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Statistics on Bike Helmets

Another interesting article that lays out several studies and findings about the safety and efficacy of bike helmet use and laws. This article is definitely an interesting read, with LOTS of worthwhile statistics on using bike helmets.
What I do find interesting are the these alternative statements that say you motorists may avoid you more (give you a wider berth) if you’re not wearing a helmet, and that riders may actually ride more safely when they don’t wear a helmet. Those things seem counter-intuitive, but I have to wonder if they are true? In studying for our upcoming bike tour, a theme that came up repeatedly is that cars do go around you by a much wider margin if you are pulling a bike trailer.
What do you think?
Al from Bike 4 Bangers

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Bike Helmet Doubts

The bike helmet wikipedia page is dominated by helmet skeptics, and there are several well-argued skeptic pages out there, such as this page full of studies.  Consider, for example, the effects of a 1992 helmet law in Western Australia:
“enforced helmet laws discourage cycling but produce no obvious response in percentage of head injuries”. This study has been the subject of vigorous debate. …  The largest [study], covering eight million cyclist injuries over 15 years, showed no effect on serious injuries and a small but significant increase in risk of fatality. … The head injury rate in the US rose in this study by 40 % as helmet use rose from 18% to 50%
The countries with the best cycle safety records (Denmark and the Netherlands) have among the lowest levels of helmet use. …Read more at

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling Law, Cycling News | , | Leave a comment

Are Cyclists as strange as we thought?

From the Bike 4 Bangers dust-gathering collection:
Interesting new research out of the U.K. is showing that cycling isn’t as ‘far-out’ as we may have thought. Or, at least, some motorists are showing a little bit of leniency to us.
This article is worth a definite read, if you’re interested in finding out where biking sits with a broad spectrum of the community. The only problem I have with this research, is that it only covers England. Even though most of the world is seems much more accustomed to cyclists, I am guessing the opinions here are quite a bit askew from those of us in the U.S.
What are your thoughts on this?

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Cyclists! The public thinks you’re cool and normal

Helen Blog bike : Bearded cyclist reading newspaper in a park

News just in from the world of academia: cycling is no longer considered the preserve of the sort of hippies historically associated with this newspaper. It is even widely thought of as “cool”. A professor told me so, and he has the stats to prove it.

What makes this survey worth listening to is that the vast majority of those who took part don’t actually cycle much, if at all.
Most respondents consider bike riding as normal (65%) and only 7% reckon cyclists are strange. Amusingly, those who cycle the most are disproportionately likely to think others consider them weird – 24% of those who use their bike at least once a week said they believed most normal people think cyclists were “a bit odd”. Read more at

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling News | Leave a comment

Explosion of bicycle use tough on some

Another Bike 4 Bangers update:
Although they are completely unprepared for the explosion of bikers they’ve faced this year, I really like the attitude this campus is taking towards the biking community. It seems like they want to work with cyclists and bike commuters to do the right thing, instead of pulling out the heavy-handed tactics from the start.
It’s odd to me how little foresight and planning some organizations put into alternative transportation in their overall planning, but I am hoping that America will start waking up to the diversity of options and alternatives that each and every person can use … especially when it comes to commuting options. I can’t help but think, eventually the U.S. will start looking more and more like other countries with more cyclists, scooters, and other forms of transportation.
What do you think?

Bike traffic increases

A sharp increase in campus bicycle traffic is leading university officials to take steps that will help ensure the safety and convenience of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike.

“There have been a few occasions where the racks by my building are just completely full,” Varner said.

“Some people don’t understand that chaining their bikes to hand rails and posts actually violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it obstructs walkways,” Baker said. “It can also prevent our maintenance crews from doing their job in certain situations.”

Students using bicycles on campus have the option of registering their bikes with Parking Services. Registration is free and helps identify a bicycle’s owner in the event of theft or confiscation.


September 3, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community | | Leave a comment

Scraper Bikes – an Intro

A cool new bike style discovered in the Bike 4 Bangers library:
I have never heard of this style of bike alteration, but I saw this article and just had to share some clips. It is a bit odd, but it looks totally cool. Apparently, they take their bikes and customize them with killer new additions and decorative features.
Let me know what you think of this new scraper bike style? Any pictures or more links so I can read more about this?
Al at Bike 4 Bangers

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Scraper Bike Movement: Deep Oakland Roots

Photos by Eric K. Arnold.
To really understand the Scraper Bike movement, one must experience it in its element: the turfs of East Oakland. 
Tyrone Stevenson – aka Baybe Champ the Scraper Bike King – founded the Original
Scraper Bike Team about four years ago. Since then, the Scraper Bikes have become a symbol of hope, an unexpected urban entry into the green movement, as well as a way for inner-city youth to do something positive, constructive and creative with their free time.
The Scraper Bikes were in full effect.

September 1, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling History | Leave a comment

Boulder biking scholarship event a BIG success

From the Bike 4 Bangers library of interesting events:

This bike ride, in Boulder Colorado, to help benefit about 50 college students is a huge success again. I love this idea, of having the entire community come together around an idea they are passionate about … biking, in order to help out other people around them.
AND, that it was such a success is great to hear.
Does your community do anything like this? I would love to see a lot more of these floating around the country. I would LOVE to take part in some of these great events.

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Boulder-area Venus de Miles bike ride draws 1,800 women

“We had just a spectacular turnout,” race founder Teresa Robbins said. “It was a great success.”

The ride included a “dream team” to provide inspiration and encouragement. The team of 14 well-known cyclists and community members included Alison Dunlap, a two-time Olympian and world champion mountain biker.

Also offering encouragement was the “Men in Drag” team — 20 men wearing fishnet, tutus and wigs who provided mechanical assistance and general event support. Plus, participants said, riders cheered each other on.

The event was expected to raise as much as $100,000 for the Boulder-based Greenhouse Scholars, a 5-year-old nonprofit organization that’s working to reduce the college drop-out rate.

Greenhouse Scholars provides intensive support, including scholarship money and a mentorship program, to “high-performing, under-resourced” students.Read more at

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling News | Leave a comment

Best Bike Shop EVER

A great new article from the Bike 4 Bangers archive.
I absolutely love this idea! AND, it has built in advertising ALL over it. This article is definitely worth a read, to find where on earth the best bike shop in teh world is located.
More shops in the U.S. need to take a tip from these guys get the word spread out far and wide.

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the Best Bike Shop EVER!

How it All Started

What’s the story behind the bikes on the walls? It all started when an employee asked Peter Horstmann, the owner, what to do with about 40 bikes that customers had brought in as trade ins. “Hang ’em on the wall,” Horstmann replied from his gut, and over time the number of bikes has increased to about 120.

best bike shop ever Altlandsberg germany photo
best bike shop ever Altlandsberg germany photo

The oldest bike on the wall is from 1933. There are all kinds of models, including one that a customer has recognized as a bike that was stolen from him in 1986 at a train station. The shop owner offered to return it to him, but he declined (guess he had bought another one since then).

best bike shop ever Altlandsberg germany photo

The bike shop’s website can be found here: (in German)


August 27, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community | Leave a comment

The Fringe benefits of Biking

Another interesting note to add to the Bike 4 Bangers collection. Although cycling is on the fringes of society, it is gaining such a large following that it is truly becoming part of mainstream society. However, because there are so many adherents to biking, there are still PLENTY of extreme bikers around the world you can still become a part of.

This article showcases just a few of those fringe biking groups. I’m not sure why I never met any of these people when I was growing up, but now it seems they are all over the place. I have yet to meet any in my day-to-day living though.

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Bike jousting? Naked rides? There’s a cycling niche for everyone

Cycling in this country is not exactly mainstream, but it does seem to be on its way to achieving that status.

Commuting by bike has seen a huge increase in the last 10 years, and recreational and competitive cycling has also grown significantly. Growth leads to diversity and cycling has plenty of that. So what’s mainstream and what’s not these days?

Bike blog : the Naked Bike Ride in London

On that note we should mention bike jousting. You can probably work the mechanics of this out for yourselves, but to give it more of an edge ‘tall bikes’ are commonly used. These are usually two bike frames welded to create the extra height.

Artistic cycling is a sport recognised by the International Cycling Union, the world governing body for cycling. Think figure skating and rhythmic gymnastics, but on bikes.

take that to the extreme (remove clothes) and you get the World Naked Bike RideRead more at

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community | Leave a comment

Cycling memorial a great piece of metal work

What a great memorial to an outstanding member of the cycling community. And I love the idea of this metal project spreading the word about cycling into the community. There is something awesome and inspiring about the graceful and geometric design of bike parts, and this piece catches some of that. Plus, it’s so large, it’s bound to inspire some riders who will hit the trail under it’s impressive stature.

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Huge bike sprocket arches to rise over memorial trail

They talked about the impact the archway will have on the local arts community, the sense of pride local bicyclists will feel riding under an enormous sprocket, and the camaraderie that has been built during the past eight months of planning.
It was in that moment that the project — a memorial to Steve Harrison — made complete sense.
Zorn said Harrison was far from ordinary, noting she wanted to do something extraordinary to remember him by.
“I didn’t want anything traditional,” Zorn said. “I wanted something more living that you would experience. Steve was active, he was full of life.”
Lindsay’s knowledge of bicycles has allowed the project to flourish, with the arches containing “bike nerd” details cyclists will appreciate, Lindsay said.
With the bike path owned by the city of Chico, Lindsay and Zorn had to work to gain permission to install the arches and donate the approximately $40,000 project to the city.


See more at

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Cycling Community, Cycling News | Leave a comment