Tuesday, October 7, 2008

City Racks Contest Finalists, Earn Money While Cycling, The Bike Industry, Economy & You....

Boys and girls, chew on this! A lot of pollinations today indeed!

1. NYC City Racks Competition Finalists :
The 10 finalists (from 200 entries from all around the world) of the City Racks Competition was announced last month, news courtesy of Core 77 and NYT. Visually, they were all designed to stand out as street furniture but do they have the required functionality of a bike rack?

One final winner be be picked by the jury on Oct. 24 during National Design Week, an event sponsored by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Don't wait, go and vote over at the City Racks Design Competition blog, because once the winner is decided, the iconic design will be all over NYC!

It appears that a common design point overlooked is the strength of the anchoring point to the ground. Frederico Otero's design was pretty weak in this respect, and some photos at the CyclingWMD blog showed one how easily it can be ripped apart from the ground.

So to me, that means that there are only 9 proper finalists as opposed to 10!

Frederico's design failure

More critiques of other designs over at the Projekt-Burnaby Velodrome Blog.

A video of the contest and final entries :

Via [Streetfilms]

Related buzz - In TriBeCa (lower Manhattan), the Metropolitian Transportation Authority unveiled the latest prototype design to protect subway grates from flooding and at the same time, providing a place to park the bike and a bench to sit!! See what their plans are with the prototype.

2. The U.S is Cycling Backward?
: The author of the LiveFit blog writes an insightful post on why cycling just hasn't caught on in the United States.

3. Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning Course (3 credits) : Now if you're in North Carolina and have free time to take higher classes, the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina is offering a new graduate course in pedestrian and bicycle planning this coming spring. This course brings experiences from professionals in many fields (both public and private) and researchers at the local and national level into the classroom to provide a comprehensive overview of best planning practices to support increased walking and bicycling.

I haven't heard of many institutions offering coursework such as this. Dang, I wish I were still in school! Click here for more information.

4. Bicycles : The Wood Wood X Vision Bicycle
by Danish brand name Wood Wood (what?) weighs in at a svelte 10 pounds. Read more here.

Just in case you thought Museeuw was the only one in the Flax arena, a Schwinn Earth Flax Seed Bike was presented at Eurobike '08. Read more here.

Early this year, Sycip Bikes showed a radical bottom bracket mounted disc brake on one of their handcrafted bikes at NAHBS.

5. A Colnago C50
and its rider are victims of another crash onto a guard rail. The rider was so badly hurt that he needed reconstructive facial surgery. Ouch. Let's hope he gets better soon.

6. Asian Manufacturing Expertise - Its perhaps time to ditch our prejudices against Asian bicycle manufacturing. Today, they're clearly a leader in it. Carlton Reid examines the relationship between European manufacturing and Asian expertise in this article in the CNBC European Business.

7. Ped Earn : Pedal For Cold Cash?

PedEarn by designer Amir Alizade is a concept of a service that could encourage people to chose green transportation by offering them a chance to earn money while cycling!!

Via [Trendhunter]

Says the designer : "
In normal mode, the device shows the current speed, time and date. When you press the € button, you can see the distance and the amount of money earned that day. Pressing the T (total) button shows the total data of how many days and how much you have earned. The data is reset when you collect your earnings. "

So does this mean I can be a pro cyclist? Hey, where do I sign up?!

8. Commuting difficulties? - Commuting to work in supposedly bike friendly Europe may not be as easy as you think.

9. The world bicycle market could surpass $61 billion by 2010, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. If you want to see the report and you're ready to pay a fortune just to view it, click here. You can also click here to see the table of contents or click here to see a summary of the study.

But the highlights of the report are :

Mass-production, the age-old belief is now being replaced by mass-customization.
2. Growth is expected to arise from the increasing popularity of electric bicycles. China is the largest market for electric bicycles in the world and is expected to be the leader in the foreseeable future.
3. The world's major manufacturing centers are shifting to Southeast Asia. Many North American brands and European brands are now being assembled in the Far East.

10. The Bike Industry, The Economy And You : Last but not the least, in a very well written article for the relavant and dire economic times of today (See : The Bike Industry, The Economy And You), Robb Sutton describes how all this can affect the average Joe who rides. From rise in raw material and fuel prices, cost of frames and parts, and slimming down of product lines, Robb makes a good case for buying stuff immediately before retail price increases slam the market, yet at the same time (and better still), being cautious and SAVING MONEY instead of buying all the uber bling componentry you're lusting after seeing Interbike!!!

Enjoy, and see you all soon!


Anonymous said...

Getting the ministry of transport to pay you for pedaling? Yeah, good luck with that!

Anonymous said...

I applaud the initiatives of the leaders in NYC to transform the city to a more green and bike friendly one. NYC has always been known for its streets choke full of people and vehicles.

Robb Sutton (198) said...

Ron...thanks for the link up! I have been meaning to right that industry article for some time now...and the timing just worked out perfectly. My background is in economics...so hopefully I was able to provide some insight into the way things are going.

Great blog...keep it up!

- Robb (198)

Phil said...

The tribeca prototype should have made it to the city racks competition. Okay, it may not be very space efficient or iconic, but it seems very functional, achieving three different purposes.

Anonymous said...

They can come with only 10 flimsy designs from 200? Thats too bad. It would be interesting to see whether any of these designers actually rode a bicycle or whether the judges know a thing or two about what works and doesn't with cycle racks.