Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sanyo's electric hybrid bicycle unveiled at show

Sanyo has developed an electric hybrid bicycle which helps the human-power out with an electric motor on the front wheel, allowing the bike to travel 1.8 times the distance of normal peddling alone. It permits the rider to triple the pedal power for short distances, and doubles the pedal power for uphill rides. When the bike goes downhill, energy is harnessed and stored in batteries, until it is used for powering the motor on more demanding uphill rides. The bike is scheduled to be available in Japan in February 2009 for around $US 1500.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trek releases first production belt-driven bicycle

In a move for easier bicycle maintenance as well as the elimination of torn pant cuffs and grease spots, Trek has released a series of belt-driven bicycles. The bikes, urban commuters, come in at about $1000 and feature a carbon-reinforced belt in place of the chain, which doesn't stretch or require lubricant.

For further information click here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Derringer motorized bicycle gets 150mpg

Derringer, based in California, has released a retro motor-assisted bicycle which claims 150 mpg, and a top speed of 35 mph. This bike is designed after a 1920s style motorcycle, but now with a modern, 49cc engine. Although it does not appear to be legal in Ontario without a motorcycle license, in most jurisdictions this bike is unregulated as a type of bicycle.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bicycle-sharing booms in European cities

Almost all major cities in Europe currently have or are considering bicycle-sharing programs. Cities developing programs are looking to Velib in Paris as one model. The bikes can be picked up at one location and dropped off at another, and payments are deducted automatically from bank accounts. In addition to the advantage of bicycles beating traffic in most centres, new technology uses smart cards, adding to the riders' convenience.

In North America, the car culture, longer distances, and need for bike helmets have reduced the appeal of these programs, though we may see such programs popping up in some city centres, like Ottawa (see article below).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ottawa considers Paris-style bike sharing system

Ottawa and Gatineau are considering a bike-sharing system, like VĂ©lib' used in Paris, to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home. About 400 bikes would be available for pickup, using a swipe-card system. The rider would then drop the bike off at a station close to his or her destination. The bikes would likely be free for a short period, to encourage commuters to take shorter, more frequent trips, rather than have to rent the bikes for a day or more at a time.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bikengruvin Recycles Bicycles Into Groovy Art

Canadian artist David James McCelvey recycles scrap bicycles into art. There are over 1-million bicycles ending up as scrap every year, which he uses to produce art. Since 1997, David has shown his works in Western Canada and the American Southwest. His art varies from tables, lamps and wall hangings to a giant slice of pepperoni pizza with a squished bicycle as a topping. Also, he has built some bicycle "jukeboxes", bike tables that flash to the beat of the music.

To see more of his art, check out

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cycling is fashionable and chic

Cycling has always been cool, due to its environmental and health benefits, but now it is also fashionable. The major labels are designing bikes and clothing. The clothing, however, contains no skin-tight lycra, and the bikes are made more for relaxed cruising than speeding along the side of the highway. All we need now are bike lanes to show off our new wheels and threads! Most of the bikes take after the Amsterdam-style bike, with fenders and bells, rather than racing or mountain bikes.

Chanel and Gucci have designed limited edition bicycles, below. Chanel's, below, sold for $12,000.

Several Dutch-style bikes from Electra and Jorg & Olif:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Olympics raise Chinese awareness of cycling as a sport

The Chinese traditionally have viewed cycling as a familiar mode of transportation. But since seven Chinese riders were entered in the Olympics, and Guo Shuang winning a bronze medal in the women's sprint, Chinese are getting excited about cycling as a sport, according to the Chinese Cycling Association. Previously professional training and advanced cycles were unavailable in China; as a result of grass-roots efforts and the promotion of large cycling brands to China's untapped market, competitive cycling is now taking hold among the people.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tour de France won on Canadian bike manufacturer Cervelo's cycles

The Tour de France was won by Carlos Sastre of Team CSC on Sunday, on a Cervelo. Cervelo is a Toronto-based (now headquartered in Switzerland) high-end bicycle manufacturer. Phil White, one of the co-founders, said that it has been one of their dreams in starting the company, which has now come true.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

BMX debuting as Olympic sport

This is BMX's first year on the Olympic program, one of three new sports to be featured in Beijing this summer. It is viewed by some as an effort to build an X-Games type edge into the Olympics. Beijing's track is a supercross track which starts on a 30 foot ramp. The races ride over about 20 jumps during the 40-second race. Samantha Cools of Airdie, Alta., is a strong possibility in BMX for Canada. The US hopefuls are Kyle Bennett and Donny Robinson, and other medal contenders are Michal Prokop of the Czech Republic and Marc Willers of New Zealand.

Monday, July 21, 2008

London Mayor asks Londoners to "dust off dormant bikes"

London Mayor Boris Johnson is encouraging Londoners to dust off their bikes and ride in London's Summer of Cycling, in the wake of rampant childhood obesity among Brits, as well as an increase in heart-related deaths.

The Mayor was promoting London Freewheel, part of the Summer of Cycling, which encourages Londoners to use their bicycles. Up to 100,000 people are expected to hop on their bikes to ride past the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and other sights.

Only half of Londoners who have access to a bike have used one in the past 12 months.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ottawa's 20-year bicycle plan given green light!

The 20-year bicycle plan recently approved by Ottawa city council aims to improve cycling facilities in Ottawa, making commuting easier and making the city more attractive for tourists (who already account for 13% of bicycle trips). Phase I includes:

$8.1 million for 81.6 km of bicycle lanes
$9.1 million for 165.7 km of paved shoulders
$6.2 million for multi-use pathways
$1.6 million for new initiatives and enhancements to existing programs

Phase II includes bike parking and lockers and permits bike paths to be built on an as-needed basis, and has a budget is $60-million.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recumbent trikes fast, practical

Recumbent Trikes are the wave of the future: low to the ground, they are fast and aerodynamic. However, with three wheels they also provide a stable platform for carrying larger groceries and bulkier items, tasks that previously meant a trailer if you wanted to use a bicycle. There are two configurations, "tadpole" with two wheels at the front and one at the rear (upper photo), and "delta", the other way around (lower photo).

The seating position in recumbents is more comfortable, with no pressure spots, and no neck strain. The conventional wisdom is that riding low as recumbents do makes it harder for traffic to see them, but those who ride trikes say that the get far more attention as a "different" vehicle, and as a result they are safer than on a bicycle.
A few of the best trike manufacturers:

For more info, please contact the author.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bicycle trailers are all the latest rage!

With increased gasoline costs, bicycle trailers are catching on as a way to take the kids to soccer, and even to pick up the groceries! Once parents retro-fit a trailer onto the back of their bicycle, they can wheel around town, and many parents believe it brings them closer to their kids while giving them exercise. “My kids are closer to me on a bike and they talk to me,” said Summer Spinner, from Eugene, Oregon. “We have much better conversations than we do in a car.”

Read the complete article in the Register Guard here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rome, Paris offer bicycle-sharing service

Tourists as well as traditionally-car-loving Romans are invited to use a bicycle-sharing program to reduce smog and congestion in central Rome. About 200 red bicycles have been distributed across 19 locations, including the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. The Roman system start with the first 1/2 hour being free, and a 1€ fee for each 1/2 hour thereafter. The bicycles contain a GPS unit, and are not permitted outside Rome itself. A similar system called Velib, photos below, is already in place in Paris, where a rider may use a bicycle with a deposit of €30.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Canadian success story Cervelo featured in Report on Business

Cervelo, the amazing Canadian success story now providing bicycles to the CSC Team, is featured in a Report on Business magazine article here. The story details Cervelo's beginnings under the guidance of two engineers turned entrepreneurs, Gerard Vroomen and Phil white. Through a focus on technology, the company has been able to produce bicycles that give racers an edge, and has now claimed a position among the highest echelon of European manufacturers like Pinarello and Bianchi. Go Cervelo!

NB: The author just bought the above Cervelo Soloist Team, which truly kicks butt.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

BT Blade is Australia's weapon in Beijing

Weighing 6.4kg and created for "optimal aerodynamic efficiency", the Bike Technologies' (BT) Blade is the bicycle chosen by cycling Australia to make a mark at the Beijing Olympics. BT is a Melbourne-based bicycle company. More in an article in the Australian.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sex sells when it comes to custom choppers

Apparently sex sells when it comes to bicycles too! You don't see this very often in bicycle advertising, but I guess we can expect it more and more as bikes appeal to the mainstream... What a cool chopper though! Apparently built by a Barcelona-based company called Make Bicycles.

Also found in some more mainstream advertising...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Walrus Magazine article on cycling in Toronto

I really enjoyed reading an article in Walrus Magazine on urban cycling. It is really exciting to perceive bike commuting as an exciting sport involving avoiding multifarious dangers while speeding through the city. This article really represents, but reminds us of the dangers in graphic passages. Much needed - thanks Walrus!

Express your unique personality with a Cruiser Bike!

There are some wicked cruiser bikes around, easily customized to make a statement for each particular owner. They no doubt are inspired by some of the custom Harleys rolling the streets. It's great to see people expressing their unique personality through their bike, like the above Electra Rat Fink.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Leicester UK may be first "Cycling City" in England

Leicester has been shortlisted for Cycling England’s Cycling Towns and Cities programme, which would result in a grant of around $13-million that may be put towards increasing the cycling facilities in the city and encouraging cycling by that city's residents.

We need such a program in Canada to encourage cycling and keep our residents fit while reducing emissions and traffic/parking issues. The healthy competition between cities for such a grant would surely bring about change in a short time!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who says kids shouldn't ride in the Tour

This is one fast kid! Check out the video (with French commentator)...

4th Annual Pedal for Peace bicycle ride underway

In Damascus, Syria, around 300 women activists from 28 countries are cycling for 12 days to highlight the plight of Arab women. The women will visit the Golan Heights and Palestinian refugee camps in the course of their journey. Many of the women are riding a bicycle for the first time!
Check it out online at

Monday, April 14, 2008

African Bicycle Ambulance - Sweet!

In many African villages, no access to cars and long distances to hospitals can threaten lives. Enter the bicycle ambulance, pictured below. This sweet ride will carry a patient the distance required without the expense of a car, which could blow the hospital's meagre budget.

From an article about the Bicycling Empowerment Network printed in

In a recent assessment of the link between transport and healthcare, the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia (BEN Namibia) found that people living with HIV/AIDS are hit hard by the lack of transport. Patients either miss their treatment because no transport is available, or spend most of their income (up to US$8 per month) on paying for lifts in private vehicles, leaving little money to pay for the food that is an essential part of their treatment. The situation worsens in an emergency, when rural dwellers may pay up to US$66 to reach the nearest hospital.

In order to change this picture, in October 2006, BEN Namibia launched a bicycle ambulance manufacturing plant in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. Bicycle ambulances are ‘stretchers on wheels’ that attach to normal bicycles and tow a sick person or pregnant woman to a hospital or clinic where no other transport is available. In other African countries where bicycle ambulances are in use, there have been marked declines in infant and maternal mortality rates.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Five fathers to bike 758 miles for Equal Parenting

Five fathers are biking 758 miles with a chase crew from Lansing MI to Washington DC in support of equal parenting. Check it out here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cycle into Manhattan - East Coast Greenway

Plans are almost complete for a Bike Path that extends from Westchester Avenue into Manhattan. Imagine biking into Manhattan and not having to fight all those stinky cars sharing the road on one of the bridges! The goal of the entire East Coast Greenway is to create a bike path that goes from Canada all the way to Key West Florida, for bicycles.

From an article in the Journal News:

"Greenway organizers hope to create the trail along the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut and the Hutchinson River Parkway in Westchester, then along Westchester Avenue to downtown White Plains. From there, it would join the Bronx River trail. The trail along the river is mostly complete with about 3 3/4 miles in early planning stages in Mount Vernon, Yonkers and the Scarsdale-Hartsdale area, said Mary Kaye Koch, spokeswoman for the Westchester County Parks Department."

Bicycle Maintenance for Beginners - Video!

Bicycle Anatomy for Beginners from on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bulgaria competes with China for bike manufacturing

The Bulgarian bicycle industry is expecting a 40% increase in production after receiving official permission to import parts without paying an anti-dumping tax. As long as Chinese elements do not exceed 60 per cent of the bicycle price, Bulgarian makers would not have to pay the 48.5 per cent anti-dumping tariff.

Last year, the Bulgarian bicycle industry produced over 450,000 bicycles, of which 100,000 were sold locally. Bulgaria has six manufacturers, Cross, Leader-96, Maxcom, Robifir Bike, Velomania and Balkanvelo, and it expects rising sales due to the increasing focus on health and environment in Bulgaria and Europe. Bulgaria has a competitive advantage over China due to its location in Europe, which reduces shipping times. Below, the Bulgarian Prime Minister riding a bicycle through Bourgas.

Bikewire goes live!

Bikewire, a new website dedicated to cycling, is now live. It is a social networking, stat tracking & graphing, honor code leaderboard, blogging, photo, and mapping and classifieds website strictly for cyclists. This should give us a chance to compare times with other cyclists across the country and around the world! Plus, we get the scoop on the latest routes in different areas contributed by other riders. Go Bikewire!

Monday, February 18, 2008

World Naked Bike Ride

The World Naked Bike Ride is in support of stopping indecent exposure to automobile emissions. Coming to a city near you! (Picture of a recent ride in Vancouver)

Parking shortage? Give away bicycles!

That's what a small Wisconsin college is offering. If freshmen promise not to bring a car to campus within the first year of school, then they receive, free of charge, a Trek bicycle and helmet to commute to and from school. It helps that the president is an avid cyclist - he saw a clear solution and was not interested in paving over any more of the campus.

Everyone chipped in to make this happen: "Friends, trustees and alumni donated about $60,000 to buy 200 bicycles to give away to an expected 300 incoming freshmen, said Cody Pinkston, a spokesman for the school."

The president hopes to engender a bicycle-conscious society at the school.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Canadian Company Dorel Buys Cannondale in $200-million deal

On February 5, 2008, Dorel, a Canadian consumer-products company, bought American high-end bike manufacturer Cannondale. Dorel CEO said the deal would add significantly to the bottom line while encouraging healthy lifestyles and helping the environment. Dorel already sells Schwinn and GT bikes through retailers such as Canadian Tire, but this move would enable the company to move into a higher-end market segment.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bicycles 4 Humanity

Bicycles for Humanity gathers up your old used bikes and refurbishes them, and sends them in a container, along with tools, to Africa. The Africans, who may not have any other mode of transportation, are now able to see doctors, go to work a little farther from home, and sell their goods in markets in larger cities. B4H will train the Africans on how to repair the bikes, when they eventually break down, and provide them with the spare parts to do it!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bamboo bicycle! $2400 frame only

Check out the bamboo bicycle made by Calfee Design. It won the people's choice awards at the North American handmade bicycle show! Apparently the bamboo is smoked and oiled, and has extra stiffness and vibration-absorbing qualities. The frame weighs four pounds. Talk about a small environmental footprint - but how the heck does it get to be so expensive??

1.4 billion bicycles in the world make it the most popular form of transportation

Princeton's International Networks Archive has accounted for transportation means around the world and put the information in a comparative graphic. Fascinating to find out that the bicycle is the world's most popular transportation means or that Armenians are the world's worst drivers!