Beijing by Bike Video

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by Byron on Apr 17, 2007 at 3:03 AM

In this clip near the Olympic Park, I blurt out “Beijing” while Bryan rides on past …

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David Byrne’s Bike Stolen

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by Byron on Apr 17, 2007 at 2:52 AM

Clarence from StreetFilms wrote to tell us that David Byrne just had his bicycle stolen! See Byrne on StreetFilms and Jason’s post on a chance encounter with him at SXSW.

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Curbside Service in Beijing

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by Byron on Apr 16, 2007 at 6:07 PM

Every few blocks in Beijing, there are curbside mechanics that fix bikes as cyclists ride up. The mechanics have tubes, pumps, wrenches and more. At some of the stops, cyclists socialize and hang out. I stopped and filled up my rear tire on the folding bike and said hello. The mechanic and his buddies didn’t speak english, but nodded and smiled just the same and gave us happy thumbs up.

curbside_service.jpg

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Beijing by Bike

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by Byron on Apr 15, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Bikes as transportation in a city of millions. We rode from the hotel to the Forbidden City and just got into the “flow” of bike traffic and followed it through perilous intersections, traffic circles, and more. I was the only one in all of China wearing a helmet. The safety zone between bikes and other vehicles of all types doesn’t exist, everyone is close to everyone and everything else and it’s best to just roll with it, finding your way.

See more in the Bike Hugger photostream.

beijingbybike.jpg

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Folding Bike Freestyle

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by Byron on Apr 13, 2007 at 8:18 AM

That’s me working my “moves” on the folding bike. I’m expecting lots of traffic in Beijing, especially on the 3rd Ring Road. I’ll post more on Flickr when I arrive Saturday.

folding_bike_moves.jpg

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Measure your Big Air

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by Byron on Apr 12, 2007 at 7:33 AM

For the jumpers, BMX, and anyone else that wants to measure the big air they get, there’s the HangTimer that features a built-in tri-axis accelerometer (like sharks with freakin’ lazer beams) and records your air time. Doubtful I’ll get any big air on Bettie, my road bike, or folding bike, but junior hugger likes to jump and he thinks that’s cool.

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Bettie is Back (in Black)

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by Byron on Apr 11, 2007 at 6:40 AM

After a hiatus during the rainy season, Bettie is back running errands, commutes, and all around town. Speaking of Bettie, Todd updated his photostream with an experimental townie mount. Nice, as he said, “that’s a kinder, gentler, monkey.”

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Dorky Little Folding Bike

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by Byron on Apr 11, 2007 at 5:49 AM

zag8_800.jpg Sensing my road snobbery and realizing my concern about looking like a total dork on a little folding bike, Bill Davidson first said, “like who’s going to know who you are in China! And then, just wear all black, all militant style … you’ll blend right in.” Ha! Black is right with a Nutcase helmet to top it off. Kidding aside, I folded and unfolded the Breezer Zag8 multiple times last night and have to say it’s a very functional design. I’m hoping to check it through on the plane like Todd did with his Brompton.

Later, upon hearing that I was taking a folding bike to Beijing nicknamed the B5, Jason sent me a link to the urban and mobile UM by Puma. First reaction, was “whoa, Slingshot Bikes is back,” or they never left (unsure about that) and hey cool Puma is marketing commuting as cool with a Biomega bike. Click through to find the form and function of the Copenhagen.

So how do you travel? Folding, S&S Couplings, Scicon, fixie like Mark V? During the trip to Santa Barbara, one of the guys had a Ritchey Breakaway and loved it. I’d like to try an S&S bike on another trip.

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Here’s Your Master Plan…..

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by Jason Swihart on Apr 10, 2007 at 7:38 PM

As this video from CrankMyChain.com shows, in Copenhagen the coexistence between pedestrians, bikes, and automobiles is a thing of beauty.

It is, however, easy to romanticize Copenhagen. As the video notes, Copenhagen’s bicycle bliss is achieved in part through massive taxation on automobiles and gasoline–a fact noted unhappily by many of the Copenhageners we met there last summer. But where Danish government has forced its citizens onto bikes with taxes, in the United States, we’ve lured citizens away from trains and bicycles with subsidies to the petroleum and automobile industries. One wonders what kind of transportation mix would grow in a free market.

It’s also taken Copenhagen close to 100 years to develop its cycling infrastructure, so one wonders if American Master Plans might not need to take a similarly long-view. In Boulder, an American city notable for being bicycle-centric, we are slowly and relatively quietly developing an excellent system of bike paths which, like Copenhagen, separate bicycles from traffic and help make it safe for lots of people to ride. What we need now, though, are some ubiquitous commuter bikes like the ones they use all over Europe: cheap, light, and comfortable….

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Senor Muggy the Travel Press

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by Byron on Apr 10, 2007 at 6:01 PM

senior_muggy.jpgConcerned about the quality of coffee in Beijing, I’m traveling with a french press. While the Bodum works great, I’ve gone through two since my last post. They crack in my suitcase. I’m guessing it’s the pressure and depressurization cycles on the plane and eventually the crack spreads, fills with coffee, and that’s the end of that Bodum. So, I found a stainless steel travel press/mug, removed the handle (takes up too much space), grinded down the handle mounts, adorned it with bike shop stickers from Elliot Bay and here I come Beijing with hot, strong coffee in Senor Muggy.

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