Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

I was playing around with Strava’s Global Heat Map, which plots the entire Strava dataset onto a map to show where people ride. I zoomed into my town and discovered it’s easy to see where cyclists congregate.

Strava Global Heatmap: Scotts Valley

I’ve labeled the larger red clusters. “Old Bike SHop” shows the old location of my local bike shop and “New Bike Shop” is the new location. I already know Peet’s Coffee on the north side of Mount Hermon Road is a popular hangout for the local roadie set, but I was surprised to see this preference is so obvious. The other unlabeled cluster at the left marks Coffee Cat, another local coffee shop. The Starbucks Coffee on the south side of Mount Hermon doesn’t even register a blip.

I then scrolled the map down into Santa Cruz to see which businesses are popular with cyclists who log their rides to Strava. The big red blob at the bottom of this map marks the location of Spokesman Bicycles, which is no surprise. The smaller hotspot where Pacific Avenue and Front Street form a triangle is Verve Coffee Roasters. Coffee and bikes once again!

Strava Global Heatmap: Downtown Santa Cruz

Next, I went “over the hill” into San Jose and looked at the participating merchants map for the Silicon Valley Bike to Shop Day, which occurs on Thursday May 17, 2014. Willow Glen is a popular route for cyclists of all types, and businesses who reach out specifically to people who ride can benefit from this targeted marketing. The hotspot, incidentally, is Mike’s Bikes.

Strava Global Heatmap: San Jose Willow Glen

Let’s say you want to identify non-bike businesses that see a lot of shoppers who arrive by bike. Can the heatmap help with that? Coffee shops that aren’t Starbucks obviously see a lot of cyclists, but what else can we find? This one spot in the city of Santa Clara popped out at me, where STevens Creek Boulevard crosses Lawrence Expressway. Did there used to be a bike shop or coffee shop here? Otherwise, this is kind of a cycling dead zone.

Strava Global Heatmap: Lawrence & Stevens Creek

Update: I’m told a cafe at this location was a stop for a La Dolce Velo group ride.

Obviously, these maps show only those who record their rides using the Strava cycling app. Some claim that Strava participants tend to be those who are “avid” cyclists, though we have no real data on that as far as I’m aware. They probably do tend to be higher income and goal-oriented individuals, which are probably a desirable demographic for any retail establishment that wants more spending at their store.

You can view the global heatmap here. South Bay people, I also encourage you to participate in the Silicon Valley Bike to Shop Day event coming up on May 17.

MTC votes to continue bike share into 2015, expand program to East Bay, and take over operation from BAAQMD

Bike Share launch passing through SJSU campus

The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved $8.7 million to continue the SF Bay Area Bike Share program and expand it to cities in the East Bay at their monthly commission meeting earlier today.

The Commission voted to approve the expenditure of the lion’s share of Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds to continue the popular program beyond the current pilot program, which expires in August 2014. Currently, 1,000 bikes from 100 stations are available to the 21,000 members of Bay Area Bike Share in San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and San Jose. With the additional funding, MTC plans to expand the program to Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville in the East Bay. MTC also allocated $2M in CMAQ funds for car sharing, $6M for Transportation Demand Management (TDM) grants, and $400K for commuter benefit programs.

The Programming and Allocations Committee voted in favor of the staff-proposed funding at their April 9 meeting.

I’ve always cycled in either my normal prescription eyeglasses with polycarb, photochromatic lenses, or in my contact lenses with non-prescription sports sunglasses such as these budget Tifosi sports shades


I’m considering sunglasses with prescription lenses, and I’m considering one of these specs from Sports RX.

I’m a longtime fan of the budget shades from Tifosi, and I see SportsRX even has a private label line of inexpensive sunglasses. Of course they also have the high end brands like Smith, Rudy, and Oakley.

If you wear prescription sunglasses, what do you recommend? Is helmet strap compatibility a thing?

You’ve probably seen Strava’s Activity Playback tool, which allows you to quickly identify those missed connections as you ride.

Strava Activity Playback

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!

Strava activity player San Jose Bike Train

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!

Missed Connections!

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.

Strava matchmaking Activity Playback tool

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.

Your thoughts? Reply in the comments here, or send your thoughts directly to Warren via his Twitter account or by tagging him on Google Plus. Thanks!

“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.

San Jose Bike Party April 2014 Flower Power Ride

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.

kiernan shipka vanity fair photoshoot

Kiernan Shipka rides a bicycle 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.

Tip of the hat to Pedal Love and Linus Bike (which my fingers want to spell “Linux Bike” for some reason).

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.

Mike and his Bombr Double Down Bike

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 and his Bombr Double Down Bike

Mike and his Bombr Double Down Bike

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.

How did I not know about these Rooster Sauce wool blend cycling / running socks from Sock Guy?

Sriracha rooster sauce socks

Buy from Amazon. Sockguy sizing: S/M fits men USA shoe size 5-9, women size 6-10, or Euro sizes 37-42. L/XL fits men sizes 9-13, women 10-14, Euro 43-48.

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