Thursday, January 28, 2010

Darn it!

The Velo Pirates have announced that due to technical difficulties there will be no Inversion Excursion race on the 7th of February. They send all their thanks out to those that were helping to support them.
We here at DBRB totally understand! Putting on a race is not easy and there are a lot of little things that can go wrong so that the race can't happen. We look forward to next year's race VP!

The next know race than is the Warlock's Liverdance 5!
We'll keep you posted as soon as we have more info!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

For Bicyclists Needing a Boost, This Wheel May Help

It is not easy to reinvent the wheel, but researchers at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology are giving it their best shot.

The Senseable City Laboratory at M.I.T. has designed a wheel that captures the kinetic energy released when a rider brakes and saves it for when the rider needs a boost. While technically sound, the wheel’s true challenge may be in winning over cyclists. For centuries, bikes have been beloved for their simplicity, not their bells and whistles.

But, said Carlo Ratti, the laboratory’s director, “biking can become even more effective than what it was.” What the lab is working on, he said, is “Biking 2.0.”

The new wheel uses a kinetic energy recovery system, the same technology used by hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, to harvest otherwise wasted energy when a cyclist brakes or speeds down a hill. With that energy, it charges up a battery inside the wheel’s hub.

The sleek red hub, called the Copenhagen Wheel, was to be unveiled in Copenhagen. It can be retrofitted to any bike’s rear wheel, and it includes sensors that track air quality, a meter that logs miles and a GPS unit to track routes. All that data can be sent via Bluetooth to a rider’s smart phone and shared with others.

The laboratory is trying to eliminate the clunkiness of other electric bikes with heavy batteries and unwieldy wires by placing all the technology into the wheel, said Christine Outram, the project’s lead researcher.

“It’s a technology that can get more people on bikes,” she said.

But other experts are skeptical.

“Just the basic bike is so hard to beat,” said Steve Hed, a wheel designer and the owner of Hed Cycling Products in Shoreview, Minn., who has fitted wheels for the likes of Lance Armstrong. “The latest things now are the simple, fixed-gear bikes, so simple and light you can throw them over your shoulder.”

This is a period of change in the bicycle design world, said Jens Martin Skibsted, a Danish designer who owns the biking company Biomega and the design firm Kibisi. Mr. Skibsted believes that over the next few years several popular new designs will emerge to serve an increasingly urban population trying to wean itself off cars.

In such periods of change, he said, “the winner will seldom be the one that’s most functional, but rather the one that can become an inherent part of our culture.”

“This wheel looks nice,” he continued. “Whether it will be long lasting, I cannot say.”

Back at M.I.T., another research group is hedging its bets on a different wheel model, spurning regenerative braking as an excessive addition.

“Regenerative braking hardware adds mass, complexity and cost, and the energy efficiency gains from it turn out to be surprisingly limited,” said William Mitchell, who runs a lab at M.I.T. called SmartCities, a research group devoted to improving urban energy efficiency through technology.

One of Dr. Mitchell’s doctoral students, Michael Lin, is also building an electric bike wheel, but it has to be plugged in to charge.

Mr. Lin is considering adding regenerative components as an external accessory, but not as a component embedded into the wheel’s hub.

“It’s a design tradeoff,” he said, “and my priority is to create a bike that is a true transportation tool.”

Mr. Hed, the longtime wheel maker, said that, if made well, both the Copenhagen Wheel and the GreenWheel might have a niche market — among bikers with a medium-length commute on modest hills.

“It could be great for people who have a 10-mile commute and don’t want to show up at work sweating,” he said.

Elderly bikers might also make a good target, Mr. Hed said. “For my mother it would be perfect,” he said. “She loves riding her bike and has one or two hills on her normal route that this could help with.”

Saturday, January 23, 2010

for the little ones....

Idaho Theatre For Youth has an open dress rehearsal for Aesop's Fables tomorrow at the Ester Simplot building. It's at 2pm and is upstairs. DBRB - Blackhappy designed and built the set - fun for the kids and adults!

And then you can all ride over to Bonefish for the Sunday happy hour :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bike Lust

Ever since the Cap'n and I went to NYC in October, I have had impure thoughts. Turning a cold shoulder to the four bikes that clutter our garage (that's not all of them - just the ones that belong to me) - I have fallen in lust with this:

Yup. Isn't she hot? The Raleigh One Way. I wanna ask her out, wanna ask if she'll be mine. But the Cap'n says I need to save my pennies (she's right) - so I am willing to sell my 2002 Gary Fisher Tassajara GS (size 15.5") for $400.

In addition to being a really great mountain bike - but I don't do much mountain biking - I put shimano clipless pedals on the bike and am willing to let them go to whomever buys. Here's what the mountain bike looks like:

So, in the market for a new bike? Or just want to help me be able to ride something I'm lusting over? Shoot me an email or respond to this post on how I can get a hold of you.

do you wear your helmet?


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Velopirates announced ....

2010 Inversion Excursion
To those of you who thought you were going to escape the pain andridiculousness that is the Inversion Excursion this year, you were wrong. The race will be taking place February 7, so save the date. This will be a team race, each team must have four members, so get em rounded up. As always in the Inversion Excursion, it will be cold, it will be hard, you will suffer, you may get wet, & you will have FUN!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

warm riding....

Sunday was the first real ride we've had since HellRacer. Work, weather, and holidays have pushed us into our cars. Even with the flu I sill wanted to enjoy the the beautiful Sunday afternoon. We intended to ride over to Hyde Park Pub - watch a little football and have a beer. But half way through the ride we found I was too sick and it was too chilly for DBRB! So we changed course for something that would keep us warmer and sooth my cough!
Here's a warm toast to all of you that have been riding the last two months!
Today looks like another great morning to ride....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Per the LA Times.....

Some courts are doing something....

Doctor sentenced to 5 years in prison for assaulting bicyclists in Brentwood

January 8, 2010 | 11:05 am

A doctor convicted of assaulting two bicyclists by slamming on his car brakes after a confrontation on a narrow Brentwood road was sentenced today to five years in prison.

Christopher Thompson, wearing dark blue jail scrubs, wept as he apologized to the injured cyclists shortly before he was sentenced.

"I would like to apologize deeply, profoundly from the bottom of my heart," he told them, his right hand cuffed to a court chair.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington called the case a "wake-up call" to motorists and cyclists and urged local government to provide riders with more bike lanes. He said he believed that Thompson had shown a lack of remorse during the case and that the victims were particularly vulnerable while riding their bicycles.

The case against Thompson, 60, has drawn close scrutiny from bicycle riders around the country, many of whom viewed the outcome as a test of the justice system's commitment to protecting cyclists.

Millington said he did not take into account more than 270 e-mails and letters from cyclists that were filed with the court urging a tough sentence.

The July 4, 2008, crash also highlighted simmering tensions between cyclists and residents along Mandeville Canyon Road, the winding five-mile residential street where the crash took place.

One cyclist was flung face-first into the rear window of Thompson's red Infiniti, breaking his front teeth and nose and cutting his face. The other cyclist slammed into the sidewalk and suffered a separated shoulder.

At his sentencing hearing at the county's airport branch court, Thompson cited the Bible in urging cyclists and residents of Mandeville Canyon to try to resolve their differences peacefully.

"If my incident shows anything it's that confrontation leads to an escalation of hostilities," Thompson said.

Thompson, a former emergency room physician who described the crash as a terrible accident, testified during his trial last year that he and other Mandeville Canyon residents were upset that some cyclists rode dangerously and acted disrespectfully toward residents and motorists along the street, a popular route for bike riders.

On the day of the crash, Thompson said he was driving down the road on his way to work when several cyclists swore at him and flipped him off as he called on them to ride single file. He said he stopped his car to take a photo to identify the riders and never intended to hurt anyone.

But the cyclists said the doctor was acting aggressively from the start. They said he honked loudly from behind them and passed by dangerously close as they moved to ride single file before he pulled in front and braked hard.

A police officer told jurors that shortly after the crash that Thompson said he slammed on his brakes in front of the riders to "teach them a lesson."

Prosecutors said Thompson had a history of run-ins with bike riders, including a similar episode four months before the crash when two cyclists told police that the doctor tried to run them off the road and braked suddenly in front of them. Neither of the riders was injured.

Jurors convicted Thompson in November of mayhem; assault with a deadly weapon, his car; battery with serious injury; and reckless driving causing injury.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Velocache in play??

Hey Velocachers... go to the new site and check out the word.... -click on forums - let's bitch about it -REDO.

Put in your two cents, let's all figure out what's gonna work to play the game.