Turn any bike into an e-bike with UrbanX’s drop-in wheel

March 20, 2017 by  
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Are you intrigued by electric bicycles but already own a regular bike? UrbanX created a drop-in wheel that can turn almost any old bicycle into a cool e-bike. The wheel only takes around one minute to install and boasts an impressive range of 30 miles on a single charge. The UrbanX bike wheel simplifies e-bikes: add their wheel and you’re good to go. The product adds an additional 15 pounds to a bike, which isn’t as heavy or clunky as some electric bikes can be. The company behind the product offers the wheel in six sizes; they say it will fit 99 percent of bikes. Their compact battery charges in an hour and a half. Related: Juicer electric bikes bridge dorky environmentalism and cool-guy style https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/934648866/urbanx-convert-any-bike-to-an-electric-bike-in-60/description The company offers a 240 watt motor and a 350 watt motor. The 240W motor’s top speed is 15 miles per hour (mph) while the 350W motor’s top speed is 20mph. Bikers can also pedal as normal; UrbanX includes a three level pedal assist system that can be switched via an app. UrbanX says their product “works smarter, not harder by using an algorithm to ensure 100 percent of motor output is utilized to power your ride.” They came up with their patent-pending Sinus Algorithm Controlling System to boost the battery and motor’s efficiency. UrbanX isn’t the first company to come out with such a product; GeoOrbital also recently unveiled a bike wheel that converts bicycles into e-bikes within 60 seconds. The look of the two wheels are quite different, and UrbanX’s 240W motor wheel is much less expensive than GeoOrbital’s wheel. To help bring their product to market, UrbanX also turned to crowdfunding . With over 30 days to go, they’ve raised more than double their initial goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter . The limited early bird prices for the tires start at $299. UrbanX ambitiously says they’ll be delivering the wheels this summer. Via TreeHugger Images via UrbanX Electric Wheel Facebook

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Turn any bike into an e-bike with UrbanX’s drop-in wheel

Beautiful P+R building can house hundreds of bicycles in the Netherlands

March 20, 2017 by  
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Park and ride buildings aren’t often beautiful, but this recently completed facility in Zutphen is a stunning exception. MoederscheimMoonen Architects created the stylish P+R facility near a railway station in the Netherlands’ Noorderhaven district. Built to reference the town’s industrial past, the contemporary building accommodates 375 parking spaces and has spots for over 600 bicycles . Located next to the town’s train station, the unique park and ride structure pays homage to the town’s historic warehouses and traditional industries through its design and choice of materials. One side of the building features a large gabled facade with wooden shutters to mimic the appearance of a factory warehouse. On the other side of the building are two helix-shaped ramps that hide the car’s vertical transport with a sculptural design. In a nod to the nearby steel bridge over the River IJssel, the structure is mounted on a series of “playfully positioned” galvanized columns. Related: Corridor-free high school in the Netherlands bathes students in natural light Ample natural light and ventilation passes through the building due to the slatted facade. The wooden slats were installed at different angles and combined with strips of red steel to create a playful and dynamic appearance. Vertical LED strips illuminate the building at night. + MoederscheimMoonen Architects Images by Harry Noback (HN) and Bart van Hoek (BvH)

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Beautiful P+R building can house hundreds of bicycles in the Netherlands

Breathtaking seaside hotel in Thailand practices radical reuse, grows 100% of its produce

March 20, 2017 by  
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Overlooking a private bay along the Northern Coast of Koh Samui, Thailand, The Tongsai Bay Hotel boasts more than luxurious seaside accommodations. The award-winning family-owned resort was built within a 28 and a half acre landscape that remains home to 66 different species of birds and other wildlife. The green retreat maintains its virtuous mission by growing 100 percent of its produce and turning all food waste into fertilizer and a cleaning solution for its facilities, donating the rest to the island’s stray cats and dogs. This breathtaking oasis demonstrates how hotels can thrive within a completely natural habitat. Originally built in 1987, the environmentally-sensitive design of The Tongsai Bay was in many ways ahead of its time. Not a single tree was felled or damaged during construction, allowing the natural fauna and flora to flourish for all these years. 66 different species of birds and all sorts of wildlife, including lizards, can be found roaming the property at any given time. With 28 acres of lush green space, the owners could have filled the property with many more rooms for more revenue per square meter, but their passion for preserving the natural environment was more important. There is not a bad view in sight at The Tongsai Bay. Each of its 83 rooms, villas and cottages are enveloped in greenery and welcome a breathtaking sea view. And there are no motorized water sports allowed on the premises. Mini sail boats, paddle boards and kayaks are available, helping to maintain a serene environment for guests and the exotic wildlife that call this place home. The Tongsai Bay ‘s three restaurants are supplied daily with native produce sustainably grown on the farm located just a short drive from the main site. Everything from lemongrass, lettuce, eggplants, limes and bananas are produced on the farm and served in a rotating menu. They have even reused the hotel’s old bathtubs as planters. Any food waste is then transferred back to the farm. The vegetable scraps are soaked, broken down, and liquified into all-natural veggie cleaning solution used to clean the hotel toilets. The rest of the waste, including fish scraps, are placed into an open air fertilizer that is then used to grow new vegetables on the farm, thereby completing this impressive reuse cycle. Anything leftover that is mildly edible for consumption is donated to the large community of stray dogs and cats on the island. There are no insecticides, toxic cleaners, or chemical fragrances in sight at The Tonsai Bay. Bilimbi and kaffir lime , though too sour to eat, make incredibly effective cleaning solutions, both of which are native to Thailand and grown plentifully on the Tonsai Bay farm. They are peeled, broken down and liquified into a completely natural citrus cleaner and a room freshener for oil burners. Even textiles are reused: ripped bed sheets, for instance, are turned into napkins for their restaurants. Although tourism is Thailand’s largest industry, green practices are still not common practice. In most establishments, “takeaway” food is given to customers in Ziploc-like plastic bags and even smoothies are adorned with plastic handles. The Tongsai Bay is one place that has taken the environmental education of their staff very seriously, training them to recycle and minimize waste every day. Guests are also guided to do the same, with colorful separated trash and recycling bins peppered throughout the property. With rooms starting at $260 per night, The Tonsai Bay may not be affordable for everyone, but it is a shining example of green hospitality. We hope to see more hotels around the world embrace a self-sustaining model as grand as this. + The Tongsai Bay All images by Laura Mordas-Schenkein for Inhabitat

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Breathtaking seaside hotel in Thailand practices radical reuse, grows 100% of its produce

Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Transformed Into a Unique Hotel in Prague

October 30, 2016 by  
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Visitors to the hotel can also get a different perspective of the city from the observatory located at the tip of the tower. For food and other culinary delights, the  Oblaca restaurant  is located one floor down. And for added luxury, the hotel will prepare a festive decorated table for a private dinner or lunch of up to 16 guests, which can also include a private waiter and sommelier. Related: Prague’s Luscious MOODs Hotel Melds Sustainable Materials With Superior Comfort The only thing that might justify the $900 per night price tag, is a glass-walled bathroom that lets you relax in style and peer out over the city skyline from your secluded hideaway. While it would certainly make for a unique experience, the room itself doesn’t have any other standout features – unless you include the option to convert it into your very own private conference room, in which case there’s that. Originally constructed in the 1980s, the tower consists of three concrete pillars with a metallic finish, and has nine different ‘pods’ scattered across it’s surface. The television tower still houses transmission equipment, which was supposedly used to jam communications from the west during the country’s communist occupation. Related: Mobile Bicycle Sauna Dedicated to Prague Cyclists Who Want to Relax Criticism of the building’s appearance was strictly prohibited during its earliest days, but in an attempt to try and improve the building’s public image at the turn of the century, Czech artist  David ?erný  was invited to infuse the tower with some public art. He settled on giant metallic babies crawling up and down the side of antennae; they were removed at one point, but after enormous public outcry, they were quickly reinstated. Via Gizmodo Images by One Room Hotel

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Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Transformed Into a Unique Hotel in Prague

Aerovelo bike shatters human-powered speed record by hitting 89.59 mph

September 28, 2016 by  
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Last year Aerovelo broke a world record at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge with a bike that hit 85.71 miles per hour (mph). This year they one upped themselves, smashing that record again – twice. Their Eta bike, powered by Todd Reichert, ultimately hit 89.59 mph this year, topping the time-traveling Delorean in the science fiction film Back to the Future . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUcyURXe5yU&feature=youtu.be The World Human Powered Speed Challenge took place in Battle Mountain, Nevada earlier this month from September 12 through September 17. Each day was filled with drama and excitement as the team battled challenges or achieved victories. During the first day, Monday, Eta began to speed wobble around fifty to sixty mph, and the team had to fix the issue with a rubber steering damper. Unfortunately the damper means it’s harder to get the bike going, but did fix the speed wobble. Related: AeroVelo’s bullet-shaped bike smashes through world speed record The next day, Tuesday, heavy rains prevented the vehicles from running. On Wednesday conditions were better and Eta set a new record at 88.26 mph, more than the 88 mph required by the Delorean. Thursday’s run was uneventful but Eta only hit 87.6 mph, which although still better than last year’s record, didn’t draw the same excitement as the previous day. On Friday a bug splattered on the bike’s shield, ruining that run. The team had to add an ” anti-bug coating .” The team ended the challenge Saturday on a high note. The Eta set another record at the astounding speed of 89.59 mph. According to Aerovelo , “This was another massive leap in an event that had been fighting for 0.1 mph gains over the last decade. Breaking into this new range of speeds, Eta has truly earned its name and its title as the world’s most efficient vehicle.” The Aerovelo team intends to continue work on the Eta with the goal of breaking even more records at the challenge next year. + Aerovelo Via New Atlas Images via Aerovelo

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German man sets new world record for heaviest bike

September 7, 2016 by  
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There’s a Guinness World Record for numerous strange and far-out feats, including one for the heaviest rideable bicycle . Frank Dose from Schacht-Audorf in Germany just broke that record. Using largely recycled materials, he constructed a massive bike that weighs 1.08 metric tons, and then showed he could actually ride it. Dose decided to go for building the bike on a dare. He’d designed a bike made of scrap metal to ride at a festival, but a friend said the design probably wouldn’t work. Dose decided to prove his friend wrong. He gathered scrap steel and fertilizer spreader tires to create the giant bicycle. Related: Innovative Swedish cyclist designed an all-weather bike that looks like a car The tires weighing ” hundreds of kilograms ” add tremendous heft to the bike. Their diameter is a whopping 1.53 meters, or around five feet. The cost of the bike was weighty too: Dose estimates he spent $4,700. On September 3, Dose demonstrated he could indeed ride the bike. 5,000 people showed up to watch him ride more than 100 meters, or around 328 feet, the minimum distance Guinness World Records will accept to declare the bike rideable. Although the bike only moved at a lumbering five kilometers per hour, Dose says riding the bike is actually pretty easy. Olaf Kuchenbecker of the Rekord-Institut für Deutschland (Record-Institute for Germany) was also on hand to measure the bike. It will likely be a few months before Guinness World Records officially confirms Dose broke the record, but chances are good they will. Jeff Peeters of Belgium recently set the previous record announced in March, but his bike (albeit still massive) weighs just 860 kilograms, around 200 kilograms less than Dose’s heavy bicycle. Dose’s wife Astrid is his biggest fan. She said, “I think his bike is sensational. I am proud and pleased that he has done it.” Via Oddity Central Images via screenshot

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Video captures vandals toppling 18-million-year-old sandstone formation in Oregon

September 7, 2016 by  
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An iconic sandstone formation on the Oregon coast known as “the duckbill” is no more, after a group of vandals forced the rocks to topple, leaving behind a devastated pile of rubble . The giant rock, known as “The Duckbill” measured up to 10 feet across, and was a sought-after destination just beyond the safety fence in Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in Oregon’s Tillamook County. At first, park officials thought that the formation had fallen on its own, but video captured by a witness later revealed the extent of this terrible loss. After discovering the formation had toppled, Oregon State Parks posted on Facebook on Sept. 1 warning visitors to the area that “the rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs.” They did not know, at that time, that it was intentionally knocked over by a group of ne’er-do-wells. That detail wasn’t known until authorities discovered that David Kalas posted a video of the vandalism act on Twitter. Kalas, who was not directly involved in the destruction, shot video of the group on Aug. 29 and then approached them with questions. Related: Actress Vanessa Hudgens is under investigation for defacing natural landmarks on Valentine’s Day Kalas told the local Fox News affiliate about his confrontation with the vandals immediately after the destructive act. They told him, reportedly, that they decided to topple the giant sandstone because one of their friends had broken his leg after falling off the rock, in a misguided effort to protect other park-goers from harm. Understandably, Kalas didn’t really buy that story, saying it “frustrated [him] because nobody forced them to climb on top of the rock.” The naturally formed sandstone tower was an iconic part of the Oregon coastline, and had become a significant location for many people over the years. Despite its location behind a safety fence, many people climbed atop the rock to take pictures of important life events. “People got married on top of the rock, got their engagement photos on top of the rock,” Kalas told Fox News. “They can’t share that moment any more with their future children or their grandchildren or anyone like that, it will always just now be a memory,” he added. Oregon State Parks posted an update  on Sept. 6, explaining that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is working closely with the Oregon State Police to determine the best course of action. The vandals, who have not yet been identified publicly, face a maximum penalty in the form of a $435 fine. Via Treehugger Images via David Kalas , Oregon State Parks and Thomas Shahan/Flickr

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Video captures vandals toppling 18-million-year-old sandstone formation in Oregon

Cost-effective modern home sports an outdoor climbing wall that reaches the roof

September 7, 2016 by  
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To comply with the site’s limited buildable area and the client’s programmatic demands, the architects designed the Cache Creek Residence with an “upside-down version of a traditional house diagram.” While most homes place the living areas on the ground floor and the private rooms above, the two-story Cache Creek Residence places the open kitchen, living, and dining area, as well as the master bedroom on the second floor. The two guest bedrooms, gear storage, and utility areas are located on the lower level. Large glazed openings frame views of the Snow King Ski Area and bring in natural light to illuminate the high-ceilinged interior. Related: The SkyHouse Features a 50-Foot Climbing Wall and 80-Foot Spiraling Slide in This NYC Penthouse The Cache Creek Residence’s boxy form is clad in black corrugated metal , a material chosen for its durability, texture, and low cost. Galvanized steel-clad projections and large protruding decks on the south and east sides add interest and depth to the building. A climbing wall on the north elevation with multicolored holds spans the full height of the home and provides access to the roof. “The interior is characterized by high ceilings and generous glazing, which allows for constant daylight,” write the architects. “Economical finish selections let materials speak for themselves: concrete floors, quartz stone countertops and IKEA cabinetry, complete the interior expression.” + Carney Logan Burke Via Dezeen Images via Carney Logan Burke

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Cost-effective modern home sports an outdoor climbing wall that reaches the roof

Affordable FUBi Fixie rides like a full-size bicycle, but can fold down in seconds

March 14, 2016 by  
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Folding bikes are convenient, but they often come with tradeoffs like lowered riding performance and higher costs. The FUBi Fixie wants to change that by letting you transform your full-sized bicycle into a folding bike at an affordable price. Designed for single-speed or fixed gear bicycles, the FUBi system uses all standard parts with the exception of its frame that folds down in seconds without the need for any tools. The frame is rigid, tested for safety, and makea handling and storing your bicycle a snap. Head over to the Kickstarter , where you can get your own FUBi bicycle for an early-bird price. + FUBi Fixie Kickstarter The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Affordable FUBi Fixie rides like a full-size bicycle, but can fold down in seconds

Grow a miniature green wall at home with the IVY planter

March 14, 2016 by  
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Ever wanted a green wall in your home, but have too humble of an abode? The IVY planter is designed to help you grow the living wall of your wildest dreams, even in the smallest of spaces. Designed by Helbert Suarex and Remi Melander of System Design Studio in Spain, the IVY is a modular structure with interlacing panels that helps climbing plants grow in beautiful patterns. Thanks to this lovely invention, climbing ivy is no longer reserved for the outdoors. The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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