Category: Offbeat Bicycle News

Big brass band on bicycles

Although bicycling is a major interest of mine, another is playing trumpet in a community concert band.

So you can probably understand my joy and amazement to see my two avocations combined in The Netherlands by the Trompetterkorps Bereden Wapens. It just makes me smile.

In addition to the fact that they're riding in formation as they play their instruments, they actually sound pretty good. And check out the snare drummer — no hands on the handlebars. (Larger version on jump)….

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An escape on this bicycle tour could bring an armed chase group

From the nation that brought us the Velib bicycle rental system comes another revolutionary idea: Remove convicts from prison and take them on a bicycle tour.

Beginning next month, 196 French prison inmates will begin a 1,400-mile bike tour of France. They'll be accompanied by 124 guards.

Reuters news agency reports that the peloton will start in Lille on June 4 and stop in 17 towns. Although each host town is home to a prison, the inmates will be sleeping in hotels. They'll conclude the trip in Paris.

A French prison official explained the trip …

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A bicycle lane for recumbents?

I'm always a little oxygen-deprived when I reach this figure on the way up Cougar Mountain in Bellevue, Washington, and not sure what I'm actually seeinig.

When I rode up on Saturday, I thought I'd take a picture to confirm if I were seeing things or not.

Sure enough, it looks all the world to …

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Celebrate “Drive to Work Day” on Wednesday!

The Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle is encouraging everyone to get involved in the annual “Jurassic Petroleum Drive to Work Day” on Wednesday.

That's right, it's time for bicycle commuters, bus passengers, pedestrians and even car-poolers to jump into their individual cars and experience the love of crawling along to work on a congested four-lane superhighway, spewing carbon emissions as they go.

If you look at the calendar, you'll realize that Wednesday is April Fool's Day, so I doubt if the announcement at the Great City blog or Cascade's Twitter is being made in all seriousness. But there is a serious point to be made.

Imagine the congestion on our roads …

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Do not put this bumper sticker on your bicycle

There's a Florida band named “This Bike is a Pipe Bomb.” If you want to keep life simple, do not attach their bumper stickers to your bicycle. Otherwise your ride could be considered a terrorist threat.

That happened Monday in Memphis where an airport terminal was shut down when such a bicycle was spotted near a passenger ramp.

A pilot saw the bike with the sticker and notified police, who evacuated the terminal. Bomb-sniffing dogs were called in, but did not detect any explosives.

Airport police took the bike owner into custody …

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Stella Artois beer commercial uses vintage bicycling theme

Watching the Golden Globes award show the other night, I was surprised to see this excellent Belgian beer commercial that tells the story of two brothers in a circa 1930s tandem bicycle race.

Entitled “The Race,” the 1:30-minute commercial for Stella Artois looks like it came directly from the pages of a book on the history of cycling in the Alps and Pyrenees, right down to the dusty roads and stone buildings.

Searching around, I discovered that the footage was shot on the Mediterranean island of Majorca (Mallorca in Spanish). The extras were cycling fanatics from the mountainous island, and the photos at the end of the piece came from a widow whose husband was a local cycling legend …

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“MAKE: television” features bicycle creations by SF's Cyclecide

The debut of a DIY show on public television connects viewers with artists who transform old bicycles into unusual pedal-powered creations.

“MAKE: Television” is produced by MAKE magazine, which is devoted to all kinds of do-it-yourself technology projects.

The first segment of the first show is about San Francisco's Cyclecide. The collective finds bicycles and other odds and ends in junk yards and retool them into “pedal-powered monstrosities.” One member explains:

“It's not really into the practicality of the bike or fast you can ride…

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Monthly top bicycling stories in 2008


I always enjoy looking back at the top stories of the previous year.

Although the BikingBis blog is hardly the arbiter of the top bicycling news of  the day, my stories occasionally seem to strike a chord with readers. Take, for instance, the photo at left that goes with the top story of 2008.

Here are the month-by-month stories at my blog with the most hits last year. In a couple of cases, they were actually legitimate bicycling news stories.

January:  “Top 10 bicycling websites” — I published this list Dec. 31, 2007, but it was still popular at the beginning of the following year. These were the websites that I refer to the most for bicycle news; they probably still are.

February :  “Scotsman sets record for around the world solo bike tour” — This was the story of Mike Beaumont, who traveled 18,000 miles by bicycle over 195 days. He carried his own gear and passed through 20 countries. Amazing …

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Bicycle merry-go-round for getting nowhere fast

Here's a bicycle for group rides in extremely cramped spaces. It's called the Circular Bike, and it's really just for fun.

Inventor Robert Wechsler used parts from 30-odd discarded bikes to make the merry-go-round that can reach speeds of 15 mph. He says that inevitably, someone always gets sick.

His creation essentially connects nine bicycles in a 12-foot diameter ring. There was some welding involved, but sections are bolted together so it can be dismantled …

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Bicycle-jacking: Be on the lookout for …

The Rome News-Tribune reported that four men approached a man riding his bicycle recently, pushed him off, and left with his ride, which the victim valued at $12,000. Here's the description:

“The low-rider bicycle is described as silver in color with four chrome wheels and a fifth wheel in a wheel cover, airbrushed with “brown pride,” …

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