28 August 2014

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing , That's a fact, like the fact that I will love you 'til I die.

Great song.

What with all the "stuff" * going on in the world at present, it might seem trivial and frivolous to post a love song that mentions bicycles.  However, I believe a world with more people using more bicycles would be a better world, and maybe some "bad stuff". might get better.

One might immediately think I promote  bicycles for energy and pollution reasons.

No. I am thinking of how cyclists relate to the world,  not only during the act of cycling.  I define a cyclist as one who uses a bicycle for transportation at least part of the time. I am not talking about bicycle racers.  I have mentioned before how while cycling one is much more likely to communicate with other travellers, whether they be in cars, walking, or riding a bicycle.

But recently I discovered it is more than that.

For me ,  in Arusha, riding a bicycle forces  me  to be more humble and more in touch with other economic classes.   It makes me more aware what it might be like to be marginalised.  I become a better person, not always, but generally.

 On a bicycle I am immediately NOT part of the privileged class, that class that thinks because one is driving a motorised vehicle that their time , life, or space is more important than a pedestrian or a cyclist.  Bicycling I have a  glimpse of being discriminated by my class.  In some instances I the bicyclist don't seem to exist, or have little value to the other class.

I also receive acts of kindness by vehicle drivers.  Arusha drivers will be amazed but the mini bus drivers mostly,  they recognize my rights and often apologize for cutting me off.

I then have something to work on and think about  the rest of the day.   What about the times i misuse privilege, wealth, power?

 So a bicycle makes me love others better and more inclusively.  I hope to " love others (better) until I die".

*Racism in America, IS, Syria, Ebola,etc

27 August 2014

Is BBC News more "cycle friendly" than other mainstream news sites? AND my charging and lighting system

Maybe this article  caught my eye because of the nice legs, and maybe because it was about cycling.

But it seems BBC News has a fair amount of cycling news, anything more than 0 is a fair amount. 

I thought the items they previewed were interesting but most of the lights were kind of over the top.  The comments by the reviewers are good , real bike commuters talking about bike gear. 

They talked about a phone charging device.  Great but this setup is better.  It starts with a dynamo hub in front that produces 6v with very little drag.  It is not sitting out on the side and is very well made.  Unfortunately it is expensive unless you get second hand like me.  Next hook some lights to it, connected with toggle switch.  my lights are always with me and i never find myself without due to forgetting or not charging batteries.

Next add the E-werk voltage regulator.  Also very expensive, but it allows me to charge alot of different stuff from standard USB to 12v.

 Here I am charging a AAA battery, a USB battery pack, and my phone.  All this while riding leisurely to work.


First HNL Cycling group ride: Mnt Meru

First we ride for an hour through farmland.
We leave no one behind.
After an 90 minutes we stop in Sambasha for a cup of tea and mandazi.
Getting ready to roll again after a break.  We are in good company.  Saidi (in white) was National champion 10 years ago.  Sophia in blue was women's champion for many years until recently.  She is a grandmother now.
The last hill and arriving at the Meru Forest.
Taking another break before coasting home. 
Attracting  a crowd.
Everyone liked riding inside the Meru Forest.
And the start of endless downhill

We try a single track through the trees.
And some juice at the end of the ride at Erik's house.

26 August 2014

New Cycling Group

I have threatened in the past I would join other groups over the years.  This one sprang out of the company I work for, but has added people.

Above is the inagural ride.  Stopping at he big wild fig tree.

 Me passing through the tree.

It is awesome tree.

21 August 2014

Cycling in various cities

 I ride to work and to most appointments I have except family dinner outings.  I appreciated this set of news clips on BBC news.

Ninety percent of those who drive cars comment that it is dangerous.  I think it is not as dangerous as it looks, but i try to act like it is more dangerous than it looks.

I wonder how many are just looking for an excuse because they don't ride a bicycle.

Those who are walking accuse me of getting exercise.