Saturday, June 27, 2015

Does Ford See The End Approaching?

Ford designers have had a go at electric bikes. The annual Further With Ford trends conference in Palo Alto saw the release of a video touting the new Ford MoDe e-bike:

The bike has a couple of interesting features, such as replaceable front and rear ends, allowing it to be modified for different environments.
But anyone who has been paying attention is used to re-thinks of basic cycle design: from frame and gear versions (like touring frames or fixed gearing) to collapsible bikes and extended frame transport cycles, and the wide variety of three- and four-wheel designs. This is one of the joys of bikes--they can be altered, mashed, modified, run through a bike kitchen or an art collective and still function.
But two things stand out about the Ford announcement; one, that they see a chance to make a buck, meaning the car alternative movement has become large enough for a massive multinational to pay attention. And two, that an iconic "American" company's imprimatur might bring the movement to middle-America's attention. Neither of these are a bad thing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Crappy Bike Paths

The above sign is found in Hampton, Illinois, and is addressing what we can only hope is a Hampton, Illinois-only problem. Someone is pooping on the bike path.
No, not a dog. Yes, pooping. According to the CBC:
The culprit has enough forethought to bring a roll of toilet paper out on the path, and yet can't make it to the nearby commode. Finally, the fed up village is demanding that for whoever is behind this public nuisance, the next time nature calls, don't answer.
Yes, someone is grabbing up some toilet paper, heading down the bike path to a place near a public restroom, and dumping on the bike path.  Clearly not someone adhering to consensus reality....