Bike News Roundup: Really old photos of people doing freestyle tricks

It’s the Thursday Bike News Roundup! If I missed any fun or important bicycle-related stories this week, be sure to add them in the comments.

The Scientific American found some really old photos of people doing freestyle fixie tricks.

I can’t even imagine a $125,000 commute (over ten years). But many people in America have one, even if they don’t realize that’s how much its costing them. Lifehacker also looked at true commute costs.

Car <3 Bike

Mayor McGinn is now an honorary member of the Husky cycling team.

Occupy SF is running in part on bike power.

Someone lost a Capitol Hill sidewalk.

This is the sound of thousands of cycling hearts breaking in unison across the country.

Feds give $900k for downtown streetcar study.

How to move beyond the bike backlash.

A New Zealand bus ad shows a safe passing distance in 1/1 scale.

Hmm, something is wrong with our nation’s spending priorities.

Finally, a way to listen to vinyl while biking.

Daniel Mozzochi, who struck and killed Douglas Lefever in Interbay earlier this month, has pleaded not guilty to vehicle homicide and felony hit-and-run. Lefever, who was in a wheelchair, was crossing in a crosswalk when Mozzochi allegedly ran a red light and struck him. Witnesses said Mozzochi stopped briefly before backing up, turning around and fleeing the scene.

My God, who could live in a place like that?

Another reason to ride a bike: Climate change could drive coffee to extinction.

Giant releases good parody of GM’s recent “Reality Sucks” ad. By the way, even Motor Trend thinks the GM ad campaign was boneheaded.

Plus, GM used to like bikes, as revealed in this rather bizarre video from the 50s (via Copenhagenize):


I like bikes… by yoruse

The Bicycle Alliance is concerned about a sub-par design plan for the Olympic Discovery Trail.

The first open house on Bellevue’s new Downtown Transportation Plan is November 1.

Transportation Enhancements make it past an amendment from John McCain.

A good overlook of potential transit spending in Proposition 1.

Speaking of transportation funding, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing a $2 parking tax increase to pay for transit.

Results from the recent Cascade Bicycle Club election.

How to bike in the rain and still be stylish (spoiler alert: wear wool)

I love this:

This is an open thread.

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12 Responses to Bike News Roundup: Really old photos of people doing freestyle tricks

  1. Gary says:

    The cross walk prank is priceless!

  2. doug in seattle says:

    Go to the thrift store — you can get merino wool sweaters for $10 instead of the $99 and more spent on “cycling specific” clothing. Same goes for wool dress slacks, which are surprisingly nice for cycling. The only “downside” is that you don’t look like a “cyclist” when you ride around wearing dress slacks and pendletons.

    • Al Dimond says:

      This. I almost always prefer shorts to slacks, because slacks keep my legs too warm, need to be tied up to stay out of the chainring, get really dirty at the bottom, etc… but almost anything will do. To me, you look like a cyclist when you ride the right way, something that’s in almost everyone’s reach and costs only the time to learn, but lots of people neglect.

      • Gary says:

        You can make knickers out a pair of wool pants. Just get the right waist size, buy a couple of zippers and you can cut the lower pant legs off just blow the knee. (leave about an inch for a good hard hem) Split the outside seam a couple of inches, roll it up, sew in a velcro tab, and sew the seam back and the hem.

        Then split the crotch seam, take a diamond piece of fabric from the bit you cut off from the legs, and sew in a gusset.

        Then take the zippers and open them up, sew down one side into your pocket, with the pull tab down when closed. Then sew the other side.

        Whole job takes about an hour if you have everything and a good sewing machine. Yes you look like a bicyclist, but knickers are ideal pants for riding. Add wool hiking knee socks or Smart Wool one’s from Nordstrom Rack and you’ve got an outfit you can commute in, or run to the store.

  3. Al Dimond says:

    The GM video is a sort of interesting document of the way people on bikes are perceived. The idea that we’re totally invisible and waiting to jump out in front of traffic, or that we’re constantly falling over is, really, pretty silly.

    About the only thing from that video that actually happens regularly is cyclists passing right-turning traffic on the right. This is truly a scourge, and if there’s one thing people on bikes need to learn it’s when not to pass cars on the right (the “when” being “almost always”).

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Isn’t that GM video so strange? I can’t imagine what the filmmakers were on when they made it.

      We need mass redesigns of intersections throughout the city. Bike lanes that simply disappear don’t cut it, and bike lanes that put people to the right of turning motor vehicles are dangerous.

      Lacking a proper protected bikeway design, road designs where turning cars merge earlier into a right-turn-only lane seem to be the best way to go. Sections of the bike lane where cars are meant to merge across are painted green so cars know to look out for people biking. Then, once at the intersection, people biking are on the left side of right-turning cars. Simple and easy to understand (34th Ave N just east of Fremont Ave is an excellent example of how this works).

      Of course, this means removing a couple on-street parking spaces, but that is such a small price to pay for safety.

      • Al Dimond says:

        The right turn thing isn’t just about infrastructure, it’s about culture and practice.

        Putting aside the issue of whether widespread “protected” bikeways are a good goal (really, I’ll save it for another day), I dispute the idea that all that much paint need be spilled on intersections between two roads. Most of these are designed sensibly, and can be navigated by cyclists using general safe traffic principles (places where trails cross roads are largely not so well designed). There are a few places, mostly in Snohomish County, where bike lanes are explicitly drawn to the right of sizable right-turn lanes. These need to be fixed (and it’s hard up there, because speed and volume of cars is high, and there aren’t that many cyclists to make noise about it). But most of the time (including in these bad intersections) “undertaking” right-turners is entirely the decision of the cyclist. Almost every bike-car collision I’ve seen has been of this sort, and almost every time the cyclist has thrown a fit like he did nothing wrong. A hint: if you run into the passenger side of a car, 90% of the time you’ve done something wrong. And in at least half of the remainder you probably could have avoided the collision by riding smarter.

        Almost anyone can learn to ride safely on the street. Very few bother to do it. Better practice is more important than more infrastructure.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        You know, Al, maybe it is time for that thread (vehicular cycling). I know it’s a discussion that’s been played out a million times, but it’s one where I think everyone can learn a little. I’ll put that on my list of posts. Maybe a weekly “discuss an issue” thread would be healthy, and a good way to keep these endless debates from coming up too much in other posts.

  4. Frequent Reader says:

    Interesting article on the costs of commuting. I have to say that some of these things went into my decision to bike(+bus across 520) most days to my work on the Eastside. Living closer to work isn’t feasible–I work on the Eastside, my husband works in Seattle, 15 minutes from home by bike; either way one of us will have a cross-bridge commute. Sure, biking takes more time than driving (~1 hour vs. ~25 minutes, by necessity taking crap traffic into account) but it’s time I spend exercising, challenging myself, improving my cardiovascular health, keeping my mental health in check, not spending money on gas (although sometimes spending money to get across the bridge by bus). And it will save me even more money in future 520 tolls. Before I started biking to work I would always neglect to make the time to bike for exercise, or do anything for exercise for that matter. If I did make the time, though, it would have just been time in addition to the commute which seems wasteful. The only thing that annoys me is that I haven’t been taking advantage of my ability to bike to work for the past four years that I’ve had to commute to the Eastside.

  5. Oleg says:

    Great post! I had no Idea that people were doing bike trick back then.

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