Recyclable Bicycle Exchange

I believe in recycling. So does Jeff Torkelson, who’s a generous Fort Lauderdale cyclist who additionally believes in giving to his community — and he has acted on his beliefs. Jeff created the Recyclable Bicycle Exchange (“RBX”) in Fort Lauderdale to convert unwanted and/or unneeded bicycles into dreams come true for kids who otherwise couldn’t … Continue reading Recyclable Bicycle Exchange

David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries

David Byrne (once the Talking Heads guitarist/singer, now world music producer) is an avid bicyclist. While on concert tour, he uses his folding bike to explore the local color. A few years ago he assembled his worldwide bike travel notes into a book titled Bicycle Diaries.

ListenDavid Byrne on folding bikeYou can listen to him read a chapter from his book. David Byrne reads his Australia chapter from his 2009 book, Bicycle Diaries. I like his transportation philosophy: use a bicycle when it’s appropriate, such as in urban settings and for short to medium length rides. Use other transport modes when they make more sense.

Feds shut down ten counterfeit bicycle gear websites

I found this opening paragraph in a May 8 claimsjournal.com article titled Houston HSI Seizes 10 Domain Names Selling Counterfeit Cycling Products: Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Friday seized 10 Internet domain names that were illegally selling counterfeit cycling equipment and apparel globally. The 10 seized … Continue reading Feds shut down ten counterfeit bicycle gear websites

Bicycle Maintenance 101

I’ve ridden bicycles for decades and thought that I understood their maintenance. One procedure that I have trouble with is derailleur adjustment, so when my Trek 7900 hybrid bike’s rear derailleur stopped shifting smoothly, I took it to Miguel Escobar, the chief mechanic at a Fort Lauderdale bike shop. I expected that Miguel would carefully … Continue reading Bicycle Maintenance 101

Google Maps for Android bicycle navigation, part 2

Recently I wrote an article about using the Google Maps app on my Android phone to guide me on a bicycle ride. On Thursday, I cycled 18 miles to Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I knew the best route to the destination neighborhood, but relied upon my Android phone’s Google Maps app to vector me the … Continue reading Google Maps for Android bicycle navigation, part 2

Alex Moulton’s remarkable designs

I’ve always admired Englishman Alex Moulton’s innovative solutions to thorny mechanical problems. His compact, lightweight, and simple elastomeric “donut” suspension design allowed the BMC Mini car of 1959-1970 to provide amazingly spacious interior room compared to its tiny exterior dimensions. Then he re-thought the humble bicycle, which resulted in a compact frame with tiny wheels … Continue reading Alex Moulton’s remarkable designs

Disguise your smartphone’s phone number.

While watching a Youtube video clip about the recovery of a stolen bicycle, I learned about Burner, a smartphone app that allows a smartphone user to temporarily mask his or her phone number with an alias phone number. It’s available for iPhones, but not yet for Android phones. (originally published on 31 December 2012. 9 … Continue reading Disguise your smartphone’s phone number.

Email systems I’ve known and loved (or at least tolerated)

My first email experiences were using CP/M based communication programs (written in 8080 assembler) such as MODEM7 and Mex to reach dial-up BBSs with hosted email systems, around 1980. Many BBSs allowed their users to exchange messages with other users of that BBS. They stored all messages on the BBS host; users viewed and edited … Continue reading Email systems I’ve known and loved (or at least tolerated)

Amazon as importer and distributor

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon continues to disrupt traditional commerce models. Recently I was in the market for a bright LED (light emitting diode) bicycle headlight. Top shelf LED headlights by Niterider and Baja Designs with outputs in the 2000 lumens range sell for $300 to $450. I searched Amazon and found a much cheaper alternative. The … Continue reading Amazon as importer and distributor

Librivox.org

I found a humorous reading of Mark Twain’s Taming the Bicycle on http://librivox.org/short-story-collection-001/. 648px-PSM_V38_D791_An_ordinary_bicycle_with_lines_of_forceI could sympathize with his difficulty in learning to ride a penny-farthing bike. The proper name for this design was Ordinary Bicycle. They had a large front wheel with pedals, a small rear wheel, and no freewheel — you couldn’t coast — and just one speed — you couldn’t shift gears. Oh — no brake, either.

Philip K Dick
Philip K. Dick
dwg: Pete Welsch
Librivox provides “Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”. The readers’ voices bring life to the authors’ words. The authors include unexpected surprises: I spent a pleasant hour listening to The Defenders by Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982). (Who’s he? An imaginative writer. Hollywood based Blade Runner, The Minority Report, Paycheck, The Matrix, and Total Recall on his short stories and novels.) The Defenders introduces a world in which humans have burrowed deep into the Earth to escape radioactivity caused by a never-ending war that’s fought by robots on Earth’s surface.

The-Defenders

ListenThe terrible destruction of total nuclear war between the Western and Eastern Blocks has succeeded in sterilizing the surface of the earth. No living creature can now exist there and all humans on both sides, have fled to the hives built miles below the surface where they constantly work to produce the war materials necessary to carry on the battle. For 8 years now, the actual fighting between these super powers has been conducted by robots known as Ledeys since only they can sustain the terrible levels of radiation caused by the constant bombardment. They are the Defenders, standing between the combatants far below and ultimate victory or defeat. Life is hard in the tunnels, but liveable, while it is lethal on the surface. The ledeys keep the generals informed on everything through vids and pictures; but how can this continue? what will happen? Who will win? (Summary by Phil Chenevert)

I look forward to listening to more Librivox readings on my smartphone. I’ll listen to more Phil Dick stories and then Edgar Allen Poe is next.

Mark Twain’s penny-farthing bicycle? Riding it sounds as daunting as riding a modern track bike: no freewheel, gears, or brakes. I’ve ridden them in a velodrome only. Some daredevils (somehow) ride them on the street. I think they’re nuts.

Waze challenges maps providers

Google Maps and Mapquest have a growing competitor that’s quickly winning fans: waze.com. In addition to relatively static maps, it provides dynamic information such as traffic jams, speed traps, gasoline prices, and road obstacles. Who provides this data? Other Waze users. Waze uses crowd-sourcing to great effect via Facebook. It has an iPhone and Android … Continue reading Waze challenges maps providers