Friday Musing: Regulators! How would you regulate on your city?

Hello hello from Buenos Aires again, bicikids. A group of friends and I (including my new pals Will and Robin from Biking Buenos Aires) were sitting around a salad pile at lunch yesterday, and we started musing about how we would regulate on the city to make bike commuting the ultimate BEST. Translation: if you were King in Da Castle in charge, what rules would you apply to your city as a bike-commuting all powerful ruler of the streets? Here are some reasonable (and unreasonable) regulations we came up with:

13 Ideas for 2013, as a Bici-Regulator:

  1. Install a “Bicipista” – like an autopista but instead of cars, only for bikes. It would stretch all across the city from Palermo to Belgrano to San Telmo.
  2. Put all the buses in the middle of the six-lane roads like the Metrobus in Mexico City, with footbridges to the bus stations at the median to keep the buses away from the bike lanes.                                                               
  3. Initiate a mandatory “bicisiesta”… if you ride your bike to work, you get a two-hour lunch, so you can eat and then have a siesta!
  4. Count the hours of your bike commute towards your 8 hour work day. Biking on the clock!
  5. Make a new rule that all apartment buildings should allow bikes in the lobby, so that residents don’t have to bring them up the elevator to store them in their apartments.
  6. All parking garages must provide secure 24 hour bike parking.
  7. Connect all bike trails to all schools: high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and universities. All bike paths should get the students where they need to go!
  8. “Bicibars” in the downtown areas: provide incentives for the bars to include bike parking and bike repair stations in the bars.
  9. Offer business incentives to make more bike kitchens and bike fixing collectives like La Fabricicleta.
  10. Let’s get harsh: Get rid of all street parking in downtown and replace it with separated bike lanes!
  11. “Bicitaxis”- illegal for taxis to cruise around certain parts of the city, so replace them all with bike taxis… hey if rickshaws work in India, this could work in Argentina, right?
  12. Replace city school buses with Bike buses, where the driver is the teacher, and all the kids pedal.
  13. Provide city wide showers, lockers, and changing rooms for all bike commuters so they can change before and after work.

 

I love lists, and I love Friday Musings. So, Bike Commuters, hit us up in the comments box if you’ve ever had some crazy ideas that you wanted to regulate in your city.

What would you do?

Here’s a question I’ve wanted to ask other bike commuters out there. If you saw something wrong, like a man yelling at a woman or a child being put in danger by an adult or a fight as you’re riding along, what would you do?

I’m sure you’ve seen those examples that ABC does, What Would You Do with John Quinones, where he sets up situations to happen and wait for people to react.

So with that in mind, have you or would you do something if a situation were to occur right in front of you as you’re riding your bike to work?

Chrome releases the Truk Pro SPD shoe

You may remember that back in 2010, we reviewed the new Kursk shoes by Chrome Industries. Since then, Chrome has been cranking out a variety of new styles and colors of cycling shoes.

Our PR pal Billy “Souphorse” Sinkford tells us that they’re at it again, announcing the release of their newest pair, the “Truk Pro”:

trukcom

The most covert SPD on the market, the Truk Pro is perfect for commuters, messengers, and others who live and work on the bike every day—and need a durable and comfortable shoe for bike, street, and office.

Enter the Truk Pro.

For those who live in and ride the city and want SPD performance on the bike and sneaker comfort off it. Durable, comfortable, and walkable. Made to be worn on and off the bike—all day, every day—with zero foot fatigue.

It’s the most innovative SPD on the market, featuring Chrome’s dual-density FlexPlateTM technology, developed to provide a fully rigid sole from the heel to the ball of the foot but also a flexible toe area (five times more flex compared with any traditional fully rigid SPD shoe). The result? Total comfort while riding and while walking.

Other features include a contoured, impact-resistant PU footbed, skid-resistant outsole, and recessed SPD plate. The 1,000-denier Cordura outer shell is 25 times stronger than canvas. Add 100% vulcanized construction and you’ve got one thoroughly bombproof shoe, ready for the demands of life on and off the bike.

Like all Chrome footwear and apparel, the Truk Pro SPD comes with a 365-day warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

RETAIL AVAILABILITY: 3/19/13 in Chrome HUBS in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Portland—and online at chromeindustries.com.
RETAIL PRICE: $95; available in grey and all-black

In a few days, Bikecommuters.com will be getting a pair to try out…we’ll thrash on these shoes and see if they are as tough as we expect them to be. Stay tuned!

LoJack/OnStar-like system for bikes?

We’ve written about fighting bike theft with GPS devices before, as well as posting about a cool web series called “To Catch a Bike Thief” where the producers set out “bait bikes” equipped with GPS trackers. It’s a neat technique to use new technologies to combat an age-old problem.

And now there’s a very interesting Kickstarter project gaining some traction. Called The BikeSpike, this device purports to:

•Monitor your bike’s location on a map using your phone or computer
•Grant temporary access to local law enforcement, helping increase the chances of recovery.
•Digitally “lock” your bike and receive a notification if your bike moves from it’s geo-fenced location or if someone even tampers with it.
•Collision detection system can alert key members of your contact list and share the location of an accident.
•Share your stats (distance, speed, and courses…) with friends, coaches and spectators.
•Monitor your children and get notified if they ride out of their safe zone.
•Our open API allows developers to create gaming and fitness apps that you can download and use with the device or use the data created from the BikeSpike to integrate with the existing apps you already love. Export a GPX file.
•PLUS, with the Hacker Pack, you can connect it to a motorcycle or other on-board batteries for a continual charge.

The website Mashable calls it “like LoJack and OnStar for your bike.”

Here’s a video that helps illustrate the workings of the device:

What do you think — a gadget worth pursuing, or is investing in a strong lock a better strategy? We’d love to hear your thoughts on BikeSpike as much as the developers would like you to help fund their project…just leave comments below.

A tip of the ol’ foam dome to longtime reader/commenter Raiyn Storm for pointing this out to us.

New Wool Caps, Now Available!

We have a limited run of these caps. Price is $23 shipped, US ONLY.
grey black wool BC cap

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wool bikecommuters.com caps

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Sizing:

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6 3/4 – 7 1/2

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7 1/2 – 8

**All sales are final. No exchanges or refunds. Please make sure you look at the sizing info above and order the correct size.**


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