Bicycle miscellany

A reader once criticized us for not writing enough about bicycles. It’s true: we don’t write enough about bicycles. Not sure why this is. Not topical enough? (“Breaking: bicycles still the most efficient mode of transportation known to man.”) But it’s a slow news week, so here’s a bunch of fun stuff.

Filed under “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”: a video of an entire household being moved by bicycle. Including a 20-foot boat. As a display of community spirit, the video is awesome. As an argument against car culture, it’s fairly ambiguous. Mainly it seems to demonstrate that fossil-fuel powered vehicles can be pretty useful. Nevertheless, the movie is a nice reminder that bicycles are a lot more versatile than we credit them for.

Filed under “Urban prank”: Via Wired, this video of a pedal-powered Buick Regal ends in unintentional comedy when the “car” is pulled over by a befuddled traffic cop. Particularly nice if you’re a fan of Canadian accents (and who isn’t?).

Filed under “Navel gazing”: I never followed up on my long-ago post about buying a touring bike. I ended up with a Trek 520. Why? Because they had one in my size in the store, and the clerks all seemed in love with it. Maybe not the most scientific decision process, but the bike is awesome, so no complaints. The only modification I’ve made is the addition of a brass bell to the handlebars, which has proven to be fairly effective at clearing tourists out of my path when I come tearing over the downslope of the Brooklyn Bridge. So far the bike has just been for commutes. Hopefully I’ll put some touring miles on it this summer.

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  1. Betsy - January 2, 2008

    And you might want to see this artist move a giant painting on his unicycle.

  2. David - January 9, 2008

    Bicycles aren’t trivia or navel-gazing, they are the most efficient human powered form of transportation on the planet, and probably a very key part of the solution to global warming and reduction of dependence on fossil fuels. Although I don’t need to buy a carbon offset for miles I don’t drive, anymore…

    Bonus: exercise, fresh air, a chance to see and appreciate and take sense of stewardship for my local environment as I commute each day. Sometimes I ride alongside others from my neighborhood who are headed the same way! Would that we could all do this more often together.

    I realize it is kinda radical for the suburban soccer mom minivan driver. But check out the bike trailer, bike add-on contraptions and other options. And realize the choices we make about where to live, work etc. have a web of consequences. Carefully consider how to optimize and reduce your carbon footprint, and realize it is a direction to move rather than a destination to arrive at.

  3. Adam Stein - January 9, 2008

    David —
    Another innovation I’m optimistic about is the hybrid bicycle. I think batteries will get to the point pretty soon that hybrids will open up cycling to a large class of people who are presently afraid of the things.
    – Adam

  4. Judith - January 23, 2008

    I used to ride my bicycle hundreds of miles. I’m older now and have been given for my 60th birthday a Yamaha 125cc motorscooter. It’s a 4-stroke engine which is better for the environment and gets 70mpg. I have reduced my carbon footprint by almost 400 miles since August, riding my scooter instead of my car. Can you design a terrapass for scooters?