Pushing a Button to Report Unsafe Streets
It almost sounds like magic. A couple weeks ago, 500 cyclists in London started using a new technology to alert other cyclists and the local government to streets where they felt unsafe.
According to an article in the Washinton Post, it’s a simple little button on the handlebar that cyclists are instructed to push “when they feel unsafe, nervous or frustrated on their daily trips.”
The button relays, through their smart phone, to an app their location on a map – and automatically sends an email to the mayor “reminding him of his promise to protect those on bikes.”
The program is run by the London Cyclist Campaign, with the buttons provided free of charge by Hovding, the Swedish maker of a funky airbag helmet (which we wrote about a few years back).
“It’s definitely captured people’s imaginations,” said Amy Summers, an activism coordinator at the London Cyclist Campaign. She said the Campaign has drawn interest from officials in cities around the world. “I think it can be a really effective tool used by other cities to make cycling safer and improve their streets.”
According to the article, in a week’s time the map already had 1,000 locations cited for unsafe conditions.
Tellingly, Summers said there almost no reports of unsafe conditions on roads with protected bike lanes (those with physical barriers separating motor vehicles and cyclists).
Free Bicycling Around the World E-Book
In 2010, photographer Paul Jeurissen and his partner Grace Johnson (who designed and edited the book) set off on a multi-year bicycle tour covering four continents to “explore the world and international bike culture.”
The result is their 227-page free e-book filled with beautiful scenes that celebrates everyday cycling and cyclists.
You’ll be amazed at how different peoples use bicycles and by the gorgeous and sometimes desolate landscapes Paul and Grace pedal through on their way.
Their trip went from the Netherlands to Southern China, Southeast Asia, the Indian Himalayas,India and Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman and Morocco, East Africa and the Americas. The book is a free download and they encourage sharing. Download address: http://www.pauljeurissen.nl/free-bicycling-around-the-world-photo-book
Build Your Own Bamboo Bike from a Kit
There may have been something lost in translation when this Chinese outfit chose for its name “Bamboobee” (or maybe not?).
But the company’s new BIY 2 Bike Kit, which claims to allow you to build your own bike in about 5 hours, is fascinating. Though still a Kickstarter campaign for version 2, the company marketed a previous version of the kit.
For a claimed average price of around $350, the kit and materials (including a wooden Builder’s Jig) allow you to build one of numerous frame types (including a city bike, mountain bike, kid’s bike, cargo bike, ice cream bike, and even a road bike). The photo shows the “20-inch bike.”
Check out the Kickstarter page for more information, including looped videos showing the jig in action, various bike builds, info about the open-source builders’ app, etc.
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John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.