Bicycles are fun for everyone,

Whoever you are !

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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

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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

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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.

The details

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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

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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.

Ergonomics

(a big word, but here’s what it means)

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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

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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.

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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.

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Thanks for your helpful Insight Mr Marco Terrell


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You’ve seen bikes covered with glow-in-the-dark and reflective surfaces. They look cool, but they might not provide the eye-popping visibility that you really expect.

What if there was a captivating coating for your bike that increases your conspicuity while looking sexy? Darkside Scientific has developed an electroluminescent (EL) coating system that can be painted onto your bicycle and accessories.

Lumilor bicycle helmet

Darkside Scientific’s Lumilor coating is more than a weak glow-in-the-dark paint. Like other EL technologies, an electric current passing through an EL surface generates light. Familiar devices with EL lighting include green glow night lights, some automotive dashboard lights, and LCD backlights for devices such as wristwatches. More recently, makers have incorporated EL wire into clothing and accessories for wearable displays at night clubs.

Darkside Scientific developed an electroluminescent coating that you can now paint onto many surfaces. Unlike reflective and and phosphorescent materials, Lumilor is active, electric illumination. You can vary the intensity, turn it off and on, and leave it illuminated for as long as you have power.



Lumilor requires training and equipment to apply correctly. Currently, Darkside are working frantically to train and certify paint shops around the nation. When news first broke of their new EL paint, they could accommodate only a handful of the thousands of requests they received for sample work. The bike helmet above is among them. Another was for an engineering project by a group of students at Florida International University for an electroluminescent bicycle.

globol electroluminescent bicycle

A dynamo hub provides power to illuminate the frame. You can’t see it in this view, but this team also coated the seat stays with red EL paint that become blinking turn signals.



Lumilor EL paint opens up a universe of possibilities to improve safety for night cycling with an amazing cool factor thrown in as a bonus.


Progressive Insurance Apron Project Logo

Disclosure: This post was written as part of Progressive’s Apron Project, helping tell the story of people and their initiatives making progress towards a greater good. I have been compensated as a contributor to this project, but the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

Ramona Turner’s “Street Smarts” column in the Sentinel addresses the issue of storing private property on public rights-of-way in Santa Cruz, while also discussion the multitude of scofflaw cyclists.

It occurs to me that a solution to the first issue presents itself.


Parking

Regarding an inquiry about how many cars residents are allowed to park on the street in front of their home in Santa Cruz:

There are no limits to the number of vehicles a person may own [according to city of Santa Cruz parking program manager Marlin Granlund.

In the city of Santa Cruz, only 2% of workers don’t have a car available to them. 24% of employed people have one car available, 41% have two cars available, and a whopping 33% of the working population have a car, according to the US Census American Community Survey five year estimate for 2012. Countywide, we have nearly 170,000 registered vehicles for a working population of 140,000 people.

In the same column, we see this howler from a reader, regarding an incident in which a cyclist apparently damaged her car after rear-ending her, and the cyclist apparently escaped a ticket.

I would assume a car driver would have gotten some kind of citation.

Bwah bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ms. Turner did dig up some interesting factoids about the number of ticketed cyclists in Santa Cruz County.

Meanwhile, the Community Traffic Safety Coalition reports that in 2010, officers countywide wrote 445 of tickets — California Highway Patrol, 85; City of Capitola, 18; City of Santa Cruz, 275; City of Scotts Valley, 1; City of Watsonville, 49; and UC Santa Cruz, 17.

More in the Sentinel: Ramona Turner, Street Smarts: Neighbors hog all street parking, reader says.

How’s a Jaguar F-Type Coupé grab you as a team support vehicle?

Team Sky Jaguar F-Type Coupé

How long before a Specialized team runs with McLaren autos for their team support vehicles?

Read the rest of this entry »

Video shows what driving a car looks like in Yokohama, Japan.



Kryptonite released this video about a new “Messenger Collection” of bike locks designed with input from New York bike couriers.



I initially ignored the video because “Collection” almost sounds like a stylistic change. I like Kryptonite’s colored sleeves for their u-locks, but producing this pre-announce video two months before product launch probably signals something a little more substantial. They touch on ease-of-use and superior security in this video, so I look forward to what they plan for this autumn.

Speaking of autumn, it’s been a couple of years so I think I plan to attend Interbike this year.

Question for you all: my current pump was bought two bikes ago and doesn’t fit my current bike. It’s Topeak’s rock solid clone of the classic Zefal HPX frame pump. These days, it’s strapped to the downtube but looks horrible and is inconvenient to unstrap for use.

I’m frankly done with CO2 cartridges. I haven’t had much luck with compact pumps that fit in a jersey pocket — the ones I’ve bought don’t pump well and they fall part after a few months. I’m still willing to consider compact pumps that work well and don’t disintegrate and can handle a good rainstorm.

I’m thinking about something like this, the Topeak Road Morph G Bike Pump with Gauge.

What’s your recommendation? This is for my road bike. Remember, I’m happy with frame pumps but will consider a good compact pump, too.

Attention San Jose bike people: I put $40 in the pot just for you at Bel Bacio Il Migliore Caffè in Little Italy, and there’s still at least $30 available for you to spend. Please spend it today. Show up with a bike, ask for a “sospeso for bike train” and get a free coffee on Yours Truly. One drink per person, please, and please tip your barista. You can access Bel Bacio directly off of the Guadalupe River Trail between West Julian and West St John Streets just west of downtown San Jose.

Bike news below the photo of commuters waiting to board as Caltrain 329 pulls into Diridon Station in San Jose, California. 4000 people board Caltrain each weekday morning in San Jose, with about 400 of them rolling their bikes on board for their northbound commute to jobs elsewhere in Silicon Valley, on the Peninsula, and in San Francisco.


Caltrain 329 San Jose Diridon Station

Do you remember Dan Koeppel’s excellent “Invisible Cyclist” story in Bicycling Magazine eight years ago? The lesson: recent immigrants who ride bikes to their day labor jobs aspire to car ownership. Duh, right? City Lab asks the same question of low-income Americans, with unsurprising results.

WaPo covers the 2014 Brompton Bicycle U.S. Championship Race with a video and fun series of photos. [ paywall ]

Denver Post Editorial: Dogs treated better than cyclists in Ft Collins Hit and Run case in which Theresa Marie O’Connor is sentenced to a year in the county lockup (with work release privileges) after she left Dr. Ernesto Wiedenbrug to die on the side of the road last January.

USA Cycling coach James Herrera explains how to become a better climber. Hint: It involves work. You need to overload (i.e. push harder than you’re accustomed to), recover, and repeat.

This is not Alberto Contador’s broken bicycle.

“Please allow me to get something off my chest,” writes Chris Bruntlett of Vancouver, BC. “I despise it when someone refers to me as a ‘cyclist’. The phrase ‘avid cyclist’ is even worse. I am no more an avid cyclist than I am an avid walker or avid eater. I am someone who often uses a bicycle, simply because it is the most civilized, efficient, enjoyable, and economical way to get around my city.”

Discussion about the recent news that male cyclists have a higher incidence of prostate cancer than the general population of men, which I guess is something like a variation of the 21st Century version of the “bicycle face” scare of 1890.

Lady Fleur tests out the new bike repair station at the Mountain View, CA library.

How to make biking mainstream in a car-centric city.

Urban Velo looks a little deeper at London’s TFL Share the Road video. “It’s a little pie-in-the-sky thinking, but a suitable reminder regardless.”

LTE: Patrick Dickson takes the city of Burbank to task for putting the burden of traffic safety on the victim.

Net Zero Growth proposal for Palo Alto means net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions, net-zero vehicle miles traveled or net-zero use of potable water. It’ll never happen, and state law isn’t to blame. For whatever reason Tanya Snyder believes California’s CEQA laws keep higher density development from happening in Palo Alto; everybody local to the Bay Area knows it’s Palo Alto NIMBYism pure and simple.

The Onion reports on yesterday’s rest day in the Tour de France.

This is an ad. Somebody’s got to pay for that coffee I bought for all of those bike commuters this morning in San Jose.

I’m not a fan of Primal Wear’s designs, but I might make an exception for their Crash Test Dummy bike jersey.

primal wear crash test dummy jersey

This jersey is available online via Amazon in short sleeve, long sleeve, and triathlete versions. It doesn’t appear any are available through Amazon Prime at the moment.

San Jose Bike Train runs tomorrow, Wednesday July 16 at 8 AM, and rides to destinations north (towards the Bay) along the Guadalupe River Trail.

As a bonus, the first eight people who show up at Caffe Bel Bacio in Little Italy to meet for bike train will get a free coffee. See below for details.

Caffe Bel Bacio San Jose Little Italy coffee shop

Bike Train is a group ride traveling from downtown San Jose to points north along the Guadalupe River Trail for people who’d rather sit on a bike than sit in traffic.

Employers along this route include Santa Clara County, Qualcom, SJC Airport, Casino M8trix, PayPal / Ebay, VTA, Samsung, Canon, Fairchild Semiconductor, Broadcom, Altera, Microsemi, Cisco, Maxim, Brocade and more. Also, my employer (Oracle) too.

We ride at a casual 10 to 12 MPH pace for a safe, relaxing and enjoyable commute by bike on a route that takes place almost entirely separated from automotive traffic. People of all types in any apparel on any type of bike are welcome. As long as you can get to one of the meetup points, we’ll help you get to your office. If you’re a regular commuter, we’d love to have you join. If you have friends who’d like to try a commute by bike, please encourage them to try it out via San Jose Bike Train.

Free coffee?

For tomorrow’s ride, the first eight people who show up at Bel Bacio in San Jose’s Little Italy and ask for a “caffè sospeso for Bike Train” will get a free coffee drink on me. One drink per person, keep it under $5, and please bring a dollar or two of your own cash to tip your barista Josh generously. You must mention “bike train” before you order for your free coffee.

You can access Bel Bacio from the Guadalupe River Trail between John Street and Julian Street in San Jose. Look for the sandwich board sign for the shop pointing into Little Italy Plaza (and ignore the “No Trespassing” sign, in spite of its unfriendly look — they won’t bust paying customers). Bel Bacio is located on North Almaden Boulevard between Paesano Ristorante and Henry’s Hi Life.



View Larger Map

Bike Train will roll up to Bel Bacio from Diridon by about 8:15. We’ll wait for you to finish up your coffee and continue north from there.

I don’t drink coffee

The Bike Train will begin at the normal meeting place at San Jose Diridon Station next to the Amtrak bus shelter just outside of the train station’s south entrance. Watch for me there. Per usual, you can also watch for bike train location via Glympse, and Facebook. We depart Diridon after arrival of Caltrain 210 and 312 into San Jose. Ping me on either Twitter or Facebook if you’re on your way and running late or can’t find us.

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