Need a bike helmet? ‘Grow It Yourself’ with mycelium

January 20, 2021 by  
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Designers are increasingly turning to alternatives to plastic, and one popular replacement comes from fungus. Experts are experimenting with mycelium for everything from construction materials to fashion and now sporting equipment, such as bicycle helmets. A new project allows the consumer to ‘Grow It Yourself’ to avoid plastic without sacrificing durability. Created by NOS Design and Agustin Otegui in collaboration with Diego Mata and Axel Gómez-Ortigoza, the Grow it Yourself Helmet is 100% compostable , breathable and impact-resistant. Related: World’s first “living coffin” made of mycelium is used in a burial Made from a combination of hay and mycelium, the helmet literally grows from natural materials that will decompose back into the soil in about one month after the helmet’s lifecycle. NOS Design developed the idea in conjunction with Polybion, the company credited with developing a foam-like product called Fungicel made from mycelium. Not only is the material eco-friendly, but used in a helmet, it offers impact-resistance to protect the rider without the environmentally hazardous, petroleum-based plastic foam typically found in helmets. In addition, mycelium is affordable and naturally fire-resistant. The product is aimed toward all users but was developed especially for children who quickly outgrow helmets, perhaps requiring several before reaching adulthood. In addition, the Grow it Yourself Helmet provides an alternative for commuters who rely on community bike lending systems that don’t offer personal protection. Mycelium is a web-like, branching system of filaments called hyphae. The mycelium-composite manufacturing cycle starts with this naturally occurring, vegetative part of a fungus . While naturally sourced, it can also provide jobs and economic growth in rural areas that have space to propagate the fungus. In fact, it can be cultivated in your own backyard, allowing you to truly Grow it Yourself. Mycelium isn’t new to the product development market. In fact, it’s quickly gaining attention within the construction industry as an alternative to cement. It’s also ‘growing’ in popularity for use in packaging, acoustic panels and interior design materials, among other products. + NOS  Via Yanko Design Images via NOS

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Need a bike helmet? ‘Grow It Yourself’ with mycelium

Rolloe is a bike wheel that filters outdoor air while you cycle

January 5, 2021 by  
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While ‘rolling’ through the streets of London, Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) 2020 award winner Kristen Tapping came up with the idea for Rolloe, a bicycle wheel that filters outdoor air pollution . With an understanding that the motion of bike wheels creates kinetic energy, Tapping , a third-year product design student from London South Bank University, began developing a prototype out of cardboard cutouts. Using smoke from incense and a basic fan, she sampled myriad variations. Related: Blix Packa, the electric bike that wants to replace your car Although the idea is scalable to a number of applications, Tapping started with bike wheels because they are similar to the existing technology in air filters . To avoid “recreating the wheel,” Tapping experimented with a variety of techniques to produce the vacuum and expulsion required to pull the dirty air into the device and release the filtered air out through the other side. The clean air stream is directed toward the rider’s face and surrounding area. With the final design structure in place, Tapping fitted loofah, HEPA and activated carbon filters to capture large and small particulates as well as noxious gases from the air. From there, the concept is simple. While in motion, the fins pull air through four layers of filtration, cleaning the air while the rider cycles through the country or polluted city. While anyone can use Rolloe, the main target market is currently bike commuters and community bike share applications. As an added incentive to help improve air quality , Rolloe will connect to an app that allows riders to share distance information and set goals. Participants can then be rewarded with credits to local businesses based on the amount of miles they peddle. According to Tapping, “If 10% of all London cyclists had one Rolloe installed on their bike, they would filter approximately 266,865m³ of air — 20 times the size of Trafalgar Square.” The filters can be cleaned and reused. The parts are also designed to be easily taken apart for assembly or disassembly and recycling at the end of their lifespan. Rolloe is currently in development and aims to be commercially available by early 2022. The final product will be made from recycled plastic materials using injection molding. Tapping also has plans to create a rear-wheel Rolloe for twice the filtering power per ride. + Rolloe Images via Kristen Tapping

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Rolloe is a bike wheel that filters outdoor air while you cycle

In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Avant Cycle Cafe builds community

February 6, 2020 by  
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It all started with a flat tire. A man cycling through Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was charmed by the historic town but really wished it had a bike shop to fix his flat. This cycling mishap has morphed into Avant Cycle Cafe , a community hub that combines a full-service bike shop with excellent coffee and pastries. “Cyclists have a natural inclination to coffee,” managers Ann Esarco and Andrew Gruber told Inhabitat. “When the two worlds came together, it was just a natural fit.” The city of Lake Geneva sits 10 miles north of the Illinois state line in southeastern Wisconsin. Its population of about 7,700 swells in summer, when droves of people from Chicago come for boating and other warm-weather sports. The architecture is another draw. The area saw an upsurge in construction at the end of the 19th century, and many Victorian mansions still stand. This makes the town and environs a compelling place to explore on foot or by bike. Local sourcing at Avant Cycle Cafe The cafe’s menu focuses on hot drinks and treats. Avant Cycle Cafe serves cider made from locally grown apples and has a case full of baked goods. Don’t expect to just order a regular coffee. You can choose from drip, pour over or French press, plus the full range of espresso drinks. You might also be surprised to find that a cafe in a small town in the famous dairy state of Wisconsin offers almond, soy, oat and coconut milk alternatives . Related: San Francisco bike shop lets you trade in car for e-bike This is no ordinary coffee, either. Avant Cycle Cafe sources its beans from Lake Geneva Coffee Roastery . Owner Jeremiah Fox started roasting his own coffee on his stovetop in 2012. Now, the coffee entrepreneur, who is visually impaired, uses his other senses — hearing, taste and smell — to fine-tune his commercial roast profiles. Talking timers and special tactile points on the controls of his machinery allow him to adjust the air flow and temperature for his small-batch coffee. Fox uses electricity for a clean air process, versus roasting with gas, which pollutes both the beans and the air with hydrogen sulfide. According to Fox, his process also makes for coffee that’s easier on customers’ stomachs. Building a cycling community Tourism is seasonal. While some people do visit in winter, summer is high season for Lake Geneva. Avant Cycle Cafe values its summer customers and is happy when they return for more coffee and another bike rental. Both tourists and locals join a series of summer Sunday breakfast rides, where groups pedal together to area restaurants, diners and cafes . The rides are casual with a no-drop policy, meaning nobody gets left behind. Once, the group rode out to see Fox’s coffee roasting operation in the nearby town of Elkhorn. The rides are usually 12 to 15 miles each way. Avant Cycle Cafe believes in cultivating local community year-round, not just when the sun is shining and tourists fill hotel beds. “Our locals are fantastic,” Esarco and Gruber said. They even have one customer who comes in three times a day. In addition to the cafe and bike shop, an upstairs area called The Loft is a rustic, bright and cozy room open to customers for studying and relaxing. It can also be reserved for private events like engagement parties, bridal showers and youth group meetings. This year, Avant Cycle Cafe is hosting a weekly Tuesday night program called 13 Weeks of Winter. “It’s an effort to engage the community in providing entertaining and enriching activities when most people aren’t even thinking of cycling,” Esarco and Gruber explained. While some topics are very on-point, such as a talk by cycling icon Lon Haldeman, an intro to bike maintenance and learning opportunities about the history of coffee, others draw on the community’s wider expertise. Local art gallery ReVive Studio will lead a mosaic pendant class in March. Another night, people can come for Reiki healing. The Chili for Charity contest brought together 10 local restaurants and recently raised more than $1,000 for local organizations. As Esarco and Gruber put it, “Cycling and coffee is just the meeting ground. The community expands out from there.” What’s next for biking in Lake Geneva? Workers at Avant Cycle Cafe are actively making Lake Geneva a better biking town. They’ve begun working with the national Rails to Trails Conservancy, which takes disused railroad tracks and converts them to multi-use trails for hiking and cycling. They are also lobbying elected officials to incorporate bikes into urban planning . “Our aim is to include a marked bike lane on the renovations to Highway 120 from just outside Lake Geneva to the White River State Trail ,” Esarco and Gruber said. This 19-mile trail follows a former rail corridor and is only a few miles from Lake Geneva, so a marked bike lane would greatly improve safe access. Avant Cycle Cafe just started selling and servicing e-bikes , which could give some would-be cyclists an extra boost of confidence. This summer, the cafe will also be offering private, guided tours around the lake. “It’s been wonderful to be in a position to get more people on bikes, having fun and riding around beautiful Lake Geneva,” Esarco and Gruber said. “We want to make Lake Geneva the place to be for cyclists.” + Avant Cycle Cafe Photography by Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Avant Cycle Cafe builds community

In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Avant Cycle Cafe builds community

February 6, 2020 by  
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It all started with a flat tire. A man cycling through Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was charmed by the historic town but really wished it had a bike shop to fix his flat. This cycling mishap has morphed into Avant Cycle Cafe , a community hub that combines a full-service bike shop with excellent coffee and pastries. “Cyclists have a natural inclination to coffee,” managers Ann Esarco and Andrew Gruber told Inhabitat. “When the two worlds came together, it was just a natural fit.” The city of Lake Geneva sits 10 miles north of the Illinois state line in southeastern Wisconsin. Its population of about 7,700 swells in summer, when droves of people from Chicago come for boating and other warm-weather sports. The architecture is another draw. The area saw an upsurge in construction at the end of the 19th century, and many Victorian mansions still stand. This makes the town and environs a compelling place to explore on foot or by bike. Local sourcing at Avant Cycle Cafe The cafe’s menu focuses on hot drinks and treats. Avant Cycle Cafe serves cider made from locally grown apples and has a case full of baked goods. Don’t expect to just order a regular coffee. You can choose from drip, pour over or French press, plus the full range of espresso drinks. You might also be surprised to find that a cafe in a small town in the famous dairy state of Wisconsin offers almond, soy, oat and coconut milk alternatives . Related: San Francisco bike shop lets you trade in car for e-bike This is no ordinary coffee, either. Avant Cycle Cafe sources its beans from Lake Geneva Coffee Roastery . Owner Jeremiah Fox started roasting his own coffee on his stovetop in 2012. Now, the coffee entrepreneur, who is visually impaired, uses his other senses — hearing, taste and smell — to fine-tune his commercial roast profiles. Talking timers and special tactile points on the controls of his machinery allow him to adjust the air flow and temperature for his small-batch coffee. Fox uses electricity for a clean air process, versus roasting with gas, which pollutes both the beans and the air with hydrogen sulfide. According to Fox, his process also makes for coffee that’s easier on customers’ stomachs. Building a cycling community Tourism is seasonal. While some people do visit in winter, summer is high season for Lake Geneva. Avant Cycle Cafe values its summer customers and is happy when they return for more coffee and another bike rental. Both tourists and locals join a series of summer Sunday breakfast rides, where groups pedal together to area restaurants, diners and cafes . The rides are casual with a no-drop policy, meaning nobody gets left behind. Once, the group rode out to see Fox’s coffee roasting operation in the nearby town of Elkhorn. The rides are usually 12 to 15 miles each way. Avant Cycle Cafe believes in cultivating local community year-round, not just when the sun is shining and tourists fill hotel beds. “Our locals are fantastic,” Esarco and Gruber said. They even have one customer who comes in three times a day. In addition to the cafe and bike shop, an upstairs area called The Loft is a rustic, bright and cozy room open to customers for studying and relaxing. It can also be reserved for private events like engagement parties, bridal showers and youth group meetings. This year, Avant Cycle Cafe is hosting a weekly Tuesday night program called 13 Weeks of Winter. “It’s an effort to engage the community in providing entertaining and enriching activities when most people aren’t even thinking of cycling,” Esarco and Gruber explained. While some topics are very on-point, such as a talk by cycling icon Lon Haldeman, an intro to bike maintenance and learning opportunities about the history of coffee, others draw on the community’s wider expertise. Local art gallery ReVive Studio will lead a mosaic pendant class in March. Another night, people can come for Reiki healing. The Chili for Charity contest brought together 10 local restaurants and recently raised more than $1,000 for local organizations. As Esarco and Gruber put it, “Cycling and coffee is just the meeting ground. The community expands out from there.” What’s next for biking in Lake Geneva? Workers at Avant Cycle Cafe are actively making Lake Geneva a better biking town. They’ve begun working with the national Rails to Trails Conservancy, which takes disused railroad tracks and converts them to multi-use trails for hiking and cycling. They are also lobbying elected officials to incorporate bikes into urban planning . “Our aim is to include a marked bike lane on the renovations to Highway 120 from just outside Lake Geneva to the White River State Trail ,” Esarco and Gruber said. This 19-mile trail follows a former rail corridor and is only a few miles from Lake Geneva, so a marked bike lane would greatly improve safe access. Avant Cycle Cafe just started selling and servicing e-bikes , which could give some would-be cyclists an extra boost of confidence. This summer, the cafe will also be offering private, guided tours around the lake. “It’s been wonderful to be in a position to get more people on bikes, having fun and riding around beautiful Lake Geneva,” Esarco and Gruber said. “We want to make Lake Geneva the place to be for cyclists.” + Avant Cycle Cafe Photography by Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Avant Cycle Cafe builds community

Repurposed shipping containers turned into solar-powered Cycle Hubs

June 4, 2019 by  
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Bustling urban areas around the world are seeing a major increase in bicyclists cruising through their streets, some of them on very expensive electric bikes. To offer extra security for these pricey rides, savvy company Cyclehoop has come up with the an innovative solar-powered bicycle storage center made out of repurposed shipping containers — Cycle Hub. A leader in the world of bicycle parking solutions and infrastructures, London-based Cyclehoop is constantly working to provide cyclists with secure storage and proper infrastructure. They work in a wide range of products, from locks and racks to solar-powered riding paths. Related: An elegant car center in Thailand is made from 8 repurposed shipping containers The company’s most recent addition is the Container Cycle Hub, a repurposed shipping container that safely stores bicycles. The cube-shaped container is small enough that it just takes up a single car parking space, but is still spacious enough to hold 24 bikes. The interior of the bike hub is installed with “gas assisted two tier racks” that pull out so that the bike can be easily wheeled into place before being elevated up to the top rack. The hub’s sliding doors open and close with a mechanical lock for easy, keyless access. The doors are made out of perforated panels and allow natural light to filter through the interior, but are opaque enough to reduce the visibility from the outside. The containers are also equipped with solar-powered motion-sensor lights for added visibility and security. + Cyclehoop Via Treehugger Images via Cyclehoop

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Repurposed shipping containers turned into solar-powered Cycle Hubs

France moves to reshape infrastructure and promote bicycle transportation

September 17, 2018 by  
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France plans to launch a major endeavor to triple the amount of cyclists on its streets within the next seven years. The action will include building better bike lanes, providing financial incentives for commuters to switch to bicycle transportation and cracking down on bike theft. The plan was announced by the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at a speech in Nantes, where he revealed that cycling accounts for only 3 percent of transportation in the country. Despite hosting the acclaimed Tour de France competition, France has fallen far behind other EU nations in bicycle transportation. In the Netherlands, cycling accounts for almost a third of all transportation, backed by a strong cycling culture as well as organized routes and laws that make Dutch riders feel safe on the roads. “Fifty million euros per year will not turn France into the Netherlands, but it is a start,” said Olivier Schneider, head of the French Bike Users Federation (FUB). Related: How to make American cities bike-friendly France’s total fund for cycling infrastructure over the next seven years amounts to 350 million euros ($410 million). “We plan to triple the share of cycling to 9 percent by 2024, when we host the Olympics,” Philippe said. “The discontinuity on the bike lane maps creates insecurity and discourages people from cycling.” Currently, bike lanes in French cities only run short distances and are not safely connected to one another at major intersections or heavy traffic zones. In addition to addressing these incomplete routes, the government will restructure one-way streets to include two-way bike routes, saving commuters inconvenience and time. Converters to cycling will be rewarded yearly with 200 euro ($233) tax-free stipends from the French government, and many private companies are looking to double that amount, providing their own 400 ($467) euro tax-free rewards each year for commuters. Companies are also being mandated by the government to allocate proper bicycle parking facilities for their employees, a feature that train hubs around the country will also boast. To deter bike thieves from suspending the country’s progress, new bikes will be subject to a mandatory identification engraving system, which will make it easier for burglars to be apprehended and fined. The French government will also introduce cycling lessons in all secondary schools by 2022 to ensure that future generations embrace the cycling culture and respect for a clean environment. Via Reuters Image via Veroyama

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France moves to reshape infrastructure and promote bicycle transportation

Huge graveyards of abandoned bikes are piling up in China after sharing craze reaches peak

April 2, 2018 by  
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Bike-sharing took off in China , where many city dwellers battle smog and bikes offered a potential clean alternative. Now, without the infrastructure to support them, and an over-saturation in the sharing market, abandoned bikes have piled into massive graveyards in cities like Shanghai and Beijing  – forcing us to ask: are bicycles polluting metropolises they were intended to aid? The Atlantic reported  bike sharing growth surpassed demand and  Deutsche Welle (DW) said  that bikes are piling up into massive graveyards. 16 to 18 million bikes hit streets in China from around 60 companies, TIME said , and most cities weren’t prepared to handle the influx. There aren’t any set docking stations or bike stands, so most bikes are just parked on the side of the road, according to the publication. Back in December, Fortune reported the co-founder of bike-share startup Ofo , Zhang Siding, said, “The bike-sharing phenomenon has grown very quickly in the last few years, but the layout and infrastructure [of] cities in China aren’t something that can be changed as quickly to accommodate this new trend.” Related: China’s largest bike share launches air-purifying bicycles for 20 million citizens Bike graveyards have grown as some bike-sharing companies fold, and their surplus bicycles sprawl in vacant lots. DW said police now have to gather unwanted vehicles from roads and parks, and pile them in fields out of city centers. According to Fortune, last year Ofo launched a credit score system: users would be penalized for antisocial behavior like traffic violations or bike dumping, and rewarded for positive behavior, like reporting damaged or lost bikes. If users’ points were all deducted, they’d be barred from the service. They were also reportedly working with interest groups in cities to come up with new strategies — for example, in Guangzhou, traffic wardens or local groups can send feedback to the company if bikes are accumulating and Zhang said, “we’ll send people down to deal with it.” Health and air quality benefits are still present with bike-sharing, and The Atlantic said the trend is still popular, and bike-sharing will likely keep growing — just maybe at a slightly more sustainable rate. Via The Atlantic , TIME , Deutsche Welle , and Fortune Images via Philip Cohen on Flickr , Chris on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Huge graveyards of abandoned bikes are piling up in China after sharing craze reaches peak

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

18 Tech-tastic Green Gadget Gifts

November 28, 2016 by  
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With the ubiquity of smartphone technology and tablets, there’s really a little bit of gadget geek in every person on your holiday gift shopping list. Whether your loved ones’ wider interests lie in music, photography, gardening or cycling, we’ve got you covered for green gadget gift ideas for the upcoming season. From a reusable cardboard smartphone amplifier at just $10 — perfect for the office Secret Santa or hard-to-buy-for teenagers — to a splurge on an electric bicycle that will knock somebody’s socks off, there’s something on the list for every budget too. Click through to see them all. GREEN GIFTS FOR GADGET GEEKS >

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18 Tech-tastic Green Gadget Gifts

Tempus launches stylish e-bikes modeled after vintage caf racers

October 14, 2016 by  
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With an aircraft-grade steel frame, leather saddle, and low-slung handlebars, the CR-T1 captures the vintage style perfectly. There’s just one small difference between the e-bike and the motorcycle that inspired it – the “gas tank” on the bike actually houses the electronics that control its 1 kilowatt motor and 48V lithium ion battery. The battery, naturally, can be plugged in and recharged, which takes about four hours. An LCD screen on the handlebars tracks both the speed of the bike and the amount of power left in the battery. Though the bike may look like a racing vehicle, it’s capped at just 20 miles per hour – which is legally required in the US for a vehicle to be classified as an e-bike. (Anything faster requires a driver’s license and insurance.) However, there is a speed override that will allow riders to go up to 30 mph for a trip around a local track. The battery has a range of about 24 miles – however, if the battery dies, it can simply be pedaled like a normal bike, so there’s no need to worry about being stranded. Related: Swap-in wheel converts any bike into an electric within 60 seconds Retailing at $3,000, the bike may be out of reach for some.  However, those who have the funds will also receive a matching vintage-style helmet, and Tempus plans to also offer a rack to allow riders to carry items with them on trips. The company is currently taking orders for Spring 2017 production, with bikes expected to arrive in September 2017. + Tempus Electric Bikes

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Tempus launches stylish e-bikes modeled after vintage caf racers

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