Portland debuts newly designed thief-proof bike racks

June 13, 2017 by  
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Portland , Oregon is home to more bike parking spaces on city streets than any other city in North America. But that also means there are more opportunities for bike thieves . So the city is rolling out a new bike rack design to deter would-be crooks. Bike burglars in Portland have recently attacked not a bike’s lock, but the rack to which it’s connected. Bike owners lose their ride, and the city has to replace the racks. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), which wants city residents to feel their bikes are safe, turned to a new design to thwart thieves. Related: Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit From the outside the new racks don’t look like anything special – CityLab described them as tubular arches. But inside there is a “free-floating, steel-wire cable routed through the hollow steel piping of the rack,” according to PBOT communications specialist Hannah Schafer. “This makes it difficult to cut through, because the wire moves when the blade attempts to get purchase.” Then, 10 inches above the ground is a bar spanning the bottom of the rack for extra security. The bar prevents a thief from unscrewing bolts to slip a U-lock around the bottom of the rack, according to Schafer. She told CityLab, “In addition, if a potential thief were to cut through the bike rack and wire rope, the bar makes it difficult to pry the rack apart and slip a U-lock off.” Radius Pipe Bending manufactures the new bike racks for the city. PBOT said they’re not able to replace all 7,000 racks currently in the city with the new design – the new racks cost around $5 more than the old ones – but new installations and maintenance will feature the new robber repellent design. Check out the city’s schematic here . Via CityLab and the Portland Bureau of Transportation Images via BikePortland.org Facebook and Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Portland debuts newly designed thief-proof bike racks

Daan Roosegaarde introduces smog-sucking, air-cleaning bikes

May 15, 2017 by  
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Daan Roosegaarde has been touring China with his Smog Free Project , showcasing the Smog Free Tower and encouraging people to find innovative solutions to address air pollution . He’s not out of ideas yet though; he’ll add to his tour with new smog-sucking bicycles . These bikes could work much like his Smog Free Tower does, absorbing dirty air , cleaning it, and pouring it back out as fresh air. Biking in a city polluted by smog isn’t healthy, so people are less inclined to ditch their cars and opt for a bicycle. Roosegaarde envisions an answer to that problem in a bike that can inhale dirty air, clean it, and pump it out around a cyclist. Related: China’s crazy smog-sucking vacuum tower might actually be working In a statement, Roosegaarde said, “ Beijing used to be an iconic bicycle city. We want to bring back the bicycle as a cultural icon of China and as the next step towards smog free cities.” The studio says the concept aligns with growing interest in bike sharing programs in China – like Mobike , which has over a million shareable bicycles in the Beijing area. There’s still a long way to go to slash pollution and traffic in the country’s capital, but the smog-sucking bicycle could offer a creative approach to the problem. The Smog Free Bicycle found its beginnings in a Studio Roosegaarde-hosted workshop at contemporary art museum M Woods in Beijing, featuring Professor Yang of Tsinghua University and artist Matt Hope, who worked on an idea for an air-filtering bike around four years ago . According to Studio Roosegaarde, the new smog-sucking bicycle is “currently in the first stage and is intended to become a medium for smog free cities, generating clean air by pedaling, and creating impact on the larger urban scale.” + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde and Wikimedia Commons

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Daan Roosegaarde introduces smog-sucking, air-cleaning bikes

San Francisco bike shop lets you trade in car for e-bike

April 17, 2017 by  
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A new bike store in the Bay Area of San Francisco has come up with an interesting way to get people to reduce their transportation footprint. Electric bikes make a great alternative for commutes in cities like San Francisco , but many people find the hefty price tag of an e-bike prohibitive. The New Wheel solves that by allowing patrons to trade in their old vehicles for an e-bike – and a healthier lifestyle. San Francisco’s 74 hills don’t make for pleasant bike commutes – unless you’ve got an e-bike to help you. The New Wheel is making it easier for people to obtain e-bikes. Patrons can bring in their old cars, and the bike shop will take notes on the car’s condition and mileage, and send the information to Roadster.com . 48 hours later they make patrons an offer, and will even come pick up the old car and deliver a check. Ideally patrons will spend some of that money on an e-bike at The New Wheel, but aren’t required to do so. Related: Propella’s lightweight electric bike rides like a regular bike Shop co-founder Brett Thurber told Fast Company, “We’ve always been in the business of trying to figure out ways to get people out of cars and onto bikes. With all the traffic and even parking, it’s not convenient anymore, in many instances, to own a car. I think the thing we’re up against is just habit.” The New Wheel has adopted other ideas from the car industry to help people get used to the idea of owning a bike as their main vehicle. They offer financing for e-bikes and allow people to trade in their old e-bikes. They even offer roadside assistance; if bikers get a flat tire The New Wheel will pick them up twice a year and give them a free ride up to 30 miles. + The New Wheel Via Fast Company Images via Pixabay and Tom Lowenthal on Flickr

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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

The world’s "most compact folding bike" fits in your carry-on luggage

January 16, 2017 by  
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Imagine a bike that folds down so small you can take it on an airplane in your carry-on luggage. It exists – and it’s called the Kwiggle . The sleek, city-ready vehicle designed by German engineer Karsten Bettin can be folded up and stowed under a subway seat, in a car trunk, or even in an airplane’s overhead compartment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6My3Xd40YI4 The Kwiggle is the “most compact folding bike in the world,” according to the company . The unique vehicle allows riders to speed through cities upright, and it can be folded in a snappy 10 seconds. The bike weighs in at about 19 pounds, and it can hit a top speed of nearly 20 miles per hour. And it folds up small enough to fit into a 55 by 40 by 25 centimeter carry-on bag, or a 1.8 by 1.3 by 0.8 foot carry-on. Related: World’s lightest folding bike weighs less than a watermelon A wrought alloy bike frame makes the Kwiggle stable and tough, and its aluminum wheels are highly corrosion resistant. An adjustable seat allows riders from 4’6 to 6’2 to ride the Kwiggle with ease. The upright riding position has other benefits beyond a higher point of view. According to the company, orthopedic specialists love the Kwiggle. The bike “uniquely supports the mobility of the back and prevents tension in the should and neck area,” the company says on their website . That makes the bike not only a perfect fit for swift urban travel, but for exercising as well. Bettin has developed the Kwiggle over seven years, and he’s now selling the bike on Kickstarter . Backers can snag a one-speed Kwiggle for 1,240 Euros, or around $1,315. Two-speed Kwiggles start at 1,340 Euros or about $1,421. You can check out the campaign here . + Kwiggle Via Treehugger Images via Kwiggle Facebook and screenshot

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The world’s "most compact folding bike" fits in your carry-on luggage

World’s largest CO2 sink stores 27,000 grams of carbon per square meter

January 16, 2017 by  
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Natural areas that capture and store carbon on Earth are becoming an increasingly precious resource, and researchers may have found the mother of all of these in an unlikely place – a small bay in Denmark they claim holds a world-record amount of carbon . According to Phys.org , seagrass and underwater meadows have the capacity to store large amounts of carbon dioxide that has garnered the attention of scientists looking to find ways to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. While meadows of this kind of seagrass are found throughout the world, scientists have pinpointed one meadow in Denmark, which they say is the most efficient. The meadow is located in a bay called Thurøbund on the island of Thurø in the South Funen Archipelago of Denmark , a place where Professor Mariann Holmer of the University of Southern Denmark says has special conditions that add to its carbon capturing capabilities. Related: Breakthrough technology turns coal plant CO2 into baking powder Many seagrass meadows around the world have been investigated. Recently, I was part of a study investigating and measuring carbon storing capabilities of 10 seagrass meadows in the Baltic Sea. No place comes even close to Thurøbund,” says Professor Holmer . “It is a very protected bay—and also very productive. So the seagrass thrives and when the plants die, they remain in the meadow. They are buried in the sediment, and in this process, their carbon content gets stored with them. In Finland, the seagrass grows in open coast areas, which means that the dead plants are much more often washed out to sea, taking the carbon with them. Once the carbon has been taken out to the sea, it is unclear what happens to it.” To put it into perspective with some numbers, Thurøbund stores 27,000 grams of carbon per square meter, and the highest numbers found in other locations around the world have never been more than 10,000 to 11,000 grams per meter squared. Via Phys.org Images via Arnaud Abadie and James St. John , Flickr Creative Commons

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World’s largest CO2 sink stores 27,000 grams of carbon per square meter

Critics outraged by UK plan to build 1.8 mile tunnel under Stonehenge

January 16, 2017 by  
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One of Britain’s most well-known archaeological landmarks could soon have a tunnel carved below it. The government unveiled plans for a 1.8 mile tunnel running under Stonehenge as part of a $2.4 billion infrastructure investment, hoping to slash traffic plaguing the area. But not everyone is happy with the government’s plan; some experts believe a tunnel could destroy undiscovered artifacts. The British government is planning a $2.4 billion investment for the country’s A303 road, hoping to upgrade it into a “high quality, high performing route” that will improve trips for millions of people, according to the Department for Transport’s statement on the project. Part of the upgrades include a tunnel passing beneath the famous site. Officials say the tunnel would slash congestion and bolster the local economy. Related: Archaeologists reveal fresh details about 4,500-year-old “New Stonehenge” English Heritage , the charity managing more than 400 historic sites, backs the tunnel. UNESCO , which in 1986 designated Stonehenge as a World Heritage Site, say they could get behind the idea, but have not yet viewed final plans. Historian Tom Holland fears a tunnel could destroy the key historical site. He told CNN, “Recent finds show this place is the birthplace of Britain, and its origins go back to the resettlement of this island after the Ice Age. It staggers belief that we can inject enormous quantities of concrete to build a tunnel that will last at best 100 years and therefore decimate a landscape that has lasted for millennia.” Local chamber of commerce president and Amesbury Museum chairman Andy Rhind-Tutt is also against the tunnel, saying it won’t even really improve traffic and will “put a time bomb of irreversible destruction on one of the world’s greatest untouched landscapes.” The public can comment on the tunnel plan until March 5, and the government plans to announce the preferred route later in 2017. Construction could start in 2020, according to a Highways England spokesperson, and could be completed in four years. Via CNN Images via Good Free Photos and Pixabay

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Critics outraged by UK plan to build 1.8 mile tunnel under Stonehenge

Norway builds unique Bicycle Hotel to encourage more commuters to travel on two wheels

November 30, 2016 by  
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Norway’s “best cycling city” has added a new feature to make two-wheeled transport even easier for local residents and visitors. The new Bicycle Hotel (or the native “sykkel hotell”) adjacent to the main square of the train station in Lillestrøm (near Oslo) will give bikes a cozy space to bunk up while riders are off in the city. The project, commissioned by Norwegian National Railways as a public space, offers just over 5,000 square feet of bike storage space that is protected from the elements. The aim is to make cycling even easier for people commuting around the city, and bicycle hotels such as this one are popping up near railway stations throughout the bike-friendly nation.

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Norway builds unique Bicycle Hotel to encourage more commuters to travel on two wheels

The new solar-powered Wheelys 5 bicycle cafe serves up coffee and much more

September 29, 2016 by  
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https://youtu.be/mJinfBpfoMI The original Wheely’s café was little more than a humble coffee-making box on a bike. But, the company’s dedication to sustainable products and efficient design led to 550 cafés popping up in over 65 countries. The latest Wheelys cafe branches out from selling strictly coffee to act as a full-service, high-tech mobile kitchen. Related: Tiny Human-Powered Wheely’s Cafe Serves Coffee Brewed by the Sun The Wheelys 5 is decked out in cutting-edge technology. A solar panel on top the cart provides clean renewable energy, and built-in LED lights illuminate the cafe at night. The kitchen offers a 3 burner gas stove, running water, a hand sink, and a built-in display, and the cafe can event be outfitted with Wi-Fi. Despite all that tech, Wheelys is still a small organic business based on down-to-earth sustainable values. It’s still your friendly neighborhood cafe, just with more stuff. + Wheely’s 5 Open Source Bike Cafe

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The new solar-powered Wheelys 5 bicycle cafe serves up coffee and much more

Budnitz unveils the lightest electric bike in the world

September 12, 2016 by  
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Electric bikes make morning commutes easier, more enjoyable, and less sweaty than regular old cycles. In fact, people double the distance they bike each day when using an e-bike. Tapping into the need for zero emission transportation, Budnitz Bicycles has launched the world’s lightest electric bike , which is made from an advanced titanium alloy. The Model E can reach a speed of 15 mph with electric assist for up to 100 miles. The bluetooth interface powers the motor and allows riders to switch between multiple modes, but there is always the option to pedal one’s way to work. A set of slope sensors provide extra assist on particularly steep hills, and an antitheft “total lockdown” feature is also available. Related: 6 cycling accessories every bike commuter needs The custom-made bikes are built in Vermont from a titanium alloy that is “as light as aluminum, [and] as strong as steel.” The only feature that may worry instead of wow is the price – the Model E starts at $3,950 USD with specialized frame coloring starting at an additional $500 and a multitude of other optional add-ons. For most, the bike may be a wish-list item, rather than a practical buy. + Budnitz Bicycles Via The Verge Images via Budnitz Bicycles

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Budnitz unveils the lightest electric bike in the world

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