Bike Potter

An AP wire photo with the caption: “Bangladeshi potter takes his wares to a local market for sale on a cold and foggy morning in Rohonpur, 230 kilometers (145 miles), north of Dhaka, Bangladesh.”

From AP Photo by Pavel Rahman and submitted by Jerome, BikeWintering west of Chicago, who spotted the photo using FlickrFan.

bike_potter.jpg



Bike Justice

One of our readers from Taiwan, submitted this story about a bike and a Buick:

Woman hits student on bicycle with Buick. Demands payment for scratches to car. Argument ensues. Mob of students responds with “turning over and violent dismemberment of the sedan” [sic].

crowd.jpg

That’s bike, well, “mob” justice. While Bike Hugger does not promote bike-on-car violence, I did imagine a mob descending upon one of those PI-bike-hater forum trolls, who were out in force last week over storm grates (of all things). Like this cyclist who challenged a driver in downtown Toronto and won!

car_cyclist.jpg

Side note on those grates: I’ve ridden here for over 15 years in Seattle and haven’t known anyone terrorized by grates or seen that myself. That was new to me and as a rule I do not ride over grates or hug the curb. Train tracks are absolutely a concern, especially in a city like ours that’s a construction zone.



Build Your Own Bag

byob.jpg Late last year, right before our trip to Maui, I tried out Timbuk2s Build Your Own Bag site. Ordering up his and hers bags in the Hugga Comfort colors. The bag builder offered very nice interactivity, with lots of custom features, previews, and more.

I was initially bummed to see that 992 other bag builders created the bag I did, but then kept trying and got this message: “this color combination has been created just once.” An original bag … cool. While the Bag Builder works well, I’d like to see it have persistence. It doesn’t remember you, if you leave and come back. I’d also like to edit what I created or duplicate it and for it to send me what I made and let me download it.

As for the bag, like all the Timbuk2s messenger bags I’ve owned, it’s well made (note that I only purchase the models handmade in San Francisco). The medium size fits well in the S&S case snug under the wheel. It’s filled with bike parts, tools, a saddle bag, etc. When I travel, I compartmentalize everything and all of the pockets, zippers, and pouches support that.

For trips with the Dahon, I use the much larger Crumpler bag (also in Hugga Comfort colors) and fill it with clothes and bike gear. Both Timbuk2 and Crumpler make quality bags, but with a different design aesthetic. Where the Timbuk2s are rugged and urban with lots of zippers, the Crumplers offer a cleaner, more designy style without zippers.

One issue with Timbuk2s bag is “floppiness.” That’s the less-than technical description for what happens when you load a bag and it falls over. My older Timbuk2 bags with thicker, heavier materials were sturdier and more rigid and didn’t flop. I liked the bag, but was repeatedly frustrated by the fact that it’d fall over when loaded with a laptop. There’s probably an equation for bag material density, rigidity, and floppage. I suggest they flop less.



Frame Probe

Bike Hugger gets all sorts of weird emails, spam, and photos. These photos caught my eye for the welds and the red-tipped frame probe. I have no idea what that probe is doing or what this guy is doing with the probe controller.

frame_probe.jpg

The email was written in French, links to this website, and I translated part of it to say, “the testing machine tridimentionelle.”

Any ideas?

Val,

Did you see one of those probes back in the day?



Enabling Commuters

Cycle London

I love this idea. I have talked with a number of friends about commuting to work. “It’s easy” I tell them. Of course - I have it good. I have a shower on my floor, and I get to bring my bike up the service elevator to my desk. I can walk into the office draped in lycra without raising an eyebrow.

It’s not the distance - the hardest part of the commute is the logistics. Some employers do a great job of helping out by providing the facilities cyclists need. Problem is - not all employers are so kind. The London government looks like they are taking the right steps to bringing these facilities to the masses. Although wide-open public facilities may work, I think there are some better options.

  1. Subsidize a shower-only membership to a gym “ downtown centers are littered with gyms, but oftentimes the membership costs are too high to justify. Commuters only need a subset of the services, so let them pay a reduced amount for it (and have the govt help out).
    1. Provide secure, individual bike lockers in the gym buildings - bury them on the bottom floor of the parking garage for all we care, but cage them off so people can call them their own and keep stuff there. Put in lockers as well so folks can store fresh clothes as well. Laundry services can help resolve the but I have to wear a suit issue.
    2. Create an emergency bus pass program “ there are some days when taking the bus is necessary. Give out passes good for 5 trips a month that commuters can hold onto in a pinch.

The key is lots of locations around a downtown area. Putting all these facilities in one spot is only convenient for those few people that work close. Businesses do a great job of supporting Van-Pooling, Public Transit, and carpooling, but don’t give proper support to cyclists. I think the problem is most don’t know how without a large facilities investment. Maybe we need to talk to Lance and his friends at 24hr Fitness and get the ball rolling.



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