Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Honda has developed a new personal mobility technology, U3-X. It is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the rider's legs, to provide free movement in all directions just as in human walking – forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally. Honda will continue research and development of the device including experiments in a real-world environment to verify the practicality of the device.
This new personal mobility device makes it possible to adjust speed and move, turn and stop in all directions when the rider leans the upper body to shift body weight. This was achieved through application of advanced technologies including Honda's balance control technology, which was developed through the robotics research of ASIMO, Honda's bipedal humanoid robot, and the world's first* omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System, or HOT Drive System), which enables movement in all directions, including not only forward and backward, but also directly to the right and left and diagonally. In addition, this compact size and one-wheel-drive personal mobility device was designed to be friendly to the user and people around it by making it easier for the rider to reach the ground from the footrest and placing the rider on roughly the same eye level as other people or pedestrians.
Of course, they'll need special facilities.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Bicycle Trauma Center is having a donation drive this year for Christmas. We are looking for old dusty bikes that you may not want anymore or that might need a little work to make them functional again.
If you have a rusty bike in your garage or in your back yard that you no longer use but just don't have the heart to throw it away then please contact us. We can fix it up and give it a wonderful new home. We fix and distribute bikes every year to needy kids and families that may not have the income to go and buy a new bike. We can pick up or you can drop your old bike off. Either way help make someones Christmas a wonderful one this year buy donating your old bike to the Bicycle Trauma Center. We hope to restore, repair and donate at least 25 bikes of different types this year to people whose mobility depends on your generosity. It can be a child's bike, mountain bike or even a road bike. They can be old mart bikes or the finest riding machine available. Do something kind for the less fortunate and donate your bike today. Just send us an email and we will get your information and set up a meeting with one of our volunteers.
Have a wonderful year and ride safe!
Bicycle Trauma Center of Texas
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Sunday, September 13, 2009
Reporter Ben Webster feels the squeeze in a cycle lane in Shadwell, East London
Nothing new here, just more evidence to be ignored by the segregationists and fear-mongers. The infamous UT/TxDOT study found the same thing, and actually thought it was a good result, as it kept cars moving more freely. And faster, too.
In the photo above, US eyes might think that's a super narrow bike lane, but it's not. The double stripe means no parking. The bike lane is indicated in the picture by the "not so magic" green paint that the bus is sitting on top of.
Bad bus! Bad! Bad! Don't you see the paint?
A cyclist in a bike lane on Blackfriars bridge. Photograph: Antonio Olmos
PS: Here is another article on the same study, but from an environmentalist publication/site.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Darcy Allan Shepard's partner Misty at the Memorial- Toronto Star photo
A horrific tragedy, by all accounts.
The spark? A growing trend, cyclists intolerant of other road users.
A friend of mine was in Toronto the last two weeks, and followed this closely (it wasn't hard, as it was all over the news). Initial public reaction was sympathetic towards the cyclist. That sympathy quickly changed to antagonism due to two things: 1) more details about the event became public knowledge, and 2) cyclists who blocked streets in Toronto while taunting motorists ("cagers", as they like to say), which is seldom an ideal way to treat someone controlling a potentially deadly weapon.
When you want to take something away from people (land, for example), and claim it for your sole use, you have to expect a reaction. However, I suppose we can expect such behavior in a city like Toronto (thought by some to be the most civil major urban center in the North America), whereas in Texas, no such problems will exist, so long as we remember to wear our rose-tinted glasses, and click the heels of our ruby slippers.
Consistently, experience has shown that bicyclists who simply bother to learn to operate as traffic suffer far fewer confrontations than do those cyclists who insist on operating extra-traffic, as a cross between a vehicle and a pedestrian.
But traffic intolerant cyclists have an ally, bicycle intolerant motorists. Why? Because they both want the same thing: the removal of each other from their paths.
I refuse to encourage either of them.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Commute Orlando has an excellent post up on the latest craze to hit cycling, the "study" that showed cyclists are only at fault in 10% of auto-bicycle collisions. After deflating the hysteria, CO closes with this:
Let’s remove the victim-advocates’ fuel by promoting empowerment-based advocacy and empowered cycling. Really, this should be easy. These are the two basic paradigms being offered:
1. Cycling is safe. With a few simple skills, cyclists can be empowered to control their environment and operate efficiently and safely on any road to reach any destination. Most motorists and traffic movements are predictable, so operating according to the rules of that system allows for safe and efficient travel, regardless of speed. Most motorists are cooperative and courteous of a confident, predictable cyclist. What they need from others is equity, tolerance and the support of law enforcement and the justice system to curb aggressive behavior and keep reckless drivers out of the system. A little intelligent infrastructure here and there enhances our access and enjoyment.
2. Cycling is dangerous. Cyclists are helpless, vulnerable and at the mercy of motorists who are mostly reckless, incompetent and unpredictable. Cyclists need expensive, special infrastructure to go anywhere safely. Most destinations are inaccessible by bike.
Why is #2 so much more appealing to bike advocates and so many cyclists?
Good question. Any ideas?