BikeCommuters.com

Commute

Staples is going green

It looks like Staples and the City of Miami are Bike Commuter friendly!

The store’s green design will help:

* Improve energy performance and reduce “heat island effect? contributing to higher city temperatures through a highly reflective roofing system;
* Reduce the strain on municipal water and Florida aquifer reserves by collecting rainwater through rooftop gutter systems and installing waterless urinals and low-flow toilets;
* Preserve non-renewable, virgin resources by using drywall, steel, concrete, bathroom partitions, carpet and parking stops made from recycled materials;
* Protect and restore habitats by landscaping with 100 percent native plants and shrubs;
* Encourage alternative transportation by installing bike racks and showers;
* Lead recycling efforts by having on-site recycling for paper, plastic, glass, and cardboard, in addition to computer, electronics and ink cartridge recycling offered by Staples stores every day.

click here to read the news release

Let me emphasize this line again: * Encourage alternative transportation by installing bike racks and showers;

Man, I would settle for some businesses around my area to install bike racks, but showers??? Now, that’s going the extra mile!

Thanks to Eric Smith for the heads up

Reasons why a commuter decides to drive

1. I have a meeting to go to and its far.
2. I have a meeting and I need to dress nice (suit and stuff)
3. I need to pick up a big piece of furniture.
4. My tires are flat and I don’t have any tubes or patches.
5. It’s too hot.
6. It’s too cold.
7. It’s raining.
8. I’m running late.
9. I’m sore from yesterday’s bike commute.
10. I have to go to the grocery store after work.

I’m sure you folks have some other ones to add. So feel free to chip in your reasons why you have to drive.

The Velorution has arrived!

Please welcome our new staff writer/product tester from Phoenix AZ, Jeff Rossini.

Some of you may followed his experiment aka ‘The Velorution’ on his blog. Although Jeff may not be a seasoned commuter, Jeff will be giving us an insight on how an avid cyclist can turn into a bike commuter. He’ll be sharing some of his stories hoping to inspire those that already ride a bike, but have not tried riding it to work.

Pay attention, people

I received an email from Tom Hewitt regarding a Bike Commuter being “right hooked? by a car. This article reminded me of my incident with a motorist last week. Bike Commuters are still a very small minority, we are still regarded as a pain in the ass, but when are drivers are going to understand that what we do also benefits them as well? Anyhow, here’s a little excerpt of the article on StarTribune:

“When are drivers going to learn?? a still-sore Guernsey wants to know. “People are in such a damn hurry. When are drivers going to start paying attention? I could have been paralyzed; I could have been killed. … Why do those who choose to drive treat bike riders as a nuisance rather than equal users of the road?

“Pay attention, people.?

Click Here to Read the entire article.

D-Tour Bicycle Safety Flag — First Impression

D-Tour Safety Flag package

Recently, Glenn Hanson of GlennAir, L.L.C. sent Bikecommuters.com a couple of their D-Tour Bicycle Safety Flags to test in California and Florida. I installed mine today and shot some photos of the very simple process.

First, a bit about the safety flag: the flag itself is made of highly reflective nylon — fluorescent yellow-green for the body and silver for the stripes and trim. The flag “arm” appears to be made of stainless steel, and the attachment bracket is machined aluminum with plastic frame clamps. The flag comes with two pairs of two different sizes of Cateye plastic frame clamps and very clear and concise instructions for mounting the assembly. Once assembled and deployed, the flag device sticks out about 24″ to the side of the bike. It then folds straight back when not in use.

The heart of the system is this finely machined hunk of aluminum — the flag bracket:
flag bracket

Installation is a breeze…if you have thin seatstays. Initially, I wanted to install this device on my dedicated MTB-framed commuter bike — it fits the “safety theme” of this bike (ugly photo here). However, the seatstays were far too fat to fit the larger of the two provided clamps, there is a brazed-on brakeline guide in the way, and the pannier interfered with placement. I tried mounting the clamps upside-down with a longer attachment screw, but I would have had to drill extra holes in the aluminum flag bracket and it still wouldn’t be quite right.

Not enough room on this bike:
This isn't gonna work!

So, I pulled my Astra road bike out of the shed and slapped this device on in about 5 minutes…all that is needed for installation is a flathead screwdriver. Voila — success!
bracket mounted

After that, the wire “arm” of the flag clips into the bracket. The orientation of the flag can be adjusted from straight out to the side, straight forward or back or at angles between these positions. Here’s how it looks deployed straight out from the side of the bike:

Deployed!

And here’s how it looks folded straight back:
Straight back

I didn’t get to test-ride it today, but I am eager to see how this device will affect the distance motorists pass me with. I get “buzzed” all the time — Tampa-area drivers are not used to seeing bikes on the roadways. When Florida passed their “3 Foot Rule” last year, my friends and I joked about bolting a brightly-painted yardstick (or a sword blade) to our bikes as a visual guide to motorists. I think this D-Tour flag device is a far more elegant and practical way to go about things, don’t you?

Stay tuned for our experiences running this device — it should be interesting!

To contact Glenn about purchasing this flag, please email him at GHansonLtd(at)aol(dot)com.

UPDATE:

Here are some pictures from the folks from California. Moe installed the D-Tour Flag on his DiamondBack Transporter, we look forward to his experiences as well.


Side View

Rear View