Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's a Small World After All

No matter where in the world cyclists live they experience the same issues and concerns. In this video from Saudi Arabia we meet two bike commuters who face the same challenges like riding in traffic. Or co-workers who view bike commuting as not acceptable for work. As well as the reasons why some people turn bike commuting; avoiding traffic jams, parking, and the cost of operating a car.

One young man talks about how when he arrives at work he feels much more energized and that he no longer has to park in the distant employee parking lot. Now he parks with royalty, management. And like many established nations obesity has become a problem in Saudi Arabia. Demonstrated when the older cyclist in the red and white Jordanian style shemagh visits his tailor. You can see the significant weight loss that has occurred after he started car-light lifestyle.

While the video is in Arabic, if you click the “cc” button on the bottom right hand side of the Youtube screen you will be able to view English subtitles.When you start the video the "cc" button will appear.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Karma and the Bike Thief

While I do agree with the police about the risk of taking matters into your own hands. But when in doubt and if the serial number matches, steal it back. I'd just have a few friends slightly out of sight in case of problems.

Everybody loves karmic justice, or at least a happy ending. Kayla Smith, a Vancouver bartender, had her new Masi road bike stolen from a friend’s house last week. She called the police, who were ineffective. Then a friend saw what looked like her Masi for sale on Craigslist, so she called the police again. Once more, their response was lacking, so she took matters into her own hands
“I called the guy up and made arrangements to meet him in half an hour at the main street McDonalds,” Smith wrote on Reddit under the user name girlgetsbikeback. “When I pulled into the parking lot I still had no plan of attack. I got there and saw the guy with my bike. He was wearing board shorts, a raggy tank top and dark sketchy glasses. I noticed that it was my bike right away because of the RIDE ON stickers on the frame [RIDE ON is the shop where she bought it] and the fact I have a silver handle bar plug on the left and a black one on the right. A description I gave to the police already. Here is where I started thinking on my feet.
“I asked the guy if I could take it for a ride around the parking lot. He was weary and said “yeah but don’t take off…” I said not to worry that I would even think of it! My heart was pounding and I had no idea what to do so I just got on the bike and was like fuck this guy and started to ride. As I was riding away, I called my friend who was driving to meet me as backup. I rode to the adjacent parking lot where she was pulling into as I was riding. We watched the guy start to look for me and he got super freaked out and he suddenly just took off running.”
Smith told Canadian news outlets, ” “I was just gleaming. I literally jumped around like a six year old getting an ice cream cone. It was ridiculous. I was like ‘Oh my God!’ I was doing booty shaking dances all over the parking lot.”
Vancouver police predictably cautioned people not to take bike theft matters into their own hands. “We can arrange those types of meetings. We can do exactly what she did, but with the safety of having the police involved.” said Vancouver Police Constable Brian Montague.
Well, yeah. But you didn’t.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Helmet Camera - Any suggestions?

Not everyone can afford the latest GoPro camera. So please post what other options you are using for a helmet camera.

Contour Roam POV Camera review - Nice low profile camera fi you don't want a bulky camera with a playback screen. Priced around $150.00 I'd consider one. This camera was used by the TV show Dirty Jobs when they needed to go somewheres the regular cameras could not. And we all remember the nasty environments they used to film in.

It's all your fault

The next time you get hit by a car be sure to tell the driver “it's all my fault”. Or so claims Kah Chan or more aptly referred to as “Kahpow” ( A video game designer by trade, he claims that cyclists with helmet cams are antagonizing car drivers.

Mr. Kahpow posits the question; “Why have traffic relationships deteriorated to the point that cyclists feel the need for cameras as a self-defense mechanism?” He claims the videos often failed to provide any context to incidents and overwhelmingly present motorists in a negative light. There has been no deterioration, its always been this bad, now with small low cost video cameras it can be documented for everyone to see. If a driver is portrayed in a negative light its because they have chosen to do so

Cameras are the only way a cyclist can prove that they were verbally threatened by a driver or hit by a car. Why cameras? As pointed out in this article; “Without the striking car's make or model, tag numbers or further details, the case becomes challenging to crack”. And this was an article about hit and run car crashes. Helmet cameras may be the only way to get the license plate, description of the car and driver, since the hit cyclist will be in no condition to recall details like those. Video does not lie and it is a very reliable witness to fight against claims by the driver that “they came out of nowhere” or “I never saw them”.

Imagine having this guy behind you honking his horn for five minutes, they ran out of memory after 2 minutes. He was charged only because of the video and because the publicity another victim came forward.

Or getting hit by a car that drifts into your path and drives off. Arrested only because of video enchantment revealed the license plate.

Or worst of all, someone who deliberately hits you. Skip to the one minute mark if you don't want to see the context of someone riding a bike.

How much context does one need when someone uses their 2000 pound vehicle as a weapon? Cyclists are using cameras as a way to protect themselves and ensure they receive the full protection of the law that every other road user receives. Its people like Mr. Kahpow that seem to play up the concept that there is war between cyclists and cars. There is no war, just the desire to have equal protection under the law.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Really Philebrity, Really??!! likes to rail about Stu Bykofsky and anti-bicycle columns, but it appears they are intent on becoming the hipster version of Stu. Their most recent column, Reasonable Humans Draw Up Pedestrian–Cyclist Armistice That Will Be Followed Everywhere But Here Because Of, Well, You Know.

They allude that an article in Slate Magazine which promoted a simple solution of mutual respect between cyclists and pedestrians to end common misperceptions of each other. Philebrity’s response was, it won't work here because “you know”. The problem is, we don't know. Is Philebrity inferring that there is something unique about Philadelphia cyclists and pedestrians that won't make this work? Do they have to keep perpetuating the myth that all cyclists are bunch lawless renegades. Terrifying little old ladies as they ride on the sidewalks and running stop signs at will. Or a group of individuals on the fringe who ride because they have no choice because of DWI/DUI or a environmental extremist.

Why does Philebrity need to engage in the same type of pot stirring that Stu Bykofsky does? Is this a ploy to increase the number of hits on their website or do they truly feel that Philadelphia cyclists are a bunch of renegades? It would be nice if Philebrity could explain why this won't work, but only they know.

Monday, August 5, 2013