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Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Archive for the 'bike friendly' Category

Green, Yellow, Red

Posted by @teeheehee on 25th September 2009

ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX: Er, man, like what’s your name?
MAN: I don’t know. Why, do you think I ought to have one? It seems odd to give a bundle of vague sensory perceptions a name.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Well, this particular bundle of sensory perceptions made some observations this morning:

  1. There are now wind turbines on top of a building on Western Ave next to Soldiers Field Road (parking garage, hotel?) – here. Anyone know more about these?
  2. There is a section of path along Soldiers Field Road that I call the “canopy of trees.” This stretch of the path is my favorite and it’s starting to display autumnal colors. I am preparing myself for a beautiful couple of weeks of crisper morning rides.

Half green and red apple.

Half green and red apple.

As the cold sets in the months-long progression of deciduous life transforms from the green to yellow to red, culminating into the particularly pretty “fall foliage” that is a New England spectacle. I find it amusing that the cycle is repeated in urban transportation: the green to yellow to red of traffic lights, reduced from the months required in nature to the seconds or minutes that our high-speed lifestyles demand. When Autumn hits and the foliage turns red it is as if they implore observers to halt and admire the scenery, and why should it be any different on the streets at a red light? Especially on a bicycle.

This particular bundle of sensory perceptions would like to make some other observations today.
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Transportation Energy Intensity

Posted by @teeheehee on 3rd September 2009

For those who are interested in “green” ideas I encourage you to check out this write-up by Alex Wilson (Green Building Advisor) entitled “Transportation Energy Intensity” of Buildings. Via: TreeHugger

I wanted to come up with a metric for the transportation energy use associated with buildings that was parallel to the metric used to measure the energy intensity of a building–for heating, cooling, lighting, computers and other uses. This is commonly reported in thousands of British Thermal Units, or Btus, of energy per square foot per year (kBtu/sf-yr). The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the average energy intensity of office buildings in the U.S. is 93 kBtu/sf-yr. If I could calculate the average energy consumption for commuting using this same metric, I’d be able to show how the commuting energy use compared with the direct building energy use. I called this value “transportation energy intensity.”

How Americans Get to Work

How Americans Get to Work

The results were really interesting. Using these admittedly crude assumptions, I found that office building energy use for commuting averages 121 kBtu/sf-yr. That’s 30% more energy than an average office building uses itself. So it takes more energy to get to and from our office buildings than those buildings use directly!

So, buildings are supposed to be more efficient, but we spend off so much energy getting to these buildings that even the most noble attempt to “green” a living or office space may be countermanded by our transportation expenditures. This is definitely something to consider for improved sustainability.

Alex concluded brilliantly:

For me, even though I live in a rural area, seven miles from my office, this understanding of transportation energy intensity inspires me to get on my bike and enjoy that invigorating (and sometimes mentally productive) ride to work.

Here, here! Riding a bike to/from home/work is an excellent move towards improving one’s own energy intensity – and you’ll develop some fantastic leg muscles in the process.

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One Parking Space = ? Folding Bikes

Posted by @teeheehee on 27th August 2009

Earlier this week I saw this on Gizmodo, and today again on Treehugger. One parking space, if filled with folding bikes in their folded postion, can be packed to the count of one Douglas Adams answer: 42 bikes.

Lookie here:

42 folded bikes in one parking space

42 folded bikes in one parking space

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It’s All About Performance

Posted by @teeheehee on 13th August 2009

I got a good chuckle from this music video, it’s not the catchiest tune but it’s all in good humor:

Posted in bike friendly, film, wtf | No Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing Vendor Selected

Posted by @teeheehee on 12th August 2009

Just got this link from a coworker: Vendor selected for Boston area bike-sharing program. For a peek at what we might expect, check out their website for the Montreal program.

With a vendor selected I wonder how long it will be before we start to see some bikes on the streets.

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Ask Not What Boston Can Do For You

Posted by @teeheehee on 7th August 2009

An article today on Boston.com, Boston’s unruly riders, challenges red light runners, sidewalk riders, and wrong-way infringers. Here’s the summary:

Boston has launched a high-profile campaign to become a friendlier city for cyclists. Now the question is whether bicyclists will become friendlier to Boston.

There is the usual “discussion” page which seems surprisingly tame in the initial posts (I’m only up to page 2.) Anyone recognize themself in the video? Also, I had thought Nicole made it well known she didn’t like being called a ‘czar’. Why does everyone still call her that, then?

Posted in bike friendly, news media, safety, wrong | 2 Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing

Posted by @teeheehee on 29th July 2009

There’s an article today on Boston.com introducing a bike sharing proposal. (There’s also a sweet video with Nicole Freedman performing a small track stand in rainy conditions while waiting in traffic.)

From the article:

Over the next few weeks, officials expect to name the company with which they would negotiate a contract on how to run the system. They hope the program will lead to tens of thousands of people saddling up in Boston daily.

Bike sharing is the next step. The city envisions making available between 1,000 and 3,000 bikes at stations 300 or 400 yards apart, located at subway and bus stops, main squares, tourist sites, and across city neighborhoods.

This makes me wonder, would I ride my bike around as much if there were publicly accessible ones available? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, either way I’ll be very happy that a program like this will be made available.

Posted in bike friendly, news media, personal view, traffic | No Comments »

Boston Stolen Bike Report Service, Tied To Boston Police and Others

Posted by @teeheehee on 15th July 2009

Just wanted to spread the word about something I just saw on the Boston PD twitter page.

Stolen Bikes Boston is a City of Boston service for registering your bike with the city and reporting if your bike has been stolen. These reports get sent to the Boston Police, local bike shops, hospital and school security, and anyone generally following the new Twitter account or Facebook account. There is also a way to report if you have seen a bike that has been stolen to help it get back to its rightful owner.

And remember, it’s important to lock your bike up sanely to deter theft. Here are some examples of how not to lock your bike up:
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Bulgarians Don’t Like Peanut-butter

Posted by @teeheehee on 12th July 2009

Happy (belated) Birthday, America!

Last year I hiked some of the Presidential Mountains in New Hampshire in recognition of our Declaration of Independence . This year I joined a group for camping and hiking in the Adirondacks, and later visited my parents for a couple of days to catch the fireworks at Boldt Castle in the 1000 Islands.

When I first heard of the plans for the camping trip began I was overjoyed. I grew up in the northern foothills of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. This is a familiar area to me and one that I missed many opportunities while growing up and living around.

It is impossible to grow up where I did without some degree of camping; however, my family tended to stop outdoor activities there and not participate in many of the other mountain-based experiences: hiking, rafting, skiing/snowboarding, snowmobiling, hunting, or cycling.

My experiences growing up with biking there ended when I was able to start driving a car. The nearest real grocery store was 10+ miles away, as was the nearest movie theater and bowling alley. The farthest I rode a bike back then was less than 10 miles in a single trip, and it might have been to get to the baseball field for practice during those questing couple of years where I tried every sport my school had to offer. (I stuck with soccer throughout high school, but even so I have never really been much into sports.) I only biked around town – in hindsight I see that I missed an opportunity to get ridiculously strong at hill climbing.
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You Look Like You Could Use a Helmet, and a Hug

Posted by @teeheehee on 28th April 2009

If only this were real. And everywhere.

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