the child more self confidence.
Also make sure you purchase a pair of detachable side wheels for training her so she can learn to balance. Another important thing to keep in mind is to purchase a bike that is light in weight. Since you toddler is learning to ride, chances are she might fall a few times. And a heavy bike will worsen the experience.
So while it is a bit more expensive, it is worth the investment. And while you are at it, don’t forget to purchase a cycling helmet!
Bicylce for kids in their pre-teens and teens
By the time your kids are in pre-teens or in their teens, they will have mastered the art of riding a bike and would have long outgrown the toddler bike.
Now is the time for something different!
Since they are a bit grown up, they will want more say in the purchase decision.
It is best to get to know what it is they are looking for. Now, remember, kids might want the world, but you are working with a budget.
So make sure your child is aware of it before hand so he can do his bit of research as well within that budget.
(a big word, but here’s what it means)
In this age group, most kids will use the bicyle to go to school and for after school activities like meeting friends, taking part in local racing competitions etc.
Consider the ergonomics of the bicycle. Make sure the handle bars are not too close to the seat as it will exhaust your child quite easily. And ensure that the seats are comfortable.
The ideal wheel size for a pre-teenager’s bike is 18-22 inches. Make sure bikes for your young teen have coaster breaks for additional safety. Teenagers can use the same bike size used by adults, which is a standard 24 inches.
Take your children with you so they can test ride the bikes before finally choosing one which fits their requirements and your budget.
Read more about Bicycle Ergonomics Here
Also, don’t forget to accessorize.
Items like extra headlights, water-bottle, reflectors, mirrors, radio etc. will personalize the bike for your child.
Considerations when purchasing a bicycle for adults
The ideal bike size for adults is 24 inches. When purchasing such a bicycle, ask yourself a couple of basic questions.
Is the bike for casual riding or exercising or for a special hobby like mountain biking or for sports?
You can opt for a single gear or multi-gear bike giving you the convenience of varying speed limits, based on where you are riding it. These days road bikes offer speed ranges of 12 to 21, to choose from. Another important thing to look for is adjustable seats and handle-bars.
Before you make a final purchase, test ride a couple of bikes since unlike kids, you are not likely to outgrow the bike you purchase.This also means you should go for something that is not just sturdy but also light.
Today, there are different brands with various models of bikes catering to all these specific requirements.
Based on your requirement, choose the right Street Bicycle for your needs.
Thanks for your helpful Insight Mr Marco Terrell
You’ve probably seen Strava’s Activity Playback tool, which allows you to quickly identify those missed connections as you ride.
What can you use this for?
First, an explanation. The green column labeled “C” is correlation. The higher the value, the more likely the rider rode with you on a group activity. 100 is perfect correlation. Strava considers anything above 30 a group activity. The lower activities are people who pass like ships in the night.
The blue / purple column marked “S” is spatial correlation. This is a time-independent similarity to the primary activity. In other words, if the person rode exactly the same route as you but at a much slower or faster pace and (perhaps) a different starting time, the activity is spatially correlated.
The final red column is the distance of the activity.
How can I use the Activity Playback tool from Strava? My first thought: marketing for San Jose Bike Train. I pulled up our latest Bike Train activity, and golly – I immediately found several people who I could spam!
Watching the animated playback, it’s obvious at least two of the riders are on training or recreational rides, and one of the others is going the wrong direction for bike train. All of the others are great candidates for spam. Woo hoo!
Can this Activity Playback tool be used to expand your social circle? Look at the top screenshot and look at the female names of cyclists I rode by. Mel, Amy, Melinda, Tram, and Gina are all women. What a great way to find new friends!
Seriously, I have used this tool to connect with people in a totally non-creepy way. I had a brief conversation with a guy the other day near the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains and we found each other on Strava using exactly this tool. It’s super handy finding new riding partners who ride the same routes as you. I really like it.
And finally, this happened yesterday. True story.
In the United States, we market electric cars to celebrate Earth Day. City officials in Medellin, Colombia, however, banned cars from city streets to encourage the use of bikes, walking and transit to work today.
Residents were encouraged to Apaga el motor, enciende tu corazon — ‘Turn off the engine, turn on your heart’ — in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia on April 22, 2014.
A municipal decree prohibits the use of private cars today, in an attempt to reduce pollution levels and to promote the use of public and alternative transports.
This year marks the 7th year of Medellin’s Day Without Cars campaign. ¡Una bici más!
Warren T in Overland Park, KS has a request:
I’m trying to get some suggestions from various bike commuters regarding cool stuff they’ve seen at Bike to Work Week events. Overland Park, KS has asked me to help them come up with some fresh (for them) ideas.
“Safety Culture” is the concept that acting safely is considered the norm in the workplace environment. Researchers have been working for about the past decade to transfer lessons from workplace safety culture to a “traffic safety culture” to improve road safety.
At a workplace with safety culture, shenanigans and attitudes that can get people maimed and killed are not tolerated, while safe behavior is encouraged and rewarded by everybody. In a workplace with safety culture, safe behavior is the norm, and people who engage in unsafe behavior are ostracized.
Last Friday, the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC Berkeley hosted a seminar and panel discussion on ways to improve traffic safety culture in California. The presenter Bayliss Camp (PhD in Sociology) supervises the Driver Competency and Safety Projects Unit at the California DMV. He serves also as a member of the California Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), the SHSP Traffic Safety Culture Task Force, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Safe Mobility of Older Persons (ANB60), and the TRB Roadway Safety Cultures Subcommittee.
SafeTREC says they’ll have slides and audio from the presentation later this week, but some nuggets from SafeTREC to think about in the meantime:
- Camp says culture is dynamic and changeable. Consider, for example, American attitudes about drunk driving, which have changed dramatically over the past half century. 50 years ago, it was considered acceptable to drive drunk. Today, drunk driving is mostly considered socially unacceptable. MADD changed the stories and symbols to change enforcement and beliefs so that if you have a DUI, you’re a bad person. Changes in attitudes regarding seat belts and child seats have also occurred. Advocates are now working to make the use of mobile devices while driving similarly unacceptable.
- Law enforcement plays a role, though their role is not exclusive. In the past, police and judges gave drunk drivers a pass if nobody was injured. Today, we have checkpoints and sentencing.
- Historically, traffic safety measures have focused on individual behaviors, but that has translated into “it’s the other guy’s fault” and legal defenses involving the soporofic effects of the new car smell. Nobody realizes “that idiot driver” often applies to themselves. In a traffic safety culture, everybody realizes their potential culpability and accept responsibility for their actions.
- Speeding: 40% of California drivers admit to believing that driving more than 15 MPH over the speed limit is normal and not immoral. The road in front of my home has a 35 MPH speed limit, which is about right. The 85% percentile speed is 50 MPH, which is insanely sociopathic. (See how I did that? I labeled scofflaw speeders to mark you as evil in the hope that I can change traffic safety culture.)
- Bicycles: The attitude that bikes should stay to the far right is a cultural thing. I’ve written before how this discriminatory cultural attitude against bikes on the road is a result of intense lobbying and marketing by automotive groups such that today many people hold the mistaken belief that bikes are “dangerous.” (See, I did it again: I called you “mistaken” if you believe bikes should stay out of the way of other traffic.)
There’s a whole host of law-breaking behavior that’s considered “normal” when driving, and traffic enforcement is often considered to be nothing more than a form of revenue generation rather than an expression of public policy and safety. We have a long ways to go before we have any kind of traffic safety culture in the United States. Several groups actively fight these efforts to create a traffic safety culture (can you believe that?), but I’m glad to see people working on these issues.
Teen actress Kiernan Shipka poses with a Linus bike for Vanity Fair magazine.
You can view the complete slideshow at Vanity Fair.
For more photos of people who bike, click through to the Celebrities and bicycles category. Steven Rea’s coffee table book Hollywood Rides A Bike features nearly a hundred photos of movie stars on bikes.
Mike in San Francisco was underemployed a couple of years ago, so he taught himself welding via YouTube videos and built what he calls the Bombr Bike. More photos below, because there’s more here to this frankenbike than initially meets the eye.
This Bombr Bike can tow two more bikes. You remove the front wheels, pop the front forks onto the mounts shown here, and store the front wheels in those carriers.
Mike uses this bike to shuttle his two small children and their bikes to the top of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. The shuttled bikes are then removed, front wheels replaced, and dad and children bomb down the road to the bottom of the mountain.
Where do the children sit? This Bombr Bike is a three seat tandem. Kid Number 1 sits in front of Dad and helps to pedal, while Kid Number 2 sits on that crazy motorcycle saddle in the back.
Here’s video from a year ago showing this family’s maiden voyage down Mt Tam, with bonus footage of a gravel riding roadie at 2:10.
More adorable photos of the kids and their bikes at Mike’s Tumblr: Bombr Bikes Obsession.
Back when the recently deceased Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a journalist for El Espectador in 1955, he reported on the scofflaw cyclists who endangered ordinary citizens.
“Rampant cycling fever and especially reckless cycling plaguing the city in recent days has led to numerous accidents because of the Tour of Colombia bicycle race,” reports Marquez. “These urban cyclists take to the streets, convinced that they can race like [famed Colombian bike racer] Ramon Hoyos. It’s almost like driving while intoxicated – and can result in a fatal accident.”
“The Department of Traffic and Transportation in Bogota, alarmed by the rising tide of bicycle accidents, has launched a program to soundly beat back the irregularities in cycling. Police Motorcycle Lieutenants Alejandro Ceron and Roberto Acosta have worked twenty-four hours just to punish these irregular cyclists. They have seized around 300 bicycles.”
Marquez lists the infractions that resulted in seized bikes in the name of “safety”: riding without a bicycle registration tag, riding without a bicycle license, and riding through a zone where bikes are restricted.
Umm, yeah. That’s what I thought, too.
In addition to his gripes about the 1950s equivalent of Lycra louts and unregulated bicycle rental businesses and sales, Marquez thought it “alarming” and “disturbing” that Bogota’s Department of Transportation had only 500 bicycle licenses on file, while an estimated 150,000 people rode on city streets.
You can read his original article in Spanish at El Espectador: La fiebre del ciclismo” en Bogotá.
Mike Ceaser, who runs Bogota Bike Tours, compares the then-and-now of bicycle conditions in Bogota, noting that things have apparently improved dramatically since Bogota police cracked down on a five year old children for riding their trikes without a license.
Kim Kardashian was seen riding a bike during a photoshoot in which she’s apparently emulating Audrey Hepburn.
More at Yahoo Celebrity: Kim Kardashian Falls Flat While Channeling Audrey Hepburn. Via Mark Volpe of Arizona.