Transporting Your Bike on a Plane

If you are traveling and want to use your bike on the road, then chances are you really would like to bring your personal bike with you.  If that is the case, then read further the information in this blog posting to figure out what options you have and how to accomplish the task of getting your bicycle where you need it.

The good options for transporting the bike are not the cardboard bike boxes some airlines offer, but the specialized baggage from the companies like Biknd and their Jetpack.  The Jetpack is brand new for 2014 – demonstrated at the Taipei International Cycling show. 

Jetpack

Features

  • 360 degree opening for ease of packing/unpacking
  • Lightweight 15.4 pounds (7kg)
  • Aluminum frame
  • Allen key set will be provided in the case
  • Air bag protection
  • Exterior dimensions 31.5" tall 51.2" long and 10.25" wide (80cm x 130cm x 26cm)
  • Convenient stowaway down to 12" x 14" x 50"

 

You need to know what the rules / fees are for the airline you plan to take – below is the info for some of the more significant airlines:

American Airlines

• $150 for each bike bag.

• Maximums: 70 pounds and 126 dimensional inches.

• If under 50 pounds and 62 dimensional inches, $25 regular baggage fee if it's the first bag.



Delta Airlines

• $150 charge for each bike.

Bike Share Programs vs Politics in Kolkata

Interesting developments in the huge Indian city of Kolkata – while the rest of the world is adding more and more bike share programs, as listed in my previous article, and as you will soon find in database on this blog, this Indian city is going the opposite (wrong) way.   Kolkata officials have decided to ban bicycles on majority of the city roads.

Admittedly if you have been in any of the Indian cities, you would wonder – how do the bicycles get around and stay unharmed anyway….!  Being on the road in many of those cities is VERY dangerous to your health.   I remember being in Bangalore a couple of times in the last two years or so and in both cases I was strongly advised not to cross most of the city streets on foot.  Why?  Because that is a significant hazzard..!

Ban to bicycles in Kolkata Here is a view from ndtv.com

Angry protests are going on as a result of the ban.  Some local activists are also expressing their dismay at the decision.  Here is a snapshot from one of the India media sites:

Social activist Medha Patkar has appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to revoke the blanket ban on cycling in Kolkata, saying this will work against poor and working class people who are dependent on this "inexpensive" mode of transport to earn a living.

Net-net, this is a strange move and one that will not improve anything.  The space and dangers inflicted by bicycles are not anything major and will be well surpassed by the chaos that motorbikes bring (and the everpresent Bajaj cabs) — so don't expect Kolkata to be somehow in more ruly traffic….won't happen.

So, once again, I think India will benefit big time from getting more bicycles NOT LESS, on its roads in order to maintain green environment as much as possible as well as allow for more sustainable development.

Comments?

Interesting New Mountain Bikes

Recently there have been a bunch of new mountain bikes that have been announced that are catching my attention as being different (in a good way of course).  So, I decided to add a posting on the topic.  After all, all of us biking enthusiasts are always on the look out for the next great bicycle.  

With that in mind – let's take a look…

The first one that was announced is the Silverback Signo Technica 650b/29er;  The manufacturer is preparing a new Web site here and for time being detalils on the new products are limited.  The Shtutgart Germany company demoed the new product at Eurobike and here are key aspects of the machine:  It combines a 29-inch wheel at the front with a 27.5-inch in the rear;  A dual-position Rock-Shox fork provides the ability to use two different travel lengths on the shock based on whether you are going down a slope or climbing a hill.  The two settings are a 140-mm for the more comfortable ride and for the fast climb you can switch to the 110-mm setting.

Siverback demo area  Silverback Signo Technica

And here is a YouTube video on this bike:

      

Then there are the new mountain bikes from Canyon — the one that appears good and versatile bike for us the amateurs is the Spectral AL.  Of course this one is a different bike overall – being with full suspension, and available with 650b and 29-inch wheels. 

 

Interesting Facts About Everyday Life – Including Commuting to Work via Bicycle….

I always thought that commuting to work via bicycle has multiple benefits

  1. Allows you to exercise without having to alocate special time for that
  2. Gives you two time periods when you are really focused on getting fast results out of physical exercise 🙂  after all you do not want to be late for that morning meeting — hence peddle faster 🙂
  3. It adds a major impact on your weekly finances — you can save probably $30-$40 a week in gasoline bills alone
  4. It allows you to feel good about yourself — you are truly helping the environment and reducing our carbon foot print!

So why not more people do it?  Me included…. I used to commute via bicycle when I lived in Phoenix 12 years ago….Not since.  Why?  Well you can find the reasons that many people (including me) give in this good survey

RESULTS FROM THE BIKE TO WORK DAY 2012

Comments?

 

More on Sinemorets (Синеморец)

Well folks, my previous posting on Sinemorets was very well accepted — I think most people found the images from the area very appealing or interesting, so I decided to post a few more. Enjoy! You can see the nice trails for bikes on some of the photos….

Sinemorets in the evening You can see the trails on the photo…   And another Sinemorets view More views of the trails in Sinemorets  And now a view of the coast line Sinemorets coast   Sinemorets Night (Синеморец) Sinemorets at night

More photos to come later….See you soon!

 

Mopac Mobility Improvement Project

Well, you need to check out the Austin Public Works Department new project — the Mopac Mobility Imprvement project which is part of a larger bicycle related plan for Austin.  Here is a summary from the Official Site of the Austin City Govertment:

"…Phase I includes a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Loop 360 at Mopac. Phase II includes a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Barton Creek at Mopac, the restriping of the southbound lanes of Mopac at the bridge over Barton Creek to improve motor vehicle congestion, and improved bicycle and pedestrian connections to Southwest Parkway, Loop 360, and other planned trails in the area (the Violet Crown and the Oak Hills Neighborhood Trail System). Phase III is a wide sidewalk that would accommodate bicycles and pedestrians on the west side of Mopac from Loop 360 to Barton Creek Square Mall, or Tamarron Boulevard. Phases I and II are completely funded. Phase III is not yet funded for design or construction."

For more information you can attend a session on Saturday July 14th 2012 from 8am-noon, at the Johnson Creek Trail Head, located on Veterans Drive, just southwest of the Austin High Tennis Courts near the RunTex water station.

VERY EXCITING!!!

 

Another Good Destination Off the Beaten Track in Bulgaria – Also a Good Place for Relaxed Cycling

In my last posting I briefly described a place on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria – Sinemorets.  In my next (this) posting I will cover another place of interest in Bulgaria — this one in the Strandzha mountains — in South East Bulgaria near the border with Turkey.  The place is actually also a living museum of old Bulgarian architecture.  The village is Brashlian Бръшлян located in the Strandzha mountain.

Since 1982 the village has been declared an architectural reserve — the houses are representative of the 18th century Bulgarian regional architecture.  While visiting you can also see an example of the early (18th century) school — essentially a single room school which was organized by the regiona clergy — essentially a church school.

Here are some photos to give you an idea of the natural beauty of the region.  Of course you can see a lot more from your mountain bike 

Window In Brashlian Picturesque Isn't it….
Brashlian  Brashlian description Enjoy the views
Old architecture of Brashlian Nice place to relax in Brashlian Another interesting aspect of Brashlian – its flowers

I even found some interesting video on YouTube about the village and one of its restaurants…  See it here:

Bicycles, Our Transport Infrastructure, City Roads and How Do We Make Biking Safer

The recent accident in Austin, made me think more about the various issues and aspects of how we all (drivers and bicyclists) are sharing the roads.  The reality is very strange — no matter that bicycles are one of the most efficient and wide used mode of transportation around the world, in most countries including the US, the road infrastructure and city infrastructures are not very bicycle friendly (to put it mildly).  Bicycles are becoming capable of reaching greater speeds, they are more comfortable, allow for a very good transportation / commute alternative to cars and motorcycles, yet, we probably spend the least amount of effort to ensure the safety and proper infrastructure and ensure even more people adopting them for heavy use.

The reality is that many of the bicyclists today are very much affraid to make frequent or long journeys even just inside the city….Why?  Because of the dangers our roads present….

That perception and attitude by the general population will continue until the cities around the US start implementing more infrastructure that is purposefully built for the biking community.  I remember how impressed I was to see bicycle lanes along the roads in the city in 1996 during my first visit to Phoenix (on a job interview).  Soon after that I moved to Phoenix, started a new job and started commuting by bicycle to work!  Why I did that?  Well I got the necessary help at work — my employer had safe parking spots for the bikes, showers (in the gym) to get in good shape before you walk into the office, etc. 

Since then I do not think the cities (whether Phoenix, or Austin, or San Jose/Bay Area just as a few examples) have done much more to further enhance their infrastructure.  Just recently I also heard about an initiative in Pittsburg — Pittsburgh Airport Now Accessible By Bicycle which made me wonder — airport accessible by bike?  Huh?  Is the idea that you can fly in and hop on your bike and go into the city or the near by parks via your bicycle?   That is a bit strange of an idea in my opinion…! 

Here is a brief audio commentary about it….Pittsburg Airport Link via Bicycle (from NPR)

While this may be a tad strange of a project (at least in my understanding) the good thing about it is that such developments stress the importance of bicycles as real mode of transport and increase infrastructure anyway.  

Happy biking! 

Debate Continues Following the Bicycle – Car Accident on 360/Capitol of Texas Highway Last Week

Heated debate continues on the Web following the accident last Sunday on route 360 in Austin.  On Thursday the city saw a rally / demonstration – here is the video courtesy of the Austin American Statesman:

I was surprised at some of the commentary in the Statesman (the Austin local newspaper) where there were folks who made statements to the effect of “…bicyclist do not abide the laws hence they get hurt when taking risks and not following traffic rules….”  Very odd.

Well, the reality is that in my days of biking around town I have not seen a bicycle breaking traffic laws so if some are — then those are very small percentage.

All in all, incidents like the one last Sunday are very sad and should be avoidable.  They require raising awareness across the population and making sure we all pay attention to each other.

 

 

Starting to Build the Databases for All of Us Bikers — Adding “How-To” and “Bike Trails” Resource Aggregator

As I mentioned in one of my first postings on this blog, my intent is to develop a good Web aggregator of biking resources.  Those will include videos on

So now that I have started the structure of the blog — the data is coming in — please check the links above.  I will continue growing the resources over the next weeks.  And of course, I welcome your input…