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The Monday Roundup: Putty bike hacks, ‘The new Jane Jacobs’ & more

Posted by on September 2nd, 2013 at 12:53 am

“Silence a noisy mudguard,” one of Sugru’s
interesting ideas for using its moldable product.
(Image: Sugru.)

Posting will be light as usual this Labor Day, but the world’s bike news doesn’t rest:

Putty my ride: The folks who make self-setting rubber Sugru have a list of 12 ways their product can improve your bike, starting with a bell on your brake lever and including a “removable smartphone bike mount.” (They sell eight packs of the stuff for $18.)

The new Jane Jacobs: Copenhagenize‘s Mikael Colville-Andersen (for the record: no relation) gets a glowing and pretty persuasive profile comparing him to the iconoclastic mother of New Urbanism. “It became obvious to me that Mikael could envision cities of the future because he already lived in one.”

Bike seat scent: A man arrested for stealing more than 200 bicycle seats, most of them leather, supposedly told police it was to capture “the lingering scent of a woman.”

For the last time, the recession didn’t drive the drop in driving: A new state-by-state report from USPIRG also finds that Oregon leads the nation in reducing miles driven per capita. We’re down 16.3% since the all-time national peak in 2005.

Guerrilla victory: Two years after attracting a guerrilla crosswalk painting, an intersection in New Haven, Conn., is getting a beautiful infrastructure upgrade.

Bike tourism: It isn’t just for the countryside. The newly hired “bike butler” at Vancouver BC’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel offers “tune-ups, helmets, locks, water, cycling maps, directions and tips.” I’m holding out for a fake British accent.

Bike recovery: Kayla Smith of Vancouver, BC, got her stolen bike back by contacting the thief on Craigslist, asking for a test ride … and then pedaling very fast.

Stupid PSA: Let’s hope the makers of this clueless “public service announcement” implying that bikes are inherently ridiculous intended to refer to the subject’s ineffectively fitted helmet.

Bike shops as community spaces: The Wall Street Journal finds a national trend: of 4,000 U.S. bike shops, “12% have coffee bars, 11% offer spinning classes and almost 5% serve beer. About 1% offer massages, yoga or full-service restaurants.”

Forcible removal: Via Jezebel, here’s one way to handle things while someone’s texting and driving: after they almost hit you, walk over to their car, grab the phone from their hand and smash it against the road.

No accidents: We can greatly reduce the 1.24 million annual global death toll from motor vehicles, but only if we stop thinking of crashes as routine and inevitable; they’re not.

Fast bike: Australia’s The Age filmed a bike passing 589 cars in one fast-motion commute.

Inefficiency, visualized: Treehugger looks into an infographic that shows how “pushing a ton of metal to move 200 pounds of flesh … is an inherently stupid way to design a transportation system.”

Which type of biker are you? Just kidding! BikePortland doesn’t believe in dividing bike users into firm categories. Still, new research identifying people as “dedicated cyclists, path-using cyclists, fairweather utilitarians, [or] leisure cyclists” is interesting.

Green stripe safety: Green-painted shared lanes in Long Beach seem to be associated with a dramatic decrease in crashes involving people on bikes, cars and foot alike.

Bike Commute Challenge perk: But boss, Northwest Natural bike commuters all get T-shirts!

Drunk bike dad? An Arkansas man biked to a bar towing his son in a trailer, spent 4 to 5 hours allegedly getting drunk, then got both of them in a crash on the way home.

Fancy bikeshare: I’d heard that Copenhagen is getting a bikeshare upgrade, but not that all its new bikes are going to have GPS-enabled Android tablets.

Helmet hair: This potentially useful list of five ways to fight helmet hair leaves off the one identified by Doug Gordon: “a complete network of protected bike lanes.”

‘Carfree paradise’: Montreal’s Rue St. Catherine, carfree every summer since 2008, is hopping.

Bike-powered treehouse elevator: It’s 30 feet high. Your video of the week, via Makezine:

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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That 4 types of cyclists thing is total BS, an bunch of oversimplification.

Locally, Hand-Eye Supply on NW 4th, just north of Burnside, has Sugru. It’s great stuff.


Sugru is fun but absurdly expensive. Sure, it’s easy to use and comes in a variety of colors – but an ounce of Sugru costs almost as much as a pound of Easy Mold silicone putty.

Between Easy Mold (for flexible things) and Shape Lock (for rigid parts), I pretty much make all my own “bike hack” brackets and mounting doodads.


According to the USPIRG study, Oregon actually has done even slightly better than the number you cited: 18.3% down since 2005.

…that would be equivalent to two whole lanes on a 12-lane highway. Hm.

Personally I think this is Jonathan’s fault. Bikeportland’s founding and the decline in driving pretty much coincide, and the fact that Oregon would be at the forefront also seems to line up since bikeportland has more readers in Oregon than do other states.


We need to start implementing more dash cameras here in the us for added safety and well capturing experiences like that above. Would be nice if all taxis here were required to have dash cameras to monitor their crappy driving.


Re Colville-Andersen: Barf. I really hope the new Jane Jacobs isn’t a sexist white guy.


main article
…. here’s one way to handle things while someone’s texting and driving: after they almost hit you, walk over to their car, grab the phone from their hand and smash it against the road.

While I enjoyed the video and the cathartic idea behind permanently hanging up the phone that helped cause the traffic collision – in the context of a article it just smells like something that will be taken out of context as a call for us cyclists to assault auto drivers.
It’s silly that I even mention it and I want to sincerely believe that no one that frequents this site is impressionable and prone to violence that they would act on what is written here. Odds are it’ll happen eventually.
I agree with all the counter-arguments without even reading them. I just feel like your written though to the Jezebel article should sound a little less like “this is a GREAT idea that everyone should try out!” and a little more like “vigilante justice never tasted so sweet!”


don’t forget fundraiser Century ride for Out to Pasture Sanctuary! We hit our initial goal last week! Still looking for more riders and donations!