Links with your coffee – Saturday
June 28, 2008, 1:05 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, news | Tags: , , ,

Sent in by faithful reader Gabemac:

  • Turn signal biking jacket
    “This tutorial will show you how to build a jacket with turn signals that will let people know where you’re headed when you’re on your bike. We’ll use conductive thread and sewable electronics so your jacket will be soft and wearable and washable when you’re done. Enjoy!”



  • The Big Question: Is Britain really getting on its bike and turning into a nation of cyclists?
    “Why are we asking this now?Because cycling’s time has come – or so it seems from a flurry of initiatives sweeping the country as politicians and planners wake up to what is increasingly seen as the transport of the future.

    So how do we compare with the Continent?
    “Cycling on the Continent is embedded in the culture – in northern European cities, anyway. There are reckoned to be as many bikes as there are people in the Netherlands, and anyone who has visited Amsterdam will know that cycling there is the norm, while car-driving is, relatively speaking, a fringe activity. Road design, and the conduct of drivers, reflects this balance. The bike has priority over the car, whereas in British cities, it remains the other way round. The result is an abiding perception of danger that continues to dissuade people from taking up commuting by bike.”



  • Baby steps for bicycle lanes
  • Bicycle interest on the move
    “Irvin said he even sold bicycles to a couple who plans to abandon their automotive ways. “They were selling their cars and … using that money to buy the bikes.”
  • Not all new customers have gone that far, but Walt’s manager Sarah Ashman said there has been high interest in bikes for commuting to work.”

  • Bicycle lanes: do it right or don’t do it at all
  • Commuters ditching cars for bikes, foot power
    “Those who bicycle say they get benefits beyond just buffeting their budgets from gasoline prices.”It’s the fastest way to get to work. Compared to Muni, it takes half the time,” said Tumlin. “I bike because I can change my route and stop off and run errands and see people along the way. It is great exercise and I find a significant difference in my productivity when I bike to work. I am smarter when I bike. I’m more patient when I bike.”




Video Food For Thought
June 25, 2008, 10:27 am
Filed under: amsterdamize, video | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s been a long time since I last checked WhereTheHellisMatt, the quasi-famous ‘guy who dances on the internet’. A few days ago he posted a video update:

However quirky the backdrop of this tale is, it’s obvious the message is simply very powerful and mesmerizing. Thinking about it for a few seconds, I saw the similarities between this and the cycle life many of us like to promote and share with others, posting our experiences online, be it by text, photos or video. A message of ‘get on and just ride’, no matter where you are.

So, my idea is to setup a little project in a similar fashion…without the need to travel (of course I wouldn’t mind). Let’s give it a working title for now, ‘Where The Hell Is My Bike’:

  • Put your inhibitions aside
  • Take your (phone) camera (all of them have video mode these days)
  • Get on your bike, like you always do
  • Ride!
  • Shoot while riding (this involves some practice, but it’s easy, really)
  • Any route will do
  • Two angles: 1) filming straight ahead, 2) filming yourself (stretch your arm sideways and point your camera at yourself and hold.
  • Send your footage to me. (We’ll sort out how, by any means. The interwebs are cool with that)


What you reckon? Can we do this?

Links with your coffee – Saturday
June 21, 2008, 1:02 pm
Filed under: news | Tags: , , , ,

Sent in by Amsterdamize faithful NunoXEI:

  • Google’s Sexy Bicycle Giveaways and Africa’s Versatile Bike Trucks
    “The Internet search engine company Google, now a reputable green icon with its solar powered Mountainview headquarters, last year gave away bicycles to its staff in Europe, Asia and Africa as part of its efforts to reduce the impact of transportation on the environment.”

    “In Africa, bicycles to those who can afford them are everything and never to come in sexy, trendy models as those Google, or the Swedish furniture maker, Ikea, were offering their staff for free. Versatility is everything and depending on where you are, a bicycle can be a large farm truck or an ambulance saving lives deep in the African jungle.” 
  • Bicycling in Peru: An Art of Adaptation
    “In some places in Peru it is just as common to see people bicycling as it is driving cars. Most Peruvians cannot afford cars and for this reason, bicycles provide an excellent, inexpensive means of quick transportation. Peruvians also are masters at modifying their bicycles in creative ways so that they can be used to transport goods and tools for their work and businesses. Fruits, vegetables, construction materials, ice cream, meat, bananas, pets, and countless other items can be transported by bicycle, when a cart has been added. Unlike in the United States though, these aren’t your everyday bicycle carts.”

More links:

  • Germany Looks to Boost Biking as Europe Pedals Past
    “Germany wants to double its bicycle traffic by 2012. While breaking Germany’s car addiction has proved a major challenge, other European cities have shown it’s possible to make the switch.”
  • Wheeling Out A New Idea For Commuters (Canada)
    “Montrealers will get to try North America’s first self-serve bicycle rental system as early as this fall, said André Lavallée, the city’s executive committee member in charge of transportation.
    The new system will feature public bike stations set up across the city where commuters will be able to use a credit card, rent a bike for a minimal fee and then drop it off at a second station near their intended destination.” 
  • As oil prices soar, for-hire bikes make US debut
    “In the next few months, the US federal capital, Washington DC, will be the first city in the United States to have a two-wheeled transport solution unveiled under its nose.A rival of Jean-Claude Decaux, whose Velib are popular on Paris streets, Clear Channel Outdoor is bringing the biking scheme stateside. The US company also hopes to branch out into other US cities soon such as Minneapolis, Albuquerque and Portland, Oregon.”
  • Taste the freedom that comes with bicycling (Australia, Dreams On Wheels Exhibition)
    “”It’s a bit like how having a car is a status symbol in some countries – do you have a red Porsche or a white Peugeot? In Denmark, if you have a Christiana bike (a trike which can carry children, weights and loads), or a Biomega cycle, you’re saying who you are.” 
  • Her dream quest: Woman and her children bike to Maine to fulfill lifelong yearning
    “I don’t see many problems,” she says in the days before departure. “We’re going to camp and meet people. Can’t you just imagine people along the way offering you dinner or a place to camp? I think those people exist out there and we’re going to meet them.”
  • Quotes About Cycling (hat tip to
    “I thought of that while riding my bike.” — Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity

    “At that age, it’s one of the worse things in the world to wake up and not see your bike where you left it.” — Hip-hop star 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, on the theft of his childhood bike 

    “The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.” — Iris Murdoch, ‘The Red and the Green’

    “I hope that cycling in London will become almost Chinese in its ubiquity.” — Boris Johnson, The Guardian, March 18, 2006

    “If you brake, you don’t win.” — Mario Cipollini

    “Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.” — Bob Weir, Grateful Dead

    “Cyclists…are the gods of the road.” — Actor, Nigel Havers, ‘The Daily Mail’, 13th June 2006