New Year News 3: odds and ends

New lights for old, Patrick Field writes again, a hub gear datavault, handling theory, a tallbike transformer, polar bike ride details, speedbike race hots up, Weiwei's cycle installation, and a cycling PSD...

Posted by Peter Eland on Friday 6 Jan 2012

Sue Archer writes:

Illuminating the past
If you've got a vintage bike, with vintage dynamo lamps on it, you might want a little more illumination, but not to spoil its lines with modern lights. Here on the Bicycle Lighting blog, you can see how one man converted an old 'bullet' style Sturmey Archer to use a very bright Cree LED in place of the old filament bulb. If you're not up to the making the electronics yourself, you might be able to shoehorn the workings of a small self contained battery light or headtorch into a vintage housing.

Owning the road
Long time cycle campaigner and writer Patrick Field has a new blog, entitled Own the Road. In his first post he discusses the concept of shared space, and how a cyclist can own the road not through aggression, but through easy confidence and style! Perhaps we should all sport scarlet tights and headscarves.

Compare the
If you're trying to compare data on hub gears, and struggling to find it all, have a look at the Hub Gear Data Table. All the information is collated from manufacturers' websites so you can easily compare whichever feature you need to.

How do we handle it?
If your brain has turned to mush over the holidays due to too much food and telly, sharpen it up with this academic paper from a few years ago on 'How a bicycle balances' (a 63-page PDF). Just try not to think too much about it while riding, or you're sure to fall over!

The ups and downs of tallbikes
If it takes you a while to get used to the feel of a new bike, imagine what it's like riding a bike whose geometry changes mid-ride. That's what both David Godden and Kevin Ablitt spotted a video of - the transforming tall bike from Russia, seen here on Treehugger. It's not certain whether the bike has a specific use, beyond bemusing onlookers!

Just nipping to the Pole
The presenters of the BBC's Blue Peter programme have a reputation for taking on physical challenges and Helen Skelton is no exception. Having previously kayaked the length of the Amazon she's taking on a 500 mile bike ride - to the South Pole. In aid of Sport Relief, Helen will be riding a bike custom-made for the job by Fortune Hanebrink, but without the electric assistance! You can read about the challenge on the BBC Website - this new story has more detail than the one we linked to previously.

Speed record competition
Following our report before Christmas that Graeme Obree has set his sights on breaking the human powered vehicle land speed record, news that he will have competition for the title. report that a Dutch team are also entering, with former speed skater Jan Bos in the seat of their Velox machine.

Now, which one is mine...
The bicycle has featured in art ever since it was invented, but Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has taken bike art to new heights with his work for an exhibition in Taiwan. Fastcodesign has pictures of 'Forever Bicycles', which consists of 1200 bikes, with saddles and handlebars removed, connected in seemingly never ending combinations to form a huge archway. The effect is quite psychedelic!

Give us a hand
And finally... Photoshop is a marvellous tool, used well. to clean up images. Just remember to remove everything you want out of shot, unlike in this unfortunate photo spotted on Photoshop Disasters.

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