Heard on NPR: Try an Electric Bike

Today's episode of Talk of the Nation Science Friday offers an excellent discussion of electric bicycles. A caller from Decorah even makes it on the show! Thanks to a Decorah Newspapers reader for the tip!

A Poem to Biking

"Why Do You Ride?" produced by peopleforbikes.org.

Words to the poem can be found after the fold.

Decorah Recreational Trails Map

Just kicked off a new interactive map of Decorah's Recreational Trails. This is the most complete map of Decorah's trails available in one place.

Update 15 Feb 2010:

Added several Cross Country Ski Trails. Individual trails can now be broken down by color.

Find it at: http://www.Explore.DecorahNow.com.

Update 26 April 2010:

- Added Google Earth Support (you can now view the map in 3D)

- Added Proposed Bike Routes for the city of Decorah (these routes don't yet exist, and are not official)

Electric Bicycle (Xtracycle) Ride Log

Data from the Cycle Analyst:
  Miles Avg. Speed Time Amp-hours Watt-hours Wh/mi
11 Apr '09 24.06 14.1 mph 1hr 42min 16s 12.00 441.23 18.3
13 Apr '09 21.65 18.0 mph 1hr 11min 56s 8.791 327.93 15.1
22 Apr '09 69 13.2 mph 5hr 15min 19s 12.32 456.94 13.2
5 May '09 6.32 16.9 mph 22m 18s 2.70 100 15.8
10 May '09 9.85 11.4 mph 51m 25s 3.414 128.44 11.4
18 Aug '09 13.32 22.7 mph 35min 10s 9.193 332.4 24.9
19 Oct '09 46.47 19.4 mph 2hr 23min 26.03 916.18 19.5

Bikes as Transport

Carleton Reid of commutebybike.com gets Gary Fisher talking about bikes as transport and the future of cargo bikes. Find the podcast link here (Gary begins at the three minute mark).

I preferred Gary Fisher's podcast, but a related video (mentioned in the podcast) is John Burke, President of Trek Bicycles, giving a presentation to the Bike Industry:

Luther College Campus Bike Share Survey

An online survey of student response to Luther's Bike Share Program was administered May 7-12, 2008. 91 students responded. Bicycles at the time consisted of five Sun Atlas cruisers (three Specialized Globe Elite IG8s were added following the 2007/08 school year) .

Related/Background Links:

Students were asked:
One goal of this program is to reduce student driving. Do you have any other ideas of how to reduce student driving, through a bike program or any other program?

Single Charge: Electric Xtracycle Transports a Second Bicycle 70 miles

My electric-assist xtracycle had already proven that it was good for commuting, grocery shopping and running errands around town, but I was a little hesitant to use it for long distance travel. The motor and battery add an extra 30 lbs (14kg) - a lot of dead weight when your battery runs out at the base of a hill. When I set out to ride the 70 miles from Davis to Vallejo, I knew I would have to pace myself and use the throttle wisely.

  • Riding time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
  • Average Speed: 13.2 mph (21.4 km/h)
  • Electricity usage: 12.32 Ah or 456.94 Wh
  • Distance: 70 mi (113 km)
  • "Fuel Economy": 6.5 Wh/mi (4 Wh/km)
  • Cost of electricity: $0.07 @ California's rate of $0.15/kWh

Tune-up for eBike Battery - Replacing the BMS

The battery on my Electric Xtracycle is 36 volts (V) and 12 amp hours (Ah). The trouble I was having with the battery was that it had degraded to a point where even on a full charge, I was only able to use 5Ah out of the theoretical 12Ah, meaning I could only travel 8 miles per charge instead of 20. Something had to be done. BMS Replacement

It's Your Ride ~ Daniel Leeb of Cinecycle Productions.

Two NYC cyclists. 3min 47sec of cycling beauty. Watch it in HD.

It's Your Ride from Cinecycle on Vimeo.

Human Powered Electricity Generation

Ever wanted to generate electricity with your bicycle? Maybe even power your laptop computer by riding your bike? That's what I set out to do when I ripped an alternator out of a 1980s Ford Fiesta...

Traveling Cross-Country with a Bicycle

As much as I'd like to see airline travelers riding bikes to and from distant airports, I have to admit: for now it's a foolish idea. Here's why:

A new folding bike that you'd actually feel safe riding is going to cost roughly $700 to $2000+. If you are going to purchase the bike bag/case along with it, add another $250-400.

For the flight, you'll have a one-way baggage fee ranging from

  • free (perhaps on an intl. flight), to
  • $15-$25 (a folding bike that can squeeze down to 62 linear inches (i.e., length + width + height) - and you'd better hope they don't know it's a bike), to
  • $175 for a full-size bike box on Northwest Airlines


If you plan on riding off into the sunset upon landing, your adventure has just begun. For starters, you'll be needing lights.

Critical Mass - Davis, California

Here we have November's Critical Mass ride in the Davis, California. Listen and you'll notice we rolled alongside some very capable audio equipment nailed to an old burley child trailer.

Packing a Bike into a Backpack Case

Time-lapse video of me packing a Surly Traveler's Check (a full-size, S & S coupled cyclocross bike) into the backpack that with a little luck, will meet the standard baggage requirements at the airport and save me $160 one-way (rates for bike luggage just went up) on my domestic flight with Northwest Airlines. I did also manage to fit front and rear racks and fenders in the backpack.

Solar Lighting for Bike Paths

The city of Madison, Wisconsin, has found a way to use solar power to make bicycle commuting a little bit safer and easier: 37 photovoltaic lampposts line a stretch of bike path near the University of Wisconsin. Although the initial expense is likely high, the lights could provide an educational resource and an option where electricity is not easily accessible. Video report here.

Madison Bike PathMadison Bike Path

Putting Music on the Xtracycle

This story won't be complete without some audio and video, but you will find a few pics in the gallery of a bike that's a little louder, a little less stable, and from what I hear, won't be needing a bell anymore.

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