Category Archives: whips



BikeWise is a great new interactive resource for bicyclists to report incidents of crashes, safety hazards & thefts.  The idea is that anyone who is involved in or witness to an incident logs a report into the BikeWise database.  BikeWise then records & organizes those incidents by city, state and country and displays them on an interactive google map.  You, as a cyclist can pull up a map for any area or view a list of incident reports. From Worldchanging:

Although the site’s creators are based in Seattle, this tool is available for cyclists everywhere. The site (with about 90 percent accuracy) can sense your location, and will pull up information for the city you are surfing the web from. I think it’s great that Bikewise has created a space for people to talk to each other about how to make their city a better place. The trick will be getting enough users to generate reports to make the data useful for people like city planners, analysts and public policy officials. So, if you’re a cyclist, head to Bikewise and get the conversation started!

That last point is critical – as of today, there are only 11 states reporting any accidents, 18 reporting hazards and incidents, and in total there are maybe a few dozen incidents reported for 2009 in the whole US.  Hopefully word will spread so this tool can be put to use.  If the BikeWise developers are correct in saying that over 75% of cycling crashes go unreported, then no wonder city planners keep ignoring our pleas for bike-safe roadways.

It looks like the site is still a work in progress.  The interactive maps are pretty user-friendly, but the incident reporting could use some organizational improvements, like organize by date, incident type, etc.  It would be especially useful to planners & city officials to be able to download the database info into an excel spreadsheet of some sort.  Maybe this is in the works.

So…let’s start reporting!

May is National Bike Month!


If you haven’t broken out your wheels yet, now is definitely the time to do so.  The League of American Bicyclists has lots of useful info for nation-wide events as well as useful tips and tools for commuting and recreational bicyclists as well as non-cycling but bike-friendly folks.  Here in the Bean, Mayor Menino has instigated Bay State Bike Week from May 12-18 with bunches of events and challenges.

Since bikes are pretty much the universal favorite topic of every green/eco/earthloving blog out there, I will now just shower you with a few of the millions of worthy bike links habting the interwebs recently:

D.C. has a new bike share program, Smartbike DC, which will be the first of its kind in the US – similar to Zip Car, but for bikes. Um, one gross thing about it though, it is sponosred entirely by Clear Channel. Yuck.


Treehugger always brings us worthy bicycle news: New York has a new plan to be more bike friendly; a Treehugger favorite, Ben Wilson’s monowheel makes for an interesting, if not practical, transportation tool; and my personal favorite, Street Films videos of NYC bike mechanic Hal Ruzal walking around the city grading bike locks – I believe my bike locking strategy would get me a D/D+.  Dude is hilarious.


Grist’s Ask Umbra column this week has been full of fun bicycle gear to get you motivated to hop on that bike – she covers the gamut from thermos holders to cargo bikes.


There are millions more, but I am out of time.  Be expecting more throughout the month.  Happy biking!!

Cali Sues the EPA


[image from WIRED]

The Govinator is poised to strike! California is suing the Environmental protection agency for denying California a waiver it and 16 other states need to regulate greenhouse gases from new cars and trucks. The reason, you ask? Well Dubya signed a bill [just in time] to cut greenhouse emissions gradually over time [much less drastic than the California regulations], and the EPA decided that California’s waiver was therefore no longer needed. Once again, this administration shows that it prefers mediocrity [and auto/oil lobbyist money] to innovation and forward thinking.

Read the article here, via YAHOO Green and WIRED.

Biodiesel in Your All Terrain Vehicle


Every ninja’s gotta have an ATV. Now, ninjas can be a little bit greener with it. Arctic Cat announced their new 700 Super Duty Diesel ATV at the 2007 Biodiesel Conference, and it’s featured in November’s Biodiesel Magazine:

Because Arctic Cat planned to market the vehicle to the military, it had to ensure that it could perform admirably in harsh conditions using a number of different fuels, including biodiesel. Arctic Cat’s promotion of diesel-powered ATVs, which are approved for B20 use, is good news for biodiesel and should make skeptics more comfortable with wintertime use of the fuel.

As Arctic Cat was testing its new product, it discovered that the renewable fuel burned cleaner than conventional diesel and had added lubricity. Even in cold-start testing procedures, the company actually found an increase in revolutions per minute (rpm). “We expected that this was because of the added lubricity biodiesel provides,” says Craig Kennedy, an engineer for Artic Cat who was involved in the development of the diesel ATV. “It did carry more rpms and performed similarly to No.1 diesel, in regard to cold running.”

Now Kawasaki’s just gotta make a biodiesel burning Ninja:


[Biodiesel Magazine]