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The Monday Roundup (on Tuesday)

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 6th, 2011 at 9:06 am

Hope everyone had a great long weekend. Check out the links below for the news that caught my eye this past week...

— It's rare for the Surgeon General of the United States to get so personal, but last week Dr. Regina M. Benjamin told a packed house at a hair convention in Atlanta that good health is more important than bad hair (an African-American woman standing next to a bicycle was the lead photo in the story).

— Curious about e-bikes? Here's a different way to go about it: Put the power in a trailer with the RideKick Motorized Bicycle Trailer. I checked these out at Interbike last year and noticed a comprehensive review by local eco-blog Earth Techling.

— On the same topic, a company in Switzerland is offering Alps tours by e-bike.

— As the City and the BTA prep Portland for a bike-sharing system, Washington DC's Capital Bikeshare continues to win fans. A Washington Post opinion column called it one of the regions "biggest recent success stories." Here's my favorite line: "Building roads or trains is expensive, while growing CaBi (usually pronounced “cabbie”) is one of the cheapest ways we have to quickly improve mobility."

— Also from D.C., a rare case of bike-by shooting.

— This short video below shows a very young Steve Jobs (co-founder and former CEO of Apple) waxing on about how inefficient humans are at propelling themselves when compared to other animals. Put us on a bicycle however, and we're off the charts. With that analogy, he shares that, "Computers are like bicycles for our minds."

— Wired.com had an interesting Q&A with Mark Gorton, the dot-com pioneer who finances the Streetsblog network. Turns out Gorton and I have very similar ideas about cars and their impact on cities. Gorton believes they do more harm than good and he calls on planners to do more to discourage them.

A new mobile app helps people in San Francisco find a car parking spot and looks to decrease time spent driving around the block a bunch of times. I think it's just trading one problem for another.

— Here's another video worth a look from last week. It's the new video for "Bike Chase" by Detroit rapper (and bike lover) Breezee One:

— I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the "Top 10 Transportation Project" Awards as chosen by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce don't include any complete streets or active transportation projects.

— Everyone should read about Hugh Ferguson, the Hillsboro (Oregon) resident who plans to celebrate his 80th birthday with an 80 mile bike ride.

— According to this article in The Oregonian, the new head of Downtown Clean & Safe wants to see more bike patrols.

— In case you missed it, I joined Brock Dittus and Brandon Rhodes on the Sprocket Podcast last week. We had a wide-ranging chat on local bike politics, a bit of my personal past, and more.

Note: As I shared last week, Elly Blue is no longer doing the Monday Roundup. I'm trying to do it myself and would love some help. If you come across interesting links — from Portland or around the globe — feel free to send them in. For more bike-related transportation links throughout the week, join the 9,000+ other folks that follow me on Twitter.

— Thanks to the non-profit Community Vision and their annual Harvest Century (October 8th) for support of the Monday Roundup!

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  • Editz September 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Hair's a serious thing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Hair

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  • Oliver September 6, 2011 at 9:51 am

    No you shouldn't be surprised. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is just another tentacle like/of the G.O.P.

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  • Paul Johnson September 6, 2011 at 9:53 am

    The ridekick sounds like a good idea half baked. Especially given the limited range and cargo capacity. Can't really go camping or grocery shopping with that little space, and I've moved with my bike trailer before...

    Maybe I'm weird, but the ridekick seems like Microsoft Windows of bicycle trailers: Cute but useless.

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  • wsbob September 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I feel like e-bikes and e-assist can be good things, but that they potentially could become too good...in some of the ways motor vehicles have become too good, in encouraging people to laze off rather than getting needed exercise by traveling, using their body's energy. Are the people taking these e-bike tours in the Swiss alps people that couldn't make the tour on their own muscles?

    All the battery powered 'essentials' we're producing is alarming. No big deal...I guess...; here's a tiny, not directly related example of what I'm talking about; The much lusted and fawned over I-pod...in the dumpster this weekend I found one somebody had thrown away.

    Still in beautiful cosmetic condition, but doesn't work. For it's size, thing is heavy (probably the battery.). Checked the model number online. Probably made in 2004...only a 20g...ancient and obsolete after only 7 years. So into the garbage and off to the landfill it goes.

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    • dmc September 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      In the near future there will be a mass of e-bikes on the roads. I don't look at this as a bad thing. I look at e-bikes as a possible stepping stone for those couch potatoes. After a passion is developed for their new e-bike, perhaps that same couch potato in 12 months time would be inclined to try his/her hand and a non assisted bicycle. I can't help but feel that the e-bike might be another weapon in the arsenal to get people off oil and other harmful forms of energy.

      Your I-pod story is indeed alarming. I feel there is gonna be (if not already) a huge demand for technology that can produce super efficient batteries that can be recharged and reused for longer periods of time. I would also hope that options of safely disposing these batteries would become more widespread and known. (Maybe at battery receptacle at the local grocery store?)

      There are pros and cons to the e-bike and the widespread use of batteries (and whats inside them). As for now, I'm on board. Anything to save ourselves from suffocating in our own filth (exhaust fumes)

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      • KYouell September 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        I think that there's another way to look at e-bikes. There are people who are not able to move a bike themselves; hand pedals don't solve every situation. There are going to be people that literally cannot ride a bike around hilly Portland without some help and if this gets them on bikes I think it's great. I'm sure it's even more true in the Alps.

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  • dmc September 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    When watching the rap video I had to look behind me to make sure no one was arround to witness me watching it. lol! I did like it though!

    Don't forget to watch Le Velo if you haven't yet! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn0FF1KwL4I

    if it gets stuck in your head, it's not my fault. aahhah

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  • Atbman September 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    The Hugh Ferguson story is pretty inspiring. To go from sedentary to serious preparation for his birthday ride shows what older people can achieve.

    Of course, if you keep it up throughout your life, you might get results like the UK age-related records listed on http://www.vtta.org.uk/newsite/php/Records.php Denis Milsom's 59m 13 sec for 25 miles, at age 80, anyone?

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  • kittens September 7, 2011 at 2:33 am

    we need more big thinkers like steve jobs working at Fortune 500s.

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