Car Culture & Contested Streets

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by Byron on Nov 25, 2006 at 8:14 AM

Writing for the Seattle PI, Washington State Senator Dan Swecker defends car culture as being necessary. Dan apparently missed the basic tenet that when you build bigger roads, people fill them up, and it never ends. Dan’s mindset is the same as those that want to save the Viaduct or thought it was a good idea to run I-5 right through the middle of downtown Seattle. To the absolute contrary, if you add more bike lanes, and less car lanes, people will ride bikes and drive less.

I believe that fact even more after watching Contested Streets, a documentary that studies how NYC relinquished quality of life for the automobile and contrasts NYC to London, Paris, and Copenhagen. Those cities have focused on the bicycle as a primary transporter and changed their streets and traffic flow to allow for more bikes. I also saw thousands of cyclists in Spain riding beautiful boulevards to work, for errands, and just getting around.

What I’d ask Dan and anyone lobbying for more traffic lanes is what quality of live does that benefit? How much does anyone enjoy sitting in 4 lanes or 6 lanes of traffic? I’d also hope they could watch Contested Streets. It’s an excellent work. I grabbed a DVD from the Interbike press room and finally ripped it to my iPod Video and watched it on a flight a couple weeks ago.

Maybe Bike Hugger should host a screening with local bike shops and groups like Cascade and the Bicycle Alliance?

Related links

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Bike Cam!

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by Byron on Nov 24, 2006 at 11:48 AM

Cross-posted from Snow Hugger, we’ve got the ATC2K Waterproof ActionCamera from Oregon Scientific. The camera mounts to your handlebars or helmet and you can shoot your favorite training ride, office park crit, cyclocross race, or your incredible explosion off the back when the annual day-after-thanksgiving ride goes up the first steep hill. It also promises to be much safer than holding a camera in one hand while pedaling around a roundabout – also reminiscent of the original Late Night Monkey Cam. Hat tip to Gizmodo

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Hugga Mail

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by Byron on Nov 22, 2006 at 7:07 AM

Courtesy of our friends at FeedBurner, we’ve added a new hugga email feature. You can now keep up with our blog by email. Just click, enter your email, verify you’re not an evil spammer, and boom!

Our next hugga post will arrive in your inbox faster than the cancellation of K-Fed’s world tour.

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Re.Load Baggage

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by Byron on Nov 21, 2006 at 6:52 AM

By way of the Pedal : Reloaded (every photo there is a photo of the day) galleries, I found custom handmade messenger bags by Re.Load Baggage and drank two cups of espresso while clicking through their site.

Having just bought a new Timbuk2 Pro Series Backpack for our trip to Spain, I’m impressed by the craftsmanship, creativity, and art. I’ll have a long-term review of the backpack up soon (overall a very good bag) and disappointed to learn that I’ve missed the window to order a Re.Load bag as a gift (damn)

Reload

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The Browning SmartShift Story

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by Byron on Nov 21, 2006 at 6:27 AM

In an unrelated Google search this morning, I found a news article from 2002 about the Browning SmartShift. I’d only heard about SmartShift and don’t know the story, how it worked, if it worked, and if cyclists are still riding it.

The background is intriguing: “a new generation of more comfortable bikes, could bring a return to growth,” and the RD was largely backed by the Browning firearm fortune.

Anyone ever see a SmartShift?

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Bikes give ya nut cancer!

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by Byron on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM

From the bikes in pop culture file, I did a spit take when Earl was riding his bike in the Rob a Stoner Blind episode, towing his brother, and Joy says, ” … bikes give ya nut cancer!”

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Geographical Pedaling Sweetness

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by Frank Steele on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM

The Whiteboard | You Have Reached Your Destination

Panasonic's AVIC-S1

The guys over at Synthesis Studios point out that bikers don’t have to settle for bicycle GPS solutions, as discussed last week.

They went full-bling with a Pioneer AVIC-S1, a Windows CE GPS unit with Bluetooth, 320 x 240 resolution, and 2 gigs of map storage.

Take 1 GPS window-mount, add a handful of zip-ties and an empty stem, and you’ve got a pretty effective, sano install.

Can you use it on the roll?

Oooooh yeah :) It’s a hell of a lot of fun, too. The touchscreen is clear and easily visible in daylight, and the interface is forgiving enough that clumsy fingers on the ride are still adequate to navigate the menu system. The voice directions are easily loud enough for use in traffic, and it’s a great conversation starter when I’m drafting someone and my bike announces Please-turn-left-in-500-feet. Now, turn left. It’s also great to take the ETA as a challenge and work to beat it. And for that extra pinch of unnecessary, the bluetooth/handsfree integration works great with my phone, so I can take calls with my phone safely stuck in my backpack.

Handsfree and no-hands at the same time. Sweet.

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Mark V in da hugga house

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by Byron on Nov 20, 2006 at 6:33 PM

Mark V wrote for us during Interbike and offered his perspective on the culture of the event and the bikes he dug - he’s back writing for us almost daily and starts his hugger tenure with Heart of Bonkness.

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Heart of Bonkness

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by Mark V on Nov 18, 2006 at 5:46 PM

Have you ever bonked really bad on ride? Not like you’re in a race and suddenly you realize you can’t chase the break. I mean, you’re on a long training ride in the middle of nowhere and your blood-sugar level falls through the floor, you start sweating weird and get light-headed. You only brought 2 gels with you, and you consumed the second one an hour ago.

Suddenly you start thinking that the wet pile of leaves next to the road might be a good place to lie down and sleep.

You’re well beyond daydreaming about the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet; now you want city zoning commissioners and 7-11 corporate executives to explain why there isn’t a f***ing convenience store next to your route. You want a Pepsi and a king-sized Butterfinger right now, bitch!

Why didn’t you bring your cell-phone with you? You could have called one of your friends to end your agony with a car ride home. But then again, all of your friends would just laugh in your face for forgetting to bring enough food and riding too far. Those smug bastards are probably sitting at home right now, all warm and comfortable watching tv with your Pepsi and a chicken sandwich or maybe it’s a roast beef sandwich with havarti on rye and some chips ah, yes, chip .those freakin kettle chips that are really crunchy and salty mmmmm, kettle chips.

Oh, god.

The hollow in your stomach listens to the evil in your heart. You start looking at pedestrians, maliciously wondering if they have food in their pockets. You bet those parents with young children have food. Yeah, it’s probably in the back of the stroller. Ooh, you’d kill for a ziplock sandwich bag of cheerios, wouldn’ you?

Why did you have to choose the fixed-gear to ride today? Your hamstrings are pissed. And why’d you have to live on top of a hill? Stupid, stupid 12% grade. And then you get home to an empty refrigerator. No, no, NOOOOOO!!! All you wanted was a Pepsi just one Pepsi

Thirty minutes later at the grocery store you pass out in a 32oz pool of spilled fountain drink after attempting to eat an entire rotisserie chicken and a family side of deli mac-n-cheese before even leaving the self-checkout. As the you descend into a food coma, unseeing eyes staring up from a spreading slick of Pepsi, the check-out cashier hears your voice:

the horror, the horror.

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