Practicing the Advanced 7 Minute Workout

A week ago the New York Times came out with a free mobile app for the popular Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the new Advanced 7-Minute Workout.  The App itself is interesting for how it installs and is used on a Desktop as well as a phone.  This is a very nicely designed piece of software and should be on everyone’s plate to see.  The workout is pretty cool as well. 

The app offers a step-by-step guide to both 7-minute workouts, offering animated illustrations of the exercises, as well as a timer and audio cues to help you get the most out of your seven minutes.

How To Install

On an iOS device, open this link. Tap the “Bookmark” button, then “Add to Home Screen.” The app is then usable even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

On an Android device, use the Chrome browser to open this link. Then tap the “Menu” button, then “Add to Home Screen.” The app is then usable even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

To use on a desktop or other device, click here.

Portland’s Affordable Bike Neighborhoods

Where can Portland cyclists with an average income still afford to live?

via WillametteWeek


Portland has long been thought of as a cycling mecca for one big reason: Affordable homes were close enough to work to commute by bike. Housing prices rose by another 6.6 percent last year, and a February project by Governing magazine found the city is gentrifying faster than anywhere else in the nation. Does the promise of an affordable, bikeable Portland still hold up?Consider that the median income for a family in Portland is around $50,000, which financial advisers will tell you means they should not spend more than $315,000 on a house. Also consider that the national average commuting time is 25 minutes each way.

So can you find an affordable house in a place that’s about a one-hour round-trip commute to downtown Portland by bike? It’s increasingly difficult.

We used a city-provided map of every Portland neighborhood and contacted D. Patrick Lewis of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate for a list of the median prices of homes sold in each neighborhood. Then we used Google Maps’ cycling directions to determine how far each neighborhood was from downtown—specifically Big Pink—in miles and minutes of cycling. (Traffic and the specific location within a neighborhood can cause these times to vary considerably, but this is our best try.)

What we found won’t surprise most Portland house-hunters: It’s no longer cheap to live close to downtown, even in long-shunned North Portland. Here’s what else we found.

After you remove outliers such as Chinatown and Goose Hollow—if you can actually find a livable, single-family house there for under $300,000, we would be happy to buy it from you—the best bet for bikers is probably Foster-Powell. There, houses are selling for about $262,000, and the round-trip commute is 66 minutes. And the neighborhood looks to get even better with an upcoming “road diet” plan for Southeast Foster Road. Starting next year, the city will spend $5.5 million to build bike lanes and remove two of the busy thoroughfare’s five car lanes.

Two other mid-Southeast neighborhoods are close behind: Woodstock and South Tabor. However, South Tabor is the better value for bikers as living there shaves 12 minutes and nearly three miles from your daily commute. It has a better bike score to match: 84 compared to Woodstock’s 77.

Creston-Kenilworth—roughly the area south of Powell Boulevard between 28th and 50th avenues—also stood out. Homes there are selling for a median price of $330,000, and the cycling commute is 50 minutes.

North Portland, long known as cheap and close to downtown, isn’t so much like that anymore. Vernon boasts housing prices of $370,000. Neighbors in Piedmont, Overlook and Humboldt come in at $50,000 less—putting them on the bubble of affordability, while being only a few minutes closer to downtown than far-cheaper Southeast neighborhoods.

Your best bet for a true bargain? Brentwood-Darlington is an outside contender, with home prices sitting at around $213,000. Right now, it’s 81 minutes to downtown along the Springwater Corridor, but the new Orange MAX Line could be a game-changer if you don’t feel like making a long ride.

Or you can just wait—and pray—for the Portland housing bubble to pop.

Click here for a searchable chart of Portland neighborhoods!

Innovative Loopwheel has integrated suspension for a smoother ride

Disclaimer: I own a Dahon and found it because of that

via Treehugger


© Loopwheels

Bike riders will know that riding on bumpy roads with potholes or going up a curb will cause some discomfort — ditto for wheelchair owners and folding bike afficionados. But that may change with Loopwheels, an innovative, shock-absorbing wheel that has a looping suspension springs integrated within the wheel itself. The result: a smoother ride with less vibration, with less road noise. Check out the video:

© Loopwheels
© Loopwheels
© Loopwheels

Loopwheels also use a proprietary construction material to increase durability and reliability. Working with a local bow-makers, British designer and inventor Sam Pearce went through 70 versions before finally getting it just right. According to the website:

Loopwheel springs are made from a carbon composite material, carefully developed and tested to give optimum compression and lateral stability as well as strength and durability. Specially-designed connectors attach the springs to the hub and rim. There are three springs in each wheel, which work together as a self-correcting system. The spring configuration allows for the torque to be transferred smoothly between the hub and the rim.

© Loopwheels
© Loopwheels

Loopwheels look sleek and modern too, and were recently shortlisted for this year’s Design of the Year award from the London Design Museum. Pearce explains how he got the idea for Loopwheels:

In 2007 my idea of a wheel with tangential suspension was born when I was sitting at Eindhoven airport waiting for a flight. I saw a mother pushing her child in a buggy. The front wheels hit a slight kerb and the child jolted forward because of the impact. I asked myself why a wheel couldn’t have suspension inside it, so it would soften an impact from any direction. I sketched the idea in my notebook, got on my flight, and didn’t think much more about it for a couple of years.

© Loopwheels

But the idea kept resurfacing, and Pearce eventually developed it into the Loopwheel. Pearce has dubbed this new way of approaching the wheel "tangential suspension," and currently, the company makes a small, 20-inch version that is perfect for folding bikes. However, they just recently succeeded in gaining Kickstarter crowdfunding for wheels that will be made for wheelchairs, and according to Wired, the company intends to make Loopwheels for mountain bikes next. Pricing for a three-speed Loopwheel starts at USD $462, and the Loopwheels folding bike at $1,493. For more information, check out Loopwheels.