Archive for the ‘April Fool’ Category

Women line up to ride in the in ‘La Course by Le Tour de France’ before Stage 21 of the Tour de France on Sunday 27 July, 2014.

La Course Tour de France women cyclists

Here’s the view from Marianne Voss’s bike as she raced in the Tour de France “La Course” women’s race in Paris yesterday.

Voss went on to win the €22,500 purse yesterday.

The Los Altos (CA) History Museum began exhibiting “Pedal Power: From Wacky to Workhorse” last April. As part of this summer-long bike theme, the museum has two special events over the weekend.

Los Altos ebike festival

Saturday’s event is an electric bike festival from 10 AM to 1 PM at the museum, where you can see a bamboo electric bike from Calfee Designs, a “classic” styled e-bike from Vintage Electric Bikes in Los GatosSanta Clara, and several models from Faraday in San Francisco.

On Sunday, July 27, History San Jose will open their “Silicon Valley Bikes: Passion, Innovation & Politics Since 1880” exhibit from noon to 4:30 PM. I was asked some time ago to provide some photos for this exhibit; let’s see if any of them made it in.

Speaking of history, I’m currently perusing this new book, Googles and Dust, a coffee table book featuring photos of European road cycling from the first four decades of the 20th Century.

bike uploads before I clear my phone memory

The photos are drawn from the private collection of Shelley and Brent Horton and will be available for purchase on″>September 1, 2014.

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.


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.

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