Don’t drive very often, mostly ride my bike, but rented a 24 footer for a move and damn that was intense for the first drive. The rental center is at Spokane and 1st. That’s 2 rights and you’re on the W. Seattle Freeway – a busy Seattle thoroughfare with skinny lanes and jersey barriers. No commercial license needed to drive it. Just go for it and the bike-racing instincts kicked in – focused, stayed in my lane, and drove that big ass truck home.
So people get pretty steamed at the idea of Google Streetview the mobile mapping project that is slowly creating a street-level 360 panorama of just about every spot around. I think it’s dandy–I’m a photographer so I’m already used to taking pictures of things wherever I go. I don’t really mind if someone wants to tool around in a car and take cooler kinds of pictures.
Until now there’s been no real way for the Google team to go out and record places like parks, trails and pedestrian malls–the camera and GPS system was originally car-based. Thanks though to a genius idea from one of the product team members while riding a his mountain bike, Google has unleashed the Street View Trike, a cool three-wheeler that’s hitting the road, and the paths, and the sidewalks.
You can even nominate places for the Trike to ride, like the super-cool tour of Legoland in our photo.
Thursday night was Halloween-themed at bike polo. Games were played under the I5 overpass at Ravenna. One of my best friends is really into bike polo now, usually playing twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. I helped her build up a polo bike; apparently this group plays on singlespeed bikes not fixies. Despite the large turnout, most everyone got to play at least one game. Usually Thursday night is for more advanced players.
more photos after jump
Not sure when Honda got into the bicycle simulator business, but the car/motorcycle/lawnmower maker will be releasing a bike simulator in Japan in 2010 to help drivers, pedestrians and cyclists learn how to better avoid obstacles and become better riders.
It’s actually a pretty clever idea, and I’d love to see this in driving schools in the United States–while cycling is on the rise in this country most motor vehicle departments still fail to provide any training to drivers about the place of bikes on the road. It would be great to let a non-cyclist see what it’s like to ride our city streets.
Kona’s philanthropic Africa Bike program is taking another big step as Kona announces that they’re expanding to provide bikes for ethnic minority students in Vietnam by partnering with Roadmonkey, an organization started by former New York Times reporter Paul von Zielbauer. Roadmonkey leads “adventure philanthropic” trips.
The ten-person Roadmonkey group will ride along what used to be the Ho Chi Mihn Trail more than 300 miles en route to the Kon Ray school, where they’ll build bikes for the students and, get this, build an organic farm complete with 250 trees that will help the school raise money to bring on more students.
Kona’s Africa Bike program was started with Bicycling Magazine but is clearly growing into other regions of the world.