Thursday, August 7, 2008

Electric bike offers green urban commuting option


"This feels very strange.

I'm riding down an alley in San Francisco, pedaling as you would on any bicycle. Each time I put my foot down, the bike presses on a little further. It's all very normal.

But then, with the flick of a switch on the bike's handlebars, it shoots forward with a strong, smooth, motorized thrust. Quickly, I've hit 20 miles an hour.

This isn't normal anymore.

This is Ultra Motor's A2B, a $2,500, zero-emissions scooter that just happens to also be an electric bike"
Electric bike offers green urban commuting option | Geek Gestalt - by Daniel Terdiman - CNET News.com

Related Story:

UK-based Ultra Motors launches a high-range electric scooter, Marathon, priced at Rs 31,047 in India, which travels 100 km on a single charge

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Bicycle Safety

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Bicycle riding is fun, healthy, and a great way to be independent.

But it is important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it's a vehicle! Be cool - follow some basic safety tips when you ride.
101 CDOS Week 11: Bicycle Safety

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To conserve energy and cut carbon emissions, Tainan city government, Taiwan, announces every Friday as "Bicycle Day"

Hope Pune Municipal Corporation does something like this!

But we do not have to wait for PMC to announce! We can decided to use cycle at least one day in a week! Problems? They are same every where. In even in Taiwan! Read the news and you will say "Who is talking? Me?":
The city government said 51 percent of its employees have indicated that they will be able to participate in "bicycle day," while 49 percent said that they will have difficulty doing so.

Those who said they will have difficulty cited reasons such as frequent bicycle thefts, lack of bus stops near their homes, the need to use cars to transport their children to and from school, long distances to the city government offices and the inability to ride a bicycle.

Some female employees said they were unwilling to walk or ride bicycles to work because of personal safety concerns, while others pointed to the poor quality of the city's roads.

- The China Post

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BMX racing: from fringe to big time - 2008 Beijing Olympics

This is the first time that BMX racing, also known as bicycle motocross, will be an Olympic medal event.

Riding only inches apart, the cyclists rip around a dirt track with tight turns and spectacular jumps. There are no points for style or artistic expression, as only raw speed wins the race that’s over in less than a minute.

BMX racing originated in the United States in the late 1960s when youngsters in California used their bikes to copy the tricks performed by motorcycle racers. It was eventually recognized as a sport of its own with specialized bikes, safety gear and a unique culture.

In 2003, the International Olympic Committee made BMX a full-medal sport for the 2008 Beijing games — much like snowboarding and other fringe sports have been elevated to the world stage.

The addition of BMX racing to the Olympics follows a series of new events, such as beach volleyball and mountain biking, meant to appeal to a younger crowd. The sport could become the darling of Beijing, much like freestyle skiing captured millions of television viewers during the Winter Olympics.
JS Online: Spinning gold into bigger sales

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Steve David keeps his Chrysler PT Cruiser parked in driveway and switches to Segway, personal transport vehicle

I love to read stories about commuting green:

I know everybody can't cycle2work. So what? Commuting green is more important. Out of all green vehicles, i find "Segway" very fascinating. Read this story of Steve David of Baltimore.


Even before gasoline hit $4 a gallon, Steve David saw the writing on the wall and decided to reduce his reliance on costly fossil fuel for his daily commute from Hernwood Heights to his office in Baltimore.

A year ago he asked for a Segway personal transport vehicle for his birthday. His wife obliged.

Now he can be seen most days on the upright two-wheeler making his 25-minute commute through Randallstown to the Owings Mills Metro five miles away.

There he boards a train with the electric vehicle and disembarks at the State Center stop downtown. A half-mile later and he’s at his physical therapy practice on north Charles Street.

“If I leave the house at 8 a.m., I’m at the office by 9 a.m.,” David said.

Stopping to chat on Winands Road near the end of his commute on a balmy evening last week, David said that over the past year he’s used the Segway almost every day, even in the rain, although he avoids riding it in ice and snow.


Community Times

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Ben Gulak's Electric Uno has two wheels but it's not a motorbike - it looks like a powered unicycle

A young inventor has created a two-wheeler with a twist - the wheels are parallel so the machine looks like a powered unicycle.

Ben Gulak, from Ontario, Canada, is only 18 but has spent several years building the electric Uno that uses a gyroscope - like the Segway commuter device - to stay upright.


The bizarre-looking contraption has only one switch - on or off - and is controlled entirely by body movement. It works like a Segway - lean forward to start moving. Lean left or right to turn and the inside wheel lifts and the outside wheel lowers.

Its control system that keeps the rider balanced over the tyres

Gulak designed the Uno with the help of Trevor Blackwell, a robotics engineer who specialises in self-balancing software. The control system keeps the rider balanced over the wheels and manages the suspension.

The machine, modified from the frame of a Yamaha R1, weighs 54kg and can be taken indoors and wheeled into lifts. It's recharged by being plugged into the mains.


The wheels are independently controlled, allowing the bike to turn in its own length, and the technology takes the balance and guesswork out of riding a unicycle.

The Uno's two wheelchair motors should give it a top speed of 40km/h but, for safety's sake, Gulak hasn't taken it above 25km/h.

He said: "The only way to figure out if a modification works is to ride the thing. I'm pretty sure I chipped a kneecap in one crash."


It can run for about 2.5 hours on a charge and was designed for inner-city commuting.

Gulak said: "The Uno takes a bit of getting used to because you have to learn to trust it but it doesn't take long."

He's looking for investors to get the Uno into production and on the streets.


"I was inspired to make it after visiting China a few years ago and seeing all the smog," he said. "They ride little bikes that are really polluting and I wanted to make something to combat that.

"Now that I have a prototype the reaction has been amazing. I believe this could be an electric alternative to the car." - Star Motoring
motoring.co.za -

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