Does Your Messenger Bag Ever get the “Not so Fresh” feeling?

2

by Byron on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:40 PM

A package of Stride will freshen your bag for an entire trip overseas. Not only is the flavor long lasting, but so is the wintergreen scent.

from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

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Critical Man-nerds ride report

12

by Dave R. on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Man_NerdAs promised four intrepid BikeHuggers rode last Friday evening. Objectives: Ride for fun, Promote urban cycling awareness for all vehicles – cars and cyclists, demonstrate automobile/bicycle co-existence, and engage in the consumption of nutritious fermented beverages.

Good news: Objectives MET. Even more amazing, it was more than just two dudes who showed up! This is positively stunning given the 8 hour notice. Check the Bike Hugger Urban Bikes group on Flickr for more photos.

We’ll keep the experiment up, check back for scheduling of future rides. But before we go too far, we’ll need a better name. Hugger input requested!

I rolled into Westlake Center about 5:20 and was happily surprised to see the number of cyclists waiting for me: one, which was one more than I expected. Nate saw our post earlier in the day and decided to drop in on our ride. Another hugger (Matt, who initiated the idea) showed up at 6:00 with a friend in tow (Jamie). We 4 cyclemen headed off for some runs through down town shortly after that.

We managed to make a reasonable number of loops through down town, briefly swelling our ranks to 6 on two occasions. At one point we hooked up with a couple of friendly and supportive Seattle bike cops who helped demonstrate bike boxing technique. Several commuters joined us briefly (and one pulled us up and over Dexter – what a power house!), and most asked if we were riding Critical mass. Not today, see you in a couple of weeks!

Along the way we discussed our various experiences with Critical Mass, Seattle cycling cliques, and how best to create an open, inclusive and broadly appealing ride together. The folding bike probably helped on the Nerds part. Critical Man-Nerds fit our ride well (the folding bike helped, I’m sure), but if we’re going to be more inclusive it won’t fit the bill

At last we came to rest at a pub on Phinney Ridge, where our discussions turned more serious. So now what do we call it? Huggers, your votes and suggestions are needed. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Critical Mini (props to Mr. Boxer)
  • Minimal Mass (Yo Jamie)
  • Critical MAN-ners (and derivative, Critical manNerds)
  • Reformed Mass
  • Just Ride (+she said?) (Nate)
  • WRT (We Are Traffic – Nate)
  • 2FB (2nd Friday Bikeride – Matt)
  • Bike n’ Beer (Jamie)

More suggestions and votes, please!

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This is not Starbucks

10

by Byron on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:14 PM

From 15 feet away and more this looked like Starbucks, but no, it wasn’t. Not even close. I travel with my own coffee, and Senor Muggy, but when needed I’ve found that Starbucks works. Zeldman told me that once. He said Starbucks was a trusted, known source, of mediocre coffee – consistently mediocre. I was like whatever, but that’s totally true in Taiwan. While the Taiwanese do buffets right, corporate coffee is bad just like everywhere else.

starbucks_not.jpg

In Taipei, they also have a thing for outlets with funny names.

Update

A comment and revised sentence above clarifying that Taipei’s corporate-chain coffee was bad, just like anywhere else (v. Starbucks that’s mediocre everywhere).

We did have good coffee in a stand during our ride.

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Bikes for Africa

4

by andrew_f_martin on Oct 16, 2007 at 12:30 PM

Taxi Stand

One of the focused stories at Interbike was bikes for Africa. There were a number of groups represented including SRAM and their World Bicycle Relief, and Tom Ritchey and his Project Rwanda<a/>. There is plenty of good literature on the sites, but if you can help - you can donate here or here.

I heard that there’s a Project Rwanda<a/> bike at a local coffee roaster. I’m going to check it out and see what else I can dig up on this great initiative.

[UPDATE - Another local group is sending bikes as well:]

The Village Bicycle Project provides sustainable and affordable transportation for Africans. Owning a bike promotes poverty reduction, rural development and personal empowerment. Millions of Africans do not have basic, reliable transportation. 99% of Africans cannot afford cars. Public transportation is expensive and unreliable. Contact bikeschangelives@gmail.com if you can help.

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Keiko Bike: Strong Femininity

3

by Byron on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:09 PM

During our visit to Dahon’s offices, the Keiko Bike stood out: we admired, discussed, photographed, and after much deliberation described it as having a strong femininity. Matthew Davis, Manager – Global Sales and Marketing, gave us the backstory of the bike

Keiko Itakura approached us, and we decided to collaborate on this bike. It has been in the works for a little over a year, but the results were well worth it. They exceeded everyone’s expectations and we are now trying to figure out what kind of limited production run makes sense. If demand is strong we’ll definitely take that into account. It definitely gives off the “Strong Femininity” vibe, much in the way filigree does with the extremely delicate details taking form from intricately worked metals.We’re working with Keiko now to figure out how to execute the launch and final announcement properly, but we’re happy to have given Bike Hugger reader’s a sneak peak at this special bike.

keiko_bike.jpg

Whatever the final version of the bike is, it’s going to further establish the connection between artists, designers, urban mobility, and bikes.

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Taipei Cyclists

0

by Byron on Oct 15, 2007 at 7:28 PM

They’re were just riding around on the bike paths and so were we …

taipei_cyclists.jpg

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Helmet Land

0

by Byron on Oct 14, 2007 at 8:31 PM

I don’t have the exact numbers, but heard that Taipei makes lots of helmets and spotted this helmet store during our ride.

helmet_land.jpg

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Betel Nut Boost Video

8

by Byron on Oct 14, 2007 at 5:00 PM

As noted in this post, Jason got a big betel nut boost during our ride around Taipei with Dahon. Betel nut is a chewable stimulant sold in stands, similar to cocoa leaf, and it’s dispensed by girls in lingerie.

Also available on the Huggacast.

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Cycle Taipei

0

by Byron on Oct 14, 2007 at 3:03 PM

Much like Beijing, there’s a flow in Taipei, and we just rode in it. We were surrounded nearly at all times by scooters. I’ve never seen so many scooters. The don’t have specific bike lanes, except around the business district, but relatively wide lanes, and cars give you room. There’s a roadie scene and even a Tour de Taiwan.

taipei_cycling.jpg

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Bike Hugger Betel Nut

10

by Byron on Oct 14, 2007 at 7:30 AM

Most of the ride, Jason was hanging out behind us with Matt from Dahon until we had some betel nut. Then he was all sprinting from stop lights, taking pulls, dropping us, mister energized on the bike – watch the video. Then I climbed a hill like never before on a folding bike, while I heard Once in a Lifetime in my head. I expect my legs to really hurt tomorrow.

betel_nut_boy.jpg

Betel nut is a chewable stimulant sold in stands, similar to cocoa leaf, and it’s dispensed by girls in lingerie. A betel nut sports drink would make Red Bull seem like kool-aid. It also turns your mouth red, sort of like the spice in Dune, and is part of the Taipei experience.

If we get tired blogging at the IDF, I know where that stand is.

More Blogging Taipei photos in our photostream … and Matt’s photo gallery. Podcasts tomorrow.

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