Sunday, December 31, 2006

Peak Moment

Megan Quinn is interviewed by Janaia Donaldson on "Peak Moment". This video is about 28 minutes long. Megan appears to be well spoken. INterestingly, Megan look very much like one of the lead actors, Ashley Johnson, in the movie "Fast Food Nation".

Video Description:

Peak Moment #27: Megan Quinn of The Community Solution discusses her visit to Cuba, and the movie "The Power of Community". This young woman sees Peak Oil as an opportunity to create the communities we want, but notes that we must reduce our consumption despite environmentalists' assurances that biofuels will save us.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

License Plates

(click on image to enlarge)

Various states around the United States are now providing people witha license plate for thier motor vehicles that says "Share The Road". And in many cases it includes a graphic of a bicyclists or related symbolism.

However, Kentucky appears to be the trail blazer in terms of bicycle and pedestrian friendliiness with thier "Share The Road" license plates which have a couple bicyclist riding bicycles AND a guy appearing to be jogging.

Here is what the Louisville Ketucky Website says about the offering of this plate through the Kentucky Dept of Motor Vehicles:

"Finally, bikers, walkers and runners now have their own "Share the Road" specialty license plate! The process for requesting a new specialty plate requires a group to submit 900 applications for the plate before the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet can begin the process of designing a new plate. Late in 2005, they received double that amount from every area of the Commonwealth!

According to a press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, those who purchase a Share the Road license plate will have the option of making a voluntary contribution to the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission (KBBC). This commission is charged with assisting the Transportation Cabinet in promoting the best interests of the bicycling public.

How do you get one?"

Related Posts:
- Parade Of the Pigs
- Louisville Mayor Talking Bike

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica community forum
- Louisville Kentucky Wiki
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Monday, December 25, 2006

Music Sachel

Lenore, a writer for the Evil Mad Scientist has come up with an interesting project "How to Make a Music Satchel". The satchel is slung over one shoulder like a Timbuk2 bag. The stereo speakers point out the face of the bag, and are hidden in the design of the bag. This may be a lot of fun to carry around on critical mass bicycle rides or on a Friday Night Skate, as a back up music source for the rolling parties.

Ferro Fluid

One day we may be using Ferro fluid for generating electricity and/or for electric motors.

There are three videos I would like to bring to your attention on this substance.

The first two show and describe the substance. The other is a kind of artpiece, showing the ability of magnetic energy being used to create fluidic sculpture that can be morphed into various shapes.

I think this "Ferro Fluid" (see videos below) may one day have an
application in the generation of electricity, electro-magnetic motors, and
other applications on e-bikes, and other vehicles. It may also be used for
other human prosthetics, such as limb replacements.

It occurs to me how much this stuff reminds me of the shape shifting robot
in Terminator 2, Judgment Day.. Eeek.

It is believed that the earth's core has a similar magnetic liquid substance in it which is what generates earth's magnetic fields as the earth perpetually spins in the vacuum of space.

It is also believed that the poles for the earth's magnetic fields have been getting weaker over the last 50-100 years. Some other's believe that this weakening of the earth's magnetic fields is a prelude to a magnetic pole shift which is underway. Others believe that the oil which we have been sucking out of the ground has some impact on the earth's magnetic fields, and other processes which are still unclear.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Moped Safety

These are two vintage Moped safety films. They were originally filmed in 1979 on 16 mm film. This was in the days just after the Gas crisis of the 1970's in the USA. Note all the small, fuel efficient cars seen in this film. It appears that most of these films were shot in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, Californa. Anyone know where, specifically? Please share the info. Thanks.

A moded is a bicycle with working pedals for human power and a motor. In this case it is a gasoline motor. But perhaps the same safety procedures can be adapted for use on an electric bycles as well.

It would be great to see some good electric bicycle safety films/videos get produced, which can illustrate the safe and legal way to ride electric bicycle in public spaces.

Part 1

Part 2

Video description:

A 1979 film about moped safety. 16mm original that showcases vintage mopeds. Part 1 of 2

Any other resourses for moped or electric bicycle safety, please send to me or post in the comments. Thanks.

Moped Trailers

There is much information of building trailers and how to mount them to a standard bicycle. There are also many numufacturers of bicycle trailers. The law appears to be clear that pulling a trailer behind a bicycle is ok. It appears that red reflectors are required, by law, in california. And it is unclear if any lights are required, although many folks use the blinking red lights on the back of their trailers at night. Also, it may be the law that a reflector must be attach to each side of the trailer. Also, it may be required that the trailer have a red flag that flies at about 5-6 feet from the ground from the rear of the trailer, probably from the "passenger side"(car lingo) of the rear of the trailer.

What is not clear to me is what the rules are on pulling a trailer behind a "motorized bicycle", mopeds, or even scooters, electric or gas.

I have read some reports that a bicycle trailer, using same protocol can be applied for the bicycle trailer. I have read that what ever is required on the rear of the moped or scooter, including and/or a reflector, night "red" light, brake light, or turning signals, must be viewable from behind the trailer. If not, what ever reflectors and/or lights must be attached to the raar of the trailer or to the moped in such a way as to be viewable by traffic behind the bike and trailer.

If any of you have more info on the specific laws regarding this please send me the info and/or post that info in the comments.

Here is an interesting report I found about a guy in Oregon who purchased an electric scooter and mounted a trailer to it, and what his experience was like (with a picuter above).:

March 8, 2004

electric scooter with trailer My First Electric Vehicle, the scooter: I was driving a 10-year-old Subaru wagon that got 22 mpg, and I was hearing the alarms about the coming crisis in world oil supplies. My teenage son got his driving liscense, no longer wanted to ride the bus, and I thought three cars for three people was the height of financial insanity. Then I saw this extremely cute Chinese electric scooter for only $1200, and I couldn't resist. The construction is very cheap, the speedometer doesn't work any more, I've blown two battery chargers, but otherwise I have been impressed with the reliability and low cost of operation over almost 3,500 miles in one year. Insurance is not required in Oregon, but for $75 I thought liability coverage was a good idea.

I asked the salesman if I could pull a dog trailer, he said it would slow me down, and yes it would be possible. What he didn't explain is that I had to be very easy on the throttle, so I burnt up my first set of batteries in 5 months. Now I push the scooter by running beside it to get going from a dead stop, and jump on, which is just a little embarassing, to say the least. I get weak acceleration from the permanent-magnet, 700 watt motor on the rear hub. It has four 22-Amphour glass-mat batteries which gets me and my dog to work (5 miles), where I recharge for the trip home. I could make it home without the recharge, but the last mile would get pretty slow. I have to keep my speed below 15 mph, stay in the bike lanes or the bike-route streets, and on the streets without bike lanes it gets a bit scary. I ride in all kinds of weather, so I've learned to allow extra time to suit up in the required rain or cold weather gear. The comfort level and visibility at night, in the rain, in the winter is terrible. Thus, the motivation for a semi-enclosed, more powerful vehicle.

If I were to calculate the cost-to-benefit ratio of this project, I would never do it. To save money on my commute to work, I would continue riding the scooter and endure a few more winters before I retire. No, I am trying to be a small part of the change I want to see. The "humm-E-bird" is intended to be a statement of a possibility, an encouragement to the imagination of others.

Here are several links for scooter/moped trailer manufacterers: (awesome) (awesome) (awesome)
If you have more info on the subject of the law and pulling a trailer behind a scooter, moped, or "motorized bicycle" please send the info to me and/or post the info in the Comments. Thanks.

Sloshbox Derby

News report from the SloshBoxDerby July 2006, held in Malibu, California, USA.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bicycle 4 Mustang...

Here is a quote from this video "John, you'll get a new bike".

I am not sure why that was said after the 14 year old accidentally rammed the new, $50,000 Mustang through the garage wall, other than perhaps, the mustang also smashed the bicycle along the way.

This video leads me to understanding why "automatic" transmissions are considered safer to operate than manual transmissions. If that mustand was a manual transmission, it would have probably just idled.

However, perhaps if all manual transmission vehicles had a sensor, so they would not not allow the starter to engage while the car is anything by neutral, the car probably would not have moved.

Disappearing Bike...

Cris Angel, the famous magician can do some amazing tricks. And sometimes he makes bicycles disappear (see video below). And in Santa Monica, many a folk know the sting and not so amuzed feeling of having a bicycle disappear in our land of bikes.

What I was wondering, if perhaps, Cris Angel could make my bikes re-appear... sigh.(smile)

Criss Angel Bike Trick - video powered by Metacafe


Put big fat snow tires on your bicycle if you plan to pedal it through snow and ice. (wink)(smile)

SpookyTooth Bikes

Found this demo tape from SpookyTooth Bikes in Tucson, Arizona. They specialize in Motorized bicycles. They mostly have gas motor assist kits and bikes. And it appears they are branching out into offering electric assist motor kits and bicycles and well.

I wonder how they got the name "Spooky Tooth".


This is one of the most interesting videos I have seen, demonstrating the beauty and power of magnets. Virtually everthing in life is influenced or effected by the dynamics of magnetic attraction/repulsion. Even the human body is made alive and can be influenced through magnetic properties.

This subject is has somewhat direct and indirect relevance to Cyclists. And it has even more relevance to electric bicycle (e-bike) use.

And in any case you might find this demonstration interesting.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pikes Peak Climb

Video Description:

Optibike Conguers Pikes Peak!
(approximately 14,000 feet above sea leval).
On September 30, 2005, Craig Weakley rode the Optibie 400 to the top of Pikes Peak (The highest road in the USA)
The Optibike climbed 7,200 feet in 19 miles. The average grade of the Pikes Peak highway is 17%. The maximum grade is 55%.
With the motorized bottom bracket, the efficiency of the Optibike is the same climbing a 30% as on a flat road
Climbing at 12 miles per hour, the pace van was averaging 4 MPG. The Optibike was achieving the equivalent of 800 miles per gallon.
The low center of gravity of the sleek aluminum monocoque fram gives the Optibike stable handling.
After climbing 7000 feet over a 19 mile course in 1 hour and 30 minutes, the Optibike still had 1 hour and 40 minute of runtime left (using the auxiliary toury battery pack)
The Optibike 400

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Annie Londonberry

First woman to bicycle around the world was Annie Londonberry, according to reports, and this documentary. She did it in 1896, during the hieght of the first bicycle boom. It was a time when women had far fewer rights than they do today, no right to vote, own property, etc.

Perhaps, there will always be a link between bicycles and democracy and equality for all people, no matter their gender.

Asphalt Rider

Mauritz has done another outstanding video with a bicycle theme. Great use of visuals and music. Great editing.

Check out his blog at:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Arnold The Queen

Arnold, the Governor of California, is not a queen... well, he is not a queen in public... Well, I mean, it is not discussed in public that he is a queen... Well, I mean, he has not admitted, in public, to being a queen. Well... Uh, I mean... darn... He is the governor of California. And that is kind of like being the Queen of California, so to speak, isn't it?

No offence intended to the position of the Queen of England or the Governor of California.

Anyways, the reason I bring this subject up is because I saw a YouTube video that had a pretend queen of England in it (see video below) that gave me an idea.

In that YouTube video, there are children and a pretend reporter, play acting, as if they have spotted the Queen of England driving up in her electric car.

She stops and says hello to her subjects, the children and the reporter, and obliges to a short impromptu interview with the reporter. The kids are thrilled by the presence of the queen, and having a lot of fun with this make believe event.

The queen begs their forgiveness of having to run off quickly. She must go to the grocery store to do some shopping, waves, smiles and says good bye to the children and the reporter.

And I thought it might be fun to do California variation of that scenario.

The California variation would be set in Santa Monica, and someone would impersonate Governor Arnold. He would be wearing a white bicycle helmet with the California flag emblem on the sides, and his trademark Terminator glasses. He would have some of his staff with him, also wearing bicycle helmets and sunglasses.

They would be briskly walking towards their electric bicycles and electric scooters parked adjacent to the 3rd Street Promenade, which are parked and plugged in, charging, at the ebike charging station (See: e-bike/e-scooter public charging station - Florence, Italy). The have just comleted some shopping for a for a special gift for President Bush whom is awaiting them for a meeting in Century City later that day.

The reporter and childreen would excitedly run up to the Governor to say hello, as the goveror and his staff are unplugging their bicycles and scooters. .

As the governor and his staff are unplugging thier bikes, the pretend reporter asks the governor what brings him to the promenade.

Arnold graciously speaks to the reporter, as the children are bubbling with excitement.

Arnold speaks of the wonders of electric bicycles and how e-bikes have helped him, and his staff, serve the people of California. He believes that e-bikes and public charging stations for them are, like the one in Santa Monica, help California become energy independent, stimulate the economy, ease traffic congestion, air and sound pollution.

He speaks about how e-bikes provide opportunities for all people to incorporate more physical fitness into their daily lives, and have a higher quality of life.

He encourages the children to take bicycle and e-bike safety ED. He reminds the reporter that he signed the bill that would require, and fund, California public schools to offer bicycle safety and traffic edution in the public schools

He thanks the reporter and the children for saying hello.

He could apologize for having to run so quickly, as he is on a tight schedule, and is on his way to a special meeting with president Bush in Century City. They will be discussing how Bush will provide funding to California, to provide capital for companies to develop, and distribute, sustainable, environmentally friendly souces of of energy. And that California is now 50 percent energy independent, and has a goal of between 80-90 percent energy independent by 2011.

If you have any ideas on a scenario, or other political figures, for a mock event, please send them to me or post them in the comments. Thanks!

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sprockettes Dance

"Stunt Bike Dancing with the Sprockettes" article

Video Description:

The Sprockettes are the Pacific Northwest's Synchronized all gal mini bike precision dance troupe.They will amuse and amaze you like no others. The Sprockettes interests include mini bikes, hot pink and black sparks, hotties, danceable music, feminism, radicalism, DIY stuff, cable access.

PBS Electric

PBS Now, David Brancaccio talks to Chris Paine, the director of "Who Killed The Electric Car?" and examines who did kill the electric car, why, and some details behind this story.

This story has a strong focus around California, and politics and spin, and economic motives.

Who Did kill the electric Car?

And has the movie "Who Killed The Electric Car?" brought this topic back into the spotlight of the community and politicians?

What's next?

Video Description:
Fri, 16 Jun 2006 18:00:00 EST 22:17 royalty relief, oil and gas companies, record-high gas prices, public property no Politicsm Who Killed the Electric Car? NOW with David Brancaccio Did car companies sabotage one of their most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly products? Did car companies sabotage one of their most fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly products because it stood in the way of big profits? A new documentary by filmmaker Chris Paine charts the promising life and untimely death of the electric car, and lays blame at the door of some powerful suspects. NOW sits down with Paine to look under the hood of America's automotive and oil industries and uncover who really pulled the plug on electric cars, and why.

Related Posts:
- AltCar Expo Rally/Caravan(video)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Off Beaten Track

This is one of the most creative videos I have seen, with a bicycle theme.

Here are the details on this video:
Duration: 02:06
Taken: 28 October 2004
Location: United Kingdom
A teenage boy strays into the woods and is sent on an animated adventure.
The animated section is all stop-motion made with paper and magazine cutouts etc.
This is an old video I made in 2004.
Music by Chien Bizarr
my website is

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

AltCar Expo Caravan

This video taken December 8, 2006 in Santa Monica, of a caravan and mass of vehicles. everthing from bicycles, Segways, bicycles with electric assist motors to electric scooters, motorcycles, trikes, and car, and vans powered by electric motors. There were also various hybrid vehicles and vehicles powered by biofuels such as ethynol, biodiesel, and veggie oil. There were also a few micro cars present, that get over 100 miles per gallon, which can be fueled by gasoline or ethenol, such as Moonbeam, which was made from the chasis of a Honda Elite 150. The plans to build your own are online.

Partial List of vehicles in the Caravan
- Zap Car (Xebra)
- Skeuter electric bicycles and scooters ( Skeuter Website )
- Santa Barbar Electric Bicycle Company - Electric bicycles and scooters
- Meyers Motors - Electric car "Sparrow"
- MoonBeam - High MPH micro car (over 100 MPG)
- Organic Engines Pedicab with electric assist.
- Segway Human electric transporter
- Zenn Motor Company -- micro electric car
- Lightning Cycle Dynamics bicycles (with and without electric motor assist)
- EVT Elctric Scooters
- E-Max electric scooters
- Bike Friday bicycles

Note: If you know of more, please post them in the comments - Include a link for them if known, so they can be properly recognized. Thank you.

Related Posts:
- Santa Monica Bicycle Workshop(audio)
- Critical Mass(Santa Monica, CA)
- Dutch Message(video)
- Hannah On Bikes(video)
- CarLess Santa Monica(video news report)
- CarFree L.A.(video)

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Air Powered Vehicles community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Nutcracker Ala Bikes

Spreading cheery winter holiday spirit using bicycle sounds, Flip Baber, aka Johnnyrandom, produced a musical composition for Specialized Bicycle Components, exclusively from the sounds made of mountain and road bike parts. It's wild!

The song is from the Tchaikovsky score, "Nutcracker Suite", titled "Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy"(original lyrics and music).


According to "Create Digital Music", here is the breakdown of which bicycle parts created which sound effects:

Glockenspiel - spokes
Clarinet - spokes
Cello - plucked derailleur cables
Violin - plucked derailleur cables
Pizzicatos - plucked derailleur cables
Triangle - disc brake hit
Percussion - shifting, coasting, finger over turning spokes, chain pulls, braking, clipping into pedals, back-spinning, air out of tires.
Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Bicycle Ball...

Other things you can do with a bicycle...

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Jitensha girls


Bicycle Race Mash

Nice music video mashup of the song "Bicycle Race" by Queen, a Blumchen variation of it, with a touch of gender bending as well. Great visual effects.

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum


This is a cool video, by Maurits... nice visuals synched very well to some nice music. Note the bike lanes are painted red in this video. Any idea where this video was shot?

Bicycle Race

This must have been the european version of the music video by Queen "Bicycle Race". They got people riding bicycle nude in this video. Ou La La!

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Folding Bikes

Something else you can do with a folding bicycle... carry passengers? Standing room only...

Wild Stops

This is an amazing video, and example of some skilfull manuvering on a bicycle.

Twilight Zone

Rod Serling is a genius story teller. See the video below, an episode of the Twilight Zone, A story about a man, Oliver Pope, who hits a boy on a bicycle, and what takes place afterwords. First aired January 3, 1964. 30 minutes long.

Anyone who has ever been hit by a car or knows someone who has been hit be a car, may really appreciate warning to people who hit-and-run people riding bicycles. This video is deap... on so many levels. Pure Genius!

Rod Serling, actor and creator of the Twighlight Zone series, says:

"All persons attempting to conceal criminal acts concerning thier cars are hereby warned. Check first to see that underneath that chrome lies a concious, especially if you driving along a rainstorm in the twilight zone.."

According to some references, Rod Serling is listed in the writing credits, with writer Earl Hamner Jr. (reference)

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Friday, December 15, 2006


(click on image to enlarge)

Since putting the video of the AltCar Expo Rally Caravan, there have been about 300 views of it in the last couple days.

I have another video, an up and close video of "Moonbeam", the micro car which was made from the chassis of a Honda elite 150 motor scooter. I got a chance to test drive it. Wow! What a ride!
And Moonbeam, the micro car that gets over 100 miles per gallon and can go 50 miles per hour, could be retrofitted to run on ethanol, a biofuel. And a small trailer can be hooked up to moonbeam, to make her into a work horse as well. I think it would be kind of fun to hook of a bicycle rack to her roof, with a couple bicycles hitched up, for a picture of her carrying two bicycles. (smile)

And if you want to make a Moonbeam of your own, the designer has put up the plans on how to build one.

Interestingly, the design plans are copyrighted under a "Creative Commons" copyright, meaning people are free to copy them and use them. And people can even add to and modify them under this copyright. In a sense, you might call the Moonbean an "Open Source" car or the People's car. I think all that Jory wants is that you refer back to the original creative commons copyright and abide by the same conditions of copyright of the additions as free to the people to copy and use. It's even ok to make money by the use of the design. Jory wants to make sure that this never gets locked up this idea by any entity, and that it remains available to everyone. You can read the specifics and find links to more info on Creative Commons copyrights at the Moonbeam website

If you have come up with some cool modification ideas for the Moonbeam, please send them to me or post the info in the comments, so we can all know about them.

I will post more videos of moonbeam soon.

In the meantime, you may enjoy watching a news video report on Moonbeam below:

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Vita in Bicicletta

Film Screening

Vita in Bicicletta
By: Francesco Quinn

Date: Thursday, 12/14/2006
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: 1023 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles
(Istituto Italiano di Cultura)(MAP)
Organized by: Italian Consulate General, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Los Angeles; ICE; Enit; Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West; Regione Toscana; etc.
In collaboration with: Istituto Italiano di Cultura
FREE admission

Film Description:
In this documentary, part of a television series on the bicycle, director Francesco Quinn focuses on the multi-faceted role this vehicle plays in our lives. Not just a sport or an inexpensive means of transportation, cycling represents a way of life. It provides us with ways to be part of the elements, navigating the slope and the hill with warm and cool winds, with the scent of field and flower, and the salty taste of our own physical exertion. In La Vita in Bicicletta (Life on a Bike), Quinn recounts the significance of the bicycle from the time it was introduced to him as a child by his father, late actor Anthony Quinn.
Quinn takes us on a tour of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas as if we were traveling through Tuscany, encountering forgotten landscapes, unfamiliar and isolated lakes, bike roads, exotic architecture, and restaurants unknown to the public. Riding a bike, we can view the landscape in a way not possible from a car or a speeding motorbike. While the physical exertion brings us feelings of well-being, the visual pleasures fill our hearts and minds with memories that will stay with us forever. In this journey, Quinn is accompanied by well-known actors and personalities, as well as cycling experts and novices.
This event is organized by the Italian Consulate General; the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Los Angeles; Italian Film Commission; Enit; Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West; Regione Toscana; TV Libera Toscana; Assessorato alla Provincia di Pistoia; Trialtir; and Storyville Studios Burbank California.

(via source)


The San Fernando Valley Illegal Soap Box Federation(aka SFVISBF)???

This is an entertaining video, similar to bombing on skates and bikes, using nnly gravity as your power source. These guys make soapbox come alive in this video creation.

The use of music and sound effects is superb!

WARNING! be carefull when watching the blinking "Neighborhood Watch" clip.. I think those guys embedded some kind of subliminal message in there. Reports have come in of people hopping around their homes thinking they a fluffy white bunnies and have a strange overwhelming craving to eat carrots and lettuce.;)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Danish Speed..

Speed Control in Denmark "bikini bandits". Women with traffic speed limit sign, dressed in topless and with bikini bottoms, bringing attention to the speed limits to motorists.

Some like it and think it is a great idea... and some are not so happy about this invative technique of bringing attention to speed limits.

What do you think about this? Do you have other ideas that have merit?

Cell Phone

This video shows a mountain style bicycle with an electric assist hub motor in the front wheel.

The videographer says that the the video was taken with a crappy cell phone camera.

It appears to be attached to the side of one of those one wheel bicycle trailers, which is be dragged around while on a test ride. Note how quiet the electric assist hub motor is.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Noel Adam ACE

This is a quote and picture from the full report Noel Adams at Electrifying Times did on the AltCar Expo, that may be of interest:

I stopped by the Sustainable Transportation Club booth to talk with Russell Sydney who I have corresponded with for some time and never met face to face. The Sustainable Transportation club is a big supporter of bicycling and electric scooters. They had two electric scooters on display, the Falcon EV eRunner and an EVT 168. John Breza, the local EVT dealer and another old acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a long time was also maning the booth so I had a chance to chat with him for a few moments.
It is one of the most comprehensive reports, and display of pictures, from the AltCar Expo I have seen to date.

Related Posts:
- AltCar Rally Caravan video

Bike Parking

This is a video demonstrating how to park a bicycle on a "Bike Tree" rack.

You use a smart card to call down a hook. The computer on the bike tree recognizes legitimate cards, logs , in some fashion, the card that called it down. You hook in one of your bicycle wheels into the hook, and then send the hook back up.

To get your bicycle back down, you use the same smart card, which the computer will verify is the same one that sent the card down and up the last time, and will bring it down for you.

Then you unhook your bicycle, and the hook goes back to its resting place at the top of the tree.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bicycle Taxi

(click on images to enlarge)

At the AltCar Expo, I interviewed the owner of Euro Taxi. They are the first taxi company in Santa Monica to advertise the use biodiesel powered taxi's. They currently have a fleet of four taxi's and want to expand the number in the fleet that burn biodiesel.

I presented the suggestion that Euro Taxi consider some kind of program of the vehicles including portable bicycle racks, which could accomodate at least two regular diamond frame bicycle.

The racks are lightweight, can be stowed in very compact space. My suggestion was politely received.

Perhaps, I am hopeful that we see taxi's in Santa Monica and the westside that, defacto, provide bicycle carrying racks, for the weary cyclist, or the cyclist with the broken down bike.

In countries around the world, including our neighbor, the new nation of Quebec has multiple taxi companies that advertise the service of including taxi's in their fleet that carry bicycles.

Some carry them on the rear through a removable, off-the-shelf, bicycle rack system. And some use the over the roof, more permanent bicycle rack system.

Some Cities and countries that have bicycles on Taxi programs include:

Montreal Quebec
Queensland , Austrailia
Copeenhagen, Denmark

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Letovsky Trike

This is a brief video clip of someone demo riding a prototype electric tricycle. It uses a electric hub motor in each of its three wheels. It is running on a 36 volt system with a single controler. It is made by Howard Letovsky, president of Letovsky Dynamics.

This was one of many vehicles brought by attendees, at the AltCar Expo, held at Barker Hanger, at Santa Monica Airport, in Santa Monica, California, December 9 and 10, 2006.

AltCar Expo Monorail

This is a video excerpt from one of the educational presentation at the AltCar Expo. This one was titled "Where Are the Monorails?"

The speakers were Dick Falkenbury and Brian C. Brooks.

This is about 10 minuts from the approximate one hour presentation. There was a subatantial question and answer time after they spoke.

Related Posts:
- AltCar Expo Rally Caravan video
- Monorails Now in Los Angeles county (video clip)

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bird Car Encounter...

this video was taken in Santa Monica. The videographer says they think the bird was attaching it's reflection in the chrome plated wheels of their car.

I have a different explanation for this little guy attacking that car. He/she was pissed off at that car for nearly hitting him/her or for killing his/her mate as they were out flying about Santa Monica. Or it was because it was mad that that car was polluting it's bird bath water and the air if flies in. That pollution is burning it's eyes.

And he/she was giving that car a piece of his/her mind. You can't hear the bird chirps... but I bet it would a lot of four letter words in bird language.

AltCar Expo Ebikes

These are short video clips from the electric bicycle, electric scooter, and Segway demo area.

More to come shortly.

And if you have links to more videos, photos, or news reports, please post them in the comments, or links to that info. Thanks.

Plan B...

This is a short video clip interview with Lester Brown on his book "Plan B - Rescuing A Planet Under Stress and a Civilization In Trouble" and ways we can use environmentally friendly energy sources, such as wind and solar to meet all of our energy needs and become energy self sufficient.

If you have some good links for Lester Brown and/or his work. Please post them in the comments.


AltCar Expo Rally 1

This video is a short pass through look at some of the vehicle that participated at the AltCar Expo on December 8, 2006. The vehicles assembed on the Santa Monica Pier. The rally of vehicles consisted of such vehicles as bicycle, human powereed and human power with electric assist, electric scooters, electric motorcycles (2 and 3 wheeled), micro cars (electric and high MPG gasoline powered), a human powered trike pedicab with electric motor assist, a biofueled diesel Taxi ("Euro Taxi" of Santa Monica), some hybrid gas/electric cars/tracks/vans, and assortment of kit car electric vehicles and other vehicles.

The rally/caravan of vehicles took a trip through Santa Monica, which included a pass by of the Santa Monica City Hall and civic center, Santa Monica College (on Pico blvd, and along Ocean Park Blvd (business park district. We rode passed at least three public parks, included Palisades park, Virginia Park, and Clover park.

The weather was sunny, blue sky (virtually no couds), with a moderat temperature of about 75 degree Farenheit.

The Rally ended at Parker hanger in Santa Monica Airport. Approximately over a hundred vehicles participated in the rally/carravan.

The FREE AltCar Expo is Saturday and Sunday (Dec 9 and 10, 2006). For more info on the growing list of speakers, keynotes, and demo ride opportunities see the AltCar Expo website.

BTW, if you you are considering attending the Los Angeles Auto Show that is happenning on Saturday and Sunday, as well, this author will be providing a report on the environementally friendly vehicle perspective of that show. And in the mean time, I would like to suggest that this author saw very little of interest at the LA Auto Show. However, there was a piece of swag that was kind of interesting. It was a light weight cloth material, soft, backpack kind of bag being given away for free, that could make a nice bag for carrying stuff when you bicycle to the grocery store. I will post a picture of the bag later.

See you at the AltCar Expo! (smile)

Here is the video taken during the AltCar Expo Rally/Caravan ride/roll:

Related Posts:
- AltCar Expo Rally/Caravan(video)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wow Velomobiles

(click on images to enlarge.)

Here are some choice velomobile video Clips, including the WAW (pronounce wow), the "Go-One" and others.

BTW, any of these can be easily fitted with an electric power assist hub motor on their rear, or front wheels. And with that, they continue to have all the functionality as a human powered vehicle. And with the electric motor assist they can be used to travel further and at higher speeds than a person can do by human power alone. They could essentially be described as a human/electric powered hybrid vehicle, which can powered by either power source alone or the two combined.

BTW, the local dealer for WAW velomobiles is Bent Up Cycles in Van Nuys CA.

Hey, let's start a velomobile club in Santa Monica area. And we could do Velomobile tours all over the place, even if it is raining or cold out. That would be fun!

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Bicycle Repairman

F. G. Superman... and super hero "Bicycle Repairman", of the Monty Python troupe.

Cycle World

(click on images to enlarge. Piaggio MP3, TRIX Trike, and Big Toe, the "SUV Crusher")

The LA Times article on the Cycle World show discusses some interesting highlights, including the presense of the three wheeled tilting Piaggio scooter(aka Piaggio MP3) and some kind of monster bike. I have no idea what this thing would be good for other than a machine to intimidate SUV drivers. I can just imagine somone in an SUV, thinking they were safe and sound and then to have some guy or girl on a bike with tires that are 3 feet wide and five feet tall roll up beside them.
The SUV driver would have to look up to see who is drving the thing.

Perhaps it is humorsly referred to as the SUV crusher. Ouch!

The Gizmag has a nice article on the Piagio scooter

Also, if you like the piaggio three wheeler with carving/tilting capabilities, you migh like the TRIX human powered trike (See Gizmag article) developed by a design comany named Product Group. You could stick a electric power assist hub motor on the rear wheel of that bike, and you got yourself a fuel efficient, environemntally friendly, hybrid vehicle that also carries cargo. Wild!

"Cycle World show pushes the limits"
December 6, 2006

OFFICIALLY, there isn't a theme to this weekend's 26th Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, but it might as well be "Extremes." Among the 600 bikes on display at the Long Beach Convention Center are the world's fastest, smallest, tallest and most expensive production sport bike motorcycles.

In addition to the hundreds of 2007 model street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers and ATVs, visitors can check out the BUB #7 Streamliner and meet the rider who sped across the Bonneville Salt Flats into the record books at 350.885 mph this past September. They can take in the 7-foot-tall Big Toe and 2.55-inch-short Small Toe bikes — both of which are ridable. And they can admire what most of them can never afford — MV Agusta's new $120,000 production sport bike, the most expensive ever.

MV's F4CC is one of several highly anticipated unveilings reserved for Long Beach. Ducati is wheeling out the North American commemorative edition of its soon-to-be-released new superbike family, the 1098 S Tricolore. It will also be flaunting its six-months-away hypermotard.

Buell's new super moto, the Lightning Super TT XB12STT, will also make its U.S. debut, as will the first-ever three-wheeled scooter from Piaggio and a concept V-Max from Yamaha subsidiary, Star Motorcycles.

The Long Beach stop is the fifth and most influential of a 13-city tour that kicked off in Phoenix. "Southern California is the show that the manufacturers definitely bring out extra stuff," said show spokesman Robert Pandya.

That's because SoCal is the North American hub of the big four Japanese manufacturers, most of the motorcycle media and one of the country's largest rider populations — 40,000 of whom are expected to turn out this weekend, Pandya said.

If they bring a helmet and driver's license with a motorcycle classification, riders can even take some of the bikes for a spin. Buell, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi, Star Motorcycles and Yamaha are all offering demos on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. Just look for corporation-emblazoned tractor trailers and signs that say "Demo." They'll be outside in the parking area off of Shoreline Drive.

Custom builder Matt Hotch is setting up shop there too, to show off the many bikes that have won him many Discovery Channel Biker Build-Offs.

Head inside, and there's a little something for everyone. On the acrobatic end, Brandon and Preston Landers of the BOSS stunt team will perform synchronized stunts and back flips inside their famous Ball of Steel.

Cruiser types, if you didn't get to Daytona this year can see the $250,000 "Nehmesis" Star Motorcycle custom that won Best of Show at the Boardwalk — the first Japanese motorcycle to win the award. Designed by Sam Nehme, the gold- and chrome-plated bike doesn't have a kickstand; it parks on the frame and lifts to riding level with full air suspension. A Big Twin Customs area is also displaying a variety of one-of-a-kinds from builders across the country.

Cruisers aren't the only bikes getting the custom treatment. Sportbikes tricked out with graphics, stretched swingarms, nitros and superchargers have their own display in the custom sportbike area.

There are a couple of firsts at the show this year. A Motocross America Tour will track the evolution of motocross with period bikes and images of racing legends including Decoster, Hannah and McGrath. ATVs step into the spotlight with their own display area. And wannabe riders who've never thrown a leg over can stop into a new Welcome Center for information on how to get into the sport.

The motorcycle industry has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, with sales increasing annually since 1992.

Coincidentally, that was the year Cycle World magazine stepped in as title sponsor for the International Motorcycle Show because "the magazine really represents the length and breadth of all aspects of motorcycling, and the show is exactly the same thing," said publisher Larry Little. "In 1992, there were probably 260 different models available for sale. Last year, it was over 400 models.

"I continue to be floored by the length and breadth of product that still keeps coming out. Especially when you see it all in one place, it's pretty neat."

26th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Friday, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: $13 adults (12 and older), $5 children (6-11); (800) 331-5706, .

Related Post:
- Bike Cargo
- Electric bicycle/scooter/e-bike Public Charging/Parking station(Florence Italy)

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Bike Cargo

(click on images to enlarge)

The other day, spotted a Vespa with an amazing set of cargo racks. (see pictures to the right). They fold up when not in use. Shawn(not sure of spelling) says they are very strong and can carry heavy loads. You can strap a milk crat on them easy.

According to American Scooter Center, the kit on Shawn's scooter is like the "LX150 Touring Kit" (see picture to the right, below). They weigh about 25 pounds and cost about $700 through the American Scooter Center.

These heavy duty folding racks would be a boom for carrying cargo by human powered bicycles as well. It would especially be nice to have side mounted folding, haavy duty racks for bicycles.

If you come across any, please send the info to me so I can share it with everyone else I know. Thanks.

Also, check back later today for a post about another vehicle show happenning in the Los Angeles area.. Perhaps you thought there were only two this weekend... The Los Angeles Auto Show and the Santa Monica AltCar Expo? WRONG. There is also the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show is also happenning this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, there is still ways to see all three, if you have a mind to. And I will be posting tips and info on how to get plan and get to all three (using public transit) and some highlights about the shows, with specific focus and spotlight on their more environmentally friendly and earth friendly vehicles, or vehicles that give people more options in what they may choose for their transportation needs. For now, check out the Cycle World show details page . I will also post transportation options people may find useful to get to all three shows. And how to save money doing it. And if you have more info about any of the shows or other info about the subjects I mentioned here, please feel free to send to me or post in the comments sections so all of us may know the info. Thanks.

Related Posts:
- AltCar Expo (Santa Monica)
- Reese Witherspoon+BIKE
- Future Vehicles
- Fuel From Air
- Green Urbanism
- American Wheels
- Green Corps
- Cycle World

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

E-Bike Lawnmower

When an electric assist bicycle and a gas powered lawnmower converge you get a tricked out electric lawnmower that can perform as well as a gas powered mower. See video of it in action below.

Video Description:

I converted my 125cc two stroke Victa lawnmower to electric using a MY1020 motor manufactured by UniteMotor Co and 36V worth of SLA batteries. As you can see the lawn is very overgrown but it performed as well if not better than the two stroke version. It total I have 19Ah of batteries comprising buddy pairs of 7Ah (left over from ebike experimenting) and 12Ah (brand new). Total mowing time was over 45 minutes.

Brompton E-Bike

This Brompton Folding bicycle with the Nano electric assist hub motor is very nice. And it has a nice way of being carried. And according the the film maker, it can be folding up in 10 seconds, and ready to be carried onto a bus, train, shopping cart, or whatever.

Video Description:

The 'best' folding electric bike there is! The smallest folder fitted with the smallest and lightest motor system that is silent, powerful ... all » and efficient. The nano motor 2.1kg, 36V 200W/425W 22kph motor, 2.8kg 10A Li-Ion battery. Pedal Action Sensor/Pedal Force Sensor and Twistgrip.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fast Bikes

The guys in this video are cruising at 28 miles per hour on what appears to be a bike path or a green way.

With a skin for the recumbent bicycle, he could probably add another 10 miles per hours with the same amount of energy use.

Related Posts:
- World's Fastest Bicycle

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Bus+Bike Lanes

Reader comment the BusLane webage:

I was very interested to read your informative article on the subject of bicycles sharing bus lanes.

However, I must take issue with your heading:
Dublin, Ireland, UK

Dublin is in the Republic of Ireland, not the UK. Your heading is particularly appropriate because Dublin left the UK over eighty years ago, after a painful and bloody war of independence.

Kind regards,
Dermot, thanks for your comment. Corrections have been made. LINK

If you find more errors, typos, or additional info that should be added, please let me know. Thanks.

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

McDonald's Bikes?

[Click on images to enlarge.]

A report is circulating that McDonald's is attempting to encourage kids to bicycle.

McDonald's Corp has unveiling a plan of installing what they are calling the "R Gym PlaySpace". These mini gyms for kids will have, among other things, stationary bikes (apparently kid-safe, see picture on the right) (also, check out the Video report from OC Register) that are hooked up to big video screens in front of them. Apparently the kids literally pedal their way on a virtual bicycle ride, via the big screen computer synched environment.

Hmmmm, I wonder what will be on the screen. Perhaps it could be a virtual bicycle safety training film? Or perhaps, the kids can go out on a little bike ride with their buds, "critical mass" style? Will we see skaters and pedestrians on this virtual, McDonald's "corp" sponsored bicycle ride.

In any case, it look like it could be fun to check one of these playspace bikes out.

I wonder if this new push for marketing "healthy foods" and "active" "fitness" minded lifestyles is somehow connected with the latest recent success in revealing what is behind the veil of the "fast food" industry, in the film "Fast Food Nation". BTW, it is still screening in Santa Monica (location and showtimes for Santa Monica LINK see trailer for the film below)

I wonder if the adult "kids" will be allowed to take a little spin on these calorie burning ped machines while taking bites out of their "Mc Salads"and washing them down with some "Mc OJ". (wink)(smile)

Recommended Links:
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum

Monday, December 04, 2006

Santa Monica Critical Mass

This is a short video clip from the critical mass in Santa Monica from May 2005. This clip shows the mass of cyclists riding around the Venice Circle at twilight.

Related Posts:
- Santa Monica Critical Mass(May 2006)
- SM Critical Mass(Sept 2006)

Recommended Links:
- Santa-Monica/West-L.A./Venice critical mass community forum
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ebikes On Promenade

Spotted some electric "bicycles" and scooters, and pseudo EV cars. The cars were the new vehicles made by Zap, called the "Zap Car".

The Zap Car's are being offered by a dealer for Zap. He currently has a car lot space to show the cars in Venice and a space in downtown LA.

The electric bicycle scooteer guy is importing scooters from china. He claims that they are packaged with components that he has specified. He is branding the bikes under the name Skeuter. He has show room space in the Culver City area and is looking for dealers to sell his bikes.

According to Zane, his bikes are all 48 volt brushles motor systems. The "bicycle" versions come with a chain and pedals, if you want to put them on. He claims they have regenerative braking capabilities. He said their is a "dynamo in the rear wheel hub. I was unable to get more clear information on what activates the regenerative braking and other concerns about its functionality. He claims to have several thousand dollars in a parts inventory, including batteries, chargers, controllers, the platic components, lights, and intrumentation. I was not able to clear information if all the parts of the bikes were available by his company.

The exact offering by both companies seems to be unclear at this time. And it is unclear what future will be like in getting parts for these vehicles, and which parts are avaialbe through after market channels. It seems that some of the parts are similar to bicycle or motorcycle parts. Some parts, like the tires on the Zap Car apparently are the same (12 inches in diameter) as trailer tires. They apparently are radial tires rated for at least 40 miles per hour.

The SKeuter guy has 12 volt, 20 amp hour, batteires for about 30 bucks each.

According to Dave, the Zap Car dealer, the Zap Car is runnin off 6, 12 volt, deep cycle sealed lead acid batteries. And the motor is a brushed with a maximum of seven gross brake horsepower.

All of these vehicle require a 110v ac outlet. I believe the scooters chargers can also be charged off 220 volt ac out lets, according to Zane, the scooter guy.

The two videos below are short pans of the scooter and car displays at the 3rd Street Promenade on December 2nd, 2006.

And they report that they will be on there again on Sunday, at the 3rd street promenade, to display their vehicles, answer questions, and allow people to sit in and look at their vehicles.

EVs on 3rd St Promenade

This page has been moved to:
Ebikes on Promenade

Knitting Spokes

In Peru, they knit Chullo hats, scarves, and ponchos using the wool of the Alpaca. The Alpaca looks like a lama with a thick long wooly coat of fur.

And the Peruvians knit using, believe it or not, bicycle spokes. Here is one report of this:

They are wonderful ladies who have an extraordinary amount of patience for our clumsy attempts at learning to knit differently. So first off, the five needles we are given are hooks at one end and pointed at the other and made from bicycle spokes.
Interestingly, the Chullo hat makes a nice hat for a bicyclist. It covers the head, very close, and has ear flaps. The hat fits nice and tight underneath bicycle helmets. The wool keeps the head and ears warm, while still allowing perspiration to escape. It ties under the chin.

If you want to make your own chullo. You can find how-to instructions and free patterns online. By the ways guys, in Peru, the men make their own chullos. And to personalize them, they include images relevent to their life. That might include images of objects, animals, or other things that are part of their life , or that have been part of their past, or that are of interest to them.

You can get yarn for your chullo online or you can find some stores around Santa Monica. There is a non profit shop on Pico blvd , between 33rd and 32nd street that carries many colors and varieties.

Future Vehicles

Thanks to a CSM! reader for sending this roport(see below) to the CSM! blog editors. If you have and reports, questions, links, and/or pictures that you think other CSM! readers would like to see, send them in. Thanks.

PBS recently release this info(see below) about a film project they are working on. Perhaps we will see them at the AltCar Expo (Santa Monica, CA) Next week.

However, I have a strange sense that their visions will not include things such as bicycle, skates, or other invovative forms of transporation devices and vehicles.

However, thos guys from "Car Talk" and the visionaries behind the show "Car of the Future" may be inspired to modify the name of their show to "Vehicle of the Future". And vehicle, of choice, in the future may include alternatives to cars as vehicles of choice for transportation, entertainment, and pleasure.

e: Open Production

Get involved in the making of a NOVA program to air in the fall of 2007 on PBS.

For the next two weeks, NOVA will not be broadcast in most areas because of pledge programming. However, we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about an exciting new project.

For the first time, NOVA has launched a Web site specifically to engage you, our audience, in the production of a documentary. The show will address a topic of concern to all of us: can we transition to a new breed of vehicles that relies less on oil and produces fewer greenhouse gases? NPR personalities Tom and Ray Magliozzi (a.k.a. the "Car Talk" Guys) will pepper the program with their unique brand of humor as they test-drive alternative vehicles, meet leading energy policy gurus, and more. The documentary will be shot and edited over the winter and spring of 2006-2007 and is tentatively slated to air in the fall of 2007.

As our production team embarks on shooting over the next few months, we'd like to hear from you. What questions would you ask of the experts we'll interview? What technologies would you like to see profiled? On the Web site, you can explore current plans for the program, submit your own ideas, and get updates as the production unfolds.

Here's what you'll find online:

Draft Script
This work in progress offers an overview of the program and a
sense of its style.

About the Producers
Read about the filmmakers charged with the task of turning a
complex topic into compelling TV.

Expert Participants
Learn about the various experts we plan to interview.

E-Mail Your Questions & Ideas
Send us your input, and you may win a free DVD of a recent
NOVA show.

Join the Discussion
Take part in a dialogue about the technologies and policies
needed to keep us movin' on down the road.

Audio Dispatches
Hear interview clips and reports from the field.

Related Links
Visit other Web sites to investigate the subject further.