Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Electric folding bike to be made in Portland

As you all may remember, we bought an electric folding bike a couple of years ago. We're still using it, and it works well for short errands and coordinating with bus transit, but it was manufactured in China. And the manufacturer had problems so the bike shop we bought it from no longer carries it. This could cause problems if there's ever a major maintenance/repair issue so I am pleased to report a project to produce an electric folding bike in Portland, Oregon. They're doing it via Kickstart so you can be an investor if you like. Read all about it here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Edible landscaping that won't offend your neighbors

In July, Oak Park, Michigan, got on the map by prosecuting Julie Bass for putting food gardens in her front yard. After a bit of internet uproar, and people pointing out that the town rules had many exceptions written in to them, they backed down. Since lots of people are facing economic difficulties, along with those who just don't always trust the agribusiness created food, there are more and more people interested in putting in some kind of garden. Front yards often get the best light so here is an article about how to do it and minimize the problems with neighbors. Some interesting design issues pointed out along with the mention of permaculture which is a step beyond just putting in a food garden.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bike Sharing takes off

It's been a long hiatus for me due to knee surgery, and some problems with rehab, but I'm back and planning to post again regularly.

This article about bike sharing caught my eye this morning. There's a 4 minute video which is not only pretty to watch but informative. See it here. I'm sure this system works best in areas where there are compact business districts, but I can also see it working where there are large companies with say 35,000 employees (says the woman living 2 miles from Microsoft). Have a few of these racks, and reasonable transit connections, and voila, your employees don't have to commute by car and still be able to run errands or go out for lunch. Fewer parking garages, less traffic congestion, sounds like an overall win to me. The video is about the system in Minneapolis. There are currently systems in Washington, D.C., Madison, Wisc., and Denver. Boston is planning one. Notice how they all have winter?