Sunday, 14 December 2008
A boy from Portsmouth has been stopped cycling to school. The reason being teachers think the road outside his school is too dangerous. Sam says he gets very bored sitting in the car with his mum but he enjoys exercise and knows cycling is better for the environment that driving because of the harmful fumes that petrol release.
But Sam's headmistress is really worried about him traveling by bike because the road outside his school is too dangerous.
'The road is quite narrow and people sometimes park in places they're not supposed to, like on double yellow lines.'
'There have been a few accidents on the road in recent years too and it can get really busy when lots of parents are dropping their kids off at the same time.'
'Where I live there are tons of cycling paths so everyone cycles.Our school has one of the highest cycling rates in the county. But I don't think he should be stopped because it's his choice.'
'It's stupid. We should be allowed to ride our bikes too school. We are helping the environment.'
'Schools and the government are trying to promote a healthier way of living why ban bikes when they are healthy as long as the kid has road sense? I do not agree with this.'
Sunday, 30 November 2008
The central conceit is the cable replacing one section of the frame (the down tube), which renders it pretty much theft-proof. The idea is this: You remove the cable and use it to lock the (now-folded) bike. If a thief cuts the cable, he can't ride off on the bike. Simple and almost worthy of Alexander the Great in it's ingenuity (Alex was the Gordian knot guy).
While we've covered the Puma bike before (in its Glow-Rider guise) we've never tested one, so we can't confirm our fear that that cable-strung frame will be a little mushy and wobbly to ride. €1100 ($1700).
The RideEllsworth Bicycle's "The Ride" is another bike you can actually purchase, if you've got the dough, but it deserves a place in this lineup for its crazy transmission. Instead of using a fixed number of gears, The Ride's "continuously variable planetary drive" offers an infinitely variable drive ratio. As you twist a dial on the handlebar, it changes the angle between two steel plates in the hub, adjusting the torque. The design was first envisioned by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1490s, and it can be yours for a mere $3,000.
The idea behind design student Phil Bridge's concept is that it is theft-proof: Nobody would steal a cardboard bike. And if they do, it'll only cost $30 to buy a new one. This isn't any old cardboard -- it's hexacomb cardboard, a tough material used in the packing industry which can be foil-faced for waterproofing.
Bridge says that the bike should last for around six months in normal use, and the non-card parts can simply be reused on the next one. We do wonder, though, how the high-stress components will do. I've been through plenty of cranks in the past, for example, and those were made of metal.
Pilen ConceptThis one makes it into the list because it looks so cool. Based on 1930s Le Mans racing bikes, the Pilen Concept is designed by Eric Therner for Swedish company Pilen Bikes. Is might look retro, but hidden behind the styling is a lot of high-tech gear. LED lights are built in to the frame and the saddle is in two parts for independent shock absorption.
Oddly, despite having two brake levers, the Pilen doesn't seem to have a front brake. And the nonadjustable seat height could be a problem, too. But who cares when it looks this good?
There's something about the bike, along with the chair, that draws designers. Despite being an almost perfect design already, the reworkings of the humble bicycle seem almost endless. Some are genuine improvements, such as the change from pedals fixed to the front wheel (Penny Farthing) to a rod or chain driving the rear wheel, and others are less so (low-riders, anyone?)
You wouldn't think that much more could be done to the basic diamond-framed, two-wheeled approach, but those designers can't stop fiddling. Here are some of the fruits of their labors.
Above: A bike with square wheels may look impractical, but it would actually be ridable -- on a highway that is surfaced with a series of inverted catenaries.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
- Bike to school week.
- Only 1/5 of pupils in the UK are allowed to bike to school, because
lots of parents wont let their kids cycle because of safety fears.
- Researchers found parents worry roads are too dangerous, and about keeping
their child's bike safe at school.
- Transport charity Sustrans found nearly 50% of all pupils would like to
cycle to school.
- Cycling England found 4/5 kids are banned from cycling to school by their
parents, even though the number of road accidents are falling.
"I do like riding bikes but I've moved house so I live further away from
school. It's too dangerous to ride to school. People drive fast and there's
been a couple of accidents so it's a bit worrying knowing that it could be
"Sometimes it can feel scary when you're in the cycle lane,you feel like a
bus or a car is going to bash into you."
"I take my bike to school 3 times a week out of 5 and I always use the cycle
lanes. My parents sometimes worry about me."
"I don't ride to school right now because my mum thinks it's so dangerous
just in case I get hit by a car or fall over."
Golden boot challenge-encourages everyone to walk or cycle to school and
Hattie 14 London
"I am allowed to cycle to school. It's really fun and when I get to school in
the morning I feel all fresh and ready for the day ahead. There are also
lots of parks that you can cycle through to avoid heavy traffic. I think more
parents should understand that as long as children are sensible on the road
and respect everything on it, they should be able to cycle to and from
Some schools don't like you to bike to school.