Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Olbermann On Bicycling?

Kieth Olbermann made a comment regarding the Prop 8 voting results(see video below). He lays out a well thought argument regarding on why something like that proposition is wrong. It occurred to me that someone as articulare as him could do the same for the transportation bicycling community. It seems that there are parallels to these issues.

Riding a bicycle for transportation, driving a car, or perhaps those of the "bi" category whom like to ride bikes and drive cars for transport all must have the equal right do so.

And, by the way, there are cyclists attending the Prop 8 protest rallies/marches. Last night(at et the Santa Monica Pier - Colorado and Ocean, in Santa Monica, California) there were at least a couple hundred or so bicyclists. This is based on an observation of how many attending the protest that had bicycle with them

Other protests, such as the one in front of the LDS church and in West Hollywood (Santa Monica Blvd and San Vicente) had large numbers attend via bicycle. And it seems that attending these rallies via bicycle has some strategic advantages over driving to them by personal car - finding parking, cutting through traffic and road blocks, and shortcuts on a bicycle. And even for getting to rallies a bit further away, getting their by multi-modal transport of bicycling part way and taking your bicycle on the public transit buses and trains makes it possible to get there and back with most convenience.

I welcome your comments.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Creatures On Air

TED Talks have uploaded alot of new archived videos of speakers from the TED conferences. And one of those videos is a presentation by Theo Jenson and his "Living Creatures". Info about his psuedo living creatures when are powered by wind power. In the TED presentation he speaks of how he is using energy storage through the use of compressed air. The compressed air will allow the animal to continue to operate while wind is absent for periods of time

Theo Jenson info: LINK - Download video

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ebikes on Youtube

Electric bicycles (AKA ebikes and electric assist bicycles) have achieved a milestone on Youtube with one of the most popular videos depicted an electric bicycle passing the threshold of 200,000 views "News Report "Man Motors On Hybrid Bike" (200,638 views). The next few top viewed videos depicting electric assist bicycles are not far behind. See chart of top four below:

  1. News Report "Man Motors On Hybrid Bike" (200,638 views)
  2. nano motor electric bike kit: freewheel demonstration" (191,585 views)
  3. Ultimate hybrid electric bicycle" (169,504 views)
  4. Mongoose Cruiser Electric Bike Review" (167,234 views)
(see all 4 embedded below)

And the total number of video on youtube is exploding as well. For example, as of today, here are the stats on number of videos with these keywords in thier description:

Other popular video sharing sites are also swelling with growing number of video depicting electric assist biccyles, such as Daily Motion, Veoh, and Metacafe.

What are your favorte videos of electric bicycles on the internet? Post links and info in the comments so we all may know about them. Thanks!

News Report "Man Motors On Hybrid Bike

nano motor electric bike kit: freewheel demonstration

Ultimate hybrid electric bicycle

Mongoose Cruiser Electric Bike Review

Related Posts:
- Hybrid Bike in Valley news report
- How to Install an Electric Hub Motor Kit on a Bicycle video
- Electric Bikes China news report
- Ebikes Public Parking/Charging Stations
- Touring Beijing by Electric Bicycle
- Ebikes Vietnam video news report
- Electric Bikes Vancouver video news report
- CarLess Santa Monica video news report
- G-Wiz Electric Car news report

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

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Santa Monica Glow

Santa Monica was a "Glow" with several thousand biycles in downtown Santa Monica for the inaugural "Glow" festival (July 19, 2008). The festival was inspired by "Nuit Blanche" which is held once a year(October) in Paris France since 2002). Nuit Blanche translates from French into English as "white night" or "all nighter"(see wiki "Nuit Blanche").

The Santa Monica Glow had a bicycle valet that parked over 1000 bicycles (see pictures). Also, there were thousands of bicycles locked to poles, railings, and in many cases locked to eachother in big bicycle piles where there was open space. There were many decorated bicycles. Bicycle riders also congregated in the Santa Monica Critical Mass meet up spot for impromptu group rides thourghout the nite.

If you have more info, post in the comments. Thanks!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Al Gore July 2008

Al Gore spoke in Washington, DC July 17, 2008. He spoke of a plan to end our reliance on carbon based fuels within 10 years. See a clip from the speech below.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama On Bikes

There has been some recent rumblings about a picture circulating on the internet of Barack Obama riding a bicycle. (see picture on right). And most recently there was a video clip posted on Youtube of Barak talking positively about the benefits of having more bicycle lanes, while speaking at a rally in Portland Oregon. See video below

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Love Metrolink

This is one of the most awesome videos I have seen. The bicyclist in this video gives a high five to the metrolink conductor as the metrolink train pulls away. Awesome!

Big Blue Bus Free

There has been rumors that the Big Blue Bus and Santa Monica College Board will be negotiating a contract to allow all Santa Monica College Students and staff to ride all the Big Blue Buses for FREE! Apparently, the details of the contract and the date it will be implemented are unclear. However, according to a report, and some bus operators, it is due to start for the beginning of the Fall 2008 semester.

That program will save folks thousands of dollars in transportation costs. For folks who drive their cars to the campus, they may save several hundred dollars per semester in gas and maintenance costs, parking fees at the campus, and on the cost of bus fare. For those that already are taking the bus to campus, they could also save a few hundred dollars in bus fares. This will also allow students and staff to more liberally travel to campus, if they do not buy the monthly pass. And these folks may end up taking the bus for work, and recreation throughout the service area of the Big Blue Bus. And of course for those that like to bring thier bicycle with them to campus or the beach, they will continue to enjoy that opportunity.

I suppose the next move is to provide FREE bus fare to all Santa Monica High School Students and staff. Now that is a nice little fringe benefit! (smile)

What is unclear is if that free fare will extend to the number 10 line. That line requires a premium on top of the ordinary fare. Also, unclear if the program will also extend to MTA bus lines connected to the various SMC campuses.

If any of you know more info on this post in the comments, so we all may know. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bicycle Train Zurich

This is a video of a bicycle train in Zurich Switzerland.

"Swiss trains are the best"

BicycleTrain Amsterdam

In my previous post I spoke of policies and facilities of commuter trains in California regarding bringing bicycles. Here is an interesting video posted on Youtube of what it is like to ride a train in Amsterdam (Netherlands Holland) with your bicycle.

Metrolink Bicycles

(click on image to enlarge.)

In the May 2008 issue of the Metrolink newsletter "Metrolink Matters"(PDF), there is question and answer bit about bicycles in a section called "Four Questions for Gray Crary - Assistant Executive Officer, Operations and Engineering"
The question is:

"Any plans for a car with fewer seats but more bike
and luggage storage?"

The answer is:
"Not at this time. I ride the trains myself, and I am seeing more bicycles and more people with luggage—I suspect due to people’s using the FlyAway bus at Union Station and to our direct access to the Burbank Airport. But our passengers are still mainly commuters who, for the most part, do not travel with luggage as Amtrak passengers tend to do. Seats are a very valuable commodity with the demand for Metrolink service so high, and we are ordering more cars to add seats and reduce passenger crowding."

IMHO, regarding bicycle commuters using Metrolink trains, this response is absurd! And by not providing adequate/appropriate accommodations for the bicycle commuters is a self fulfilling action.

(videos to the right of bicyclists boarding Caltrain with their bicycles)
The Caltrain, a commuter train that runs from San Francisco, through Menlo Park, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Gilroy, has two "bike cars" per train which can accommodate up to thirty two(32) bicycles each. And from reports I have reviewed, even with that, there are still times when bicyclist commuters are left at stations because there is no more room left for their bicycle on board the train.

Mr. Crary, there are many bicycling commuters out there that would love to use the metro link train. The problem is that they no longer can be a bicycle commuter on the metro link train if there is no room for their bicycle. Please have a look at the good work being done on CalTrain. See the "Caltrain's Bicycle Access" web page for more info on Caltrain's policy and facilities for accommodating bicycles. Picture to the right is the inside of a Caltrain bike car.

Picture below is of a bicycle strapped into one of the two places for holding bicycles on the Metrolink train cars. Only some cars on the Metrolink trains have these spaces. And from what I understand bicycles are not allowed on the cars with out these bicycle parking sections.

However, I think it is important to note that I have occasionally seen three bicycles leaned and strapped down with bungee cords to the other two bicycles.

If you are a bicycle commuter that would like to write a letter to Mr. Crary, the email for responding to this column is posted in the PDF file. I believe the contact instructions are: send email to: , subject line “4 Questions”. And if you do email him, let me know, and send me a copy too.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Freeway Skate

If you thought the "Freeway Riders" videos of their bicycle rides on the 10 and 405 freeway were interesting, you might like to check out one some skaters are doing to beat traffic on the 405. In particular, it's reported that the 405 dissent between the valley and West L.A. makes for a nice ride. And I suppose the cars stuck in stand still traffic make for an interesting slalom opportunity. I suppose as traffic gets worse and the weather gets warmer, we may see more fellow skaters and bikers attempting to shave some time off their commutes, while have some fun along the way, on the Santa Monica and Los Angeles Freeway systems.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Freeway Ride II

One of the Freeway Riders has put up another video. (see video below). This one is from the "Freeway Ride II". It starts off with a video clip of some of the crew creating a banner that reads "Ride A Bike and You Would Be Home By Now". It was cast over the 17th street bride over the 10 freeway during the afternoon rush hour traffic. It is followed up by several bicyclists getting on the 10 freeway and then transitioning onto the northbound 405 freeway, and then exiting onto Santa Monica blvd. The Santa Monica blvd off ramp is in front of the Tesla Motor's brand new electric car showroom dealership. The dealership is across the street from the Lee Iacoca Foundation offices. Lee Iacoca was the founder of the largest USA based electric bicycle companies. (see "Lee Iacocca Kicks Off Grand Opening of the World's First Retail Energy Store")

Perhaps Tesla Motors and the ING Cafe(Los Angeles/Santa Monica) could host an unofficial after ride reception/"human power refueling station" for the Freeway Riders?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors opened their first dealership on Santa Monica blvd. That is a block from the 405 freeway and Sepulveda blvd.

It seems that that area is an epicenter for electric vehicles and clean air action. Other things going on in that area include Lee Iacoca's foundation and offices for health and electric bicycle e-Bike (11150 Santa Monica Blvd). It is also within view of the off ramp used to end the "CrimAnimals" Freeway ride/protest. The ING cafe is next door which facilitates a paperless, online bank where people can save money and do their banking through, electronically.

It may be of interest to note that scientists have found links between air pollution and elevated levels of blood clotting and deep vein thrombosis. (article)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CrimAnimals On KNBC

The Cimanimal("CrimAnimalz") "Freeway Ride" bike crew are getting more media attention. Thier latest coverage includes a news piece on KNBC, Channal 4. See video below.

About a year or two ago KNBC did another news piece about the bicycle scene in Santa Monica, including an interview with Chris Balish (author of "How To Live Well Without Owning A Car")(see video)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Crimanimal Mass

"Crimanimal Mass" getting some ink on the Santa Monica Daily Press (see Santa Monica Daily Press May 10-11, 2008). See Crimanimal Mass video "Freeway Ride"

Crimanimal Mass challenges car culture
By Daniel Archuleta

I-10 Freeway With cameras firmly secured to their handlebars and helmets, a band of bicycle enthusiasts made a bee line toward the Bundy Drive on-ramp to the Santa Monica Freeway, hoping to make a statement and not get caught by the California Highway Patrol in the process.

Crimanimal Mass — an aggressive offshoot of Critical Mass — collectively decided to perform the stunt on Friday at the peak of rush hour traffic to colorfully illustrate how much faster commuters can zip through gridlock on a bicycle than by sitting, bumper to bumper, in their cars.

A group estimated to be nearly 30 riders strong rode onto the I-10 Freeway heading eastbound to the I-405 Freeway, where they took the overpass and headed northbound to the Santa Monica Boulevard exit. This was the third freeway ride the group has participated in during the past few weeks and organizers vow to continue their mobile protest for months to come.

CHP officers spotted the group as they exited the freeway and proceeded to give chase. Two riders were stopped, but were not issued citations. “They just repeated over and over to not get on the freeway. They were very cool about it,” Paul Bringetto, 36, said. “They just told us not to do it again.”

Aside from disobeying the law, Crimanimal Mass riders hope to spread the bike gospel. “I just wanted to raise questions about the transportation infrastructure,” said Morgan Strauss, 29, one of the group’s organizers. “In a city ruled by cars, why is it that you can get places faster on bikes?”

The first time the group took to the freeways was on April 18. They recorded their trek and later posted the video on YouTube where it has been viewed 32,150 times as of Friday afternoon. The clip titled “The Freeway Ride - On Bicycles” was posted by a participating rider who goes by the handle Richtotheie and has generated a considerable stir among the local biking community.

“There was so much talk that (the ride) was going to ruin (the local bike scene),” Richtotheie, 22, said. “People can take their own view.”

Most of the criticism the group has received has been posted on the popular Midnight Ridazz Web site. The site includes a number of blog threads about the rides and has featured a fairly robust discourse regarding the rides. Thus far, there have been equal amounts of both criticism and support for the group’s controversial activities.

Most of the participants in the Crimanimal Mass rides met while taking part in Critical Mass, a popular ride that occurs the first Friday of each month in Santa Monica.

Those rides begin at the Santa Monica Pier and take impromptu, serpentine routes through the city and often veer into Venice.

Groups of up to 200 riders have participated in the ride since its inception two years ago.

Critical Mass is a national phenomenon that takes place in a number of cities across the globe and reportedly got its start in San Francisco more than a decade ago.

The rides had been relatively incident free for the most part until late last year when the Santa Monica Police Department began a crackdown because officials felt it was becoming unruly.

Some 30 tickets were handed out during the November ride and another seven were issued during December. Those actions led a small contingent of Critical Mass riders to splinter off and create what would become Crimanimal Mass.

“The initial reason we came together was to create a second ride in Santa Monica,” said Alex Cantarero, 28, one of the group’s creators. “We figured that if the police didn’t like one ride, what would they do about two?” SMPD’s Lt. Alex Padilla said that the department stepped up enforcement of Critical Mass following a number of complaints from the community alleging that participating riders weren’t following the rules of the road and snarling traffic during rush hour.

“We had people on their own stopping traffic arbitrarily and it became a safety issue,” Padilla said. “We’re still monitoring it.

It just depends on the type of complaints we are getting, but we’re not getting as many as in the past.” While the freeway rides do not fall under the jurisdiction of the SMPD, it does tread on CHP territory.

“This is the first I’m hearing about (the rides),” said Ana Markey, the public information officer at the CHP’s Culver City station.

“If we know about these rides in advance, we’d block off on-ramps to keep them from getting on the freeway.” Markey said that riders may be cited if they were caught in the act, but said the ultimate decision would rest on the shoulders of the officers at the scene. “We don’t want to arrest anyone,” she said. “We just don’t want anybody to get hit by a car. This is more of a safety issue than anything else.”

California Vehicle Code 21960 (a) states, “The Department of Transportation and local authorities ... may prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways.” In this case, the CHP would ultimately be responsible during any incident that involves the non-authorized use of a bicycle.

Markey recalled an incident in March of 2007 during which a group of Los Angeles Unified School District students marched onto the Harbor and Hollywood freeways to protest an immigration bill being voted on by Congress. She didn’t remember anybody being cited, but the CHP was forced to stop traffic on both freeways to allow the students to exit safely.

“It is more for their safety,” Markey said. “(Riding on the freeway) is just not a safe thing to do.”
Kevin Herrera contributed to this report.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Electric Bike Cow Simulator

These videos illustrate how to use electric bicycles for training horses.

Eve: More Roping Practice
Sep 7, 2007
The Urban Cowgirl (Sonya Sokolow) shows how she continues to train Morgan mare Eve to be a rope horse, including desensitizing Eve to an electric bike roping cow simulator. This is episode 6.6 of the Urban Cowgirl Show.

Eve Roping Training With The Electric Bike Cow Simulator
Oct 26, 2007
The Urban Cowgirl (Sonya Sokolow) shows the training progress of her Morgan mare Eve in roping, using the electric bike cow simulator. This is episode 7.22 of the Urban Cowgirl Show.

"The Urban Cowgirl Show"
Eve: More Roping Training With the "Electric Bike Cow Simulator".
"training our own horses in Ranch Horse Versatility" by Sonya Sokolow
"training of livestock can be dangerous. The viewer should use caution in apply9ing any of the information shown in this video. The producer disclaims any liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from applying any techniques shown here.
Introduction by Sonya Sokolow Owner of MinMor Farms in Santa Cruz, California.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bicycle Hit/Dragged by Bus

Bicycle run over and dragged by bus
Duration: 00:58Recorded: 17 August 2007Location: Canada

Amsterdam, City of Bikes!

Experience Amsterdam on a bicycle. Visit to watch more high-quality travel videos from Amsterdam and around the world!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bicycle Skyscraper

This video appears to be a news clip about a public bicycle parking tower in Japan(Kasai train station, Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan). It is automated and apparently can retrieve a bike about 22 seconds. This is like the "Bike Tree" on steroids. I wonder if it may be possible to rig up some kind of charging system? or perhaps to have some of the spots set up for charging electric bicycles (ebikes). Or perhaps could it accommodate extra long bikes such as bikes use the Xtracycle back end or tandems). I suppose tricycles and tall bikes will have to find parking else where.

What do you think of this parking system? It seems that it would virtually eliminate theft issues, enhance quantity of bikes that can be parked in a space, provide shelter for bikes from the weather, and many other things. Anyone got more info about this facility? Please email me directly or post in the comments section. Thanks!

Using Google "Japanese to English" translator, the video description says "Edogawa, Tokyo Tokyo underground bicycle made of bicycle parking in front of the station. Cam accommodate the number of units in 9400, the total construction cost of 7 billion yen ..."

Other reports on this story:
- "High Tech Bicycle Parking Facility In Tokyo"(Japan Probe)
- "Japanese Multi-Level Bicycle Parking"(Gizmodo)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Air Powered Bike

See Video clip of this compressed air bike as seen on Planet Mechanic (a program on National Geographic) below.

Via Motorcycle News

"An inventor has created what he claims is the world’s first motorcycle powered by fresh air.

Jem Stansfield says his converted Puch moped produces cleaner air than found in many town and city centres and so can actually reduce pollution.

“It actually fires out cleaner air,” said 37-year-old Stansfield, who used to be a sheep herder.

The University of Bristol aeronautics graduate fitted the Puch with high pressure carbon fibre air cylinders used by fire fighters as breathing apparatus in burning buildings.

The cylinders power two rotary air engines which in turn drive the chain to the rear wheel.

Unlike electric scooters, it takes just seconds to recharge from larger air tanks filled by a diving compressor.

With a top speed of 18mph and a range of just seven miles between air top-ups, Stansfield admits it’s never going to be good for trans-continental touring. But hesaid: “You could definitely run a fleet of delivery bikes on it.”

TV presenter Stansfield built the scooter for a National Geographic channel documentary, Planet Mechanics.

Viewers can see him test ride it in Bristol when the programme is aired on June 3 at 6pm."

Recommended Links:
- via
- Air Powered Vehicles community forum

E-Scooter Delivery

I spotted this truck ("Green Truck") on Arizona and 4th street during the Santa Monica Farmer's market. Then recently saw an article about them in in magazine. Just saw this video (see below) which they state that in addition to running their truck on veg oil (or biodiesel?) that they also provide a food delivery service via electric scooters which are powered by solar panels at their commissary in Culver City. What do you think?

"At Green Truck, serving healthy, gourmet food in a fast and efficient way is not enough. Green Truck believes that a healthy environment is tantamount to living a healthy life. Green Truck has taken every measure to ensure that food is good for customers and the planet. This process starts with the use of only certified organic ingredients & buying locally grown ingredients whenever possible. The Green Truck is solar powered & all cleaning products are environmentally friendly. The Green trucks run off of vegetable oil previously used by our company and other food service companies in the Los Angeles area. All food packaging containers, bags, napkins, and utensils are made from biodegradable products rather than plastics and Styrofoam. At Green Truck, the health of the people and the planet is the bottom line."

Related Post:
- AltCar Expo kick off caravan (video)
- Reese Witherspoon on Delivery scooter
- Ebike/E-scooter public parking/charging stations
- Believe The Hype (electric scooters in Santa Monica)
- Electric Scooter racing
- E-Bikes Make Sense
- CVC 406
- Green Machines

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blood Car

If you are looking for a horror/gore film to see for Earth Day, you might want to see "Blood Car". It may satisfy your thirst for blood and gore on the big screen, while at the same time displaying a less obvious message about why there is an "Earth Day".

Here is a trailer for the movie:

See you at the Earth Day festival on the 3rd Street promenade this Saturday(April 12, 2008), from 10am-7pm. (see: ). It's free. And there will be many exhibitors, at least one stage with live entertainment, and other things happening.

Blood Car info from Wiki:
Directed by Alex Orr
Produced by Jon Swindall
Written by Adam Pinney
Alex Orr
Starring Mike Burne
Anna Chlumsky
Katie Rowlett
Editing by Jon Swindall
Adam Pinney
Release date(s) 2007
Country United States
Language English

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stupidest Bike Lane?

Andy Bowers of SlateV makes a video of what he refers to as the "The Stupidest Bike Lane?". It's in Westwood (West Los Angeles). And it's a little less than a block long.

Key words: Shortest Bicycle Lane, Wierd bike lane, Wierdest bike lane

Sunday, March 30, 2008

NY Auto Show 2008

Kevin Haydon and a person at the auto show. He was talking about the engine of the CAT (air powered vehicle/car) at the New York Auto Show (March 2008)

Recommended Links:
- Air Powered Vehicles community forum

Monday, February 11, 2008

Italian Ebikes 2007

This video is "from the Italian independent forum ( ) devoted to e-bikes and pedelecs (and now to folding bicycles as well)" acording to youtube poster. Video poster also states "This video shows some of the bicycles and kits about which we have talked since January 2007." I think it worthwhile to note that their website "" is using a "Creative Commons" copyright. (see: )

Interestingly, the world's only known public, ebike/escooter, charging/parking station is located in Florence Italy (see: E-Bike Public Charging Station)

Recommended Links:
- Power-Assist community forum
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Related Posts:
- Hybrid Bike news video

Thursday, January 24, 2008

tesla turbine

This "Tesla Turbine"(wiki) can be powered by compressed air or by water pressure. In this case it is powered by compressed air at 20 PSI(pounds pers square inch) at a rate of about 7 CFM (cubic feet per minute)

Tesla Turbine made out of an old harddrive.

Tesla Turbine from gyroscope.

Recommended Links:
- Air Powered Vehicles community forum

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Salt Water Fuel

This is a video news report about an invention by John Kanzius. It delves into two inventions he is working on. While working on an invention to kill cancer cells using radio waves, he came up with thought that maybe radio waves could cause salt water to ignite.

If you have more infomation on these ideas, inventions, technology, send them to me and/or post the info in the comments so we all may have the info.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pneumatic Elevator

This is a video of a pheumatic powered elevator.

Recommended Links:
- Air Powered Vehicles community forumqajbh