Ai Weiwei Piles 1,200 Bikes On Top Of Each Other, For Dazzling Effect!

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum hosts a large-scale exhibition of the Chinese dissident artist with his new work, "Forever Bicycles."
The humble bike has inspired artists ever since Marcel Duchamp put a bicycle wheel on top of a stool in 1913--even Picasso, during the bleakest period of World War II, used a pair of handlebars and a bike saddle to whimsically conjure the skull of a bull. The artist Ai Weiwei, who was detained in a secret location for 81 days by the Chinese government last summer, continues this tradition with a new exhibition in Taiwan.
As part of what the museum bills as the first large-scale solo exhibition of the artist’s work to be held in the Chinese world, Ai Weiwei’s most recent work, Forever Bicycles, installs 1,200 bicycles--some hanging from the ceiling, some standing upright on the floor--one behind the other. The bikes have no handlebars and no seats and instead use those parts of the frame to extend upward and outward to connect to other wheels and other frames, creating the illusion of a labyrinth-like space in a three-dimensional area.

Installed at the highest point of the museum, nearly 100 feet high, the sheer quantity of bikes allows this most functional of objects to take on an abstract quality when viewed from a variety of different angles. The exhibition, entitled Absent because the artist is not allowed to travel and therefore will not be present at the show, contains 21 additional works by the artist, already famous for his Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. It will be on view until January 20.




15 Amazing Bicycles For The Future of Seoul

Seoul is one city that is conscious of the fact that we need to ride more bicycles and loosen up the traffic congestion. To advocate their intent Seoul Design Fair hosted the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010, where entries from around the world we welcomed. The mission was to provide a cycle for the city dweller, so that he can adopt cycling into his daily routine and lead a healthy lifestyle. The city on its part, promises to provide all the infrastructure needed to promote it. Let’s take a look at main features of 15 of the best entries in random order!
15) Bike 2.0 by Nils Sveje, Inoda Sveje design studio & IPU Produktudvikling


Main Features: comfortable ride with energy leveling and the stepless gearbox, option of adding seat-tube battery for speed, two wireless control-units (that work with two wireless rings on the handlebar) help control your ride.

14) Beik by Lukas Jungmann 


Main Features: Audi branding, folding mechanism, articulated frame steering and the untypical frame setup.
13) Tribune by Thüring Lukas, Lukas Thüring & Florian Vecsey


Main Features: electric operated tricycle-recumbent bike, powered by a generator and an electric motor, external battery increases drive capacity, lockable little boot to store items above the rear wheel, adjustable headrest and pedals, flexible backrest, front and back lights for safety, ergonomic design.

12) Ridenpush by You Ho Jeon


Main Features: a riding cycle with a wagon can transform into a push cart when heavy, intended for the elderly.

11) Ufold by André Costa 


Main Features: a cross between a mountain bike size and a city bike, easy to use folding system, handle in the frame makes it easy to push, when closed, central joint in the two piece frame, safety trigger and an angle two piece frame help in aligning the wheel when opened.

10) Full Circle by Sanghyun jeong & Jun-Tae Park 


Main Features: compact sized city bike, large wheel size (508mm, 20inch), no chains but free wheel gear directly connects to its pedal, most of its parts can be folded, including saddle and handle bars.

9) Molecule by Yongjin Lee

Main Features: body is modeled on the river Han of Seoul, unique shape.

8 ) Helo by Junkyo Lee

Main Features: unique body, integrated lock design to prevent theft.

7) ROOnighT by Yong-Bum Lim & Park Jong-Soon 


Main Features: harnesses energy from the cycling to power its lights at night, the polycarbonate frame emits light through O.L.E.D, transforming the bicycle into a night light for the street it’s parked in, intended for a public sharing system for bikers.

6) X Bike by Woogyeong Go, Dong-ha Kim & Kyeongpyo Cho 

Main Features: looks like the letter “X”, no chain technology.

5) Carrier Bike by Shin Hyung Sub Shin




Main Features: a convenient carrier, shelf located in the middle of the bicycle, designed to help carry the users luggage.

4) SE:CUrity Lock System by Sang Yong Park & Jae Yong Park 


Main Features: the steering features a number lock system, locks by pushing the handles down, locks into the front wheel of the cycle, unique body design.

3) T-bike by Jung Geun Tak & Shinhyun Kang of T.A.K studio

Main Features: iconic design, folding handlebars double up as a lock, embedded GPS, E-INK and EPD technology used in the embedded monitor, adjustable seat via a lever with the seat height index (indicator), seat height can be adjusted while being seated.

2) Sideways Bike by Michael Killian 


Main Features: two wheel steering bicycle with independently steerable wheels, travels sideways, unique and distinct motion, best suited for children from age 7.

1) Trileaf by Jihyeong Kim



Main Features: eco electric tricycle, can be used in a public rental system, has a tilting mechanism and a steering in the front, electric motor in the rear, emergency raincoat box built under the seat.
Bonus Entry!
How can we not have a bonus entry! By The Way all the images and credits go to our friends at Designboom, who have co-organized the event for Seoul Design Fair.
Viento – Urban Folding Bicycles by Gil Sheffi 


Main Features: folding cycle, super-formed aluminum frame, hubless pedal system, hollow main axis, neatly folded look.



Tripod Bike

Troy Turner

Inspired by the camera tripod, the T-Bike provided a unique solution for custom fitting a bike to individual users. Three sliding mechanisms located on the front fork, center frame, and rear wheel bar can be adjusted and locked to the rider’s preference. As an added bonus (and a nod to its inspiration), the bike also features a camera mount located between the handle bars!

Designer: Reza Rachmat Sumirat








Cycle Tours Are Good!

Radhika Seth

Bike Guide Concept is an amazing combination of electric bus transportation and cycling, that helps tourist to take in the sights and sounds of Seoul. The way it works is this, at the bus kiosk you key in your places of interest and wait till your bus shows up. The solar powered/electric bus comes with removable cycles and includes navigational gadgets with places of interest strapped on to each bike. So when you reach a tourist spot, you can simple disembark with your bike, and explore the spot by yourself. The navi-gadget helps you get around and brings you back to the bus stop. I think it’s a fun way to explore a city!

Designers: Kukil Han, Daehyun Kim, Bojoong Kim & Jihwan Yun







Map Reveals the Nation's Biggest Contributors to Climate Change

Brian Merchant
Energy / Fossil Fuels
January 11, 2012 

EPA/Public Domain

The United States is the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. China might have recently passed us up when it comes to annual emissions, but take heart: Our coal-fired power plants and industrial factories are still churning out pollution with the best of them.
Which is why the EPA has done a great service by compiling the latest greenhouse gas emissions data onto a handy interactive map, so you can see for yourself where the major emitters are. The map includes only industrial polluters who pump out more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, so there's plenty missing from this picture.
As Jess Zimmerman notes at Grist, "There's no transportation, or residential, or agricultural facilities represented. But you're looking at more than half of the United States' GHGs, including all the major polluters." So click over and mess around – see which industrial scale carbon emitter is lurking in your neck of the woods.

Antennas via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Naturally, I tracked down the nation's single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, the Scherer plant, a massive coal-fired power plant in Georgia that boasts four separate 880 MW units. It alone spews nearly 23,000,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.
The tool is useful for getting a better sense of how industry and our power sector contribute to climate change – and serves as a useful reminder that the U.S. still gets 50% of its energy by burning coal, the chief source of carbon emissions worldwide.


The Planet Wants You to Bike like the Danes!

ECF/Promo image

Life-Cycle Analysis Comparison of Different Transportation Modes

A new study by the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) looked at the CO2 impact of biking, driving cars, taking the bus, and found - not too surprisingly, but it's good to have the hard data to back up any claims - that if the countries of the EU-27 reached a level of biking similar to Denmark's, that reductions of CO2 emissions of between 63 and 142 million tonnes per year could be possible by 2050. This would be 12 to 26% of the target reduction set for the transport sector by the European 2050 targets.This isn't some pipe dream. 2050 is far enough in the future that there's time to make infrastructure investments to bring up the level of "bike-friendliness" in cities where it is lagging, and it's long enough for smart incentives to work their magic and discourage car usage (especially in cities and for commuting).
As you can see in the picture above, bike LCA came to 21g of CO2 per kilometer, electric-assist bikes were 22g, buses scored 101g of CO2/km, and passenger cars got an average of 271g CO2/km (and that's just for short trips that could be replaced by bikes, which is what the study focused on).

ECF/Promo image

A Conservative Estimate

Another thing to keep in mind when looking at the pictures in this post and in reading the numbers in the study (PDF) is that the ECF has been extremely conservative in its estimates, trying to avoid any accusations of being biased in favor of bikes. They went as far as not including infrastructure for cars, or things like parking and maintenance, in their calculations. This means that with a more realistic set of assumptions, bikes would come even more ahead.Another thing of note in the study is the part where they discuss the life-cycle impact of cars (page 12 of the study). They found that 77% of the impact came from what they call 'tank to wheels', or the burning of the fuel. This means that fuel efficiency makes a big difference; while it isn't nearly as green as biking, if you have to drive a car, make sure it is the most fuel-efficient model that fits your needs and drive it sanely to keep MPG as high as possible.

Via ECF (pdf), BikePortland
See also: Hurrah for Chicago's First Protected Bike Lane!


Graph of the Day: Proof that Bike Lanes Attract Bike Riders 

Lloyd Alter
Transportation / Bikes
December 12, 2011 

Felix Salmon at Reuters notes that since Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed and started installing bike lanes, the number of cyclists on the road has more than doubled. This is good news for cyclists, but also for drivers and straphangers; if they are on bikes, they are not in cars or trains. Salmon writes:
The lesson of this chart, then, is that if you build bike lanes, cyclists will appear to fill them. That’s fantastic news, since cities with lots of cyclists are always the most pleasant cities to live and work in — even for people who don’t bike themselves.

Cheeky Bicycle Rack in London Shows Exactly How Much Room a Car Takes Up

Bonnie Alter
Transportation / Bikes
December 9, 2011 

cyclehoop/Promo image

This hot pink bicycle stand occupies a space the size of one parking bay and holds 10 bicycles. Originally commissioned by the London Festival of Architecture, the Car Bike Rack is designed by Cyclehoop and popping up all over east London as a way to determine where the demand for bicycle parking exists and promote cycling.
The stand is an ironic take with a serious message. Cars cause pollution and congestion, and their parking spaces could be dedicated to bikes, not cars.
The "car" bike port is made out of steel and anchored into the ground with bolts so it is good and sturdy. At the same time, it is a flat pack design, so that it is simple to transport and set up at events. It can also include a bike pump and be used for branding.

cyclehoop/Promo image

The bike rack has been spotted in many places, and for fun the creators have inserted a QR tag so that users can scan it and find out more about the project, and leave their comments. As one said "This is so cool. Providing practical bike infrastructure, and a message and urban art, all at the same time."
Cyclehoop is a young, award-winning company launched by a designer who had his bike stolen, and started to think about how he could make a more secure lock.
From those roots, the company grew to include designers and architects who specialise in producing innovative and original indoor and outdoor bicycle parking products.

cyclehoop/Promo image. The Bike Hangar.

Another of their ideas is the communal Bike Hangar, where local residents can safely store their bicycles. The local council has now placed four of them in housing projects in the area.
They can be parked on the street--it takes up half a parking space--or outside a building. The lockers hold five bicycles and each resident pays an annual fee and gets a key to secure the bicycle in the spot. The lockers are easily transportable and secure.


Taking Back the Streets: The Urban Repair Squad Builds A Bike Lane Where Cyclist Was Killed 

Lloyd Alter
Transportation / Bikes
December 10, 2011

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

There is so much that is broken in our city, which the Mayor claims we are too broke to fix. Enter the Urban Repair Squad, with their motto: "They say city is broke. We fix. No charge." And they do, sneaking in under cover of darkness or at dawn to " actively construct a positive future of what urban transportation could be by installing it NOW." I got a cryptic email from them earlier this week, inviting me to attend one of their interventions:
No press release is being issued for this intervention and only a very small group of friendly local media is being invited to attend. We respectfully ask you to keep this invitation as confidential as possible.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Their planned intervention was to install bicycle lanes at the Toronto intersection where Jenna Morrison was crushed under the rear wheels of a truck, the driver of which claims he couldn't didn't see her, even though she was towing a trailer. It is an unusual intersection in Toronto, in that it is a T, and has a large throat; there is lots of room for bike lanes in both directions. It is also right at the end of a major bike path, a logical place to find bikes turning. But they don't do bike lanes in Toronto anymore. So first some local people stencilled in sharrows as a warning to share, then David Meslin and James Schwartz demonstrated how a line might work with their garbage bike lane, and now the Urban Repair Squad has swooped in.

Lloyd Alter: Police in Sunlight/CC BY 2.0

They painted bike lanes in both directions and moved the center line to fit between the two lanes, filling the lanes with teal paint, because "that was Jenna's favourite colour." It was cold this morning (-6 C, 21 F) so it was hard work. But they got it done and managed to get out of there in a hurry (abandoning a few bikes and their paints) before the police arrived, in significant numbers. I asked one policeman why there were so many of them and he answered "I have no idea, I don't want to be here!"

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

In the end, it won't last a whole lot longer than Dave and James's garbage lane; they used water base paints that will wash away. But it was a demonstration of one of the goals of the Urban Repair Squad: "To encourage citizens to reclaim ownership and stewardship of their urban space."

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Because the city belongs to all of us, including the roads. These bike lanes worked; there is clearly enough room to share. It is time we took back the streets for the rest of us.
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Tags: Activism | Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Biking | Toronto

Hurrah for Chicago's First Protected Bike Lane!



Kinzie Street: Chicago's First Protected Bike lane from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

The First, But Not the Last!

Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has said that he wants to make his city more bike-friendly, and to help with that he has pledge that 100 miles of protected bike lanes would be built during his first term. The first of those is now open to the public, and as far as I can tell, it has been a great success so far! Our friendly Elizabeth from StreetFilms has shot the video above about it. It's great and should be shown to the mayor and urban planners of all cities around North-America!Via Streetfilms


The MacGyver Approach to Winter Biking (Zip Ties!)

Photo: Dutch Bike Co., used with permission.

Low-Cost Solution to Keep On Bikin'

One of the cyclists at Dutch Bike Co was caught without studded tires when it started snowing in Seattle, but no matter, that's nothing that a box of zip ties can't fix! This MacGyver trick isn't new, but now that winter is here, it's worth bringing up once more.

Photo: Dutch Bike Co., used with permission.

Fritz Rice, the DIYer on these photos, says that while the ties look "completely ludicrous", they work "beautifully":
I can accelerate, brake, and corner with aplomb, even on the vile snowpack/sheet ice mix the plows leave in the bike lanes. The zip ties dig nicely into the hardest packed surfaces, but they're thin enough not to bounce the bike around at low speed or on short pavement sections.

Photo: Dutch Bike Co., used with permission.

Photo: Dutch Bike Co., used with permission.

As you can see on this last photo, the tie heads as position so that they give extra grip when you are cornering, but they stay out of the way when going in a straight line. Just make sure you have enough clearance on all sides.
Cool, eh?
See also: The 'Sperm Bike' Carries Donor Samples to Fertility Clinics Around Copenhagen

You can click the photo above to go to that post. Photo: Courtesy of European Sperm Bank

Via DutchBikeCo
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