I was way too busy on my trip last week, so I didn’t have time to post to the blog. Several people sent me post ideas and links though, so I want to take the opportunity to share a few of those. Also, I want to mention that the rest of the jury and I are still working to chose the finalists for the commuter bike design competition. Hopefully I will be able to post the finalists soon, but I don’t want to rush it. It is important that each juror reviews each entry carefully so that everyone who submitted a design gets a fair chance. Enough about the competition though- on with today’s post.
Last week, Taryn Zychal sent me a few images of a project that she recently completed. The “Computer Commuter”(pictured here) is a bag that she designed for a company called TerraCycle. Rather than paraphrase, I will let Taryn explain the concept in her own words:
“Because TerraCycle is 100% committed to making things that are as environmentally beneficial as possible, the Computer Commuter was made mostly from salvaged vinyl from old billboards. As a designer, making it eco-friendly is only one half of the project; the other half is making it functional and comfortable. Keeping this in mind, I designed a convertible carrying option, allowing the user to transport it “briefcase style” or “over the shoulder”. This comes in handy for people commuting on bikes. The slick material keeps the bag close to the user for a feeling of security AND the vinyl is waterproof which protects the computer and any components within the contents of the bag from the elements. The inside features pockets and compartments for all computer accessories, including pen and pencil holders, a hard drive pocket, an iPhone/iPod Touch pocket, a compartment for wires, connectors and power supply.”
Pierre mentioned a Danish cargo bike that he recently saw on a ride in Paris. “Larry vs. Harry” in Copenhagen designed the “Bullitt” bikes, which are available in a few different variations. Pierre mentioned in his message that he liked the orange and black Clockwork bike, but personally, I like the John Player Spezial. All seven bikes are worth a look though, so check them out if you haven’t already.
Jon lives in San Sebastian, Spain and pointed out that the City Council and Orbea have set up a public Christmas tree with lights that are illuminated by bicycle power. He couldn’t find the article in English, but here it is in Spanish for those of you who are interested.
On the subject of bicycles and Christmas trees, I can’t help but mention the Bikeville Christmas parade float that was made for the City of Greenville’s Christmas parade just over a week ago. Brad from Upstate SORBA and a few other Bikeville committee members built the entire float, which was attached to his bike using a BOB trailer mount. The Christmas tree was made from different diameter bicycle wheels and was topped off with a great looking star made from old chainwheels and sprockets. The on-board generator powered the lights and the sound system, which played bluegrass Christmas tunes as we rode along the parade route (Greenville is in the Appalachian foothills after all). I had a conflict and missed the float decorating party a few weeks ago, so I can’t take any credit for the way the float turned out. I can say though that it looked really great, as did all of the individually decorated bikes, so my kids and I were proud to ride with everyone else in the parade. Our group, Bikeville.org, even won an award this year. The judges chose us as the best Marching/Walking unit in the parade; pretty cool considering the fact that we were neither marching nor walking.
Lastly I will quickly mention a couple more links that were recently sent to me by readers. Murray pointed out this interesting video called “zoom into a carbon fiber” and Tony pointed out a folding electric bike design called the grasshopper.